Circle of Compassion

“Our task must be to free ourselves ….. by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

― Albert Einstein

That Peace Meditation is so powerful. I find myself using it through the day – waiting in line, walking in the park, or sitting while Bill fast forwards through commercials – and the peace deepens. Not only easier to reach, but grounding. It reminds me of standing in a soundproof booth at the Science Centre while the kids raced around. Bliss!

But I have been slow at trying the other words: light, love and forgiveness. Light because I grew up in a competitive society where succeeding or shining lost you friends. Love because it cost me so much, smothering or exhaustion. Both words made me feel like a soldier in the trenches, sticking his head up and being shot.

And then forgiveness, which I wrote about in my last post. That feels done, but I also don’t want to live in a world with weighing scales, where hurt is given or pardoned, like a ball being tossed.

So I settled on compassion:

I am compassion – big headed?

I am filled with compassion

I am grounded in compassion – I changed ‘surrounded by’ as it almost felt presumptuous. I can only command my space.

Compassion as a meditation is a form of forgiveness, not the deep earthy kind, but an oiling of the wheels of everyday. It means giving the benefit of the doubt, assuming the best, leaving myself out of the picture.

Applying it to the small details of life feels kind and soothing. Again, as with forgiveness, it stops my allowing another’s act to define me. I don’t need to feel pushed aside by another’s haste, irritated by inconsiderate parking or shown up by my neighbour’s clean house. It reminds me of when the kids were small and came running in with a victim story.

“Who would you rather be,” I’d ask, “you or them? It must be horrid being inside them.”

Compassion is more contained than love; my boundaries are clearer. It can safely be given to a wider field. A few posts ago, I wrote about living each act with integrity; now is time to notch it up and try for compassion.



About UntraveledRoads

Fascinated by life, looking for answers to chronic pain and finding unexpected gifts. Interested in people, ideas, healing and humour. I am very happily married with three children and a kitten. As English born immigrants to Canada, we have family spread overseas, a daughter in South Africa and one in England. We also run a charity in South Africa to educate black, rural South African Women. Our first girl from a rural township has just graduated as an accountant from Johannesburg University and got a good job in a bank.
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