“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” -Pema Chodron
As we practice mindfulness meditation, one of the most valuable lessons we continuously learn and that carries over into our daily lives is the ability to have more self-compassion. When we take a moment to honestly notice how critical we are toward ourselves, from our bodies to our personalities, we realize how harsh we tend to be. Learning to be kinder toward ourselves allows us to be more content and in turn, kinder towards others.
Mindfulness meditation helps us to cultivate self-compassion by training us in being gentle toward ourselves whenever we sit in meditation. We begin to follow the breath and then notice that inevitably our mind has wandered off. Rather than responding with our habitual criticism and judging our so-called failure, we cultivate self-compassion by gently noting that our mind has wandered and then bringing our focus back to our breath. When we practice this over and over through our regular meditation sessions, we begin to notice that we are able to pause and behave with more kindness and self-compassion even off the cushion and in our day to day lives. We can also actively strengthen a tendency toward self-compassion by engaging in self-compassion meditations and exercises.
Meditation instructor Alice Lash offers mindfulness meditation in Miami. Learn how to meditate and how to cultivate self-compassion with Mindfultime.