Avi: As we form our worldviews, more and more parts of our experience become ordered, automatically tiled over with convienient conceptual tags. Yet even the most comprehensive conceptual schema has its limits. What I call “the rock face” is the very edge of your constructed reality. It’s where sense meets non-sense, where the rational comingles with the magical. In this meditation we’ll go down the metaphysical mineshaft in search of the rock face within.
Kevin: To paraphrase Oliver Burkeman, from a certain perspective we can say that our lives are made up of what we pay attention to. And I’d go so far as to add that it also consists of how we pay attention! I’ve noticed, over the course of that past several years (or decades?) that I’ve developed the habit of treating my attention like a juggling act – trying to keep the countless balls of my multiple To-Do lists in the air – not attending to any of them in any substantial or meaningful way. The best I can do is juggle them, and then wonder why I feel so tired and powerless. Tonight we will invite ourselves to let go – simplify our attention, drop some of those balls (and maybe never pick them up again!) in the name of empowering engagement, fulfillment, relief, and connection.
Luke: In this sit, we’ll drop in and seek a comfortable exploration of a growing edge, the periphery of our understanding of something. Can we find that sweet spot, the place bridging the known and the unknown and empower ourselves through expanding our awareness? We will practice inviting a level of curiosity, closer proximity, and ‘oh’pening to our experiences (and their emotions) that we tend to distance ourselves from. For me, it’s the noisy neighbour, relationship jealousy, and a default to a judgey mindset that offers all kinds of space for growth. There is always an exit route for this type of explorative journey, making more room between us and an activated part, coming back to the breath, opening our eyes slightly, or dropping the practice and picking up something that feels right. It is my opinion that regardless of how deep we go or how close we get, the mere act of attempting this type of exploration can help soften our hard growing edges and empower us to expand our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Pamela: What does (dis)empowerment feel like in the body, what triggers it, subdues it, allows it? How can we allow ourselves to experience power without the power-over, or power-under? We will explore, through an embodied contemplation, in a time where power dynamics are both explicit and implicit, what empowerment for-the-sake-of-empowerment-and-nothing-else might look like, if it is at all possible.
Caitlin: The tension between the opposite poles of despair and empowerment makes each experience possible. In other words, we can’t fully experience empowerment unless we also experience its shadow – despair. Inspired by the work of ecophilosopher Joanna Macy, we’ll look at the way despair and empowerment work together to facilitate each other into being. Like it or not, you can’t have one without the other.