Breathe In with Compassion, Breathe Out with Loving Kindness

The Purpose Of This Practice

  •  Increase awareness of the suffering of others and aspiration to relieve them of that suffering.
  •   Increase feelings of loving kindness towards others and an aspiration to contribute to their happiness in life.
  •   Create an association in your mind between a basic life function (breathing) and feelings of compassion and loving kindness

STEP ONE: Please follow the “First Invite Love In” meditation on page xx before you begin this guided meditation.

STEP TWO: Please follow the instructions below for the central part of this compassion practice.

1. Imagine that you have the power and the ability to relieve all the misery and suffering of all living beings on the planet by drawing it into your through inhaling or breathing in. You might imagine it as black smoke or mist or soot on them that as you inhale it all draws into you and off of them.

a. NOTE: Yet it doesn’t burden you in any way. So, you don’t need to worry about taking on the burdens of the world and being crushed by it. What we are imagining is that you can take it off of everyone else. You can relieve them of their pain and misery and suffering, and it comes right up and off of them. You are drawing it into yourself, but it doesn’t crush you or burden you. You are just relieving them.

2. Take a moment to first be aware of suffering of all kinds: mental suffering; physical suffering; spiritual suffering, pain, hunger, hurt, disappointment, death, illness that occurs all around the world for people and animals in all stages of their lives. See it.

3. Imagine that you are able to draw all of that off of them. It is lifting off, streaming off of them, and you are pulling it into yourself.

a. NOTE: Yet it doesn’t burden you or crush you or hurt you or lessen your lifespan or your happiness in any way. You are just able to pull it all off of them and into you.

4. Now, imagine that you have built up a store of peace and happiness within you. It is like a storehouse all of the good things and small moments of kindness that you have done in this life.

5. Imagine that you are able to send out feelings of peace and happiness to all living beings from that storehouse by breathing it out of you.

6. See it as infusing them with a brilliant white light as you breathe out.

a. NOTE: It doesn’t in any way take away from your own peace and happiness. Think that the more that you share, the greater will be your own storehouse of peace and happiness. You don’t have to protect yourself by hoarding it. You can send it out to everyone.

7. Imagine people lighting up with the brilliant white light you are sending out by exhaling and experiencing peace and happiness. As you exhale this wonderful peace and happiness in a white light extends out to all living beings filling them with peace and happiness, yet not depleting you in any way.

8. Let’s try that again. First become aware of all the pain, unhappiness, and suffering of all the living beings across the planet.

9. Then, imagine that as you inhale that all of that is lifted off of them like soot or gray mist, and it comes streaming into you.

a. NOTE: It lifts off of them relieving them of their unhappiness and their suffering. Yet, it doesn’t burden you in any way. You can take it.

10. Next, as you exhale from an endless storehouse of peace and happiness within you that you’ve built up from good things that you have done and from your virtue and your merit, streaming out from you is a brilliant white light that infuses everyone with a wonderful sense of peace and happiness.

11. We’ll do that again. See the world with all the animals and living beings at some point in their lives experiencing suffering and unhappiness.

12. Inhale. It all lifts off of them and comes into you, but is no burden on you.

13. Then, from your storehouse of merit and virtue brilliant white light extends out as you exhale and fills everyone with peace and happiness.

14. Let’s do that again. Inhale. The unhappiness pulls off of them and comes into you.

15. Exhale. Happiness and peace as white light extends out filling everyone with a sense of peace and happiness.

16. You could do this all day long. It is a wonderful thing to do. It is a wonderful aspiration to have. It is a good feeling.

STEP THREE:
Before you move on with your day, please wrap up this compassion practice by following the “Seal with a Vow & Rejoice” meditation on page xx.

Short Form

1. Bring your spiritual support figure to the forefront of your mind and imagine them being happy to see your good intention to develop a more peaceful and compassionate mind. As you go through the following meditation think that this being or person is supporting you with loving, compassionate, and peaceful thoughts and energy.

2. Imagine that you have the power to relieve all the misery and suffering of all living beings by first breathing into yourself all their misery and suffering like black smoke or mist.

3. Then, imagine that from your store of merit and virtue built up from the good things you have done and thought during your life that you send out peace and happiness to all living beings by infusing them with brilliant white light as you breathe out.

4. Repeat this as many times as possible.

5. Finish by imagining making an aspiration to protect and further any new peaceful and compassionate ways of thinking and imagine that they are stored in a flower at your heart center. See your spiritual support figure smiling at you and rejoicing that you have turned your mind towards greater peace and compassion.

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