Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Resilience: Reading for April 17th NVMG meeting
Next Wednesday we will explore the idea of cultivating resilience as described in the 4th step of James Baraz’s book Awakening Joy. The reading for our discussion can be downloaded by clicking on the link below. Please print out a copy and bring it with yon on Wednesday.
One of the key steps to living a joyful life is to learn to become resilience during difficult times. Rather than resisting the suffering and discomfort that comes into our lives, we can learn to let the pain of life’s inevitable challenges move through us. The trick is to not become stuck in our strong negative emotions that may arise, but to recognize them for what they are, remain present with the feelings without self judgment, and then slowly let the feelings go.
One mindfulness technique we can use to help us with this process, whether on the meditation cushion or in real life, has been given the acronym R.A.I.N. The letters represent a set of steps to follow when we are in the midst of strong emotions:
1. Recognize what you are feeling and name it, e.g. anger, fear, sadness, confusion
2. Allow the feelings to be present, without pushing them away and without getting lost in them. See if you can observe them as something outside of your true consciousness.
3. Investigate the feelings in your body and mind. Explore the landscape of your emotions with curiosity and interest. Where is your body do you feel it? How does it feel in your mind – heavy, tight, open agitated?
4. Non-identify from the feelings. Don’t take them personally. Become aware that what we are feeling is a human emotion that arises and passes away. It does not define who you are.
There are several other techniques describe in the 4th step that you may wish to explore that provide valuable insights to dealing with strong emotion in difficult times. You can obtain a copy of the entire 4th step by clicking on the following link.
See you on Wednesday.