"Beholding is a way of transforming difficult emotions into a positive experience, particularly in interpersonal situations. . . .
"• Pleasant person. You may begin by sitting in a meditative posture, bringing your attention inward and taking a few
mindful breaths. Think of someone you really care about — your child, a child you know and love, a dear friend. Imagine this person vividly. Let pleasant colors, scents, and sounds come to mind in connection with the image. Stay with the pleasant image for a couple of minutes. Smile if you would and note the sensation in the body, the quality of the mind, and the quality of the heart.
• Difficult person. Next, think of someone you dislike or with whom you are upset or annoyed. (Choose someone who does not generate hatred or strong anger. Do not choose a particularly difficult situation. Choose something in the medium range.) Bring into mind the situation in some detail. Stay with this for a couple of minutes. Note the sensations in the body, the quality of the mind, and the quality of the heart. What differences do you experience in your bodily sensations, mind, and heart in the two experiments?
• Recognize the difficult person's shared humanity. Think of the person in vivid terms, as you know them now. In the images, include sight, sound, texture, and other details and attributes that bring this person to life in your mind. As you look at this person, remind yourself that he or she shares the same human condition with you. For example:
• In life, the person has loved and lost as you have.
• The person has experienced pain, anxiety, and fear as you have.
• The person has been angry and irritated as you have.
• The person has experienced joy and sadness as you have.
• The person has been unfair as you have.
• The person has been misunderstood as you have.
• The person has been betrayed as you have.
• The person has betrayed others as you have.
• The person is imperfect and has many faults as you have.
• The person is beautiful, magnificent, and awesome in his or her human form as you are.
• It is like looking into the mirror; note that by the virtue of being human, you both share similar life experiences. Your stories might be different, but your human experiences are not.
• Embracing the difficult person's vulnerability. Try to cultivate friendly feelings toward this person. Smile at this person. Think of this person as a newborn infant or a very frail elderly person. Imagine either of these scenarios with vivid details. Remind yourself that the person is also vulnerable to illness, old age, and death. Continue to smile and remain friendly. Bring forth feelings of benevolence toward this person as best you can. Allow yourself to experience compassion, love, and tenderness toward this person."