For an introduction to STOP PRACTICES see Kit’s blog-STARTING TO STOP.
This practical reminder helps us to stop being wrapped up in our own needs and desires.
It’s an exercise in unselfishness: since, like our bodies, such things improve by regular use.
It involves stopping to call someone to mind.
It could be more than one person; perhaps a family, household, establishment, community or town. It could even be a whole nation or race.
It could be a person or people you’re feeling estranged from. Someone you have difficulty liking or getting along with. Someone perhaps who is causing you problems.
The practice can change how you feel about them, and help how you respond the next time you meet.
It could be a person or people for whom the day is significant. Perhaps a day of celebration or particular challenge. Perhaps they’re sick or just having a hard time.
To effect these stops, the practice uses the Red Dot method:
Put a dot on the palm of your hand with indelible ink. Whenever you notice the dot, pause for a few breaths.
The dot could be on either palm… try it both ways. Seeing one palm too frequently may not help the practice – it’s for you to decide.
The dot can be any colour; I use red because of its association with traffic lights.
It’s helpful to decide the subject/subjects of your practice beforehand.
This allows you to proceed without too much extra thinking.
Read the practice through a few times, perhaps before sleeping and again in the morning, with a view to practising it over the coming day.
Soak up what you remember and make it your own.
When you notice the dot, pause from action for a few breaths.
Drop the shoulders. Relax the face and back of neck.
Notice your breath. Let your exhales soften and your inhales deepen.
Call an image of your subject/subjects to your mind’s eye. Imagine looking down upon them from the sky.
You might even picture them clearly in a particular location if you know what they’re doing at that time.
Say their name in your head or voice it softly.
Take some deep and easy breaths.
Imagine a white healing light all around you.
As with love and compassion, the light is inexhaustible… not like some commodity which when used up is then unavailable. It existed before humanity and will remain afterwards. If we’re lucky we can have it and use it.
Draw in the light through your breath and your skin.
Feel it soak into every space, molecule and atom.
Feel that the light is enlivening you.
Now direct it to them.
Imagine them healed by the light. Imagine it guiding and helping their day.
Along with the light, send well wishes and good intentions.
You too have experienced this healing power of light.
Become aware of your surroundings. Feel yourself firmly rooted in your landscape.
Look around. Notice sounds.
And when you’re ready, resume action and move on.
OTHER STOP PRACTICES