Jeff: OK, for this weekly instalment of devotion month, we are going to explore what it means to be goo goo ga ga in love with the hottest sexiest meanest and most ass-kicking ENTITY in the whole universe – that is, the Universe itself. Aka, reality, aka the existential wrapper thing that you, me, and everyone seems to find themselves inside, now and always, for reality just keeps on being real. What could it mean not just to love this beastie, but also to treat “it” as both intelligent and in constant communication with us? Can one have such a view without being committed to an asylum, or being roundly mocked by your boring social scientist friends? What might a discerning version of this understanding look like, and can we expand our minds to accommodate it, like a pair of stretchy lycra yoga pants?
Jeff: Wow, lots of caveats around action this month, I guess we are a tender bunch – learning about self-care, about boundaries, about humility. But let’s not let our humanist realism trump our contemplative hearts, because, as everybody knows, love and service are still the only real games in town. Is there a place for this kind of idealism in our mangled modern world? What might it look like, and how can we help each other come to it in our own ways? The night before Halloween, we spook the hipsters with the only thing they truly fear: earnestness. Bring on the loving kindness!
Erin: From the nightmare of colonialism to condescending “development” projects to every bad relationship you’ve ever had, so much damage in this world has been wrought by the mentality of “I know better, I can fix you.”. Cultivating the “don’t know mind” helps us listen more carefully and open to possibilities hanging out beyond the rigid assumptions of how we think things should be. Tonight we’ll meditate on all that we don’t know, try to ease into a warm bath (or cold shower!) of uncertainty. Then we’ll explore what it feels like to make a difference, and have a difference be made to us.
DATE: October 16 TEACHER: Jeff Warren THEME: Being There for Others MEDITATION: This is Me with Good Boundaries INTERACTIVE: This is Me Swamped and Bleeding Sideways Into Your Eyeball
Jeff: I know what being there for others means: it means secretly imagining I am personally responsible for the happiness of each person I meet and making sure to get helplessly entangled in their psychic dramas so I can get overwhelmed and leave them confused and worse off than they were before. Or at least, that’s how I used to do it, when I wasn’t drunk. Then I learned about b-o-u-n-d-a-r-i-e-s. Apparently they have these in some countries. This Monday, we practice healthy action in relationship – ie, how to NOT merge into a flabby sea of oneness.
DATE: September 18 TEACHER: Avi Craimer THEME: Enlightenment MEDITATION: The Adept INTERACTIVE: Stories of enlightenment
Avi: Stories of enlightened masters, sages, saints, and adepts, can be a form of spiritual transmission. For some, these narratives are a barrier as well, raising skepticism or triggering a painful sense of never being good enough. In this meditation, we’ll explore how a story of enlightenment affects our experience of silent sitting. In the second half, we’ll engage with texts by contemporary meditation teachers about enlightenment and each of us will have the opportunity to write our own version of the story.