“We can also recognize that everyone has a life story that runs just as deep as ours does. It’s easy to go through life as if we are the stars of our own private movies – like everything that happens is really about us. However, the truth is that everyone has a life full of hopes and dreams, tragedies and disappointments, joy and suffering. Realizing this can help us experience compassion for them.
“We can use the power of our imagination to cultivate compassion. The emotional centers of our brain often respond to imagined experience in a way that is similar to how they respond to things that happen in the outside world (which is how we can keep ourselves angry for hours on end, playing a situation that ended hours ago over and over in our minds). We can use this to cultivate compassion – by picturing others in our minds, and sending compassionate wishes out to them – that they be happy, free from suffering, at peace, and prosperous. We can imagine how it would feel like to be kind, wise, confident compassionate people who truly wish the best for others. It doesn’t matter if we really feel like that or not – we can imagine what it would be like if we did feel that way, and in doing so, begin to activate those parts of our brains that will help us actually become that sort of compassionate person.”