Mindfully exploring complementary qualities

Sunday September 30, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Mindfully exploring complementary qualities, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday Oct 2, 8 – 8:30 pm. 

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, on Sunday Sep 30, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 6:30 – 6:40 pm roughly; 6:40 – 7:30 pm – Discussion on the topic Mindfully exploring complementary qualities. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday.

It seems that we have just gotten used to some thing, a flavor, a person, when the next moment arrives. One wish is for a smooth life, controlling the changes as much as possible. Another approach is to retreat. Mindfulness offers an alternative where we embrace the changes as natural complementary aspects.  In reality they can’t exist alone, and our idea that they can represents a fiction created by our minds.  Practicing our appreciation of these aspects can be stimulating and fun.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, please see our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations, except for special programs such as the one above, is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).

Chants, Music and Mindfulness

Sunday September 16, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Chants, Music and Mindfulness, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday Sept 18, 8 – 8:30 pm. 

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, with a Chanting theme, on Sunday July 8, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 6:30 – 6:40 pm roughly; 6:40 – 7:30 pm – Discussion on the topic Chants, Music and Mindfulness. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday.

Chanting is a common in Buddhism and also reflective practices in religion.

We explore:  Why chant?  What is its aim?  Historical aspects.  Chants in modern music. Create your own chant.

A key aspect of mindfulness is turning toward reality, the present, in a compassionate and heart-filled way.  While practicing mindfulness we turn our awareness by focusing on the coming and going of breath (breath meditation), body sensations (body scan), movement, among many others.  Most activities can be used for meditative practice.  The key is not emptying the mind (which is impossible), but activity in which we hold attention lightly and playfully, on some focus.  In fact a better challenge question is to find an activity which can’t be used for meditative practice!

For a take in modern World Music see the Haya Band and Imee Ooi’s versions of the Ancient Ohm Mani Padme Hum Chants:

 

We’ll discuss and try two of the most famous chants in Buddhism.

The Ohm chant: you may be familiar with in Yoga. Predates Buddhism with Brahman-Hindu origins. In Buddhism, among its many meanings, is that of the sound of the Universe, and the compassionate unity of all beings. Despite many ads on youtube, for the deepest, the best, Ohm chant etc, the goal is not one of performance, but a simple
invitation and opening to the unity of all things. Just let it happen, and don’t try to control it in any way.

The Ohm Mani, Padme Hum Chant: After Ohm, this is perhaps the most famous Buddhist chant. It is ancient, and the current Dalai Lama, describes it: It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani padme hum, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast…  There appears to be no literal translation of the 6 syllables, of the chant, that seems only partly related to  difficulty of translation from original Sanskrit. Instead the there are numerous qualities associated with each of the syllables, and some practitioners regard its effects as beyond strict meaning. Briefly Ohm is the sound of everything, and enhances the practice of generosity. The path of enlightenment is represented by the following 5 syllables: Ma enhances ethics; Ni enhances tolerance and patience;  Pad indicates diligence to reduce prejudice and Me turning away from possessiveness; Purity is achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable Hum, which indicates indivisibility.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, please see our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations, except for special programs such as the one above, is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).

Riding the waves of change: Mindfulness, Surfing and Flow

Sunday July 8, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Riding the waves of change: Mindfulness, Surfing and Flow, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday July 10, 8 – 8:30 pm. Note the earlier start time for our Sunday drop-in meditations and discussion, which will continue throughout the summer.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, with a Beach, Surfing and Flow theme, on Sunday July 8, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 6:30 – 6:40 pm roughly; 6:40 – 7:30 pm – Discussion on the topic Riding the waves of change: Mindfulness, Surfing and Flow. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday.

Why Surfing/ Body Boarding

The inspiration for this week’s discussion, is my recent trip to Spain and Portugal and adventure body boarding at Nazare, Portugal.

The challenges of surfing or body boarding mirror many of the challenges and stressors we face in relationships and in daily life. Surfing combined with mindfulness can increase the effectiveness of both practices. Surfing itself is a form of everyday mindfulness. It encourages attention to the present moment.This helps us to deal with the unexpected challenges of life, without forcing.  For many, surfing goes beyond sport and often leads to a more fulfilling, uplifting, and meaningful life.

Through repeated exposure to mindfulness practice, participants form alternative responses to situations that lead to stress, leading to an increased ability to make rational decisions and come up with creative solutions. Mindfulness practice creates a space between the things we experience and our emotional reactions to them. Whether surfing, sitting, or in everyday life, participants develop the ability to observe their mental processes with a healthy degree of emotional detachment.

It changes how our minds work, shifting us away from processing reality in relation to past memories and experiences, and towards a mode of awareness rooted in the present moment.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, please see our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations, except for special programs such as the one above, is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).

Mindfulness as a Love Affair with Life

Sunday June 10, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Mindfulness as a Love Affair with Life, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday June 12, 8 – 8:30 pm. Note the earlier start time for our Sunday drop-in meditations and discussion, which will continue throughout the summer.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, with a Mindfulness as a Love Affair Theme, on Sunday June 10, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 6:30 – 6:40 pm roughly; 6:40 – 7:30 pm – Discussion on the topic Mindfulness as a Love Affair with Life. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday. PS I am hoping to insert some exploration of ice cream into the meditation!

The inspiration for this week’s discussion, is a beautiful short interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn:

We’ll show this clip and discuss this topic during the meeting. Jon Kabt-Zinn is one of the pioneers of bringing mindfulness to the west, in an accessible form, particularly through the treatment of chronic pain, his books and other materials.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, please see our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations, except for special programs such as the one above, is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).

What’s all the fuss about equanimity?

Sunday May 6, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (What’s all the fuss about equanimity?), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday May 8, 8 – 8:30 pm. Note the earlier start time for our Sunday drop-in meditations and discussion, which will continue throughout the summer.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, with an equanimity theme, on Sunday May 6, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 6:30 – 6:40 pm roughly; 6:40 – 7:30 pm – What’s all the fuss about equanimity?. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday.

I was at a Starbucks-Indigo last week, and picked up a fashion magazine, and started flicking through it some what mindlessly. I was startled to find an article on “Equanimity”! Equanimity apparently is making its way into the mainstream, and has become a thing. This prompted this week’s discussion topic. My search soon, led to Buddhist sources, which usually confuses me, due to the heavy nomenclature often involved.

However I found a particularly clear booklet, which I recommend, by Nyanaponika Thera (1901 – 1994) a German-born Sri-Lanka-ordained Theravada monk, co-founder of the Buddhist Publication Society, author of numerous seminal Theravada books, and teacher of contemporary Western Buddhist leaders:

The Four Sublime States

Looking around us, and into our own heart, we see how difficult it is to attain and maintain balance of mind, or equanimity.

Life continually moves between contrasts: rise and fall, success and failure, loss and gain, honour and blame. Waves of emotion carry us up and fling us down; and no sooner do we find rest, than we are in the power of a new wave again. How can we expect to balance on the crest of the waves in this rough ocean of existence, if not on the Island of Equanimity. A world where those who were a short while ago connected with us by love and sympathetic happiness, are at the next moment in want of our compassion – such a world needs equanimity.

So these four qualities: Equanimity, loving kindness, sympathetic happiness and compassion are naturally closely inter-related. They form the four immeasurables of Buddhism, or the Four sublime states, and are the subject of our discussion.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, please see our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations, except for special programs such as the one above, is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).

Breathe in and out: Hello and Goodbye

Sunday April 22, 2018, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Breathe in and out: Hello and Goodbye), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday April 24, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm, with a theme of Hello and Goodbye, on Sunday April 22, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:40 pm roughly; 7:40 – 8:30 pm – Breathe in and out: Hello and Goodbye. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday.

From the poem, A Tear and a Smile, by Khahil Gibran:

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to
Return to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

 

 

 

 

Our lives are full of meetings and partings, joys and sorrows. Our meditation this week will be centered on this theme, will be inspired by a Hello Goodbye themed meditation by Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche. As we breathe in we welcome life, embrace meetings with new friends, we say Hello. As we breathe out, we say Goodbye, to this breathe, releasing everything.

As Rinpoche says:
Recognize and watch your breath. When you inhale, recognize the inhalation, and when you exhale, recognize the exhalation. Be present in the breath. When inhaling, welcome the breath by saying silently in your mind, “Hello.” When exhaling, bid farewell to the breath by saying, “Goodbye.”

With every inhalation and exhalation, repeat, “Hello, goodbye, hello, goodbye.” In this practice, you are neither accepting nor rejecting what comes and goes. When the breath comes in, you welcome it with awareness: when the breath goes out, you bid farewell by mindfully letting it go … Maintain fresh awareness of your breath.

In the discussion we will focus on the inevitable hellos and goodbyes of life, such as in our relationships. We particularly focus, on how mindfulness helps us embrace these heartfully, fully and softly in awareness without excessive attachment or detachment, or fighting with the feelings involved.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, please see our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations, except for special programs such as the one above, is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).

Postponed until April 22 – Breathe in and out: Hello and Goodbye

UPDATE – POSTPONED UNTIL SUN APRIL 22.  Unfortunately the ICE Storm has left both facilitators stranded in Toronto.  Sunday April 15, 2018, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Hello and Goodbye), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday April 17, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm, with a theme of Hello Goodbye, on Sunday April 15, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:40 pm roughly; 7:40 – 8:30 pm – Breathe in and out: Hello and Goodbye. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday.

From the poem, A Tear and a Smile, by of Khahil Gibran:

The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

Our lives are full of meetings and partings, joys and sorrows. Our meditation this week will be centered on this theme, will be inspired by a Hello Goodbye, meditation inspired by Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche. As we breathe in we welcome life, embrace meetings with new friends, we say Hello. As we breathe out, we say Goodbye, to this breathe, releasing everything.

As Rinpoche says:
Recognize and watch your breath. When you inhale, recognize the inhalation, and when you exhale, recognize the exhalation. Be present in the breath. When inhaling, welcome the breath by saying silently in your mind, “Hello.” When exhaling, bid farewell to the breath by saying, “Goodbye.”

With every inhalation and exhalation, repeat, “Hello, goodbye, hello, goodbye.” In this practice, you are neither accepting nor rejecting what comes and goes. When the breath comes in, you welcome it with awareness: when the breath goes out, you bid farewell by mindfully letting it go. Try not to miss a single inhalation or exhalation. When you do this practice, do not let anything distract you. Maintain fresh awareness of your breath.

In the discussion we will focus on the inevitable hellos and goodbyes of life, such as in our relationships. We particularly focus, on how mindfulness helps us embrace these heartfully, fully and softly in awareness without avoiding, or fighting with the feelings involved.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, please see our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations, except for special programs such as the one above, is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).

Tuesday Apr 3 drop-in Meditation as usual. No Sunday Apr 1 Discussion/Meditation due to shortened Moksha Easter hours.

There will be no Sunday April 1st drop-in meditation and discussion because of shortened Easter Weekend hours.  Tuesday April 3rd drop-in meditation as usual 8:00 – 8:30 pm at Moksha Yoga.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts.  Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally.  They are free and donations for training and materials are gratefully accepted.  Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, can benefit from our Sunday Discussions.  These topics are presented in a self-contained way and will be posted on our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org  (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB).

Open Discussion with Greg

Venue and time:   Sunday March 25, 2018, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Meditation and Discussion with Greg), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday March 27, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Sunday March 25, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:40 pm roughly; 7:40 – 8:30 pm –  Open discussion on any Mindfulness related topic. If you have any questions or topics of interest in the domains of mindfulness practice or related practice, please bring them with you. We will also discuss upcoming events. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) :   is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, can benefit from our Sunday Discussions. These topics are presented in a self-contained way and will be posted on our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB).  Attendance at our meditations and events is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio, training and learning resources)

Let’s JAMM: Jacob and Musical Meditation

Sunday March 18, 2018, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Let’s JAMM: Jacob and Musical Meditation), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday March 20, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Sunday March 18, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:40 pm roughly; 7:40 – 8:30 pm – Let’s JAMM: Jacob and Musical Meditation. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted. See you Sunday.

In this session, Jacob will introduce instrumental sounds (particularly flute) into the meditation space, using them as a point of of focus to ground us in the present moment. Participants are encouraged to direct their attention towards physical and emotional sensations brought forth by the music. Jacob de Rose is a Student of Music, with an interest in developing in the direction of Music Therapy, integrating creativity, using music to enhance heart-felt awareness, especially through flute and other musical media.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, please see our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations, except for special programs such as the one above, is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).