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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/26/2020 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Thank you, I am glad you appreciated this video. I am participating in Path to Freedom, to bring mindfulness teaching to prisoners. I believe it can make such a difference, and that is has been such a disservice to prisoners that they have not been exposed to rehabilitative programs such as this. I also plan to teach yoga in women's prisons. Best, Jo
  2. 6 points
  3. 5 points
    @Jo L - I'm re-sharing the video you posted in a thread because it will probably be easier for people to find here than on your profile page. Thank you so much for sharing this - what a beautiful reminder of our oneness.
  4. 4 points
    Thank you for the open and honest sharing @MariaDe. First, let me just say that it is wonderful you notice this tendency within yourself. It is easy to simply act out on these feelings without reflecting on them; it takes courage to acknowledge these sorts of things and begin to address them honestly. I don't know how much advice I can give, but one thing I will say is that for me, it is has been helpful to make friends with my aloneness - my fears of being alone, my fears of being abandoned, etc. This has involved quieting the mind and just allowing myself to feel the somatic experience associated with this fear. Harnessing compassion, patience, and tenderness. Therapy has also been supportive for me, as has making time and space for myself beyond intimate relationship. If I come across resources that might be supportive, I will add them here. Wishing you well!
  5. 4 points
    There was a quote from John Kabatt-Zinn on Day 70 of Mindfulness Exercises. He said that while mindfulness is said to be at the "heart of Buddhism" it is not about Buddhism but simply about concentration. However, there is a real danger in divorcing the two. Mindfulness is being used, reportedly, to improve the ability of sharpshooters to kill their "targets" by armed forces. I realize those targets are probably trying to kill those who shoot to kill them. Somehow, there is still a violation of anything Buddha would ever have wanted for Mindfulness to help with by this type of use. If it is only concentration, nor morality involved necessarily. If it is to contemplate ways to remedy unsatisfactorisness, or suffering in life, there is a set of ethics attached. So, be aware that divorced from the Buddhist ethics of loving kindness, compassion and equanimity "just concentration" can be effective and deadly. Daniel
  6. 4 points
    With 58% of vertebrae species, 80% of freshwater fish, 40% of the global insect population (76% in some regions), and 90% of ocean biomass having extincted just since 1970, ... and with 70-90% of remaining species projected to extinct by the end of this century (at current rate of extinction, not factoring in acceleration), ... and with cognitive ability and average IQ scores plummeting (7 points since 1970) and dementia now the fifth leading cause of human death, ... and with human sperm viability declining 53% since 1970, ... and with climate chaos and a ‘baked in’ 3-5 C temp increase with an exponential increase in catastrophic weather projected this century (which will collapse civilization), ... and with suicide and psychosis rates steadily increasing, ... and as Earth’s geomagnetic poles erratically wander as the strength of the terrestrial electromagnetic field rapidly weakens as an overdue geomagnetic excursion ramps up (a geomagnetic excursion significantly contributed to the extinction of the Neanderthal species 41k years ago). ... and as it becomes increasingly clear that the human species is already in an actual full-blown existential crisis, ... I try to daily remember to get over myself and actively help others here in this age of uncertainty, mass extinction, degeneration and collapse. - - - It isn’t life as usual anymore. It isn’t all about our privileged and endless tsunami of dissatisfaction, constant craving, self-absorbed patterns of thought, addictive emotional reactivity, or our much cherished hallucination of a separately existing invulnerable solid ‘self’. We are short-lived biological organisms, innately embedded in a rapidly unraveling thin fragile layer of life here in an increasingly unstable planet that we are utterly dependent on for the sustenance and survival of the human species, and as Andy Fisher wrote: “As the biosphere crumbles, so do we.” The human species, right now, is crumbling. Modern people have forgotten what we are, where we are and how where we are actually operates, to our great detriment. They have forgotten that there is no solid ground to be found anywhere in all of existence. The practice and experience of mindfulness (or ‘sati’, translated as ‘remembering’ in the ancient mnemotechnical tradition from which it was extracted, relanguaged, renamed and repurposed for modern consumer culture) originally existed for the purpose of reminding the species that the nature of all existence is endless change, uncertainty, dependence and impermanence. Collapse is inevitable and most of humanity, wandering lost, disembodied, and isolated in a ritually fortressed conditioned bubble of storification and self-fascination, has no idea what is flying at us again like a speeding runaway Mack Truck. Remembering that Earth, and the human body, have never been safe places to live is medicine for our very modern madness of self-obsession, amnesia, ignorance and denial. Remembering that our purpose for living is to help each other, and to protect the web of life, provides us with meaning. As it grows darker, remember to be the light.
  7. 4 points
    As I've been watching the news and scrolling through social media over the past couple of months, I've noticed certain divides expanding: the divide between the right and the left, between lockdown advocates and lockdown protesters, between those that follow mainstream news and those that follow alternative news sources. So I am wondering if we can discuss how mindfulness might help us to soften these perceived gaps. While yes, it is apparent there is a gap between certain viewpoints, can we focus on what actually unites us? I know there is also a growing sense of community and support in many places as well - so the story is not only about division. And yet, I think there is something worth looking at here: How can we take our personal mindfulness practice, understandings, and insights and use that to unite and ground the collective?
  8. 4 points
    Very appropriate topic and excellent quote Gillian. I feel both more vulnerable and more empowered. Staying at home with my husband and not working makes me feel vulnerable: I'm not making money, I'm not being a psychologist and helping people (which I'm realizing was a role I was too attached to and defined myself by), I'm having to sit still with myself, and I'm having to spend more quiet time with my husband. In addition, I worried about the coronavirus, not so much for myself, but for my family and for all of those who have been infected and their families. I decided to take advantage of the time at home and enrolled in many online educational activities and trainings. I learned how to teach mindfulness skills to prisoners in Path to Freedom; I enrolled in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction; I participated in numerous yoga and mindfulness seminars; I took a course on Chakras; studied Buddhism; read many books; wrote poems and added to a book that I've been writing. I invested in me, instead of investing in others, which was what I did for 13 years as a psychologist in private practice. What felt unnatural at first started to feel good. I noticed changes- an ability to stay present, increased patience, decreased "noise" in my head from eating disorder, increased satisfaction in relationships, better communication, more love to give. Watching George Floyd's murder left me feeling powerless and heartsick. Another moment of vulnerability, a terrible situation that I witnessed and couldn't stop, a horror that occurred in my own city. Then empowerment stepped in. I had previously joined HumanizeMyHoodie and became more active in helping the organization. I supported Black Lives Matter with a donation and by spreading materials. I read and studied American history- the real history. I immersed myself in Black literature and other cultural material. I spoke my mind to friends, family, and on social media. I shared resources. I celebrated the momentum of the protests and the subsequent changes across the country. I'm still celebrating, and I'm still an activist, a proud ally. What I've learned is that when I feel vulnerable, I need to speak up, tell my truth, own my feelings, and act on my values. I am empowered when I take action that aligns with who I truly am and what I believe in my heart. Even if that action puts me in a vulnerable position, I will be standing on a stage of power.
  9. 4 points
    This is a major point of The Body Keeps the Score. A few days ago I heard The Dhamma teacher Dawn Neal tell the story of her little niece being angry, pounding her fists on Dawn's thighs which were as high as the little girl could reach, and yelling in anger, "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you." Dawn looked down and said, "I love you." Her niece stopped yelling and hugged her. The lesson had to do with people needing to be seen and heard, precisely the point of The Body Keeps the Score and, if I understand correctly, Shaun's teachings on "reciprocity." We tend to do all sorts of things to "fix" problems we perceive in others or discipline them, usually to relieve discomfort we ourselves experience, instead of showing up for them. I think we can see this dynamic playing out on a huge scale with reactions to the protests of the Floyd killing. Regarding Jo's experience with alternatives for aspiring meditators who might have reasons to be uncomfortable placing attention on their breath or their bodies, Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness addresses this topic well, including Jo's suggestions as I recall. I have no formal training, but I lead a small meditation group and I like to encourage people to stay with objects that bring them some pleasure or ease. They can even do this pacing, doing walking meditation, if they are too anxious to sit. The Buddha taught that gladness was a condition for practicing. If we are not enjoying practice, the likelihood is we won't keep it up. I really enjoy reading what trained people do. Finally, I personally do not like talks punctuated with "if you'd like" and the like. To me it interrupts the flow. Of course, I am the type who doesn't need an invitation to reject what the leader suggests! I personally prefer a preliminary instruction allowing people to follow their own lead if that seems of most benefit. I had a teacher who's many "if you like's" seemed obligatory, not sincere, so that might be clouding my perspective. It's not like there is only one right way. Have a great day.
  10. 4 points
    Thanks Gillian! When I worked with clients and taught meditation, I always explained in detail what meditation was before beginning the process, since many were scared of anything new, particularly anything having to do with relaxation. Also, I always reminded them that they were free to keep their eyes open, which many people did, at least at first. I found that asking people to focus on their breath often backfired, since traumatized individuals typically breathe shallowly and can get caught up in doing it "right." So, I usually begin with a body scan. However, I don't do a full body scan, because trauma is stored in the body, so I do a facial scan and have the client focus on relaxing the facial muscles, and maybe the neck and shoulders. This is usually quite effective which makes the client motivated to try more meditation. Visualization meditations can be useful to. I have one where I have the client create a safe room that only they have the key to, and where they can return anytime. I have them use all of their senses to create images in the room, what do they see, smell, taste, feel, etc. to imprint the place in their mind. I always tell clients before we start that we can stop at any time if they're uncomfortable- they can either say 'stop' or hold up a hand.
  11. 4 points
    That must have been quite tough @Gene Williams. That would of course shift and influence your journey related to expressing yourself. My environment was always very physically safe growing up but spiritually and emotionally it was constricting. As I moved through my teenage years and into adult life, I still held on to a lot of the 'good girl' conditioning that made me feel 'wrong' or 'bad' for expressing my feelings and needs (and to some degree, still do). So for me, learning to speak up in my teenage and early adulthood years was never in opposition with my physical wellbeing - a situation I'm very blessed to have experienced.
  12. 4 points
    I'm going to quote my favorite Sufi poet Rumi: "What you are seeking, is seeking you." "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." I believe the key to mindfulness is being gentle with yourself and not having expectations. Allowing whatever happens to happen. Continuing to come back to your breath, believing that breath is all-sustaining, and understanding the miracle of breath- that we breathe without effort, that the universe wants us to live even if we don't want to. The evidence is simple- try to hold your breath. You simply can't, your body breathes for you. The easiest way for me to meditate or calm myself is counting my breath. I inhale to a count of 4 or 6, breathing down into my belly, and exhale slowly to a count of 8 or 12.
  13. 4 points
    I began a page called Journey 2 Joy "52 Weeks Challenge of Gratitude" Each week follow and post on that page.
  14. 4 points
    I wasn't sure which category to post this in, and choose trauma since it relates to disassociation, which I know can be a pitfall of certain mindfulness teachings. I want to bring up the topic of how becoming a "passive observer" of one's life and oneself can lead to constant self-monitoring, disconnection and withdrawl, and the question of how to avoid this, mitigate this? Running a google search will bring up countless accounts of those who have been harmed by mindfulness (in my opinion, by the way mindfulness was presented to them) in serious ways, such as disassociation, depersonalization, excessive self-monitoring, and feeling less engaged in life and more of a bystander watching themselves and life from the sidelines. I really want to address this pitfall of certain mindfulness teachings, of language used, and how it is presented, and I'm hoping to open up a conversation here about this importance and how best to go about it so that mindfulness is less likely to trigger or lead to disassociation/dis-connection, and so that it does what I believe it should, which is to make us more intimate with ourselves (which means relating to our experience, not disconnecting from it) and lead to engaging in the world in a freer way, coming more into direct contact with what IS, and being less separated from the world by over attachment to mental activity, and transforming how relate to our experience of reality by loosening resistance to what IS by cultivating acceptance, grace, befriending, and self-compassion. Here is a quote that I found very relevant: "It is possible for someone who goes overboard with mindfulness to end up becoming isolated from other people because they up being just a passive observer who has totally lost the ability to "lose themselves" in what they are doing." This has been my experience at times and I am passionate about asking the question - how can we teach mindfulness in a way that is less likely to lead to this outcome?
  15. 4 points
    I think this is an important topic as well. As a psychologist, I specialized in working with individuals with trauma, and many were on the spectrum of dissociative disorders. I learned various grounding techniques when I saw that they were dissociating, such as asking them to name 5 things they saw, 3 scents in the air, 5 sounds they could hear, the taste in their mouth, 3 things they could feel, and getting them in their body. I did use mindfulness with these clients, but was very aware of their body language and level of awareness. Some people with dissociative identity disorder can benefit more from guided meditation that is very direct, where you go along with them, because silence can be an invitation for other parts to take over. For others on the dissociation spectrum, I found it helpful to explain that mediation is not about quieting the mind or stopping thoughts, but rather about creating space between the thoughts- not to get lost, but to provide some quite so they can be more in tune with their bodies. I always told clients to raise their hand or give me some kind of signal if they felt uncomfortable or became anxious and we could stop at any time. I didn't do longer meditations, which helped, although sometimes they were able to build up to longer meditations and found it extremely helpful. Progressive muscle relaxation meditation was very helpful too. Yoga is a great technique because it gets a person in their body and increases body-mind-spirit connection. Thanks for raising this issue!
  16. 4 points
    I have taught in business settings. Usually to people with high pressure jobs and a lot on their plate. I have focused on teaching them that Mindful singletasking is actually much more efficient than "multitasking" which is really just task switching. I also put a lot of emphasis on making sure that all of the Doing that has to happen throughout the day is Mindfully rooted in Being.
  17. 4 points
    Hi! I am focusing on taking care of my whole self by starting every day with prayer, tea, and gratitude. I’m staying off anything electronic during my first and last 1 1/2 hours of each day.
  18. 4 points
    My go to is the Wayne Dyer, and through Chinese medicine with the Buddha brought me to mindfulness also. The Dalai Lama book, "The Art of Happiness" spoke much of mindfulness. Various other influencers along the way.
  19. 3 points
    When I don't feel like meditating.... I pray. Nancy Jane
  20. 3 points
    Thank you @Jeff Miller, @Rachel, and @Daniel A. Detwiler for your thoughtful words and reflections. I resonate with much of what has been shared here and I am very grateful for your contributions to this community. It has taken me a few days to get to the computer to share my thoughts. So here are my own answers to this week's questions... 1. One significant lesson I learned in a deeper way this year is that it is much easier to cast judgment than to look at where what we judge exists within us. Despite the former of the two being easier, this is not the path towards peace and contentment. This year has really called me to contemplate how I contribute to the things I dislike and to be more compassionate towards the evolution of others - and towards the my own journey, too. 2. On the morning of the 1st, I completed my journal exercise to set intentions. The energies I feel called to cultivate more abundantly this year are: equanimity, acceptance, and presence. However, something lit up within me when I read 'purpose' in your own reflections @Rachel. I am going to sit with this again and see what new energies come up.
  21. 3 points
    This excerpt from a micro teaching I just fired out summarizes my response to the questions that Gillian asked. - - - The challenge as 2020 passes is to regard it with generous gratitude. It has given humanity the powerful gift of remembering. Remembering is a potentially radical and life-affirming act. Remember or die. The collective human biological organism literally isn’t going to survive, let alone regenerate civilization and the natural world that it depends on for sustenance and survival, if it doesn’t clearly remember what a human being actually is, where it actually exists, how where it exists actually operates and how dependently it exists there. The most important practice for humanity in 2021 and ongoing will be to not look away as fast-moving circumstances shake / wake us up to the naked actuality of our existence in this age of degeneration and uncertainty. To remember, remember, remember, moment-by-moment, and to let the clarity of remembering, no matter how difficult or confusing or anxiety-producing this experience may be, inform and crack open the collective heart like the sun cracks open a buried seed. Forgetting what we are, where we are and how where we are operates is degenerative. Remembering these foundations of healthy perception, kind intention and skillful action is regenerative. This is the way of all flesh here in Earth. - - - 2021 is likely going to be a difficult year. May we all calmly regard it as an opportunity to help others.
  22. 3 points
    One thing I do is to ask myself what that part of me is trying to achieve through that negative response. For example, If I found myself really defensive in a conversation I might later review and sort through what I was trying to do by that defensiveness. Your thoughts, feelings or bodily reactions may tell you something about that. I found that I become defensive if I feel attacked in some way. Sometimes, the problem is my perception is off. Other times I found I was reacting to a controlling attitude I picked up from another person that reminded me of a time when I felt helpless to respond. The inquiry gives some answers. Tara Brach describes a process of naming the feelings or thoughts that you dislike in yourself and letting them know that they are a part of your experience. Neither being aversive to them nor clinging to them. It is a tall order but works somewhat with me. Finally, talking to a therapist or trusted person can be helpful. Daniel
  23. 3 points
    Hi. I am new to the community, so thought I'd put in a comment. I had a 50 year career as a symphony percussionist, so naturally music affects me very deeply. What's maybe interesting to this community is how mindfulness has affected my experience of listening. Playing in a symphony orchestra seems glamorous and exciting to many people, but there are also long stretches of boredom and a lot of burnout. So toward the end of my career there were a lot of pieces I thought I'd never want to hear again, ever! But I started listening to music with my whole body, kind of like a musical body scan, noticing where my body was responding. I always envied people in the audience, because I knew that a lot of them were hearing the same thing I was, but with "beginner's mind", and hearing it on a much more emotional level. So I'm pleased to report that I am making listening to music (mostly classical and jazz) with new ears, and appreciating it in a way that I haven't before. Kind of like mindful eating. So I can hear a piece by Tchaikovsky, for example, that I'd played dozens of times and which I was sick of, and feel the tremendous emotion that the composer expressed. It's really wonderful to experience life on a deeper, richer level, and all you have to do is pay attention. My second grade teacher told me to do that. Better late than never. Peace to you all. Congratulations for choosing the path of wisdom. Keith
  24. 3 points
    I was really stressed and depressed Wed. morning as i feared the same outcome as last time even though I know the final count would not be in. I did feel better after going out for my walk. I am an online activist so I get a lot pf mail too much of it political since that man took the WH and I deleted ever one, every bit of news, did not turn on the radio and when in the car I put in CD's. It lessened my stress considerably. I got a few snatches but i do not pay attention i might see although i was boosted by some that I saw. the tension is there but i try to keep it in the back of my mind. Meditation was very hard on Wed. AM. Yesterday was good. I figure at some point I will cry from relief or from anguish and at this point i will not predict either. If the latter happens I will be in trouble though.
  25. 3 points
  26. 3 points
    I think that is a big part of what I might call limited thinking. I think in the same way we are empathetic with stories of abuse, etc, we need to express (albeit not easy) empathy to folks who need to elevate themselves above others and find fault with color, religious, gender, etc differences. If we can use curiosity to place doubt in their minds about their viewpoint, maybe we can make a small chip in the facade. Staying out of judgmental thinking for those who are being judgmental is a battle I continue to work on internally. In the same way a person has anxiety about leaving their home or going to the super market perhaps there are those that experience anxiety when confronted with difference. I believe there is research about this now and some work on relearning for people who struggle with judgmental biases/hate.
  27. 3 points

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  28. 3 points
  29. 3 points
    Thanks, WBA, I was going to contribute a slightly different way of belittling myself, judging myself deficient. But, I don’t think the particular flavors matter. I do think it is good to have realistic ideas of our limitations, but that is different from letting judgments of them define and limit us. Maybe it can help us take appropriate steps to create conditions more conducive to success when we “go for it?”
  30. 3 points
    Great question! I hold the belief that I have great ideas and aspirations, but lack the character and ability to make them come into being. I have doubts I can breathe my vision to life.
  31. 3 points
    I have recently learned that empathy is the identifying with the feelings of others, while compassion is being called to help. This has helped me reframe compassion for both myself and for others. Viewing compassion as something actionable has made it more concrete for me. I, like @Gillian Sanger am regularly drawn to metta and tonglen styles of meditation. In both, the concepts of helping, wishing, meditating in the interest of increasing the well being of others is, to me, the action of compassion. I also really like the self-compassion work of Kristin Neff, who taught me about the shared humanity of suffering during a very fragile and difficult time in my life. The idea that self compassion can be the tiny act of placing a hand on your heart or holding your own hand to alleviate your own suffering shifted things for me. When I am feeling self critical or shaming myself, those things continue to bring. me some small places of ease. Lastly, I heard Pema Chodron speak of something in a recent interview called Compassionate Abiding. You can take a listen to the conversation (I have listened 4 times!) at the link below. Tami Simon from SoundsTrue is a wonderful interviewer. I learned so much from this podcast and use compassionate abiding daily. https://resources.soundstrue.com/podcast/pema-chodron-compassionate-abiding/
  32. 3 points
  33. 3 points
    Hi everyone - Thanks for the warm welcome into this group. I am happy and excited to be part of this, and begin learnIng from Sean and all of you as I deepen my practice to better serve others. I formally began meditating and studying Buddhism in the 1990s. I’m retired military and for the past few years been teaching yoga and now lead a small mindfulness group at work. Most of my yoga and mindfulness students are either military or retired military and now DoD civilians. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and checking out all the resources in here. Be safe and well out there.
  34. 3 points
    Happy new week, everyone! Mindfulness is giving me an assist with managing all that comes with being sheltered in place with my two kids while managing my household, my own work, and their school schedules. There are at least several moments each day where I may feel a rising sense of frustration, anxiety, or spaciness- and yet when I can catch myself in those places (or heading toward them), I can, as Joseph Goldstein so eloquently puts it. simply begin again. I can remember that the recognition of the mind wandering to the what ifs or the past is the practice of mindfulness in action. In those moments, I may just set my feet on the floor, step near a window or out into my small urban backyard, take a breath, feel my body, and know that I am right where I am, here, now. Everything else is just temporarily visiting. Be well. Rachel
  35. 3 points
    I am a primary care physician and trained MBSR teacher . I also did trainings with Dr rick Hanson and positive neuroplasticity and i am now doing some polyvagal theory webinars with deb dana . The stress in the surgery for the patients and staff is massive at the moment and my trainings are really helping me and the patients . id love to hear how others mix the two areas . i teach mindfulness and mediation classes outside of my day job . currently doing it on line . its working well . Im teaching outside my day job as a dr as mindfulnessyourway.ie
  36. 3 points
    Hello everyone I'm Ekerette I don't know if anyone here knows what it feels like to have been habitually not mindful? That's who I was. I'm hoping that by meeting, learning and sharing here I'll accelerate my development and contribute to others around. Kind regards.
  37. 3 points
  38. 3 points
    This is a question I contemplate a lot. My present thoughts are that the wish to bridge these divides is beneficial to the extent it helps us tune in to how we might be too righteously grasping our own views and it motivates us to resolve not to make things worse through unkind speech and actions. It can inspire us to soften and kindly listen whenever civil discourse is available and to find and express common ground. At the same time, I believe the wish to bridge these gaps can be overly idealistic and reflect some wishful thinking rooted in denial and conflict avoidance. We are social animals and want to belong to our community and see it function harmoniously. When it does not, we feel a most uncomfortable dissonance between our compassion for suffering and our allegiance to the community, our craving to belong and get along. To resolve the discomfort it becomes easy to rationalize not taking appropriate actions but to maintain a semblance of harmony and/or loyalty. Through mindfulness we might sense into these tensions, emotions, and attitudes and see how they shape our intentions. We must adhere to our truths, for example that non-harming and promoting the wellbeing of all beings to the greatest practical extent is Important for moving toward a harmonious and thriving community. Through our practice we intend to do so from a place of kindness and warmth as opposed to hostility and aversion. But, often in this milieu our compassion must be fierce. Fierceness might be just simply and gently saying, “no,” asking for the information on which another bases his or her opinion, or looking for opportunities to introduce discreetly pertinent information whenever it will be tolerated. Where we are unsure, we could offer, “I’m not sure, but I have [whatever concern],” or something similar. Often we will be uncertain how to act or respond. I nevertheless think we should not shrink from being perceived as consistent advocates of views that might be unpopular with others. It then is not necessary nor even advisable to always speak up. I wish I really were skillful at any of this and am eager to learn what others contribute.
  39. 3 points
    Hello everyone! I’ve been lurking in the shadows receiving and ‘filing’ Sean’s emails for the 100 Day Meditation practice. I am a Social Worker working in the Child Protection space so find my work challenging and busy resulting in a very busy mind. I have 3 children, 2 with special needs, so have been trying to embrace Mindfulness and Meditation for as long as I can remember and never seem to find the time. I hoping by committing to a community I will dedicate more time to mindfulness. I certainly see the benefits when I take the time to do it. I would like to eventually study mindfulness with a view to teaching it to parents and children as my long-term goal is to work as a therapist/coach to assist families to be strong family units providing safety and security for themselves and their children. As a SN parent there was never much support/help for my husband and I (and our daughter) but lots for our SN children. I would like my impact in the this world to be a shining light (lighthouse) for the whole family and help them through difficult times. I’m looking forwarding to learning from you all, developing new experiences and a sense of calm Cheers Keera
  40. 3 points
    Good morning, everyone. I have been using "Future Self" journaling prompts for over 100 days (thanks to a wonderful teacher named Dr. Nicole LePera- the Holistic Psychologist) and I find that this type of inquiry allows space for learning many interesting things about myself. So for today...my future self will (hopefully) thank me for pausing before responding in the hectic day of working full time and home schooling two kids on my own. I am working to cultivate more pause when I feel tension or stress rising in my body from the inevitable challenges that are present in our current circumstance. Alongside this, I hope to be forgiving of myself when the pause doesn't go exactly as planned...knowing I will have endless moments to try again. Wishing you all a day infused with light and ease. Rachel
  41. 3 points
    I have ADHD and creating structure is so difficult for me. I prefer to have structure built into my day. But, during this pandemic I had to find a way. So, I grabbed my white board and hung it on the living room wall and grabbed post-it notes and wrote tasks on them (things I would like/need to do in addition to the daily activities I normally do) and placed them on the white board. Each day, I grab a post-it note from the board and do it. If I do more than one - great. But, it is helping me not be so overwhelmed with all of the "to do" items that I literally can just put off for another day. I am getting shit done! And, at the same time, I am resting and spending time practicing more and just being present with all that is here - the chaos, uncertainty, compassion, gratitude, loneliness, suffering, constant change, aversion, desire, etc. So, I am allowing myself much more grace than I normally do. After all, I have never been through a pandemic before and none of us have, so we are all doing the best we can, right?
  42. 3 points

    From the album: Mindful Art

    © True You Holistic Life Coaching

  43. 3 points
    Hey everyone one, I thought I'd start a thread for us to share what we're using to nourish, support, and uplift ourselves during difficult times. Feel free to share photos of anything in your environment that brings you a sense of peace, love, and happiness. From your favourite book, to a cup of tea, to the roof over your head - share whatever you're grateful for. At the moment, I'm looking at these two sweet souls. Spending time with them helps to ground me and remind me of what's important. Their capacity to uplift me is truly infinite.
  44. 3 points
    I appreciate your commens @Gillian Sanger You raise an important distinction that I think I have not been aware of when I am practicing mindfulness: becoming aware of pleasant thought streams. I can easily become aware of unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and emotions but I do not pay much attention to the pleasant ones. Yes, this is not mindful awareness!!! I will give this more attention in my practice. Many thanks, Gene
  45. 3 points
    Day 8: Focused Attention. I find when I am able to remember to really focus on a conversation or interaction with someone I somehow automatically feel grateful for them. I feel wonder at what they are saying, really interested in what is said and the emotions around what is not said. I become a WHOLE listener so my responses are more accurate and reflect my deep understanding of the other person. It really deepens the connection I have with others and I find other people seek me out when they just want to be heard. Focused attention is a beautiful gift to practice!
  46. 3 points
    Thanks Gillian, brilliant post & great resources here. For myself, my greatest fear that I am working through with gratitude, meditation & mindfulness is the uncertainty of income as schools & businesses grind to a halt. I am a casual relief teacher &, although schools are still open here in Australia, I am concerned that if or when they close, I am without work & the bills & rent still need to be paid. Mindfulness exercises help keep me in the present with a clear head & open heart to deal with my emotions. I know this too shall pass & that, whatever happens, I can & will handle it. Being in the moment yet creating a contingency plan brings me peace of mind & allows any anxiety to flow through me without giving it any weight. Another challenge that I find harder to deal with is my husband's mood....he seems to be sinking into a depressive state which is not helped by his steady diet of TV news. This, along with financial burdens, is putting our marriage under great strain. Any suggestions of what is within my own scope of power & what I can do to help him would be greatly appreciated. Thank you once again Maureen
  47. 3 points
  48. 3 points
    This week's question asks: What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation? And, how do you practice each of these? Sometimes these two separate terms are used interchangeably; at other times, they are indeed one and the same. Sometimes meditation is mindfulness (and vice versa), though they can also stand alone. How do you understand these two terms to be different? Do you practice both mindfulness and meditation? Together or separately? Which (if one more than the other) do you feel more drawn towards? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!
  49. 3 points
    Oh my. I use to have little notes all over the place. Lists of what to do in each room. Especially the kitchen. With kids around, teenagers I find lists are needed. Now I just do one room at a time and take my time. Lord, I would even have dust the base boards. I was a perfectionist. Bedrooms would look like hotel rooms. A Bed, Dresser and Chair is all the was there. Crazy when I think back. Now is not as bad. Back then I would take a clothes basket to each room. Put everything in it that belonged to a different room and empty as I went. Not anymore. Nameste
  50. 3 points
    I have learned that embracing the grief allows it to turn into peace. It sounds scary, but accept the pain and it will be transformed. Do not deny or suppress and it will become something new.

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    • Today was day 28 of my 100 day challenge. I like the fact that I'm looking forward to each morning with a different meditation. These first 28 days were the mindfulness for beginners album. I'm interested to see where the rest come from. Kindness and love for all, John
    • You are a lot kinder than i am in that respect. i am a bit of a curmudgeon and naysayer when it comes to people. 
    • Hi @Faune, Yes, there are many good and caring people who live, speak, and act in ways that support and care for the wellbeing of animals and the rest of the natural world. I can see what you are saying about our species, but I try to think that because we are here, we are natural and there is a purpose for us. We just need to figure out what that is on a collective scale. 💖
    • Thank you so very much Rachel. Your words highlight for me the complexity of things and the frequent co-existence of paradoxical emotions. It can be difficult to put our finger on what is going through the mind, heart, and body since these feelings are transient. In one moment, hope. In the next, anger or cynicism. You have highlighted your own experience of multidimensionality this week beautifully.  And this. Yes! Words are incredibly powerful. And poetry is a unique vessel that brings words directly into heart and soul. My own mind today has been shifting between focused and scattered. For periods of time I have been concentrated on my work and on my practice (mantra, self-compassion, and journaling today). And during other periods of the day, well, my mind has been a little bit all over the place.  One thing that helped to put my mind at ease today was when one of my dogs sauntered over to me and sat in front of me, staring up at me with her dark brown eyes. In that moment, the planning/worrying/anxious mind just melted away and I tuned back into the present moment. I held her and an immense wave of gratitude washed over me. It helped me to remember what matters most in life - love.
    • I am a bit late to this week's inquiry, but I was actually surprised by the amount of decompression I was feeling last week after the inauguration.  I do not think I had realized how much emotion had been tangled up in these recent months for me. I have been feeling a slow burn of hope, relief, anger, and exhaustion.  Dare I say a bit of cynicism (eek) on the edges, around the concept of a magic bullet having arrived and all being well.  There is so much suffering, for multiple reasons, and the work must now be attended to in earnest.  In that way, I get a sense of energized commitment.  Complacency is not action.  These things- racial injustice, the climate crisis, economic inequity, the pandemic- are not someone else's 'problems'.  They belong to all of us; so now, with the turn of leadership here in the US, we get to work. The last thing I have felt this week has been awe.  Amanda Gorman not only inspired with her words and recitation, she reminded every student I work with that it is COOL to read, write, and express yourself.  Words are power.  Wow. Wishing all here peace and ease.  Take good care.
    • How interesting the difference in interpretations, Gillian. In some ways we are a part of the world and I truly do not like being such a cynic but in my mind we are an unnatural species Every being has a role to play to keep the balance of nature but what is our role? Thankfully I am able to remember there are many good and caring people who fight for animals and the planet even if I remain a cynic about our species. Thank you for telling us about that dream.
    • Nice to hear from you Priyanka! What a sweet photo. Faune, yes - the concrete and glass does create a sense of division, doesn't it? 'Us' and 'the wild world out there'. But we are an integral part of that wild world.  It reminds me of a dream I had once: I was in Northern Ontario and I built a beautiful glass dome for myself (I had superpowers, clearly). When it was finished, I rested inside the dome gazing up at the trees beyond the glass. Later, I shared this dream with a Jungian analyst, explaining that I thought the dream symbolized my yearning to be connected to nature. She said something like, "But there was this barrier - this glass dome - between you and that natural world?" It made me pause. How immersed did I think I was when it as clearly 'me in here' and 'nature out there'? Very interesting.
    • I wanted to quickly bring to the community's attention the intention for this community, as well as general rules and etiquette to keep in mind. I am so pleased with how communication typically flows in this community, but I wanted to offer some reminders in any case. I will be elaborating on what is written on our 'About' page. * First and foremost, compassion and non-judgment are at the heart of this community. We ask that when you share here, your words are grounded in these qualities. "Loving-kindness and understanding are what this space is here for, so ensure that your words are in alignment with these." If posts are made that violate these terms (and others outlined in the About page), we maintain the right to remove them.  Mindful, compassionate communication is at the core of this. In an online space, this can be tricky as words are more likely to be misinterpreted. For that reason, it feels even more important to be thoughtful with our words and to consider the overall net effect of them. I am going to point out two places to learn more about what this mindful, compassionate communication entails: 1) Oren J. Sofer provides a wealth of knowledge on mindful communication. During his workshop with the teacher training program, he outlined three pillars of mindful communication: presence, intention, and attention. Intention stands out to me here. He says, "If our intention is off, the other person is going to feel it." In this community, our intention should be coming from curiosity and care. If you are not in the teacher training program, you can find Oren's work here: https://www.orenjaysofer.com/ 2) The Center for Nonviolent Communication can also provide guidance here. From there website, I am drawn to this line: "Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—NVC helps us discover the depth of our own compassion. This language reveals the awareness that all human beings are only trying to honor universal values and needs, every minute, every day." You can learn more about this approach to compassionate communication here: https://www.cnvc.org/learn-nvc/what-is-nvc * Now, it's important to note that this does not mean we always need to agree - but how do we discuss topics of difference? Are we approaching our differences with compassion, awareness of our shared humanity, and curiosity? All are welcome to share their opinions here, but please do so without blaming and shaming. If you have any questions about this or any concerns with posts going forward, feel free to reach out to me. On the whole, this community has felt very warm, supportive, and inspiring. Thank you for your contributions. Let's continue to use our words to bring out the best in one another - to support, to care, and to nurture.
    • A wonderful photo! He looks like a very happy cat and a lucky one. Cats are funny beings. I had an orange  male and he was one of the best cats ever. You must have gotten him to walk early. i can not imagine doing this with mine but then I never tried.Thanks for the smile.
    • chotu goes out for walks on a leash twice a day everyday ... if he isnt taken out - he is very vocal indeed.... just thought i would share  a picture of him.... he scampers up trees and runs around on the property ...  truly an amusing fellow ...
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