Greetings Mindfulness Community,
Good to be in touch again! The year 2016 was full of challenging surprises, some pleasant and others, well…not so much. I, for one, am pleased to open the door to a fresh new year.
This idea of freshness sparks the notion of “Beginner’s Mind”, one of the foundations of cultivating mindfulness. When we approach the world with Beginner’s Mind then every moment, situation or relationship affords us the chance to see things as if for the first time. Beginner’s Mind can be thought of as a mind that is open and unburdened by prior experiences and what we believe we already know.
Most of us are so habituated in our patterns, unexamined beliefs, ways of looking at things and acting in certain ways, that we do not realize the influence they have in our day-to-day lives. Without awareness of our attitudes, desires and opinions, we remain stuck in them, unable to see with clarity anything new or different. Beginner’s Mind then opens the door for us to begin to see old automatic ways thinking and behaving. There is the potential then to let go of what may not have been serving us so well.
As with all aspects of mindfulness, Beginner’s Mind requires that we approach our experience with curiosity, kindness and openhearted awareness. Practicing Beginner’s Mind requires that we let go of being the expert and focus more on questions rather than answers. To paraphrase Zen Master Suzuki Roshi, “In the mind of the expert the possibilities are few, but in the mind of the beginner the possibilities are infinite.” In truth, every moment affords limitless possibilities, as each one has never existed before, is forever and always fresh and new.
The New Year brings fresh opportunities for all sorts of mindfulness practice. Later in this MM are ways to bring mindfulness to everyday activities, see “Mindful Moments – Daily!” and resources for practicing formally in community.
Serenity Pause offers meditation opportunities available 365 days a year 2 times day at Unity Temple on the Country Club Plaza. Other locations and schedules can be found by clicking here.
The Kansas City Mindfulness Community is a newly formed group intending to offer connection and support to mindfulness practitioners. No experience is necessary to attend the meetings and there is no fee – any donations go to maintenance and upkeep of the practice space and props.
Thursday evenings, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., at Seeking Solace Yoga Studio in Overland Park with the first meeting scheduled on Feb. 3, 2017.
Each meeting is lead by a mindfulness informed professional from the Kansas City community. Meetings may include guided meditation, mindful walking or eating, mindful yoga (gentle), community discussion or some combination of these practices. No need to sign up – just show up with your yoga mat or rent one for $3 cash (exact change please) from the studio. I am leading sessions the last Thursday of every month beginning in March and hope to see a number of you there! If you have, any questions please feel free to contact me at Lisa@Mindfulness-Matters.com
My Eight-Week Group MBSR will be offered again this spring along with a 6-week course in Mindfulness of Food and Eating. Watch for more details in the March Mindfulness-Matters newsletter.
Wishing you a mindful and compassionate 2017!