Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart.
Thich Nhat Hanh
We can practice cultivating understanding, love, and compassion by looking deeply, first for ourselves and then for others. Once we love and take care of ourselves, we can be much more helpful to others.
In the Mahayana Buddhist traditions, compassion (karuna) is one of the primary qualities a practitioner should cultivate.
To love is first of all to accept ourselves as we actually are. That is why in loving kindness meditation, metta, know thyself, is the first practice of love. When we practice this we see the conditions that have caused us to be the way we are. This makes it easy for us to accept ourselves, including our suffering and our happiness.
Practitioners begin by imagining how they feel towards a loved one, then turning that love towards themselves. They then turn their attention to family and friends, after that, strangers and enemies. Finally they focus on love towards all beings.
This meditation can be difficult and sometimes leads to resistance. We are not used to this level of giving and receiving love. Practice makes perfect.
Try loving kindness meditation for yourself and for others.
Daniel Troyak is a Mindfulness-based Therapist.
With his support, unpack and unravel the contents of the mind.
Learn the tools for emotional processing and healing so you can live a happy, calm and peaceful life.