Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 94

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 person in our life and a period in our life spanning a few There are additional activities in Naikan that can also be years, such as from birth to age 3 (you can even begin in effective. One is to calculate the total number of hours the womb if you wish to). Then we simply reflect on our primary caregiver(s) spent cooking for us, doing our the three questions and try to answer them: What did laundry and transporting us from place to place. We we receive, what did we give back and what trouble did can spend a few minutes thinking about this and then we cause to that person during that time period? We jotting down the numbers and doing the calculations. should then write down what we remember from that When we have completed this simple process, we may Naikan session. In our next session, we can continue find that our primary caregiver spent thousands of with the same person and move forward chronologically hours for our benefit. When translated into years, this in our life: such as taking the age from 3 to 6 years old. could amount to several years of their life spent doing It may be that we cannot remember much from that these rather mundane chores for us. period, but we should persist patiently. Research on It can be eye-opening to realize how much time and Naikan has shown that the more Naikan sessions we do, the more we will gradually start to remember. 70 Once we have reviewed our entire life from the perspective begin again from the time we first met that person until our familiarity with the process and our ability to do Naikan will have increased. We can then go back and do Naikan on our primary caregiver again. process sincerely, we will likely feel moved to a degree by the care that has been shown to us – care that we of one person, we can then choose a second person and now. Once we have reviewed several people in our lives, energy people have spent on us. If we engage in this previously took for granted. We may begin to realize that without the constant help of family, friends and strangers, we would not be able to lead our lives and be happy. When we recognize this, it may shift our attitude toward genuine gratitude and appreciation. Further- more, we may come to a deeper understanding of how valuable we are in the eyes of others. When we see that value, it may lead us to value our own life more, filling us with a greater self-confidence as well as a desire to make use of our life, in which so much has been invested, to return that kindness by benefiting others and making the most of our opportunities. This can lead to great psychological and physical health benefits. 71 Gratitude for Strangers Those skilled in Naikan can use this method to cultivate gratitude for strangers and even enemies over time. In addition, there are other methods in CIT for extending our gratitude beyond our families and friends. One chief tool is reflecting on interdependence. 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 - 88 -