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!

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!

 

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

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.’

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!

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.

Open to nature, open to gratitude

File this one under B for BLISS!

Nature’s Beauty Inspires Gratitude is a must-see 20 min TEDx talk featuring the stunning filmwork of Louie Schwartzberg. It starts as simply jaw-dropping time lapse nature photography and builds into a compelling vision for why and how to be grateful when we open our eyes each morning.

On the bio page of his website — aptly named “Moving Art” — beside the picture of his peaceful smile and super-clear eyes, it reads:

As the only cinematographer in the world who has been shooting time-lapse 24/7 continuously for well over three decades, Schwartzberg is a visual artist breaking barriers, connecting with audiences, and telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people and places.

If you pay attention right around the 5 min 50 sec mark, you might audibly gasp, as I did. But you must watch this one all the way through. Then be grateful you did.

And for fans of non-narrative documentaries, in 1982 he provided additional cinematography for the film Koyaanisqatsi.