Tag: compassion

Compassionate Breath for Self, Compassionate Breath for Other, a 9 minute audio practice

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:


As we enter into the month of November, we enter into a time of excitement and wonder with holiday celebrations, as well as a time of emotional ups and downs. This experiencing of emotions can be felt in the gathering and coming together with family and friends, as well as the emotional landscape within ourselves in facing old “roles” of ourselves within these family constructs.  It’s important to allow yourself to reflect on the “you” that you are in the present day, rather than the “you” that you were born into, or that your family created around you.

Compassion for yourself is pivotal at this time of stress. You will come away feeling more strength from within, and your clarity will further be communicated, not only through your body language and posture, but also through a breadth and depth of understanding of your more true self.

Use this 9 minute breath of compassion as a tool to invite your true self to be more present and aware. It draws upon the Tibetan practice of tonglen, which means giving and taking. The offering and symbolism of this practice, is to inhale in the suffering and difficulty of self and other, and exhale out compassion and warmth to self and all others who suffer similarly.  Cognitively, stretching your awareness of suffering beyond yourself and your ego, detaches you from the very pain, emotionality and limitations of the suffering itself. Compassion, broadens your sense of kindness towards others and from a spiritual perspective purifies negative karma.

Download Audio File : compassionate-breath-for-self-other


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Mindful Wounds–a verbal wound is as painful as a physical wound

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

I read a touching commentary in my paper about the passing and reflection of Muhammad Ali. The commentary was submitted by a man, who in his youth, had the unique experience of spending a weekend at a training camp with his boy scout troop and Muhammad Ali. The writer shared his experience in hearing some of the lovely poetry and wisdom words of Muhammad Ali, and one of these recollections, actually a metaphoric story, inspired this post.

The story is called, “The Fence,” perhaps you have heard it before, but if not, I hope it leaves an impression.

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down.

He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it; and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

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When There Is No Other Path, Turn To Gratitude

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind Body Services:

It is during our most difficult moments, when we may feel like we can go no further, endure no more pain, suffer in silence no longer, and just stand in the disbelief that is our life, that we are given the greatest opportunity to become and learn that which we need the most. What we seek, we can provide, but it is often fraught with great agony and suffering, and usually more so, it is a long, long, path of resistance, fighting (with others and ourselves) and agony. In my own life, I can recount certain movie-frame snapshots in time that feel ingrained in my mind, as if they are residue and “proof” that I have served my time and deserve my accomplishments and joys.  And how beautiful it feels to exclaim such a pronouncement, but in truth, I know my mind will certainly try to convince me, quite quickly, that I don’t deserve to rest and pause, as I have more work, more jobs, more goals and more responsibilities to complete and cross off my checklist before I can even rest and pause.

BUT, when I can mindfully pause at this junction, I know that a pause and time for gratitude, reflection, and compassion is exactly what I need.  Pausing into a time for Gratitude, sets the mind to be more resilient to the regular onslaught of negative emotions and habits, welcomes in more positive internal dialogue within self, offers a deeper connection to others and reminds one of their inherent value as an individual and human being.  It is grounding and reality based. Through a regular daily practice of gratitude, we have the capacity to wire into our brain, new circuitry and paths  of resilience, well-being, and positive felt sensations, with the ability to review, replay and ingrain them into a place of familiarity, safety and knowingness…and truly in such a way that the prompt of Gratitude practice as a action, just becomes a felt sense of knowing, rather than naming, and of feeling, rather than labeling.

Gratitude = knowing and feeling and thus becoming….

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