"Perfect concentration on the heart, reveals the contents of the mind." ~ PYS 3.34
Step 1: Look More Closely
Please allow yourself some time to investigate your heart here.
Please allow yourself some time to investigate your breath here.
Even more helpful, please pay close attention to what your heart is doing and how it makes you feel.
When you notice the spontaneous feeling of joy, happiness, generosity and other similar states please soak in these moments and record the physical cues of the feelings. Write or draw these experiences.
When you notice your heart shrinking, protecting, defending, judging and exploring other similar states, do not change the channel right away, gather some real data about the consequences, then if desirable, deliberately make a shift, noticing the resistances, noticing what has to be given up and the eventual results. Write or draw these experiences.
Perhaps, use the free lessons in Season 1 of Heartful to help you practice the Loving-kindness technique.
If wanting to dive in deeper to your inner workings, explore the practices in Season 1 of Inner Workings. (Requires a subscription to Yoga Anytime. Use code WELCOME for 30 days free.) If you start to get more curious about the subtle body, let these resources assist in your own exploration.
Step 2: Understand the Mechanics of Habit
Please allow yourself to engage a little with how habit works here.
If helpful, allow yourself to explore the heart habits that you want to change. What are the cues and rewards that correspond.
If interested in exploring the topic of morality and how normal it is for us to lie to others and ourselves, dive into some of the resources here.
Continue to practice Loving-kindness and use the lessons in Season 2 of Heartful to help you practice Compassion.
Begin to notice what cues help you remember to practice Loving-kindness and Compassion. Begin to notice what happens when you choose not to.
Step 3: Increase Your Capacity for the Connection
Continue to play with the Loving-kindness and Compassion Meditations noticing the effect of the different stages.
Every time someone comes to mind, see if you can find one of the stages of either Loving Kindness or Compassion, depending on which is the correct offering. If the mental race horses take off, see if you can let them go and drop back into your body, heart and hands with the meditations.
If you are curious, read Atisha's Lojong Root Verses for Training the Mind. You can read a brief description of the history of them here. And each one links to a short blog post describing the verse in greater detail as shared by my teacher, Jetsumna Tenzin Palmo.
STEP 4: Stay Intimate
As situations arise in your life and the life of the planet, allow your heart to discover who or what is suffering most in the situation. Perhaps just practice increasing your capacity for being with the suffering, allowing for the resonance in your heart. Perhaps engage in the practice of Tonglen. Let your practice transform overwhelming gigantic situations to become more intimate and manageable. Your engagement can be short and swift, just enough to soften the temptation of separation.
As you feel ready and inspired, share these teachings with others.