Start by gently following the pathway of your in-breath, and then your out-breath. Notice how much your breath can teach you about how to balance inner and outer. Continue gently following your breath until your mind becomes calm and receptive. Then read the meditation several times, letting the words enter your consciousness. If you follow this time of focusing on the meditation with a period of stillness, the words will settle in you at a deeper level. Sometimes you may want to return to [the] meditation several times during the day, or work with an especially relevant meditation for several days.

Quieting my mind through my chosen spiritual practice
is the first step toward a more mature compassion.
Like a still lake, my quiet mind allows me to see beyond
the surface of suffering. Deep in the stillness I see that
I cannot fix, or change, or control the suffering around
me. Deep in the stillness I can hold both my intention to
alleviate suffering and my acceptance of it just as it is.

Gail Straub in Circle of Compassion