Compassion in a Time of Conflict

This past week or so has been very difficult for me with all the news about the war in the Middle East. I imagine it’s the same for you. Thich Nhat Hanh encourages us not to look away from suffering, and at the same time we need to recognize our limits and not expose ourselves to material that is destabilizing.  

The dharma teaches us that everyone has pain. The teachings on dependent arising tells us that there are multiple causes and conditions that contribute to this awful war including a long history of conflict in this region. Knowing this may not help right now but hopefully will in the future. 

The dharma encourages us to offer compassion to all who are in pain.  Additionally, we can be careful in how much time we spend reading or watching the news. We can remember we need compassion and kindness too. Spending time with family and friends and talking about other things besides the war can be helpful. Keep up with your interests and hobbies. There are many benefits to silence in not adding to the tumult around us through our words. Silence is beneficial. And lastly, my favorite way to replenish is to be in nature. We’re now in the season of beautiful colors and being outside can help us through this difficult time too.

My best wishes to all.

I invite you to add your own thoughts especially anything you have found helpful during this time.

Photo by he zhu on Unsplash

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About Erica Dutton

Erica Dutton is an experienced teacher and practitioner of Reflective Meditation. She has dedicated herself to sharing this practice so others can succeed in meditation, see their experience as important and valuable, and realize the benefits.


  1. Erica thank you, nice hearing from you. Pain is part of life but sometime pain is turned into suffering because of entanglements of internalized belief in history. The Israel-Palestine struggle is trying to draw the whole world into their suffering. It is born out of their belief of both groups have the same father but the Jews have a noble Jewish mother and the Palestinians come from a Slave servant. Jesus came to teach them of their mistake of bloodline but hate rules them. The truth is virtues were removed because once someone joins the hate club the heart of compassion is closed and meditation gets in the way of their preferred road rage cycles. It is emotional to watch and we must guard our peace or be entangled with people doing much harm. I tell myself when someone dies, they do not die, but graduate from suffering. Namaste, Chuck

  2. Thank you for your comments. It really is a tangled mess, isn’t it? I don’t see a clear path out of it. There is very little I can do to help this situation except not allowing hate to enter my heart which is a tall order given the provocative events happening. Having compassion for all is what the Buddha taught and that’s my goal.

  3. Thank you Erica for your thoughtful post. Nature is indeed an excellent balm for all that ails us…I enjoy breathing clean air, the beauty of the current colors and sending out lovingkindness prayers as I walk and count my blessings. I’m more about the bird tweets than social media meh. Thanks for the upper reminder!

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