Enews 4-25-18 Entering new spaces
As the year 2018 began, a friend introduced me to a book called “How to Train a Wild Elephant” by Jan Chozen Bays, MD. Each week there is an exercise to do throughout the week. As you might imagine they are all about living mindfully. Some exercises are easy to succeed with. Others are quite challenging. This practice is called entering new spaces and also called mindfulness of doors. The purpose of the practice is to bring my awareness to any transition between spaces. When I leave one space and enter another, such as walking through a door, I pause for a second long enough to take one deep breath.
As I move about my day from room to room, I ask: “Have I left anything undone? Have I closed the door behind me? Have I allowed the door to slam shut?” For me, this is a powerful exercise for all of life. When I leave a relationship do I slam the door or do I lovingly allow the relationship to be complete and gently closing of the door?
As I write these words, I hear the echo of doors slamming to jobs that I became discontent with. I hear the harsh words of hurt feelings and tattered friendships. For me, this practice means so much more than the daily movement from one physical space to another. It also calls me to awareness of the doorways of my mind. One moment I can be cheerfully and happy and with one negative thought gone unchecked, I can slip into the black hole of gloom and doom. I don’t even remember leaving the space of happy and cheerful so just how did I end up in the funkiness of despair?
This week, I post reminders to enter new space with love and grace. I also leave a space honoring all that happened there. Sometimes, when we approach a door, we begin to think about the future rather than savoring the here and now. Because we don’t know the future, we slip into worry about what lay ahead for us. By practicing mindful living, being present to the here and now, it is possible to remain steady and at ease. When I remember “Present moment, wonderful moment” I move from space to space through each doorway of my day knowing I am exactly where I need to be.
Sunday we will have a lighthearted conversation “I’m exactly where I need to be”. Our Fifth Sunday Anything Goes begins at 10:30 with Kenny Kolter’s Gong Meditation. We will share spiritual communion immediately after the service in the front of the sanctuary. After the service we will also enjoy lunch on the lawn. At 1:00, make your way upstairs for Gong Experience with Kenny Kolter and Reike with Al Dawson. Come early…stay late…make it a Unity Day!
Much love, many blessings