NEW location for Tuesday evening sessions

Be Still Posters February 2017 v1 RGBJanuary 2017 marks the beginning of our fourth year of the Just Sit! Tuesday evening weekly guided meditation sessions! Thank you to everyone who has come to sit over the years. It has been deeply meaningful to me to offer space for meditators, of any (or no particular) spiritual tradition, to come together and sit in stillness.

Beginning with the February 7th sit, the sessions are moving over to 10 Carden. This exciting move will mean a more public venue and, if all goes well, we will move with 10 Carden to their new location later this year, currently under renovation at 42 Carden Street. The new location will be fully accessible!

Another change for our group is the addition of Jennifer Storey as a meditation leader. Jennifer will now be the regular lead on Tuesday evenings, as the distance to my new hometown has finally proven too much for a commitment to the weekly sits. I remain involved with the group, helping with administrative details, and I look forward to sitting whenever I do make the trip to Guelph.

If you live in the Niagara region, or know someone down here who would be interested, I am delighted to be leading regular meditations in Grimbsy (Wednesdays) and Port Colborne (Mondays) at the beautiful studios of Yoga Truly. New weekly drop-in sessions will begin in the first week of February.

For any questions about the Guelph, Grimbsy or Port Colborne sessions, feel free to email me at meditate@gentlydownthestream.org.

With best wishes for a peaceful 2017,
Heather

 

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Sitting through March

We’ve added more dates, continuous now through the end of March 2015, for the “Just Sit!” sessions on Tuesday evenings. (Please check back monthly for future dates.) These guided meditations are open to any and every one. All levels of experience and all faith or no faith backgrounds are welcome. Just Sit! is an opportunity to sit with others in contemplation and meditation, whether you are just learning how to meditate or have been at it for years.

For those of you who haven’t come to sit — or haven’t come in a while — we are currently dividing the hour into three meditations, or, one mediation with three sections. However you slice it:

Part 1 — 15 mins on the breath, developing concentration and allowing our mind to settle by counting our exhalations (to 3 sets of 21 exhalations) and then simply sitting without counting for a little longer, deeply experiencing the breath.

Part 2 — 20 mins on allowing, noticing and meeting our direct experience with an embracing mind of love, coming back again and again and again to the direct experience of each moment, allowing, allowing, allowing…

Part 3 — 20 mins on ‘feeling into’ our basic nature: the awake, alert awareness in which direct experience is arising — that which is always already present. We turn our focus from the experiences, the thoughts, feelings, sensations and pay attention instead in each moment to the space in which the experiences are arising.

 

IMG_8370

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December meditation sessions in Guelph

Two more Just Sit! sessions are scheduled for 2014: tomorrow evening, December 9th, and next week, December 16th. Join us from 7-8pm at 123 Woolwich St, 2nd Floor, for simple guided meditations. Learn to be still and relax. Sessions will resume in the new year, dates TBA (to be announced — check back here in the next few weeks).

There is also a final 2014 sit in December with Ken Hood, over at Living Yoga & Health, 105 Wyndham St N, 2nd Floor. Join him this coming Sunday, December 14th at 10:30am. Ken is planning to continue regular sessions in the new year too.

 

Sitting December 2014 v1

 

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Sunday morning sitting

LKP profile picLocal bookseller and long-time meditation teacher Ken Hood is offering a series of monthly Sunday morning sessions, suitable for everyone. Join him this weekend, October 19th at 10:30am at Living Yoga and Health, 105 Wyndham St. N., downtown Guelph. Be sure to mark your calendar for future sessions: November 16th and December 14th.

Read more about the sessions and take a bit of time to browse around Ken’s site at agoodheart.ca. It’s an excellent resource for Buddhist and other spiritual book reviews; digital and local meditation resources; poetry, quotes & inspiration. It is also home to The Lovingkindness Project — a challenge to bring a simple practice of lovingkindness into your life. (You can also find The Lovingkindness Project over on Facebook…go ahead, give it a try and give us a like!)

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Just Sit! sessions for Fall 2014

IMG_7430Dates and details for the Fall 2014 sessions of Just Sit! are all set. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and seeing new faces amongst the regular meditators. The first sit is next Tuesday, September 9th.

These Just Sit! sessions are all about actually getting down to practicing. Meditating with the group once a week and sitting even just a few minutes a day at home is plenty to get you feeling the benefits of mindfulness. Sitting with the group gives you the experience, confidence and encouragement to practice at home and the at-home practice gives you the experience, confidence and enthusiasm to bring back to the group. Win-Win!

It’s not enough to have the best intention. It’s not enough to KNOW all the benefits. It’s not enough to have read tons of books. The magic happens only when you stop and sit. Learn to BE with whatever arises.

Need a little more convincing? See Mindful.org’s 5 Excuses Not to Meditate and 5 Reasons to Give it a Try Anyway.

The Just Sit! sessions are suitable for anyone. No experience necessary. Instructions will be tailored to suit needs. For all the details about what to expect and where to be and when, see Just Sit! Meditation Classes.

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Summer Sitting in July

Four more drop-in meditations this summer, starting July 8th. Suitable for everyone. Bring your own cushion (chairs available). Learn to sit and just be with whatever arises.

Summer Sitting July 2014 v2 cropped

When?
7-8pm on Tuesday evenings
July 8, 15, 22, 29

What does it cost?
Pay what you can

Where?
What World Common Room
(where the Hillside offices used to be)
123 Woolwich Street, 2nd Floor, Guelph

Who is guiding the meditations?
Heather Finlayson has been practicing and teaching meditation for over 12 years. Heather is an independent (or is that interdependent?) graphic designer based in downtown Guelph.

Other questions?
Please email meditate@gentlydownthestream.org or phone 519.400.7862 for more information.

Want to print a poster to hang where you live/work?
Download a printable version of the poster here. Thanks!

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Just Be! Summer Sitting

We’re going casual for the summer. Instead of a six-week commitment, June’s four meditation classes will be drop-in! Come along if you’ve started a regular meditation practice and need the weekly encouragement. Come along if you’ve been wanting to try a class but can’t commit to a full series.

Drop-in meditation classes, suitable for everyone.
Bring your own cushion (chairs available).
Learn to sit and just be with whatever arises.

When?
7-8pm on Tuesday evenings
June 3, 10, 17, 24

What does it cost?
Pay what you can

Where?
What World Common Room
(where the Hillside offices used to be)
123 Woolwich Street, 2nd Floor, Guelph

Who is guiding the meditations?
Heather Finlayson has been practicing and teaching meditation for over 12 years. Heather is an independent (or is that interdependent?) graphic designer based in downtown Guelph.

Other questions?
Please email meditate@gentlydownthestream.org or phone 519.400.7862 for more information.

Just Be! Poster v5

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Sharon Salzberg in Guelph

Renowned meditation teacher and best-selling author Sharon Salzberg will be giving a talk in Guelph. Come along Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1 p.m. to St. George’s Church. Don’t miss this rare opportunity! Tickets $10, on sale now at the Bookshelf.

Here’s local teacher and bookseller Ken Hood with your personal invitation and some Salzberg book recommendations:

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Just Sit! Another 6 weeks of mindfulness

Just Sit!  NEW DATES
A 6-week course in mindfulness meditation

This series of six 1-hour classes on mindfulness meditation is appropriate for new or experienced meditators. Simple instructions, lengthy in-class practice and suggested homework assignments are meant to give you the experience and encouragement to start, and/or maintain, a daily habit of meditation.

When are the classes?
7-8pm on Tuesday evenings
April 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 2014

Where are they?
What World Common Room
(where the Hillside offices used to be)
123 Woolwich Street, 2nd Floor, Guelph, ON N1H 3V1

What does it cost?
$60 /6 classes
Space is limited. In order to encourage regular attendance and a commitment to practice, pre-registration is required and payment for course is due in full at the first class.

Who is teaching?
Heather Finlayson has been practicing and teaching meditation for over 12 years. Heather is an independent (or is that interdependent?) graphic designer based in downtown Guelph.

How do I sign up?
Please email meditate@gentlydownthestream.org for more information or to register.

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A 6-week course in mindfulness

Just Sit!
A 6-week course in mindfulness meditation

This series of six 1-hour classes is an introduction to mindfulness meditation. The sessions are appropriate for new or experienced meditators. Simple instructions, lengthy in-class practice and suggested homework assignments are meant to give you the experience and encouragement to start, and/or maintain, a daily habit of meditation.

“Mindfulness meditation encourages us to become more patient and compassionate with ourselves and to cultivate open-mindedness and gentle persistence. These qualities help free us from the gravitational pull of anxiety, stress and unhappiness.”
Excerpt from Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

Where are the classes?
What World Common Room
(where the Hillside offices used to be)
123 Woolwich Street, 2nd Floor, Guelph, ON N1H 3V1

When are they?
7-8pm on Tuesday evenings
February 18, 25, March 4, 18, 25, April 1
(no class March 11 due to March Break)

What does it cost?
$60 /6 classes
Space is limited. In order to encourage regular attendance and a commitment to practice, pre-registration is required and payment for course is due in full at or before the first class.

How do I sign up?
Please email meditate@gentlydownthestream.org for more information or to register.

Who is teaching?
Heather Finlayson has been practicing and teaching meditation for over 12 years. Heather is an independent (or is that interdependent?) graphic designer based in downtown Guelph.

Tell me again, what is mindfulness?
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a well-known mindfulness meditation teacher and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, gives a wonderful, brief explanation:

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