Sharing Circle: Compassion


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The only way to learn compassion is through our own broken hearts; we have to back up and pass through our own pain.

—Matthew Fox

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual practices. Merriam-Webster defines compassion as the sympathetic consciousness of another’s distress, with a desire to eliminate it. Often we find obstacles to the practice of compassion. If we are unaware of our own pain, we might feel pity for another’s suffering. On the other hand, overwhelmed by our own problems we are unable to open our hearts to the needs of others. The exercise of compassion needs appropriate boundaries; close enough to be helpful but distant enough to be effective. Yet, even if our compassion is imperfect, it enriches both our lives and the lives of those we meet. Please join our circle as we share our experiences of finding a balance between detachment and involvement. How have your own experiences affected your ability to be compassionate? Think about an experience you have had in the past few weeks in giving, receiving, or observing compassion.

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