Before going to bed last night, I printed the materials to create the free course in Mindfulness binder; which I plan to start this Sunday.
"Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment..." - Jon Kabat-Zinn
For most of us, when this happens, it's unexpected, maybe while walking on a mountain trail on a crisp autumn day, or being so focused in work or play that you are not thinking about past or future, or connecting with someone in a way that makes it seem like time is standing still. This state of being alive and whole in the present moment is always available, but it typically eludes us, especially in times of difficulty and external pressures.
"Mindfulness" is used in many contexts nowadays and there are many different understandings of the term. Diana Winston of UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center gives my favorite definition: Paying attention to present moment experience with open curiosity and a willingness to be with what is.
While this quotation from the course's Introduction gives a good taste of what Mindfulness is, the video I watched was truly excellent and inspiring!
I first heard about Mindfulness a few months ago from my friend Mohamed, but it wasn't until I paid attention to this video that I actually spent some time learning some good facts about it.
You'll note that the video is part of a four part play list. If you watch most/all of them, you'll soon learn that Mindfulness is showing to have positive impacts with the body's healing processes... and that's in addition to all the positive effects it can have on your being present in your life, and coping/managing stress!
This intro video was found mixed into the content of an MBSR web-site offering a free eight week online course in Mindfulness!
Participants learn how to deal with the issue of dying and the destiny of souls from a shamanic perspective. The workshop is both for those who wish to learn for themselves, and for those who wish to help others who are in terminal situations or who have already passed on. Experiences to be undertaken include learning how to become experientially familiar with the after-death realms, tracking a person using shamanic journeying, completing unfinished business, helping a person to cross over, and classic psychopomp work.
I wasn't initially as wowed by this workshop as I was the first. I think mainly because it seemed to be slanted towards things I would do for other people, and I was still hoping to focus on my own self improvement/exploration; a shift in my expectations. In the end I came to some well needed realizations about life, death, family, and friends; and I am grateful for the healthier perspectives.
Also learned psychopomp!
I attended my first FSS (Foundation for Shaman Studies) workshop this weekend; sponsored by Divine Clarity. My attraction was to learning about (and doing) journeying, which I understood to be a form of meditation. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to use the drum I had just made last weekend! (scroll down two posts)
During the Basic experiential workshop, participants are introduced to core shamanism, the universal, near-universal, and common methods of the shaman to enter nonordinary reality for problem solving and healing. Particular emphasis is on the classic shamanic journey, one of the most remarkable visionary methods used by humankind to explore the hidden universe otherwise known mainly through myth and dream. Participants are initiated into shamanic journeying, aided by drumming and other techniques for experiencing the shamanic state of consciousness and for awakening dormant spiritual abilities, including connections with Nature.
I truly found it to be a fantastic workshop. My most incredible (and convincing) experience was using journeying to find out more information about the issue I've been having with my knee than doctors (using x-rays) and chiropractors have been able to tell me so far. In less than 10 minutes of journeying, I found a test (simply rolling the skin) to perform on my knee that proved the issue was in the skin (likely a nerve). It's not joint (arthritis) or ligament pain; simply a sensitive spot on/under the skin that really lets me know it's there when I happen to bump or apply pressure in just the right spot. If there was ever a reason to doubt journeying in any way, this experience just obliterated it!
Had a great time at Darcy's Drum Making Workshop at Divine Clarity today! I opted to use an elk skin on my drum, and asked for an 18 inch frame (over the typical 12/14/16 options). The drum turned out great, and the experience of making one was so incredibly fun that I think i'll be taking the workshop again to make another. All I need to do now is weave some softer leather/fabric through the back strings so that it is easier on my hands while holding it.
|You find your old high school graduation suit in your closet, and it actually fits again?!?! Thank You Paleo!|
I discovered The Preferred Perch today. While the majority of their store is centered around bird feeders, supplies, and outdoor ornaments... they do have a wonderful selection of crystals, stones, salt lamps, bath salts, candles, etc...
Also found an excellent Encyclopedia of crystals and stones that was purchased, as well as some awesome bath salts!
Inspired by Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth video series, I've been finding myself drawn more and more to investigating various forms of spiritualism. I guess you could say that I'm on a journey to "find my bliss", as Joe would say (among other notable quotes).
Tonight's open house for Divine Clarity was the perfect opportunity to see what synergies there may be for me.
What I found myself connecting with were the (core) spiritual and Shamanic based workshops, as well as the class to make my own drum! I'd been looking to buy a drum, and found that it was cheaper to make my own in Darcy's (Kristel's husband) class than it was to buy one... paying for the knowledge, experience, and walking away with a drum for less!
Thanks to twelve months of eating Paleo and 100+ pounds lost...
Two weeks later, and I've decided to switch where I pursue my education; enrolling in the Wholistic Nutrition course through Living Energy. I decided to take Radka's course for many reasons, but the top reasons are:
Most of my textbooks will be arriving from amazon the week of Sept. 8th, and the initial course modules should be in my possession one to two weeks after that. Exciting!