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Mindful : August 2015
reaction on it. Other ways to talk about this are “doing nothing extra,” “not reacting,” “letting the situation reveal itself,” and “welcoming your experience.” This simple step of entering is the hardest to do—but if we miss it we start off on the wrong foot. We can probably think of a number of times we’ve been reactive and jumped to the wrong conclusion. In organizational life, with the pressures of the bottom line and the need to look competent, we waste a huge amount of time and effort because we rarely find the space to see habitual assumptions at the beginning of initiatives. In military terms, this is the “shoot- first-and-ask-questions-later” or the “ready-fire- aim” syndrome. When you do nothing at the troubled office but display patient interest, there’s a group exhalation, and the atmosphere calms down. EXPLORING Having entered the situation and opened your eyes and ears and cleared your mind, you now need to get to the root of the problem or figure out a way forward. The main obstacle to exploring challenging situations is the difficulty in looking openly and honestly for fear of what we’ll see and what it may demand of us. As with entering, exploring demands open- ness—we need to allow all relevant information in. The key is to explore with genuine curiosity. That curiosity is natural to us. It is present in mindfulness practice when we feel relaxed. It’s a spontaneous sense of interest and friendliness toward whatever arises in our experience. With- out some of that inquisitiveness, our inquiry becomes just ticking off preconceived boxes— we’re going to miss a lot. There are at least four significant ways to explore a situation—through reductive analysis, systemic analysis, body intuition, and pattern In challenging situations, we must look openly and honestly at the problem at hand—despite our fear of what we’ll see. 74 mindful August 2015 insight practices Cognitively-Based Compassion Training WITH GESHE LOBSANG TENZIN NEGI, PhD Rooted in the Tibetan Buddhist lojong or “mind-training” tradition, Cognitively-Based Compassion Training ( ) was developed at Emor y University by Dr. Negi. One of North America’s leading programs in compassion of compassion suitable for those of any—or no—faith tradition. It has been used in diverse settings with students, professionals, and v ulnerable populations, and is supported by a substantial body of research. workers, medical and mental health professionals, and others wishing to build resilienc y, improve relationships, and/or simply foster this universal human value in self information about how to register. Spring 2016 February 20–21 and March19–20 Atlanta, Georgia tibet.emory.edu