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Lions Roar : May 2019
is an Eastern practice. The two come together in hugging meditation. I think it’s a good combination. For Bud- dhist practice to be rooted in the West, new dharma doors should be opened. I think hugging meditation can be considered one of these doors. The practice of mindful hugging has helped so many people to reconcile with each other. When we hug, our hearts con- nect and we know that we are not separate beings. It’s a pleasure to hug someone we love. But don’t think it’s something easy. Maybe we want to hug the other person, but they aren’t available—they’re caught in their anger, worries, or projects. Hug- ging is a deep practice and both people need to be completely present to do it correctly. That’s why it’s not always easy. So, we have to learn how. Hugging meditation is a chance to practice our awareness of imperma- nence. Each time we hug, we know it may be the last time. Our deep awareness of the impermanent nature of things inspires us to be very mindful, and we naturally hug each other in a deep, authentic way, appreciating each other completely. This can be a good medita- tion to practice when you are angry with each other. Close your eyes and practice breath- ing in and out to bring your insight of impermanence to life. Visualize yourself and your loved one three hundred years from now. Where will you be? In that moment, you know the only meaningful thing to do is to open your arms and hug the other person. Step One The first thing to do is to make yourself available. Breathe in and out, and come back to the present moment, so you are really there. Then go to the person you want to hug and bow to them. If they have practiced mindfulness, then they will do their best to abandon the things that are possessing them and make them- selves available to you. They will smile LION’S ROAR | MAY 2019 28