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Why do we meditate together? There are many reasons, but the most compelling one would be the inexplicable peacefulness and joy participants will feel during and after the event. You may not experience this uplifting shared energy the first time... or even the second, but if you join in often, you will likely feel the dynamic. The resulting state of mind is subtle and different in every meditator, but I would describe it as calm contentment and a sense of being elevated to a better place in my mind. The busyness in my brain has subsided and everything seems right with the world.

Energy can be contagious and when a room full of people choose to move into a state of presence together, the synergy created permeates all of us. In this setting, we also strengthen our commitment to our personal meditation practice and find a community to support us.

For many people meditation might sound scary, I once felt that way. But by stepping into it in small, bite-size pieces, the fear starts to give way to gratitude for a practice that can help you remain present in your life. As you meditate and the chatter in your brain quiets, and you will experience sensations of spaciousness and the feeling that anything is possible. As you grow your practice you may find yourself being happier, less reactive and more hopeful. We welcome you to join us this Thursday night... you will find the event in my blog.

Please reach out to me, Carol, with any questions or comments.

The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

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"We can't control the wind, but we can adjust our sails." This adage reminds us that most of life is

beyond our control and all we can do is adapt to these constant shifts of the wind. And so, after having a series of lovely meditation meetings at the Sharon Public Library. We find ourselves needing a different venue this week (and possibly in the future). When plans shift unexpectedly, we may feel annoyance and/or discomfort at unexpected change. Yet, if we slow down and view change as neutral or possibly positive, we allow the experience to take on new meaning. We can move forward with curiosity and set judgement aside. Perhaps the new venue will be quieter. Or the chairs more comfortable.

So, please join us tomorrow night as we meet in Room A at the Unitarian Church in Sharon, 4 N. Main Street, from 6:30-7:30 PM. We will begin with a brief introduction, followed by a body scan meditation and then a 10 minute silent meditation. After that we will enjoy open discussion.

Please RSVP to ensure your spot and also receive messages in case there are any “unexpected” changes to the event.

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Have you ever noticed that there is a constant stream of chatter in your head? Research confirms that we have somewhere between 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day. Zen Buddhism calls this phenomenon "Monkey Mind"... as the non-stop motion of the mind is akin to the frenetic behavior observed in monkeys as they swing from branch to branch, agitated and chattering wildly.

What is even more surprising than the quantity of daily thoughts we have, is the fact that 90% of them are repetitive. Our minds recycle the same concepts over and over without us being aware of the process, or the impact this ruminating has on us. These thoughts are generally related to fear, regret and self-judgement and many of them we have replayed for decades. They wind their way through our neural pathways, complete with emotion, visceral images and traumatic memories. If we don't slow down and observe this toxic medley of thoughts, we may feel discomfort and unhappiness without even understanding why. The background noise can be so pervasive and long-standing, that we have no awareness of the damage it may be causing. It is often said that "The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master".

Fortunately, there are many ways to tame Monkey Mind using some simple steps of mindfulness:

  1. Recognition: Slow down and see if you can observe that your mind is running on auto-pilot. Once you identify the chaotic activity, you instantly defuse the power and begin to move consciously into the present.

  2. Become Present: There are many ways to achieve this state of awareness, and one of the easiest is to breathe in deeply from your belly while counting 1-2-3-4, hold the breath to the count of 4, and release your breath slowly to the count of 8. Repeat this a few times as you allow yourself relax into the calmness. Use this exercise as often as needed and it will become more effective over time.

At this week's meditation group I will speak about other techniques for recognizing and taming Monkey Mind. Please RSVP on the home page if you plan to attend.

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