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Naming the Demons by Jack Kornfield, Learn more at-http://www.themindfulcoach.com/ “In ancient cultures shamans learned that to name that which you feared was a practical way to begin to have power over it.” Often we are ignorant of the names of the powerful inner forces that move through our hearts. Recognizing these forces and giving them a name is a specific and precise way to work with them and develop our understanding. We can begin to name and acknowledge many beautiful states that grace our lives: joy, well-being, peace, love, enthusiasm, kindness. This is a way to honor and nurture them. In the same way, naming the difficulties we encounter brings clarity and understanding and can unlock and free valuable energy bound up in them HOW TO NAME Begin by sitting comfortably, focusing awareness on your breathing. As you feel each breath, carefully acknowledge it with a simple name: "in-breath, out-breath", saying the words silently and softly in the back of your mind. This will help you keep track of the breathing, which gives your thinking mind a way to support awareness rather than wandering off in some other direction. Then as you get quiet and as your skill grows, you can notice and name more precisely, "long breath," "short breath," "tight breath," or "relaxed breath." Let every kind of breath show itself to you. As you continue to develop your meditation, the process of naming can be extended to other experiences as they arise in your awareness. You can name the bodily energies and sensations that come up, such as "tingling," "itching," "hot," or "cold." You can name the feelings, such as fear or delight. You can then extend the naming to sounds and sights, and to thoughts such as "planning" or "remembering." In developing the naming practice, stay focused on your breathing unless a stronger experience arises to interrupt your attention. Then include the stronger experience in the meditation, feeling it fully and naming it softly for as long as it persists— "hearing, hearing, hearing" or "sad, said, sad."` When it passes, return to naming the breath until another strong experience arises. Keep the meditation simple, focusing on one thing at a time. Continue to name whatever is the most prominent in each moment, being aware of the ever-changing stream of your life. At first, sitting still and naming may seem awkward or loud, as if it interferes with your awareness. IMPORTANT: You must practice naming very softly, giving 95 percent of your energy to sensing each experience, and 5 percent to a soft name in the background. When you misuse naming, it will feel like a club, a way to judge and push away and undesirable experience, like shouting at "thinking" or "pain" to make it go away. Sometimes, in the beginning you may also feel confused about what name to use, looking through your inner dictionary in stead of being aware of what is actually present. Remember, the practice is of naming is much simpler than that; it is just a simple acknowledgment of what is present. Soon you will be ready to begin the practice of naming and inquiring directly to the difficulties and hindrances that arise in your life. The five most common difficulties that the Buddha described as chief hindrances to awareness and clarity are grasping and anger, sleepiness and restlessness and doubt. Of course, you will inevitably encounter many other hindrances and demons, and will even create new ones of your own. Sometimes they will besiege you in combinations, which one student called "a multiple hindrances attack." Whatever comes, you'll need to begin to see these basic difficulties clearly as they arise. Respectfully, G Ross Clark Visit- http://www.mbsrtraining.com/
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