Updated: Feb 26
As a follow-up to what was covered in the second talk of this seminar series, you can try the following exercises on your own:
The RAIN of self-compassion
Tara Brach leads a very helpful guided practice which she calls the RAIN of self-compassion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm1t5FyK5Ek
Here the acronym RAIN stands for:
Welcoming prayer / practice
Cynthia Bourgeault gives an excellent teaching on this practice, which you can find at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bClyhR2ZPc You can try the practice for yourself:
Find somewhere to sit where you are comfortable and relaxed. Gently focus on your breathing for a while, and allow yourself to become still.
Become aware of what is happening in your emotions and your body:
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment because I know it is for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations and conditions.
I let go of my desire for security.
I let go of my desire for approval.
I let go of my desire for control.
I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and the healing action and grace within.
o Think of a typical scenario in your life where you feel strong inner resistance. Bring this scenario to mind, and feel the inner constriction that it brings in your body.
o Clench your fists tightly, as a symbol of this inner clenching
o Now gradually release your fists, and open your hands in a gesture of receptivity and softening.
o Allow your inner clenchedness to soften at the same time.
o Become aware of your breathing and the open space that you are now in.
Saying yes to the present moment
Eckhart Tolle gives a helpful talk that encourages one to say "yes" to the present moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y3042e1yYs
Mindful awareness of your emotions
● Notice when something emotional happening inside of you, such as a clench of anxiety, irritability or anger, or a despairing / down feeling.
● Start with noticing the thought stream or story-line that has been fueling the emotion, and try to shift your attention away from that to the deeper level of experience.
● Try to name the emotion, and tell it that you welcome it, no matter how hard it feels. You could try the exercise of bowing to it.
● Now even let go of the name of it, and try to locate where in your body you are feeling it.
Bring your curiosity to this feeling, and really experience the sensations of it in your body.