Voices: Be the great center of compassion during turbulent times

My sisters and brothers, in this turbulent and uncertain time, may you be filled with compassion. May you be held in compassion. May your pain and sorrow be eased. May your fear and anxiety be eased. May you be healthy and strong in body and mind. May you experience a compassionate and peaceful heart.

I have found myself anchoring in the heart of compassion frequently over the past two weeks. I am aware of how easy the psych, isolated from normal social routines, can succumb to the negativity bias. I am aware of how easy it is to slip into fear, anxiety, and despair when the collective consciousness is dominated by the unfolding tragedy.

When my thoughts and feelings begin to be overwhelmed by the shared suffering, I return to the practice of compassion, for myself and others. Over and over I return to the heart.

Compassion practice isn’t about fixing the situation, rather it’s about cultivating an open-hearted awareness to pain, sorrow, and suffering while extending care and love. As we turn to the heart, we experience courage, the great capacity to bear witness to the ten thousand joys and ten thousand sufferings of the shared human experience.

It is through the practice of compassion that I can hold the pain and sorrow of a dear friend residing in Italy, that I can’t connect with. It is through the practice of compassion that I hold the fears and sorrows of dear friends isolated in their New York apartments. It is through the practice of the compassion that I hold the stress and anxiety of two acquaintances, new mothers, who are nurses in Seattle.

It is through the practice of compassion that I hold the suffering and pain of my elderly friends and neighbors who have compromised health and are even more isolated in rural Montana. With deep care and concern I hold all my family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors and fellow humans around the world.

In this dark hour, we, humanity have a choice. We can rise to the occasion and be the light for another. We can be the great center of compassion amidst it all.

Free guided compassion meditation offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7pm MST on Zoom. 

Hannah Hernandez, Mindfulness Meditation Teacher