I have been regularly meditating on compassion, through the secular methods developed by Kristin Neff for about 6 months now. It does me a lot of good. Self-compassion meditation is a popular course taken after (MBSR) mindfulness meditation, though it can be done without that background.
I have been wondering how to write about this topic. Writing about love sounds sappy way too easily and writing about self-compassion can sound selfish – though I’m convinced it isn’t.
However – as this is now three ways to access this popular movement in psychology, neurology and the mindfulness movement – I thought I could not in good conscience keep it from you all:
A month or so ago, the ebook version of the English translation of Matthieu Ricard’s book ‘Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World‘ came out and I’m working my way through. It’s quite large and extensive. In this book I came across a references to ‘Compassion. Bridging Practice and Science‘ by Tania Singer and Matthias Bolz. This ebook turns out to be free (in German and English), so I downloaded the Kindle version right away. It sounds way more accessible than Ricard’s book – which basically summarizes the state of science on the topic, including all the various definitions of compassion and love from psychology, neurology and Buddhism.
When I’ve studied some more, I’m sure I’ll be blogging about this topic. For now – I did recently update my page on meditation to include my preliminary summary.
Here’s Matthieu Ricard giving a guided meditation on compassion from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective:
If you have a Kindle or Kindle app on some other device, you may need to install the ‘Send to Kindle‘ program for PC (or mac) to get access to the free ebook by Tania Singer and Matthias Bolz. Don’t bother with the Chrome app: it is meant for web documents. You need the program because most email programs won’t allow you to send a document of more than 25MB.