This Sunday, July 22, at 6 pm Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, Practice Circle will explore the practice of unconditional friendliness towards the self. Amy Balentine will be leading a meditation taught by Pema Chodron. In this straightforward practice, we will be invited to bring a quality of clear seeing and gentleness to our meditation.
As Pema Chodran has written,
Developing unconditional friendship means taking the very scary step of getting to know yourself. It means being willing to look at yourself clearly and to stay with yourself when you want to shut down. It means keeping your heart open when you feel that what you see in yourself is just too embarrassing, too painful, too unpleasant, too hateful.
The hallmark of this training in spiritual warriorship, in the bodhisattva path, is cultivating bravery. With such bravery you could go anywhere on the Earth and be of help to other people because you wouldn’t shut down on them. You would be right there with them for whatever they were going through. But the first step along this path is looking at yourself with a feeling of gentleness and kindness, and it takes a lot of guts to do this. If you’ve tried it, you know how difficult it can be to stay present when you begin to fear what you see.
If you do stay present with what you see when you look at yourself again and again, you begin to develop a deeper friendship with yourself. It’s a complete friendship, because you are not leaving out the parts that are painful to be with….