Caitlin: Intention-setting is a powerful part of ceremony and ritual. Intentions imbue ceremonies with meaning; they offer directionality, a means of orienting, and anchors to return to. We might think of the ceremony as what we do and the intention as why we do it. When we meditate or do any practice routinely, we can become disconnected from what brought us to practice in the first place, as well as from what keeps us returning. Practices can become more about what we do than why we do them. This meditation is all about reflecting on and refreshing our intentions as guides to our practice.
James: Time: we never have enough of it. Too many things on our daily list, too many books asking us to account for the 4000 weeks that make a life. Our sense of it has become so granular, we rely on the oscillation of cesium atoms to tell us what a second is. Plants, though, don’t need atomic clocks to tell them when to bloom, nor do monarchs consult them as to when to take their shaky flight back to Mexico. What we are a part of, at our deepest level, is beyond our usual conception of time, and for this sit, we are going to plot a route with our breath to, at least temporarily, escape from it.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Steph: By turning our awareness to what and who we have in our lives for which we are grateful, we move the conversation in our minds and bodies away from an expression of lack, to one of abundance. On this evening of Canadian Thanksgiving we will fill our cups (or our goat horns as folklore dictates) full of all the things, big and small, we are thankful for each day. We will weave together stillness, space and ceremony to explore the many ways we can express and feel gratitude in our lives and bodies, and in our community. Come for the meditation and stay for the breakout discussion where we’ll explore and share the ways the community has been able to ritualize gratitude into regular practice.
Jude: Ceremonies are often rituals of honouring something significant, setting clear intentions, and organizing our outer space as a reflection of organized inner space. By contrast, certain times in life may often feel insignificant, unintentional, and disorganized. In this practice we will contemplate what is important to us personally and how we can honour this, set intentions, and organize to shape our lives in more meaningful ways.
Erin: Getting to an “effortlessly mindful” state seems to require a whole lotta work. You have to practice regularly, building concentration and developing awareness until you drop into a clear, present equanimous state. Then you chill there for a while, thinking the work’s all done, until fuzziness and reactivity seep in and it’s back to the drawing board. How do you hold the direction without clinging to the destination? When to try hard in practice and when to stop trying? In this meditation we’ll explore the delicate dance of effort and surrender.