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Lions Roar : July 2016
the physical sensations in the parts of your body that are touching your chair, your seat, and the ground. When you let your attention settle down in this way, you settle into your somatic home. You are grounded and centered; your mind and energy feel gathered rather than scattered. Once you’ve centered in your body in this way, you can then allow your awareness to spread throughout your whole body— from the belly out through your trunk, to your limbs, toes, and finger-tips, to your chest, shoulders, and all the way up to the top of your head. Feel the wholeness of your body. To experience deeply the joy and upliftedness of your human experience, connect with your heart and recall your basic good- ness. Your essential human worth, dignity, and goodness are invulnerable. Remembering this, breathe down into your heart and feel a sense of warm, loving acceptance radiate out into your entire body. You are fine just as you are, and you don’t have to prove or accomplish anything in order to be fine. Relax- ing into this contentment with your deepest, most fundamental self yields the most satisfying and fundamental joy. Buddhist texts describe how the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and bodily sensations of our everyday experience are filled with qualities that can nourish and invigorate us. To enjoy these, connect with your senses’ pure perception of their objects, which is naturally occurring all the time. Here is a Tibetan Bud- dhist practice to help you connect with the vividness and rich- ness of pure sense perception: 1. Pause for a moment. You could set an alarm to initiate this pause, or perhaps the pause may come to you. Take just a brief break from your thoughts—by doing so you create an opening for something else to happen. 2. Notice. In this gap between your thoughts, something will capture the attention of your senses, like a visual object or even a smell or a sound. A visual object is often the easiest object to begin with, but you can practice with any sense object—sight, sound, smell, taste, or tactile sensation. Simply notice whatever sense perception draws your attention. 3. Open your awareness to it. While letting your thinking mind relax, even for a moment, connect with how your sense fac- ulty is naturally perceiving its object in a pure way. It is free of naming it, judging it, or comparing it to anything else. Feel the impact this pure perception has—it may make you feel warm, tingly, alive, substantial. Let that response spread throughout your body. 4. Let go. Relax, let the experience go, and continue with your day. Do this brief practice regularly and you will begin to experi- ence how each one of your sense experiences, far from being mundane, repetitive, or boring, is actually inexpressibly unique and even delightful. Experience how the basic goodness of sense perceptions brings joy into your life. ♦ LION’S ROAR | JULY 2016 23