The Power of Compassion
Compassion is a wish fulfilling jewel that can alleviate all suffering. In Tibetan Buddhism compassion is the key and central training within their religion. Enlightened Compassion is personified by the deity Chenrezig who holds a jewel that grants all wishes to those who posses it, that jewel is compassion. Mahayana Buddhist believe love and compassion can overcome all obstacles, awaken the mind to enlightenment and bring enormous benefit to yourself and others.
Compassion training was the first meditations that I ever practised where I learnt that I could change my perspective to encourage empathy, equality and compassion to help overcome practically all my disturbing emotions. It sounds like a big claim but that’s exactly what training in compassion does. You have to actually give it a go to see for yourself how it works but essentially it’s impossible for anger, hatred, jealousy and selfishness to exist in the company of genuine love and compassion. In fact it’s hard to imagine people going to war against one another if there is love and compassion present between them. Love and Compassion has the potential to bring about harmony and understanding between people of the world.
It’s a guide to living a compassionate and enlightened life from an 11th Century Tibetan Buddhist monk – Langri Thangpa called 8 Verses for Training the Heart Mind. It’s from the Mahayana tradition where they place a very high value in training in love and compassion, claiming it’s absolutely necessary to achieve full enlightenment.
“All the suffering in the world comes from selfishness, all the happiness in the world comes from compassion.”
Practising the 8 verses brings enormous benefit to yourself and others. research has shown your own happiness is increased by practising love and compassion. In fact love and compassion are not just good for happiness but have a positive impact on health as well, reducing blood pressure and boosting the immune system but it is not easy. It is a radical departure from our usual selfish ways of behaviour, instead the training embodies a compassionate way of being cherishing others more than yourself with the goal of alleviating suffering from the entire world.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” ~ Dalai Lama
See the Dalai Lama’s Message about compassion HERE
Below is one of the most powerful methods for training the mind/heart to shift your perspective out of the selfish ego and into the open spaces of love and compassion.
Eight Verses For Training The Heart Mind
by Geshe Langri Thangpa
- By thinking of all sentient beings
As more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
For accomplishing the highest aim,
I will always hold them dear.
- Whenever I’m in the company of others,
I will regard myself as the lowest among all,
And from the depths of my heart
Cherish others as supreme.
- In my every action, I will watch my mind,
And the moment destructive emotions arise,
I will confront them strongly and avert them,
Since they will hurt both me and others.
- Whenever I see ill-natured beings,
Or those overwhelmed by heavy misdeeds or suffering,
I will cherish them as something rare,
As though I’d found a priceless treasure.
- Whenever someone out of envy
Does me wrong by attacking or belittling me,
I will take defeat upon myself,
And give the victory to others.
- Even when someone I have helped,
Or in whom I have placed great hopes
Mistreats me very unjustly,
I will view that person as a true spiritual teacher.
- In brief, directly or indirectly,
I will offer help and happiness to all others,
And secretly take upon myself
All their hurt and suffering.
- I will learn to keep all these practices
Untainted by thoughts of the eight worldly concerns.
May I recognize all things as like illusions,
And, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.
By Chad Foreman
Chad Foreman has been teaching meditation since 2003 and is determined to bring authentic meditation practices into the lives of millions of people. Chad is a former Buddhist monk and spent 6 years living in a retreat hut studying and practising meditation full time. He is now a fully qualified meditation teacher with the Australian Institute of Meditation and has designed a unique 21 day meditation challenge to guide people gradually from the basics of mindfulness and relaxation to profound states of awareness. Click Here to learn more about the 21 Day Meditation Challenge.
Guided Meditation Recording on Love & Compassion
(From Day 6 of the 21 Day Meditation Challenge)