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Cambridge Secular Buddhists Message Board › Collective Activity for the week of February 28

Collective Activity for the week of February 28

A former member
Hi Everyone,

Last night we had a wonderful discussion inspired by the collective activity.  Many of us felt that this attitude of allowing awareness is a life-long practice.  In the interest of supporting this courageous investigation of our experience, we decided to continue this activity for one more week.

A key aspect of mindfulness practice is getting to know our experience just as it is. This attitude of looking at our experience is often called bare attention.The collective activity for this week is to entertain the possibility of turning bare attention toward a difficult experience. When you notice that you feel like you are suffering, is it possible to examine the experience with curiosity? What do you notice in your mind? Do you notice a story about your experience? What are you noticing in the body? How is this experience expressing itself in the body?The acronym RAIN may be a support as you experiment with looking at difficult experience:

  • R-Recognize - notice what is arising (fear, hurt, etc.)  Perhaps also notice your attitude toward what is arising.
  • A-Allow - is it possible to “be with it,” to “let it be.”
  • I-Investigate - in a non-analytic way, get to know how the body, heart and mind experiences these energies. You might inquire by asking yourself one or more of the following questions: “What is happening?” “Where am I feeling this in my body?” “What wants attention?” “What wants acceptance?” The “I” is also Intimacy: experiencing difficult sensations and emotions with a direct, gentle, kind attention; and offering compassion to the place of vulnerability.
  • N -Non-identification, or not having your sense of Being defined by, possessed by or linked to any emotion. In other words, not taking it personally! The “N” is also Natural Presence
Please remember that compassion is the constant companion of mindfulness practice. Do not feel that you should immediately engage in all 4 stages of the RAIN inquiry. Maybe it is more wise just to recognize that suffering is happening. When you get comfortable with recognizing suffering, then see if it is possible to allow the experience. Please do not dwell in an experience that becomes too much.

Warm wishes,

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