Recently, Stanford researchers put folks into two groups. One group went through a 9-week compassion course, the other didn’t. Afterwards participants who had taken the course were not only found to be more compassionate to others — they had more compassion for themselves. They liked themselves better by learning to be more compassionate to those around them.
When I read this I couldn’t help but think about a practice called bless that neurobiologist Rick Hanson, Ph. D., author of Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time, suggests we all practice. Hanson doesn’t use the concept of bless, which means to see what’s tender and beautiful, in a religious sense. He talks about it as showing “compassion, kindness, appreciating, honoring, non-harming, cherishing . . . helping rather than harming, giving rather than withholding …wishing well rather than ill, delighting in rather than finding fault… [seeing others’] goodness, efforts, hopes, suffering, and what’s neat about them… You can express good wishes with actions – a touch, a door opened, …or inside your heart alone.”
I want to live more like that. Bless, bless, bless. Rather than rush, rush, rush or grrr, grrr, grrrr. Don’t you?