Jeff: One of my favourite life and meditation practices is called “practice enlightenment.” It comes by way of Dogen, the famous Japanese founder of Soto Zen, and is a kind of antidote to spiritual striving. What if you were already exactly where you needed to be? In this way, we practice our own “enlightenment,” moment by moment. It’s a superb practice for lazy people and I intend to ruin your motivation forever.
Oliver and Luke: We’ll first speak about our journey in learning about Marshall Rosenberg’s work in non-violent communication. Oliver will then lead us through a guided practice that invites us to listen to our inner dialogue, employ our inner giraffe-ness (this will make more sense in the class…. SO COME JOIN US!!), and attempt to find valuable messages and insights hiding in the realm that exists behind the dialogue we are hearing.
Erin: In the (relative) silence and stillness of meditation, we can catch a break from the distracting busy of our everyday lives, tune into ourselves and just be. That’ll be the spirit of tonight’s sit, noticing how freedom from the habitual helps us recharge and reflect. Over time, practice also can loosen up the threads of self, illuminating the limiting stories we carry about who we are and setting the stage for growth and change.
James: When we were carving up the CEC pie, trying to embody the spirit that kept us coming back to our practice, we wanted to both capture the essential and be intentional with how we placed it during the year. As we marched down the calendar, approached its end, after so much attention to practice, mindfulness and concentration, the reverence that springs from beginning to know our shared heart, the arrows we sling at ourself, we wanted to aim at the eternal. For me, it was the twin siblings of destruction and creation, metabolism and renewal, the shocked smattering of applause after the Ramones stepped off stage at CBGB’s after playing 5 songs in ten minutes, no one really understanding what had happened, but knowing things would never be the same. Except for one thing. The one thing. The mother of songs, from which vibrations rise and return: our effervescent awareness that anticipates what’s coming, remembers what has passed, creates the music of our lives from what would otherwise be just sound. For the meditation, we are going to tune it, first inwards, the rise and fall of our inner harmonies, then outwards to what harmonics the planet meters towards us, then just sit as that listening thing that is simultaneously player and audience, always has been, always will be.
Oliver: “All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within us” -Joseph Campbell
Tonight we play with themes like mythology, values, habits, and explore (metaphorically) what “gods” we consciously or unconsciously devote ourselves to.