Learning Compassion Through Meditation

Personal and Public Meditation Benefits

Many people think of meditation purely in terms of self-improvement. Indeed, meditation does have tremendous implications for self-improvement. However, people are all part of society, and their own personal self-improvement is going to have an effect on other people. Many individuals have been able to learn compassion through meditation. Meditation teaches mindfulness, and people can learn to be mindful of one another far more effectively after they have been able to benefit from meditation.

The Path to Greater Compassion Through Meditation

When examining how meditation can make people more compassionate, it is important to understand why some people fail at being compassionate in the first place. While some people are naturally bad at compassion, in many cases, the causes are far more environmental in nature. People are often distracted by all of the mundane things that they have to take care of throughout the day, which can clutter their minds and cause them to neglect the needs of others.


Ironically, paying attention to the needs of others can sometimes make people less compassionate in practice. They either focus too much on a few specific people and neglect everyone else, often including themselves, or they focus too much on all of the little tasks that they must complete for the few people that they’re caring for, which can cause them to pay less attention to their feelings.

When people get started with meditation, they will learn to let certain things go as they try to focus on the present. They will learn to pay attention to their feelings and their bodies as they learn to let go of the tiny details that are distracting them from everything that really matters. As people get themselves into that state more often, they will focus on their feelings far more effectively, and they will focus on the feelings of others just as effectively.


It should also be noted that plenty of meditation exercises are specifically designed to help make people more compassionate. These exercises are designed to help people see things from the perspective of others more effectively. Far too many people get locked into their own thoughts because their thoughts are so chaotic. They can become something of a trap. Meditation helps reduce the clutter in the minds of people who are tense, while helping people focus their attention on the things that really matter, which can include the lives and feelings of others.

Meditation and Society

People often end up focusing too much on their own problems because they aren’t getting enough support from the community. However, they aren’t able to offer that support themselves, and the situation can become something of a vicious cycle. Practices like meditation can help break that cycle once and for all. People can learn to show real support for the people in their lives, and the people in their lives are going to return the favor. Compassion is its own reward, and it is a reward that keeps on creating additional rewards.

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How to Tame Your Mind with Meditation

Meditation is One of the Oldest Forms of Therapy

People will often think of therapy as something new. It’s associated with the rise of psychology in the twentieth century. However, if psychological therapy is defined as a set of techniques designed to address mental and emotional problems, than the branches of philosophy that developed meditation are responsible for some of the first effective therapeutic techniques. Meditation is thousands of years old, and it is still being used to today to help people calm their minds and alleviate their anxiety.


Meditation as a Treatment For Anxiety

People who are anxious have terrible recurring thoughts all the time. Some of them will find that these repetitive thoughts will disrupt their daily activities, showing up at the worst of times to break their concentration. While many people in this situation will resort to medication these days, absorbing the side effects in the process, plenty of other people can address this problem through meditation.

Anxious people, in short, are having a very difficult time living in the moment. They are preoccupied with bad things that happened in the past that won’t go away for them. Many anxious people are also preoccupied with the future. They’re thinking of all of the terrible things that will happen to them if they don’t do something preventative at the right moment. They may also feel as if those bad things are going to happen to them inevitably, and there is literally nothing that they can do to stop anything.

The first thing that most meditation schools will teach is mindfulness. People are given exercises that get them to concentrate on their breath, on the things that their toes are doing, on the feeling of their lungs opening and closing. Anxious people live a very abstract existence. They are rarely thinking of the material aspects of their bodies, and meditation often helps get people back down to Earth, in a manner of speaking.


Meditation also allows people to really focus on themselves. Anxious people are often trying to complete all sorts of tasks for other people, which can make them feel abstract in a whole new way. Many individuals come to think of self-care as some sort of indulgence and extravagance, even if the nature of the self-care in question is extremely basic. When people are meditating, they are in a room with calming music in the background focusing entirely on their emotions and on the state of their breath. It can be something of a liberating state.

Meditation as a Means of Ending a Destructive Mental State

Anxious people often spend so much of their lives in that state that it becomes normal for them. When people take some time out of their days to meditate, they will be easing out of that state, at least for a little while. People can stay calm throughout the day afterwards, even if they have stopped meditating, largely because they were able to take these sorts of brief mental vacations in the first place.

Is Yoga a Good Form of Meditation?

The Value of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that has become significantly more popular all over the world in recent years. Many people go to regular yoga classes for the sake of getting some anaerobic exercise. They can stretch out their muscles that way, relieving a great deal of tension all the while. However, plenty of people try yoga specifically because they’re interested in relieving stress, which is why a lot of people try meditation as a practice as well. Some people might try to combine the two, practicing yoga for the sake of relieving stress and using it as a form of meditation. They will be wondering whether this is an efficient or inefficient process.


Yoga and Meditation

It should be noted that almost all sessions of yoga conclude with a long and extended period of breathing exercises. Most of the yoga sessions that people will take will begin that way as well. People will gradually ease into the complicated yoga poses that will characterize the majority of a given yoga session. They will also ease out of them in a similar pattern. People will often adopt a resting pose at the end of most yoga classes. These resting sessions can be very soothing and calming.

Yoga instructors will often get the class to do chanting together and different types of breathing exercises in unison during these initial resting periods or the final resting periods. However, these sessions are going to be very brief compared to many meditation classes, which will involve extended resting periods. Yoga poses themselves are not particularly restful. People can get themselves into a meditative state at the beginning of their yoga classes, but they may exit that state as soon as they prepare themselves for challenging yoga poses.


Meditating prior to exercise can certainly improve the quality of that exercise session. However, meditative periods should ideally last longer than the meditative periods in a typical yoga session. People will usually spend around forty minutes out of a sixty-minute class meditating, and they will do the complicated and challenging yoga poses for the rest of that span of time.

There’s a reason why people will usually adopt a very simple and restful seated pose during their meditation sessions. These poses are more conducive to achieving the meditative state that people are trying to reach in the first place. It is difficult to reach that state when the body has been contorted into a much more unusual pose. People use muscles during yoga that they would almost never use otherwise, which is why the poses are often so challenging. It is possible to meditate during the yoga poses themselves, but it will prove to be very difficult for beginners.

Focusing on Meditation

People who really just want to meditate should cut out the middleman and just meditate rather than trying to use yoga for meditation. Yoga is often used for stress relief, but the focus on the exercise and the stretching can detract from the meditation for the people who aren’t advanced in yoga. It is possible to do both, but it is harder.