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Lions Roar : September 2019
It is very important to take the time to savor your own resources of love so they are committed to long-term memory. Use all of your senses and anchor these sensa- tions of goodness in your body and mind as you direct the energy of loving-kindness toward yourself. 2 ATTEND TO YOUR BODY Once we are able to experience the positive sensations of being in touch with our resource, we attend to our body. The first foundation of mindfulness is the body. We love our self by being connected with our body and recogniz- ing the miracle of our body. Find a place where you can slow down without distrac- tion so that you can be aware of the body and the breath with some degree of comfort. Be thorough in your practice of establishing your posture so that your breath is easeful and you can truly be present. Scan your body, feet to crown, bringing your mindful attention to your entire body with kindness. Invite your body to relax and soften, settling the body, sinking into your cushion or chair. Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that this is how we keep our appointment with life. He said, “We stop, we calm, we rest, we heal, and we transform.” Sending this mindful energy of kindness to your body is an act of self-love. 3 OFFER LOVE TO YOUR INNER CHILD Then the invitation is to silently offer these words of guided meditation to yourself: Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out I bring my kind attention to the in-breath I bring my kind attention to the out-breath. Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body, right here Breathing out, I am aware of my whole body, right here Aware of body, here and now Breathing in, I see myself as a five-year-old child, fragile and vulnerable. Breathing out, I smile to myself as a five-year-old child. Breathing in, I am aware that the five-year-old child is in me. Breathing out, I hold this child tenderly. Allow as much time as you would like to experience holding this child that is you. When we first practiced with the little one inside of ourselves, we found it took patience and persistence to connect to the child within. Larry would visualize the child or else he’d visualize a black panther to support his practice. As a kinesthetic learner, Peggy found it helpful to experience the sensation of hold- ing a puppy or kitten. We had to build our relationship and trust by continuing to practice just welcoming this child. Find your own way that helps you to feel solid and at ease. This meditation has helped us to see ourselves as chil- dren and experience the very real vulnerability of human beings. We find that we frequently underestimate our resilience and strength, as well as our fragility and vulner- ability. They are not separate. There is great power and strength in our vulnerability and fragility. Being in touch with vulnerability, while it may not be easy at first, is a powerful opportunity to be in touch with life and our own goodness. In doing so, the hidden divine child within can be healed and strengthened. Larry captures benefits from his practice of honoring the inner child with these lines from a poem he wrote: “I am here now, waking up in the changing room of my soul’s department store. I am becoming what my young self once knew, gazing at stars from the attic window fol- lowing a yellow and green caterpillar on the sidewalks of Cleveland to new worlds.” Blessings on your practice of love. ♦ Healing the wounded inner child within us is the first and most important expression of love an d kindness toward ourselves. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2019 46