Toward the end of my “bad years,” when I was discovering the astonishing power of compassion, I stumbled across a practice called, of all things, “guerilla compassion.” So I gave it a whirl. Not only was it easy to do, it was healing. Amazing.
Mostly I did it in airports or waiting for friends at busy restaurants. In these hectic places, I’d try to get a sense of the faces and moods of individuals passing by me and then, holding each image for a few seconds, offer the person a very stripped down form of the loving-kindness (metta) practice:
- May you be happy.
- May you be free [from suffering].
Since then I’ve learned that “guerilla compassion” can take a number of forms. Another version is simply a “silent blessing.”
Practice guerrilla compassion — silently blessing people on line at the bank, at the supermarket, in the cars next to us in traffic. Each blessing a tiny Sabbath, a secret sanctuary offered to a hurried and unsuspecting world.
— Sharon Salzberg in Sabbath by Wayne Muller
“Each blessing a tiny Sabbath, a secret sanctuary offered to a hurried and unsuspecting world….” No wonder it can be healing.