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  1. 3 points
    Like you, Gillian - SPRING! The first thing that "sprang" to mind! I feel a season of hope and possibilities unfolding inside me as I breathe new life into my business! Great question!
  2. 3 points
  3. 2 points
    This topic is improvised and not organized, I just wrote whatever came to my mind. P.S: Hey Gillian ^_^ ♥ I've came so far thanks to the prayers of my beloved ones and to the angel sent by God to guide me through this journey. Today I am celebrating my great milestone! I never imagined in my life I would come this far and if you have read my first topic you would know how miserable I was and I felt hopeless about any changes or to have the will to move past addiction and depression. for the past 50 days I had few flaws, some days I broke my diet and some days I experienced deep grief and sobbed the entire day in despair, I had also two days where I dipped down and relapsed back to addiction, but the only thing I was committed to was 20 min of meditation everyday and if I wasn't overwhelmed by tiredness and busy schedule I practiced yoga everyday. I feel like I've grown into something wiser and much more mature, I don't concern myself much now with wanting but with serving instead. Today I was reading chapter ten of the power of now, the meaning of surrender, and I did notice that during this journey I didn't let my ego have any expectations of what it should be like: " I must lose this amount of weight in 2 months" "I must make no mistakes at all" "I must wake up everyday at 4 am and be productive" "I must only eat healthy food" I started to practice "Non judgement" and "Self-compassion", just two days ago I was binge eating on pizza and cakes, but I didn't consider it as a "failure", just kept going and went with the flow of life instead of resisting. at one day I got really overwhelmed by grief and instead of telling myself "I must work today and do that or that" I just went back to bed and started sobbing the entire day and barely did anything and I am proud of myself for doing that. at some days I've dropped my guard down and enjoyed some pizza with family, later my ego would scold me for doing that "WE WON'T LOSE WEIGHT" and other ego drama stories, but I just shut this voice and I tell him "go pound sand". one of the most important lessons I did learn is to limit compassion with wisdom, sometimes I would take responsibility for others' suffering and I would sacrifice my own happiness and comfort to please them, but came this person who played a dirty trick that taught me this lesson that I should prioritize myself first and to be compassionate with myself. also other aspect is to be compassionate toward myself that there are things I can't do or control, I can't expect myself to work hard everyday and I can't expect myself to feel happy all the time, but to apply wisdom is to set a minimum amount of effort not to fall beyond it. last thing I started to appreciate it's value is listening and silence, yesterday my sister started to vent about all her life situations and in the beginning I started to point to her some flaws and negative beliefs in her speech I saw that she started to get bothered by me interrupting her and also she didn't appreciate my advices, so I started to practice bringing presence to dissolve her pain body by listening and "helping her relieve her suffering", at final, I did discover that she didn't actually have any problems at all but she just wanted someone to listen to her and to release this built up negativity, in the end I just told her very simple words and she appreciated them so much and felt so much joy. also I found so much peace in not being driven by the incessant urge to share my opinion and to speak, also ironically I was at my English club and the instructor asked a question: "What does dread mean ?", I answered: "Heavy feeling", he said "No, it means heavy fear". instead of being bothered by him not giving me appreciation or credits, I just said "I guess they are the same" and shrugged. I started to enjoy not being like Hermione and to give others space to speak and answer questions, fortunately I know all the answers but I just like to be compassionate and let others enjoy learning
  4. 2 points
    Am taking this Mindfulness Exercises class own my own pace.
  5. 2 points
    I take my important pills and my vitamins, I have my light breakfast. I go to the gym to move my body. I went to Burns and Nobles to pick up my books after that I get a snack also a drink so I can charge my phone then I set up a ride back to my apartment and I do one business text to my advocate of mine. I go on Facebook massage to talk to my best friend and my fiance. Now am doing my online class that I care about
  6. 2 points
    Hi Gillian, Since early in Donald Trumps term, I have stopped listening to the national news. Since 2020 I no longer listen to even the local news. Instead, I look at headlines online and that tells me enough. I explore topics not related to the President. I keep current on injuries or deaths to African American people by the police. I keep current on the environment and natural disasters. If I can find good news about people helping each other I read it or listen to it. For example, the last few minutes of Nightly News with Lester Holt has those kinds of brief stories about good. Other than that, I repeat the Loving Kindness Prayer of the Buddhists multiple times each day. I include President Trump and his followers in that prayer. I add "may he and they keep people safe and not cause anyone inner or outer harm." I walk in a park full of trees daily and celebrate nature and my companion walkers who are always pleasant and nod or see hello. I spend time with my grandchildren who live in the now and share that with them. And, my wife and I have explored countries where we could move if the President is re-elected. Right now, Panama City, Panama looks the best. We can easily get a visa and live there for 6 months and then renew it. While we would not want to do that it is important to us to have an escape plan. I listen to guided mindfulness meditations 3 times each day and especially at night. I try to have here and now fun from interesting and enjoyable programs on you tube to playing board games with my grandchildren, my daughter and son-in-law. I also contribute money to candidates who reflect socially compassionate views. In these ways I protect myself from some of the tumult. My go to meditation is from Thich Nhaht Han: "Breathing in I am aware of breathing in. Breathing out I am aware of breathing out." Those phrases keep me in the now when all else fails. Daniel A. Detwiler
  7. 2 points
    I am an evolution professor. People do not want to have their beliefs challenged because it rocks their entire identity. So the natural response is to hold tighter when challenged. So, I often ask people to think about where their beliefs come from and to learn the history of that set of norms. When they do that, often they realize they may not truly believe 100%. This can still be hard to cope with but it often provides a small crack that opens for reason. As for the news, it’s just too much these days. Speaking of evolution we haven’t evolved fast enough to keep up with our technology. Scientists have been examining the dramatic increase in anxiety, especially in young people, with this technology advancement. To help myself, I look at news (written or on TV) for no more than 30 min, and I watch the BBC news. It doesn’t tend to be sensationalized and it provides an interesting “outside” perspective. good luck out there!!
  8. 2 points
    Balance...certainly does mean different things to different people. With my somatic therapist, I am currently exploring my proclivity to seek ground...always. Trying to understand my life experiences in a way that gives me some clarity around wanting to be rooted and grounded as opposed to getting more comfortable (or just being ok with) becoming expansive and open. I read something this week that spoke to this and inspired me to dig a little deeper (I’m paraphrasing here): ”When I want to be rooted, I sit among the trees. When I want to be expansive, I sit among the stars.” Lovely. One other way I’m exploring this downward energetic tendency in balance with the upward is through yoga practices where the focus is on the heart being the place where the apana and prana meet. And of course, through breath- up and down, always. Be well. Rachel
  9. 2 points
    For balance I’ve found it helpful to simply step outside and listen. To just listen to the wind rustling the leaves, the planes and the cars. To the dog snuffling in her sleep and the pigeons calling. Then I draw my attention to my feet and rock for a few seconds and take a few deep breaths. Sorted
  10. 2 points
    I liked how they said we can fight, but not hate. This is one of the key principles of Sarah Schulman's book Conflict Is Not Abuse. Not only is conflict inevitable in life, often it is healthy.
  11. 2 points
    I offer this simple effective exercise to clients / students to keep in their self-help toolbox because tough stuff has a habit of popping up in this age of uncertainty. === LIKE A MOUNTAIN, SITTING . . . Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, or on a straight-backed chair with feet flat on the floor which is supported by Earth. Close the eyes and gently direct the inner gaze down toward the heart. Inhale a slow, full, deep breath ... then slowly release the breath. Do it again. Now breathe normally and just be aware of the breath easily flowing in and flowing out.. Imagine a majestic mountain, its base deep in Earth and its peak in the passing clouds. Hold this image steadily in the mind as you’re aware of the natural ebb and flow of the breathe. If mind starts up a chat session or five, just return the attention to the mountain and the rhythmically flowing breathe. If strong emotions rise up, just note them without being dragged around by them. If tears come, let them flow (you too, guys). If a smile comes, don't grasp at it ... just let it be and be it. Do this for five minutes (or longer, as time permits). Give yourself entirely to this experience. To close this exercise, tell yourself: “I am like the mountain, rooted, steady, receptive and strong with an expansive view of everything around it … no matter what the circumstances.” Repeat this a few times to remember that you are as if a mountain. The seasons swirl around the mountain. Clouds and mountain intersect. Showers, mist, sleet, and snow continuously reshape the surface. The view is endlessly repainted with light and shadow. Creatures shit and piss on the mountain. The mountain’s rocky surface continuously expands, contracts, and vibrates with the baking sun, the chill of the night, the light of the moon, the rotations of Earth from which it rose, and the mechanics of the heavens that move Earth through space. Towns, cities, whole civilizations rise up and fall away on the mountain’s slopes. All the while, mountain is being mountain … rooted, steady, receptive, and strong with an expansive view of everything. === Keep an image of a mountain on your refrigerator door and in your mobile device. In daily life, especially when muck and thorns are flying fast, recall your mountain essence. Wherever you are, if circumstances veer toward overwhelming, step outside or into a restroom stall and do this exercise for a few minutes (it's ok to take this time to restore balance). There are times when it helps to remember our true nature.
  12. 2 points
    Hi my name is Erin McMahon and I Meditate own my in my apartment with my computer in a quiet place.
  13. 2 points
    I liked the Wendell Berry poem. Thanks. Even my relationship with nature is conflicted, although awe and connectedness prevail. As at-home as nature can make me feel, nature can be inhospitable and cruel too. Our bodies also have this nature. From the perspective of the subjective "I," they too will betray us if they do not fall prey before that. Yes, emotions are tricky. I think a big part of my practice relates to feelings of betrayal. It is the nature of things, even beautiful things, to be treacherous and sometimes betray us. (This relates back to our discussion of death and terror management, Gillian). As I write this, it strikes me that its lurking and powerful danger is part of nature's beauty. Even its slow, creeping danger has its beauty. As I age, so many hot and searing sensations arise in my head, shoulders, neck, and extremities. Sleep is harder to come by, so I often lie awake taking inventory of the vibrant energies. Then they all seem to transform into light. What before seemed disruptive and painful turns peaceful and soothing. I often wonder, "Can even dying become something like that?" That question has served to bring up two important things for my practice, and I would love to learn what others think about this. The first amounts to: "I see you, Fear," sometimes even "Terror." I understand I must practice attuning to those emotions, opening to them, and welcoming them. Almost counterintuitively, doing so starts unblocking my very blocked heart so that there is more kindness, warmth and compassion. So, yes, there can be beauty even in Fear. The second thing has to do with the perspective to which I alluded about driving. It is the very opposite of opening and welcoming. Rather, it is contracting around the crazy notion that somehow "I" am separate from the ebb and flow of natural rhythms and "I" am somehow special, deserving, and entitled. "How dare you let down my expectations!" That dualistic and prideful notion is simply crazy and it calls for a change in perspective which has to be a part of our mindfulness training and practice. I do not take this to mean I should become passive and submissive or withdrawn at all. It's more like aspiring to be more integrated and informed, "wiser" perhaps I could say. If I laid in bed thinking, "Oh, my God, why do I hurt so much," I am sure I would feel only more pain and anguish. Sorry about writing a book here, but there is one more thing I would like to bring up and that is Mindfulness often places too much emphasis on presence and not enough on Concentration which has such great bearing on the quality and depth of presence. To me, formal practice is as much about developing concentration as it is developing mindfulness. Without developing the stability of spacious, peaceful, and joyful awareness, it is not likely one could attend well to troubling emotions. It is only natural that one's heart and mind would contract and guard against them. This tendency is something to which we also have to be kind and accepting in our practice. The more our Mindfulness and Concentration create a safe and spacious home for us, the more room there will be to greet and welcome what otherwise would be troubling and challenging emotions.
  14. 2 points
    Thanks, Faune. I think your thoughts were beautiful. In Buddhist circles the Sangha offers a refuge for likeminded people or is supposed to do that. I think this website serves a very similar function. It made me feel very connected to you reading your post. Grieving for the planet and its denizens is not inconsistent with mindfulness. Having emotions of fear, hurt, sadness and anger are not either. At least that is my understanding. In fact, opening to those emotions, allowing them to run their course, and deeply attuning to them and directly knowing them is very much what mindfulness is about. Everything is included! So, judgmental thoughts also might arise and we can be mindful of them. The question that should concern mindfulness leaders is how we train and learn to hold those things and respond to them. I am heartbroken and angry many moments of every day, but there also are many moments when I am joyful and filled with appreciation and awe, as you seem to be too. It doesn't require anything special; simply following a breath (mindfulness of the body) can be awesome. At age 69, I'm still working at how to respond and act appropriately! I tend to work more on attitude and perspective, aspiring to be open and inclusive, hoping (or rationalizing) improved behavior will follow in tow. Thanks, again.
  15. 2 points
    After I signed off I thought about how unmindful that may have sounded but relationships with people are a challenge for me and as an online activist mostly for animals but many causes as well I see what people do to them, the planet and each other. It is a struggle. I could feel the mindfulness leaders shaking their heads in dismay.
  16. 2 points
    That sounds like such a majestic and beautiful setting, David. I hope your house will be safe. I have seen the photos of SF and they are devastating. I know what you mean about people regarding the planet. Everything we do has an impact on nature and often wildlife or other animals as well as indigenous people or others without power. I live in Vermont and as I go for a morning walk I take in the sky, the mountain and the peacefulness of the pond and the beings who live on, in, or around it when it is not frozen. I do not like the road I live in or at least when there are vehicles (long boring story). We are a very self centered species for the most part and too many do not want to think about their impact for they would have to change what they do. Don't get me started but it is painful at times. I appreciate your sense of the planet. No matter what we do it has an effect but at least you try as well as I and many others.
  17. 2 points

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  18. 2 points
    When it is warm outside I sit on the porch. I am up very early before it is dark and I move and meditate out there to the sounds of tree frogs, crickets, and barred owls. Fall is her and much cooler nights for the most part so i will be relegated to doing all inside. I sit on my chair that i always sit on to meditate with my mini dachshund sleeping beside me because usually if i am tare so is he. i do love being outside in the early morning and will miss it.
  19. 2 points
    Your loft sounds wonderfully dreamy, Rachel! And the personal items really help to build a beautiful picture in my mind. My own space is pretty small at the moment (I live in a one-bedroom apartment with my two dogs and partner), but I long for a cozy meditation nook & altar one day. When I meditate, I use the living room. Sometimes I sit on a cushion, but I also have a beautiful meditation bench (from this company if anyone needs a recommendation!) that I use from time to time (when I do longer sits usually). I light a few candles and face our big open windows that get the morning sun (unless of course, it is winter... when the sun doesn't show its face here in Stockholm until around 9am). I also love meditating in nature. There is a small forest not far from me. It is beautiful, but the hum of traffic is still pretty loud within it. But still, anytime I am in nature, I practice less formal mindfulness practices - watching, witnessing, breathing, being.
  20. 2 points
    My altar is in a part of my loft that is so special to me. High ceilings, minimal visual distractions, lots of natural light, beautiful Brazilian cherry wood floors. I have my statue of Tara, along with crystals, photos of my grandmother, myself as a child, and both of my own children, as well as a few candles and my sage stick. I roll out my mat, set my cushion (or if my back is tight, stack 2 yoga blocks to kneel), and settle in. It feels like a coming home. That said, if and when I can, I also love to sit for meditation in nature- at the beach in the early morning or in the grass with trees nearby. I am always aware of my proclivity toward grounding energy, so being outdoors really helps me access that. I love this question! Hope all are well. Rachel
  21. 2 points

    From the album: My Meditation/Mindfulness Places

    Lake Champlain, Bridport, VT

    © 2018 Kim Gelinas

  22. 2 points
  23. 2 points
    very interesting...i would love to know some steps and resources where we can cultivate these hearts ... would love to hear your suggestions etc. @Gillian Sanger
  24. 2 points
  25. 2 points

    From the album: My Meditation/Mindfulness Places

    Peace Pagoda, Leverett, MA

    © 2006 Kim Gelinas

  26. 2 points
    I want to share an old observation from my days as a clinician: where there is anger there is usually underlying hurt and fear. That was often born out in therapeutic conversation. If you can hear those emotions, under the anger, you might be able to hear the particular issues that provoked both. If you show compassion for the hurtful incidents you might help the person's healing and have a deepened trust between you. Sometimes feeling understood and cared about helps the person listened to grow beyond their old blaming beliefs. This is very demanding of the listener. You have to draw on your own strengths and value the personhood of everyone, even those with opinions you find revolting, in order to find an underlying humanity and a hurt human at that. May anything I have shared be helpful. Daniel
  27. 2 points
    I am a certified mindfulness teacher, professional artist and musician, and therapeutic expressive arts life coach-therapist and for me, mindful and meditative drawing has been a God send during this time. I listen to some of my older new age compositions (magneticwind.bandcamp.com) and then just begin to doodle on painted backgrounds that I created in an intuitive session prior. It's amazing.
  28. 1 point
    Greetings Everyone, My name is Melanie and I am in Canada, in a small town just outside Calgary, Alberta. I am a yoga teacher specializing in teaching people who are 55+. I was teaching in a studio until CoVid and now I am teaching via Zoom and my students are really loving it. They can practice in their pajamas, they don't have to comb their hair and they don't have to go out into a cold car during the winter to drive to yoga.
  29. 1 point
    Thanks for another great question. Like you I find myself being very concerned and worried these days about so many issues going on in the United States and around the world. I would like to have more patience and perspective when it comes to working on such enormous problems. I would like to have the wisdom to look at change from the perspective of “the long arc of history” as President Obama often says.
  30. 1 point
    Hello Gillian its all a little overwhelming but my initial thoughts are to learn how to conduct sessions and teach the practise so people get the best results
  31. 1 point
    welcome back to canada @Gillian Sanger if you're ever in midland, drop by for some cocoa...would be great to meet....
  32. 1 point
    Thank you both, Gillian and Dorothy for your kind comments and ideas of other sources on this topic. I am glad I am not alone in avoiding the news except to stay generally informed. As for Loving Kindness, I love even those two words. The prayer gives me hope. Daniel
  33. 1 point
    I don't read the news that much only when am around my family and they give me an update on the news stuff that's how I hear it.
  34. 1 point
    Hi Gillian, thanks. Yes, I wrote it. I haven’t done any recordings, I don’t have the voice for it, but I’m going to have some practice videos made for the site I’m building using a voiceover provider.
  35. 1 point
    71 year old white male currently in Panama City, Panama. Married. Together we practice mindfulness every morning for about 50 minutes. On Wednesday evenings we participate in a Zoom 90 minute silent meditation. I have done many 10 day silent retreats in the Vipassana tradition and also organized those retreats for several years. I completed the three year community dharma leader training at Spirit Rock in Northern California. We participate in Heartmath's Global Coherence practices and share a feeling that all of our practices are connected.
  36. 1 point
    I am sorry I missed it. Hopefully there is a way for me to hear it. Real Change-I could use some of that for sure. Thanks for the notice. I am interested.
  37. 1 point
    Hi Gillian, I would like to comment on the importance of a system of ethics behind mindfulness meditation. In the West we teach mindfulness meditation as a system on its' own. However, it comes from Buddha and his system of ethics. Those ethics include compassion for self and all other beings, loving kindness self and others and equanimity , being nonreactive to name just a few. Unfortunately, if those who study mindfulness don't see it as part of a transformational set of ethics which predispose them to building a better and more accepting world it might just be a self improvement technique. There is nothing wrong with self improvement. However, continuing to have hatred of others, continuing high reactivity to differences and disrespect for diversity are really not compatible with the direction towards which Budda encouraghed people to move. I would encourage all students of mindfulness and their teachers to investigate the underlying system of ethics and to incorporate them or work on doing so in their daily lives. It is not always easy but always necessary. Daniel A. Detwilertowards
  38. 1 point
    HI David, I have been busy in 3D world and have not been checking in with this community often. I hope all is well with you. Kind Regards, Gene
  39. 1 point
    "Human beings are poor examiners subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a profound tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there." M Scott Peck
  40. 1 point

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  41. 1 point
    In a real spirit of gratitude I want to thank Gillian for her sweet comment of my recent birthday post. I also want to let all members know that I feel lucky to be in such a thoughtful and sharing group. Thank you all. Daniel
  42. 1 point
    What brings me happiness is to see my family enjoying good health and progressing in their lives. It gives me joy to be able to see opportunities and take advantage of them to do something beneficial to my family and community. i feel happy when I too enjoy good health. Another thing that brings me happiness is to be free from stress resulting from the demands of today's world on my finances. When I achieve success in my endeavours I feel happy.
  43. 1 point
    Hi Everyone. I have just joined this community and look forward to benefit from this association with you all
  44. 1 point
    Children laughing and watching them play makes me happy.
  45. 1 point
    (I am sorry if this isn't the right section, I am new here) despite how simple this question, yet it's truly powerful. few moments ago something really eye-opening did happen to me, so I was on facebook making a post using my father's phone and by a mistake I almost shared a photo of him... the thing is that my father is 63 and he had a stroke 3 years ago, he is not ugly but he is simple person. so what happened is I felt a strong feeling of wanting to cry and confused feelings of guilt, shame and fear that if I did post it by a mistake that someone might make fun of him or even use it as a meme.. (if you couldn't relate to this part, it's just something very sensitive to me) after few seconds I started to process my emotions and I asked myself "Are you here ?" this was such a relief, I've been observing the patterns of suffering my mind creates. few days ago I was little bit frustrated and suddenly I just had those quick fleeting thoughts of quiting diet,binge eating and relapsing back to addiction... Thankfully that I've been meditating a lot lately that I've developed the skill of observing that I was able to "step out" and break the pattern. I wonder why would God create something like that ? and I also wonder sometimes is there a chance to be present all the time ? a stage where I can live without this tormentor making life seems gray and unbearable.
  46. 1 point
    Hi, Paige. I liked what you said about responding to anger. As for whether I view Buddhism as a religion, I will not presume to give a definitive answer, but will speak only about how I relate to it. I relate to the Buddha as having been an extremely accomplished and wise person who left us very practical advice. The Buddha is often compared to a doctor who prescribed a course of medication and practice to cure suffering. No secret formulas, no magic bullets, just very practical and practicable advice. We can follow it or not, as we chose so to speak. Best wishes.
  47. 1 point
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    9 downloads

    One Complete Cycle of Breath
  49. 1 point
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    12 downloads

    Step-by-step guidance for practicing mindfulness meditation.

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