Kevin: ‘You can’t take it with you’, ‘This too shall pass’, ‘The only constant is change’, and so on. Impermanence. We understand the idea. Makes sense, right? It’s baked into the condition of life itself! But how much frustration, anxiety, and suffering do we experience because we don’t really accept it? We fight against the arising of unpleasant experiences while desperately clinging to others. Tonight we look past our fixed ideas of self and world, into the ever-fluid activity of sensory experience to know experientially, moment-to-moment, that this too is passing.
Release Yourself from Fear – The Untethered Soul in a Nutshell
November 7, 2022
Laurie: When you have a thorn in your arm, it’s better to experience the pain of pulling it out than spending your whole life trying not to touch it! Strong or subtle, every day we face painful, difficult experiences, which fear commands us to resist. But when we resist a difficult experience, we actually store it inside. Silly animal brain! Don’t you know that resisting life is what makes you neurotic? We’ll learn how to counter this tendency, release stored patterns, and not create new ones.
James: As we continue the practice of meditation, we liberate energy otherwise lost to consternation, furtive thinking patterns or behaviours. What once might have disappeared into friction is used to improve our view. Trees get a deeper green, the sparrow song that calls from them, a note sweeter. Friendships too. As discrimination improves, everything becomes more precious and alive. Nothing is familiar. Tricks become treats, what was ordinary takes flight towards the sacred, and we realize we were in a house of spirits this whole time. For the sit, with the veil at its thinnest, we will open the eyes of our mind as wide as we can, then we will bow.
Caitlin: If we consider this existence and all time and space to be sacred, we might consider honouring that sacredness by integrating more ritual and ceremony into everyday living. How might it feel to treat each day ceremonially, from the moment we wake until the time we go to bed? We’ll use mindfulness, presence and curiosity to explore what that might mean and how that might feel.
Erin: This is one of the first meditations I ever did, on a field trip to the woods with my alternative high school. Often invoked to begin ceremonies, the directions are associated with elements, seasons, stages of life, animals, and emotions. In this sit, we’ll move our bodies (and/or our awareness) to face each direction and notice what emerges. Does our felt experience of the directions match up with what they’re “supposed” to represent? Let’s find out!