Monday, March 10, 2008

Seeds of Compassion

I just received an email yesterday stating that my friend Teresa G. and I received 2 tickets for the Dalai Lama's visit in Seattle this April! I am so excited! As I perused the Seeds of Compassion website ( I came across an article on the benefits of practicing the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, or your friend tells you that only his/her 2008 presidential candidate will save the world from imploding or your husband reminds you for the 3rd time that you need to get all the medical receipts together for your upcoming tax-filing appointment (wow...wonder where that one came from?), you might consider trying the following exercise which I've copied from the above website.

3. Commonalities practice. Instead of recognizing the differences between yourself and others, try to recognize what you have in common. At the root of it all, we are all human beings. We need food, and shelter, and love. We crave attention, and recognition, and affection, and above all, happiness. Reflect on these commonalities you have with every other human being, and ignore the differences. One of the best exercises comes from a great article from Ode Magazine — it’s a five-step exercise to try when you meet friends and strangers. Do it discreetly and try to do all the steps with the same person. With your attention geared to the other person, tell yourself:
— Step 1: “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.”
— Step 2: “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.”
— Step 3: “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.”
— Step 4: “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.”
— Step 5: “Just like me, this person is learning about life.”

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