This Monday Mick will facilitate. Here we are in the middle of July, and the middle of the calendar year. Amidst the ease and activity of summer, how is your mindfulness practice? Amidst the dis-ease of the world and the activity of summer getaways are you taking the time to come home?
No matter what is going on externally, or where we are in the world, we always have our breath and our body to come home to. We also have many wonders of life all around us to enjoy. In the summer, as much as any time of year, the wonders of life can seem more bountiful. The warm weather, flowers, the blue sky, time with loved ones, are all available. Mindfulness practice helps us to recognize that we have the power to choose where to direct our awareness. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about turning our attention to the what nourishes us in his book Your True Home. He writes:
If the presence of the other is refreshing and healing to you , keep hold of this presence and nourish yourself with it. If there are negative things around you, you can always find something that is healthy, refreshing, and healing, and with your mindfulness you can recognize its presence in your life. (p. 223)
Mindfulness can be thought of as a flood stopper. When we practice being aware of how we feel in a non-judgmental way, we can recognize, and at times rest in the flood or pre-flood of strong emotions. From this place we can turn, sometimes ever so slightly towards the positive elements.
Thich Nhat Hanh continues:
You need to recognize that these kind of positive elements exist and that you can benefit from their refreshing and helpful presence. If you are facing a sunset, a marvelous spectacle, give yourself a chance to be in touch with it. Give yourself five minutes breathing deeply and you will be truly there. Touch the beauty of nature in a deep way. That will do your body and mind a great deal of good. (p.223)
This Monday night we will have the opportunity to reflect and share on the positive elements in our lives. We can explore and share the positive elements that you have touched this summer, or are looking forward to experiencing. As we sit in the middle of the summer and the middle of the year we can also reflect on aspirations for the second half of the calendar year.
I look forward to our time together.