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Lions Roar : May 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2012 45 object, like a sound, or a smell, or a physical thing like a flower, a crystal, or a candle flame. The instructions for this meditation are simple: • Just straighten your spine while keeping the rest of your body relaxed. • Take a couple of deep breaths. • Keep your eyes open, though not so intently that your eyes begin to burn or water. You can blink. But just notice yourself blinking. Each blink is an experience of nowness. • Now, let yourself be aware of everything you’re experiencing— sights, sounds, physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions. • Allow yourself to be open to all these experiences. Inevitably, as you begin this exercise, all sorts of thoughts, feelings, and sensations will pass through your experience. This is to be expected. This little exercise is in many ways like starting a weight-training program at the gym. At first you can lift only a few pounds for a few repetitions before your mus- cles get tired. But if you keep at it, gradually you’ll find that you can lift heavier weights and perform more repetitions. Similarly, learning to connect with nowness is a gradual process. At first you might be able to remain open for only a few seconds at a time before thoughts, emotions, and sensa- tions bubble up to the surface and consume your attention. The basic instruction is simply not to chase after these but merely to be aware of everything that passes through your