Does love and compassion make the world go round? The best-selling single of John Lennon's solo career is 'Imagine'. The lyrics invite the listen to imagine peace in the world and a world without the barriers of borders or the divisions of religion and nationality, and to consider the possibility that all humanity would live in peace and harmony.
Last year when in New Zealand I wrote a song. My first song. The Love and Compassion for Everyone song arose out of a practice I created when teaching yoga at Studio Soma and on retreats in Australia, Nepal and Bali. The Well 'n' Happy practice is founded on two of the four Tibetan Buddhist Four Immeasurables. The Four Immeasurables are love, compassion, joy and equanimity.
Meditation practice incorporating the cultivation of compassion, which is the deep wish that myself and others be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, is a primary practice leading to a sense of well-being. Meditations that include developing love for self and others lead to experiences of a deep inner happiness. It is this deep inner happiness that is intentionally cultivated as an antidote to outer fleeting happiness dependent on external conditions and resources that do not last.
The development of love and compassion can begin with oneself and over time extended to those close to you. With practice love and compassion can grow to include all humans and eventually all sentient beings and even greater to include the earth itself.
Imagine if love and compassion were extended to all humans regardless of race, colour, creed and belief. What a vastly different experience many would have on this planet.
Imagine if love and compassion were extended to all living beings; to cows, sheep, fish, chickens, cats and even worms and beetles. If love and compassion was the worldview of many humans they choose not to eat animals and wear the products made from animals.
Imagine if love and compassion were extended to the whole earth, to this planet and the oceans, the mountains, the forests and the waterways. Humans would not want to mine coal and oil, trash the waterways with plastics and toxic run off, spray food crops with deadly chemicals and pollute the sky with chemtrails.
An inner revolution is required for the outer revolution to take place. This inner revolution is of the heart, mind and the body. And, it's already happening. Meditation is one path to awaken. Mindfulness practice is another. Writing, singing, walking in nature and swimming in the ocean and many other activities assist the necessary changes in our being. Imagine, just imagine how this world would be.
Karen M. Bell taught yoga and meditation for decades in Australia, Bali and Nepal. As a former somatic therapist and Buddhist psychotherapist she brings body awareness, psychological training and practice in the wisdom traditions of meditation and mindfulness to her writing. Karen is the creator of the Well 'n' Happy practice and the Tibetan style Well 'n' Happy prayer flags. Karen is the Director of Black Dragon Seats and Somatics Australia