chapter  5
13 Pages

Receiving and giving with every breath

Session five: self and others — widening the circle
WithErik van den Brink, Frits Koster, Victoria Norton

This chapter explores how people can cultivate kindness in relating to themselves and others and how can they compassionately respond when meeting suffering? The quality of the relationship with themselves depends very much on the part of themselves they look from and the part of themselves they look at. The chapter introduces Kindness Meditation step by step followed by a benefactor and dear, neutral and difficult persons. Kindness Meditation can be practised boundlessly, unlimited by time or space. When practising with different categories of people, people can have quite different experiences and encounter specific difficulties. The chapter reflects more deeply on the relational qualities of compassion. It explores how our compassionate self can relate to a suffering part in themselves in compassionate letter writing. The chapter also explores how people can deal with difficulties in Kindness Meditation and offers an alternative practice without words: Compassionate Breathing.