I’ve been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years. Some things have changed and some things haven’t. The key thing I’ve learned is I don’t have to change who I am to be happy. All I need to do is accept the moment. I’ve learned that I’m not in control of most things, and that trying to control everything is not only pointless, it’s the source of most of my suffering. As one of my teachers posted on the door to the meditation hall – “Relax. Nothing is under control.”
Ceremonies and rituals can be as unique as those who practice them, deriving their meanings from the intentions behind them and the presence within them. Mindfulness and presence breathe life into ceremonies, they help us attune and attend to the subtle yet powerful energies that we invoke when we open ceremonial spaces.
By Erin Oke
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.
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.
By Jeff Warren
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.
By Luke Anderson
For me, embodiment involves the incorporation of our thinking, feeling, and willing capacities. A two-way path of communication between mind and body. This communication channel wasn’t something that had been developed or exercised for the better part of my life. I’m learning that our bodies speak a different language than our penthouse dwelling hamsters.
If we look closely, we can feel the force of our imaginations blowing around us, carving who we are to become. We engage with our environment, co-create with it. Our inner and outer worlds tangled in a dance of becoming. We are not made by sheer manifesting will alone, but we’re also not stuck in an unbending world. We are the dancing middle way.
What does it mean to ‘wake up’? Allow me to take a stab at my own definition – just for kicks – based on my limited experience and training:
If we welcome and pay attention to what’s happening in sensory experience, the experience of separateness reveals itself to be part of the activity of absolute non-separateness.
Or something like that.