Compassion: A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
A Prayer for Compassion is a feature length documentary that strives to inspire and encourage those already on a religious or spiritual path, to expand their circle of compassion to embrace all life, regardless of species, and make choices in alignment with this value.
The film follows Thomas Jackson on a quest across America, that ultimately takes him to Morocco for the UN Climate Conference and throughout the Indian subcontinent to ask the question, “Can compassion grow to include all beings? and Can people who identify as religious or spiritual come to embrace the call to include all human and nonhuman beings in our circle of respect and caring and love?”
Drawing on traditions including Christianity — evangelical, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Friends (Quakers), Seventh Day Adventism, Unity, and more; Judaism; Islam; Hinduism; Buddhism; Jainism; the Native American tradition; Unitarian Universalism; Zoroastrianism; and the “spiritual but not religious” point of view — A Prayer for Compassion calls on people of faith and spiritual seekers of every stripe to come together to bring about a world in which “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them…They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6 and 11:9)
Screening dates and locations: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CompassionMovie/events/?ref=page_internal
At the end of the documentary, A Prayer of Compassion, I challenge each of us to bring more compassion into our lives and into the world around us. Part of that challenge is to have compassion and love for ourselves, and to take exquisite care of our body temples. My experience is that the better I take care of myself through nonviolent and nutritious food, exercise, meditation, and rest, the more I can feel the sacred light inside me.
I experience more love and compassion, as well as greater physical and creative energy. This is why I’ve come to believe that self-compassion and self-care are spiritual practices that not only bring us more peace and well-being, but also increase our effectiveness at living our passion and fulfilling our purpose. They can even contribute to physical healing.
At the midpoint of filming A Prayer For Compassion — an adventure composing some three-and-a-half years — I realized that if I was going to challenge people to have more self-compassion and take better care of themselves, I would need to start doing that myself. After some time trying to practice what I intended to preach, I discovered what I call my “Four Pillars of Well-Being.” I found that each day I practiced these, to the best of my ability, I felt great. My overall sense of ease seemed to grow. I was finding it hard to get anxious about things that used to worry me. Instead, I had the energy and clarity to discover solutions to the challenges that mattered, and let go of those that didn’t.
Eating clean, healthful, vegan (nonviolent) food. I start my day by making a fruit-and-greens smoothie with ground flax and chia seeds to jumpstart my intake of micronutrients and ALA (an Omega-3 fatty acid). I sip on this smoothie throughout the day. This is just one example of caring for the body temple with food. A quick internet search can provide you with information on making the most health-promoting food choices. Here are a few websites (and an online course) to get you started: