Expectations and Reality

Venue and time:   Sunday June 18, 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm (Meditation and Discussion) Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada (hosted by Kristen).   Please note the earlier start time of 6:30 pm, for our summer Sunday Meetings.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday June 20, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Sunday June 18, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.   There will be silent drop in meditation at 6:30,  break for chat and tea 7:00 – 7:10 pm roughly, served from our beautiful glass teapot; 7:10 – 8:00 pm – Discussion on the topic: Expectations and Reality

This week we will discuss the role expectations play in our lives, our meditation practice, and our mental state. What would it be like to reside in a place without a feeling of expectation? Mindfulness can help us turn toward the reality of a situation, which means becoming aware of our expectations, and the effect they have on our experience of reality.

You may sit down to meditate expecting to feel peaceful and at ease but be met with an inner storm, discomfort and restlessness. Turning toward the reality of your present experience, without experiencing agitation or judgment from broken expectations, may help break down some barriers to your practice, and provide a sense of freedom in your daily life.

Suggested preparation for the evening discussionThe format of this evening will be a open discussion, guided by the topic but open to shifting directions, and any comments, concerns, or questions for the Sangha are welcome.

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://www.londonmindfulnesscommunity.org

Letting go and re-engaging with Brach’s Beautiful RAIN Meditation

Venue and time:   Sunday June 11, 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm (Meditation and Discussion) Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada (hosted by Greg).   Please note the earlier start time of 6:30 pm, for our summer Sunday Meetings.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday June 13, 8 – 8:30 pm, hosted by Greg.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Sunday June 11, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.   The drop-in meditation will have a RAIN Meditation component. Break for chat and tea 7:00 – 7:10 pm roughly served from our beautiful glass teapot; 7:10 – 8:00 pm – Discussion on the topic: Letting go and re-engaging with Brach’s Beautiful RAIN Meditation.  Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are gratefully accepted.  For insurance requirements you need to sign in at the front desk of Moksha.   See you Sunday!

Letting go and re-engaging with Brach’s Beautiful RAIN Meditation:

A frequent misunderstanding is that meditation is a chill-out where we just label anything unpleasant as thinking, suppress it, and return to pleasantness. Instead Mindfulness meditation is about invigorating engagement in our lives. The subtlety of meditation is a balance between letting go and re-engaging skillfully. Tara Brach, a powerful figure of modern mindfulness, has developed the RAIN technique as a beautiful meditative approach balancing these qualities.

The practice called “RAIN” (an acronym for the four stages in the practice):

R
Recognize what is happening
A
Allow life to be just as it is
I
Investigate with kindness
N
Non-identification (this step is more complex than the rest)

This practice in this form is relatively new, and was designed to be accessible both in formal practice and daily life. This is how Tara Brach describes the practice:

RAIN directs our attention in a clear, systematic way that cuts through confusion and stress. The steps give us somewhere to turn in a painful moment, and as we call on them more regularly, they strengthen our capacity to come home to our deepest truth. Like the clear sky and clean air after a cooling rain, this mindfulness practice brings a new openness and calm to our daily lives.

(…)

RAIN directly de-conditions the habitual ways in which you resist your moment-to-moment experience. It doesn’t matter whether you resist “what is” by lashing out in anger, by having a cigarette, or by getting immersed in obsessive thinking. Your attempt to control the life within and around you actually cuts you off from your own heart and from this living world. RAIN begins to undo these unconscious patterns as soon as we take the first step.

Suggested preparation for the evening discussion:  As always in Mindfulness practice first on smaller issues.   In particular note an emotional experience and the context surrounding it from the week that you’re prepared to work with.  Start small. As Shantideva says, “with little cares, we train ourselves to work with great adversity”. This is especially true when learning a new tool!

So choosing an issue that is causing you moderate difficulty:

  • R  Recognize what is happening
    • Note physical and mental/emotional aspects
  • A  Allowing it to be just as it is
    • Allow it to sit lightly in awareness
  • We will do parts I and N on Sunday

You might also like to listen the RAIN meditation by Tara Brach:

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://www.londonmindfulnesscommunity.org

 

Daniel’s Journey in the land of Zen

Venue and time:   Sunday June 4, 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm (Meditation and Discussion) Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada (hosted by Daniel).   Please note the earlier start time of 6:30 pm, for our summer Sunday Meetings.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday June 6, 8 – 8:30 pm, hosted by Kristen.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Sunday June 4, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.   The drop-in meditation will have a component related to my meditation experience in Japan.  Break for chat and tea 7:00 – 7:10 pm roughly served from our beautiful glass teapot; 7:10 – 8:00 pm – Discussion on the topic:  Daniel’s  Journey in the land of  Zen.  Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are gratefully accepted.  For insurance requirements you need to sign in at the front desk of Moksha.   See you Sunday!

Daniel’s Journey in the land of  Zen

A month or so ago I embarked on three weeks of travelling through Japan, the land of Zen. There I spent a lot of time indulging in the wonderful culture of Japan and also studying Zen Buddhism. This Sunday discussion I want to spend some time describing what I learned about Zen Buddhism discussing the differences between Zen Buddhism and the western practice of mindfulness. Furthermore, I will be going over some lessons I learned from monks and locals.

If you’re​ interested at all about other traditions of meditation, or Zen Buddhism specifically please come attend. I will also be showing some pictures from the trip to make it more exciting. As well as facilitating a traditional zen meditation as I learned it while I was staying at a zen temple.

Suggested preparation: In preparation I recommend for those interested to do some minor research into Zen Buddhism.

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://www.londonmindfulnesscommunity.org