on Well-Being

Suffering can be the human consequence of lawyering

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1. Find a comfortable, seated position.

2. Bring your attention to the breath. Breathe in and out.

3. Bring an image to mind that represents unconditional love or acceptance. This can be the sun, which shines its light on everyone without discrimination; the ocean; a tree; or any other place in nature you resonate with. It also can be a person you view as having unconditional regard, love and acceptance. It also can be an animal, such as a pet. Spend some time bringing this image into your mind’s focus. Imagine being in the presence of this loving person, place or object.

4. Bring to mind someone you care about. It can be your friend, spouse, significant other, child, parent, sibling or anyone you can easily extend care, attention and warmth toward.

5. As you think about this person, notice any feelings of tenderness or warmth that arise inside you.

6. Now imagine this person you care about is experiencing some difficulty. This may be a difficulty known or unknown to you. As you imagine this person suffering, notice any feelings of tenderness that arise in you. Notice any desire to help.

7. As you imagine your loved one suffering, repeat these phrases:

  • “May you be happy.”
  • “May you be healthy.”
  • “May you know peace and joy.
  • “May you be free from suffering.”

Adapted from The Anxious Lawyer. Listen to an audio version of this meditation at jeenacho.com/wellbeing.


Jeena Cho consults with Am Law 200 firms, focusing on strategies for stress management, resiliency training, mindfulness and meditation. She is the co-author of The Anxious Lawyer and practices bankruptcy law with her husband at the JC Law Group in San Francisco.

This article was published in the June 2018 issue of the
ABA Journal with the title "A Distressing Business: Suffering can be the human consequence of lawyering".

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