Beginning with **gratitude** for everyone I got to cross paths with this year: What a gift to share the experience and practice of mindfulness.
It seems what most meditators have in common is the idea that they should definitely be meditating more, and with the old saws of the inner critic, there’s a general tone of disappointment.
How might you interpret those internal recriminations differently?
What if they were not evidence of failure, but more an indication of your deepest aspirations?
Can you align with this aspiration right now by just stopping and being present with this breath? What is the experience your five senses are offering you now? You already have this. You already are this. There’s nothing missing.
This present moment is always, always just right here waiting for you to let it come alive.
New Year's Reflection & Questionnaire
By popular demand, here is the ginormous yearly questionnaire!
It’s an adaptation from one I picked up along the way almost 20 years ago. While my values have changed over those years, it’s now a yearly tradition. It’s interesting to compare my answers over this timespan.
It does take a long time to complete it, and that’s part of the tradition. Feel free to do as much or as little of it as you want. If you settle in for the whole thing, make your favorite snacks, set up the atmosphere, turn off your phone, and enjoy!
Practice in the New Year
You are always invited to practice.
The care and feeding of your mindfulness practice takes real time, energy, resources, and mainly commitment.
You may not think you’re ready to do a week-long silent retreat (and not everybody’s practice requires those), but there may be a weekly sitting group, a class, a weekend retreat, a day-long retreat — something — to keep your practice fresh and alive.
Here’s what I have coming up this year
- I will be teaching an MBSR class in the Spring, and the day-long for that will be May 20th. Grads are welcome to attend!
- Also for MBSR / MBCT graduates, there’s always the monthly Sustaining Practice virtual meet-up.
Let me know if you’ve taken an 8-week MB class, are not on my grads mailing list for that meet-up, and wish you were. I’ll make sure you receive that monthly reminder and link!
- For healthcare workers, there’s Mindful Medicine — two weekend retreats a year, and a weekly Wednesday drop-in.
- And if you are or know a wildland firefighter interested in mindful practice and support, I’m honored to be a part of a yearly retreat, and 2 years’ worth of practice material offered through the San Francisco Zen Center.
If you’re looking for a regular, secular weekly practice option, I always like to recommend the wonderful folks at Pause Meditation. Ryan and Rena devote much of their attention to creating a supportive community of MBSR grads and meditators. Also Ashley Dahl at OpenSpace Mindfulness. She’s got some cool stuff going on there.
Meanwhile, I’ll be offering some Buddhist retreats and workshops with the Zen Community of Oregon this year.
If I don’t see you in one of my classes, I hope you find a place to practice, a group or teacher that’s a good fit for you. I’m always happy to help support your practice in this way.
Thank you for your willingness to be with life, just as it is.
Wishing you all a year of well-being, wishing you a year of ease, and wishing you the peace that is available in any circumstance,