Thursday, November 5, 2009

Homework, Week Two -- Perfect Just As You Are

Part One: Make a list of those for whom you naturally feel compassion. In other words, someone who is suffering, and your heart opens to them. It can be categories of people or animals, such as laboratory animals.

Part Two: Each day do the lovingkindness practice in two steps: for the person whom you naturally already feel love toward, and for yourself. Start with a short sit to calm the mind, then do the practice for 10 or 15 minutes. You can do it on the spot as well. The essential instruction is to wish, "May they have happiness and the root of happiness." There are four stages of this:

• Contact with the lovingkindness you already feel.
• Encourage it by saying the aspiration.
• Notice what arises.
• Expand to a larger and larger circle of beings.

Part Three: Choose two days this week in which you intentionally do something kind. It can be just one kind thing. On that same day, notice kindness coming toward you.

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