In early 2017, Dan Harris and I met with Chief Moir of the Tempe Police Department in Arizona. Chief Moir is an early adopter of meditation and mindfulness in policing. She uses the skills herself, all day long.
Her job requires her to be totally present with person after person as they file through her office. People have all kinds of demands, and exist in all kinds of stressed emotional states. It’s easy to get burned-out in these situations, to get “compassion fatigue.” We need resilience.
Enter compassion meditation. That compassion can lead to more resilience may seem counter-intuitive, but it is what both the science and the practice of meditation demonstrate. It has to do with distinguishing between pure empathy on the one hand – where we literally feel someone’s pain – and more active compassion on the other, which is more about being solid and present and intentionally wishing someone well. You can explore how it works for yourself in this short practice.
Our meeting with Chief Moir is described in Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. This and other meditations can be found on the 10% Happier app.