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Two Practices for Charged Times

Two TreesAs we individually and collectively navigate what it means to take care of ourselves and our communities, I want to share some resources.

Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Christopher Germer of The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion have offered a thoughtful perspective on navigating COVID-19 with compassion (for ourselves and towards others) that includes an accessible meditation. Head here to read.

The practice below comes from one of my colleague’s Dharma Teacher, Amita Schmidt, and her Mental Survival Kit: Orienting Principles. It can be a powerful writing practice, and part of a larger daily practice.

What to do in these changing times:

1) Know your core values/orienting principles. Write them down. 

2) Feel them in your body. Neck down is best. Feel what’s unshakeable in your heart and solar plexus. 

3) Commit to these core values no matter what happens. 

4) Practice them every minute, every hour, every day, even when it’s hard and no one is practicing them. 

5) Stay in the now. Fear needs a future.

6) Train yourself to unblend from your thoughts. The mind is wind energy, and its nature is to spin. You will never settle your mind. Stay clear of your worry thoughts, and remember what’s true at the core of your being. 

7) When you are in your true nature, you manifest 8 principles or 8 C’s (from Internal Family Systems). The 8 C’s are: compassion, calm, curiosity, clarity, connectedness, courage, confidence, creativity. Keep coming back to your core values, or the 8 C’s, no matter what. 

During difficult times, all you have is the “how.” What is going to be your “how?” Use this time as a living meditation retreat, and dedicate what you learn to the benefit of all beings. 

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