This “homework assignment” suggested by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is part of the free, yearlong online program, A Year of Body, Speech & Mind
Throughout the Month of the Mind (December 17, 2021 – January 15, 2022), as a formal practice, try to set aside a few minutes each morning to sit and listen to the guided meditation of “Finding Serenity Through Spaciousness” — the meditation begins at 29:43 at this link. Or, follow the text of the self-guided meditation at this link.
As an informal practice, throughout your day take as many opportunities as possible to cultivate a sense of warmth and compassion in your heart. For example:
- Be aware of any effortless actions that come spontaneously from a sense of heart connection. Catch those moments when your eyes meet someone else’s in a warm way, when you say a kind word to someone, or when you find yourself engaging in an action that is kind and supportive to someone. Use the moment as a reminder to draw attention to that sense of boundless space and genuine warmth in your heart.
- If you don’t notice spontaneous actions like these, you can simply take moments throughout the day to bring attention to any sense of warm, caring, compassionate connection you might feel in your heart toward your loved ones, friends, neighbors, or even strangers.
- At the very least, throughout the day if you notice you’re feeling stressed, angry, sad, or distracted, instead draining yourself further by acting negatively, take a moment to bring attention to your heart. Be still in your body and silent in your speech, and host your pain in the spaciousness of your heart with a gentle sense of care, compassion, and connection.
Whether a sense of warmth and compassion in your heart comes spontaneously or involves some effort will depend on what you are feeling at any given time and what personal challenges you are facing. Try to find moments three or more times a day to cultivate this warmth, and to allow any actions or decisions to come from that space. Importantly, give space to any pain or fear, and try not to act on it right away. .