Meeting #5: April 14, 2020
Meeting Theme: Our meditation is intended to allow us to be fully present with ourselves EXACTLY as we are. We don’t need to try to do this better; if we can be fully present with ourselves, and be OK with what we find, then we have faith in our ability to respond with skill. And saying how we feel out loud, to ourselves, to others we trust, will help us to manage all of those feelings, no matter how distressing.
We don’t meditate to improve ourselves; we meditate to end our compulsive striving to do everything better.
Chris Germer, in The Mindful Path to Self Acceptance
Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable is manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.
Fred Rogers, aka “Mr. Rogers”
Gently Guided Meditation: Self Compassion meditation
Here is a 6.5 minute recording of Self Compassion meditation:
If you would like to download this mp3 file please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the link to my DropBox account.
For more information about self-compassion, check out Kristen Neff’s website: https://self-compassion.org
Meeting #6: April 16, 2020
There are many ways of loving, but the foundation of all of them is compassion, beginning with the capacity to exercise compassion for ourselves. Compassion is our response to suffering. Compassionate responses begin with acts of kindness, offered without condition to each person we meet. Always offered, not always accepted, but nonetheless always present in our intentions. This way of being, compassionate, caring presence, has many qualities. It is good to stay in touch with those qualities.
–Naomi Shihab Nye, from The Words Under the Words
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
1 Corinthians 13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
Gently Guided Meditation: Affectionate Breathing