Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Mindfulness ~ being compassionate

My cat loves to visit a neighbor whose door is only a dozen steps from our apartment on the sixth floor.  On our walk down the hall on Saturday evening, she plopped down at Tiny's door to indicate she wanted to go here, please and thank you.  During our visit, Tiny gave me a jigsaw coloring puzzle, which doesn't interest her.  As my readers know, I bought an adult coloring book recently and have used coloring (and working puzzles, for that matter) as a way of relaxing and meditating.  The next day, my Compassionate Sunday discussion group looked at the puzzle from Tiny and the idea of adults coloring like children.  It was Evelyn's birthday, so we also partied with her by sharing a dessert made by Donna and by sitting around the table coloring together.

By the way, one of our group had written on her blog about a book on compassion, which I promptly bought for my Kindle.

The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness ~ by Marc Ian Barasch, 2009
How can compassion, a trait hardwired into our nervous system and waiting to be awakened, transform our lives and the world at large?  Marc Barasch provides up-to-the-minute research to timeless spiritual truths, and weaves a stirring, unforgettable story of the search for kindness in a world that clearly needs it.  With unfailing curiosity, Barasch poses vital questions:
  • What can we learn from exceptionally empathetic people?
  • Can we increase our compassion quotient with practice?
  • What if the great driving force of our evolution were actually survival of the kindest?
He comes up with challenging, ultimately inspiring answers.  With encounters as diverse as observations of compassion amongst bonobo chimpanzees, to the story of a man who forgives his daughters killer, to teenage Palestinian and Israeli girls trying to wage peace, Barasch blends hard science and popular culture with his own hip, engaging narrative style to create a smart, provocative argument that a simple shift in consciousness changes pretty much everything.
 Wow!  Are we really hardwired to be compassionate?

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