James: it’s a line i cribbed from the zen poet, Ryokan. he says something like, “the pain of life makes me want to protect everyone. if only these black sleeves were wider, deeper, i’d put everyone inside.” i like the metaphor because I know the feeling. it is a boundless one. as we open ourselves, we identify more strongly with other living things, their joy and trials, glee and pain. to know this truth in the deepest sense means understanding if you hurt yourself caring for others, they share in the hurt. you see, in the poem, ryokan says IF his sleeves were bigger. they are not. they are only ryokan sized. for this sit we will work on exploring the boundaries of our body, the gauzy interface between it and the room, then showering it with petals of love enough for everyone.
Steph: I used to be interested in pushing my body – to see how far it could go. I climbed big mountains, ran a marathon, partied for days… you get the idea. More recently, I’m still interested in exploring the limits of my body, but what I’m exploring has changed. What interests me now is how many different ways I can heal my body. Life experience, accidents, illness, and birthing and caring for a child have taken its toll on my middle aged body, and as a result, my focus has shifted to exploring all the ways I can heal my body. My explorations into healing have led me to discover different movement modalities, wisdom traditions, stillness practices and more, to land here – on a meditation practice, combined with energy work, and a focus on the body that is healing for mind, body and spirit. Join me for tonight’s exploration in and through the body in a Samatha inspired, Reiki energy infused meditation, that uses both the breath and body to bring the mind-body connection back into alignment.
Jeff: I’ve been enjoying a new practice. Every night before sleep, I write in a journal one line about how I want to be in my life the next day. I might write “Slinky, sensual, slow as a snake,” or “Booming and happy, like a big huggable Buddha,” or “Action hero readiness and competency – like Captain America!” What I write depends on my mood, and sometimes on what’s happening the next day. The emphasis is always on the embodied feeling of how I want to show up. The next day, my words often end up being a noticeable theme. It just seems to happen, like magic. How does it work? No doubt part of it is I’m scripting myself – I’m essentially playing a role. But it can feel like more than this too, like the world meets me coming the other direction, and mischievously feeds me lines and scenarios.
“Imagination lays the tracks for reality to follow,” says trickster Caroline Casey. How superb. This Monday, we use our imaginations to shape our caring.
Warren: The western world tends to prioritize certain values. Values like productivity, independence, mind based intelligence etc. Although all these values are needed to live a great life, they can also become out of balance. Values like self care, community and seeing the intelligence of our body, heart and spirit are important too. This meditation we will explore a visualization practice that allows us to bring balance to our lives so that we avoid burnouts and have more energy for all the things we hold dear, bringing a balance of success and self care into our lives.
Her: Have you had lunch? I think you might be hangry.
Me: I SAID I’M FINE!
Her: Whoa. Here, eat this.
Me (15 minutes after eating): Wow, I feel much better. Thank you. I’m so sorry for snapping.
The need to self regulate implies that we’re dysregulated. Are you? Would you even know if you were? I often don’t and I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s all part of this wild ride we call being human. Checking in with ourselves, or taking our ‘emotional temperature’ is a skill that takes some practice. Tune in to CEC on June 26 for a chance to try, and chat about tuning in to yourself.