Monday, April 19, 2010

Not Just Any Post-Its

Saturday, at Zen Hospice we did the Post-Its exercise. Although, I had gone through it twice before, this time was no less powerful. It goes like this:
  1. Pick 16 blank square Post-Its, broken out into four categories of four, from four different colors
  2. Lay them out on a sheet of paper
  3. In the first category, write down your four most precious material possessions, one per Post-It
  4. In the second category, write down your four most liked activities, one per Post-It
  5. In the third category, write down your four most  favorite roles, one per Post-It
  6. In the fourth category, write down your four most dear people, one per Post-It
  7. Become aware of the feelings, thoughts, sensations as you go through exercise
  8. Next, you are being asked by group facilitator to pick one item in each category and surrender it to him
  9. Stay very aware of what is going on inside, as you hand items over to person, and look into his eyes
  10. Next, you are to pick four more items, this time from any category
  11. Again, notice what happens as you give those up as well
  12. Last, facilitator goes around the room for the third time, and picks any number of items from different people, at random
  13. What does it feel like?
Very, very powerful, not just in terms of helping one get a sense of what it must be like to face one's end of life, but also in terms of clarifying for oneself, what it is that really matters. It was certainly the case for me, as I found myself contemplating the universe of my attachments, and the differing degrees to which I am attached to different things, and activities, and roles, and people.


  1. Hey, just discovered your blog from Twitter. I really like it & really like your voice. Thanks for your groovy offerings.

  2. Thank you Sam, for gift of your appreciation. May you dwell in mindfulness. :)

  3. It has been many years since having participated in the post-it hospice training exercise, and the memory is quite vivid of the acute sense of loss as each post-it was relinquished or removed. What a surprisingly moving experience! (Instead of roles, we were given " personal qualities ". Pretty similar.)

    This is the first time I have heard anyone reference it since then.



  4. Thanks for sharing, D. I tried, unsuccessfully, to visit your blog. Just curious, what you blog about . . . :)

  5. Marguerite:

    The Google profile (so that it doesn't come up as "ANONYMOUS") shows up here with the Blogger sign, but I don't have a blog. If I did, I'd never get any sleep ! ;-)

    Hospice provided a wonderful series of opportunities to help people; someday might go back to it . It definitely was the greatest personal growth prior to encountering Buddhadharma.