On Saturday we had our annual sanghas solstice celebration at the mindfulness center. Open Way has been putting these together for 20 years or so. Our day started with sitting and walking meditation followed by a short dharma talk on the topic of beginning anew by our local teacher Rowan. After his talk there was time for discussion and then we had our Bringing Back the Light ceremony which consists of each person going into the middle of the room and screwing in one of the lightbulbs in our lovely centerpiece (pictured above) until it lights up and then sharing an offering of story, song, poetry, or whatever else you’ve brought to share. This circle of sharing took us a little while, as there were around 20 of us present. After the sharing circle I led a deep relaxation and then we shared in a potluck dinner. People came and went throughout the afternoon and early evening and we had a lovely day of practice together.
We also chose to combine the solstice celebration with the start of our winter series open mic nights at the mindfulness center. This is our third year of offering once a month open mic nights at the center through the winter and we’ve been having a lot of fun with them. So after our afternoon of practice, solstice celebrating, and potlucking we had our first open mic of the season. We had magic, comedy, songs, show-n-tell, poetry, and instrumentals. For our open mic’s we invite all ages and all types of sharing and have never been disappointed with the array of creative stylings we receive. I look forward to hosting the rest through the winter!