Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/24/2015

Mudita Practice

I have been working with tonglen and metta bhavana for the past week or so and have noticed that i have been experiencing what might best be called compassion fatigue over the last two days. I have become pretty familiar with the feeling of a dry, unworkable heart so when i became aware that this was happening with the tonglen practice i switched to metta and proceeded through the rounds until i came to a point where the heart felt supple enough to give it another go.

Unsurprisingly the feeling of hardness and constriction returned rather quickly but it suddenly occurred to me that the absence of suitable subjects for compassion simultaneously meant that i had a wealth of people in my mind for whom i could cultivate mudita. And, even though the mind was tiring as i approached the forty minute mark, the fact is that sourcing to sympathetic joy worked amazingly well to brighten the mind and open the heart.

It appears to me that the morei practice,  the more willing i must be to listen to the heart and to experiment in order to discover the appropriate response to each moment. May your good fortune not come to an end!

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Responses

  1. Sounds like some great insights to practice with my friend. Keep it up. My compassion fatigue happens post meditation, when I believe the thought “I show everyone empathy and compassion and no one shows any to me.” The thought actually might be accurate when it comes to my kids by mid-afternoon, or my husband when he has returned from a long day of work. But the point is, if I can catch myself having that thought, and not invest it with too much energy, I might continue to stay soft and open in my heart and breathe for us all to be in a more peaceful state of mind. Very hard to do. But in the end, this is where world peace starts. In my own heart. Now.


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