a mouse and a buddha, signifying stay close and do nothing through compassion

Compassion to stay close

Stay close and do nothing is the title of a book on caring for the dying. It is also sound advice for meditation practitioners, psychotherapists, and caregivers. However, in moments when compassion is most needed, it can be very challenging to stay close and do nothing.

Can you stay with the sensation of a challenging emotion in your body? Can you resist following that fight-or-flight instinct? If you are able to control your compulsion to run away or struggle with the energy, transformation can happen on its own.

This is, of course, easier said then done. We are hard-wired with this fight-or-flight instinct to ensure our survival, but in some situations, it can hinder transformative growth.

Get to know your energies

Stay close is an invitation to become intimate with your energy of emotions, to befriend them and to trust their natural evolution. Do nothing points to the practice of giving space, allowing and letting be as a valid response to a difficult moment.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Doing nothing was more encouraged in our world and in our spiritual practices? Not as resignation but as an expression of trust into our basic goodness and self-healing capacity.

Rely on compassion and patience

Patience and compassion are two resources which support this gesture of staying close and doing nothing. You do have these resources and the ability to connect with them, especially in challenging times.

With patience we can witness the mind running through its reactive, patterned responses. Compassion creates the container in which transformation and healing happens.

Stay close to yourself, rely on your inner resources, and you can stay close to anyone.

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