Take a leap

I met someone yesterday who’s into BASE jumping and wingsuits. If you haven’t seen wingsuits, head over to youtube and search it up and be thrilled.

It put me in mind of meditations in which one imagines falling from a cliff in order to cause the inherently existing (and therefore non-existing) “I/ME/MINE” to arise. And, it put me in mind of fearlessness.

Then on my social media feed this morning, this…playful fearlessness! French bulldog puppy takes first leap off of couch. Whee!

 

Just look at ‘how easy it is the second time around!’

(via twistedsifter.com)

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Deeply concerned hotdogs

I’ve just returned home from a week’s vacation in the peaceful village of Bayfield, Ontario, where all they really need to make a perfect summer beach holiday complete is a Guelph-style coffee shop, with fair-trade beans and free wi-fi.

In an effort to wean myself from giving content to Facebook, and to begin to find a regular blogging voice, I present to you last year’s Bayfield photoshop extravaganza…deeply concerned hotdogs make offerings to appease the petulant ice cream god.

deeply concerned dogs

 

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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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Hello body! I’m home!

Thich Nhat Hanh is answering questions from his 1 million+ fans on Facebook. (You can like and receive updates from his FB page here.)

The first question he answered was, “How do I love myself?” Beautifully, he begins with, “Come back into your body and breathe.” Playfully he says, “Hello body! I’m home!”

The further instructions are basically, sit and be with your body, breathe mindfully, watch mindfully. Being with yourself mindfully IS loving yourself.

He goes on to say that when you understand your own suffering — when you can sit patiently, mindfully with yourself — then you will begin to understand the suffering of others. You will understand the suffering of your father, your mother, your ancestors. Implicit in this? You will stop blaming others for your suffering and see that they too suffer. No one is exempt.

Compassion arises naturally from this simple insight. Enjoy!

 

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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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Making friends with yourself

I’ve been going again and again to watching this clip of Pema Chödrön talking about authentically engaging with ourselves and our experience.

 She says, when you seek out teachings:

You do want to hear something that is genuinely going to be of value in your life. And the approach of Buddhism, and the approach that all the Buddhist teachers have been drawn to personally, and then end up teaching, is about engaging in your life fully. And having an attitude of kindness toward yourself and all things that might arise in you, such as: your rage and your addictions and your grief and your loneliness and your resentment, and all these different things. Some attitude of kindness towards your humanity. And a way of working with it, which is acknowledging it completely and fully, for what it is. Very conscious of what is going on with yourself. But with an attitude of kindness. Trungpa Rinpoche used to call it ‘making friends with yourself.’

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Cute improves concentration

File this under S for SWEET!

In addition to making the heart all warm and fuzzy, have you heard that exposure to cute things has been studied and shown to improve concentration? This means if you’re looking to hone your attention, study for an exam, even engage in some practice that requires manual dexterity, you ought to warm up with exposure to sweetness!

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