Meeting #11: May 5, 2020
Theme: Two things are essential to remember during this time of being alone. First, all people need contact with other people. Second, it is imperative to know just how much contact is the right amount of contact for you. Find the sacred space in the middle, the so called “sweet spot,” and aim for that every day.
From Adam Grant’s NYTimes article titled “Yes, Even Introverts Can Be Lonely Right Now” (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/16/smarter-living/coronavirus-introverts-lonely.html), lightly paraphrased:
- Extroverts felt more energized when they were being talkative and outgoing — but introverts do, too. Introverts randomly assigned to act like extroverts in a group discussion found themselves energized by the activity, as did extroverts.
- What makes introverts different is their sensitivity to stimulation: They’re more easily overloaded than extroverts. When introverts spend a whole week acting like extroverts, there is evidence that the emotional benefits of social contact fade and costs begin to emerge — introverts start to feel more negative emotions, more exhaustion and less authenticity.
- For example, evidence shows that working through lunch alone doesn’t bother people as long as it’s their choice. It hurts only when people want connection but can’t find it.
- The good news from the research is that it doesn’t take a village to fight loneliness, it may take just one friend to feel less isolated. It doesn’t require a long interaction, either; even brief encounters can leave us feeling seen. One research project demonstrated that forty seconds of interaction — a positive, caring interaction — has measurable impacts on both people.
- A quote from Adam Grant: “That’s what I did back in Michigan when I was feeling lonely. I made a list of the 100 people who mattered most in my life and spent a week writing them each an email about what I appreciated about them. As their replies rolled in, I no longer felt alone. Voicing sentiments that had gone unspoken seemed to make our bonds stronger.”
From Maya Angelou:
Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm. When we look at each other we must say, “I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself.” We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.
Gently Guided Meditation: Mountain Meditation
Mountain Meditation pdf: mountain meditation
Video Recording of Meeting:
Meeting #12: May 7, 2020
Theme: According to Socrates, while the lute may be the source of harmonious sounds, harmony itself is transcendent to the lute. One may destroy the lute, as it is temporary, but harmony remains unharmed and present in the universe, for it is permanent. Like harmony, beauty, as seen in nature, transcends all of the pain and disharmony that we experience in life. In order to restore our spirit, which like harmony and beauty is eternal, we must be able to contemplate that which is eternal, especially that which is observed in nature.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
Are moving across the landscapes,
Over the prairies and the deep trees,
The mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
Are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination,
Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
Over and over announcing your place
In the family of things.
Lingering in Happiness
After rain after many days without rain,
it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground
where it will disappear – but not, of course, vanish
except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole’s tunnel;
and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
will feel themselves being touched.
Both Poems by Mary Oliver
Gently Guided Meditation: Lake Meditation
Lake Meditation pdf: lake meditation
Video Recording of Meeting: