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I was surprised to learn that Dr. Lickerman, the author of the article, is a practicing Buddhist. Those who practice Buddhism—as opposed to those who study it academically—approach their problems much more pragmatically.
It’s quite possible that Dr. Lickerman’s point of view is right, but it’s too abstract to know for sure. For example: What exactly is compassion? What does it look like action-wise? Is it universal or does it change depending on circumstances? What exactly is confidence? What does it feel like? What does it take to develop it?
I don’t mean to criticize the author or his article, however; I merely want to propose an alternative approach to resolve shyness. I studied this method at a Buddhist monastery and have found it exceptionally helpful in my lefe.
Whenever a person experiences a troublesome (to him or her specifically) feeling, such as shyness, there’s always a somatic manifestation of that emotion. What’s interesting about this manifestation is that each feeling has a dedicated area in the body in which it always appears. In case of shyness, the person may experience a trembling sensation in his or her solar plexus (which many people interpret as anxiety) or/and the sensation of a slight paralysis, which comes from the two fist-sized areas on the each side of that person’s lower ribcage, the area in which we all experience fear.
What’s useful about these observations is that once those sensations are modified or eliminated—either by the means of certain exercises or breathing techniques or movements—the emotion of shyness decreases or vanishes. At that point, the person has the strength to act as he or she pleases; shyness will no longer have an effect on his or her actions or thoughts.
A proposal for an entirely new paradigm for achieving happiness that endures.
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