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Lions Roar : July 2019
mindful presence. We learn to sense our emotional human capacities fully with- out being unconsciously driven by them and overwhelmed. Let’s give it a try. Recognize Ask yourself, “What’s happening right now?” Simply recognize the thoughts, emo- tions, and feelings that are arising. Tune in to the flow of sensations moving through your experience. Aim to rest attention steadily on the sensations of being alive in this body, here in this moment. Breathe. As Sharon Salzberg says, “A moment of mindfulness is a moment of freedom.” By recognizing this moment, you’re already on your way to deeper inner freedom. Accept We can like it or not, but regardless of our preferences the stream of conscious- ness is out of our control. Thoughts, sen- sations, and emotions all arise and pass like the weather. Incline toward accepting what is happening right now. Gently allow your breath to move through your body at whatever rhythm and depth feels natural. As you gently rest your attention with the whole of your bodily experience, see if you can soften ever so slightly into it. Accepting and allowing can be dif- ficult. Invite an equanimity or stability of heart to arise along with any intensity. Investigate Let’s invite the energy of curiosity to support seeing clearly. What thoughts, if any, are on repeat? The vibrations of thinking are mirrored in our bodies. Sense the energy vibrations behind pat- terns of thinking. Gently rest your atten- tion on the sensations in the area of the body that’s most predominant in your experience. What does this feel like? Is it unpleasant, pleasant, or neutral? Does it have a color? Texture? How big is it? Does it want to change shape or get smaller or bigger? Does it need to say anything? Nonidentify Remembering to stay in connection with the direct sensations in the body, drop all analytical investigation, and rest with the flow of experience. Notice if there is a story that’s hard to set aside. If we’re addicted to a story, there will be clinging and/or grasp- ing movements in the mind. Nonidentify- ing with the story and resting in the flow of experience enables more spaciousness, awareness, and unwinding from automatic reaction. This gives you access to the back- drop of experience—the steady sky behind the clouds that stretches on to eternity— and this brings freedom, here and now. We can learn to use RAIN to work with our emotions so that they tenderize our minds and hearts allowing us to be with the flow of experience rather than being lost in fragments of it—the passing thoughts, feelings, and sensations that leave us out of touch with wholeness. This is difficult yet important work on the quest for self-knowledge. May we all learn to traverse the emotional landscapes of our own experiences with stillness. ♦ LION’S ROAR | JULY 2019 28 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE