The importance of love and compassion

This is rather a belated re-start of my posts for 2012, but thoughts of love and compassion have been going round in my mind for several weeks now. Perhaps it’s the regular morning meditation sessions, only 10mins at a time, building on Leo’s advice at Zen Habits, which have created the space in my mind to appreciate the simplest of lessons? Of course, anyone familiar with Buddhist teachings are well aware of how the simplest lessons are often the most profound. But, what emerged recently – in the midst of a fog of confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed by life – is how I’ve stopped showing love and compassion to myself and lots of things in my life.

Why might love and compassion to ‘things’ be important? I’m sure it’s a moot point, but what has come to my mind – so perhaps the lesson has a particular resonance for me – is that by not loving the things in my life then it has showed me another area that is key for developing my practice. What exactly do I mean? Well cherishing, or showing love and compassion, for all the things under ‘my’ roof brings more mindfulness to my day and enables me to view, for example, cleaning or decluttering through compassionate rather than resentful and tired eyes. There is always something else that can be done, a distracting programme to be watched on the tv and so on, but taking even 30 seconds to tidy away, to clean a mirror, to declutter 3 items from a room, or to post the card you bought for a loved one’s birthday before a ‘belated’ apology is required. Doing all of these things might be viewed by some as further distractions, but with the right motivation – done with love and compassion for self and others – committing to undertaking these tiny everyday tasks can enable us to deepen our practice and to express more love and compassion both within and outside ourselves and our homes.


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