Psychic Development Workshop: Cultivating Compassion, Exercise 1

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Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

I recently posted a new blog entryabout what I'd like to do here. I invite those of you that are interested to participate.

This is the first exercise, and it's about cultivating compassion for a total stranger. Here's the procedure:

  1. Choose a person, that you do not personally know, who has committedan act that horrifies you. You might choose a war criminal or a mass murderer, or some other public person,like Michael Vick or Tiger Woods. If looking at this person's picture gives you the chills or makes you angry, that's the right person for you.
  2. Your task is to write an unemotional, unbiased account of this person's life, centering on the aspects that may have led to the behavior(s) that you consider to be horrifying. Write this in your journal oruse a private blog entry. You can even write it on a piece of scratch paper and toss it in the recycling bin when you're done.
  3. At this point, we are going to be using traditional research sources (by which I mean the internet,of course). Check for news articles, scholarly research that might be found on sites with .edu in their names, or just go straight to Wikipedia.
  4. Keep it short, maybe about two or three paragraphs' worth of information. Just jot down the main points. Maybe you discover a mental illness, or abuse in childhood, or whatever. We're not justifying bad behavior here, we're just looking for potential related factors. We're getting inside the person's head a little, trying to understand what his/her lifemay have beenlike from the inside, before the hurtful behavior started. Although it's not the focus of this particular exercise, if you receive empathic or intuitive impressions during this process, feel free to note those as well.
  5. Write oneparagraph, directly to the person. Tell the person that you don't think that he/she is a bad person. You do very much disliketheir behavior, however. You wish that they had dealt with their situation differently. Something like that.
  6. Finally, if you feel like it, post something here about what it felt like to you to do this exercise. Was it difficult? Have you ever done something like this before? Was there something that you learned during the process that surprised you?

I'll post the next exercise on Sunday.

Love,

Amaya


updated by @amaya: 07/02/17 03:10:26PM
Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts
No such thing as stupid questions! What I meant was actual research, like looking at news articles or Wikipedia or whatever. I believe that there's no sense in trying to divine information psychically when it's otherwise readily available! Of course, if you receive any empathic or intuitive impressions during your research, feel free to jot those down too. Another thing I forgot to clarify was that this writing is just for you, and could be in your journal, a private blog entry, or on the back of an envelope that you later chuck into the recycling bin. The process is WAY more important than the product in this case. I'll edit the exercise above to clarify these points. Thanks for asking!
Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

I'm glad to hear that you did the exercise. Part of the purpose of it is simply to understand how hard it can be to have compassion for people, to understand that other people make choices that we ourselves wouldn't.

For example, I'm vegetarian. I believe that animals should not be killed for any reason other than for the alleviation of their terminal suffering.Most peopledo not believe as I do. It is harmful for me to believe that people who choose tokill animals for food or sportare bad people. They simply see things differently than I do.

I choose to accept that all people have value, even if I don't agree with or support some of their choices. I can recognize that their moral system seems right to them, even if it seems the opposite to me. This recognition provides the opportunity for a dialogue to begin, for a respectful exchange of ideas to take place.

Inthepsychic world, this attitude canbe very important. For example, I am aware that I have a hot-button aroundaffairs, people being unfaithful to their relationship partners. If a person came to me for a reading that dealt with an affair that he/she was engaged in, that might be difficult for me. If I can recognize in myself that I'm in an area in which my objectivitymay beimpaired, I can take steps to deal with it appropriately. I might refer him/her to another person, or work on double- and triple-checking my information before relaying it, or choose a reading method that's less dependent on what goes on in my own head. I hope that makes sense.

Out of curiousity (I don't really know much about this particular case), how do you think Michael Vick came to believe that this type of behavior was acceptable? Feel free to use your imagination, if necessary.

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts
Yes, I totally understand! In fact, Idon't keeppets at all, because it causes me such pain to think that I would be depriving any animal ofits freedom to go where it wants, when it wants. Almost everyone I've ever mentioned this idea to considers itto be completely bonkers. :-)
Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

No worries! It wasn't a test. It seems that there's actually a trend developing here in relation to Mr. Vick... I hope that you take a look at my response to Lisa, above. One of the reasons why I suggested Mr. Vick specifically is because I myself have such a huge problem with animal cruelty.

When I was a kid,my familyraised a group of chickens in our backyard. My brother and I had such a great time playing with the little chicks, feeding them, and watching them grow.I can still clearly recall (with horror) the day that my father butchered them in our backyard. Another time, my parents fed us our pet rabbits as stew. They both thought it was no big deal, because they had been raised on farms, wherethings like that were a normal part of life. For me, though, it was majorly traumatic.

Thanks for participating in the exercise! I'll be interested to hear what you have to say about the next one. In the meantime, I just put up a meditation thread that you might be interested in trying out.

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

Hi Arwen! Thanks for participating in the exercise. I'd say that you passed the test quite well, actually. Youmade effortsto understand how his thoughtprocess may have worked, where those ideas could have come from. What's maybe more important is that you recognized that your compassion has limits.

I actually grew up in the suburbs; my dad grew up on a farm, and my mom spent time on farms here and there. I think if I had grown up on a farm, though, the idea of eating my friends might not have been quite so horrifying? Maybe I would have come to get used to the idea over time? I'll never know.

Thanks again for taking part! Your contribution is appreciated.

Esah
@esah
6 years ago
151 posts

I have read this entire thread and it sure has made me think about what could possess someone to do such things to animals. I'm always trying to see the higher purpose in things we humans do and as I think of this guy I am reminded of something a friend shared with me, recently.

She is a first responder with the Police dept and has seen more than her share of horrible things man is capable of. However, she shared a story of a man who had just killed his infant son. When she arrived at the house, the man was bewildered and so full of grief. Now most of the officers on the scene didn't care about his feelings at all, but my friend's heart opened wide and her compassion just couldn't be checked. Even though this feeling took her completely by surprise. She went over to him and sat with him as he sobbed. She said she kept feeling that he had no comprehension of what he had just done. Not in a sociopathic or mentally ill way, but in a different way. That he kept saying he couldn't have done this to his son. She knew that on some level he was right. That he had agreed, before coming to Earth, to be the one to facilitate his sons return to spirit. That she could have no judgement on this violent act because he had just played a part in this spirit's life pattern. This thought scared the crap out of her and consoled her at the same time. Even though he would be convicted of murder, was he really guilty when he just fullfilled an agreement? But being labeled a murderer was also part of his life experience. So many new thoughts were streaming through her head about this man, and the bigger picture in life.

Now, my mind could hardly believe what she was saying at first. But then I took a moment and thought about the agreements that we make with those we love when we are still in spirit. To play certain roles on Earth with each other, so that we can learn tremendous love, compassion or forgiveness. On the Earth level, I could easily be sickened by what this man had done, but if I remove all judgment for a moment, then what is left? Life experience. Exactly what we come to Earth for in the first place.

The domino effect of these events is often what it's all about. The wake up call, the teaching that it brings forward as a result. Michael Vick showed us, by being such a public figure, that animal cruelty is happening. If he wasn't such a public figure, many people would never have known at all about this. He is guilty of a crime nonetheless, but still a teacher.

I went through this exercise thinking about someone I heard of locally who was found with child porn on his computer. I wanted to cut his testicles off at first. Perhaps I still do! But I also have to apply non-judgment to this as well. I can't pick and choose which things I get to judge. He is receiving the help he needs and hopefully will not repeat this act but even if he didn't get help, can I allow him to take up space on Earth as I want others to allow me to do? Of course I can, I have to.

Amaya, thank you for bringing this to our attention. We often don't want to look at the ugly side of life, but if we do then we have a much better chance of bringing light to it.

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts
Yes, thank you! I can't imagine anyone saying it better than you just did.
Esah
@esah
6 years ago
151 posts

Thanks Lucidamy and Amaya.

I just thought of a book that teaches this wonderfully. Have you heard of Nealle Donald Walsh's book "The Little Soul and the Sun"? It is written like a childrens story but I call it a big kids story. It shows a wonderful example of a Little Soul, still in Spirit, and wondering why he should be born on Earth. I have even read this book as a meditation in my classes. It is a short read and yet really has a great explanation about the agreements we make before coming to Earth. We just forget that we have made them. If we remember that we are willing to act like complete baffoons in order to help those that we love, learn about life on Earth, it would give us a lot of compassion.

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts
I hadn't heard of that book. Thanks for sharing. It looks like it's based on Conversations with God. That's another book I haven't read yet. Ah, the list gets longer! :-)
Esah
@esah
6 years ago
151 posts

Jaleil, I was not aware of these things that happened to Hitler. Interesting that my first reaction to your post was one of compassion towards him. Then, my judgment popped up and said "Well, he still made choices that hurt a lot of people". I am glad that my first reaction was one of loving compassion though. I can see that I need to work on my judgments because I also realized that I felt I 'should' judge him because most people would. Not what I would really want to do but what I felt I should do. hmm

Thanks for sharing this.

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts
Great comments, both of you! To me, this just reminds me that all people are whole people, that all of us have things that happen to us, and decisions that we make about those things and how we want to move forward with our lives. In Hitler's case, the way he chose to deal with his painful upbringing was to cause pain to others. Unfortunately, it's a common way to go. I sometimes wonder how history may have been different if Hitler had had a warm, empathetic adult influenceduringhis early life.
Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

Hi Larinda,

Thanks for your great comments and kind words. I have had a really big issue with the whole "judgment"thing for a while. For me, I finally broke out of my annoyance with the issue by realizing the difference between judgment and condemnation. Judgment is a natural reflex that protects us from harm. For example, wejudge that paying our bills is good, while not paying them is bad. We judge that it's better to have one type of car than another, or to eat one type of food or another.

Where I think we start to get into trouble is when we apply our judgments about what is good and bad for ourselves onto other people, when we condemn them for not having the type of car that we think is best, for example, or for making any other kind of choice that we ourselves would not have made.

Once I was able to make this distinction - it's okay to think that things are good and bad for me, but not to condemn those who do not share my views of good and bad - I was able to make peace with the issue of judgment and non-judgment. I hope that makes sense. Of course, then there's the issue of self-condemnation, but that's another exercise entirely... :-)

Love,

Amaya

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts
Congrats to you that you finally did it! And thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. I was actually thinking about this woman when I was putting up this discussion thread, along with Michael Vick and Tiger Woods.
Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

Hi Jinjer,

Thanks for your response. I had never heard of this couple.

My opinion isthat the fact that you took the time to do the exercise means that you're ready for the course. The real key to this exercise is to "know thyself", and it sounds like you are on target with that. It takes time and practice to get to that place of not condemning others, and empaths are just like everyone else in that way. Just because we feel everyone else's emotions doesn't mean that we give people a pass for their bad behavior! I'd even go so far as to say that it might sometimes be harder for us to forgive precisely because we do understand the force and depthof the pain that people can cause to others.

I should probably have included an exercise on how to get rid of the feelings that this exercise dredges up. Please accept my apologies for that oversight. You've said that you're not much of a meditator, but you could try the guided meditationin the clearing and grounding section.

The work of psychic development isn't easy, but it is rewarding. I've been working on this stuff for about 5 years now, and my life has changed dramatically in that time. I've changed as a person. Even if you eventually decide that doing readings for other people isn't something that feels good to you, the skills that you'll pick up in getting to that point will help you in your daily life. I look forward to hearing more from you!

Love,

Amaya

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

That does sound challenging. I volunteered at a domestic violence shelter for a while, working with kids especially, and while it was rewarding, a couple of hours a week was all I could manage.

We're headed into the clearing and grounding section next, and I'll be adding some additional meditations for clearing past connections and unfulfilled soul-level agreements. Hopefully that will help with getting rid of some of the residual energies that you might be carrying around. A couple of weeks after that, we'll be working on protection - ways of not letting new energies in that we don't want. Between the two, you'll be able to identify and prevent that type of thing from happening in the future. It takes practice, but it creates such a feeling of liberation! At least, it did for me.

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

Linda,

That's a really interesting take on it! I hadn't thought of it that way, but it rings true for me. NIce job!

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

Hi Kat,

If you feel intensecompassion for others naturally - as it sounds like you do - you probably already understand the point of this exercise and can skip it. This exercise ishere because being an empath doesn't make someone automaticallycompassionate, and compassion is an essential foundation for the successful development of psychic clarity. Understanding the limits of our compassion (and everyone has a limit) is one of the most important things to know before starting to do psychic readings for others, because eventually, someone will come to you with a problem that tests your limit. This exercise is designed to help youexplore what that limit is for you. Perhaps all that the exercise will show you is that your limit lies elsewhere, which is also good and beneficial to know.

Why are some unable to show compassion? Whoo! That'ssort of THEquestion of all time, isn't it? Obviously, I don't know the answer. My feeling on it is that some perceive compassion to be weakness, to be the same as condoning or justifying bad behavior. For others, compassion may be difficult simply because no one's ever shown them any, so they don't really know what it is,much lesswhy it's important. I've read thatvengeance is a natural human reflex that arises out of our flight or fight instincts and our evolution as a group-oriented social species.It can bedifficult to override powerful instincts like that, especially when the wrong done is severe.

In the end, judgment (or its cousin,vengeance)is all about feeling like we have control of something that upsets us, while compassion is a form of relinquishing of that control. Giving up control andallowing other people to behave as they will -especiallywhen their behavior is hurtful -without interference from us in the form of our thoughts or actions, is frightening to almost everyone. Between "turn the other cheek" and "an eye for an eye" is a vast grey area, and each person carves out a comfort zone for themselves.

That's my two cents on it, anyway. I'm not really so concerned with where the comfort zone is for everyone at this point, but just thatwe allknow wherewe stand on the continuum. Psychic work generally results in a natural movement toward compassion, but doing it in a self-aware way makesthe processmore rewarding, in my opinion.

Thanks for your great question!

Amaya

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

That's great to hear! Thanks for sharing your experience with the exercise!

Amaya
@amaya
6 years ago
301 posts

I hear you! Unfortunately, many times when someone goes to a psychic for assistance, there's a lot of negativity there. Many of the exercises later in this workshop deal with effectively managing that negativity in various ways, so I encourage you to press on! I'd be interested to hear ifcoming back to this exercise after you've had a chance to work on the meditation sections of the course would change your experience at all.

Amaya
@amaya
5 years ago
301 posts

Thanks for your response, Eric! It's taken me a long time to be able to accept that a person's worth and the worth of their behaviors is not the same, that I can simultaneously love someone and hate what they do. In my experience, learning this lesson is really important in life in general, but is crucial to being effective as a psychic reader/counselor/healer, because people generally seek out thistype of guidance when there's somethingin their lives that's bothering them. In those situations, it's necessary to be able to love the person completely, while at the same time recognizing thatachange must take place for them to be able to move forward.

Another good response to anger that I've found is that anger almost always arises when we desire to control something that we have no effective way to control. Other people's behavior, for example. We can't control what another person does, and that's frightening, which leads to anger. If we recognize that the reason we're angry is because we're reacting to our own lack of control, which we can't do anything about, then we can choose acceptance. After we accept the situation for what it is, we can choose a more effective way of dealing with the situation, because we're seeing it clearly. As a parent of a now 13-year-old, I find that I'm reminding myself of this truthoften. :-)

Amaya
@amaya
3 years ago
301 posts

Thanks, Greeney! You chose a tough one. Well done with your letter.

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