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We often think of compassion as an innate trait. You’re either compassionate, or you’re not. But what if compassion was actually more like confidence, happiness, or tranquility—all traits that we can develop if we put our mind to it?

Developing more compassion will help you improve your relationships with others, both personally and professionally. Have you ever met someone who was so warm and compassionate that you couldn’t help but respond in kind? When others sense that you care about them, they’ll naturally care about you in return.

Moreover, a compassionate life is simply more enjoyable to live than a self-centered one. It’s counter-intuitive, but one of the best things you could do for your own wellbeing is develop your sense of care for others.

Developing Compassion with the Multiplying Goodness Meditation

This meditation comes from the Search Inside Yourself book.

  1. Begin by connecting with the goodness within you. Connect with your inner sense of love, care for others, joy and of course compassion. Sometimes imagining these emotions as white light emanating from your body can help you intensify your connection to these emotions.
  2. As you inhale, imagine breathing all this innate goodness into your heart. In the brief moment between inhale and exhale, imagine this innate goodness multiplying by a factor of 10. Now exhale and imagine yourself blowing this innate goodness out into the world. It can help to imagine this as blowing white light out into the world. Repeat this visualization for about two minutes.
  3. Now, connect with the sense of goodness within everyone that you know. It might help to imagine specific people. All those emotions you just experienced – love, care, joy, compassion—also exist in others. It can help to imagine those emotions as a white on top of their body. Now when you inhale, imagine you’re breathing their sense of goodness into your heart. Repeat this visualization for 2 minutes.
  4. Now expand this visualization to everyone in the world. Everyone in the world has these innate positive qualities as well. Connect with those emotions. Again, it can help to visualize this as white light. Breathe in this innate sense of goodness from everyone in the world. Repeat this visualization for two minutes.
  5. Finish the meditation by meditating on your breath for one minute.

This meditation can help you tap into your own sense of compassion, as well as develop more of a felt connection with the rest of the world. This in turn will also help you develop more care for others, as well as help improve your empathy.