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Posts tagged ‘empathy’

Habit 5: a willingness to practice compassion for self and other

Last week we considered the value of silence and spending time alone. This week we see that our practice also brings us into contact with others. In the class this week I’ll lead the compassion practice after the tea break. This is similar to the Loving Kindness practice but with the focus now on a friend who is suffering. We can feel overwhelmed when faced with suffering, or wish to push it away, but this practice reminds us we can hold this in our hearts as well and generate a wish for ourselves and others to be free from suffering.
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Compassion requires empathy – the ability to feel with someone rather than rush to providing solutions or answers to their problems. Empathy is the willingness to feel how another’s suffering reminds us of our own and to let this lead to a loving care for the other rather than pushing them away because they remind us of something we do not want to feel.
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This short animation shows this in a lovely and succinct way.
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