I would not have thought that a rigid monastic schedule would feel freeing – but it does. I’m free of my desperate need to make everything exactly the way I think I want it to be. I’m free of caring if my clothes are attractive. I’m free of needing to rely on willpower. I’m free of endless choices that don’t actually serve me. my own life, the more powerfully I can help my communities. It’s unexpected, and it’s life-changing.
By Erin Oke
On one hand, we can say “fuck it” to mean “I’m out. I’ve had enough. This is bullshit”. The breaking point that becomes the impetus to draw boundaries and stand up for what we know is right, destroy the systems and tendencies that hold us back – both the structures of oppression all around us and their echoes inside of us. On the flip side, we can use “fuck it” to mean throw caution to the wind, to say “I’m in. Fuck yeah! Let’s goooooooo!”. This one liberates us from the “should” of it all, gives inspiration to be spontaneous, and permission to be different from who we think we need to be.
By Laura Creedon
Back to school this September was ripe with excitement. In Toronto, students hadn’t set foot in public schools for at least 6 months, for many it had been 18 months. Emotions were running high for everyone: kids, parents and teachers alike. My personal goal this year was to reconnect to that loving approach, and make my class community a safe haven of inspired learning once again. Then the gears of a mass public education system began to squeeze and grind…
By Oliver Rabba
“A non-toothache is very pleasant.” – Thich Nhat Hanh A couple of years ago I was driving with my nephew. He was around 12 at the time. At one point we hit a lull in conversation and he blurted out “I’m bored”. It was a foggy night (which makes everything look more interesting in my opinion) … Continued
When we say we want change, on a societal or personal level, we mean only certain types. I mean, I want to be a “better person”, but I’d prefer to skip the bifocals if that’s cool. Change in that direction is scary, for it reminds us of our own ephemerality.
By Jeff Warren
The most honest line I’ve heard to describe how meditation changes people, or at least how meditation has changed me, is: “Hurt more, suffer less.” Things go through more quickly, because there’s less blocking and protecting. But they also hurt more, because … there’s less blocking and protecting. That’s what happens when you let life in.
Fortunately, a similar dynamic applies to the sweetness of everyday pleasures.
By Erin Oke
So how do we heal from lifelong habits forged in times we can hardly remember? What can we realistically expect when it comes to healing and addressing the deep traumas and challenges of our lives? And how does this healing relate to the larger social and intergenerational trauma all around us? Because none of this happens in isolation. My struggles have emerged out of my own unique circumstances of nature and nurture, but also from the cumulative trauma of the families that made my parents, and theirs, and so on, as well as the societies that informed all of them. Including this one. There’s so much healing needed, individually and collectively, as a species and as a planet, it can be hard to even know where to start.
As I deepen into questions of identity and ecopsychology, I am coming to experience the nature and the wilderness that appear beyond or outside of me as extensions of the nature and the wilds within me. Meditation offers us the opportunity to sit within ourselves and to clarify our true natures.
Rest for me was equivalent to unproductiveness, boredom, and weakness. “You can sleep when you’re dead” – I used to say all the time. I used this to justify overworking, staying too late at the party, or taking on too much. “I don’t have time to rest.” That was another one I used to tell myself. What I didn’t know then, was this was a boundaries issue. I didn’t actually have time to rest. Trying to carve out a 5 minute meditation in my day seemed impossible. And 8 full hours of sleep? Forget about it.