What a (Mindful) day!

First mindful retreat day at kumbada studio complete — check.

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The day started out overcast with showers, casting a shadow on my plans for lots of outdoor time during the day.

My mind started doing its time-travelling thing, projecting into the future, trying to figure out how to change it up and going off on all sorts of possible scenario tangents.

As I arrived on top of the mountain, I sat in meditation for a short time at the Dandenong Ranges National Park Scenic Lookout. When I opened my eyes, the clouds had parted and the fingers of God shone down from the sky — I took it as a good sign!

kalorama scenic lookout

The day progressed with a few of these bolster yoga poses with someone later declaring a newfound love affair with her bolster cushion.

This was followed by lots of meditation exercises, most of which we had practiced so far in the course and a few new ones. Particularly popular was the mountain meditation (my favourite guided meditation). In it, we contemplate as though we become the mountain, embodying qualities of stability, strength and groundedness. We visualise the changing nature of the weather and the seasons…  through it all, the mountain just sits. It was a time to reflect on our own emotional storms, inner and outer crises, our thoughts and feelings, which are much like the changing weather beating upon the mountain. Through the stillness and insights of our meditation, we realise that we too can come to embody the same steadfast qualities of a mountain through all the changes, the pits and peaks we face.

Once the silence had lifted, everyone felt that they had given themselves a very special gift — the gift of time. Time to rejuvenate, with nothing to prove, nowhere to be and time to release all the rushing, the doing and the neglecting of our own experience.

And so, we finished the day with a quote from (the quirky, but ever-wise) Dr. Seuss:

"You're off the great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So … get on your way!”

Nik x.

p.s.  The bonus is that all participants in the 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course may attend future 'Days of Mindfulness' for free. A great way to connect and support our ongoing mindfulness practice. 
 

Fearless heart

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So, they told us we would be writing poetry on my recent trip to Openground’s MBSR Teacher Training.
Not my strong suit.

Our facilitator, Dr. Maura Kenny led us through an exercise where we drew squiggles, gave our squiggle a name and then free-associated. We could write, draw, squiggle some more – whatever came freely to mind as we let go and just let be!

To my surprise, the poet in me emerged and I am not as embarrassed as I thought I’d be to share it …

Fearless heart

support on the earth
a song in my heart
glide through the sky
only ever one dart*

smile at the sun
a possibility grows
allow it to be
and inspiration flows

everything is new
I play, swing and slide
the love of the One
in which I abide

lightness of being
fearless of heart
they tell me to trust
that sets me apart

I have no doubt
that I am that
the truth has emerged
it arrived as I sat

*One dart: the Buddha explained that pain is like being hit by a dart, suffering is the extra dart we throw at ourselves. The extra dart is the guilt, worry, anxiety, denial of our painful experiences.

-Nik x. 

Welcome

Welcome! This is my first ever attempt at blogging. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and so … here it is. I’m planning on talking about my practice of mindfulness & meditation, my work and my life as a wife and mother of three tween children and all the chaos, joy, frustration and fun that surrounds it all.

Hope you enjoy it!  -Nik