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Karuna Meditation: Compassion

In class yesterday we did a beautiful Karuna Meditation. Karuna is one of the Four Divine Abodes of Buddhism. The Four Divine Abodes are also referred to as the Four Immeasurable’s established by the Buddha himself – Metta (loving-kindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (sympathetic joy), Upekkha (equanimity). These four boundless qualities cut through the idea of separation. By dissolving the boundaries that separate us, we open ourselves up to the ease of equanimity, the full-heartedness of love, the tenderness of compassion, the radiance of joy.

Often times it’s believed that we have no control over the people and energy around us. As cliche as it sounds, collective peace begins with you. I encourage you to take responsibility, give this meditation a try and notice the consequences. Through sending love, compassion, joy, understanding to all, that energy is felt, it helps to transform and is eventually reciprocated.

KARUNA <COMPASSION> MEDITATION

When you first begin this meditation, perhaps you are just hearing the words in your mind. But in time you move past the words and begin to feel the energy beyond them, until the energy is embodied within you and all around you.

Focus on the heart space – the front of the chest, the upper back, the sides.. Feel your breath moving there, expanding and contracting. Can you soften your heart? Allow yourself to be open and receptive. Let go of any defensive layers that you may be clinging on to. Slowly, slowly – move through the phrases in your mind. Really listen, even taste the words as they ring through your mind and body. Let their meaning penetrate beyond the idea and into the feeling and energy itself.

MAY I BE KIND.
MAY I BE AWARE OF MY OWN SUFFERING.
MAY I BE OPEN TO MY OWN SUFFERING.
MAY I RESPOND TO MY SUFFERING WITH LOVE AND COMPASSION.

MAY I BE KIND TO YOU.
MAY I BE AWARE OF YOUR SUFFERING.
MAY I BE OPEN TO YOUR SUFFERING
MAY I RESPOND TO YOUR SUFFERING WITH LOVE AND COMPASSION

MAY YOU BE KIND.
MAY YOU BE AWARE OF YOUR OWN SUFFERING.
MAY YOU BE OPEN TO YOUR OWN SUFFERING.
MAY YOU RESPOND TO YOUR SUFFERING WITH LOVE AND COMPASSION.

1.Send this to someone that you love.
2.Send this to someone neutral (coworker, neighbor, old friend).
3.Send this to someone whom you have a difficult relationship with.
4.Finally, send this to all beings everywhere.
At the end, continue to breathe deep into your heart center. Let the vibration of compassion fill you up.

In love and compassion,
Ash

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