Jack Kornfield talks about Developing Compassion. The Buddha said the freedom of the heart is love. Compassion is the quivering of the heart when it touches sorrow.
In this mindfulness talk on compassion, Jack Kornfield opens up with a beautiful and inspiring poem called ‘The Sleepless Ones.’ This poem reminds us of our shared humanity, tuning us into the invisible mystery of the universe that connects us all.
Through silence and meditation, we begin to gain a greater sense of this. In times of either happiness or grief, we can tune into this connection to find inspiration, hope, and meaning.
Mindfulness Exercises for Compassion
There are a variety of mindfulness exercises that can help us to develop compassion. We can begin with self-compassion practices that help us to embody a greater sense of kindness and love turned inward.
We can also explore loving kindness meditations, or metta, which expand upon this base of self-love to bless all beings – those known to us as well as those unknown – with the same love and kindness we so deeply yearn for. With the same love and kindness that is our birthright.
Exercise for Self-Compassion
In this exercise for self-compassion, we are invited to take a new perspective on our relationship to some part of our lives. By drawing to mind some aspect of ourselves that we judge or criticize and then approaching this inner struggle from the lens of a supportive and compassionate loved one, we begin to sense that our limited perspective is not the larger truth.
We begin to see how we can speak with greater kindness to the inner world within that yearns for love and tenderness.