We’re Having a Party, and the Six-Year-Old You Is Invited!
December 19, 2022
Luke: When in an unfamiliar social or professional situation, have you ever encountered yourself choosing to not say anything out of fear of saying the “wrong” thing? I have. Even amidst abundant curiosity and interest, I’ve chosen not to say anything. It leaves me wondering what my six year old self would have done? Would he have chosen to engage and express his curiosity and interest? In this sit we will invite our six year old selves to join us and explore what might it feel like to gift ourselves the permission to not know?
“If you carry Joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.” ~ Carlos Santana
Stephanie: A joy-filled life is not one devoid of suffering or grief. A joyful life recognizes those true, albeit sometimes fleeting, moments of joy, and strings them together like a popcorn garland hung on a tree for one cohesive, enveloping experience. In tonight’s meditation we will learn to tap (physically and metaphorically) into joy in the body, and to recognize, embrace, encourage and celebrate its presence.
James: In both interpretations of the phrase, it’s right here. As in: with the world, consonant with how it is supposed to be, for it can be no other way. Also, the opening into a new one that fits us ever better. This is the tension we walk as meditators, the movement between these two. The act of being present for all of it, even the subtle stuff, the pains and sorrows, no matter what. This is me, right here, in all my transcendent and petty ways. Like all acts of love, the acceptance can also be a fulcrum, opening us to small sweetnesses, blossoms of celebration in our posture, maybe even our heart. For this sit, at the start of a holiday season, we’ll start small, let the tiny loves in our experience light a way home.
Jeff: My partner Sarah and I have a running joke. I mean literally, we’re running when we make the joke. Running upstairs to attend to Sasha the incredible screaming sick baby, running downstairs to prevent toddler Eden from lighting his hair on fire, running to get groceries, running to the shower, to daycare, to cancel daycare, to the liquor store (piss off meditation), to the doctor’s office, etc. The joke is: soon we’ll get there. We’ll get to normal, to fixed, to calm, to The Balanced Life, to whatever fantasy of stability we imagine is waiting for us if only we can get the last of these fucking emails written. Just out of reach, but not out of sight. Except, of course, it’s both out of reach and out of sight. That’s what the mind does. Carrot on a stick, carrot on a stick, come on buddy you can do it. We all know how deluded this is, and yet we all fall into it anyway.
This Monday, not only will we practice acceptance – yes, this here right now is your actual life – we will also explore the possibility that your mind is completely bonkers and out of sync with reality. We will explore this in a fun way, that is, making good-natured fun of the mind. The spiritual teacher Jean Klein used to say the mind is like a fool who, after a great ballet performance, staggers on stage, pushes the dancers to one side, and bows dramatically. Reality is dancing, the mind takes credit afterwards. Hilarious!
Work is a mess, my family is stressing me out, relationship drama …pandemic …the government …injustice …climate change (insert head exploding emoji)
So what? I’m supposed to just close my eyes, put on a smile and say “It’s fine. I accept everything. Ohmmmm”? Is that what meditation is about? Screw that. If we accept everything, why would we ever want to change anything, right?
We know this “acceptance” thing is good for our mental and emotional well-being, and we also know it’s important to sometimes stand up and say “No. Change needs to happen”.
So please accept (ha ha) my invitation to come together on the 21st, sit, discuss and share about how we reconcile these seemingly contradictory ideas.