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Mindful : April 2015
this is easily overwhelming a nd many people will try to never look into the box anymore. They just try to avoid the box at all costs. Mindfulness—which you could also call loving awareness—g ives us a different approach to work with the content of the box. It helps us to open it up and take what’s in there out into the light. We take the contents of the box out into the open field that mindfulness provides. We turn toward the pain instead of away. We stop either running away or fighting it. We open the door to acceptance in a kind and accessible way. We can now look at each of the three compo- nents of pain separately: The physical sensations are different from the emotions I have about the pain, which is different from the story I tell myself about it. Of course they all intimately influence each other. But once I know that they’re not the same I can start working with them separately → Stay with the sensation in this way as long as you find it helpful. Experiment with softly naming to yourself what you find. Pay particular attention to change over time. Unexam- ined pain often feels like it’s unchanging or always present. Prove that wrong by paying attention. 2 Emotions: What emotions are related to the pain? Work with the most obvious ones but be open to allowing them to shift and change. Feel them in your body and softly name them. Allow them to be here—not because you like them, but because they are here. If you know the practice, work with the RAIN acronym: Recognize Acknowledge Investigate with kindness Non-identify It can be ver y helpful to use the sentence: “This is what anger feels like,” “...what fear feels like,” “...what sadness feels like.” It’s just an emotion that every human being feels at times. It is not who you are. 3 Thoughts or “ the story”: What is the story you are believing right now? That it will never get better? That you won’tbeabletodox?Tobey? To become z? Recognize it as just that: a thought. It’s not who you are and we don’t really care much about the content at this point. We can just let the story be and drop into the background, because we choose a different focus, like the breath. mindful practices insight April 2015 mindful 75 Mindfulness has a home in Los Angeles InsightLA Speaker Series Sharon Salzberg, March 14th Dr. Joe Parent, March 28th Phillip Moffitt, April 25th Tara Brach, May 9th George Mumford, May 30th & 31st Lama Surya Das, June 27th Resting in Loving Awareness 4 Night Residential Retreat April 1st - 5th with Trudy Goodman, InsightLA Guiding Teacher & Beth Sternlieb, Director Buddha’s Path For over 12 years, InsightLA has been one of the premier centers for mindfulness meditation in Southern California. Visit www.insightla.org for more information on classes, special events, retreats and sitting groups. www.insightla.org InsightLA_MindfulAprilIssue.indd 1 1/16/15 11:54 AM