Guided Meditation for Compassion

January 22, 2012

Compassion, like gratitude, is something we love to feel. Even though compassion arises as we witness and empathize with another’s pain, it is satisfying to feel this response in our hearts. It feeds our hearts. Hopefully, this new podcast meditation will help strengthen and develop your capacity for compassion, not only for others, but more importantly for yourself.

I recorded this meditation with my local group. You’ll notice voices in the background in one part. I thought about editing that section out, but I had incorporated the noise into the meditation and thought you might enjoy that. When we hear noise as we meditate, the key is to let go of resistance to it and attempts to push it out. Although it’s more pleasant to meditate in a quiet place, we can experience inner silence even in the midst of noise.

Let me know what you experience with this meditation. Hope it serves you well!


17 Responses to “Guided Meditation for Compassion”

  1. Doreen Gowing on January 23rd, 2012 1:36 am

    Thank you Mary for sowing these seeds. I realise now how guarded I can be towards showing compassion towards myself and others. Now that it is more in my awareness I shall work to let the walls crumble and let love in and out.
    I thought I was being loving but in truth it was guarded.

    Thank you.


  2. Edwin Rutsch on January 24th, 2012 11:38 am

    May I suggest a further resource to learn more about empathy and compassion.
    The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
    The Culture of Empathy website is the largest internet portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews,  videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion.

    I posted a link to your article in our
    Empathy and Compassion Magazine
    The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world

  3. Mary on January 25th, 2012 11:41 am

    Doreen, you are welcome. It’s such a gift when we become aware of these things in ourselves. I do feel that if we can be compassionate towards ourselves, it naturally spills out to others. It’s as if the door can’t be open just one way…

  4. Mary on January 25th, 2012 11:53 am

    Edwin – Looks like you have compiled a lot of information on such an important topic. Thank you!

  5. Stephen on January 29th, 2012 3:24 pm

    Hi, Just wanted to say thank you for this fantastic website and also share an experience with you all.

    I’ve been meditating off and on for some years. I’m not an expert and most of what I know has been researched and practiced via brilliant websites such as this.

    While meditating most of my attention has been on breathing slowing down my thoughts and enjoying the inner peace that this creats. But recently I’ve become aware of something else something completely new to me.

    I will try to describe my expierance. I’m breathing, bringing my awareness to my breath. While in my relaxed state my thoughts are slow and I enjoy a detached feeling from any negativity or emotions, I’m the watcher of my mind ( if that makes sense?). While I’m watching or detaching from my mind I’ve recently become aware of a second field or mind?? It was only a feeling at one point but now i can identify a place just as I can feel or observe my mind. This second field appears to arch over my head and is hard to reach. I’m not seeing anything just feeling. I think it contains deeper emotions but I can’t be sure.

    Each time I meditate I’m understanding it little bit more. But I can’t seam to influence its power as I can my own mind.

    This is very new to me and I feel a bit worried for some reason. Thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
    London UK.

  6. Mary on January 30th, 2012 12:08 pm

    Stephen, it sounds like you are experiencing what many call “witnessing”. This larger, unbounded awareness of which your active thinking mind is a part, becomes evident. You can read various descriptions and explanations of this which might help. It may be better, however, to let go of trying to understand it. You can’t really wrap your mind around the unbounded awareness of which it is a part. This experience can be the beginning of a big shift in how you experience yourself and the world. Good luck.

  7. Stephen on January 30th, 2012 4:22 pm

    Thank you!

  8. Karen on February 17th, 2012 8:50 am

    Hi, Mary~
    I wanted to share with you an experience I had recently involving mindfulness.
    I was asleep and having a dream in which some unpleasant things were happening. Then, I dreamed that I stopped my thoughts and asked myself to just notice how all of this made me feel and to just accept these unpleasant events.
    I kind of chuckled to myself when I awoke that I have even become more mindful in my dreams!
    I thought you might enjoy that!
    Thank you, Mary, for starting me on a path to a more relaxed, and mindful, life~

  9. Mary on February 18th, 2012 7:41 pm

    Karen, how wonderful that this has carried over to your dreams! It shows that you’ve taken this in very deeply. Great to hear about this!

  10. Andy on March 4th, 2012 8:10 pm

    I was having such a problem trying to feel compassion for a family member who has a lot of problems but who behaves in a very destructive way. I began meditating again to try to manage the issue and it has helped a lot. My problem was/is trying to protect myself and be compassionate at the same time. Meditation is helping me to ‘disengage’ and just be ‘aware’ when the arrows are flying. I am beginning to feel compassion for both of us.

  11. Meta on September 1st, 2012 2:45 pm

    I was taken aback by your statement in the meditation that merely having compassionate thoughts for others was enough. That you don’t have to do anything. While I understand that often there really is nothing you can do, it didn’t seem right that sending good thoughts towards another was the end of the story. What am I missing in your message? Surely we are not absolved of being an active participant in our world merely by having kind thoughts?

  12. Mary on September 1st, 2012 3:03 pm

    Meta, thank you for bringing your perspective. The words of the meditation aren’t meant to be a commentary on life, what we should do, and so on. They are only meant to gently prompt the listener to go within and experience compassion during the meditation itself.

  13. Meta on September 2nd, 2012 6:09 am

    Thanks. That makes more sense.

  14. Nina on September 17th, 2012 6:20 am

    Dear Mary, thanks for this podcast. What is the connection between compassion and forgiveness? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I have plenty of compassion for others, even those who hurt me badly, but find it hard to forgive myself for the mistakes I have made in the past.

  15. Mary on September 17th, 2012 9:27 am

    You are welcome, Nina. I think the real question is what is the difference between compassion and forgiveness for others vs. for oneself. This is something to explore. It is so very common to be harder on ourselves than we are on others. I do think in general compassion helps us to be more forgiving, but obviously despite your compassion for others, you find it difficult to be compassionate towards yourself. Perhaps when you listen to this meditation, you can hold yourself, rather than others, in the compassion and see what happens.

    This has given me some food for thought, and I will try to write a blog post in the near future about this subject. Thank you for asking.

  16. Theo Cade on August 28th, 2015 9:03 pm

    Mary, I just discovered your meditations several days ago and already it is transforming my life for way better. When I can’t sleep, I listen to your sleep meditation if I need sleep, it works well. When I need other meditations that fit the reprogramming that heal me most in the moment, I follow intuitive guidance and listen to them until I am asleep.

    Thank you for your incredible gifts to humanity. I experience breakthrough after breakthrough in grokking new insights in my consciousness that evolve me from new perspectives for me you offer over and over. For example, the practice of making stillness foreground and stressors as background on your Stillness meditation. Brilliant. Easy to understand and do. To me you obviously go deep in the creation of each of your meditations. I sense I will be studying such new openings for a long time.

    I find your work to be just the thing I need to reprogram
    unhealed parts of me as I discover them. I am putting together a blog post that mentions how people can use your and other resources together to create greater wholeness and well-being. I don’t know when it will be ready, but when it is, it will be posted at my website at Perhaps within a month, but possibly not as I am juggling myriad challenges and opportunities right now, as we all are I imagine, and following Spirit’s guidance moment by moment… Like writing this to you now. I hope you get a chance to see it. I would love to hear from you about it if you are at all moved to respond once I get it up. A week to a month is my best guess at this time. Thank you from my healing heart thanks much to your brilliant, exquisite, generous work.

  17. Mary on August 29th, 2015 9:33 am

    Theo, you are so very welcome. And thank you for welcoming these meditations into your heart and sharing your experience with them. I would love to read your post when it is finished. All the best to you.

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