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The virtue of compassion is closely associated with both Judaism, and Christianity, as well as Islam and all other branches of the Judeo-Christian Abrahamic faiths, tenets and scions.

Compassion is our capacity to relate in a tender and sympathetic ways as well as to find a way so what we perceive and feel other people’s pain, anguish, sorrow and hurt — instead of resisting our feelings of transcended fear and grief as engendered by all other human beings around us.

Instead of averting our eyes — we ought to embrace the stranger’s pain with the same kindness of a mother holding her child or a friend carrying space for your loss.

Being a witness and a solemn support unbudging — is the way to Compassion rather than judging or indulging our desire for attention for our own trivial needs to be addressed first.

Compassion honors our experience because it allows us to be intimate with the life of this moment in the hearts of others much like ourselves — whose need for compassion makes our acceptance wholehearted and complete. After all compassion means to be with, feel with, suffer with one another and with ourselves as needed.

Compassion is the quivering of the heart, a visceral tenderness in the face of suffering. In simple Christian and Judaic terms — the person who has realized the fullness of compassion and lives from a compassionate heart beating inside our chest — is called a Saint.

The path to this Sainthood and the teaching derived from it, is that when we allow our hearts to be touched by suffering — our own or another’s — our natural compassion flowers.

The Saint’s aspiration is simple and powerful: “May all circumstances serve to awaken compassion,” because in order to cultivate the tenderness of compassion, we not only need to stop running from suffering, but we deliberately need to bring our attention to it. Christian compassion practices like St Francis of Assisi — usually begin with being aware of our own pain because once our hearts are tender and open to our own suffering, we can more easily extend compassion to others. Sometimes we most easily connect with tenderness by first focusing our attention on the suffering of others and then bringing attention to our experience. Either way, as we feel suffering and relate to it with care rather than resistance, we awaken the heart of compassion.

As we practice responding to our suffering with the kindness of compassion, our hearts can become as wide as the whole world.

If we’ve injured someone and are embroiled in guilt and self-recrimination, compassion for ourselves allows us to find a wise and healing way to make amends. If we are drowning in grief or sorrow, arousing compassion helps us remember the love and connection in our life. Rather than pushing them away, we free ourselves by holding our hurting places with the unconditional tenderness of compassion.


Dr Churchill

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Compassion 4

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