So far we have been putting a lot of time and effort into becoming aware of our limiting aspects. How do we try to escape the moment? When do we rush? What are the tricks of our ego?

These are important things to be aware of but it is also equally important not to dwell on them. Simply to be able to recognize them when they are happening is enough. 

Today try practicing Thich Nhat Hanh’s concept of nourishing yourself with mindfulness. 

The Technique

There are a lot of things we withhold from ourselves until we meet our own mental standards. The biggest of these things that we hold back is self love. We are unwilling to love ourselves until that person in the mirror is more attractive, until we have a dreamy boyfriend/girlfriend, until we have more money or a better job, or until we have some hot new threads. 

But nothing changes inwardly when those things happen. The joy and relief we feel when we get what we desire is nothing more than the release we haven’t been permitting ourselves to have. 

Nourishing yourself with mindfulness is the technique for allowing yourself to feel as much peace and joy and love as possible in this moment. Mindfulness fosters an appreciation for wholeness and aliveness as opposed to focusing on specific forms. 

The practice

Take time to sit somewhere you love. It could be beneath a tree, by the ocean, or in your bedroom. 

When we have a pain, for example, in our foot then we want that pain to leave. When it leaves, we feel relief. But if there were no pain in the first place, no relief is appreciated. We do not appreciate the time that we do not feel these things. 

Having two working eyes, ears that aren’t clogged, nostrils that aren’t congested, lungs that breathe easily, so many things are here to be appreciated. 

Sit comfortably and rest your attention on your breath. 

Mentally repeat inwardly with each inhale/exhale:

“Breathing in, I am aware of [body part],

Breathing out, I smile to [body part].”

Do this with whatever parts of your body you wish. Or start with your feet and work your way up. Give yourself some love. 

Then switch to:

“Breathing in, I am aware of my body. 

Breathing out, I smile to my body.”

And do that for another few minutes. When your body feels full, relaxed, and happy, move onto this final part. 

“Breathing in, I feel joyful.

Breathing out, I feel joyful.”

Go slowly with this technique and relish it. Savor the moments of mindfulness in which you permit yourself unrestrained love and peace without any judgement.

Feel free to substitute or alter any of these for words or things that you feel in touch with. Joyful can easily be changed to happiness, peace, or love. 

Namaste, sangha. :)

1 year ago
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