Karuna (compassion). We had to come up with a “team name” when we were learning how to teach yoga in our 200 hour training, and we landed upon devi karuna 😂🥰 so today’s principle feels like a sweet reminder to me. Cultivating compassion is so essential when attempting to live a life of greater ease and equanimity. It’s hard to stay angry or frustrated when you’re able to flip up it perspective and see that the other is hurting or suffering in some way. Or conversely, able to have the awareness and recognition YOU are the one who is suffering, which can lead to challenging interpersonal experiences. I’ve found that opening the door for compassion (towards self or other) can create space to connect or regulate emotion in ways that weren’t previously available to me. It’s a necessary component of the work that I do with my clients, and the work that I do with myself as I learn and stumble and make mistakes and grow as a therapist/teacher/wife/human. So—May we give ourselves the compassion that we need • May we learn to accept ourselves as we are • May we forgive ourselves • May we be strong. • May we be patient. 💛 #breathetogetheryoga#selfcompassion#compassion#kristenneff#holdingittogether#theresnoplacelikehome
Karuṇa is translated as compassion and self-compassion. The Dalai Lama says: "If you have no compassion for yourself, then you are not able to develop compassion for others."
Cultivating compassion can happen when we turn anger into forgiveness and embrace our imperfections.
Another way to express compassion is to offer your time and energy for an organization that is meaningful to you.
That's why I'm so excited to start volunteering as a meditation facilitator for MindfulLeader.org
If you like, you can join the Mindful Leader COVID-19 Support Initiative with me - Starting this week until Friday, May 1st, 2020.
When I learned the loving kindness meditation, I found a way to replace anger and frustration with tenderness. It starts by picturing someone you love and wishing them all kinds of good, then extending it to someone you see regularly but don't know, then to someone you find difficult, and then to yourself.
This is one of the images that comes to mind when I want to cultivate loving kindness. I love seeing my daughter's amazement at holding her new brother, and the recognition his face registered when he heard her voice.
Even now, there are several people "in charge" whom I find difficult to excuse/forgive. Same goes for those who put them there. The past few weeks I have uttered a desire for terrible things to happen to them. But when I think of this memory, the bitterness begins to dissolve.
Most of the time I walk around with a clear outline, stark familiarity with the nooks and crannies of my me-ness. Spending time trying figure out how to fit the shape of me and those I love into an arrangement that creates a little harmony and makes a little sense.
But some days concentration and meditation give a peak into another reality, that that which I call me is just a piece and the entirety is vast. The boundaries melt away for a moment and I exist as the collective whole.
Those moments are migrating birds passing through. But the faith that they’ll be back at some point keeps me looking to the sky, a little less concerned with the shapes I thought I knew.
Loving kindness - MAITRI. Wow, can you imagine what would happen, what WILL happen (cause I’m an optimist) when each person in the whole world practices loving kindness towards each other & themselves?! Heart opening &mind-blowing.
Usually there are 4 steps in this compassion meditation. This is very much a practice of intention &action. Yoy are invited to give unconditional love & kindness to yourself. Wrap your arms around yourself tight! As your heart fills from the inside, send that deep, unwavering love to somebody you cherish. Aww...feels good. Continue that positive loving power &spread it to a person you don’t know, just someone who crosses your path. Nice. World’s getting lovelier. Now, take all that delicious, powerful, beautiful love turn its full energy on a person who challenges you. Quietly, just for a little while. It will grow stronger. You will grow stronger. The world will grow stronger in love.
It struck me this morning that I can practice all 4 parts of maitri with my mom. I shared earlier that I look at her &see me. If I am sending myself unconditional love, that means every part of me; the good, the bad & the ugly (& beautiful) I’ve inherited from Constance Rose Violet (Harlowe) Herbert. From there, I have an abundance of gratitude for the care, humor, lessons she has shared with me. I have known her 55 years, &I know her love for me has never wavered: I love this woman who mothers so fully. Tragically though, the years have worn on her brain, &now she’s a person I barely recognize and don’t really know. And yet I deeply love & cherish this nutty old woman who goes on about the man with the cat at the door, or the tea banging to wake the neighbors. Finally, & sadly, those 55yrs have not been a walk in the park. We have clashed & I’ve been wounded. As a mom myself now, I understand that she has probably been more deeply wounded by her awareness of what she has inflicted upon me. Life’s not always easy, & ironically we can hurt those we love. I practice diligently to unconditionally love this lovely, challenging, strong mother. My mom. #theresnoplacelikehome#breathetogetheryoga#beactiveyoga#maitri#mothersanddaughters
1 61 hour ago
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Karuna - (compassion)
This afternoon @hahnscratch and I took a nap. Rainy days are the best for napping. Before we fell asleep we laughed. A joke about him having fingers for toes.
While laughing, I looked over at him and said to myself “cherish this moment, and sear it into your memory”. My next thoughts were about the end of the world, laughing last laughs and losing all that I hold dear. I cried into the pillow of Matt’s chest for a few minutes and then fell asleep. My mind is like that some days. A runaway train.
Tonight we virtually “sat” with our Buddhist sangha. 15 people gathering to take refuge in the dharma. I practiced metta, shared honestly about my suffering and doomsday fears. 15 heads nodding and identifying. 15 people trudging similar paths. Sometimes it’s just good to be heard and held. Small victories.
3 702 hours ago
It’s ok to not be ok. I’m still learning confidence with that one. This weekend was not ok. Isolation doesn’t pair well with codependency and depression, and three weeks of it had left me feeling lonely and left out. In turn, those feelings mingled with seriously unchecked depression and made for a perfect storm of some deep, dark thoughts. ⛈ I hope you find some space today where you felt needed and wanted and included. I hope you managed to feel very loved, despite the social distancing requirements. I hope you chased your own version of an early morning sun, wandered a forest, and spent time with people who remind you that you are loved. I hope that when the sun set on you tonight, that you felt better. And if you didn’t: that’s ok, too. 🌅 I’ll see you tomorrow;
any action that is taken to diminish the suffering of others. @breathetogetheryoga#theresnoplacelikehome
My friend Misty @steffenmisty took this photo of Rowell and I in July 2018, when Rowell had his one-wheel accident and was hurt very badly with broken ribs and a punctured lung and two chest tubes. This is when we found out Rowell had chronic myeloid leukemia and this accident probably saved him.
Misty sat in his hospital room that day and held space for us. She is a midwife and a nurse, and she has the most compassion of anyone I have ever met. She has a beautiful heart ❤️. Right now I am praying for all the patients that cannot have their families with them while they are healing in the hospital. We all can have compassion for them and hold space right now. #love#compassion#jennprughyoga@jennprugh
5 334 hours ago
#aprillove2020 made me smile...
...these two beauties popping by to hang quietly for a bit and the clearest of blue skies today..
With so few planes and way less cars, the air feels so fresh and clean. Blessed to be safe and well, able to create and work from home and I hope you are all going okay. Let me know how you’re going and feeling at this crazy time. #quietwriting#stayathome#creativityathome#lorikeets
March 2016 was a pivotal time in my life. My husband was seriously ill and I was overwhelmed emotionally and physically. I knew I had to look after myself so that I had the strength to look after him. I enrolled in the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) at Stanford University that opened up a whole new world to me.
I found out about the CCT program through an interview I came across years earlier with Dr James Doty (pictured above) Founder and Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at the Stanford School of Medicine. His warmth, eloquence, and deep abiding humanity were an absolute inspiration. I decided then and there that one day I would undertake the CCT course that Dr Doty had been instrumental in developing.
Once a week I would drive to the campus and enter a domain that was loving and supportive yet incredibly challenging to my own sense of self. We learned metta meditation and little did I know that the hardest part would be cultivating self-compassion:
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I be safe
May I live with ease
It was so much easier to be compassionate towards others:
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you be safe
May you live with ease
May all beings be happy
May all beings be healthy
May all beings be safe
May all beings live with ease
By the end of the course my worldview had not just expanded, it had been turned on its head. It was a glorious initiation into a spiritual quest that I continue to pursue up until this day. Karuna = Compassion ❤️😇 #yogasutrasofpatanjali#breathetogetheryoga#theresnoplacelikehome#shelterinplaceday20#subhanallah#alhamdulillah@jamesrdotymd@jennprugh@noellclarkyoga
samadhi…bliss. When I teach my intensives, I always ask the students if they have felt bliss. Typically about half of the class raises their hands. I then ask them to particpate in a little practice while closing their eyes and bringing to mind a time when they felt joy and happiness and if they couldn’t recall something then to imagine what that would inspire such feelings. After a while I ask them to reflect on this practice and describe how they felt. Most say they felt joy.
I think for some of us we find bliss as something to attain when in fact most of us have felt bliss at one time or another in our life and probably have felt it more often than not. The challenge is that we have a better relationship with pain than pleasure. What would happen if we had more moments of bliss with less gaps of suffering in between those moments? That’s what I strive for.
While the ten commandments were abundantly available growing up, other than the more general “love thy neighbor,” I don't recall any introduction to the specificity of "sympathetic joy," the third of the Four Immeasurables or Brahma Viharas, and the one often considered the most difficult to cultivate. Sympathetic Joy or Mudita, is interpreted by some teachers as a spring of infinite joy that is available to everyone at all times, regardless of circumstances. The idea is that the more we drink from this spring, the more bountiful our ability to celebrate other's successes. What it means is that when someone we love is met with good fortune, we meet their joy with joy, even when we ourselves, are having a very difficult time.
Aren’t they adorable? I grew up the oldest of three girls, four and five years apart. It was no fault of anyone because everyone was doing their best at the time, but jealousy and envy lived with us inside the walls of our tiny Tudor cottage while growing up. There seemed to be a love inequity, even though my parents loved us all so much. Or else, we were just little animal girls, each wanting to be the star of the show in every living moment. What we didn’t understand at that time was that when we hurt each other, we hurt ourselves. While I wish to this day that I had been a better guide and mentor, a better sister, our time together taught me a good deal about how (and how not) to work with others. I think that modeling sympathetic joy is a key element in parenting and in education. Imagine a world where we all lifted each other up. #theresnoplacelikehome#breathetogetheryoga#wearefamily#sisters#mudita#sympatheticjoy#fourimmeasurables#brahmaviharas#everybodywins
Compassion. Cultivating a compassionate heart is one of the primary practices on the spiritual path of Buddhism. .
“Strive at first to meditate upon the sameness of yourself and others. In joy and sorrow all are equal; Thus be guardian of all, as of yourself.” Your sorrow is my sorrow. My joy is your joy..
“And therefore I'll dispel the pain of others, for it is simply pain, just like my own. And others I will aid and benefit, for they are living beings, like my body.” Your pain is my pain. To help others is to help myself..
“Since I and other beings both, in wanting happiness, are equal and alike, what difference is there to distinguish us, that I should strive to have my bliss alone?”
Your happiness is my happiness.
—A Guide To The Bodhisattva’s Way Of Life, Mahāyāna Buddhist text c. 700 A.D.
To me, karunā is the practice of living in my heart, letting my heart guide my thoughts, words, and actions; to place myself in someone else’s shoes, as though they were me. .
“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” —Albert Einstein
There’s No Place Like Home
Yoga Instagram Challenge
Host: @breathetogetheryoga #theresnoplacelikehome #breathetogetheryoga #yogachallenge #patanjali#yogasutras #yoga#yogaeverydamnday #beherenow #karuna#compassion #wereallinthistogether #shelterinplace
What's one thing you are appreciating about being home that is totally unexpected? I've worked from home for years, but falling into a new rhythm with Myles around has been a big change. One of my favorite new rituals has been watching @tomchapinmusic go live on Facebook every day and singing along as family. It's uplifting folksy fun.
Thrilled Siblings, After Doing Their Home Lessons, Are Now Having Fun: “Interior with Children Playing Cards", n.d., (late 19thC) by the Swedish Artist Hugo Fredrik Salmson (1843-1894)
It’s been a funny old time these past few days. I’ve felt a little strange about posting anything because you don’t want to act like it’s not happening nor do you want to keep going on about it. The other night I received a lovely letter through the post inviting me to join a neighbourhood WhatsApp so we could all help and support each other. We’ve lived here just over a year and never really spoken to anyone on our road so this was such a lovely thing to come out of such an unprecedented and uncertain time. 💚 #alonetogether#community#feelingthelove #storyofmyhome - #astonesthrow
48 64819 March, 2020
UPDATE! These went very fast! We are working on more and hope to have them on the website tomorrow. We will post as soon as they are available. Promise! 😊. Ok folks! With the apparent shift in recommendation that we all wear fabric masks when going out, we are getting LOTS of calls for face masks. We are shifting some of our mask production so that they are available to purchase . We got a few dozen finished today and they are now on the website (link in bio) We will keep working on completing more each day and getting them available ASAP. Also, if you need one and finances are tight right now...please message us...we’ll get one to you. Stay steady friends! And rock a cute mask 😷 #theresnoplacelikehome#mercantilehome#facemask
28 1873 April, 2020
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