Compassionate Aspiration

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From Pema Chodron’s The Places and Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times: “…when we generate compassion for the difficult people in our lives, we get to see our prejudices and aversions even more clearly. It can feel completely unreasonable to make a compassionate wish for these irritating, belligerent people. To wish that those we dislike and fear would not suffer can feel like too big a leap. This is a good time to remember that when we harden our heart against anyone, we hurt ourselves. The fear habit, the anger habit, the self-pity habit—all are strengthened and empowered when we continue to buy into them. The most compassionate thing we can do is to interrupt these habits. Instead of always pulling back and putting up walls, we can do something unpredictable and make a compassionate aspiration. We can visualize this difficult person’s face and say his name if it helps us. Then we say the words: “May this person who irritates me be free of suffering and the roots of suffering.” By doing this, we start to dissolve our fear. We make this gesture of compassion in order to unblock our ability to hear the cries of the world.”

Roger

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