Spiritual TIP for Today: Boarding Flight 2017

Boarding on Flight 2017 has been announced……

Hope you have checked in only the best souvenirs from 2016 in your luggage….

The BAD and SAD moments, if carried onboard, must be thrown away in the garbage bins on arrival …….

The flight will be 12 months long.
So, loosen your seat belts, jingle and mingle.

The stop-overs will be :

✳Health,
✳Love,
✳Joy,
✳Harmony,
✳Well-being
✳Peace.

Refueling will be at
👍Giving
👍Sharing
👍Caring.

The following menu is offered and will be served during the flight…….

✅ Cocktail of Friendship,
✅ Supreme of Health,
✅ Grating of Prosperity,
✅ Bowl of Excellent News
✅ Salad of Success,
✅ Cake of Happiness,

All accompanied by  bursts of laughter…
But remember, you will enjoy these meals and the journey better if you talk, share, smile and laugh together. Sitting silent will make the flight seem longer.

Wishing you and your family 👪 an enjoyable trip on board flight 2017…..

💥✨💫💃🏃👫💑👯❤💖💌💍☔⛄🌊🌈🌁🌴🌹🌷🍀

Before Flight 2016 ends,
May you and your family be Blessed With an Awesome Year Ahead.
😘😍💝🎁🎊🎉🎈
Stay blessed🌺

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Spiritual T.I.P. for Today:  Recovering from The Unexpected

Many of us are in shock upon hearing the results of the Presidential Election and wondering: What is our country coming to?  What are they (those who voted for Trump) thinking?  Well, as we all know we are part of a democratic country and the majority vote wins.  Even if we do not agree with the results we are bound to accept them and adjust accordingly without giving up our right to voice our thoughts and opinions.  With that said, I wanted to share with you some thoughts that came across my e-mail which expressed my sentiments and feelings.  May God continue to bless this country in good times and in bad.

Rodney Gittens, RScP

We have before us a perfect opportunity to exercise higher consciousness in realizing the best life for everyone…not just what’s possible, the best and even better for all in action, even right now.  Not coming from fear, coming with faith and trust that it is the pervasive power of the infinite indwelling Spirit that rules this country & this world.  Peace cells are springing up everywhere, not in opposition to a seeming power or threat, peace is growing as a natural occurrence in answer to the call for right use of power, Individualized and collectively.  The personal responsibility to exercise peace, compassion, caring and love is calling now.  I give thanks for this opportunity to know God, on a deeper and more expansive way, where those who think there is no God will know God when they see those who live like they know God.  This is my prayer today.
MY PRAYER FOR MY COUNTRY
Dr. Ernest Holmes (1887 – 1960, founder of Religious Science)

Believing in the Divine destiny of the United States of America and in the preservation of liberty, security, and self-expression, I offer this, my prayer for my country:

I know that Divine Intelligence governs the destiny of the United States of America, directing the thought and the activity of all who guide its affairs. I know that success, prosperity, and happiness are the gifts of freedom, and are the Divine heritage of everyone in this country.

I know that success, prosperity, and happiness are now operating in the affairs of every individual in this country.  I know that Divine guidance enlightens the collective mind of the people of this country, causing it to know that economic security may come to all without the loss of either personal freedom or individual self-expression.

I know that no one can believe or be led to believe that freedom must be surrendered in order to insure economic security for all.  The All-Knowing Mind of God contains the answer to every problem which confronts this country.

I know that every leader in this country is now directed to this All-Knowing Mind and has the knowledge of a complete solution to every problem, and each is compelled to act upon this knowledge to the end that abundance, security, and peace shall come to all.

And I know that this spiritual democracy shall endure, guaranteeing to everyone in this country personal liberty, happiness, and self-expression.  And so it is. Amen.

And yet here is another perspective:

Rev. Sara Nichols:  How can this turn out better than we can ever imagine?

Today many of us may be focused on worst case scenarios (and no, I’m not going to name them, because we all know what they are), but this clip by Katie Rubin suggest a different question, how can this turn out better than we can ever imagine?  I’m asking you to let your imagination run wild in a different direction.  Who knows what that could be?  Literally, what could that be? Be open and stay intune.

http://snicholsblog.blogspot.com/2016/11/what-else-is-possible.html?spref=fb&m=1

Remember, regardless of our political viewpoints and affiliations, we live in this country together and all want the same things in life:  to live in peace, prosperity, and happiness.

God bless America again and again.

 

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Spiritual T.I. P. for Today: Being Mindful by Paying Attention

By now, we have all heard of the need to Be Mindful, to Pay Attention to what we are doing or thinking.  How many of you were told as children to “Pay Attention”?  And as adults, how many times have you told some one to Pay Attention because you really wanted them to get what you were saying or wanted them to do.

As we go through our day, we are faced with a  million distractions from family members,  job requests, friends,  social circles,  the news and the weather, just to mention a few. And this list does not include social  media, especially Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, GroupMe, Hangouts, etc.

We are constantly bombarded  with “things” calling for our attention.  However, we cannot be successful what we doing if we are not paying attention to what we are doing.

We know how to pay attention already.  We just do it selectively. When the situation  calls for our “uninterrupted attention”, such as being with our beloved,  driving in heavy traffic or bad weather, or immediate danger, all of our senses are on board sending and receiving immediate feedback to navigate us through these important times.

Below is an article about 12 ways to practice Mindfulness, I call it Paying Attention, to what we are doing when we are doing it.  We can get into the Zone and stay there until that moment is over, then go on to the next moment, and the next, and the next, by giving each moment our best: our undivided attention.

12 Little Known Laws of Mindfulness (That Will Change Your Life)
WRITTEN BY MARC CHERNOFF // 10 COMMENTS

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

Mindfulness as a daily ritual is the ultimate challenge and practice. It’s a way of living, of being, of seeing, of tapping into the full power of your humanity. At its core, mindfulness is:

  •  Being aware of what’s happening in the present moment without wishing it were different.
  • Enjoying each pleasant experience without holding on when it changes (which it will).
  • Being with each unpleasant experience without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).
  • Knowing this moment is important.
  • Living every day in such a way that makes mindfulness possible is life-changing.

Here are twelve basic laws of (practical) mindfulness we often cover with our coaching/course students that make mindful living a gradual reality:

1. Your only reality is THIS MOMENT, right here, right now.
The secret to health for the mind, body and soul is not to mourn the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment mindfully and purposefully.
True wealth is the ability to experience the present moment fully. No other time and place is real. Lifelong peace and abundance is found in such simple awareness.
2. A negative thought is harmless unless you believe it.
It’s not your thoughts, but your attachment to your thoughts, that causes suffering.
Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true without proof. A belief is a thought that you’ve been attaching to, often for years.

3. You will not be punished FOR your anger; you will be punished BY it.
Speak and act when you are enraged, and you will make the best speech and motions        you will ever regret. Being angry and unhappy about something is easy. Doing something productive about it is the hard and worthwhile part. Life is too precious and too short to spend it being upset.   Drop it. Be positive. Be your best.
4. Inner peace is knowing how to belong to oneself, without external validation.
In order to understand the world, you have to turn away from it on occasion.
Sometimes you justify yourself to others when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts. Don’t look for anyone else to give you permission to be yourself. You don’t need anyone’s validation to be happy or to live a good life.
5. Everything is created twice, first in your mind and then in your life.
If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for almost anything.
Keep your morals close to your heart and at the top of your mind.
6. There is a wilderness you walk alone, however well accompanied you are.
Others can walk beside you, but they can’t walk in your shoes.
Give yourself an opportunity to discover who you truly are, and to figure out why you truly are always alone even when you’re surrounded, and why this is perfectly OK.

7. To strongly believe in something, and not live it, is dishonest.
Don’t bend; don’t water down your dreams; don’t try to make every feeling logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion trends. Rather, follow your most intense passions, mindfully.  Characterize yourself by your actions and you will never be fooled by other people’s words.

8. The right path and the easy path are rarely the same path.
You will ultimately come to realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path, and it’s worth your while. Every step forward may be tough, but will feel better than anything else you can imagine.  People don’t stop pursuing their dreams and passions because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing their dreams and passions.
9. If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs.
Instead of thinking about what you want, first consider what you are willing to give up to get it. You can’t have the destination without the journey. If you want the six-pack abs, you have to want the sweat, the sore muscles, the early mornings at the gym, and the healthy meals.   Ask yourself: What is worth suffering for? If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe you don’t actually want it at all, because you’re not willing to suffer though the work it’s going to take to achieve it.
10. Overcommitting is the antithesis of living a peaceful, mindful life.
There’s a difference between being committed to the right things and being            overcommitted to everything. It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the day with to-do list tasks or distractions. Don’t do this to yourself. Leave yourself some space.   Keep your life ordered and your schedule under-booked. Create a foundation with a soft place to land, a wide margin of error, and room to think and breathe.
11. When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little.
Don’t live a life packed full of concrete plans. Work hard, but be flexible. The best      moments often happen unplanned and the greatest regrets happen by not reaching exactly what was planned.   Sometimes you just need to let go, relax, take a deep breath and love what is, right now.
12. When you are tired, you are attacked by ideas you likely conquered long ago.
You must refill your bucket on a regular basis. That means catching your breath, finding quiet solitude, focusing your attention inward, and otherwise making time for recovery from the chaos of your routine. It’s perfectly healthy to pause and let the world spin without you for a while. If you don’t, you will burn yourself out.

Afterthoughts
As I am wrapping up this article, I am reminded that the greatest enemy of good thinking, and thus mindfulness, is busyness.
Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect. We all have seasons of wild schedules, but very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time. We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.
Although being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term. We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful, mindful life.

Your turn…
How has mindfulness, or the lack thereof, affected you?

In what areas of your life could you afford to be more mindful?

*********************************************************************************

(Angel and Marc discuss this in more detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.  They just released a new bundle pack for “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently” which includes their eBook, audio book, paperback and bonus material on sale for a big discount.  You can google it!)

 

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Spiritual T.I.P. for Today: Letting Go thru Life Transitions

“Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life.”  Madisyn Taylor (Daily Om)

Life is full of transitions.  Even though this is a natural and necessary part of our growth, it is often painful. And if we don’t realize that we are in transition, then what is happening can become confusing and disorienting.  We may begin to play the Blame Game and not realize that we are dealing with “This Thing Called Life”.

In fact, confusion and disorientation are often the messengers that tell us a shift is taking place within us. These shifts happen throughout the lives of all people as we move from infancy to childhood to adolescence and beyond. With each transition from one phase of life to another, we find ourselves saying good-bye to an old friend: the identity we formed as we moved through that particular period of time.

Sometimes we form these identities in relationships or jobs. And when we shift those areas of our life, we can become unsettled. Usually, if we take the time to look beyond the changing surface of things, we will find that a shift is taking place within us as a yearning or desire for something different, new, or more expansive.

For example, we may go through one whole chapter of our lives creating a protective shell around ourselves that we needed in order to heal from some earlier trauma. When we are healed, then we can transition into our next phase.

One day, we may find ourselves feeling confined and restless, wanting to move out of the shelter we needed for so long so that the new, emerging part of ourselves can be born. Just like the chick must peck its way out of its shell to have a fuller life, so we must break out of  the confines of the shell of our old protective self  in order to have that fuller new life.

We may feel a strange mixture of exhilaration and sadness as we say good-bye to a part of ourselves that is receding to make way for our new identity to emerge in its place. We may find inspiration in working with the image of an animal who molts or sheds in order to make way for its new skin, fur, or feathers.

For example, keeping a duck feather, a picture of a butterfly, or some other symbol of transformation, can remind us that life changes or transitions are simply nature’s way of growing and evolving. We can surrender to this process, letting go of our past self with great love and gratitude for the gifts it has given us and welcoming the new self with an open mind and heart, in quiet anticipation for our next phase of life.

Affirmation:  Realizing that transitions are a necessary part of life, I graciously surrender my old self so that my new self can be born with ease.

 

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Spiritual T.I.P. for Today: Be an Eagle, not a duck.

(This was sent to me by my daughter who lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It’s a re-post of an article she read. It was just too good and insightful not to share with you all.)

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar
“I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport in Pakistan. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.
He handed me a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Abdul, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’
Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Abdul’s Mission Statement:
  To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way                    possible in a friendly environment.

This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Abdul said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’ I said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’ Abdul smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.’ Almost stuttering, I said, ‘I’ll take a lassi.’  Handing me my drink, Abdul said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The NST, Star and Sun Today.’

As they were pulling away, Abdul handed me another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio. ‘And as if that weren’t enough, Abdul told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for me.

Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.
‘Tell me, Abdul,’ I was amazed and asked him, ‘have you always served customers like this?’

Abdul smiled into the rear view mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about
POWER OF CHOICE one day.” Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle.

‘If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining!’
‘Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’
‘That hit me, really hard’ said Abdul. ‘It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy.
So I decided to make some changes, slowly … a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’ ‘I take it that it has paid off for you,’ I said. ‘It sure has,’ Abdul replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.’

Abdul made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like a duck and start soaring like an eagle.  Start becoming an eagle today … one small step every week. Next week… And then the next…And the next….  Be an Eagle, not a duck.

“You don’t die if you fall in water, you die only if you don’t swim.

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Message from Dr. Kenn Gordon, Spiritual Leader Centers for Spiritual Living

Wednesday, September 21st, was the International Day of Peace. Centers for Spiritual Living celebrated this day with the dedication of a Peace Pole on our grounds at the home office in Golden, Colorado. There was the sealing of a time capsule into which messages and letters of peace written by school children were entered.

As this beautiful day was unfolding, unrest and discord continued to rise through the tragic and unjustified shootings in Tulsa, OK and Charlotte, NC. While official investigations are still underway and many questions remain unanswered at this hour, what we do know is this: two more African American men have been shot, two more families have suffered a great loss and two more cities have felt the uprising of generational wounding and unaddressed tensions.

It is uncomfortable to watch and to feel into the unrest. How I wish I could sit on a mountain top and pray for peace, but there is no peace in the absence of love and justice. As Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“We must not only believe in peace, and pray for peace but we must also work for peace.” We must be willing to do the inner work, to rid ourselves of violence and condemnation of every form. As I remarked at our Peace Day event, “It is not what we hate that is the problem, it is that we hate at all.”

Now is the time to lean into our principles, practices, and teaching… to take responsibility for our atmosphere of thoughts and our capacity for compassion.

Let us pray for the families of Terrance Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott. Let us pray for the police officers and city officials who put their own lives on the line to protect our cities and its people. Let us pray that these tragedies crack open more than just our heart, but also our will to do the work that needs to be done.

Therefore, let us pray to discern what is ours to do as individualizations of the embodiment of Peace, Love and Harmony in our world, as we continue to hold the vision of a World That Works for Everyone, and let us act accordingly.

Know that you are loved and cherished,

Dr. Kenn Gordon
Spiritual Leader
Centers for Spiritual Living

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Spiritual T.I.P. for Today: Follow Your Dreams

We all have had dreams as a child about what we wanted to do or be when we grew up.  Or maybe we became inspired by another person’s accomplishments or our role models.  Whatever the source of your dream, it’s still your dream and available to you for fulfillment, if only you have the faith and courage to follow it through.

This may not be easy. Too many of us look for the easy way. But the victory is given to those who take the Hero’s Journey with its challenges and obstacles to meet and  overcome.  These are what make our story sweet and inspiring to others as well as creating the successes along the way that we are seeking at our journey’s end.

“You can trust the creative power of the universe. It is the creative power of your subconscious mind and is inexhaustible. It knows neither worry or fatigue. It is perfect in its expression and precision.  Give it great goals to accomplish and it will. Use it for greatness.”  Raymond Charles Barker

Prolific dreamers, inventors, and innovators have given the world the most fascinating and useful insights and inventions by meeting their challenges along the way. Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and more have had visions and dreams about the universe and about ways to enhance our lives. Just read their inspiring stories.

You too, have dreams. You have visions and goals that are important to you and to the world. You may have put them aside due to obligations and time constraints, or fears and doubts, but they are still within you.

I invite you to focus on you goals now. Revisit those dreams that inspire you and encourage you to stretch myself in new ways. Feel a new stirring within your own soul to begin the steps to fulfill those dreams now.

Affirmation: “With persistence, faith and prayer, I can and will follow my dreams to the joy of their fulfillment.”

But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.—2 Chronicles 15:7

 

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Spiritual T.I.P. for Today: Finding Joy in Service

 “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore

When we’re engaged in service to others purely for the sake of being of help and from our own love and good will, there is something that comes alive in us. Service fulfills us. Research indicates that those who consistently help other people experience less stress, enjoy higher levels of mental health, feel more connected to Spirit, and feel more gratitude.

This is some of what Ernest Holmes meant when he said, ” there is only one life, that life is God’s life, that life is perfect  and that life is my life now.”  This is a recognition of the Oneness of life that we all share.  Our wants, needs, and desires are all the same although we express or experience these in different ways.

“Life’s most urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others? “Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato or Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”― Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is not to say to become a doormat and let folks walk all over you.  There is a great difference between being of assistance and allowing others to use you for their convenience. We all need to establish our boundaries, and helping others should not violate the boundaries you have set for your own well-being. This is not self-love, it is self-sacrifice.

Being of service may call for a little sacrifice of your comfort zone, but not a sacrifice of yourself.  True service leaves you feeling glad that you did you did something good for someone else without any expectation of a reward. The reward  is an internal positive feeling that is good for your own personal well-being. Service itself provides us with a  “helpers-high”.  We feel better by being of service and the more we find instances to serve, the more we benefit by our sense of service to others.

So my question to you today is: “How or who can you serve today? When you see someone  or a situation in need of your assistance, will you stop and help or will just you pass by with a sigh of pity, leaving it for someone else to do? Your choice makes a difference to yourself and to your world.

“Being of service to others is an expression of Love.”  “Compassion is expressed in service to others.”

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore

 

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Spiritual T. I P. for Today: Doing Our Best Work

Doing Our Best Work — Roles of Support

by Madisyn Taylor from Daily OM

“Each one of us is very much needed and we all have our role to play adding to the success of the whole.”

In the great symphony of life, we all have important parts to play. While some people are best suited to be conductors or soloists, their contributions would be diminished considerably without the individual musicians that lend their artistry to the fullness of an orchestra. The magical accents of the percussion section might sound random and out of place without the music they accompany. But any one member of an orchestra, doing less than their best at their particular part, can destroy the harmony of the whole piece, such is their importance. So although we may not receive the same amount or quality of attention as another, all of our contributions are valuable and integral to the success of the whole.

When we do our tasks well, we infuse them with our unique energy, making each act a gift. Each of our personalities and talents are suited to different roles of support. Even leaders and star performers support others in their own way. We can look around us at any moment to see that while we nurture some people with our work, others are supporting us with their gifts. Doing any job from this place within us allows us to do our part with humility and gratitude, while also learning lessons that move us steadily toward our goals.

When we can be fully present in every job that we do, we bring the fullness of our bodies, minds and spirits to the moment. Our contribution is enhanced by the infusion of our talents and abilities, and when we give them willingly, they attract the right people and circumstances into our experience. Anything we do begrudgingly limits the flow of our energy and closes us off from the good that is available to us in every situation. But by giving the best in us to make the world around us better, we open ourselves to receive the best from the universe in return.

Remember:  “It takes team work to make the dream work.”

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Spiritual T.I.P. for Today: Practice Compassion

This is a re-post from Facebook: Read, Learn, Enjoy!

A Guide to Cultivating Compassion in Your Life, With 7 Practices 

BY LEO BABAUTA

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.

The key to developing compassion in your life is to make it a daily practice.

Meditate upon it in the morning (you can do it while checking email), think about it when you interact with others, and reflect on it at night. In this way, it becomes a part of your life. Or as the Dalai Lama also said,

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Dalai Lama

Definition: Let’s use the Wikipedia definition of Compassion:

Compassion is an emotion that is a sense of shared suffering, most often combined with a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another; to show special kindness to those who suffer. Compassion essentially arises through empathy, and is often characterized through actions, wherein a person acting with compassion will seek to aid those they feel compassionate for.

Compassionate acts are generally considered those which take into account the suffering of others and attempt to alleviate that suffering as if it were one’s own. In this sense, the various forms of the Golden Rule are clearly based on the concept of compassion.

Compassion differs from other forms of helpful or humane behavior in that its focus is primarily on the alleviation of suffering.

Benefits of Practicing Compassion
Why develop compassion in your life? Well, there are scientific studies that suggest there are physical benefits to practicing compassion — people who practice it produce 100 percent more DHEA, which is a hormone that counteracts the aging process, and 23 percent less cortisol — the “stress hormone.”

But there are other benefits as well, and these are emotional and spiritual. The main benefit is that it helps you to be more happy, and brings others around you to be more happy. If we agree that it is a common aim of each of us to strive to be happy, then compassion is one of the main tools for achieving that happiness. It is therefore of utmost importance that we cultivate compassion in our lives and practice compassion every day.

How do we do that? This guide contains 7 different practices that you can try out and perhaps incorporate into your every day life.

7 Compassion Practices

Morning ritual. Greet each morning with a ritual. Try this one, suggest by the Dalai Lama: “Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” Then, when you’ve done this, try one of the practices below.
Empathy Practice. The first step in cultivating compassion is to develop empathy for your fellow human beings. Many of us believe that we have empathy, and on some level nearly all of us do. But many times we are centered on ourselves (I’m no exception) and we let our sense of empathy get rusty. Try this practice: Imagine that a loved one is suffering. Something terrible has happened to him or her. Now try to imagine the pain they are going through. Imagine the suffering in as much detail as possible. After doing this practice for a couple of weeks, you should try moving on to imagining the suffering of others you know, not just those who are close to you.
Commonalities practice. Instead of recognizing the differences between yourself and others, try to recognize what you have in common. At the root of it all, we are all human beings. We need food, and shelter, and love. We crave attention, and recognition, and affection, and above all, happiness.

Reflect on these commonalities you have with every other human being, and ignore the differences.

One of my favorite exercises comes from a great article from Ode Magazine — it’s a five-step exercise to try when you meet friends and strangers. Do it discreetly and try to do all the steps with the same person. With your attention geared to the other person, tell yourself:
Step 1: “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.”
Step 2: “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.”
Step 3: “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.”
Step 4: “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.”
Step 5: “Just like me, this person is learning about life.”
Relief of suffering practice. Once you can empathize with another person, and understand his humanity and suffering, the next step is to want that person to be free from suffering. This is the heart of compassion — actually the definition of it. Try this exercise: Imagine the suffering of a human being you’ve met recently. Now imagine that you are the one going through that suffering. Reflect on how much you would like that suffering to end. Reflect on how happy you would be if another human being desired your suffering to end, and acted upon it. Open your heart to that human being and if you feel even a little that you’d want their suffering to end, reflect on that feeling. That’s the feeling that you want to develop. With constant practice, that feeling can be grown and nurtured.
Act of kindness practice. Now that you’ve gotten good at the 4th practice, take the exercise a step further. Imagine again the suffering of someone you know or met recently. Imagine again that you are that person, and are going through that suffering. Now imagine that another human being would like your suffering to end — perhaps your mother or another loved one. What would you like for that person to do to end your suffering? Now reverse roles: you are the person who desires for the other person’s suffering to end. Imagine that you do something to help ease the suffering, or end it completely. Once you get good at this stage, practice doing something small each day to help end the suffering of others, even in a tiny way. Even a smile, or a kind word, or doing an errand or chore, or just talking about a problem with another person. Practice doing something kind to help ease the suffering of others. When you are good at this, find a way to make it a daily practice, and eventually a throughout-the-day practice.
Those who mistreat us practice. The final stage in these compassion practices is to not only want to ease the suffering of those we love and meet, but even those who mistreat us. When we encounter someone who mistreats us, instead of acting in anger, withdraw. Later, when you are calm and more detached, reflect on that person who mistreated you. Try to imagine the background of that person. Try to imagine what that person was taught as a child. Try to imagine the day or week that person was going through, and what kind of bad things had happened to that person. Try to imagine the mood and state of mind that person was in — the suffering that person must have been going through to mistreat you that way. And understand that their action was not about you, but about what they were going through. Now think some more about the suffering of that poor person, and see if you can imagine trying to stop the suffering of that person. And then reflect that if you mistreated someone, and they acted with kindness and compassion toward you, whether that would make you less likely to mistreat that person the next time, and more likely to be kind to that person. Once you have mastered this practice of reflection, try acting with compassion and understanding the next time a person treats you. Do it in little doses, until you are good at it. Practice makes perfect.
Evening routine. I highly recommend that you take a few minutes before you go to bed to reflect upon your day. Think about the people you met and talked to, and how you treated each other. Think about your goal that you stated this morning, to act with compassion towards others. How well did you do? What could you do better? What did you learn from your experiences today? And if you have time, try one of the above practices and exercises.
These compassionate practices can be done anywhere, any time. At work, at home, on the road, while traveling, while at a store, while at the home of a friend or family member. By sandwiching your day with a morning and evening ritual, you can frame your day properly, in an attitude of trying to practice compassion and develop it within yourself. And with practice, you can begin to do it throughout the day, and throughout your lifetime.

This, above all, with bring happiness to your life and to those around you.

“My message is the practice of compassion, love and kindness. These things are very useful in our daily life, and also for the whole of human society these practices can be very important.” – Dalai Lama

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