Venue and time: Sunday April 30 , 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Meditation and Discussion), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada (hosted by Kristen and Greg). Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday May 2, 8 – 8:30 pm, facilitated by Kristen.
Schedule: Drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Sunday April 2, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. The drop-in meditation will be new, fun, intense and profound: Awareness using our 9 Senses. It will focus awareness using the usual 5 senses and 4 additional senses: body sensations; mental/thought sensations; sense of connection; the sense of awareness of awareness itself! Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:40 pm roughly (the beautiful glass teapot); 7:40 – 8:30 pm – Discussion on the topic: Awareness using our 9 Senses. 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!
Awareness using our 9 Senses
A key aspect of mindfulness meditation, is compassionate awareness through direct sensing, in the present moment. To enhance such awareness, mindfulness meditations, often practice enhancing awareness via various senses. For example body scan meditations enhance body awareness, meditations using sound enhances awareness of sounds, awareness of thoughts in Thought based meditations, etc. Given our natural tendency to over-think/analyze/ruminate, such meditations usually start with more concrete sensations (touch, sound, … ) and progress to less concrete ones (thoughts, … ). The earlier ones (touch, taste, …) are a stable platform for the later ones (thoughts, emotions, … ).
A challenging twist on this is to sequence an awareness meditation using a large number of senses. We follow a form of this popularized by Dan Seigel. As is usual the meditation is sequenced with more concrete senses preceding less concrete ones. Each stage offers a foundation for the later stages. The eight sense focuses our awareness through our sense of connection. This reflects that we are not separate, our thoughts/actions influence and change others, and reciprocally. This sense of connection, a key aspect of mindfulness and Buddhist practice, is what gives this intimidating meditation coherence and unity. The meditation ends by building on the platform of the previous 8 senses, to focus awareness on awareness itself!
Out interest in this practice arose from last weekend when we the facilitators, Daniel, Greg and Kristen attended the wonderful A Mindful Society Conference in Toronto. Dan Seigel, focused his key note talk and his one day work shop at the conference around a meditation, he calls the wheel of awareness meditation. Exploring that meditation and variations motivated this week’s discussion.
Seigel’s foundational work is as an attachment researcher, focusing in particular on mental health issues facing young people and families. This research motivated him to focus on connection as a key element of such relationships, with the task of differentiating and integrating different elements of such relationships, to improve well-being. Recognizing the strong relationship to mindfulness, he has in recent times integrated his practice with mindfulness, the Awareness through 9 senses (which he calls the Wheel of Awareness) being a key aspect of his approach.
Our discussion this week will focus, on this practice in a stripped down version we developed to understand its foundations. So buckle up!
Suggested preparation: We suggest looking at Dan Seigel’s wheel of awareness and his linked audio meditations:
Dan Seigel’s Wheel of Awareness
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).