Heartful Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 5

See a Stranger's Suffering

5 min - Practice


Kira guides us through a meditation to continue tuning the skills of compassion by practicing bringing our attention to a stranger's suffering. We work with the mantra: "I see your suffering."
What You'll Need: No props needed


Read Full Transcript

So we'll continue, snuggle in, big, deliberate inhale, and exhale, audible, loud, and heavy. Do that again, inhale, exhale, and really let the belly feel full of you. Big. Let it help ground you, maintain this sense of rootedness as the heart begins to grow and blossom and brighten, soften right between the shoulder blades, let your elbows bend, let your palms open and rest on your lap or your knees as your skull aligns. And you'll know you found the proper alignment of your skull when your neck tension is no longer necessary.

So letting your awareness be in the low belly, let your eyes be kind, soft, tender. Feel the movement of the breath in the belly. So establish your grounded, rooted, stable self. And now begin to let a being come into your awareness with whom you have very little interaction, somebody you feel neutral about. It might be a homeless man you see every day on your way to work.

It might be somebody who rides the same bus as you, might even be the bus driver, might be somebody with whom you work, might be somebody who sells you your newspaper, somebody you see every day but haven't extended your concern for. Let them come to you. And then once you have this neutral, almost stranger, can you consider that he or she also suffers? You might not know what their suffering is, in fact, please do your best to avoid trying to know it. And then the same thing, inhale, and as you exhale with softness in your eyes, the mantra of I see your suffering, inhale, and as you exhale, I feel your suffering.

And do your best to really just stay in the belly with the feeling, you know, the temptation will be for the feeling to maybe come up towards the heart, to move into action, or to come up into the mind, to create other judgments or delineations. Just do your best to practice being in the belly, witnessing the other person, giving him or her space. And even if you are aware of what this being might be suffering from, we can never be aware of all the context and conditions. We can't really, totally understand, which helps us be willing to not know how to fix it. Okay, just a few more moments again, we're just doing these short, almost interval to just like trainings, tuning our capacity, inhale, exhale, I see your suffering, soft eyes, soft belly, inhale, exhale, I feel your suffering.

Just a few moments. Okay, relaxing the effort and just kind of rest, let your belly be heavy, heart soft. This is your homework today, you're going to encounter so many faces, people, whether that's in your actual physical realm or in your mental realm, and the play is to just drop, soften, and offer your witness.


Sandra Židan
Amazing meditation! Thanks, Kira!
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Sandra Židan, LOVE!

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