Where do I start to develop compassion?
I have some advice that may sound counter-intuitive, but it's the fastest and surest way I can think of to get to the heart of the heart.
Start with self-pity.
Maybe, like me, you have little patience for the whiny, comparing little bugger who sits in the corner of your psyche making excuses and wringing its hands. "It's not fair," that voice says. "I work so haaaaard and no one appreciates me." "I'll neeeeverrr be as spiritual as everyone else." "Why do I have to..." "Don't they see...." I caaaaan't." Or whatever it is that voice in you says. Perhaps, like me, you have a different part of the psyche that looks at self pity and says,"SSSStttt! Zip it!" Or a part that says, "You have no right to be upset. Look at all the people who have it worse!" Maybe you believe or have been told that if you indulge yourself your self pity will just get worse. And you might get worse, but I want you to do it anyway. The next time self-pity comes up, comfort yourself. Listen kindly. Sympathize. Give space to how unfair and hard life is. Put your arms around yourself and rock without reservation. Notice with kindness that the self-pity may expand and strengthen. Embrace all of that and keep giving space. If you find a part of you alarmed, comfort that part as well, without offering any resistance at all. "Yes, yes... I seem to have an endless supply of self pity. Yes, yes. It is possible that there is no bottom to it. Yes, yes. It is possible that I am completely ridiculous. And it doesn't feel ok to be ridiculous, and yet here it is." As you work on this, notice where resistance comes up. "This is a waste of time." or "This is going on to long." "You're enjoying this indulgence too much." Expand your kindness to encompass all resistance. You are not responding to the resistance. You are not stopping because this 'is going on too long'. You are, to the best of your ability, saying "yes" to staying present in the face of your own suffering. And when you are tired of it take a break and offer space and kindness to the part of you that feels critical about the timing or way you are taking a break, or the way you sat with yourself. Offer kindness and space to your self-doubt, to your frustration, to your fear.
They say the suffering of sentient beings is ceaseless.
You are a sentient being. Practice self compassion with your ceaseless suffering and it will become a habit you transfer to suffering of the world. Namaste