Who are you?

All About Nothing is a Dutch movie which invites you to transcend the daily rat race by taking a radically different view on life. This ancient Indian philosophy is called non-duality and has been embraced by the likes of Albert Einstein, Eckhart Tolle, Jim Carrey, Ramana Maharshi and Byron Katie. When this insight strikes, your whole life can change drastically… while nothing has to change.”

(via www.nondualiteit.nu)

 

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Meet pain with compassion

In this 3-minute video, Dr. Gabor Maté, a Vancouver-based physician and author, known widely for his work in addiction medicine, speaks clearly on the root cause of addictions and how to heal them. Spoiler alert: the root cause is emotional pain — and avoiding or running from that pain, and the cure is learning to be with your pain — to meet it, and yourself, with compassion.

(via reset.me)

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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.

 

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Sky dancing

Thanks to my sweetie, Michael, and all the super-talented folks at Skydive Arizona, for making my first skydive a fantastic experience. What a thrill. So dream-like. I wish everyone could have the opportunity to fly like this.

Big, blue desert sky. Neat shot looking back up to the plane — I’m strapped to tandem master Josiah, and you can see Michael leaping out after us. Once we were under the parachute, enjoying the view, Josiah says: ‘Heather, welcome to my office!’ Lucky, lucky guy.

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Fill ‘er up

Graphic by Sam Gerrard, Shore Creative, UK

So this is awesome: Buddha at the Gas Pump — a show that explores enlightenment through a series of interviews with spiritual practitioners and teachers, many of whom openly discuss their experiences with ‘the awakened state.’ By its own description:

Many people are skeptical of claims of higher states of consciousness. They find it hard to believe that apparently ordinary friends and neighbors might be experiencing something extraordinary. Maybe they expect Enlightenment to look as remarkable on the outside as it is reputed to be on the inside. This show will attempt to dispel skepticism and misconceptions by week after week, allowing otherwise ordinary people to relate their experience of spiritual awakening.

Head over and check out the long list of nearly 300 guests — you’ll find some very well-known names. The interviews are sorted alphabetically by guest, or quite handily can be browsed categorized under a broad-range of traditions/schools/predilictions. You can watch episodes on YouTube or download them as podcasts — great for trips by car!

To get you started, I’m linking to just one of many that I’ve so far enjoyed. It’s a discussion moderated by the show’s creator and host, Rick Archer, between Adyashanti and Francis Bennett. Adyashanti, a long-time Zen practitioner, and Bennett, a former Trappist monk, talk broadly on the theme of the former’s book, Resurrecting Jesus, in which Adyashanti “reveals the man known as Jesus as an exemplar of the realized state and a model of enlightened engagement with the world.”

Good stuff. I’m excited to discover more.

You can subscribe to receive email updates of future interviews as they’re released. You can also follow Buddha at the Gas Pump on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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Portrait stitching in Guelph

I’m soooo excited! UK-based performance artist Harriet Riddell is coming to stitch in Guelph this Saturday, December 6th. She’ll be setting up her sewing machine here in the What World Common Room (123 Woolwich Street, Second Floor, Guelph).

Be sure to call (647-231-8111) or email (riddell.arts@live.co.uk) this week to book an appointment if you want to be certain to sit for your portrait! Or take your chances by dropping by to check it out first. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your dog. A stitched portrait is a great keepsake and totally unique Christmas gift.

Even if you’re too shy to sit, Harriet’s is a fascinating sort of performance art. She works stitching live subjects in real time. I always marvel at her easy manner and mad skillz. Come and see!

Guelph flyer

Previous GDS posts about Harriet: Has sewing machine, travels and Getting stitched at the Cabbagetown Festival

As a happy scheduling coincidence, on your way to see us, say hello to John at Earth Tones Studios, our new neighbour down the hall here on the second floor. Earth Tones is having an open studio this same day. John teaches workshops on how to make drums as well as percussion instruments, including found materials such as durable PVC plumbing pipe. He facilitates drumming circles and sound scapes for people of all ages who respond to the call and the dance of the drumbeat.

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Just eat real food, JERF

Of all the ways I have described how I’ve been eating the past few years, just eating real food, known as JERFing, is the closest fit. Are you surprised to hear that you might not be eating ‘real’ food? Curious? 17 simple ways to JERF is a great place to get a quick start.

I am by no means super strict about it, but I think I eat ‘real’ about 80 per cent of the time. One of my daily habits is a big green drink. It gets tons of vegetables into me without endless chewing. It’s super nutritious and makes a body feel great. As food is fuel, it’s a bit like putting premium gas in your car.

Pro tip: Once I established it as a habit, I switched from a starter juicer and invested in a pricey vitamix a couple of years ago and this, IMHO, has two big benefits: 1) pulp stays in for fibre-y goodness and 2) cleaning the machine is super simple.

This morning’s vitamixed mash up? By most to least quantity: water, spinach, kale, cucumber, ginger, apple, almonds.

mix it up

 

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