The weekly exercises that we discuss after Friday morning zazen are taken from Jan Chozen Bays’ book How to Train a Wild Elephant. Below is this week’s exercise. Please note: ALL are welcome to come and sit zazen for two rounds on Friday whether or not you are doing the mindfulness activity.
Defining and Defending
The Exercise: Become aware of how you define yourself and defend yourself and your personal territory. For example, do you see yourself as a Liberal or a Conservative? An East Coast person or a West Coast person? How do you defend that position? Notice how quickly a mug, parking place, or seat on the subway becomes “mine,” and how you react when someone else takes it.
Check in on this process several times a day. In particular when you get irritated or upset, ask, “How am I defining myself or my personal territory at this moment?”
Post notes that say “Defining and Defending?” in appropriate spots.