Naikan and Relationships

Enjoy these writings about Naikan and Relationships from our blog:

A DOORWAY TO INTIMACY

“In Naikan, understanding ourselves and empathizing with others are actually considered as one.  In order to really empathize with others, we must reflect on and observe our own behavior.” - Norimasa Nishida Empathy is the ability to understand the experience and feelings of another person.  This is an essential skill in human relationships and because our attention naturally gravitates toward our own experience, it provides a challenge. Right now I am thirsty.  Now I am hot.  Now I am very worried about this particular financial situation.  Now I am disappointed ...
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When We’re Suffering the Most

Whether we are facing a life-threatening illness, a home that has burned to the ground or the disappointment of not getting a promotion, life continues to push us up against our edge.  In the film, Manchester by the Sea, we see a character, Lee Chandler, who is continuously pushed beyond his ability to cope with his circumstances.  Like many of us, he has moments when he rises to the occasion, and, moments when he lashes out in anger or retreats to the deceptive comfort of alcohol. Regardless of our circumstances, ...
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Our Parents in Retrospect

I had the opportunity to reflect on both my father and mother during many Naikan retreats over the past 28 years.  I had turbulent relationships with both my parents during my childhood, but I credit Naikan reflection for opening my eyes and my heart to my parent’s love, and for moving me to a place of greater acceptance that was, in part, built upon the recognition of my own limitations and faults.  My own weaknesses as a parent are prominent.  My father’s devotion to me is an ideal that I ...
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Intimacy and Self-Reflection: Seeing Yourself Through the Eyes of Your Partner

What would it be like to be your partner who has to deal with you on a daily basis? What does she see when she first looks at you each morning? What habits of yours does he find most annoying? How do you think she feels when you stare at your phone while you are having breakfast and she is talking to you? How much time has he spent waiting for you because you were late during the past month? How many times has she been criticized by you? How ...
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