SadhanaOriental meditation and christian prayer

Other ways of praying

【14】Reflecting on our past as it is

 This exercise helps us look at our true self and live based on it.
 In this exercise, we reflect on and observe our actual experience.
 We do so in a very careful and characteristic manner.  It is characteristic in a way that we do not make any judgment on our behavior, such as “I did it well,” “I regret I failed,” “Why did I make that mistake?” or “All's well that ends well.”  Instead, we simply observe our past experience objectively.
 We recall all our memories and look at them very carefully.  Therefore, we do this by “recalling memory and reproducing it in our mind.”  This exercise also includes what we felt through five senses, feelings in our heart, and thoughts in our mind relating to our words and deeds.  We look at them as if we watch a videotape.
 What kind of past should we reflect on?
 We do not have to choose special experience for this exercise.
If you are a man who is working for a company, you could do this exercise after coming home and finishing supper.  You could choose the period between the time when you finished your job at office and the time when you finished having supper.
Now, let’s do this exercise using the above example.
 The chosen period is relatively long.  So, we take a creative approach by dividing the two- or three-hour time zone into five or six blocks.  Here is how we do it:
 We divide the time zone starting with the time closer to the present time.  We could divide in the following way: (1) Started having dinner – finished having dinner, (2) came home – started having dinner, (3) arrived train station near home – came home, (4) got on train – got off train, (5) left office – got on train at train station close to office, and (6) left chair at office to get ready to go home – left office.
 After sectionalizing the time zone, we first observe block (1), which is the closest to the present time.  Within (1), however, we follow the time sequence.  We reproduce in our mind all kinds of our experience after starting having dinner, and observe them carefully.  Fully avoiding judging or evaluating our behavior, we reproduce in detail what has happened.  After finishing (1), we do (2) in the same manner.  We finish each block by going back in time.
 It is not easy to look at our true self without any judgment or evaluation.  But let’s do our best.  Let’s resist the temptation to judge and evaluate.  When we can look at our true self without judgment or evaluation to some extent, we can certainly discover something new about ourselves.  We can encounter our true self that we did not notice before.  (This exercise requires a lot of energy.  Do not do this for more than 15 minutes.  You do not have to finish all the blocks within 15 minutes.  Our goal is achieved by reflecting on the blocks that we can cover in 15 minutes.)
 This encounter with ourselves is valuable.  It makes it easy for us to link our life foundation to our true self.  It helps us to be who we are.
 Repeating this exercise also leads to another good thing, which is that “evil disappears and good remains.”



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