Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 127

Compa ssionate Integrit y Tr a ining A S e cu l a r Ethic s Appr oa c h to C ulti vat ing Pe rs on al, S o ci al and E n vir on me n tal F lo u r i shing Contemplative Journal Questions Skill 7: Empathic Concern Instructions: These journal questions are designed to help reinforce the skills you are learning in CIT. The greatest benefit will come from repeated consideration of these questions over time. They can be used in connection with, or in place of, the Contemplative Practice recordings found on the CIT website. Since space in this book is limited, you may wish to answer these questions in your personal journal. Exercise #2: Sympathetic Joy Start with bringing to mind a resource or focus on the contact of your body with a surface, object or another body part, and allow yourself to notice any neutral or pleasant sensations that arise in your body. 1. Bring to mind someone who is dear to you, such as a close friend, a loved one, or a pet. To bring them to mind more vividly, it may help to write down the individual’s name and a short description of the person. 2. Close your eyes and imagine, in as much detail as possible, something good happening to this person. Describe what you imagine this person is feeling or doing when they experience this joyful event. 3. Write down the thoughts, emotions and sensations you notice as you imagine this good event happening to this person. 4. In reflecting on what you just wrote, were your feelings similar to or different from those of your friend? Explain. 5. What are the benefits of experiencing more sympathetic joy as opposed to jealousy or resentment? 6. Did you gain any insights from today’s journal entries? If so, explain what insights you gained and why they are valuable to you. 7. If you are engaging in concrete steps or practices to increase your sympathetic joy, how has that been progressing or what have you been learning? As you feel ready, you may want to repeat this Contemplative Journal exercise, and replace the loved one with a stranger, and, when you are ready, a difficult person. Ce n t e r for Compa s sion, I n teg r i t y a nd S e cu l ar E t hics | L ife Uni ve rsi t y | M ar ie t ta, G e or g i a - 121 -