The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology

Lorne Ladner

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0060750529

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Now in paperback, this practical guide to cultivating compassion delivers Buddhist and psychological insight right where we need it most—navigating the difficulties of our daily lives.

Compassion is often seen as a distant, altruistic ideal cultivated by saints, or as an unrealistic response of the naively kind-hearted. Seeing compassion in this way, we lose out on experiencing the transformative potential of one of our most neglected inner resources.

Dr Lorne Ladner rescues compassion from this marginalised view, showing how its practical application in our life can be a powerful force in achieving happiness. Combining the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism and Western psychology, Ladner presents clear, effective practices for cultivating compassion in daily living.

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without violence to protect his own and his son’s dignity. Who can say what effect this interaction had on the future of the young boy sitting beside him? The officer was so surprised that he silently wrote a ticket and drove away as quickly as he could. This is precisely the way to go about setting healthy boundaries. You begin by correcting the person, telling the other how you wish to be treated, or stating what you are or are not willing to do. If this hasn’t worked in the past or if you have

purpose of the ego, as Freud said, is mainly to negotiate between our instinctual, essentially self-centered desires and the realities of the external world, then setting boundaries is a way of keeping the ego from getting overwhelmed. Boundaries are a means of satisfying our own needs as much as possible while still maintaining honesty and respect for ourselves and others. If we really want to develop powerful compassion Seeing with the Eyes of Compassion 37 and to learn gradually how to

space beside us. This is the essence of the terribly painful process of mourning someone we’ve lost. We make thousands of small gestures driven by our desire for the other, and each time we find that the other is not there. Each unreciprocated gesture and unshared moment makes us feel our loss again. We continue smiling, reaching out, and turning toward no one; each time our frustrated desire tears at our ego until, very slowly, we stop reaching and looking for someone who is not there. Slowly,

states of the heart or mind. The implication is that among all the positive emotions that people can generate, compassion is the very best. If we want to be happy, compassion is the mental state that most effectively grants us our wish. So if one were to give a psychological answer to the question of what constitutes a good, happy, meaningful life, the response would be: a life spent cultivating compassion. As a state of mind or heart, compassion serves as a direct psychological cause for

closeness and affection that are so essential to compassion. And when my schedule got me overly tired, my sense of confidence and energy waned. As these difficulties compounded, I found myself focusing on the wish that I, rather than others, might be free from the suffering of my own stressed-out body and mind. Although I believed that I was quite busy doing things for others, I wasn’t really feeling much love or compassion. When you’re stressed out or overwhelmed, you can’t generate healthy

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