Being Here Now

PerryBackus_Ravalli Republic, moonsetinbitterroots

A pic I found on a local news outlet website and added Be Here Now to (pic credit on photo).

Starting next week I’ll be teaching a 6-week class series entitled Being Here Now through the adult learning center here in town.  I’ve taught a few other similar class series’ through them as well but its been a couple of years since my last session.  The description I provided for the class is as follows :

When we learn the art of mindfulness through the cultivation of meditation, relaxation, and joy our lives have the opportunity to become more spacious and at ease. This class will be focusing on the practice of sitting meditation, watering seeds of joy within ourselves, and learning how to rest our bodies and minds through the process of guided relaxation. No experience necessary, great for beginners. This is a non-faith based approach to living more happily and mindfully in the present moment, all are welcome. A variety of cushions, benches, and chairs will be provided.

Since it turns out that in the span of 5 days I’ll be giving a talk for Unity Church’s interfaith day of prayer service, performing in a poetry slam (this Friday! Gulp!), starting my class series, and giving a teaching talk at my local sangha I’m especially finding the need to write out my preparations for these speaking engagements in order to keep them all organized.  So, once again in line with two of my most recent posts, this one is to help me sort through what to cover in my first class.

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Mindful Speech & Deep Listening, Part 1

Listening

For the last 5 weeks I’ve been teaching a class I call MIndfulness Matters through our adult learning center here in town.  I’ve been teaching these class series for the last 4 years or so.  I focus on a different element of mindfulness each week and this week’s topic is mindful speech and deep listening.  In order to help prepare I thought I would write out some of my thoughts and subject matter here.

The greatest gift we can offer someone is our true and full presence and two of the most important tools that we can cultivate in order to do this are mindful speech and deep listening.  Mindful speech is the use of words that help inspire self-confidence, joy, inclusiveness, and connection.  Deep listening is the ability to listen in such a way where we are free of judgement and a need to react.

If we don’t know how to practice mindful speech and deep listening towards ourselves we will only be so effective when we direct these skill sets towards others.  Many of us have a very negative internal dialogue that is directed at ourselves.  This internal voice is often operating on an unconscious level and can be very active throughout the day.  A few common examples of negative self-talk include statements like, “I can’t believe I just did that, I’m so stupid!” or “I look awful today, I’m so fat.” or “Gosh, what is wrong with me today, I can’t do anything right.”

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