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Committing to do the two-handed R/L practice for 90 days sounds pretty simple, yes? Well, honestly, it was quite a journey. Here are some things I found helpful in keeping this commitment:
- Accountability: I made the commitment out loud during group, talked to Cheri about it during guidance and also on the two radio shows to increase my chances of keeping my commitment to this R/L practice. Making myself accountable was very supportive.
- Sangha Says: In the R/L Blog, under Sangha Says, is a recording of Cheri guiding someone from Sangha through the four steps. I listened to this Sangha Says recording several times. I would listen to step one, stop the recorder. Do step one. Then listen to step two and do that step, etc. I found it helpful to have someone guiding me through it, especially on those days of strong resistance.
- Record the instructions: I made a recording of the instructions to guide myself through each of the four steps. I put it in an easy-to-access place on the recorder.
- Calendar Support: I marked the days on my calendar as a way to know when 90 days were up and as a way to remind myself to do this practice each day.
I imagine the journey is different for each person. In my experience, the 30 days out in the middle were the most challenging. Several mornings, my two-handed recording was about the resistance to doing the two-handed R/L practice! Some mornings the resistance and sabotage felt huge and practically impossible to get past. And yet, those were some of my most profound recordings.
There were mornings when I put more quality time and attention into each step. Having a good 15-20 minutes is ideal (gives five minutes for each step). However, I found that on those less than ideal mornings, I still benefited from this practice. I found it was better to do it quickly than to not do it at all. And then to get back to a more “quality” session as soon as I could.
What I always seemed to get to in these recordings was unconditional love. Over the 90 days, I looked at so many different places of suffering (from mild to great). In each of these places, I had the great opportunity to fully and freely express uncensored everything that was coming up about this place of suffering.
Then the suffering person got to experience being heard (without being judged, without someone trying to fix her or change her). This acceptance was so soothing. And then the amazing experience of expressing love, empathy, wisdom and guidance to the suffering person. It's often surprising what the wise Mentor says in this place.
Lastly, is the beautiful, calming experience of both giving and really taking in words of wisdom and unconditional love. How wonderful it is to have this on a recording that I can listen to over and over. This practice truly transforms suffering.
Having done this practice for 90 days (and beyond) turns out to be such a refuge. Times when things feel really difficult, I'm more likely to do the two-handed R/L practice, having done it every morning for more than 90 days straight.
Perhaps you will consider giving yourself the gift of doing the two-handed Recording and Listening practice for 90 days?