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Post-election I’ve been host to quite a few emotions, among them frustration, anger and dread.
I know it’s on me to keep my heart and mind open. Wisdom and compassion are lofty goals, but require diligence and ruthless self-inquiry.
I didn’t make it to a march this month as I was on the road teaching. But I heard from many around the world who joined in demonstrations or watched closely and felt transformed. Everyone I talked to spoke how their heart was buoyed by a sense of camaraderie and a shared sense of purpose.
As much as it is important to find those who resonate with our values, we also need to remember that the ‘other’ is not the enemy.
All beings, without exception, want to feel happy, safe and free.
May we remember that ... and find our path to skillful action in these trying times.
The Energy Intensive at Kripalu Center
Thursday, April 13 to Sunday, April 16, 2017
In recent years the Energy Intensive at Kripalu Center has booked up with a wait list.
I thought I’d give you advanced notice of the next one if you’d like to reserve your place. I’ve been co-leading this program with Shobhan Richard Faulds for about 15 years.
We’re not kidding when we use the word "intensive." Your day starts at 6:00AM with yoga and ends around 9:00PM most days. (Integral to your experience, though, are deep relaxations, breathing sessions and meditation. Most people feel much more alive and rejuvenated at the end of the three days.)
You’ll explore practices that are designed to raise both energy (prana) and awareness (chitta), culminating with a practice of circular breathing that can be quite transformative.
If you’re looking for a three-day program blow off stress and renew, this is a great one.
To learn more, click the banner below:
You Are Who You Hang With
I saw a report that stated the following:
1. Think of your five best friends.
2. Average out their incomes.
3. It's probably your income.
I read that and immediately thought , "I need new friends."
The point of the report was that you resonate with those with whom you spend the most time.
If you want to be a musician, for example, hang out with people who are passionate about music. Practice together. Listen together. Learn from each other. You'll be touched by their passion and probably, at times, inspire others with your passion when they are struggling.
If want want change fundamental habits, learn anything new or develop mastery in any area, it requires:
* Sustained attention
* Associating with like-minded people and,
* Getting feedback.
What would happen if you devoted a year to cultivating non-judging awareness? That's the idea behind A Year of Living Mindfully.
The Year of Living Mindfully is not a book club. It's not discussion group. It's not me giving lectures about being fully alive.
It's about community. It's about learning techniques and practices that deepen your capacity to be with whatever arises in your life with greater wisdom and compassion. It's about sustaining attention on what it means to be fully awake.
I'm privileged to offer the ninth year of this 12-month course. If you're interested, check out this link, and sense if it's a match for you in your life.
I know what a profound difference it can make.
Applications are due March 1.
Fresh Photos From This Month
It's a blessing to start a new year off with a retreat. With fellow teachers Anam Thubten, Tara Brach and Hugh Byrne. Weather systems of the mind. It went from this to blue skies in about four minutes. The Eagles have landed. It looks like they are committed to this nest for their little ones. Bottoms up. Geese feeding at the base of an island. On the watchtower. Vigil at first light. Another morning vigil, shot from the bank as the Potomac has been at flood stage recently. Flying to Denver. How would you describe this scene to someone 150 years ago?
Video: A Short Clip about the Year of Living Mindfully
Learn more about this year's program.
An Extraordinary Opportunity to Participate in a Research Study
This is an amazing study and I could not recommend it more highly.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University are seeking individuals with a regular, long-term meditation practice to participate in a research study looking at the combined effects of meditation and psilocybin, a psychoactive substance found in sacramental mushrooms of some cultures. The study will investigate psychological and brain processes underlying such effects.
Volunteers must be between the ages of 25 and 80, have no personal or familial history of severe psychiatric illness, or recent history of alcoholism or drug abuse.
To discuss the possibility of volunteering or to learn more: Phone: 410-550-2253
Confidentiality will be maintained for all applicants and participants. Principal Investigator: Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D., Protocol: NA_00047665
Four Questions To Ask When You Want to Make Something Happen
Feel something calling but you’re not sure how to make it happen?
After a lot of hemming, hawing and seesawing, this is the year I’m called to write what I think will be a book.
Here’s how the process unfolded for me using four questions I list below:
1. I want to write what I think will be a book.
2. I know it ain’t easy and I have a pretty good idea of how tortuous this process can be. (I never heard an author say, "This book was effortless.")
3. I am a good enough writer to know I’m not a great writer. I easily get distracted or overwhelmed by other commitments I’ve got in play. I’ve never written anything this complex before.
4. If I’m going to be successful I’ll need someone who’s done this before to help me plot out how to do this efficiently, someone skilled (and patient) to coach me with the writing, cheerleaders and allies with whom I can commiserate and not least, discipline and daily focus.
If I had that? I think I can make this happen!
Here are some questions to contemplate when you’ve got a project or a goal in mind:
1. What do you really, really really want?
2. How much do you really, really really want it? What kind of pain are you willing to endure to get it?
3. What is your weakest link?
4. What are the support systems that will help you to manifest this?
If you’d like to hear more, here are the links to this talk, "Start Again: How to Refresh Your Intention and Your Attention", for the Website, follow this link for the podcast on iTunes, and this link for youtube.
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