"May I find my rest in Compassion".
Here's what I have been doing. My typical meditation period is now around 30 minutes. I have a timer (Insight Timer in the app store) that rings a bell every ten minutes. For the first section I focus just on my breathing. "Breath in—Breath out." Ten minutes. Then I go to this phrase, "May I find my rest in Compassion." Over and over—ten minutes. People who do more intensive meditation might focus on a phrase like this for weeks. Not there, yet.
I have my hands on my thighs, kneeling on my zabuton, like this:
Thoughts come and go. I have been doing this long enough to not follow long distractions. I say the phrase on the in breath, and then exhale. Over and over and over. Ten minutes goes pretty fast.
During the final ten minutes I have started to explore a big empty space in my chest, somewhere below my jaw and above my diaphragm. More on that another time.
I have been reminded in a "rock in a quiet pool of water" sort of way that compassion for myself and for others is momentarily and ultimately grounding. And, I know that I struggle to accept compassion for myself, and I wish to be one who is ever extending it to others.
As I have said before this practice is like daily exercise on a very long timeline. I do not look for short term results; I am in it for the long haul. I do believe that compassion and rest are tied together in deep spiritual and physical ways.
For the coming week I will use the phrase, "May I be at peace." On the out breath. Just to make it interesting.