Note From Louisa
 
How is your mindfulness practice these days?
 
I have noticed a clear shift in the ways I am practicing in the midst of this pandemic. In a way, it is a shift that I have some ambivalence about, mostly because I did not choose it. This shift seems a function of necessity. Life insisting that I pay attention in a different way.
 
My experience before March was one where, like many of us in our comfortable lives, I approached unfolding events on my terms. I felt relatively in control of my life, and could choose when to engage the swirl of uncertainty that always surrounds us. Before March, I felt that I could decide when I felt resilient enough to dip my toes into the existential fray of living.
 
It was a place of extreme privilege.
 
While I was cognizant of this privilege in some distant way, knowing that I lead a very comfortable life, with all of my needs being regularly met, I did not understand it. In fact, that understanding is a journey that will take me a lifetime, perhaps several, to unpack.
 
I could choose when to look at suffering, and when to turn away and medicate myself with the busyness of my work, my art, or raising my family.
Since March, uncertainty is much harder to hold at bay. There are reminders all around me of the ways in which I am not fashioning the life I want, in the ways that I want. And I have a realization that, for much of the world, this is the way that people live every day.
Now, I see the suffering of those around me, suffering that extends to all corners of the world. I see the numbers of those affected, and those who've succumbed, every time I turn on the television.

I could look away. Now, I choose not to.

For many, there is no choice. Nothing to distract or bury oneself in when one is hungry or feeling unsafe. No recourse when one feels the painful effects of poverty or racism. One cannot simply look away and return when one feels ready.
 
My practice has changed. Is changing. I am not as comfortable. I am beginning to see the world without the veil of the illusion of control... and it is more frightening.
 
I am beginning to see my brothers and sisters, and all beings of the Earth, more clearly and know how we must fight together and for one another. Even those with whom we most vehemently disagree.
 
And this feels like something I should have understood better before now. Perhaps it could only be understood in the midst of an event like this.
 
This virus knows no boundaries. It does not recognize nationality, zip codes, skin color, net worth, or political affiliations.
 
It is a powerful and undeniable teacher.
 
Stay safe and healthy,
Louisa
Announcements
Support during COVID-19:
 
In response to our need for social distancing, we have moved our sitting groups to an online platform. Additionally, we have added two guided meditation offerings, as well as two introductory sessions each week.
 
CML VIRTUAL MEDITATION SCHEDULE

Monday
 8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)


Tuesday  8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)



1:15-1:45 pm
Guided Meditation (Louisa)


https://zoom.us/j/449591451
Wednesday 8:15-8:45 am
Guided Meditation (Laura)


https://zoom.us/j/812616656

1:15-2:00 pm
Beginning Meditation (Laura)


 https://zoom.us/j/812616656
Thursday 8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)


 https://zoom.us/j/812616656
Friday 8:15-9:00 am
Beginning Meditation (Dan)


https://zoom.us/j/244959183
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CML THIRD SPACE


CML Third Space is a virtual community where we can gather, meet new neighbors and friends, and engage in resiliency building to help us stay  connected and grounded through this difficult time.


Please join us online on Sunday nights at 7:00 pm CST for a co-created space where we use mindfulness, connection and play to keep our immune systems strong and robust!

Sunday 7:00-8:00 pm
Third Space Gathering

  Please join us on Facebook at the CML Third Space page .
Workshops & Events
The Power of Self-Compassion
An opportunity to study Mindful Self-Compassion
with the developers of the program!

In response to the pandemic and the growing need for us all to engage in skills of self-kindness and compassion, Drs. Kristin Neff and Chris Germer are offering an opportunity to study with them in a first-ever, online program available through Sounds True. Kristin and Chris will bring their  compassionate wisdom to an eight-week, course that covers the foundational tenets for the Mindful Self Compassion practice.

While we do not usually promote third party programs, CML is thrilled to help spread the word about this opportunity to learn directly from the founders. Kristin and Chris were Louisa's MSC teachers throughout her MSC teacher training and she can attest first hand to their comforting, gentle presence, and their ability to create the tender, holding space that can help us change our most important relationship - the one we have with ourselves.
 
You can learn more about the program  here.
*The course is currently full, but you can add your name to the wait list or to be notified of future dates.*
ONGOING OFFERINGS
 
CML Third Space
Facilitated Online
Sunday Evenings 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Please see information in announcements.  
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Mindfulness Study Group
Facilitated Online by Laura Crosby
First and Third Sunday of the month from 4pm to 6 pm

The Mindfulness Study Group is beginning its new book selection, In the Face of Fear, Buddhist Wisdom for Challenging Times. This anthology features teachings from the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chögyam Trungpa, Sylvia Boorstein, Jack Kornfield, Norman Fischer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein and many others. Its 33 essays explore how we can:

  • remain open, joyful, and caring, even when life is stressful 
  • access our innate confidence and fearlessness
  • turn difficult times into opportunities for spiritual development
  • discover that our true nature is always awake, wise, and good, no matter what is happening   

You can join us for the Mindfulness Study Group the first and third Sunday of each month from 4-6pm via Zoom at this link.  Our sessions are freely offered, drop-ins are welcome, and there's no registration necessary. We read together - so no homework! - and discuss each chapter. Books are available from lcrosby@me.com.

Featured Article
Our Time - Our Story
Daniel G. Weidner
 
"By the Law of Periodical Repetition, everything which has happened once must happen again and again and again -- and not capriciously, but at regular periods, and each thing in its own period, not another's, and each obeying its own law." (Mark Twain).
 
The time of the coronavirus known as Covid-19 is now fully upon us. Someday this will be history. Right now it is a pervasive and sometimes frightening current event. But we know from history that it is a repeat of countless plagues that have visited humankind since the dawn of history. We, the people of planet Earth, who are living through this current plague of 2020 must do our best to learn everything that we can from this event and pass that knowledge and wisdom on to future generations. Each generation learns from past generations. This is our story, of our life, during our time. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to record this history in our own way through the medium that is best suited for us at this time.
 
Joan Halifax (Roshi, PhD) in her book The Fruitful Darkness states that: "...stories are also protectors. Like our immune systems, they defend us and the people against attacks of debilitating alienation . My good friend Steven Foster says that people erect symbolic stories around themselves like houses. These stories are "circles of protection and purpose that bodily carry our spirits all the way to the gates of death." For stories and myths are the connective tissue between culture and nature, between self and other, between life and death that sew the worlds together in their telling. And in the protective and connective body of story the soul quickens. It comes alive."
 
The story of this plague in our time is important in so many ways. The telling of this story is both good for us in the now and good for future generations who will look back at this time with awe and wonder. Through the telling of this story we can begin to understand and appreciate the fears, anxieties, hopes, and aspirations that we are currently experiencing. We also can pass important and perhaps vital knowledge and wisdom on to those who follow in our footsteps.
 
I want to encourage everyone reading this to record your story. Utilize your own true nature and your own skills to express this human story through a variety of mediums. Leave the judgments aside and just tell the story through whatever creative and expressive form(s) that suits you best. The mediums of art (drawing, painting, sculpture...), dance, music, poetry, prose, photography, and journaling are all well suited for the telling and recording of this complex, emotional, and powerful time in which we live.
 
While you are doing this remember to stay home, stay safe, save lives. Namaste.
STAY CONNECTED
The Center for Mindful Living is a space for healing that hosts independent practitioners and educators coming together to create an Urban Sanctuary in the middle of the city.