Widening the circle of compassion

Dr Rick Hanson
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This is Rick Hansen for Growing the Good, focusing on the strength of generosity with a meditation on widening the circle of us. a posture that’s comfortable and alert. Taking a few big breaths. Calming and centering and grounding.

In this meditation we’ll explore the sense of being one among many who are a kind of us and widening this circle of us eventually to include more and more of quote-unquote “them.” Knowing that we can find commonality, useness with other people that we may also really disagree with or disapprove of. And yet at bottom, we’re all human. We share in a common humanity.

And like me, like us, you over there as of them, you too sometimes suffer. You too enjoy a nice meal and love your children. you too will face illness and eventually death someday. Okay, let’s begin.

So imagine if you can yourself and one or more other people as a kind of us. Could be you and another person as a couple. be an us of an immediate family, perhaps an us of a group of mutual friends, and know what it’s like to have that sense of a circle of us? Can you find a sense of safety, comfort within this circle of us. And gradually bring in more people into this circle. finding some kind of common ground, perhaps simply as fellow humans.

You might like to start with people that it’s easy to include, such as a widening circle of friends and friendly acquaintances, Visualizing yourselves all standing together or connected with each other with lines of light or energy. and then widening further to include people that are more neutral to you, such as folks down the street, you don’t know their names, people you pass by in your neighborhood, maybe, people if you’re working in a large company with a sense of the circle, widening and widening and widening to include more and more people. Being aware of things you have in common with all of these people, even those you don’t being human, experiencing pain, experiencing pleasure, having parents, having grandparents, growing up in this earth, a sense of common humanity in this widening circle of us, expanding this circle geographically.

If you haven’t already, the area where you live, the area where you work, widening to include whole cities, all of us widening to include all the people in a region, even people you disagree with or don’t like, still in one large circle of us. Just like we want to attacks in Jesus Christ, okay? I cannot just rock truth out of my Book of Mass, there is so much doing and it is so fast, Including all the people in your state or province or region wherever you live. them or not, we’re in this together.

You might have thoughts like, “We disagree about this or that, and still, like me.” You have a heartbeat. Like me. You need to breathe air and drink water. Like me, you care about your children. Like me, you laugh. Like me, you cry. The circle widening and widening and widening to include all the people in your country. babies, people who are really old, people who are different from you in their gender, or ethnicity, or background, different from you and what sports teams they like, or people they vote for and still finding and recognizing things you share in common as a single circle of us.

You might be aware of what it’s like to regard some others with disagreement, while also knowing that they are part of your circle of us. In the circle of us, we disagree with each other. In the circle of us we may compete with each other, we may have conflicts with each other, within a single circle of us. How does this feel?

The circle continuing to expand to include people in other countries, people who may be very different from you, with whom you share our common humanity. They too need to breathe. They too need to eat and drink. They too are vulnerable to life and illness and aging, the circle continuing to widen to include every human being on this earth. All of us in the circle of human beings, some being born, some dying, most of us somewhere in between, all of us within this single circle of all of humanity, there may be individuals in different countries in conflict with each other, mistreated by each other. It all can be true within our common humanity.

tea. [silence] And you can expand the circle further to include all of life. Animals, plants, very large trees and whales, and tiny little microorganisms. plants, animals, life in the sea and the land and the air. Humans included. Included in all life. What’s it like to feel yourself as part of this vast circle of life, humans included, A vast us of all life on this planet. You included, you included in this circle of life, belonging in it. belonging in it.

as we approach and end here, enjoying whatever is enjoyable for you or meaningful for you, about taking your place in the largest circle of us. [ Silence ] [ Silence ] [ Silence ] [silence] a sense of belonging, a sense of being together, a sense of shared common ground in the circle of us. (bell chimes) [silence] [bell] (Bell) [bell]

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