I Heard it Like This…
Reflections of an inspired talk by Buddhist teacher Joan Halifax.
TEN STEPS ON THE PATH OF SELF AWARENESS
There are ten steps we all can take to enlarge our self awareness. These steps are like strings on an instrument or notes on a piano. We can practice them separately but when played together, we can make beautiful music.
(if you prefer to listen & meditate – there is approx. 30 seconds of silence after the bell, before Alan speaks again; but you can fast-forward if you don’t wish to meditate)
The second step is AFFECT. What kind of affect? Affect that has a bias toward pro social emotions such as kindness, understanding, joy, and curiosity. These are the positive emotions that warm us in pleasurable feelings and attract similar energies in others. These are not false or forced feelings, though they can be. Self awareness allows for choice and the choice to be curious, kind, understanding and joyful in the face of rigid certainty, meanness, confusion, and hatred is one of the most difficult we can make.
A choice for these positive emotions does not make us delusional or oppressively cheerful. Rather it deepens our self awareness and becomes a deliberate practice. When we practice putting forward pro social emotions in the face of pessimism or hostility or demonstrate curiosity and kindness facing head winds of destructive sentiment, then we are truly on a path toward wisdom.