Mindfully Turning Towards Difficulties

Venue and time this week:   Sunday July 24, 2016, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday June July 26, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Sunday drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm.  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:45 pm roughly; 7:45 – 9:00 pm Discussion on the topic:   Mindfully Turning Towards Difficulties. All are welcome to either or both of these events.

One frequent approach to difficulties is avoidance.   Such aversion often comes at a high cost.  For example we may try to avoid a difficult person.  But if this person is a family member of co-worker then interaction of some type is unavoidable.  Also the thoughts associated with aversion come with a high emotional cost.  Another approach is through control, confrontation or anger.  These also have negative effects and emotional damage and costs.

Mindfulness at its heart is about embracing present moment awareness and reality with compassion and without judgement.  The key is to neither aversion or grasping (e.g. by aggression, control or anger), but a middle way where we gently cradle and explore reality in the present moment.

This week we explore the extension of these ideas, to a mindfulness (or Buddhist) technique of dealing with difficulties.   They technique is turning towards an embracing a difficulty and cradling it in the present moment without judgement.  Mindfulness practice emphasizes gentle incremental approaches.  The meditation we explore this week first brings mindful attention to sounds, which is concrete and easier.  Then we bring mindful attention to thoughts, which is a bit harder.   Last building on this platform we bring mindful attention to a difficulty, focusing our attention on related sensations in the body.    We will invite you to practice with a small difficulty to begin with, rather than a significant difficulty, until you get used to this practice.  If this is not possible for you at the moment, don’t worry.  Instead regard it as an motivation and a preview to developing your more basic breath practice as later preparation for this more advanced practice.

Suggested preparation:  We suggest listening to the Sounds and Thoughts Meditation followed by the Exploring Difficulty Meditation at the link:  http://bit.ly/rodalemindfulness

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 Wednesday):

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 and learning resources).

Sounds, Words, Rumors and Mindfulness

Venue and time this week:   Sunday July 17, 2016, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Half hour drop-in meditations on Tuesday June July 19, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Sunday drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm.  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:45 pm roughly; 7:45 – 9:00 pm; Discussion on the topic:   Sounds, Words, Rumors and Mindfulness. All are welcome to either or both of these events.

Many of us (including me) are continually guessing what some one will say before they say it, and not actually listening to what they say.   There is also a tendency to judge others by their appearance, age, etc.   Our minds are already in the future, trying to guess the future, and control it, so that it is the way we think it should be.  This leads to rumors and other unhelpful consequences.

In contrast mindfulness emphasizes staying the present moment, being attentive to what is actually said, with compassion and without judgement.   Mindfully paying attention to sounds, and separating the story our minds make about the sounds, assists staying in the present and communicating without judgement.  This week’s discussion centers on this topic and the related topic of observing out thoughts mindfully as they come and go.  Letting thoughts and sounds be just as they are.  Mindful awareness leads us to insight, deeper communication, and can be much more exhilarating that any rumor, or false image created by our minds.

Suggested preparation:  We suggest listening to the Sounds and Thoughts Meditation at the link:

http://bit.ly/rodalemindfulness

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 Wednesday):

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 and learning resources).

Relinquishing control

Venue and time this week:   Sunday July 10, 2016, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Moksha Yoga, London, Ontario, Canada. Half hour drop-in meditations on Tuesday July 12, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:   Sunday drop-in meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm.  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:45 pm roughly; 7:45 – 9:00 pm, discussion on the topic of Relinquishing Control.   All are welcome to either or both of these events.

The discussion will be based on a talk by Ajahn Brahm, a Buddhist monk in Western Australia, titled “Relax. Everything is out of control!”Ajahn talks about why we feel the need to control everything in our lives, and how it often leads to more harm than good.

Suggested preparation: If you like and have the time, you can watch the talk on YouTube prior to Sunday’s meditation. We will only be watching a part of the talk on Sunday. You are welcome to come back to this page afterwards to watch the rest of it.