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Module 4: On Compassion & Loving-Kindness

The essence of something is what is left when we peel away all unnecessary elaborations. Essence is perceptible through our inner sensing. It is best described, first by its likeness to physical sensations and second by the effect perceiving the essence has on our thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

The essence of loving kindness and compassion feels tender and fresh like new leaves in spring or like the ice melting in spring. When we let our awareness dwell on this essence, we feel tenderized and overflowing with kindness, gentleness, and compassion. It brings us the capacity to meet our inner experience with kind understanding and acceptance. The essence of loving kindness and compassion is like an inner balm, soothing any sorrow, grief, pain, and sadness we may hold. We experience compassion for ourselves and others. We can tolerate vulnerability and woundedness, in ourselves as well as in others, and by staying with it offering a space for it to heal. Knowing this essence, we feel united with others in our humanness.


When we practice loving kindness and compassion, we are the first ones to profit

Pema Chödrön

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.