Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning circle or spirit. The mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community. “Each person’s life is like a mandala, a vast limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life. Everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening. From this point of view, awakening is right at your fingertips continually. But it’s up to you whether your life is a mandala of neurosis or a mandala of sanity.” ~Pema Chodran
Our intention for this week is to invite more interconnectedness, compassion and wholeness into our lives. Yoga Sutra lll.24 (maitryadisu balani) teaches the cultivation of friendliness creates inner strength. Experiencing healthy compassion and lovingkindness toward ourselves and others strengthens our interconnectedness and sense of well-being. I love this passage from The Message, “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:12-14, MSG)
“We typically think of our emotional range as something that is fixed and unchanging, a reflection of the personality we’re born with. But research is revealing the possibility that we may be able to cultivate and increase our ability to feel the emotional state of compassion. Researchers have found that feeling connected to others is as learnable as any other skill.” ~ Kelly McGonigal
Karuna in Sanskrit means compassion or compassionate action. “In Karuna mudra, the left palm is directed toward our own heart as a symbol of self-compassion while the right palm is turned outward toward others, symbolizing universal compassion. This gesture brings breath, awareness and energy to the center of the chest, gently massaging the physical heart and the thymus gland. Karuna mudra focuses the breath into the left nostril and left side of the chest, making this gesture slightly calming, which supports the opening of the heart and the cultivation of compassion.” ~ Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilian Le Page
Where and with whom in your life can you experience more interconnectedness and wholeness, lovingkindness and compassion?
Awakening Compassion Guided Meditation
Gently close your eyes. Roll the shoulders up, back and down. Take 3 deep breaths. Place your hands in a comfortable position or in Karuna mudra. Settle in.
Imagine the horizon spanning through your chest with a radiant sun rising in your innermost center—your heart. As though being melted by the solar warmth, release tension in your shoulders and across your throat. Soften your forehead and rest your attention inward on the light deep within. Take 3 smooth, even breaths. As you inhale, invite the glow from your heart to expand toward the inner surface of the body. With each exhale, let the light recede. Take another 3 peaceful breaths.
Attuning deeply to your heart center, offer compassion to yourself, honoring your journey wholeheartedly, dissolving all self-judgment, shame and guilt naturally.
As you embrace yourself compassionately, you enhance your ability to offer lovingkindness to those you care for deeply, embracing both their positive and challenging qualities.
Bring into your heart the image of someone you care for deeply, releasing any expectation of how they should be, creating a space of openness in which their transformation, and yours, can occur more easily. Take a full, deep breath.
As you offer compassion to yourself and to those you care for deeply, you gradually develop the ability to offer compassion to those with whom you experience separation or difficulty.
Bring into your heart the image of someone you find challenging, perceiving their authentic being rather than focusing on their actions and beliefs. Take a full, deep breath.
As you hold this person within your heart of compassion, clearly see that all of their actions are based on a need for love, support and security, even if those needs are expressed inappropriately.
By seeing this person compassionately, your feelings of judgment, anger and resentment are released more easily, allowing you to see this person and yourself more objectively, while creating safe and appropriate boundaries. Take a deep, cleansing breath.
Now, open your heart of compassion to all beings, honoring each person’s journey, recognizing that all of us are moving, within the limits our our understanding, toward a vision of love, peace, freedom and joy.
Affirm your growing compassion, repeating the following intention 3 times, aloud or silently: With a heart of compassion, I clearly see that we all share a journey toward love, peace, freedom and joy.
Take a full, deep breath. When you are ready, open your eyes, returning slowly and gently, sensing your heart of compassion guiding your journey.
💮 Continue to radiate love and compassion, expanding your life mandala. 💮
Always Into Love by Danna Faulds
On this voyage of
the soul, may we be
our common ground
visible beneath the
May we braid the
threads of reconciliation
into a chain of possibility
that joins, heals, and
includes what once
May our shared prayer
be answered: to grow
so open that there is
no “them” or “us,”
only the One, moving
always into love.