Practicing Compassion

Practicing Compassion

By Haruko DeArth


The Dalai Lama famously said “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

While love is a deep feeling of affection and attachment towards someone, compassion is a sympathy and concern for others that embodies a tangible expression of love for those who are misfortunate and suffering. Compassion is a kind of love that has the ability to speak with love, listen with respect and patience, and act on kindness and caring.

Compassion is something that we can practice that will bring true and long-term happiness to our lives.

You can practice showing compassion by listening to those who are suffering, using imagination to feel their feelings, and, instead of recognizing the differences between yourself and others, trying to recognize what you have in common.

We can practice compassion with those who don't do as we wish or mistreat us by recognizing that we only know very little about them and trying to be mindful of their circumstances, struggles or pains that we are not aware of.

We can also practice compassion on ourselves by accepting ourselves for who we are with all of our weaknesses and imperfections.

Compassion is universal and can be practiced anywhere and anytime. It doesn't require any conditions or expectations.  As the Dalai Lama also said, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

Let’s practice compassion today.