Tenzin Chogkyi leads a guided meditation to cultivate compassion for yourself and others.
(This meditation is part two of our interview with Tenzin Chogkyi)
[00:00:13] Tenzin Chogkyi: Take a moment to settle into a comfortable posture with your back straight; your hands can be resting in your lap or on your thighs. You can be sitting cross-legged or upright in a chair.
Trying to conjoin the qualities of alertness with relaxation. After getting into your posture, just take a moment to check into your body and relax and release any places that might be feeling tightness or tension.
Then take a moment to feel into the sensations of the breath in the body wherever those sensations are easiest to feel. It might be the full body awareness of breathing or perhaps your diaphragm rising and falling, your chest expanding and contracting, or maybe the very subtle sensation of the air as it goes in and out of your nostrils.
Maybe a little coolness on your upper lip.
Just taking a few moments to use the sensations of the breath as a way to settle. Get here in your body in the present moment.
Sending compassion to an “other”
Now I invite you to visualize someone, someone that you might think of as “other,” someone that you might think of as being really different from you, someone you might have judgements about, somebody that you feel it would be really hard to connect with.
This might be someone with very different political views, maybe somebody of a different religion, maybe someone of a different race or ethnicity or nationality, maybe somebody with behavior that you find reprehensible.
Think of someone, it might be someone specific in your own personal life, or it might just be a public figure.
I invite you to visualize that person seated in front of you, or just get a felt sense of their presence if it’s hard to get a visual image, but take a few moments to let that person’s presence really come alive. Imagine that they’re here with you, sitting across from you.
Really noticing what comes up as the visual image or the felt sense of that person becomes clear. Perhaps there’s thoughts in your mind, This person’s behavior is terrible or this person’s views are harmful, whatever it might be.
Maybe there’s even a felt sense in your body of aversion.
Just noticing what comes up as that person’s presence becomes clear.
Then as you become aware of this person, recognizing that this person is a fellow human being.
Think, This is a fellow human being just like me.
This person has a body and mind just like me.
This person has sensations, feelings, and thoughts just like me.
This person has at some point been sad, disappointed, angry, hurt, or confused just like me.
This person has experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering just like me.
This person wishes to be free from pain and suffering just like me.
This person wishes to be safe, healthy, and loved just like me.
This person wishes to be happy just like me.
Continuing to maintain this person’s presence in mind by way of a mental image or the felt sense of this person’s presence. Again, recognizing this is a person who cares to be happy just like me.
With this connection and a heartfelt concern breathe out and bring forth the kind wish, may you be truly happy and well.
Again, as you breathe out, may you be happy and well.
Now bringing to mind other people that you see as “other,” you might want to think of different groups that you think of as somehow other or outside the range of your care and concern and compassion.
It may be just due to indifference, people that you don’t know at all, that you’re not attuned to. It may be other groups of people that you feel you disagree with or their actions are harmful.
So thinking of some other groups, some other individuals, and even the people that are strangers to you that you usually don’t think of, don’t extend that care and concern.
As you imagine yourself surrounded by “others,” think all these people are human beings. They have the same feelings, the same needs,
They feel afraid, angry, sad, and joyful just like me.
They all experience mental and physical pain and suffering just like me.
They all wish to be happy and wish to be free of suffering just like me.
Try and generate the same wish, the same realization of that common humanity with all of these beings, all of these people.
Keeping that connection in mind, breathing out the kind-hearted wish, may you all be truly happy and well. Extending kindness out to all these people with each exhalation.
May you be truly happy and well.
May you be truly happy and well with each out breath.
Then finally, bring yourself to mind and just take a moment to feel into yourself today and acknowledge that you’re a human being who cares to be loved, cares to be happy.
You too are deserving of happiness, deserving of freedom from suffering.
So feeling into yourself in this way with a heartfelt concern, breathe out the kind wish to yourself, may I be truly happy and well, may I be truly happy and well.
With each out breath, sending yourself that kindhearted wish.
May I be truly happy and well.
May I be truly happy and well.
Then to conclude the meditation let’s dedicate all of the positive energy from this practice that we might be able to see the common humanity in all human beings and be able to work for their happiness, relieve them of suffering without discrimination and preference, dedicating all the positive energy towards that goal.
Now take a moment to slowly open your eyes and come out of meditation.
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