Note from Louisa

I learned something interesting the other day. In Pali, the language spoken by Guatama Buddha, the word for "compassion" is karuna. When I was sharing this little tidbit with a friend, he kept mistaking the word karuna for corona, as in coronavirus.
 
We had a good laugh wondering what the karunavirus might look like, spreading through the world like wildfire, bringing moments of stillness and unnecessary kindness, creating hot spots of tenderness and empathy.
 
Imagine a world where karuna would be the thing to keep a careful eye out for.  Instead of a fever and a cough, we would keep vigil for a heartfelt glance or a deeply felt embrace.  Instead of having swabs violating our nasal cavities for signs of viral load, our hearts would be laid bare and sampled for their connection to our own humanity.
 
In truth, as we wait impatiently for a coronavirus vaccine, the world we live in sometimes seems to already have been successfully inoculated against karuna. 
 
As divisions grow more sharply defined, as our lack of care for one another rises to new, unfathomable heights, we watch the death toll mount in the face of inaction, recklessness, and apathy.
 
Instead of lending a helping hand to a stranger, we are more likely today to shame them for their actions, or their inaction. We may need proof of their political affiliations before seeing them as fellow human beings.
 
Where is karuna when you need her? Safely stored away along with other devastating viruses in the bowels of the CDC, or the subterranean bio-containment unit of some Russian lab? Shelved among the samples of other eradicated diseases such as decency, respect, and the proper use of the word "literally"?
 
In Laura's beautiful article this month, she calls us to action. We are at a unique moment in human history when we must be able to name what we are willing to fight for.  Who do we want to be when this is all said and done?
 
Let's not let coronavirus infect and destroy karuna.  Compassion may not be as contagious as we once hoped.
 
Blessings on your journey, 
Louisa
Announcements
CML VIRTUAL MEDITATION SCHEDULE:

Daily Silent Meditation                         
8:15 - 9:00 am
Monday - Friday Morning
Meeting ID: 899 6440 8784
Passcode: 818114
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Guided Meditation
1:15 - 1:45 pm          
Tuesday Afternoon
Meeting ID: 826 1223 4516
Passcode: 058471
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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 as online on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month 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, September 6th
7:00-8:00 pm
Third Space Gathering

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 817 7852 5724

Passcode: 212247

   

 Join us on the Facebook CML Third Space page.
Workshops & Events

Water from the Desert: Finding Resilience in Times of Uncertainty
An Online Workshop Facilitated by Dr. Louisa Foster
Saturday, September 12th
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
 
In this day-long workshop, we'll use guided imagery, meditation, contemplative writing, and creative problem solving to rediscover our own innate strengths and find what more is needed to invite greater resilience into our lives. Learn innovative strategies that can be accessed in both personal and professional settings to tap into your own creativity and wisdom. Our journey will include personal journaling, small group work, and embodied sharing within the larger group as we find our way forward together. Workshop includes a lunch break. No prior experience with meditation is needed.

Tuition Rates: 
$60-100

Register before September 9th here.
Please direct any questions to Louisa@thecenterformindfullivingomaha.com

While you may experience therapeutic benefits in this workshop, it is educational in nature and not intended to be a substitute for mental health treatment. This program meets the criteria of an approved continuing education program for 4.0 hours for mental health practice in the State of Nebraska for LMHP, LIMHP, PLMHP, and LPC practitioners.

A Circle of Stones: A Contemplative Writing Group in the Time of COVID-19
An Online Workshop Facilitated by Dr. Louisa Foster
Tuesday Evenings 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
September 22nd to November 17th (no meeting on 10/6)
 
Come warm yourself by the fire and as we sit together under the night sky, listening to stories of courage and discovery. Listen deeply to your own inner wisdom and write down your own path as it unfolds before you.  In this sacred space, we will find support and care in a chaotic and uncertain time.
 
This facilitated writing group will meet online weekly for eight weeks to explore our connection to both ourselves and our world through imagery and metaphor.  Through the process of contemplative writing, we encounter ourselves and our world, discovering our inner strengths and resilience to steady us in times of challenges.
 
We begin with a grounding meditation, spend some time in guided writing, and then return to the group to witness, and be witnessed, sharing our communal understanding of the human experience. 
 
There is no need to have any experience with writing or journaling to participate, just a willingness to explore! (This course is educational in nature and is not a substitute for mental health treatment.)
 
Tuition $195.00 until September 7th, $225.00 afterward. Please register here by September 15th. (Please contact us if you require financial assistance due the COVID-19 pandemic).
ONGOING OFFERINGS
 
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 (info below).  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.
Meeting ID: 843 4464 0572
Passcode: 570798
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CML Third Space
Rotating Facilitation Online
Second and Fourth Sunday of the month 
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Please see information above in announcements. 
Featured Article
You Want a Revolution? I Want a Revelation.
By Laura Crosby
 
"You want a revolution? I want a revelation." This echoes in my mind these days. A rebellious line from the free-thinking, quick-witted, sharp-tongued black female lead in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton.
 
The first time I heard this lyric, it was like a meditation bell, waking mind and heart to the present moment and to something that had been stirring in me. This simple refrain was a declaration, a dare, a secret handshake, a knowing smile.
 
I, too, want a revelation.
 
To be clear, I'm not speaking of a revelation in the religious sense or one all my very own. Rather, I want a revelation - or revelations - for our time. Ones that will serve humanity and all life. Ones that help us make sense of this defining moment, that help us heal and grow from it.
 
We know what's at stake in this "perfect storm" of a global pandemic, environmental crisis, racial injustice, economic upheaval, and an election that may well be a watershed moment for democracy.
 
Could there be a better time to pay attention and mindfully reflect on the truths at play? On what we might learn, understand, and change individually and collectively?
 
Bringing awareness and compassion to our own experience, we come to trust that we can meet the emotions, confusion, and difficulties of even these trying times, if only for a few moments at a time - which is often enough.
 
Pausing to calmly abide with our minds and hearts open in this way, turning toward the truth of each moment, we make space for the natural arising of insight, of revelation. And with this, we can more often plant the seeds of clarity and peace the world so needs.  
 
Author Arundhati Roy suggests that this pandemic can be a portal. She says,
"It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it."
 
If this time is to be a portal, we must be open to its revelations. This will be our legacy - the legacy of how we meet this moment, understand its teachings, and build a gateway to the next world. As they say in Hamilton, "What is a legacy? It's planting seeds in a garden you never get to see."
 
May we all get to see some of this garden. I'll see you there.

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.