I felt a great resonance with the following partial transcript of an audio recording of
Stephen R. Schwartz talking about the work of compassionate self-care:
Offering Compassionate Self-Care
Compassion is an experience that emerges from the body and it’s not an
experience that emerges from thought. Compassion is an understanding
that is felt… it is an incredible energetic entry into another person
in which wherever they are, whatever they’ve been through, however
much torment, self-imposed or otherwise, whatever the events, the
confusion, the warmth, the embrace, the stroke, the beauty of that
person remains, acknowledged and intact. That we, as we listen, as we
share – are listening and sharing to someone for whom we deeply care.
That caring is felt in the body.
What is the preparation necessary for me to begin to convey the
understanding of compassionate self-care along with the compassion,
It doesn’t require that we reach some perfect state. It doesn’t
require that we be over all of our issues and that we never suffer or
It does require that we be fearless enough to face ourselves, our own
concerns, our own hurts, our own woundedness, our own longings, over
and over and over again, so that we are fearless enough to face the
hurt, the wounds, and the longings of someone else.
One of the great beauties of sharing the work with other people is that
it is for the one who is teaching it, to plunge more deeply into
experiences of fearlessness.
Schwartz’s books include Doors to Peace and The Compassionate Presence. The books, as well as information on his tapes and workshops, are available from Riverrun Press, P.O. Box 367, Piermont, NY, 10968. (914) 353-1677.