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[Mindfulness is] the aware, balanced acceptance of present experience. . . It isn’t more complicated than that.  It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it. - Sylvia Boorstein
 
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Dear Friends,

I want to share a story about Ajahn Chah, a Buddhist monk from the Thai Forest Tradition.  I find his teaching about "knowing and letting go" so helpful in navigating through the challenges of life.
 

From Settling the Mind - Ajahn Pasanno
 
When Ajahn Chah was teaching, he'd say that practice is extremely simple: "Knowing and letting go. Knowing and letting go." We can turn to that place of clarity and simplicity. Knowing what's happening and then letting it go, releasing it. Of course, we don't often do that. We pick things up, we pile them on, we carry them around, we cling to them. The feeling of weight and burden on the mind is completely dependent on this picking up and holding on. Ajahn Chah once pointed to a big rock and asked, "Is this rock heavy?" His student said, "Wow, that's a big rock; it's really heavy!" Ajahn Chah replied, "As long as you don't pick it up, it's not heavy." Whether physically or mentally, we are always picking something up. The essence of Dhamma practice[(Bridget's comment: you can substitute the word "mindfulness"] is seeing clearly and not picking things up, not piling a burden onto the mind, onto the heart. Whether it's a particular duty, mood, or perception - do we agree or disagree with another person - don't pick it up, don't carry that person around. Come back to the quality of knowing and letting go.

 


How many times during the day do our minds "burden" the simple, direct experiences of the moment with our preconceived notions about people, places, things and ourselves.  A colleague fails to return our cheerful "Hello" at the beginning of a work day and the mind picks up a story about how he or she is upset with us, or piles on a judgment about his or her lack of courtesy, when all that happened was that our greeting was not returned.  If we took time to gain clarity by asking the colleague why they didn't answer we might find out that their attention was preoccupied with a difficult situation at home, or anxiety about an upcoming performance review.  

"Knowing and letting go" - knowing the reactivity of the mind, investigating the truth of that reaction and letting go of the "stories" that create stress for us and for other . . . might be worth trying.

Please see below for classes, workshops and retreats that I'll be teaching in the next few months.

Wishing you peace and well-being,
Bridget
 

 

Calendar

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St. Louis, MO


What: Sunday Insight Meditation Sitting Group
Where: Big Bend Center
             88 N Gore
             Webster Groves, MO
When:  Sundays, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Description: Bridget co-leads this group with Jon Yaffe. To find out who is teaching on a particular Sunday please click Here.  For more information click Here.
What: Free Introduction to Mindfulness
Where: Masterpeace Studios
              Arden Mead Center
              17 Selma Ave
              Webster Groves, MO
When:  Monday, April 21, 2014
             7:00 - 8:30 PM
Description:   For more information click Here
What: Mind-Body Stress Reduction Program
Where: Masterpeace Studios 
              Arden Mead Center 
              17 Selma Ave 
              Webster Groves, MO
When:  Mondays, May 5 - June 16
             7:00 - 8:30 PM
Description: Click Here for details
What: Half-Day Mindfulness Retreat
Where: University City Area
When:  Friday, April 18, 2014
             Friday, May 30th, 2014
Description: 3 hours of mindfulness including sitting meditation, mindful yoga, walking meditation, loving-kindness practice, mindful eating and practice discussion. To participate please email bridget@pathwaystomindfulness.com
What: Committed Practice Class - "Parami: Ways to Cross Life's Floods"
Where: Masterpeace Studios 
              Arden Mead Center 
              17 Selma Ave 
              Webster Groves, MO
 When: Thursdays, May 1 - June 26
              7:00 - 8:30 PM
Description: Click Here for details

 

Calendar

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Springfield, IL


What: Mindfulness Meditation Support Group
Where: Center for Living at St. John's Hospital
When:  Wednesdays, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
Description: 
A weekly drop-in meditation group for those who have taken Center for Living Mind-Body Classes that include mindfulness or who have experience with mindfulness meditation.  No registration needed.  Suggested donation: $5.00 - proceeds will be used to fund Center for Living services.   
For more information please email bridget.rolens@hshs.org
 
See below for other classes offered by Bridget through the Center for Living.  Click on the title for details

Meditation Circle 

What is MBSR & How Can It Help Me 

Spring Retreat: Calming the Mind, Nourishing the Heart

Mindfulness: Prescription for Stress Relief
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