Dear Integral Meditators,
This weeks article looks at compassion, and how you can go about developing a living, experiential connection to it through mindfulness. The integral Tuesday, Wednesday and Space2B classes will be on compassion for the rest of the month…
On Saturday the 17th morning there is the The Six Qi Healing sounds: Qi gong For Self-Healing and Inner Balance Workshop. Then in the afternoon 4.30-6pm the Mindfulness group coaching,
In the spirit of compassion,
Special offer: 10% off on Life-Fullness Life coaching sign ups from now until Wednesday 21st NovemberThe Life-Fullness Integral Coaching Program (LICP) is an integral form of 1:1 coaching with Toby that you can sign up for periods of six-months or three-months at a time. It is mindfulness oriented personal coaching that focuses upon the development of three R’s:
- Re-generate your creative self and curiosity in life
- Re-connect to deeper levels of motivation and meaning within yourself, your relationships and your career
- Re-awakening to a sense of your own inner confidence, energy and personal power
Click here for full details of the Life-fulness program
Compassion can be deeply transformative. Learning to feel, see and act from compassion can have a huge practical impact on our potential for self-healing, finding purpose in our life, and acting with creative benevolence. Below are a few pointers designed to help you connect to your own present compassion and grow its presence in your life.
Your own present experience of compassion – It’s nice to begin by reflecting. What does compassion mean to you? Can you recall times when you have experienced it? What did it feel like when you were compassionate? What tends to stimulate it? What is your experience of receiving compassion, not just giving it? Pop these questions to yourself and see where they lead you…Make compassion personal to you, a conscious part of your story.
A definition of compassion – One useful definition of compassion is that it is a state of mind that observes suffering with empathy and wishes where possible to alleviate that pain. A pre-requisite of compassion is that we care about the person (ourself, others) that we are observing. Love, warmth, caring are the basis for compassion.
Compassion begins with awareness – At the root of compassion is awareness. If you want to have compassion for yourself, you need to be able to sit with your own pain, suffering and discomfort. You must be able to look at it, acknowledge it and accept it. This in itself is a powerful act of compassion. Similarly, awareness of other people’s pain is the beginning of compassion for them. You may have had the experience of being in pain yourself, and then a friend really seeing and acknowledging your pain, extending their support to you. Even if they couldn’t do anything about it, just knowing they understand and they care is a real supporting force for us. Acknowledging the pain of ourself and others with care builds a powerful basis for compassion.
Creating reciprocal loops of compassion – Like love, we need to develop the capacity to give and receive compassion between ourself and others. When we are in pain we need to be able to open to and receive the support of others. When we see others in pain we can give compassion. The idea is to create a wealth of compassion in our life. If we give too much without receiving, we burn out. If we receive without giving, we can become a burden on others.
Practising open and closed compassion – Sometimes we can practice compassion unconditionally, in a completely empathetic, open state. But this is not always appropriate. We need to also know how to ‘close’ our energy system and be more objective with our compassion sometimes. There is definitely such a thing as objective compassion, where we are extending concern to others without drowning in their pain and maintaining a clear boundary around what is ‘theirs’ and what is ‘mine’ to deal with.
Avoiding the saviour complex – Don’t be the person that gets weird kicks from ‘saving’ other people, the world doesn’t need you. Save yourself from your own delusions first, and then with compassion empower others.
Lightness and playfulness are the friend of compassion – In the presence of pain it can be tempting to get all heavy about it. Without dismissing or avoiding the real suffering that is there, it is a positive skill to bring humour and lightness to pain. Explore what ‘playful compassion’ feels like.
A beginning – Sitting quietly, become aware of an aspect of your own pain or suffering, on whatever level (physical, emotional etc). Breathing smoothly and deeply (65-70% of lung capacity), spend a few minutes extending compassion to yourself as you breathe in, and relaxing into the pain as you breathe out. Release what pain you can, but don’t try and force yourself to release the pain before you are ready. Just hold the space and breathe with compassion.
© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com
Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby
Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)
Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street
Saturday mornings 9-10.15am : 1st,15th, 22nd, 29th December – Qi Gong workout and meditation class
Saturdays November 17th & 24th, 4.30-6pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby
Saturday 17th November 9.30am-1pm – The Six Qi Healing sounds: Qi gong For Self-Healing and Inner Balance Workshop
Saturday 24th November 9.30am-12.30pm – Finding simplicity in the complexity – Meditation from the perspective of Zen
Saturday 1st December 11am-12.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever
Saturday 15th December, 1-4pm – Integral meditation practice: Optimize your inner calm, strength and energy
Integral Meditation Asia