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Lions Roar : July 2015
ANGER DOESN’T COME UP unex- pectedly or all at once. Usually, we accumulate a lot of little hurts or annoy- ances, but we don’t express them until they become so big we explode. To stop things from reaching that point we can use a communication practice called beginning anew. You can practice beginning anew with just one other person or with your whole family. To begin, set aside a regu- lar, agreed-upon 30 minutes and choose a space where you and the other person or people will be comfortable and not rushed. If you set aside time to commu- nicate in this way each week, then when there is hurt or anger, you can resolve it much more quickly and easily. The practice of beginning anew has four parts: Step 1: Flower Watering Sit together silently for a few moments and follow the breath to calm body and mind. Then start the first step, which is to show appreciation for the other person. This is called flower watering. One per- son at a time speaks while the others just listen and continue to breathe. Sometimes we really appreciate some- one, but we keep it inside. Then when we disagree about something and speak out, that person thinks we don’t appreci- ate them. Make sure you express some- thing genuine that you truly appreciate about each person, something specific. Genuine flower watering will keep your HEART & MIND Let’s Talk Honest, loving communication is the key to healthy relationships. SISTER CHAN KHONG offers a four-part practice for skillfully sharing our thoughts and feelings with each other. KIMROSEN SISTER CHAN KHONG is Thich Nhat Hanh’s closest collaborator. Her new book is Beginning Anew: Four Steps to Restoring Communication (Parallax). SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2015 21 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE