Skip to main content Skip to search
Week 10 - A Person Just Like Me

Let’s begin with a mindful centering practice to fully arrive into this space.

First, notice your body posture at this moment and begin to make adjustments to sit in an upright position that would allow you to pay attention fully in the next few moments.

You can let go of anything you may be holding onto out of concern, worry, anxiety, desire, or anger. Just let it go. Bring your feet flat on the floor, back straight but not stiff, shoulders relaxed, facial muscles relaxed, and hands resting comfortably on your thighs or in your lap. Let your eyes close.

(pause)

To begin, let’s take a few deep breaths as an invitation to bring the mind and body together. Let a deep breath come in through your nose, and let the breath then come out through your mouth. Make the exhalation slow and long. Let’s do this two or three more times. Watch the body release as you exhale slow and long.

(pause)

Now let your breath move at its own pace and just pay attention to the flow of the breath in and out. Just notice the sensations of breathing.

(pause)

First, bring your attention to your physical body and notice any sensations.

How is your body feeling right now?

(pause)

Now, bring your attention to your mind and see what thoughts are there. When you notice a thought, just label it as “thinking”.

(pause)

Then, begin to notice any emotions in the body and mind. When you notice any sensations, just label them as “feeling”.

Remember that whatever you notice, you can allow these sensations to be there without having to change them, push them away, or hold on to them. And when your mind wanders, just bring yourself back quietly.

(pause)

Now we will explore in more depth our connection with other people beyond our close family members and friends.

Bring to mind a person that you don’t know that well, maybe a classmate, maybe a cashier you saw last week in checking out from a store, someone who works where you live, anyone you don’t know very well. Imagine this person present in front of you as clearly as you can, however you can. If you can’t see them clearly, try to recall the physical setting in which saw or usually see them, or any physical attribute you have a fragmentary memory of, or the type of activity they were engaged in when you saw them.

Allow the following reflections to circle in your mind as they pertain this person you brought to mind, saying each one internally or externally:

 

This person has, from time to time, felt distracted, mindless, and lost in thoughts in their day to day life... Just like me.

This person has, at some point, been sad, disappointed, angry, hurt, or confused… Just like me.

This person has feelings, emotions, and thoughts… Just like me.

This person has joys, hopes, pleasure… Just like me.

This person wishes to enjoy life fully… Just like me.

This person wishes to feel empowered and better able to handle the challenges that come up in life… Just like me.

This person wishes to be happy… Just like me.

 

Pause and notice how you feel after reflecting on these statements.

 

(pause)

 

Now simply let some wishes for the other  person’s flourishing to arise:

 

I wish for this person to have the strength, resources, and support to help him or her through the difficult times in life.

I wish for this person to be free from pain and suffering.

I wish for this person to be strong and balanced.

I wish for this person to be happy,…because this person is a fellow human being… just like me.

 

(pause)

Now, recall a person that you saw today or yesterday, who seemed different from you, maybe the color of their skin, maybe their clothes, maybe their behavior, maybe the group of people they hang out with, maybe overheard words. Imagine this person present in front of you as clearly as you can, however you can. If you can’t see them clearly, try to recall the physical setting in which saw or usually see them, or any physical attribute you have a fragmentary memory of, or the type of activity they were engaged in when you saw them.

(pause)

Allow yourself to experience these reflections about that person, even as you maintain a sense of living connection to their presence:

 

This person has, at some time, felt off-balance and unprepared for the challenges in their life... Just like me.

This person has, at some point, been sad, disappointed, angry, hurt, or confused… Just like me.

This person is a human being… Just like me.

This person has feelings, emotions, and thoughts… Just like me.

This person wishes to be free from pain and unhappiness… Just like me.

This person wishes to be safe, healthy, and loved… Just like me.

This person has intense hopes for themselves and those they care about… Just like me.

This person wishes to be happy… Just like me.

 

Pause and notice how you feel as a result of these reflections.

 

(pause)

 

Now let  an intense hope for that person’s own flourishing to arise from within as you deeply consider them as another person, just like with you, with hopes and fears, and people they care about.  Put it into words:

I wish for this person to have the strength, resources, and support to help him or her through the difficult times in life.

I wish for this person to be free from pain and suffering.

I wish for this person to be strong and balanced.

I wish for this person to be embedded in circles of caring others.

I wish for this person to be happy,

I wish for this person to lead a life of meaning and purpose.

Because this person is a fellow human being… Just like me.

Pause and notice any feelings, any sensations that are present

(pause)

Now, let’s return to your breath and anchor your attention there again.

For a few moments, pay attention to the rise and fall of each breath and the feeling of the breath inside the body.

Let your mind rest in the natural cycle of your breath.

There is no need to do anything right now.

Just rest in the experience of your breath.

(pause)

To close our practice, let’s bring to mind a sense of gratitude. Take a moment to feel the sense of appreciation for all different kinds of  people around us and how our common humanity in all of its various manifestations unites us on some of the most basic levels of human experience, needs, and desires for everday happiness, meaning, and flourishing. See if in your daily life you can be more attentive to this common humanity shared by those around us even though they appear to us as a stranger  and different from us at first glance.

(pause)

Now, slowly begin to bring some movement into your fingers and toes, bring some movement into the whole body, stretching gently, and then allow the eyes to open when you’re ready. Take your time.

Week 10 - A Person Just Like Me
Collection The Art and Science of Human Flourishing - Fall 2017
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)