Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 132

Compa ssionate Integrit y Tr a ining A S e cu l a r Ethic s A ppr oac 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 8: Compassion 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. Seeing Suffering on a Deeper Level 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. Write down the name of one of the people you journaled about in the Empathic Concern skill. 2. List at least three ways this person has benefited you or others. 3. As you think about all the ways this person has benefited you and others, describe your feelings for this person. 4. Close your eyes and bring to mind whatever difficulties this person may be facing, faced in the past, or might face in the future. After you have done that, take a moment to think about what this person would really want more than anything else. Then imagine yourself giving them, or making it possible for them to receive, whatever it is they truly desire and feel would make them happy. If it is helpful, you can imagine sending white light from your body that envelops them and that symbolizes your compassion for them. After you have done this, note down how this makes you feel. 5. Recall the fact that every moment of every day we are supported by a vast network of people we know and do not know. Recognize that no matter our social status or economic privilege, we are all vulnerable to present and future problems. We all experience all manners of suffering, aging, illness, separation from loved ones, stress, worries, anxiety, physical and mental illnesses, and disappointments. Contemplate on how others, like your loved one, deeply wish for happiness. After doing this, note down any observations you have about your feelings or thoughts. 6. Did you gain any insights from today’s journal entries? If so, explain what insights you gained and why they are valuable. 7. If you are engaging in concrete steps or practices to increase your compassion, how has that been progressing or what have you been learning? Ce n t e r for Compa s sion , I nteg r i t y and 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 - 126 -