First Deep MoM Meeting Sunday July 9, 6:30 – 8 pm

We are happy to announce that our first Deep Month of Mindfulness Meeting is Sunday july 9, 6:30 – 8 pm. Please visit its page for details and registration:

Deep MoM17

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts.

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

Register for Deep Month of Mindfulness (July 9 – 30). Drop-in Meditation Tuesday July 4, 8 – 8:30 pm

We are happy to announce that our Deep Month of Mindfulness Program, July 9 – 30, is open for registration.  Please visit its page for details and registration:

Deep MoM17

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts.

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

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

Mindful Fun, Sun and Summer

Venue and time:   Sunday May 28, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Meditation and Discussion), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada (hosted by Greg).  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday May 30, 8 – 8:30 pm.

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 have a component related to our discussion topic on Summer Mindful fun activities.  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:40 pm roughly served from our beautiful glass teapot; 7:40 – 8:30 pm – Discussion on the topic:  Mindful Fun, Sun and Summer.  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!

Fun, Sun and Summer

Summer and warmer weather offer a treasure trove of activities to explore mindfully. This is the focus of this Sunday’s meditation and chat. So relax back and enjoy. Despite the abundance of activities, we can be overwhelmed. For example, parents can easily be overwhelmed by organizing long lists of children’s activities. This week considers practical ways in which mindfulness can be helpful.

The illusion of the perfect summer activity : Often with the ones we love, or care for, we dream of the perfect afternoon summer activity that can nourish them. In our minds we see them enjoying the beautiful moments. This can drive us, to work harder and harder to make sure everything will turn out right. Mindfulness offers practical ways to avoid guilt-ridden over-planning, and substituting spontaneous and flexible in the moment enjoyment.

Suggested preparation: Most of us, including me, are already in Summer list mode, compulsively running to do lists in our minds, of summer activities. Bring to mind some activities in your list, and try a meditation. Say starting with following your breath, and explore the feelings and sensations you experience, when you bring to mind activities in your list. Resolve to focus, on more on general goals, of being in the moment, spending less time on over-planning, but just in the moment, of activity. Welcoming whatever comes, reacting in a flexible open-hearted way. Returning to the breath anytime this becomes overwhelming.

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).

Tuesday May 23 Drop-in Meditation as usual. No Sunday May 21 Meditation/Discussion.

Due to reduced Moksha Yoga hours for the holiday weekend,there is no Sunday meditation & discussion on Sunday May 21. The Tuesday May 23rd drop-in meditation 8 – 8:30 pm will be facilitated by Kristen. Our usual weekly Tuesday Dropin meditations and Sunday discussions/meditations resume on May 23rd.

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).

Sunday May 14: Open Discussion with Kristen

Venue and time:   Sunday May 14, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Meditation and Discussion with Kristen), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday May 16, 8 – 8:30 pm, with Greg.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Sunday May 14, 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. Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are accepted.  For insurance requirements you need to sign in at the front desk of Moksha.   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)

From smart phones to smoking – Mindfulness and addictive behaviors

Venue and time:   Sunday May 7, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Meditation and Discussion), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada (hosted by Greg).  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday May 9, 8 – 8:30 pm, facilitated by Greg.

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 have a component related to our discussion topic on mindfulness and addictive behaviors.  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:40 pm roughly served from our beautiful glass teapot; 7:40 – 8:30 pm – Discussion on the topic:  From smart phones to smoking – Mindfulness and addictive behaviors.  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!

From smart phones to smoking – Mindfulness and addictive behaviors

Addictive behaviors affect us all, and are ever more present in our society, spread through media. How can mindfulness help with such behaviors?
Like last week’s discussion, this week’s discussion is inspired by the conference, A Mindful Society , attended last month by LMC facilitators Greg, Daniel and Kristen. It is in particular motivated by a key note talk by Judson Brewer, perhaps the foremost researcher on mindfulness approaches to addiction. Please note that none of the LMC facilitators are trained in the treatment of addiction; and anyone experiencing severe addiction, should see a qualified professional. Instead the purpose here, is an initial exploration, of the universal role addictive behaviors play in all our lives.

The tendency of addictive behaviors to be sticky perhaps originate in our tendency to engage our auto-pilots. Even though we can only hold a small amount of information in our active memory (the analogue of RAM or fast access computer memory), our mind beautifully enables the learning of complex tasks, by daisy-chaining simpler sub tasks together. By repetition, such daisy chains enables us to perform complex tasks (e.g. driving a car, play a musical instrument, etc) by short circuiting this barrier of limited amount of current memory. Repetition, enables the learning of such tasks. While there are many advantages of this auto-pilot daisy chain behavior, including evolutionary methods, that led to it remaining a prominent feature of our brains, it has a dark flip-side. We also note that the stickiness of addictive behaviors served the purpose of remembering where to find food. Locate food, eat (and remember location), repeat!

Mindfulness emphasizes that addictive behavior is a deep aspect of our being, that can both help us and hurt us. Gaining an understanding of such behavior is important for us all. One reason: advertisers have become particularly effective at penetrating to messaging directly in ways that exploit the stickiness of our addictive behaviors, and also the reward systems of our minds. Another key aspect of approaching difficult addictive behaviors, is not by trying to control them, but instead, becoming curious about them, and exploring the sensations that occur when we experience them.

Suggested preparation: We suggest watching the short TED video by Judson Brewer (it has over 7 million views!):

Or watching say the first 15 minutes of the longer video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-646_TrnZRQ

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).

Awareness using our 9 Senses

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).