Overcoming Anger and Bitterness with Compassion

The Purpose of This Practice

 Increase awareness of and compassion for the suffering of others.
 Decrease the influence of anger and bitterness on your ability to be aware of and feel compassion for the suffering of others..
 Decrease feelings of alienation and divisiveness.

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. Think about someone who annoys you or whom you really don’t like. Bring this person into the forefront of your mind.

2. Think about something in their lives that is causing them to be unhappy. Put yourself in this person’s shoes, and imagine that there is something that is going on in their lives that is causing them to be unhappy. Try to think of the particulars of what that might be. If you don’t know the person well enough to know what might be causing them to be unhappy, use your imagination to think about something that typically in the course of anyone’s life might cause them to be unhappy.

a. NOTE: Be careful here and don’t take pleasure in the fact that they are unhappy about something. Try to look at this in a very objective manner. Keep firmly in mind that there is no possible way that by thinking about this that you could bring about unhappiness to this person. That is completely contrary to what we are trying to do here.

3. Take a moment to try to put yourself in this person’s shoes at a time when something quite difficult has happened in your life, and you are upset about it. Just imagine that you are that person and something legitimately sad or difficult has happened to you. And, you are feeling unhappy about that. See and feel how upset they are about this situation.

a. NOTE: Take yourself completely out of the picture. Take anything that has happened between you — the bad blood or underlying reasons why you feel justified in not liking them – take all of that out of the picture.

4. Now, step out of their shoes and be yourself again. Imagine that you have the ability to make right whatever it is that has gone wrong in their lives. You have this kind of magic ability.

5. Then, imagine that you do that. You’ll have to tailor this to the particular scenario that you thought of. Think that somehow you are able to undo whatever it is that happened or turn time back or give them what they needed that they didn’t get. Whatever it is that would make them happy, imagine that you do that.

6. Take a minute to contemplate doing that sequence. See the person being upset. See yourself having whatever it takes to remedy the situation. You go to the person and you fix it. Imagine yourself making everything great again for the person. See yourself doing that.

7. Then, imagine how peaceful and happy the person feels now that their life has improved. Something that was really bothering them has been resolved. Put yourself in their shoes again. The problem has been resolved, or it’s disappeared, and things are good now. Feel how relieved they are. Feel how peaceful, happy, and relieved they are. Take a minute to contemplate that.

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. Think of someone who annoys you or whom you don’t like.

3. Think about something in their lives that is causing them to be unhappy for legitimate reasons.

4. Imagine how sad and upset they are about this situation.

5. Then, imagine that you give them what they need to be happy or to stop whatever is happening that is now making them unhappy.

6. Imagine how peaceful and happy they feel now that their lives are better.

7. Finish by making an aspiration to protect and further any new peaceful and compassionate ways of thinking and imagining 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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