You Can't Step Twice Into the Same Stream
"Everything changes and nothing remains still ... and ... you cannot step twice into the same stream” - Heraclitus (535-475 BC)
Much of the struggle we feel in day to day existence comes from our resistance to change. As experiences arise in our daily lives, we often receive them as praise or blame, success or failure, pleasure or pain, fame or ill repute, and we react with habitual patterns. These reactions blow us in one direction and then another, creating a tumultuous, erratic or unsettled existence for us day to day.
One of the benefits of mindfulness practice is that it helps us cultivate the healthy habit of observing change with neutrality and openness. We see it in the simple observation of the breath. Each breath is its own experience, different than the one before: one breath slightly longer than the next, one shallow, one concentrated, one slow. As we observe the breath we are gaining insight into the shifting nature of things. We see this in the mindfulness practices of observing thoughts, feelings and sounds as well.
Noticing change gives us the freedom to respond to it with greater wisdom, rather than reacting from habit. We can observe the myriad events that we experience in our daily lives, allowing them to arise and recede without clinging, ignoring, or pushing away. In the moment, we develop the ability to notice our habit of reactivity and to pause, giving ourselves a chance to be with this human condition and to recognize that these are experiences we all have, and that they are temporary. This too shall pass!
This understanding allows us to stand with composure and balance in the flux of life. We realize our experiences are shifting all the time, and that sometimes what we think is the best course of action may not be the way to go in the long run. By maintaining equanimity, we remain open to possibilities.
With this sense of openness comes a sense of abundance. Equanimity allows us to access a deeper resource of serenity, wholeness, strength and health, so we can move more skillfully through our day, facing all that arises in an even-minded, even-hearted manner.
We hope you will join us this week as we build our habit of greeting all arisings with even-mindedness.
Every weekly CMP session is free and open to the public, suitable for newbies (we’re all beginners!) and those with long-established practices.
Community Sits This Week:
Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street, New Canaan (Gong meditation with Stephanie Joyce this week! Yogi and accomplished artist, Stephanie Joyce, returns to offer the CMP community a gong meditation. Stephanie has studied the gong extensively in India. Bringing attention to the breath, to sounds, or to tactile sensations caused by the reverberations of the gong as she plays can be a deeply restorative experience.)
Tuesday 2:00 PM Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford (Equanimity)
Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library 151 Main Street, New Canaan (Equanimity)