Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Five-fingered peace

I've just found a marvelous little book called Five Good Minutes by Jeffrey Brantley and Wendy Millstine. It's subtitled, "100 morning practices to help you stay calm & focused all day long." Here's one of the exercises:
With a little practice, in just five minutes you can induce a highly effective relaxation technique using just your hand. Follow the steps below to guide yourself to a centered, focused state of awareness.

1. Touching your thumb to your index finger, travel back to a time when you felt a healthy exhaustion after exerting yourself physically, such as cleaning house, mowing the lawn, or biking.

2. Touching your thumb to your middle finger, travel back in time to a loving exchange with someone special, such as a devoted love letter, a tantalizing sexual experience, or a heart-expansive conversation.

3. Touching your thumb to your ring finger, try to recollect the most caring gesture you have ever received. Take this opportunity to truly accept this gift.

4. Touching your thumb to your little finger, travel back to the most magnificent place that you've seen or dreamed about. Take this moment to absorb all the beauty that surrounds you.

This five-finger relaxation is your ticket to building inner strength, harmony, and a sense of ease.

It also strikes me that it is a good exercise for cultivating gratitude.

I've been telling the Foundations classes for years that if you faithfully and consistently do five minutes of meditation a day, it will change your life. I'm delighted to find a book that makes the same point and that gives a variety of awareness exercises (besides just tranquility meditation) for what to do during those five minutes.

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