Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids
July 28, 2018
Sign up now for this 2.4 mile historic open water swim from Peaks Island to Portland’s East End Beach.
For more info or to register: ymcaofsouthernmaine.com
A Day of Mindfulness at Nurture Through Nature, as facilitated by Jen Deraspe, founder of Nurture Through Nature Retreat Center
Join together in simple, gentle practices that bring us Home, to our True Nature, one conscious breath at a time.
On this special celebration of Life on this good, green Earth, we find ways to realize the beauty and bounty here on our planet. We practice the miracle of walking on this earth.
09:30am~Singing and Chanting
10am Mindful Qi Gong infused Hatha Yoga
11:30am~Intentional sharing circle
12:30pm~Mindfulness of Eating
1:00pm~Dharma Sharing circle
Suggested Donation: $45: includes yoga class, programming, and a charitable contribution to the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation. Please bring a healthy, prepared dish and serving utensil for a pot luck lunch serving about 10 people.
We have plates, bowls, eating utensils and stoves for warming.
Please reserve your spot at http://www.ntnretreats.com/reservations/
Nurture Through Nature is hosting a retreat this same weekend led by Mellanie Shaw and it is incorporating this Day of Mindfulness into their experience. If you, too, would like to make a weekend out of this retreat, please check out her offering:
Mindfulness in Daily Life
“Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present, and at one with those around you and with what you are doing.
We come together in a way that nourishes our joy as well as our sense of shared humanity. We feel joy in doing things together as a spiritual community; smiling, singing, walking, eating, sitting. During the time we’re together, we develop our happiness, our purification, and our aspiration. As our aspiration becomes stronger and stronger, we can face many difficulties and take action together to help reduce the suffering in the world.
Together we learn how to breathe in and out to release our tension and embrace our painful feelings. When there is a feeling of fear, anger, or despair, we have to know how to take care of that feeling. When there is conflict, we have to know how to practice deep listening, compassionate listening, and loving speech in order to restore communication. That is something we can learn only if we know how to practice. Our practice helps transform the suffering in ourselves, in our families, in our community, and in the world.”
Dharma sharing is an opportunity to benefit from each other’s insight and experience in the practice. It is a special time for us to share our experiences, our joys, our difficulties, and our questions relating to the practice of mindfulness. By practicing deep listening while others are speaking, we help create a calm and receptive environment. By learning to speak out about our happiness and our difficulties in the practice, we contribute to the collective insight and understanding of the community.
**Mindful Eating Meditation
Eating a meal together is a meditative practice, offering our presence for every meal. Serving food to ourselves, we can already begin practicing. We realize that many elements, such as the rain, sunshine, earth, air, and love, have come together to form this wonderful meal. In fact, through this food we see that the entire universe is supporting our existence.
Eating in silence, the food becomes real with our mindfulness and we are fully aware of its nourishment. In order to deepen our practice of mindful eating and support the peaceful atmosphere, we remain seated during this silent period. After twenty minutes of silent eating, the sound of the bell will be invited. We may then start a mindful conversation with our friend or get up from the table.
Sitting meditation is like returning home to give full attention to and care for our self. Like the peaceful image of the Buddha on the altar, we too can radiate peace and stability. We sit upright with dignity, and return to our breathing. We bring our full attention to what is within and around us. We let our mind become spacious and our heart soft and kind.
Sitting meditation is very healing. We realize we can just be with whatever is within us–our pain, anger, and irritation, or our joy, love, and peace. We are with whatever is there without being carried away by it. Let it come, let it stay, then let it go. No need to push, to suppress, or to pretend our thoughts are not there. Observe the thoughts and images of our mind with an accepting and loving eye. We are free to be still and calm despite the storms that might arise in us.
These above words and practices have been adapted from Blue Cliff Monastery and writings from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh to share the practice of mindful living~