Much has been written about the connections between compassion and what is being called ‘Mindfulness’. There are a variety of practices which can help to build greater kindness and care for self and others especially when such practices include helping practitioners ‘pay attention’. As has been written:
‘Instead of trying to control or judge our experience, we take an interest in it with attitudes of compassion and openness. We are cultivating awareness, yes, but it is important to acknowledge the human dimension of that awareness. It is not a sterile, mechanical awareness. Rather, it is a kind, curious, and compassionate awareness. Research has started to document empirical evidence of this connection between mindfulness and compassion, consistently finding over the past two decades that mindfulness increases empathy and compassion for others and for oneself. … Basically, the research shows that mindfulness increases empathy and compassion for others and for oneself, and that such attitudes are good for you. To me, that affirms that when we practice mindfulness, we are simultaneously strengthening our skills of compassion—evidence that mindfulness isn’t simply about sharpening attention. … I believe truly practicing mindfulness helps us learn how to become more compassionate toward ourselves—which, evidence suggests, is intertwined with being more compassionate toward others.’
‘Mindfulness’ and its various practices are increasingly recognised as both compatible with Christianity and, frequently, having roots within the Faith through groups such as The Mindful Christian.
- ‘Does Mindfulness Make You More Compassionate?’ by Shauna Shapiro