“Taking in the good”…. noticing and taking in the goodness around us…ideas from a class by Rick Hanson

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I took a wonderful, six week class this summer… “Taking in the Good” … created and led by Rick Hansen, author of  the wonderful books Buddha’s Brain and Just One Thing. Rick is in the process of writing a new book,  including ideas from the class. I’m really looking forward to getting and reading that book!

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He’s also creating a multi-week “Taking in the Good” class, based on his ideas and strategies for nurturing a  sense of appreciation for… and awareness of…. the bountiful goodness in life. I took the class once…and am really looking forward to taking it again!… there is so much to learn and practice!

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The class was wonderful!….it was jam packed with ideas and activities to support us in  developing that precious ability to “take in the good.” Rick was like a “pied piper”….leading us along, week by week… going from a basic level… to a deeper understanding of the interplay of  brain, mind, heart and spirit….learning to recognize, nurture and appreciate an expanded sense of wonder and goodness… a truly remarkable six weeks with an engaged and insightful small group of participants and a remarkable teacher!

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Rick said it’s okay to share our own experience of the ideas from the class with others…the class contained so many insightful ideas that I’ve had a hard time thinking of where to begin… I learned SO much and made so many shifts in perspective through learning and practicing these ideas.

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As I usually do, I created my own “translations” for the ideas…taking a few of the wonderful concepts and creating visual “image” pages for myself…to help take in, appreciate and practice the ideas… to practice enough for them to become “habits.”

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The  areas mentioned in the image pages above….
becoming more aware of and nurturing…
the sense of “feeling safe”….
a basic brain level of functioning…
the lizard brain…the fight or flight response,
the “sense of feeling strength”…
awareness that one is strong enough
and  has the resources to cope and take care of oneself,
the “sense of feeling cared about”
loved, nurtured, included and appreciated
all leading to a sense of
“taking in the good”

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One of Rick’s suggestion was to take a few minutes several times a day…to stop and imagine each of those senses, to pause and really taking  in how good that feels…and really important….to linger with that sense for 15-20 seconds…to really linger and absorb that sense of goodness. 

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I started spending 10 to 15 minutes a day, taking one of those ideas…one of those sensing areas….

imagining a situation where I felt that way,
imagining the actual positive feeling,
staying with that positive feeling…
if I lost it or got distracted,
to just go back to the remembered experience and get it back…
then to continue with feeling that positive sense.
I would then let go of the actual remembered experience completely
and simple “meditate” with the “positive feeling” as the “object” of meditation….
to immerse myself in that feeling
and have that be the focal point, instead of the breathe.

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Besides  being  a really enjoyable,  positive sensation, there is the neuroplasticity theory (explained wonderfully in the book Buddha’s Brain and in the Wisebrain website)  that one might be changing the neural pathways and networks in the  brain…making it more like velcro for positives… habituating the brain to a sense of positive emotion…Now, that sure sounds like a terrific idea to me!

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I might create a few more posts with some other materials I created while I was taking the class….materials that include specific strategies…some that I learned and some that I expanded upon from these ideas…but I’ll wait for another post to do that… there’s a lot!

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Some links to wonderful materials in Rick Hason’s Wisebrain website: (there are 100′s of wonderful papers, powerpoints and materials in Wisebrain site…amazing!)
Link: a variety of google links
Link: Taking in the Good, Key Points, 2005
Link:Positive Emotions and Taking in the Good
Link: Taking in the Good, slide set/powerpoint from conference 4/2012
Link: 21 Ways to feel good about yourself
Link: Staying at Your Best

A few smaller variation on the basic pages…I made lots of variations…here are a few…

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Wishing us all the calmness, awareness and receptivity
to develop the wonderful habit…
“taking in the good”

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take in the good
:D

About Pocket Perspectives

A blog about shifting perspectives...
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7 Responses to “Taking in the good”…. noticing and taking in the goodness around us…ideas from a class by Rick Hanson

  1. This is wonderful!!! Thank you ♥

  2. You’re welcome…I think the ideas are really wonderful, too… the ideas are so approachable and helpful, and leading to some potentially remarkable changes and shifts!

  3. I love the positioning of your words – like a dance – the energy is palpable.

  4. nrhatch says:

    When we “take in the good” . . . we change the pathways in the brain . . . so we can “take in the good” more easily.

  5. That’s the theory/idea… creating the habit, in the brain and in spirit, of taking in the good…I’ve noticed a positive change, so I guess it works…or maybe I just like not working… few problems, very little irritation,mostly positive interactions and thoughts…wow! what a great life choice! :D (except for those ***** laundry room mice, or whatever they are…now THAT is becoming a soap opera, with humans in the victim/poor us roles!… ; ) )

  6. Pingback: “True to my North Star… but also, in this moment, I am safe enough, fed enough, loved enough and good enough” | Pocket Perspectives

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