For many people, the holiday season can be a stressful and depressing time. In a season when joy and revelry are supposed to be filling the hearts of humankind, many people find it hard to muster up even a smile.
Especially with all the negative things that seem to be happening in the world; mass shootings, dramatic climate change, financial worries, and a divisive political climate where the abyss between “sides” seems deeper than ever, we need an antidote to the holy-daze weariness that we find ourselves in.
In this post we’ll discuss how to use meditation and compassion to deal with the holiday-blues, whether it’s your own suffering or the suffering of others.
If You’re Stressed, Think of Others
If you’re experiencing the holiday-blues, try thinking about those who are also suffering and bring them to mind every time that you feel sad. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in our own “stuff” and forget that others are also dealing with similar, if not worse, challenges as well.
As you learn to meditate more and realize how much of your every day suffering from jealousy, worry, anxiety and fear, are due to your mind, you’ll begin to get an experience of compassion for others who also suffer the same “mind sickness” that you experience. That’s the compassionate presence that you’ll find in your meditation practice.
This compassionate presence is what you bring not only into your into meditation practices but into your life as well. It’s a recognition that others, like yourself, also want to be happy and to be free from suffering. Bring this realization into your meditation again and again, thinking compassionately about others.
Meditation Helps You to Become Compassionate Towards Yourself
Meditation helps us to bring our mind back to the present, returning to the “nowness” of the moment. As we work with our mind, we begin to see that all that arises, our thoughts, sensations and even emotions, will disappear when we simply allow them to. Think about that, all that arises,the hopes and fears, the agony and the ecstasy, arise within your mind. Doesn’t it make you stop and wonder why the heck you get so upset by these temporary “phenomena” of the mind? Isn’t it a bit ridiculous?!
When you start to see the ridiculousness of your mind, and how many times you’ve gotten bent out of shape because of this temporary stuff, you may start to become hard on yourself. That’s where you begin to practice compassion for yourself. And with that practice, while you’re at it, practice compassion for others, realizing that they too suffer from these same kinds of phenomena.