I have already written about a practice centred on the powerful emotion of compassion. However, today I came across an interesting variation of a practice on compassion (in the book Happiness by Matthieu Ricard): one that reflects our own suffering onto others, and helps us heal from our own suffering. This practice works as follows:
- Imagine those that encounter more hardships in their lives than you do; either by experiencing your hardships more severely or by having hardships from which you are spared.
- Send those all your love and compassion. Imagine this as a force of positive spirit emanating from you and reaching others, alleviating their hardships, if only by the fact that it is acknowledged by someone who cares.
This practice helps us to both strengthen our love and compassion, infinitely important emotions for a path towards enlightenment. This practice is well established among Buddhist practitioners. Connection with the suffering and hardships of others may bring us sadness but this sadness is quickly turned into strength by the powerful force of compassion and love, we can easily find within us.