An 11 Minute, 11 Step Meditation to Develop Compassionate Understanding

meditate silhouette72This is an effective meditation. Like building any muscle, exercising it daily gives the quickest result. You want quick results to develop understanding so that you aren’t letting unconscious or emotional stuff from the past prevent you from moving forward into a better tomorrow.  Practice this twice daily and you will soon find yourself with less stress and less emotional pain, with deeper compassion and understanding.  

1. Begin with a few minutes of conscious breathing while sitting upright.
2. Feel the breath as it flows in and out of your nostrils.
3. Become aware of the sensation of rising when inhaling.
4. Become aware of the sensation of falling when exhaling.
5. Think “rising” as you rise. Think “falling” as you fall.
6. Feel the breath as it flows in and out of your nostrils.
7. Expand your belly big as you inhale. Let it all hang out.
8. Pull your navel to your backbone as you exhale, raise your shoulders, sit tall.
9. Repeat rising and falling as you feel the breath in your nostrils.
10.  Expand your belly as you inhale.
11. Pull your navel to your backbone as you exhale.

It’ll take a few minutes to do the routine without thinking about it, kind of like patting your head as you rub your tummy. But the whole time you’re doing it, you’re bringing yourself more fully present into The Now Moment.

Once you’re relaxed, repeat these words as you focus on these words:

May I be happy, may I be free of illness and injury. May I be free of stress, anger, greed, ill-will and envy. May I release my emotional pain. May I be more patient and less hasty. May I let go of regrets. May I practice to let go of stress. May I practice to let go of anger and resentment. May I grow in joy, equanimity, compassion and kindness. May I appreciate what I have and what I have experienced. May I be kind to myself. May I grow wiser and gain more skills, may I be more kind to others.

Bring to mind someone you seek to understand, and repeat:

Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in life.
Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in life.
Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.
Just like me, this person is seeking to fulfill his/her needs.
Just like me, this person is learning about life.

May he be happy, may he be free of illness and injury, may he be free of stress, anger, greed, ill-will and envy. May he release his emotional pain. May he be more patient. May he let go of regrets. May he let go of anger and resentment. May he grow in joy, equanimity, compassion and kindness. May he appreciate what he has and what he has experienced. May he be kind to himself. May he grow wiser and gain more skills. May he be more kind to others.

Sit and breathe, rising and falling, for a few moments until you feel complete.

At first, you may simply be repeating words. As you continue to repeat the words, they will sink into your mind more fully. You will soon find yourself with less stress and less emotional pain, with deeper compassion and understanding.

This exercise is a combination of a metta (lovingkindness) meditation and Harry Palmer’s Compassion Exercise.

RELATED: How to Practice Metta (short version)
How to Practice Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta) A longer version
Andrea’s Meditation Process and Links

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