This community is designed to be a welcoming space to enhance mindfulness inquiry and exploration. In this spirit, please share and respond mindfully and compassionately, cultivating continued respect, safety, and support for all.
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,
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 ...