From the BlogMeet Ron

JULY 13, 2016 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

JULY 13, 2016 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Honolulu folks –> Join a supportive group of like-minded folks tomorrow, Thursday 7/14/16, for meditation, mindful movement and discussion at our place, 3241 Alani Drive, in Manoa, at the usual time: 6 to 7:30 PM. If you have a meditation cushion please bring; if not, no worries. The front door opens at 5:50. Note: please do not park in the driveway, as we share this rented house with another couple and we do not want them to be blocked in. Thanks!
 
Note: Next week we will be having a guest teacher, Grahame White. Many of yiu know what a great teacher and speaker he is.                                     
 
 
A graphic live-streamed shooting death.
 
Protests. Police body and dash cam videos.
 
A presidential campaign like no other. Upcoming conventions with who the heck knows who will really be running.
 
Fear and loathing.
 
Many of us have succumbed to the graphic, violent imagery, a little numb to it all.
I take refuge in the calm of meditation and drinking in the words of truly wise contemplatives.
 
Brother David Steindl-Rast talks about how when we get “used to something” we are effectively exiled.
 
Exiled not only from the present, as we subtly recoil, or lash out in anger, but from our selves.
 
Our true selves.
 
Our marvelous mindfulness practice is the secret sauce to bring ourselves back to the here and now. And to bearing wise witness and truly belonging to, an in, our chaotic times.
 
Here is the recipe of this secret sauce:
 
Breathe mindfully.
 
Just be aware of the breath coming in and out.
 
Step back a little and know as best you can what’s happening as its happening.
 
Witness your feelings as you experience them, and observe whether they seem to push you across a line to a place you never, ever wanted to go.
 
If they do, gently re-direct, aikido-style, that energy so you don’t buy into darkness, fear, or hurt.
 
If you regain coolness and calm, nourish your goodness.
 
The wellness of your true self.
 
Leaves fall, said a Japanese Buddhist monk from long ago.
 
Children grow up and go off to college.
 
Everything changes.
 
I loosely associate here to a line from poet David Ignato
 
 
“I wish I knew the beauty of leaves falling. 
To whom are we beautiful as we go.”
 
 
Our mindfulness is a not just a collection of techniques, but rather living with greater skill, wisdom and kindness every moment, as best as we can.
 
Without mindfulness, or something like it, we tend to get caught up in our own minds.
 
And this may not be a happy place at times.
 
Many of us live at the mercy of our emotions. Most of us feel our emotions as a basic part of who we are, that they make us who we are.
 
But what are emotions?
 
Just the public expression of thought clusters.
 
Mindfulness allows us to tease out often convoluted strands of these clusters and see that they are just thoughts, which, like sounds and body sensations, simply come and go.
 
This is pretty awesome news if your emotions are presently causing you distress. 
But here is the deal.
 
I am not saying that we should practice mindfulness in order to become emotional flat-liners.
 
No!
 
The deal is that life can be much more delightful, creative and productive when we can mindfully experience emotions as simply emotions rather live under their thumb.
 
You won’t become dulled out, or lose the zest of what makes you you.
 
You feelings will become fresher, at the same time less threatening.
 
If fact, grief can become liberating.
 
I will leave you this week with a poem by Mary Oliver – A Dream of Trees:
There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees, 
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town, 
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare, 
With only streams and birds for company.
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death, 
A little way away from everywhere.
 
There is a thing in me still dreams of trees, 
But let it go. Homesick for moderation, 
Half the world’s artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement, 
The blades of every crisis point the way.
 
I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?
~
There is beauty. There is love.
 
There is caring, and compassion.
 
It is our responsibility to bring these to light in these difficult times.
~
Katina and I are here to support your meditation practice in any way we can.
Aloha,
Tom, Katina, Uilalani and Kupaianaha
If the spirit moves you, please help spread the word about mindfulness meditation by:
–>> sharing this email with friends who may be interested or –>> following us on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/alohasangha/ or
–>> checking out our blog –>> http://alohasangha.com/ 

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