“We want to create hope for the person and acceptance in the hearts of the people. We must give them hope – always hope – and remove the bitterness that is harming them when they are avoided by everyone… compassion, love, understanding… that is what is important.”
Reading the quote reminded me of a time in my life when I received the universal, life-transforming gifts of hope, acceptance, compassion, love, and understanding – in the most unusual of places – a psych ward.
After years of struggling through the death-hold of depression, medications, countless hours of therapy, electro-convulsive therapy, and failed suicide attempts, I had finally chosen to get hospitalized. And, there, for the first time in my life, I met others like myself, people struggling with mental health issues, and I knew I was not alone. In the two weeks I spent in their midst, I received the gifts of hope, acceptance, compassion, love, and understanding that has helped me heal, and inspired me to help others like myself heal.
In this blog post, I am glad to share articles on how to practice compassion meditation to enhance your health and well-being, and the well-being of the people you serve. Please be sure to read Priscilla’s story, I am sure you will be inspired by her journey from panic to peace shared in her book Learning to Breathe.
Compassion Meditation 101
By Penelope Green
Compassion meditation involves silently repeating certain phrases that express the intention to move from judgment to caring, from isolation to connection, from indifference or dislike to understanding. You don’t have to force a particular feeling or get rid of unpleasant or undesirable reactions; the power of the practice is in the wholehearted gathering of attention and energy and concentrating on each phrase. You can begin with a 20-minute session and increase the time gradually until you are meditating for half an hour at a time. If your mind wanders, don’t be concerned. Notice whatever has captured your attention, let go of the thought or feeling, and simply return to the phrases. If you have to do that over and over again, it is fine.
Learning to Breathe
My Year-Long Quest to Bring Calm to my Life
I recently read an incredible book by New York Times Best-selling author Priscilla Warner and was deeply inspired by her journey from Panic to Peace. As a woman who has struggled with anxiety and panic for much of my life, I found Priscilla’s message of hope and holistic healing life-transforming. I invite you to read this book and benefit from its universal wisdom.
Priscilla Warner has had a great life: a supportive husband, flourishing marriage, two loving sons, and a bestselling book, The Faith Club. But despite all her good fortune and success, she’s suffered from anxiety and panic attacks so debilitating that they leave her unable to breathe. She’s tried self-medicating-in high school, with a hidden flask of vodka she carried to stave off her anxiety-and later with prescription medications-daily doses of Klonopin with a dark-chocolate chaser. After 40 years of hyperventilating and an overwhelming panic attack that’s the ultimate wake-up call, Warner’s mantra becomes “Neurotic Heal Thyself.”
Wishing you wellness,