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Hello, welcome to Session 2 Home Practice.


AFFECTIONATE BREATHING MEDITATION



SOLES OF THE FEET

 This is an effective way to anchor your awareness in the present moment, in body sensation, especially when you’re upset and can’t calm yourself down.

Stand up and feel the soles of your feet on the floor.  Rock forward and back a little, and side to side.  Make little circles with your knees, feeling the changes of sensation in the soles of your feet.

When you notice your mind has wandered, just feeling the soles of your feet again.


If you wish, you can begin to walk slowly, noticing the changing sensations in the soles of your feet.  Noticing the sensation of lifting a foot, stepping forward, and the placing the foot on the floor. Doing the same with both feet as you walk.
As you walk, perhaps also noticing for a moment how small the surface area of your feet is, and how hard your feet work to keep your body off the ground.  See if you can notice that with appreciation or gratitude.

When you are ready, returning to standing.

       Adapted from Singh et al, 2003

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POEM


UNCONDITIONAL by Jennifer Welwood


Willing to experience aloneness,

I discover connection everywhere;


Turning to face my fear

I meet the warrior who lives within;


Opening to my loss

I gain the embrace of the universe;


Surrendering into emptiness

I find fullness without end


Each condition I flee from pursues me

Each condition I welcome transforms me


And becomes itself transformed

Into its radiant jewel-like essence



 MINDFULNESS IN DAILY LIFE

 Mindfulness can be practiced every moment of the day—while you brush your teeth, while you walk from the parking garage to work, when you eat your breakfast, or whenever your cell phone rings.

Pick an ordinary activity. You might choose drinking your cup of coffee in the morning, brushing your teeth, or taking a shower. If you wish, select an activity that occurs early in the day before your attention is pulled in many directions.

Choose one sensory experience to explore in the activity, such as the sensation of taste as you drink your coffee or the sensation of water touching your body while showering. 

Immerse yourself in the experience, savoring it to the fullest.  Return your mind to the sensations again and again when you notice it has wandered away.


Bring gentle, friendly awareness to the activity until it has been completed.

 

 
SELF-COMPASSION IN DAILY LIFE

The goal of the MSC program is to be mindful and self-compassionate in daily life.  That means to (1) know when you’re under stress or suffering (mindfulness) and (2) to respond with care and kindness (self-compassion).  The simplest approach is to discover how you already care for yourself, and then remind yourself to do those things when your life becomes difficult. 

PHYSICALLY – soften the body

How do you care for yourself physically (e.g., exercise, massage, warm bath, cup of tea)?  

Can you think of new ways to release the tension and stress that builds up in your body?

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 MENTALLY – reduce agitation

How do you care for your mind, especially when you’re under stress (e.g., meditation, watch a funny movie, read an inspiring book)?

Is there a new strategy you’d like to try to let your thoughts come and go more easily?

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EMOTIONALLY – soothe and comfort yourself

How do you care for yourself emotionally (pet the dog, journal, cook)?

Is there something new you’d like to try?

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RELATIONALLY – connect with others

How or when do you relate to others that brings you genuine happiness (e.g., meet with friends, send a birthday card, play a game)?

Is there any way that you’d like to enrich these connections?

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SPIRITUALLY – commit to your values

What do you do to care for yourself spiritually (pray, walk in the woods, help others)?

If you’ve been neglecting your spiritual side, is there anything you’d like to remember to do?

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HERE-AND-NOW STONE

 Please find a stone that you find especially attractive that you can also keep in your pocket.  Then try the following exercise:

Start by carefully examining your stone. Noticing the colors, the angles, and the way the light plays on the curves of your stone. Allowing yourself to enjoy the sight of the stone.
Now, closing your eyes and exploring the stone with your sense of touch.  Is it smooth or rough?  What is its temperature?
Opening your eyes again and letting yourself become absorbed in your stone, pouring yourself into the experience of handling this beautiful stone.
Allowing yourself to experience your stone with all your senses.
Noticing that when you are focused on your stone, with appreciation, there is little room for regret or worry, for the past or the future.  You are “at home” in the present moment.

 Going forward, feel free to keep your stone in your pocket, and whenever you feel swept up in emotion, just rub your stone with your fingers.  Feel the sensation of touching your stone.  Enjoy it.  Come home to the present moment.

 


 

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MSC Week 5          MSC Week 6          MSC Week 7          MSC Week 8

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