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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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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Sitting at home

Do this! Quick and dirty instructions for starting a daily meditation practice at home — notes from last week’s whiteboard:

sitathome

Just Sit! at home:
1. Decide to practice daily
2. Create a space
3. Minimize distractions and interruptions
4. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes
5. Sit
6. Do not get up until the timer goes off

As to the details of #5, what to do when you’re sitting: breathe. Follow the breath with gentle, firm attention. Breathe in, breathe out. (Um, that link’s just a song I like, not further instructions.)

We’re sitting again Tuesday, 7-8pm.

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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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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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