Compassionate Breathing

Anytime you are feeling out of sorts, you can practice compassionate breathing. To breathe compassionately, just remember compassion and breathe. You can take compassionate breaths anytime, anywhere. Nobody but you will notice, everybody will benefit.

Compassion begins with noticing suffering. If you have eyes or ears, you likely notice a fair amount of suffering in the course of your day. If you have ever seen or heard a news program, you will have heard of suffering. If you interact with other people, you will notice suffering in them. If you have feelings, you will notice suffering in yourself. Compassionate breathing can help with any of these situations.

When we encounter suffering in ourselves or others we are often at a loss because we don’t know what to do. We automatically think that there is nothing we can do, so we shut down. We turn away. We may get angry. There is always something we can do. Knowing just what to do begins with a compassionate breath.

When we take a compassionate breath we acknowledge the suffering we have encountered. We recognize that the suffering has touched us. We may see something we can do about it. We may just acknowledge it and breathe it out again.

As we walk down the street, sit in our cars, on our busses, or at our desks, we can practice compassionate breathing and spread peace through the world. Since we’re breathing anyway, we might as well add some compassion.


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