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Hi <<First Name>>, 
 
When I started the Thursday Meditation & Chat (TMC) series, I wanted to provide a space for us to continue practice Taiji in an easeful and practical way, given the limitations imposed by the pandemic. I chose to use Wuji Standing Meditation as the focal practice, as it really is the foundation of foundations, and yet the least exciting for most of us, self included, and therefore least practiced. I love that those of you who have been able to attend the TMC frequently, and those of you who took my Wuji Qigong course, have increased your appreciation for this exercise and more importantly your practice of it, regardless of your respective starting point. 

There are so many aspects of practice in the Wuji Standing Meditation, really, going beyond the postural alignment. We have over the course explored methods of meditation (mainly what to do with the thoughts and other mental activities after the initial 3 to 5 minutes of checking and rechecking alignment), and more recently ways to adapt the Wuji practice (a couple of minutes or less, eyes open) for centering and grounding in our daily life. I hope to continue to share my exploration with you -- I am no teacher in this realm, but a fellow student constantly compelled to share (and who is her own first guinea pig before sharing, I should add).

Meditative or mindful practices have never felt so important and relevant. Not the least because everywhere I look (and I have been looking/reading a lot lately), healing and helping professions in traditional or modern modalities, scientific or mystic disciplines, all point to the restorative and transformative power of meditation in individual health and development. Meditation, contemplation, introspection, also empowers collective healing, a much needed process and a long journey for all of us, with so much chaos and disasters happening around the planet. 

I share below an excerpt (emphasis is mine) from Healing Collective Trauma by Thomas Hübl, whose work I've come to admire greatly. If timing is right I may share one of the guided meditations included in the book in our session tomorrow. 
ROLE OF CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE IN HEALING

When we sit in the practice of meditation, we prepare ourselves to more deeply and authentically anchor to what is available to us in order to make conscious that which has become unavailable to us. Such practices deepen our capacity for presence, open and expand our sense of interior space, and assist in the wiring of structure.
...
Space is a conscious experience that is lost, however temporarily, in experiences of trauma. When this occurs, we become identified with the activity of the moment, losing the expanded sense of selfhood we may have acquired through conscious practice. ...

Contemplative practices such as meditation, mindfulness, presencing, yoga, or centering prayer can help us to become aware of the effects of trauma, which include dissociation, suppression, and disconnection. Otherwise, we overidentify with our dissociation, consciousness shrinks, and we remain stuck repeating the ancient stress responses of hyperarousal or numbness.

But if we turn to contemplative practice, however well-meaning, to seek the bliss of higher states or a detached numbness, we may find that we’re spiritually bypassing the work required by trauma. True healing requires us to be more available to ourselves, more willing to feel and reside with the authentic emotions presented by our experience, not less. By engaging in a spiritual practice without bypassing, we develop and strengthen our interior resources—not merely to cope with the effects of trauma but to thrive as a result, to integrate and transcend. In turn, we deepen our connection to our higher self, to our soul. A sense of presence and inner space is developed, allowing us the power to witness our internal process and more fully digest our lives.

-- Thomas Hübl.
Healing Collective Trauma (2020).
TMC: Thursday Meditation (7-7:30pm) and Chat (7:30-8pm) US Pacific Time
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84221837967?pwd=QlZITzVLODN1ODQvRm5ZOXpIemYzZz09 
Meeting ID: 842 2183 7967
Passcode: 202101   

Zoom door will open at 6:55pm and we will start our meditation promptly at 7:05pm after 5 minutes of warmup and greetings. If anyone has any request for a specific guided meditation, please bring it up before we start, or let me know via email before 6:55pm. 

🙋 Have a question or topic you'd like the group to discuss? Saw an article you'd like to share? Submit any time here: https://forms.gle/APg2zid5xP6s4Ghn7
Happy to see you or think of you,
Yan
 
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