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The Practice of Compassionate Abiding

August 1, 2012

When Things Fall Apart
A question that has intrigued me for years is this: how can we start exactly where we are, with all our entanglements, and still develop unconditional acceptance of ourselves instead of guilt and depression? One of the most helpful methods I’ve found is the practice of compassionate abiding. The next time you realize that you’re hooked, you could experiment with this approach.

Contacting the experience of being hooked, you breathe in, allowing the feeling completely and opening to it. The in-breath can be deep and relaxed—anything that helps you to let the feeling be there, anything that helps you not push it away. Then, still abiding with the urge and edginess of the feeling, as you breathe out you relax and give the feeling space. The out-breath is not a way of sending the discomfort away but of ventilating it, of loosening the tension around it, of becoming aware of the space in which the discomfort is occurring.


Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears, Shambhala Library edition, page 88.


This post was posted in Pema Chödrön

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