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Gillian Sanger

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Gillian Sanger last won the day on January 21

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hello @Faune! Lovely to hear from you. Yes, this quote is beautiful even if poignant. We are indeed, as a collective, very far removed from nature and our impact on it. I think this is one of our root causes of suffering - this illusion that we are separate from the natural world that we are in fact an integral part of. It is beautiful to read about your nature reflections. You seem to have a very special relationship with your surroundings and the animals there
  6. I am sitting at my desk overlooking the snow flurries outside and thought again about how miraculous the natural world is. Then, I remembered a quote I discovered in the introduction to a new book I am reading called 'If Women Rose Rooted'. The book is by Sharon Blackie, but the quote is by DH Lawrence. I will share it here as it serves as a reminder for me to deeply tune into nature and her rhythms:
  7. Hello Patricia F! Lovely to connect with you. I am Gillian - the community moderator. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message. It is wonderful to hear about the work that you do. Are there currently mindfulness resources or teachings being offered in any way through the organization? And I am also curious - to establish a more consistent practice, are you doing the 100 day mindfulness challenge or simply setting your own intentions?
  8. Hi Dale! Welcome to the community. I'm Gillian - the moderator for the forum. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a note.

    All the best! 🙂

  9. This week's question asks: How is your mind today? This is an opportunity to simply share whatever sorts of thoughts you've been experiencing today. Is your mind feeling clear? Is it feeling scattered? Is it inspired, frightened, focused, confused, or overwhelmed? Feel free to share anything you notice about your thought patterns today or in the day's leading up to this one.
  10. Hi David, In that blog post there is a quote by a man named Robert Augustus Masters. Have you heard of him? I haven't looked too much into his work, but a while back I listened to a podcast during which he very openly talked about his earlier life experience. In his early days, he organized a 'spiritual community' which ended up being a cult. I can't remember the details but I think he had a bit of a breakdown and had to look at his life in a completely new way, which led to more honest realizations. I just learned that he wrote a book on spiritual bypassing (and articles and other podcasts), which could be valuable and interesting resources to check out! https://www.robertmasters.com/book/spiritual-bypassing/
  11. I am sharing here a video clip of Sean explaining his definition of mindfulness. I am posting it in the 'Teaching Mindfulness to Others' corner of the forum as this clip comes from the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program. It can be used to help us understand mindfulness for ourselves but also as a suggestion for how we might explain it to others.
  12. What great responses. All so very unique! Similar to David, what I do when I don't feel like meditating depends upon what is going on in mind and body (i.e. am I being stubborn or is my mind-body asking for something a bit different?). In any case, what I am learning to do each morning, regardless of what I 'feel' like, is to commit to some sort of 'tuning in' for at least 20 minutes. This might end up as formal meditation practice or it could end up being more expressive, such as journaling, dance, or yoga (i.e tuning in and seeing what pours out).
  13. Hi Janelle! Wonderful to connect with you here. It was lovely to read your reflections on day 3 (noted about the mention of the 28-day challenge in the email! I will pass it on - thank you). I'm Gillian, by the way - the community moderator. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I read in your other post that you wish to be more consistent with your practice. I definitely think the 100 day challenge will be great for that. Do you have any favourite practices or teachers of mindfulness?
  14. This week's question asks: What do you do when you don't feel like meditating? This question was inspired by the worksheet 'When You Just Can't Meditate'. It got me curious about what our options are when we don't feel like meditating. What sorts of things do you do? Do you skip it? Do you try a short practice? Do you take a deep breath and get on with it? Do you do something else that feels equally nurturing? All reactions are welcome; this is a judgment-free space. If you have any tips or compassionate words for those who struggle to meditate, I invite you to share those here as well.
  15. Welcome @Jane! Wonderful to have you here in the community and thank you for the introduction. Feel free to jump in on any thread here in the forum to share some of your expertise with us
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