Last week I ended my post with three suggestions for me, and for you if they agree with you: Breath deeply as often as I can remember; love everything; and be as kind to myself as I possibly can. My heart is happy when I remember these practices. For many years I’ve been following part of the Dalai Lama’s suggestion of a spiritual practice for everyone: breathing in, I cherish myself, breathing out, I cherish everything else. I remember when I take walks, or go swimming. Here’s where I got it:
I was fortunate enough to see the Dalai Lama speak in Portland about 10-15 years ago. During his visit, an article in the newspaper shared a spiritual practice that he urges us all to incorporate: “You must begin by cherishing yourself,” he said. “All religions teach that you must love yourself first. It is essential to the progress off the world. To cherish oneself is not easy. We are each of us a child of the universe, a child of God. We must cherish the life we are given and cherish the life of others.”
There are four parts to the Dalai Lama’s practice. First, he said, remember that we all want the same thing: to avoid suffering and find happiness. Second, begin each day with five minutes of “compassionate breathing”: “Breathe in cherishing of the self; breathe out cherishing of others” he said. Third, extend that compassion throughout the day. He said “everyone is my teacher.” And finally, no matter what happens, stay in the practice. Be faithful to it even if you don’t see results. “Tell everyone you know about it.”
3 replies to “Breathing out, I cherish everything”
Simple practices are the easiest to remember.
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Thanks for the comment – as I drove home from work today, I was thinking about a blog I want to write, and your comment reminded me to get on it. I heard on the radio today that the average woman is in a bad mood 5 hours a week, which translates to 10 years of her life. The DJ asked a listener: what do you do when you get in a bad mood, and her answer was coffee. Today I felt overwhelmed with work and too much to do, and started to go down that rabbit hole of “poor me” but then remembered how fortunate I am to have access to clean water and a toilet, and to focus on what’s working instead of what feels too much – it helped immediately. Gratitude always helps. That my positive attitude contributes to world peace also really helps me too.