Compassion is not a concept. It is an activity that must be practiced in order to exist. Listening is a good way to practice compassion. Furthermore, by practicing compassionate listening, I am actually motivated by the desire to listen to myself with compassion.
To be heard is healing
Many of us, including me sometimes, feel that we are rarely heard. People do not understand what we mean. They hear words and information, but they do not understand the current of meaning that runs through my life. I am not understood. It is not easy to deeply understand another person. Hopefully, many readers have experienced being heard deeply. If you have, then you know that to be heard is healing. Even if only a small part of who I am is heard, I feel soothed. I doubt that everyone feels that way, but I do. What do I mean by "being heard"?
To listen to ourselves, we need time for ourselves. Even if we find that time, we need to be open to listening without discrimination or judgment. This the practice of compassionate listening. The pure experience of discomfort is just as important as meditative calm and spiritual joy. For most of us, listening to our own unpleasant feelings can help us more than just feeling "blissed out." Listening and fulling feeling the pain and suffering of others can be actually healing for the healer. But the healer must also actively process that pain and suffering. It is not automatic for me. It is a learned and honed skill. I expect to lay on my deathbed as a beginner.
Listening as a homeopath
As a homeopath, this kind of listening to myself and to others including patients is a very important practice. Compassionate listening can be practiced in on a meditation cushion. But the meditation needs to happen for the length of one breath in a moment when I notice that I am losing objectivity during my daily activities and in the clinic. In that sense, listening in my clinic is always an opportunity deepen my sense of compassion.
Free treatment offered out of self-interest
I am offering free treatment so that I can hone these listening skills. So, the term "free" is really aimed at freedom. In my case, freedom from greed, ego, anger, fear.... You name it, I want out! You might think that I am generous. Actually, self-interest drives me. Listening with compassion to others is exactly the same listening to myself with compassion. Alway the saying "healer, heal thyself" is at the center of this self-interested activity. So, I invite you to join me.