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Everything posted by Rachel

  1. Hi Everyone- I am happy to report that I have been able to bring mindfulness to groups that cut across a swath of my community as well as online. Today I wrote and put out a new blog post that I wanted to share- called In Service. Hope it resonates and please feel free to share widely. Here is the direct link, and below is the link for my site where meditations and blogs are shared freely and with love! link to blog: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qm8wftizCAlZSsI6BXrvYOCqlLIgdObFVTrUcZkEfBw/edit?usp=sharing link to site: rachelpottsorg.wordpress.com Be well! Rachel
  2. I think I feel most alive, that is that I am best able to sense the aliveness within me, when I am quiet in nature. The vibration of the ground, the sea, the wind- all hums within me and I am keenly aware of it in those moments. For me, feeling alive is most notable in the physical body. Hope all here are well. Rachel
  3. Thank you so much, @Jane Bjerklie-Barry....that means so much. I am enjoying writing the blogs and am pleased this one struck a chord with you. Hope things are going well for you! Rachel
  4. I listened to a very interesting podcast today on belonging and othering. I thought it might be of interest around this topic of home...here is the link. https://resources.soundstrue.com/podcast/building-belonging-being-an-ambassador-to-the-earth/
  5. Had to add another I came across just this week! I was given an interview with the author, Dr. Clint Smith, who just blew me away. After that interview, I listened to two others (including the one linked below with Terry Gross on Fresh Air) and then I ordered the book! The book is called How the Word is Passed and here is the Fresh Air interview as a suitable introduction to Dr. Smith and his writing: https://www.npr.org/2021/06/01/1001243385/slavery-wasnt-long-ago-writer-exposes-the-disconnect-in-how-we-tell-history
  6. yes! i know that poem and it is one of my favorites touching on this theme. home is a powerful metaphor in writings across time. here is the link to the complete McNeill passage: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LhqY-VOk0cIhB-7WBBC5gSTh2dux1ndia_4If_C2LDU/edit?usp=sharing
  7. Home to me is an intangible sense of being at ease. It is less about place or company, and more about ease within my own heart, mind, and body. One of my very favorite passages from Brigid Anna McNeill says- "Make a loving home within yourself. One that feels beautiful to dwell in when all else falls away." There is more to this meaningful passage, but you get the idea. Be well- Rachel
  8. I recently finished The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende- incredible! Currently reading Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright. Enjoying his quippy writing style and interesting crossover of ideas rooted in both Buddhism and evolutionary psychology. Next up- Grounded by Dr. Erin Yu-Juin McMorrow, about healing the literal earth (soil) and the divine feminine and how they are one and the same. Braiding Sweetgrass in one of my own teacher's favorites... and though I haven't read it myself, I am familiar with many passages. Be well!
  9. Hi everyone- This is an interesting weekly query. I think I tend to have mini aha moments in cycles- and recently I have recognized that when I am stressed or tired or down, I tend to instinctively seek something outside of myself for distraction- like company (even from a former lover- no bueno) or too many bowls of Frosted Flakes. The awareness leads to a pause, a momentary inquiry of: What else is here? How can I acknowledge it without fear of the discomfort? Mindful indeed. Hope you are well... Rachel
  10. It is nice to have something external to reflect on for a question of the week. Thank you, Rick and Gillian. 1. My eye was first drawn to the sunrise...I am naturally an early riser and one of the most sacred pauses in a day is to be with the sun as it makes its' appearance. 2. The emotion that was most predominant for me was restlessness...a desire to get away, perhaps to a place where I could be with this scene without distraction, 3. The labyrinth reminds me of a mountaintop path I like to hike to when I go on retreat. In fact, the whole image reminds me of the serene grounds there; perhaps that is where I am wanting to go to as references in question 2? 4. My heart feels a bit sad actually...I feel more and more concerned about the state of the natural world.
  11. I am definitely interested in learning more about the breathwork practices as well, @Benicio Any information or guidance you can share would be wonderful. Always grateful to be here, to learn and to grow. Rachel
  12. I shared a new blog today on my site, and I think it sort of speaks to this week's question, which I believe can be interpreted in several ways. Here is the link and I would love to hear your thoughts as related to the question of the week, as well as the contents of the blog itself. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ObevCPyzpLrHBcZ7mJ_dtjctcKwD0_N7y_zkpa3K48s/edit?usp=sharing Be well- Rachel
  13. Hello, Community- It's been a minute! I have transitioned back out into the post Covid world and have been working on site for the last several weeks. I am noticing a scattered sense most days and am just being mindful as the pace of my day to day shifts once again. I do hope you have all been well. In the overwhelm of daily life, both close to home and globally, I definitely am a human who tends to 'forget' what there is to appreciate in the little moments. So this question, as @Gillian Sanger seems to sense from halfway across the world, comes to me in timing divine. My teacher often opens our sitting meditations with an exercise which highlights just what this question is asking: she invites us to inwardly repeat phrases like, "I woke up this morning- thank you. When I opened my eyes, I could see- thank you. When I stepped out of bed, my legs were strong beneath me- thank you." And so one...in each tiny moment, there is something to be grateful for. Those tiny moments are humbling and for me, grounding. So that is where I will start. Wishing you peace and ease. Rachel
  14. Thanks to all for the thoughtful and personal responses, and thank you @Gillian Sanger for the important inquiry and invitation. There is so much that needs to be tended to, within and in the collective sense, that it can be sometimes overwhelming to know where to begin. For me, with my friends and colleagues of color, particularly my Black friends (and their families)- I have simply inquired how their hearts are in the wake of such big emotional events around racism, accountability, injustice, and fear. I have let them know (in word today, in deed on other days) that although they grieve and anguish, they do not do so alone. I acknowledge my place and privilege in being able to stand in solidarity with and more importantly, for them. I recently read See No Stranger by the wonderful and inspiring Valarie Kaur, and took part in an online seminar she led called "The People's Inauguration- 10 Days to Revolutionary Love". During the workshop, one of the sessions focused on grief- our own and witnessing that of others. I learned the power of simply communicating that the heavy trauma and grief (of ones dear to me who belong to historically oppressed groups) is seen, acknowledged, and in the importance of letting them know they are not alone in their grief. Hope this finds you all safe and well. Rachel
  15. Hi everyone- This is such a thought provoking question. I think I would say that my most impactful silent teachers are two- my son and my daughter. I have been reminded by and through them, at each age and stage- of the impermanence and wonder of life. The container of motherhood has been a learning lab where I have cultivated patience, curiosity, experiencing emotions, forgiveness, humility, and love. Hope this finds everyone in the community well. Rachel
  16. Congrats on taking the leap! I created a lovely, simple website on Wordpress. You can check it out here. rachelpottsorg.wordpress.com All best to you!
  17. On Peace from Jaiya John: 'Catching peace is not like catching a fish or a cold. To catch peace, you have to let go. Peace is not a catch and release, it is a release and catch. Release everything and catch peace.' This was shared during a meditation led by my teacher recently and it has been humming in my awareness since.
  18. Hello, @LHA- This really resonates with me, as I am someone who gets lost in my thinking mind by conditioning. Mindfulness has really helped me 'catch' when I am doing this. Even if just for a moment here and there, I can bring myself back, get present, and the inner commentary slows and quiets. A few practices/resources I use/have used to support me in this constant chattering: 1. The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer 2. Tara Brach's Practice- Letting Life Live Through You 3. Noticing when I am doing so, and using steps to disentangle from the stream of judging chatter- orienting to my surroundings, then grounding into my feet or seat, and finally taking a few intentional breaths to quiet the noise and bring me back to the present. Take good care! Rachel
  19. It really, really does help and support. I am open to all interpretations and wisdom, so yes...and thank you.
  20. I think this inquiry is related to finding one's voice. Recently, I have been feeling a deep intuitive sense to remain open to something that seemed to close off a ways back. I am working with discerning to notice if it is truly my inner voice guiding me toward a possibility or if there is some underlying clinging or attachment that is keeping me in this limbo space. Wondering if anyone has any insight to offer. Always, grateful for this community- Rachel
  21. Hi Friends- Just wanted to share a sample of the kids' practices I put up on my site (rachelpottsorg.wordpress.com) for the little ones in your life! Enjoy and share freely! The Rainbow Inside Us- https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XkbfVZZqzc7HOqida5Dp5OWCz5O0FwZo/view?usp=sharing
  22. This week's inquiry is a welcome one! I listened to a short talk by Tara Brach yesterday (linked. below) and she spoke of a time of great struggle where she simply began saying inwardly, over and over, "Please be kind." So often, I remind my children and my students of the importance of being kind, but rarely do I remind myself to be kind- TO myself. So those are the words I am contemplating and whispering to myself this week. Wishing everyone well. Rachel https://www.nicabm.com/radical-compassion-2/content-1/?_lay
  23. Welcome to this most wonderful and supportive of communities, from a fellow New Jerseyan! Be well- Rachel
  24. I found myself avoiding this inquiry. My relationship with digital communication feels sticky, as I am sure it does for so many. On the one hand, I recognize that I am not a mass consumer of digital media. The only social media platform I have ever used is Instagram, and only starting a few years back when my oldest child began using it and I wanted to be able to monitor. I try to limit my news consumption to news catchall where I can glimpse the headlines from various sources, which I do twice a day at most. Being online for work since the pandemic began has created an ever growing desire in me to not be on a screen. And yet.... Trying to keep my mindfulness writings and practices current requires me to be online. There are most definitely teachers and other people who's work I find inspiring, informative, and important. But I still try to bring awareness to how the one step removed interactions impact my heart-mind. The separateness is pronounced. There is so much via digital communication to learn from. There is a sense of connection to others, and an illumination of the suffering of others, which catalyzes me to act in service. But there is also an underlying current of mindlessness to being on a device all the time. When I can, I step out without my phone, so in my 'empty' moments, I can look at the sky or trees or hear music while fully present n my car. I miss the days of being unreachable, being able to truly disappear for a bit. So I have to create them for myself where I can. Thanks for the question, @Gillian Sanger! Be well, everyone. Rachel
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