chapter  20
4 Pages

Varieties of compassion focused imagery

In Mahayana Buddhism there is a huge literature on various types of compassion imagery (Leighton, 2003; Vessantara, 1993). However, in the West, the most common form of compassion imagery has been taken from the Theravadan traditions and in particular those associated with loving(friendly)- kindness (Salzberg, 1995). For example, Kabat-Zinn (2005, pp. 285±296) gives a brief introduction and overview of lovingkindness meditations that involves: ``Remembering others being kind to you; recalling times when you were kind to others; and if you struggle to recall others being kind to you then imagine ®gures being kind to you''. Loving-kindness visualizing is now used in various self-help ways (see Germer, 2009; Salzberg, 1995). It is important to note, too, that traditions within other spiritual traditions and psychotherapy have focused on interpersonal imagery associated with being helped, kindness, meeting a wise, supportive other or friend, and receiving compassion (Frederick & McNeal, 1999).