Turning the page into a new year with joy, compassion, and truthJanuary 4, 2021 | 6 Comments
Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 9:02
Dear Open Heart Project,
Welcome to a new year!
To be able to connect with you as 2020 rolled and shook and careened was of great importance to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your willingness to sit with your own mind and heart during this unbelievable ride. I hope you and yours are feeling loved, strong, and hopeful and that, if you don’t, you soon will.
I’ve been a meditator for over 25 years and a teacher for 10. Before 2020, I could have laid out a pretty good case for my meditation is a good thing to do. Now, I realize I only understood a portion of what I was talking about! I mean, sure, it’s a great practice for stress-reduction, mental clarity, and self-knowledge. This year, we also found out is among the most important supports for maintaining steadiness and open-heartedness when chaos, anger, hopelessness, hope, heartbreak, uncertainty, and the possibility for true transformation are present. A meditation practice is so much more than self-help…it is a way of contributing more goodness, love, fierceness, and sanity to this world.
What else can we do to help, once we get up off our cushions and go into our lives? Before today’s sit, I offer some very brief thoughts on what are called the Six Paramitas, or transcendent actions. We just completed a fantastic free program called “Building a Mindful New Year” where six teachers commented further on the paramitas. If you want to hear (or re-listen), they are all here.
In addition to a steady (or steady-ish) practice, the other necessary ballast for remaining centered turns out to be other people. Community, community, community. When we run out of steam, start to sink into darkness, want to share victories, or just feel weird and need some sense of connection, community is the needed source of strength and inspiration. Thank you for being part of a community with me. And if you want to connect more deeply with me and with an amazing community, please check out the Open Heart Project Sangha (Sanksrit for community). There is so much goodness going on over there. Here is a PDF detailing Sangha plans for 2021. It would be lovely to practice with you in this way!
Note from the housekeeping department: please note that these weekly meditation emails will now come every other week. I think this will help keep it more manageable for everyone. And remember that there are free live online meditations Monday-Friday at 9a ET and 6p ET. Each session is 30 minutes long, including time for conversation. The schedule is here. So there will be no shortage of chances to sit together.
categorized in: open heart project