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What the practice of compassion provides is so much wisdom and depth in our lives, [as well as the possibility for] so much inner connection. I see this happening to myself and others all the time: we hear so much bad news going on around us, and we get caught up in that bad news, repeating it in our minds. This creates a lot of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. Boundless compassion is a different way to work with those kinds of events that we have to bear witness to, that are inevitable in our lives and the world around us. Compassion allows us to bear witness in a way that softens us and opens us, rather than breaks us down. Out of that softening and opening, we start to encounter more qualities of boundlessness, of being able to abide in a less limited way of being with ourselves and others. And then, of course, more compassion and action, more wise action, can come out of that.

[I often find myself] just spinning my wheels, anxious about a certain kind of pain point that I’m having or someone else is having and not allowing compassion to come forward. But when I practice boundless compassion, there’s an incredible shift, and that shift means opening us to genuine inner connection and relationship. Then positive action can come out of that, instead of coming from anxiety and more pain. 

I would say that compassion is an absolute requirement for being a human being these days. And then, of course, on our spiritual paths or on the Buddhist path, we can develop this more balanced quality that starts to break open into less fixation, less confusion, less misperception, and more insight and wisdom.

Excerpted from Scott Tusa’s Meditation Month video, Fostering Boundless Compassion. Watch the full video here and learn more about Meditation Month here.