Friday was about community and our different roles in life.
Practice: The Circles of Hierocles
In this practice you use visualisation to cultivate compassion and caring, starting from yourself, then expanding it to people close to you, then to acquaintances, colleagues at work, neighbours, etc and so fort, eventually covering all the humans. Why not all sentient beings?
I have done this practice (and similar practice called Metta) a few times. It delivers. It does make you feel closer to others and make you appreciate the bond more deeply. It also increases the feeling of belonging to a greater family of humans, a family that has big problems to solve but also unbelievable potential!
Practice: Your roles in life
What benefits each of us is what is in line with our constitution and nature; my nature is rational and political. As Antoninus, my city and fatherland is Rome, as a human being it is the universe. It is only what benefits these cities which is good for me.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.44
We were asked to reflect on our roles in life and what responsibilities they include. I did this in writing. I found the practice to be helpful, thought-provoking and it got me thinking about my relationships deeper and wider than usually. No surprise really, since most of us do not do a deep analysis of our relationships in day-to-day life, and maybe better so. But, once in a while this is a good thing to do. Again, it increases you appreciation of those relationships and hopefully clarifies to you how you’d like to improve them.
I spent some time on the computer, contemplating on what “cities” I live in and what kind of inhabitant am I in them, and what kind of inhabitant I would like to be.
Hint: reserve a lot of time for this. I took 15 min and only got to go through (briefly) two “circles” of relationships: with my own mind and with my immediate family. The rest I have to save for the next times.
Stoic Week material: