From Rainbow Path 19/05/2020

Rainbow Path 19th May 2020 

Opening words by Karl Stewart

I walk the road to compassion. 

Compassion is itself the human process of being able to understand the feelings of someone that aren't your own, as you remember the feelings that you have are not the same, but are similar to those you might've felt before. Part of understanding compassion is about learning to understand that you yourself might have been in a similar situation before, or could be in the future: 'there but for the grace of God go I'.

I understand this emotion as it continues to teach my senses, and grows the emotional intelligence of all that is my sympathetic and empathetic being, compassion is my 'self'; it's my human. It is the strength that's in me, it's that feeling that is there in my peace everyday. Not to say that it isn't challenged.

As we walk the road to compassion we will learn from those who have walked it before, as we none of us know how to be compassionate until we have to be, as compassion is an emotion that wells up, as something is touched deep inside. As we show compassion, may we be able to have the wisdom to show it in listening, knowing, learning, giving, understanding and receiving.

I hope that we may learn the same lesson of all the roads we walk in compassion together, as whatever has happened before doesn’t obscure or darken the road-way. But in learning find peace, although there still abides the memory of suffering. May compassion be the route as we continue the sacred steps to share our experiences of suffering and joy.

Mat we share with each other, ourselves and the divine who knows us well.


Closing words by Karl Stewart 

Out from this labyrinth. 

This is my mission: I’m sympathy. I’m the one that feels the sorrow of someone when they are sad, hurting, upset and grieving I feel the numbing of the one who has fallen. 

I’m going through as there is only one way in and out.

This is my mission: I’m empathy. I’m the one who can relate to the feelings of others. I hear the feelings as I read with others' problems and situations. I know the feelings of indifference. I feel the resolve after it all settles and then I can be ready again. I’m going through as there is is only one way in and one way out.

This is my mission: I’m compassion. I’m the one that feels the hurt and anguish. I see the sadness and the putting back together again. I am the emotion that is the strength, as sympathy and empathy are my friends waiting. I’m already in the labyrinth. I have no direction: there's one way in and out. Only my route has taken longer. I’ve seen you through, and am out now. I’m one again.


Metta Bhavana Meditation led by John Harley

Buddhism >> Practicing compassion 

The etymology of "compassion" is Latin, meaning "co-suffering." Compassion involves "feeling for another" and is a precursor to empathy, the "feeling as another" capacity for better person-centered acts of active compassion; in common parlance active compassion is the desire to alleviate another's suffering.

The original name of this practice is metta bhavana, which comes from the Pali language. Metta means ‘love’ (in a non-romantic sense), friendliness, or kindness: hence ‘loving-kindness’ for short. It is an emotion, something you feel in your heart. Bhavana means development or cultivation. The commonest form of the practice is in five stages, each of which should last about five minutes for a beginner.

Get comfortable – check into your body so that if any part of you is uncomfortable you can make an adjustment

Close your eyes if you wish

Listen to sounds

Notice the weight of your body /contact with chair and air and floor

Breathing – notice your breathing – do not change it

In the first stage, you feel metta for yourself. You start by becoming aware of yourself, and focusing on feelings of peace, calm, and tranquillity. Then you let these grow in to feelings of strength and confidence, and then develop into love within your heart. You can use an image, like golden light flooding your body, or a phrase such as ‘may I be well and happy’, which you can repeat to yourself. These are ways of stimulating the feeling of metta for yourself.

In the second stage think of a good friend. Bring them to mind as vividly as you can, and think of their good qualities. Feel your connection with your friend, and your liking for them, and encourage these to grow by

repeating ‘may they be well; may they be happy’ quietly to yourself. You can also use an image, such as shining light from your heart into theirs. You can use these techniques — a phrase or an image — in the next two stages as well.

Then think of someone you do not particularly like or dislike. Your feelings are ‘neutral’. This may be someone you do not know well but see around. You reflect on their humanity, and include them in your feelings of metta. May they be well , may they be happy

Then think of someone you actually dislike or someone you are having difficulty with or experience conflict with. Trying not to get caught up in any feelings of hatred, think of them positively and send your metta to them as well. May they be well may they be happy

In the final stage, first of all you think of all four people together — yourself, the friend, the neutral person, and the enemy. Then extend your feelings further — to everyone around you, to everyone in your neighbourhood; in your town, your country, and so on throughout the world. Have a sense of waves of loving-kindness spreading from your heart to everyone, to all beings everywhere. Then gradually relax out of meditation, and bring the practice to an end. May all beings be well and happy

Come back to yourself, your breathing, your gravity and the sounds in the room.