Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 48

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 Stability and Clarity The purpose of these practices is to cultivate certain to revivify our mind, open our eyes and bring capacities of the mind. With each practice that we greater clarity to our practice. engage in during CIT, we can ask ourselves, “What is it that we are trying to cultivate here?” In the focused attention practice, we are trying to cultivate stability and clarity. Stability is the ability for the mind to stay and remain where we focus it (i.e., our breath or any other object). The opposite of stability is distraction. In addition, we are cultivating clarity. If we are going to engage in a task, we want our mind to be clear with a sense of brightness, vividness and awareness. It is possible to cultivate stability, but lose clarity. Each time we lose our object of focus or get distracted, and then bring our mind back to the object of focus, it is like we are strengthening the muscle of attention in our mind. This action is similar to going to the gym and doing pushups or pullups. We needn’t feel distressed that we got distracted, just as we don’t need to worry when we lower a weight; instead, we just need to lift that weight back up and build the muscle. So each moment of losing our attention is an opportunity to bring the mind back and strengthen This could happen if we are engaging in a practice and become very focused on your object. At the same our muscle of attention. time, we start to become lethargic and sleepy. The focused attention practice becomes the very Sometimes this will result in actually nodding foundation of our ability to have ethical mindfulness off, slumping or drooling. These are signs that we by enabling us to stay more present, have more are lacking clarity of mind. In that case, we need mindfulness (in terms of remembering values), and be more aware of our actions and speech. 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 - 42 -