Happy New Year! We wish you all the very best for 2014 and hope that your practice continues to sustain and nourish you.
At the clinic, we are looking forward to a very busy and exciting year. It begins with the opening of our Winter Session of courses which includes an All Day Session
on February 2nd at the Richelieu-Vanier Centre. Remember you are all invited. If you have not taken the M4 Program with us, you can simply contact us
to let us know you are coming. In March, Lynette (Monteiro) will be attending the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training with Drs. Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff. This opens up a whole new area of courses to be offered in the near future! In June, Frank (Musten), Lynette (Monteiro) and the teachers of the OMC will be offering the 2nd annual Heart of Mindfulness
meditation retreat at the lovely Galilee Retreat Centre. It was a full to overflowing last year and we encourage you to register early to ensure a space! You can register here
and download the poster here
For Health Care Professionals, we have a wonderful array of of training programs in addition to the ones listed above. In April, Dr. Christopher Germer will teach the Core Skills of Mindful Self-Compassion in Ottawa. This is a terrific opportunity to get a taste of Mindful Self-Compassion approaches. Register here
. In May, Frank & Lynette will be teaching at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies on the heart of all mindfulness programs, the incorporation of ethics into a Mindfulness-Based Program. You can register here
and download the poster here
In other news, our book, Mindfulness Starts Here: An 8-week guide to skillful living
, is getting a lot of people into mindfulness practice! We are so encouraged by the response and the reviews. If you have read the book, pleae consider leaving a review on the Amazon reader's review page. This will help others know how useful the book can be! If you'd like to drop us a line
to tell us about your experience reading the book, please do so!
The Challenge of Mindfulness Practices
Being mindful is not as easy as it looks! And, it's definitely not what you think! We can start out in wanting to learn mindfulness because it seems to promise relief from our ills, our pain, our fears and worries. We know that getting tangled in our thoughts and having frazzled feelings just doesn't help. So, of course, we go looking for a solution. Wanting relief from suffering is one part of our wish to learn the skills that make up mindful living. The other part is learning how be reduce our initial reactivity to our situation. This is what we mean by "it's not what you think." When we think of the worst possible scenario as a reaction to a statement or another thought, we're taken out of being attentive to all possibilities. By reducing our initial reactivity to what is happening in moment we learn how to stick with the experience until we have a clear view of what is happening. It often takes only a second or maybe a few minutes for that clarity to arise. IF we hang in. And this is what we mean by "it's not as easy as it looks." Mindfulness is being aware of what is unfolding in the present moment and learning (as we often say in class) that the present moment is not necessarily a pleasant moment!
Try it out the next time you feel ramped up or upset. Stop. Breathe. Let go of the words, thoughts and beliefs about how unspeakably horrible the situation is. Step back and see it for what it is. It may be bad or tough or hard. But that's a long way from the catastrophic story our initial reactivity writes about it. Sometimes, the unimaginable is something other than what our fears tell us.
Wisdom from Mary Oliver
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
― Mary Oliver
Thank you for your practice,
— Lynette, Frank and the OMC Team