James: This is the first step onto the shifting ground of our emotional body, where it’s held, what it feels like. During the first part of the sit, we are going to parse out some of the territory, the general conditions of its creation, and in the interactive, we are going to sit with some of the emotions, colour them onto a map of ourselves, and see where they fit.
Jude: A basic concentration practice with an emphasis on getting curious about which of the three tricky layers are subtly interfering with our moment-to-moment experience of potential / ideal ease and clarity: resistance / aversion to unpleasant, fixation / gripping on pleasurable experiences or thoughts, or unconsciousness / dullness.
Erin: What do you see when you close your eyes? Tonight we’ll meditate on the movie screen in our minds, watching our visual thoughts flicker and dance. Is your internal cinema screening the ongoing action movie of your life? A surreal experimental film? An endless powerpoint presentation? Tune in and find out!
Erin: The Zen tradition of practicing with koans can make allies of our confusion, doubt and uncertainty and tap into something creative, unexpected, beautiful and wise. For tonight’s sit, we’ll each work with a classic koan, trying to “not know” our way into spontaneous discoveries and maybe even jolt ourselves more awake in the process.
Avi: Philosophy was my first contemplative practice, long before I’d ever heard about mindfulness. A philosopher is somebody who seeks philos (deep friendship) with sophia (wisdom). The philosopher’s method is to ask questions and develop reasoned explanations about things like, what am I? What should we do? What is true and how do we know it? The philosopher is somebody who stubbornly keeps engaging with these questions long after most people grow bored of them. The original English meaning of “meditation” was, to think deeply about a topic, as in the title of Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy. For tonight’s sit we’ll experiment with meditation as a focused inner reflection on a topic of deep importance.