latest episode

EVERYDAY MEDITATION PODCAST: EPISODE #195

What’s this episode about?
Compassion meditations can boost your compassion and more. I talk about how that can be useful in your relationship not only with others, but also yourself.

Plus, the one reason I'm ready to add a compassion meditation to my regular practice!

What can I do with that?
I hope it inspires you to look a little deeper into where compassion comes into your life and the effects you feel or observe!

Go on and give it a listen, here:

Listen to "Ep 195 - Meditation, Compassionate Action, and Unconscious Bias" on Spreaker.

Ready to practice the meditation? Below is the week's "full practice" episode. Click here to listen to the "how to practice" instructions.

Listen to "Ep 192 - Full Self Awareness Meditation Practice" on Spreaker.

I'd love to hear about your experience -- and help out with any questions you have.

Practicing with you,
esther

EVERYDAY MEDITATION PODCAST: EPISODE #188

What’s this episode about?
What is compassion? What is kindness? I give you my off the cuff definition and, thankfully, the definition used by researchers in studying the effects of compassion meditation.

What can I do with that?
I'm a big believer in the power of words --and the meaning they convey and confer-- to shape our thinking, which can shape our actions. So I hope you're inspired to consider your "definition" of compassion and kindness, how they match up with the actual definitions, and what that might mean for the way you take action in the world.

Give it a listen and find out 🙂

Listen to "Ep 188 - Compassion and Kindness" on Spreaker.

Ready to practice the meditation? Below is the week's "full practice" episode. Click here to listen to the "how to practice" instructions.

Listen to "Ep 185 - Full Sat Yam Kriya Practice" on Spreaker.

I'd love to hear about your experience -- and help out with any questions you have.

Practicing with you,
esther

Being compassionate with strangers and acquaintances is relatively easy for me. Doing the same with family and close friends is not.

Last week, I gave an example of turning irritation into compassion that for me is completely doable. I can see an annoying colleague through compassionate eyes with just a small moment's pause to consider the full situation. If you swap out colleague for sister or husband (or any close family/friend), somehow suddenly it's not so doable. This imbalance is probably true for each of us: one or more spot in life where applying the good idea of compassion is "easy" and one or more where its just not.

It's taken me years of practicing patience and non-judgment in public to recognize my super short fuse in private. And it hurts to see that truth about myself. I don't like it one bit, but man do my fiery emotions make it hard to change!

But changing it I am, slowly and with conscious effort. What helps me the most is to think of my family not as family but as human beings (revelatory, I know). Then I can apply the same logic that works so well with strangers and just remember that there's more to mom than "mom" and more to dad than "dad". There's no good reason to treat them any differently than anyone else on the compassion scale. It might be harder or easier, but that doesn't make it "right."

Maybe you're exactly the opposite --your family provokes nothing but love and generosity from you, but strangers you shy away from. So start thinking of your acquaintances as somebody's mom or dad or brother or sister. Turn them into your family, so to speak, and you'll effortlessly treat them with every bit as much compassion.

One way or another, if we can see in each other the same spark of humanity, we'll cultivate not only compassion but also peace --on a grand scale.

hari om tat sat!

esther

It's great when scientific studies confirm for us what we can easily experience for ourselves.

Take venting, about which I learned a little tidbit from NPR's new science show Invisibilia. Apparently when something irks you, venting about it to someone who'll agree with your point of view --validating your reason for venting-- helps to calm the nervous system and relieve the irk-associated stress. By sharing and receiving affirmation, your brain gets a reward, a chemical rush that encourages you to hold on to your point of view and continue to live by it.

We've probably all been there at some point. Say my colleague does something ridiculous that causes me more work and I let it anger me because this extra work "isn't my fault," but carry on anyway without addressing the cause or the result. Someone's gotta do her job well, right?

Then I take that attitude out to dinner with my friends and tell them all about it --about how my colleague is silly, stupid, or whatever bad thing occurs to me, and meanwhile I am of course portrayed fully virtuous in this scenario. Ever the consoling listeners, my friends agree readily with how "in the right" I am and feed my opinion that my colleague causes problems that I shouldn't have to deal with. This affirmation makes me feel great; my brain recognizes the validation as community support which helps alleviates my stress and all is well.

Of course, all is not well. The validation in this one-sided story immediately or eventually feeds a sense of superiority. Next thing you know, I'm acting out my thoughts without a trace of compassion for anyone's comfort but my own (because, after all, I'm right and better).

Venting may relieve stress in the short term, but it encourages us to associate with a one-sided illusion. We don't live in bubbles, and it doesn't serve our true happiness to concoct hierarchies of value amongst ourselves.

I am no more or less worthy of compassion and understanding than my meanest foes --or my silly colleague. My colleague's blunder, whatever it was, has an explanation, even if that explanation is that she had one too many drinks the night before and she's just not herself at work because of it. Who hasn't been in a situation of that sort?

My irritation with my colleague would be equally and more immediately soothed by simply getting the facts, trying to see things from her perspective, and holding space for her misfortune not as a cause for value judgment, but as an opportunity for compassion. Not only will I feel better, but I'm more likely to then be empowered with the emotional desire to help her.

Even if I can't help my colleague (like how I feel powerless to help a homeless person I pass on the street), remembering another person's humanity and holding space for a forgiving thought will at the very least help me feel better, and if I feel good, I'm more likely to smile at someone down on her luck than to growl at her for getting in my way.

We are all pretty much the same. Compassion is one way we can show that we know it. And on the plus plus side? It comes with its own brain high, too.

hari om tat sat!
esther

this is mov/ed

A space to move, heal, and be true to yourself. Want a personal introduction? 
LET'S TALK
Menu
copyright © 2020 esther m palmer
menu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram