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His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, beamed in by satellite to the Larry King Show on CNN in the aftermath of Katrina's devastation, was asked what we could meditate upon to help survivors of catastrophes.
His answer, spoken in his quiet and sure manner, was to settle our restless mind with meditation on compassion, and afterwards, put it into action.
I liked the sound of that sage advice of thoughts of compassion, then action.
Meditation on compassion
In your meditation place, light a candle symbolizing universal peace and compassion.
Then, sit with a straight back, eyes closed, hands folded in lap or with palms up or palms down on thighs.
Say a few mantras of compassion:
"My thoughts of concern are with everyone."
"I care about my world brothers and sisters."
"I let my compassion turn into action."
Take time for a few rounds of even, regular breathing such as 2 counts to breathe in; 2 counts to breathe out; 2 counts to breathe in and continue this pattern without actually counting.
In the calm and stillness let peace and harmony arise from within and fill you with the attitude of caring for others. Take a few moments to reflect that all lives are intertwined on earth. We do not tread the path alone.
That when members stumble and fall, we need to help out as if they were part of our close family. For truly, we are members of one human family on this planet we call home - one large world home barreling along through time and space.
Now, take a deep breath with the resolve to see the world at hand, with hands of compassion moving in action.
Article and photo credit Susan Helene Kramer - sculpture by Jean Dampt-Venurey 1853-1946. Le baiser de l'aïeule - 1892, Musée D'Orsay, Paris, France
For offline reading
Meditation Lessons for Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.
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