Sunday, January 01, 2006

A cherishing exercise

Here's an exercise recommended by the Dalai Lama:
!. Spend five minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and to be loved) and we are all connected to one another.

2. Spend five minutes breathing in, cherishing yourself; and breathing out, cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.

3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet. Practice cherishing the simplest person (clerks, attendants, etc. as well as the "important" people in your life; cherish the people you love and the people you dislike).

4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.

I like the instruction that if the practice is difficult simply to do it anyway. There's no attempt at providing a magic formula for making it easy. There's no permission to coddle oneself and not do it just because it's hard. If you want peace and serenity, this works.

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