Resting in open awareness

Resting in open awareness

The practice of resting in open awareness teaches us to become conscious of witnessing all experiences that arise without becoming entangled or lost in them. Jack Kornfield calls this witnessing quality becoming “the one who knows”. It allows us to recognize our experience and then to respond wisely rather than being caught up or reacting to it, no matter what happened.
It allows us to stop identifying with our experiences and identities. We realize that we are this witnessing consciousness that can hold all our experiences.

Article on Self-Compassion (Part 2)

Article on Self-Compassion (Part 2)

This article starts with reviewing the three components of self-compassion, before presenting a few simple self-compassion practices that you can do in your day-to-day life when you encounter a difficult situation. To conclude, it exposes some of the misgivings around self-compassion in order to illustrate the actual benefits of this practice. This is based on the extensive work of Kristin Neff in the field of self-compassion.

Article on Self-compassion (part 1)

Article on Self-compassion (part 1)

Self-compassion teaches us to recognize and accept our suffering when we are going through a difficult time; it reminds us that suffering and imperfection are part of the shared human experience; and it teaches us to treat ourselves with kindness and care in response. This allows us to hold ourselves in love and connection, giving ourselves the support and comfort needed to bear the pain, while providing the optimal conditions for growth and transformation.

Mindfulness of strong sensations

Mindfulness of strong sensations

This article explores how mindfulness practices can help us work with strong sensations and pain. We will start with investigating our habitual reaction to unpleasant sensations or pain, and how this creates more suffering. This will lead us to explore how mindfulness can help us shift to a more skillful response to unpleasant sensations, which involves relating to them differently.

Bringing lovingkindness to the body

Bringing lovingkindness to the body

Last week we explored the practice of loving kindness for ourselves, and the blocks that we might experience with this practice. Today I would like to continue with an exploration of the practice of loving kindness for our body. Many of us tend to be disconnected from our bodies, and at times even hostile to our bodies. We are used to taking refuge in our mental control tower. The meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg reminds us of the healing power of re-connecting in a loving way with our body: “There is something profoundly healing about re-engaging with our bodies, remembering and re-joining who we are. Just as we need to integrate our emotions in order to love ourselves more fully, so, too, do we need to be reunited with our bodies.”

Finding happiness in the midst of life’s difficulties (part 5): Cultivating an attitude of unconditional friendliness towards oneself

Finding happiness in the midst of life’s difficulties (part 5): Cultivating an attitude of unconditional friendliness towards oneself

This article explores the practice of lovingkindness for oneself, and the possible blocks to cultivating friendliness towards oneself. We are born ready to love and be loved, it is innate, wired into our nervous system. The meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg reminds us that loving kindness meditation for ourselves is a powerful way to deepen our inner strength. “If we grow a strong sense of self-respect within ourselves, it will allow us to draw boundaries, respond to unfair treatment and join with others in a sense of common cause”.

Finding happiness in the midst of life’s difficulties (part 4): the practice of lovingkindness

Finding happiness in the midst of life’s difficulties (part 4): the practice of lovingkindness

The practice of loving kindness is an intentional practice to open and awaken our heart and grow feelings of caring and warmth, first towards ourselves, then towards others, and to the whole of life. Today, we will explore how seeing the goodness in ourselves and people around us supports our lovingkindness practice. “when we treat others around us with respect and dignity, honoring their inner beauty, it creates a channel for their own goodness to come through and shine.”

Cultivating happiness in the midst of difficulty (Part 2): the practice of gratitude

Cultivating happiness in the midst of difficulty (Part 2): the practice of gratitude

The meditation teacher Jack Kornfield defines gratitude as “beginning to sense the delight and the mystery of being alive and supported in all the unseen ways of life.” In this article we will explore further what gratitude actually is, why it is beneficial to develop feelings of gratitude, what gets in the way of us feeling grateful, and practices that help us deepen our gratitude.

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