Let’s begin by taking a moment to allow your body to settle into a comfortable position (2 seconds). You may close your eyes or keep them slightly open (2 seconds) allowing the spine to lift, the shoulders to soften (5 seconds).
Today we will practice acknowledging the similarities between ourselves and others (5 seconds).
Often we focus on differences (2 seconds)
but realizing that even a person who seems very different from us is in a fundamental way
just like us can become the basis of real connection (10 seconds).
This can include people we don’t know very well,
people with whom we’re in conflict, or even people that we see as an enemy (5 seconds).
It’s possible to develop a sense of compassion and understanding
by coming to feel our shared sense of experience as human beings (5 seconds).
This practice called “just like me”
can help overcome that sense of difference and distrust
by opening channels of compassion (5 seconds).
Allow yourself to take a deep breath in (2 seconds)
and a long breath out (2 seconds)
and as you breath out allowing a sense of releasing any tension that you are holding in the body (5 seconds).
Briefly scan through your body noticing sensations or emotions (5 seconds).
Inviting a sense of spaciousness and acceptance for whatever you are experiencing right now (10 seconds).
Now bring someone to mind that you don’t know very well
or who might seem different or distant from you (2 seconds)
or even someone that you are in a minor conflict with (2 seconds)
and as you bring this person to mind,
notice if you experience any shift and sensations in your body (15 seconds).
Holding this person in mind as if they were in front of you, say to yourself,
“This person has a body and a mind just like me” (10 seconds)
“This person has feelings, emotions, and thoughts just like me” (10 seconds)
“This person has at some point in his or her life has been sad, disappointed, angry, hurt, or confused, just like me” (10 seconds).
“This person has, in his or her life has experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering, just like me” (10 seconds)
“This person has experienced moments of peace, joy, and happiness, just like me” (10 seconds).
“This person wishes to have fulfilling relationships, just like me” (10 seconds)
“This person wishes to be healthy and loved, just like me” (10 seconds).
Now take a moment to sense how you’re feeling (5 seconds).
As you hold this person in your awareness, what do you experience? (15 seconds)
And now as you hold this person in mind sending them good wishes (2 seconds).
May they be well (2 seconds), may they be happy (10 seconds).
As we move to a close returning your awareness to the breath, breathing in (2 seconds),
breathing out (2 seconds),
present, alive, connected right here (2 seconds),
right now (3 seconds)
*ding* (15 seconds).
Integrated Practice: Think of someone whom you’ll meet today or think of the next person you expect to see today. Take a moment to silently consider how that person is just like you. For example, you may say to yourself, “This person wants to be loved, just like me,” or, “This person wants to do a good job, just like me.”
In what ways does this affect your perceptions of or experience with this person?
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