You are invited to listen to the following free compassion-focused mindfulness meditations audio which are aligned with Compassion-Focused Therapy or Compassionate Mind Training. The aim is to train our minds to be compassionate, to promote resilience, well-being, peace and happiness.
In the following meditations and visualisations, compassion is defined in a similar way to the Compassion-Focused Therapy model, initially presented by Paul Gilbert. Compassion is recognized as “a sensitivity to the suffering of self and others (and the causes of that suffering) with a deep commitment to relieve it, prevent it from returning, and promote wellbeing.” (Dale-Hewitt & Irons, 2015).
In this definition there are two aspects of compassion:
1. Sensitivity to suffering: turning towards, awareness and tolerance of the presence of suffering.
2. Motivation and engagement to relieve suffering: intention and a desire to alleviate the suffering which is motivating actions.
We often think of compassion as being similar to kindness, empathy, gentleness and nurturing, but compassion can also inspire a strong motivation to make a stand, to say “no” to harm, to set boundaries, to defend and to protect. Compassion gives us the courage to be assertive, to act to alleviate the suffering in ourselves and others.
Please Note: These meditations are psycho-educational and are not intended to replace therapy. Always seek the advice of a health professional or psychologist for any questions you may have regarding your own specific medical or mental health condition. If emotional difficulties arise while listening to these meditations, please stop listening to the meditations and consult urgently a psychologist or other qualified health care professionals.
Warning: please do not listen to the following audio while you are driving or operating machinery.
You can download the mp3 audio if you wish for your own personal use.
All of the following meditations are presented by Marie Bloomfield, Clinical Psychologist.
1. Visualisation of Compassionate Therapist/Worker/Helper Self (15 min)
In this visualisation, we are inviting you to reaffirm your intention to be compassionate to yourself and others in the workplace, imagining yourself at your best. Remembering that being compassionate can mean to be gentle and nurturing but at others times it requires us to act with courage, to assert, to protect, to defend to alleviate suffering.
2. Loving-Kindness with the three flows Meditation (18 min)
In this loving-kindness meditation, you will be opening to the three flows of loving-kindness. That is, offering loving-kindness phrases to a loved one, and then to yourself, while also opening to receive loving-kindness from your loved one.
3. Intentional Shifting of Attention Exercise (6 min)
Your attention is like a spotlight in a darkroom. In this exercise we are inviting you to shift your attention intentionally with curiosity from your body, to concepts, to memories, to images and to notice what arises in your mind as you do this.
4. Compassionate Mindfulness Check-In (20min)
In this mindfulness meditation, we cultivate the ability to be aware by intentionally shifting our attention from a narrow to a wide focus and to become the compassionate witness of ourselves in our lives, so we can give ourselves the support and care that we need to thrive, to flourish.
5. Compassionate Wheel of Awareness (20 min)
In this mindful awareness meditation we move the attention to the various activities of the mind. The purpose of this meditation is to cultivate integration of the mind and a sense of compassionate awareness for ourselves and the world around us.
6. Cultivating the soothing system with soothing breath, touch and voice (17 min)
In this meditation, we will present two ways to find the soothing breath, then we will explore soothing touch and a soothing inner voice with comforting, reassuring phrases. The aim is to soothe ourselves, to be a little bit more compassionate to ourselves to better regulate our emotions, to access our more evolved brain capacities.
7. Compassionate Self in Daily Life Visualisation (21min)
In this visualisation, we aim to cultivate an image of ourselves at our best, a Compassionate Self, that is strong, caring, wise, warm, and committed to be helpful, towards ourselves and others. Remembering that being compassionate means to be gentle and nurturing but also can require to act with courage, to assert, to protect, to defend to alleviate suffering.
8. The Compassion-Break (16min)
In this meditation, you are guided through many mindfulness practices to regulate emotions in times of stress and struggles such as soothing breath/touch/voice and labelling. We cultivate a compassionate self that is wise, caring, committed, and strong to better support ourselves. This meditation extends on the self-compassion break from Mindful Self-Compassion (Kristin Neff and Chris Germer).
9. Compassionate Self engaging with the Inner Critic (20 min.)
In this exercise you are invited to make peace with the Inner Critic, to cultivate a Compassionate Self with a Compassionate Voice to motivate yourself in a way that is supportive, encouraging and empowering.
10. Finding compassionate wisdom in the middle of difficulties (17min)
Your Compassionate Self can help you to respond to difficult situations. In this visualisation practice, we will invite you to imagine how your Compassionate Self would respond in a difficult situation. Remembering that compassion is gentle, comforting and nurturing but that compassion also calls for strong actions to protect, to remedy, to care for yourself and others.
11. Compassionate Gratitude Meditation (22min)
Being grateful, promotes resilience. Gratitude opens our heart to joy in appreciation of ourselves and others. In this meditation, I would invite you to set your intention to appreciate, to enjoy, to be grateful, saying “thank you” in your mind with gratitude, allowing yourself to soak in the feelings of gladness, to transform your brain for the better.
12. Sympathetic Joy Meditation (21min)
Sympathetic joy is to delight in the happiness of others. Sympathetic joy is the other side of compassion where we empathise with the joy of others. It is a powerful way to connect with others and to cultivate a sense of belonging. Making other people’s happiness ours, increase our capacity for happiness.