Making Our Way through Presence

Many of us began meditating by listening to someone guide us, either in person or on an app or youtube video (technology can serve our mental well-being!)  When others guide us, we can learn new tools and approaches and we may persist longer than we would on our own.  
 
There is also great value in taking the leap and guiding ourselves. When we do this, we get to choose the practice that will best serve us, we get to explore it at our own pace, and we get to have our own unique experience, with all of the nuances that we bring to it.  
 
After choosing our meditation “shape” (sitting, standing, laying down), and bringing attention into the body, we can begin to explore our physical experience in the moment: how we are in relation to our environment (sensing contact with what’s beneath us, feeling the temperature of the air around us, letting sounds land on us), noticing if there is an emotional tone present in the body (tightness of the chest, sense of looseness in the shoulders), and whether there are physical cues to note (a knee that we think of as painful might feel just fine right then.)  
 
We can explore our mental state in the moment, noticing whether the mind is fast-moving with looping thoughts, or in a lighter, quieter state, for example.
 
With an understanding of our emotional, physical and mental states at that point in time (our experience is ever-changing), we can gently ask,  “What would serve in this moment?”  Even the act of asking this question of ourselves can feel healing.  If we pause, we may sense that our mind might benefit from some steadying, and we may decide to gently but firmly place our attention on the sensations arising from air moving in and out of our body.  If we feel the heart seems guarded behind iron gates, we may choose to encourage its opening by wishing well to ourselves and others;  if we feel in conflict with our body in some way, we may choose to attend to it, moving inch by inch through it and noticing all that it has to tell us, and if we’re feeling depleted, we may choose to begin with the letter A and make our way through the alphabet, naming things we’re grateful for that begin with each letter and resting in that sense of gratitude…….
 
When we guide ourselves, we get to take our time, as if we were making our way through a small village all on our own, free to choose which shops to poke into, where to stop for a cup of tea, which friend to pop in to visit and for how long.  
 
This week, we’ll come together in community, supporting each other as we each take our own journey through the village of Presence.

May our individual journeys through Presence lead us all to Peace,
The CMP Team

This Week’s Session Schedule

We hope you can join us at one of our community sits this week.  All sessions are free and open to the public, suitable for new meditators and people with an established practice.  There is no need to bring or wear anything special, and all sessions offered in libraries are done in chairs unless you prefer to bring your own yoga mat or meditation cushion.

Monday 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - Trumbull Library, 33 Quality Street, Trumbull
Monday 7:30 PM - Sama Yoga, 45 Grove Street, New Canaan 
Tuesday 1:00 PM - Ferguson  Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford 
Wednesday 12:00 PM - New Canaan Library, 151 Main Street, New Canaan
Thursday 12:00 PM - Waveny Park, 677 South Avenue, New Canaan (weather-permitting)

Upcoming Events

Fall Silent Retreat!  Saturday October 5th. St. Paul's on the Green, Norwalk.  More info to follow.

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