Compassion is Essential for Human Survival

Here are some words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama. He teaches us that compassion is essential for human survival.

How are we going to help humanity survive through the practice of compassion?

We begin with compassion for ourselves. One of the best resources I know for developing self compassion is the ongoing work of Kristin Neff. Her book, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, has made an impact on the world. Her life and the story about her autistic son in the movie, The Horse Boy has brought tears to the eyes of many people.

Once we develop compassion for ourselves, we can direct our compassion out to our immediate family, our friends, our community, the whole of humanity, and Mother Earth. In reality, there is important and immediate work to be done.

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.“

– Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama at US Senate

These exercises may help you develop compassion for yourself and thereby assist you to develop compassion for others.

Begin by placing yourself in a comfortable position, either sitting up straight or lying down.

Take a minimum of three deep breaths, paying attention to each inhalation and each exhalation as you breathe.

Repeat these verses to yourself at least three times:

May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I know the beauty and the radiance of my own true nature.
May I be healthy.
May I be free and happy, truly happy.

Once you become comfortable with these verses, you can shower them on the people you love as well. Then, you can shower them on the people you know are suffering is one way or another. Follow this with all sentient beings and Mother Earth.

After about 21 days of practice like this, you will find that you have more self-compassion and more compassion for others.

Believe me, it works. It worked for me. This or something like it is part of my daily practice.

Have you experienced any other practices that help you develop self-compassion? Would you like to write about them?

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Kristin Neff, Ph.D., says that it’s time to “stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind.” Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind offers expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects, enabling you to achieve your highest potential and a more contented, fulfilled life.

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