Cultivating Compassion Together
Compassion literally means "to suffer with." Experiencing some compassion comes naturally for most people, but cultivating deep compassion in a way that can transform the anger, polarization, and violence in our society and around the world requires a special and dedicated effort and practice. The first task is to recognize, gently embrace and tend to the aggression and aversion we experience within ourselves. Through a gradual process of self-allowance and self-forgiveness our wholeness emerges, lessening our own suffering and promoting peace of mind. This work is not easy, but with persistence as this process of self-reconciliation unfolds, we become better able to embrace and perhaps ease the suffering of others. Will the ripple effect of this work ultimately achieve world peace? Who knows-- we can only hope.
In the wake of the Dalai Lama's visit to Seattle to promote compassion, I began one-hour group sessions (now one evening the first week of each month) to practice and cultivate compassion through mindfulness meditation and discussion. There is no charge, and everyone is welcome to attend, regardless of meditation experience (i.e. newcomers welcome!).