I learned it wasn’t actually possible or desirable to fix another’s life, that it was in fact at odds with true empowerment and liberation. Both theirs and mine. ‘Cause of course they’re connected. So my perspective shifted from trying to fix everyone’s everything to trying to create the conditions for empowerment.
Location: Bela Farm, 5750 6th Line Erin, ON N0B 1Z0
Date: Saturday, August 20th, 11am-5pm
Location: parks around Toronto!
Date: Wednesdays May 25, June 22, July 20, August 24, September 21
Location: online via zoom, link provided upon registration
Date: Saturday, October 1st, 1-4pmET
Featured Guided Meditations
Connecting with Nature for Self- Regulation
“A wise teacher, and a wise centre, needs to offer a whole range of skillful practices, because people come along at different stages of their inner development, with different temperaments, and with different sets of problems.” -Jack Kornfield
It’s so easy to lose yourself in the care of another human being. But as I’ve learned, and keep learning, you can’t pour from an empty cup. What fills my cup? My daily practices of meditation, gratitude and movement. Weekly connection in community with like minded individuals. And every now and then an immersive deep dive into my own self care on retreat, even if just for a few days. What can I do more simply? Nourish myself with healthy food and clean water. Rest. Spend time in Nature. Call a friend. Disconnect from devices. Take a deep breath. And another. And another.
Self-regulation requires continual effort and prioritization. I’ve often resented this. I’d have prefered to just be born and coast. But mental health doesn’t work like that any more than physical health does. Due diligence and care are required. Also awareness about what will help keep you stable and functional, and about what dysregulation looks like for you. What are your early warning signs? They’re a bit different for everyone, and they change over our lifetime. Often we end up ignoring them, and then all of a sudden our demons are piling into us like a Jackie Chan fight scene. That’s what happened to me. Sometimes it takes a crisis to wake us up. Then we have no choice but to get help.
We just finished version 2.0 of our CEC Community Practice Activation Kit available for free here. The idea of this kit is to inspire people around the world to start up their own community practice groups, in a way that’s unique to them and uniquely responsive to their local needs and context.
Suddenly, we exist. Existing is complicated. We turn to practice. As we love to say at the CEC, being human takes practice. But what is a practice? The simplest definition of practice is some action – mental, emotional, physical, social – that you choose and repeat, so that it can become a habit. It is the deliberate cultivation of habits. Contemplative practices are practices that rehearse how you want to exist and relate to yourself and others.
This primer is about the broadest possible classes of meditation and spiritual experience. It’s a work-in-progress. Every time I come back, I find myself cutting more details, for they seem like technique-specific effects, and not the human universals I once imagined. So it goes. In a couple years there may be nothing here at all.
Almost any domain or activity in life can be approached as an intentional practice, and the people who specialize in these domains have learned important things about being human. How can we draw this wisdom out? Introducing the Consciousness Explorers Club's new pluralistic practice paradigm :)