Settle into a calm and centered posture. Breathe gently and sense the life of your body, mind, and heart in this moment. Sense your own yearning for peace, safety, and well-being. Feel too the way you defend against sorrow and pain. Invite into your attention someone you care for, sensing the sorrows in their life, and their longing for happiness, peace, and well-being. Notice how your heart can open to embrace those you care for, feeling their sorrow and responding with a natural compassion. Offer to yourself, to the one you love, the articulated intentions of compassion.
May I find healing and peace.
May you find healing and peace.
Let your attention rest gently in these phrases for a time, and then allow the range of your attention and compassion to expand. Sense the countless beings in this world who in this moment have their own measure of anguish, their own longings for peace and healing. Imagine yourself seated in the center of a mandala, surrounded by the innumerable beings who at this moment are hungry, bereft, afraid, or in pain. Imagine yourself breathing in that immeasurable pain, the sorrow and the ignorance that causes sorrow. With each out-breath, sense yourself breathing out unconditional compassion.
May all beings find healing.
May all beings find peace.
May all beings be held in compassion.
Allow yourself to sense the countless beings in the world who are ill or dying, who are grieving, who are lonely and estranged. Embrace in your attention those who are imprisoned and those who imprison, those who are caught in the terrors of war and violence and those who war and inflict violence. Without reservation enfold all beings in a heart of compassion.
May all beings be free from sorrow.
May all beings be free from suffering.
May all beings be free.
Let your heart fill with the compassion possible for all of us, the compassion that listens deeply to the cries of the world.
From Compassion: Listening to the Cries of the World (Rodmell). © 2005 Christina Feldman