I found this practice to be particularly beneficial because it relies on an old Buddhist practice of putting yourself in the other person’s frame of mind.
As the Dalai Lama says,
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
~ Dalai Lama
Try this on for size and I’ll see if I can share Nawang Khechog’s audio recording with you:
Think for a moment about a challenging situation you’ve encountered recently.
Maybe you had an uncomfortable exchange with a coworker or family member. What were the circumstances? What was said? How did your actions affect the situation? How did it end?
Now, go back through the same event, this time coming at it from the other person’s perspective. What might have triggered their words or actions? How do you perceive your own behavior—does it cast your own actions in a different light? Can you see what might have made that person act the way they did?
In this mind-body practice, you will learn how empathy changes your relationship to the world around you, and how rather than seeing yourself in the world, you recognize that the world is within you.
When you make a regular practice of putting yourself in other people’s shoes, you enrich your own experience and can be more flexible, more open-minded, more understanding, and of course, more compassionate. And in that fertile soil, happiness blooms.
Did you try this exercise in practicing compassion?
What were the results?