#4 – How Meditation Makes Us More Compassionate, Ends The Suffering
Compassion is defined by the 14th Dalai Lama as the ability to feel concern for and connect with another being. Compassion is important in the world and in our individual lives because it helps us to move beyond our own fears and concerns to see the suffering in the world we might not otherwise understand or relate to. For there to be peace in the world, there must be compassion.
Since compassion can only be experienced inside the absence of self-centeredness and self-concern, increasing and cultivating our compassionate nature requires consciously thinking of others with kindness and love. One way to do this without our natural obstructions and prejudice is through meditation.
Meditation makes us happier, more loving and trusting people. It also makes us compassionate. Through meditation, we learn to recognize the humanity of our enemies, and we start to have compassion for their view point and experience. Compassion is not sympathy, and it is not thoughtless agreement with others; compassion is full understanding of the suffering and causes of suffering. Meditation helps us extend love toward an enemy or someone who has hurt us in the past. When we give our feelings of love and kindness to everyone, making a wish to end the suffering of all sentient beings, the world becomes a better place.
When we fully understand suffering and its causes, we realize that suffering is the root of all wrongs committed, and that those who suffer the most and commit the worst wrongs are the most in need and deserving of compassion. This is how compassion creates peace.
Meditation makes us more compassionate people by stripping away our self-centeredness and filling us with love, trust, and insight into the difficulties of others. We become more forgiving, more open, and better people. In turn, we bring peace to our lives and the lives of others.