Fuck Self Improvement

Jeff: On this last Monday of 2021, we make powerful resolutions to improve ourselves, from new dietary and exercise regimens, to important practice protocols and virtuous personal intentions, to say nothing of ….er… and … uh …
That sounds like a lot of work. Fuck it.
Let’s flop out in the middle of our lives and ride out the clock exactly as we are. Yeah.

Thanks for No Reason

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” – William Blake

Jeff: One of my son Eden’s more endearing habits is thanking every random object and creature he passes by. “Thank you, stick,” “Thank you, stah-bewy.” His bizarre pronunciation of “thank you” is “dat doiiing,” which gives his practice a rollicking feel as he springs down the sidewalk: “dat doiiing!” “dat doiiing!” “dat doiiing!” This Monday, we channel our inner two year old, and Pepper our Practice with aPPPPreciation. Then, for the grand finale, we’ll appreciate ourselves, by gathering any remaining self-consciousness into our loving arms, and slow-dancing the night away.

The Disembodied Alien Nobody Who Loves You and Everybody Else Too

Jeff: Every relationship improves when we improve our relationship with ourselves. And there is a relationship here. There is a profound space between our unchanging awareness – what some contemplatives call our “True Self” – and our ever-changing thoughts and feelings and body sensations. In this meditation, we use our imaginations to open up that space. We practice inhabiting our own body-minds as a temporary visitor. How does it feel to move these fingers, to breathe this air, to watch this strange weather pattern of thinking? And what happens when, from this more spacious and playful perspective, we explore our relationship to others? In this storyline, you’ve been waiting lifetimes for the opportunity.

Poetry, Meditation and Healing

Jeff: I’ve been chatting with my good friend Alayna Munce about doing something like this at the CEC for years. Alayna is a novelist and poet and the hard-working publisher of Brick Books, the only press in Canada specializing in poetry. This Monday, we will explore how words open us, challenge us, offer insights and perhaps even healing. How are poetry and meditation different literary forms? How do their effects overlap, and how are they different? These are absurdly broad and ambitious questions, thus fun to entertain. Alayna and I will weave together meditation and poetry; afterwards we’ll share some thoughts, and then open it all up for community discussion.

Ocean Breathing

Jeff: For deep rest, we’re allowed to recruit all of our resources, our imagination as well as our attention. This lovely rhythmic practice can be done lying down or sitting. It’s a luxurious boundary-dissolving plunge into the Mother Sea. Maybe you fall asleep, maybe you slip into a waking dream, maybe you stay utterly present inside a wakeful stillness and tranquility. Both calming for the nervous system, and an opportunity for insight. I love guiding this trippy practice and am grateful to Mukti for teaching it to me.