All posts tagged: compassion

How to support your non-white, non-straight, non-Christian, non-male friends

I talk about compassion a lot. And I’ll admit that I didn’t start to fully grasp what that meant until these last few years as I’ve gotten deeper into yoga and experienced deep moments of darkness. To begin, let me throw some quick definitions out (pulled from Google), as there are similarities. Sympathy, noun 1. feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune 2. understanding between people; common feeling. Empathy, noun the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Compassion, noun sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Most of us tend to fall in the sympathy and empathy camp. We feel sorrow and sadness for someone when they’re going through something bad. When we empathize, we try to share in their feelings; we sense their anger and also feel anger ourselves. Compassion, though, speaks specifically to recognizing and having concern for others’ suffering, and the only way to get to that level of concern is to listen and let their suffering soak in and affect your heart. How many times have you witnessed …

Post-11/9 Are you ok? Yeah, I’m ok.

Thank you to the friends who have reached out to me to ask if I’m ok following the election. I’m surrounded by wonderful, compassionate people who I know have my back and validate my feelings as a woman, an immigrant, a person of color and as a citizen of the Unites States. I’ve managed to surround myself with people who love, are open minded and big hearted, so it was especially gutting to see the results roll in. This election was a hard one to swallow. I have always felt the undertones of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and every other -phobia and -ism in the U.S. Most of the blatant stuff I experienced was growing up in suburban Dallas. An elderly white man who came up to me in the grocery store, saying, “Thank God you’re not Japanese,” and making a gesture like slicing the throat. A friend and classmate who told me I was going to hell because my family isn’t Catholic. Too many instances of “Go back to China” uttered or yelled at me …

Why I’m so adamant about voting

My kids are way too young to appreciate the end of Daylight Savings Time, so that’s what happened with Day 7 of NaBloPoMo. One day, they’ll get the memo. I’ll keep telling myself that. Today is election day! FINALLY. This has been a super bizarre election cycle, and it has brought out so much ugliness – moreso than I’ve seen in previous elections. The bizarro-ness reminds me of when I first moved to California. Something happened with the governor that forced a recall election. It seemed everyone under the sun was throwing their hat into the ring, including Gary Coleman. There were 135 candidates who qualified to be on the ballot! Complete madness. Who came out on top? Arnold Schwarzenegger. As odd as it was to have the Governator, his entrance into the political world wasn’t too big of a leap since he was married into the Kennedy family and had dabbled in politics before. I wasn’t a registered California voter, so I didn’t participate in the election, but it was probably the first time I really started …

Raising boys in “wussified” America

I remember when my husband and I first started talking about having kids. We had been married a few years, and the pressure from family and friends was mounting all around us. Whether it was a realization of my age or our succumbing to pressure, we had a “sh*t or get off the pot” conversation before I turned 30. When we did get pregnant with our first, we talked about how we wanted to raise our kid(s) and how we would feel about having a boy or a girl. I knew immediately how I wanted to raise a girl. As a minority woman, I felt like everything was stacked against me. I had to fight so many stereotypes (and still do!),  and I knew how much harder I’d have to work at everything to achieve equality. So of course, I’d want a girl to feel empowered, equal, strong, smart, capable, self-motivated, etc. I would teach her sports and math and science and engineering and building and creating and to feel embodied. I was not going …

Channeling grief into healing

It’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. Waves of grief still come and go while I continue to process the death of my father – sometimes violently and unexpectedly, sometimes slowly and nonchalantly. I was very attached to my dad from a very young age. I wouldn’t say that I was a daddy’s little girl because he didn’t really coddle me or my sisters. But we had a close bond that was unique to our relationship. I remember pretending to fall asleep in the car so he’d have to pick me up and carry me to my bed. I loved the warmth of his embrace (and if you know anything about my Taiwanese family, hugs are few and far between!). I can remember the size and shape of his hands and how they were always warm to the touch. He always held space for me, whether he realized his ability to do so or not. I stepped fully into teaching yoga soon after his memorial service. This wasn’t really the way I planned to start my yoga …

Tonglen Meditation 101

Last week, I introduced Tonglen Meditation in my yoga classes. It’s a Tibetan Buddhist practice that uses the breath in an act of giving and receiving. I talked about the samskaras I had been facing, and in an effort to really understand and feel compassion for my 3-year-old (rather than lashing out at him when he has a tantrum), I turned to Tonglen and my breath to offer love and kindness toward him. The idea of Tonglen Meditation is to use each inhale to focus on someone or a group of people who are suffering. This someone could even be you. How to: Pema Chodron talks about doing this practice not only for your loved ones. You can use Tonglen to send compassion to other parts of the world, like the Syrian refugees who need kindness and generosity the world over right now. You can even use it on your “enemies” – someone who has hurt you or done wrong to you. Their suffering is coming out in harmful ways, and even though you were a victim …

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