Study after study finds that we can improve our levels of compassion and empathy by practicing a regular compassion meditation. How does one do that?
Find somewhere quiet to sit or lie down. The pose does not matter as much as being comfortable does. If you have medical issues and cannot sit cross-legged on the floor, that is quite fine. Sit on a chair. Lie down on a bed. Whatever works for you to be comfortable.
Close your eyes.
Think about someone you love dearly. Think about how you care for them. Think about how you wish them to have all the happiness and joy in the world. Dwell on this thought.
Now move to someone who is slightly distant from you. Maybe a family member who is not quite as close. Think loving thoughts to them. Wish them well. Imagine them content.
If this is as far as you get the first time, that is great! This is all about practice. It’s about building up your skills.
The next time you do it, first start again with those closest to you. Then, after them, think of someone a bit more distant. Maybe a good friend. Wish them love, peace, and happiness.
The idea is that each time you work on this you go a bit further. You focus on someone a bit further out from your immediate sphere. You practice realizing that these people, too, deserve love. They deserve compassion. They are shouldering a lot. We are all humans with short life spans struggling to figure out our world.
The more we realize that we are all one culture, all doing our best on the Earth, the more compassion we foster. The more at peace we become with what we have.
I purchased rights to the image of a person meditating through DepositPhotos / artist Solovyova