Can You Examine Yourself in a Lens of Compassion?

Resourced from: The Yamas and Niyamas (Deborah Adele) and Insight Timer -Julie Ela Grace

Ahimsa or nonviolence asks us to step lightly, do no harm, and to honor the relationship we have with the earth, with each other, and with ourselves. Ahimsa is taking action with compassion.

In the New Testament-- Gospel writers used the term compassion to portray a person that was touched so deeply and profoundly by the situation of another, that they were moved to take immediate action on behalf of the one suffering. These Gospel writers understood compassion to be more than a sorrowful feeling, it was a powerful inner response, leading to an immediate outward action that took risk on behalf of the other.

Violence-- is a spectrum of emotions and situations that harness anger, frustration, resentment, fear, hate and loathing. We can readily see these reactions in conflicts, disagreements, arguments and fights

Think for a moment where you see and feel violence?

  • the screen

  • Work

  • personal life

  • connection to the planet

Are you violent with yourself? For example-- looking in the mirror and saying unkind things to yourself, sacrificing sleep, overeating, undereating

Let's look at sleep for a moment-- if you don’t get 7-8 hrs. of sleep per night the amygdala (an almond shape set of neurons in the brain) that plays a key role in processing emotions goes into overdrive and we are more likely to react with aggression and fear. As a result more likely to argue with loved ones and also more likely to overeat and further taxing on our bodies.

Marianne Williamson said: “ What isn’t love is fear.”

Can you examine yourself in a lens of compassion?

Loving speech is an important aspect of this practice!

  • we say only loving things

  • we say the truth in a loving way with nonviolence.

When we feel irritated we should refrain from saying anything. We can just breath and once we have returned to our calmness our serenity again of using the language of loving kindness.

Ram Dass said:

“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion and where it isn’t that's where my work lies”

Etty Hillesum, a young holocaust victim said the following:

"Ultimately we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world."

Weekly Challenge~ From The Yamas & Niyamas Book By: Deborah Adele

This week guard your balance as you would your most precious resource. Don’t find you balance from a place in your head of what it should look like. Instead, find guidance from the messages of your body. In this moment do you need more sleep? Do you need to eat differently? Do you need to pray? Do you need some variety in your life? Act on the messages of your body and explore what balance looks like for you this week. Notice the effects on your life and on others.

Journal Reflection Questions:

One way I already show compassion

To myself….

To loved ones...

To strangers….

This earth….

One step I will take to be more compassionate

To myself….

To loved ones…

To strangers….

This earth….

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