Cultivating The Power of Love and Compassion
by Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche
Love and compassion unite families, friends, and communities together seamlessly. The strength of your relationships depends on how much love and compassion you have in your mind. The more love and compassion you have, the more you enjoy your connections with others, the more you feel gratitude, appreciation and happiness. Without love and compassion, there is no way you can connect intimately with others. Developing love and compassion is the most important thing you can do in your life.
- What is love? Love is sincerely wishing for others to have happiness, and to have the causes and conditions for happiness.
- What is compassion? Compassion is sincerely wishing for others to be free from suffering, and from the causes and conditions of suffering.
Some people have estranged relationships and connections. They don’t immediately understand why they can’t connect well with others. Developing love and compassion will solve this mystery. When you have love and compassion, you see your relationships flourish naturally, and every interaction you have is comfortable and satisfying.
Without love and compassion, relationships can feel self-conscious, empty and withdrawn. But once you cultivate love and compassion, your connections become normal, natural, straight-forward and comfortable.
Everyone has love and compassion to some degree, but we all need to expand, strengthen and develop that quality. If you meditate on love and compassion, gradually, you will develop a richer experience. As you do this, over time, every part of your life becomes more warm and vivid.
How do we meditate on love and compassion? Strengthening your love and compassion isn’t something that happens overnight. First, you need to have positive thoughts and emotions to create the right environment. Without a positive mindset, you won’t be able to connect with others or even be happy. Those positive thoughts and emotions are responsible for happiness, fulfillment, and contentment. You can’t pay attention to love or compassion for just a single day to create it, but you need to continually shift your focus over time toward positive thoughts. You need to recognise and contemplate what love is, and what compassion is.
Then, whether you are sitting silently or interacting with others, no matter where you are or what you may be doing – at work, at home, at a restaurant, etc, focus your mental attention on other people, and think “They are just like me. Just like I don’t want to suffer, they also don’t want to suffer.” Do this as often as you can.
As you train your focus in this way, then over time, you begin to experience love and compassion, and the mindset arises in you that you wish for others to be happy and not to suffer.
The more you focus this way, the stronger your positive energy grows.
The reason we have anger and other negative feelings is because we focus our attention so much on the causes of those feelings. Instead, the more we focus our attention on love, the more it becomes a stronger tendency in our mind. Compassion is similar: when we focus on wanting others to be free from suffering, we develop compassion. We develop the attitude that we don’t want others to experience suffering or the causes of suffering.
Once you experience the positive feelings of love and compassion through this meditation, over time, your attitude toward everyone will shift. You begin sending positive energy from you to the world, creating more happiness and harmony. And as your attitude shifts, the world will send back that kind of positive energy to you, which will have a beautiful benefit on your life.
That is the power of love and compassion.