When you live in appreciation of life and reverence for life, you become alive, vibrant in gratitude and joy then you move toward love and compassion. For the Divine is the source of compassion.

When you develop compassion, you put real love into practice. Seeing the pain and suffering of others, your heart goes out with compassion to help them. You are not thinking of what you can get out of the situation or even how it will impact you. Your concern is what is needed to help or heal and how you can make that happen.

Compassion involves empathy, an ability to relate to the pain of others, to feel it, to know it and to care that someone is experiencing it. Oftentimes, people who have been through a great deal of suffering themselves are the ones who develop this kind of empathy, an ability to really understand the suffering of others and truly care.

The result of facing your own suffering and working with it is that you become able to accept the suffering of others, understand their pain and care. This is compassion.

Compassion, as a practice, requires you to face your own pain and the pain and suffering that exists in this world without looking away. It requires you to be able to be with suffering, to see it and those who suffer with great love, great care.

Compassion is an attitude, a feeling, a reflection of all embracing, unconditional love. It holds nothing back and doesn’t run. The practice of compassion must start with yourself, with facing your own pain and having great kindness for the part of yourself that has suffered. Then you can take that same care and share your heart with all beings in the loving kindness of compassion.

​Begin by treating others as you would be treated, with kindness. Do not covet what they have. Make efforts to care for their needs in a kind and compassionate way. This does not mean that you need to bow to the wishes of every person who wants something from you. This is not compassion.

Compassion is to be kind and to care about the needs of every living being. When in an attitude of compassion, all that you do is for the welfare of living beings. It is a kindness that you express in your daily life. If you live in this kindness you will find that there is a significant effect on other people and on yourself.

​When you learn to see everything as the manifestation of God and treat all people and all life with utmost respect, the world around you becomes the very expression of divinity. As you develop your awareness with the practice of Yama and Niyama, you begin to acquire positive qualities and characteristics within yourself, and the compassionate nature of the infinite

Author's Bio: 

Maetreyii Ma is a published author, teacher of traditional yoga meditation, yoga philosophy and the spiritual director of Ananda Gurukula.

She is also a transpersonal psychologist, yoga therapist and yoga teacher. She lives in the Bay Area and has a spiritual guidance.