We can fall short in our spiritual programs when we begin resting on our laurels and not continuing to grow. Inspire your spiritual growth with some of these practices.
To be compassionate requires an abandonment of self to give to and recognize others fully. It means taking others into consideration and treating them as individual beings on their own path in life. Often we get too caught up in our own misfortune to recognize it in others. One radical way to practice compassion is to just ask others how they are doing. Then, you have to listen.
Empathy is the ability to understand and identify with another’s feelings. When we disagree with or are possibly offended by someone’s opinions, beliefs, or behaviors, we judge them. Judgment leads us to stop caring about how they feel, because we believe what they feel is wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own experience of life. Empathy allows us to find out what the feeling is and identify with it. Though the exterior of the experience may be different, it is likely the interior is shared.
Contemplation in and of itself is a form of meditation. Meditation is a time to reflect and contemplate higher frequency topics. Not all contemplation requires meditation. There might be a subject or a situation in your life that’s been bothering you, but you haven’t taken time to think about. In fact, you might have been avoiding thinking about it entirely. Take time to sit and contemplate this matter without judgment. Just consider the angles, perspectives, and truths which might be hiding beneath the surface. Contemplation opens you up to gaining wisdom which you might not have seen before.
Ask more questions. Even the great Buddha encouraged his followers to question him. Life is an opportunity to learn, grow, and make decisions about what you believe. As some Buddhists might encourage- it is an opportunity to believe in nothing about everything, all at once. If you have questions about yourself, different faiths, or about the world- ask! Today is a world where information is easy to access from the internet. Choose a topic of spiritual inquiry that interests you and devote time each week to answering that question and learning more.
Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist based treatment program located in Los Angeles, California. We offer a spectrum of care from detox to transitional living. Our treatment programs draw inspiration from Buddhist philosophy and ethics while using the most current evidence based treatment methods for total healing from addiction. Call or text us today at 323-207-0276.