Because we have been conditioned to fear and compete with our fellow brothers, I know I was, it can be difficult at times to feel compassion for other men, especially men who don’t share the same values as us, men who trigger our projections, and men who behave in ways that we don’t agree with.
If I find myself projecting onto another man, or if I am charged by the behaviour of another man, in order to practice compassion I remember the following quote by Eckart Tolle: –
“If his past were your past, his pain your pain, his level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as he does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion and peace.”
This helps me come back into the heart and centre myself, remaining neutral without judgment.
However, the real practice of compassion comes from loving ourselves, forgiving ourselves, and accepting ourselves fully.
In fact all healing and acceptance relates to loving ourselves on deeper levels as men, which isn’t always easy because we’ve been taught to wear a mask of toughness, a mask of invincibility, a mask of the false self.
Here is a simple practice that I find useful that it inspired by the Budhist practice of Tonglen: –
Simply look into the mirror with eyes open.
On the inhale imagine all of your suffering moving into your heart and dissolving in that space of the heart
On the exhale breath love and acceptance into your face (yourself).
This can also be done with eyes closed
It can also be done imagining that your inner child was sat in front of you.
It can also be done imagining another person in front of you or the actual person in front of you.
I recommend you try this practice for 21 days straight every morning when you wake up for 10 mins.
Let us share other beneficial practices of self-compassion because this is so important for us all.