True generosity transforms the mind

What we ourselves experience, reflects what we want others to experience. if we plot revenge and plan pain for others, we tend to reinforce emotions such as anger and hatred. Yet when we desire happiness for others we tend to feel it ourselves, an experience that Buddhists call 'sympathetic joy.'

Western psychologists are reaching similar conclusions. Generous people tend to be happier and psychologically healthier and to experience a "helpers high" (walsh; shapiro, 1983).

As people age, they increasingly find it is their legacies -- their contributions to the world and future generations -- that give meaning and satisfaction to our lives. The so called "paradox of pleasure" is that taking time to make others happy makes us happier than devoting all our efforts to our own pleasure (Myers, 1992).

These exercises make use of the Felt Sense to awaken, or put more accurately, to recover, the natural ability to be "present in the body."
[...]This can awaken or bring to life our feelings of "hamd" (praise) and "shukr" (thankfulness),to experience life less in a realm of abstract thought or ideas and more as an experiential reality.

There's a lot here so take your time with each one, one at a time.
1. Recall the last time you felt a strong emotion. Was it anger, joy, sorrow? How did you know you were angry or sad? We don't think sadness or anger, we feel sad or angry. We feel with our body, a simple truth often overlooked. Recall the experience of that strong emotion and pay attention to your felt sense, to what you feel in your body. Can you recall where in your body you felt angry or sad? What was the sensation that you interpreted as sad or angry? What do you feel now in your body?
6. When you are passing time such as waiting, observe what sensations are present in your body.Experiment with shifting attention to various parts of your body and observe the differences and how the part you are attending to may come into and out of focus. Note the strength of the sensory
Hakim Archuletta
April, 2005

Experiential Session in Recovering Sensation