What do I believe? Peace is our natural state, and underneath expressions of violence or anger is a deep sense of helplessness. That when we war, we do it against ourselves. That conflict comes out of ignorance and self-hatred, a mistaken understanding that somehow sees life as less magnificent and precious than it is, and greatly underestimates the abundance we are born into.
Location: Dufferin Grove Park, south fire pit
Date: Saturdays December 16, January 20, February 17, March 16, 3-4:30pm
Location: Ecology Retreat Centre - 308046 Hockley Road Mono, ON L9W 6N2
Date: Friday February 23rd, 5pm to Sunday February 25th 1pm
Featured Guided Meditations
The Return of Light
How To Feel Good All The Time
“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
The more we try to control the future by pinning it down using our well-worn concepts, the more blindsided we will be as the future keeps manifesting the new into reality. In contrast, when we enter into the future with our imaginations, rather than trying to predict it or bend it to our will, we seek a balance between channeling that which wants to be born into the world and using our agency to actively shape this new creation towards the good.
Just like in meditation, when we pick a focus - the breath, the earth, sounds, sensations - we start to attune to that focus. We begin to notice more. Our perspective shifts. When I started to actively turn my awareness towards celebration, there was no shortage of content and possibility, of reasons and occasions to partake in some revelry.
My practice has helped me cultivate acceptance. When I give up on the present moment being any different than it is, there is equanimity. I am free to engage fully with what is because I’m not stuck in what I think should be. I’m free to respond with grace, empathy, compassion, spontaneity, and love. And when I fail, acceptance forgives me and invites me to try again.
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 :)