Note: For December 2022, Kate is offering three Thirsty Thursdays, weekly half-hour Mindfulness sessions. In this post, Kate shares what was discussed in Session 2 and includes reminders/suggestions for continuing practice.
Today, we worked with facing the unwanted in our lives and in our meditation practice.
It is easy to find a challenge—and possible to learn how to be at ease (with practice of course). See the slide (above) to notice that our first opportunity to interrupt the stress cycle when we are faced with difficulty is to question our perception.
We might ask: Is this unwanted experience really dangerous or threatening, or do we just wish it would go away? Remember, it is not personal, and of course things are not perfect, and no worries—it is not permanent.
Say we do not notice that first opportunity, and we go down the familiar autopilot path. Still we can interrupt this at any moment by bringing awareness, pausing, and taking a few breaths, thereby engaging the parasympathetic nervous system (the brakes). New options will likely appear (with practice:)).
We practiced with these phrases:
- May I accept things as they are
- May I accept others as they are
- May I accept myself as I am
- May I be at ease with ever-changing circumstances
And we closed with this poem:
THIS IS IT!
Always we hope
Someone else has the answer
Some other place will be better,
Some other time it will all turn out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer
No other place will be better,
And it has already turned out.
At the center of your being
You have the answer,
You know who you are
And you know what you want.
There is no need
To run outside
For better seeing.
Nor to peer from a window.
Rather abide at the center of your being;
For the more you leave it, the less you learn.
Search your heart
The way to do
Is to be.