Cradle of Compassion

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
John Milton, Paradise Lost

          In The Power of Now, visionary Eckhart Tolle talks about building a cradle of compassion in your heart. He says there is no other time than the present moment, no better time than right now. If we desire to make forgiveness a part of our lives, we can only benefit from building and nurturing such a cradle in our hearts.
          The question is, how do we create a place of compassion within us that has such tangible solidity that we might come to think of it as a cradle?An infant’s very first home is the cradle. This is where we first experience separation from our mothers and begin to find within ourselves the building blocks of self-soothing we’ll need to weather the pains and disappointments of life.
          Much of the work of forgiveness involves building the skills and the restructuring of feelings, thoughts, behavior and the related neuronal structures in a virtual re-parenting of yourself, so let’s use the metaphor of building a cradle in which to hold your newfound compassion.
          We often feel a profound compassion for those who have lost their homes in fires, floods, earthquakes, war, or loss of a job. Many people go through extreme efforts to donate their time and money for foundations such as Habitat for Humanity to make sure that at least some suffering people can experience life with a roof over their heads and basic needs met.
          Each time you are faced with a situation that challenges your capacity for compassion is an opportunity to build and polish this cradle that you are building for yourself. Think of building this cradle out of pieces of fine quality materials that are put together in such a way that the cradle is beautiful and sturdy, like a fine ship floating upon the vast water of the ever changing sea, just like the sea of emotions, words, and actions that we observe in ourselves and others as each hour goes by in a day.

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