|Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on April 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM|
These practices for dealing with the Shadow are reprinted from Spirituality & Practice, a website founded by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat.
Daily Cue, Reminder, Vow, Blessing
- Seeing my shadow on the street is a cue for me to pay attention to those parts of myself I don't like but that tag along after me anyway.
- When I find myself in the darkness, physically and emotionally, I am reminded of the healing power of the practice of shadow.
- Whenever I come across people who are always demonizing their enemies, I vow to take responsibility for my actions and accept my shadow self.
- Blessed is the Eternal Light who grants us so many epiphanies in the darkness.
This breath prayer is a variation on Jesus' admonition that we love our enemies.
Breathing in: I love . . .
Breathing out: my inner enemies.
This exercise, “Toward Away,” was created by Colette Aboulker-Muscat of Jerusalem, Israel. It enables you to work with ambivalent feelings, one area where shadow tends to manifest.
Breathe out three times. Imagine something that attracts you so much that you would like to move toward it. See it clearly and be aware of how you feel and how your body feels, particularly your face. Now let your feelings flow into your slow movements toward the thing that attracts you. Now move slowly away from this thing and let your movements express how you are still drawn back to it, even as you are moving away.
Breathe out three times. Imagine that very close to you is something specific that repels you strongly, something that you want to move away from. See it clearly and recognize all your feelings toward this thing, especially in your face. Let your feelings express how you are flying away from this thing. Now move again toward this thing that repels you and discover what it is that repels you. Then discover something which you can appreciate, something that actually attracts you toward it. Now move slowly away, being aware of how you are moving and feeling. When you are finished, breathe out and open your eyes.
Practice of the Day
Zen teachers often use the image of "taking tea with the demons."
Fear — to name merely one demon — grows huge as we flee from it, but, when we turn and face it, it shrinks. — Mary Rose O'Reilley in The Barn at the End of the World
To Practice This Thought: Take tea this week with one of your most pernicious and troublesome demons.
- Stephen Cope in Yoga and the Quest for the True Self urges us to accept the polarities in our lives.
- Lama Surya Das in Awakening to the Sacred encourages us to renounce self-defeating habits.
- James Conlon in Ponderings from the Precipice outlines a healing ritual for a place where violence has occurred.