TypeOnline Course
DateApr 9, 2016
Student Enrolled157

Welcome to Handshake

The Core of Fully Being

 

 

 

Description

Handshaking is the central awareness practice of the course. Handshaking means a meeting between mind and the feeling world. It is most basically a “being-with” practice of learning to be with experiences without judging, suppressing, indulging or running away. Based on an attitude of complete acceptance and allowing, it is a re-training or re-habituation of our basic habits towards internal experiences. Handshaking begins with embodied feelings and is developed to include anything that arises in experience, including emotions, resistance, sensations and thoughts.

Handshake is the essence of healing because it allows places in feeling space and mental space that had been previously met with aversion to be held in complete acceptance, a loving space of non-judging. Rinpoche calls raw feelings, emotions and neuroses “beautiful monsters” to reflect their complex nature. Instead of habitually fearing, resenting, rejecting or identifying with our beautiful monsters, we learn how to handshake them, to allow them to be. Handshaking is a practice that requires guts and kindness.

Method

Handshaking is called a “practice” even though it isn’t really a method as we usually conceive of one. It is not so much about something to do as what not to do. It is more a re-training of an attitude–the attitude that some feeling, emotion, mood or thought process is bad and needs to be suppressed, eliminated, etc. We usually use various methods as antidotes to our feelings and emotions in order to distract, suppress, get rid of and so forth. Handshake is precisely the opposite approach; it allows every feeling and emotion to arise, to be there, and to express itself. There is no judgment and no resistance. So the only “method”, which isn’t truly a method, is to train in non-judging and non-resisting, in allowing everything to be.

Results

The result of successful handshake practice is a healthy relationship between our mind and our feeling world. A healthy relationship means we no longer react compulsively to our own feelings and emotions.  We no longer habitually suppress, run away, judge or indulge our own feelings.  We become comfortable just allowing them to be. This healthy relationship leads to deep healing in the feeling and emotional world as each feeling and emotion is allowed to open up and express itself. Eventually we discover an underlying wellbeing, a basic okay-ness called “essence love.”

Obstacles

The main obstacle to handshake practice is to hold a secret agenda of getting rid of something. This hijacks the practice. It does not allow a re-training of our basic attitude of judging and rejecting.  Handshake then becomes an antidote to feelings and emotions, which is counter-productive. So even if we seem to be handshaking on the surface but underneath secretly want certain feelings and emotions to go away, handshake won’t work. Other obstacles include: being unable to drop into the body and directly feel our feelings; being afraid of feelings and emotions opening up so prematurely stopping the handshake process; and thinking that feelings and emotions are “problems” to be handshaked away, rather than seeing our attitude as to what needs to be handshaked.  Having lots of beautiful monsters is not an obstacle to handshake; it just means we will become experts at it!

_____________

In this section there are about thirty teaching videos, as well as accompanying written materials.

Below is a syllabus of the Handshake section.

Section 1Handshake Theory and Practice
Teaching 1
Teaching 2Free Preview

HANDSHAKE 2

QUESTIONS

  • Does the feeling world deserve kindness?
  • What does it mean to be biased against our feelings?

Handshake Video 2

KEY POINTS

  • Just be aware of whatever comes in. Knowing and awareness are present but without judging.
  • Please don’t choose which particular feelings or thoughts are welcome. Then we become sectarian or biased towards our own minds.
  • It doesn’t matter what we’re feeling; all feelings are welcome.
  • Feelings come and we know them. But we aren’t saying anything to them, we are not judging them.
  • Our poor feelings have been judged by our thoughts for so many years.
  • Be kind to the feeling world. Feelings deserve kindness in the form of non-judging.
  • Sometimes we do judge. It’s a strong habit.  But then just relax again.
  • Relax the reactor, not the cause. The causes are allowed to occur. We are learning to relax the reactor.
  • We are not suppressing, nor indulging, nor running away. We are just being there without doing anything.

EXERCISES

  • Contemplate the normal use of the term “biased”. We usually think of bias as directed outwards towards stereotypes we don’t like or fear. Or maybe bias as showing preferential treatment for one group over another as in racial or gender bias. Here bias is being used in an inward sense of being biased against particular feelings and emotions we don’t like or fear. This is a deeply ingrained bias that we may not even be aware of. Contemplate how this inward bias operates and try to explore the biases you have within your own mind. Practice being unbiased towards all feelings and emotions.
  • Practice noticing the difference between the reactor and the causes, the raw feelings. Can you distinguish these in direct experience? Try to notice raw feelings on their own, without any reaction. Then watch the reactor in action, reacting to each feeling that arises. Practice by alternating being aware of causes and the reactions to them.

DAILY MANTRAS

  • Just be aware of whatever comes in
  • Don’t be biased towards your own mind
  • All feelings are welcome
  • Don’t look for a cozy feeling yet
  • Be kind to the feeling world by not judging

DAILY PRACTICE

 

You can structure a daily practice as described in the course instructions

Opening with a warmhearted, benevolent intention. Reflect on the good fortune of having a human life.

Main Part — watching the video, meditating, contemplating and working with key points and exercises.

Concluding by sitting quietly, dedicating and making heartfelt aspirations.

Daily life — repeating your favorite Daily Mantras throughout the day and putting Post-its of them around your spaces to remind you.

Teaching 3Free Preview

HANDSHAKE 3

QUESTIONS

  • What do we do with numbness or tightness?
  • Is handshake an antidote?
Handshake Video 3
 

KEY POINTS

  • Maybe we feel numb. If so, be aware of numbness. Or maybe we feel tight or blissful. Then, likewise, be aware of tightness or bliss. Just be aware, don’t do anything with it.
  • Notice any sensations of physical tension including neck pain, tightness in the eyes, shoulders, heart, etc. Whatever pops up, let it come in.
  • The feelings need to express themselves because they’ve been suppressed for so many years.
  • We say to our feelings, “You can come. Do whatever you want.”
  • Don’t fight with feelings. Don’t look for special areas, special places inside, which only have the feelings we like.
  • Try not to improve. Try not to suppress. Just relax and wait.
  • This is mindfulness of body and mindfulness of feelings.
  • Don’t run away from feelings. Be with the feelings without judging. We need some guts not to judge.
  • Being and indulging are a fine line.
  • Being should not be a method nor an antidote. There is no antidote.
  • Don’t wish the tightness to go away. The tightness needs kindness.
  • The kindness is non-judging.

EXERCISES

  • Explore the feeling world for numbness, tightness and bliss. Really lean into whichever feelings are present so that they saturate awareness and you feel fully immersed in them. Allow awareness to embrace them without trying to improve anything or suppress anything.
  • Contemplate how individuals and groups feel when they’ve been suppressed for many years. Imagine the anger and resentment, the difficulty in trusting. Internalize the reflection to think of feelings and emotions that way. If a feeling or emotion has been suppressed for many years, might it also be wounded and resentful, and have difficulty trusting? Consider whether you have some feelings or emotions that have been suppressed for a long time and think of them lovingly. Cultivate an intention to break them out of the bondage of suppression and let them free.
  • Contemplate the value and wisdom of waiting. Reflect on situations where waiting allowed something good to happen. Maybe a better solution appeared, a misunderstanding cleared up, or a disaster was averted. Internalize this principle to the feeling world. If we give our own feelings and emotions the gift of waiting, maybe some unexpectedly good things might happen too.
  • Reflect on the relationship between guts and courage on the one hand and judging on the other hand. Consider whether it’s more courageous to judge or not to judge. Consider the nuances of the issue. In some cases when we’ve been too passive, sweeping problems under the table or allowing an injustice to continue too long, to finally judge could be very valuable. In these cases judging is related to honesty and is like standing up for ourselves or others. But in a more day-to-day sense, we often just fall into the habit of judging one thing after another. We judge other people and our own thoughts and emotions. Here Rinpoche is talking about the guts not to judge our own feelings and emotions. Contemplate the relationship between the courage not to judge our inner world and the guts not to judge the outer world. Practice resting in a space of non-judging.

DAILY MANTRAS

  • Feelings need to express themselves
  • Don’t run away from feelings — be with them
  • It takes guts not to judge
  • Don’t wish numbness or tightness to go away
  • The kindness is non-judging
  • Being is not a method or an antidote
DAILY PRACTICE

You can structure a daily practice as described in the course instructions

Opening with a warmhearted, benevolent intention. Reflect on the good fortune of having a human life.

Main Part — watching the video, meditating, contemplating and working with key points and exercises.

Concluding by sitting quietly, dedicating and making heartfelt aspirations.

Daily life — repeating your favorite Daily Mantras throughout the day and putting Post-its of them around your spaces to remind you.

Teaching 4
Teaching 5
Teaching 6
Teaching 7
Teaching 8
Teaching 9
Teaching 10
Teaching 11
Teaching 12
Teaching 13
Teaching 14
Teaching 15
Teaching 16
Teaching 17
Teaching 18
Teaching 19
Teaching 20
Teaching 21
Teaching 22
Teaching 23
Teaching 24
Teaching 25
Teaching 26
Teaching 27
Teaching 28
Teaching 29
Teaching 30