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2012 - June - Sarah Lionheart

Sarah Lionheart was fab! There is so much humanity in her teaching and she is able to reach us with her great humour, stories of life, and deep knowledge of her subject. It is actually quite hard for me to write this review as there was so much emotional baggage that we worked on that I am not sure I can give a holistic report. I will try. In essence, we were taught to be kinder to ourselves. To be compassionate toward ourselves. To accept ourselves completely, as we are. Once this is achieved (!) true inner change and growth are possible. We were asked to consider the question: What am I not doing that nourishes me and makes me happy? We wrote down things we used to love doing as a child and were asked to do now whatever it was that we used to love. This raised a big discussion and recall of games many used to play as a child such as hula hoop, hopscotch, skipping rope. We also practiced the 3 minute breathing space where time is spent first looking at the mind, then the emotions, the body sensations and then the breath (all in 3 minutes!). It ends with looking at all these states together and acknowledging that whatever is there is there. At first it is practiced for longer than 3 minutes but eventually can be utilised in situations of high stress to bring clarity to the situation. Probably my favourite meditation was the raisin meditation where we mindfully ate a raisin (‘best raisin I’ve ever eaten,’ many said!). It really is amazing how being fully aware of the smell, texture, taste, and movement of the mouth and tongue can have such an effect on eating. Many enjoyed the walking meditation too. After the first day we were given homework; be kind to yourself tonight. 

The next day was tough. Very emotional. We worked with the heart. Both opening and protecting it. We were asked to consider 'what am i not accepting in myself?' and then given 7 steps to working with a difficulty. Included in these steps was the awareness of more than this feeling and expanding away from it. This is a profound practice and for anyone who gets caught up in the little things it is great to do. It acknowledges the mind is huge and limitless and so there is more to 'me' than just this difficulty. Once more we practiced the 3 minute breathing space. A brilliant practice for those times when you just might say or do something in the heat of the moment that later will be regretful! The day finished with a beautiful Metta Bhavana practice. Oh, and both days we were treated to a lullaby! When was the last time (if ever!) you were sung into deep relaxation? It was a real treat and pleasure.  

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