"Mindfulness and Meditation allow us to open our hearts, relax our bodies, and clear our minds enough to experience the vast, mysterious, sacred reality of life directly. With Practice we come to know for ourselves that eternity is available in each moment.

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call:
Musings on Life and Practice
by a Longtime Student of Meditation

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Monday Morning Mindfulness Is On!

Monday Morning Mindfulness will take place this Monday, November 12. The official observance of Veteran's Day for many, I think it's fitting to spend time continuing our cultivation of an Open Heart and Mind in our quest for Peace. Hope you can join me.
One Love,

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day is NOT just about the beer and barbeque!

Monday Morning Mindfulness in celebrating Labor Day on Monday, September 3, 2012
and will return next Monday, the 8th!

In my personal morning meditation today, I'll be taking time to contemplate the struggle; the lives lived and lost in the efforts to bring us the quality of life we enjoy today.

I'm sure that Tonglen Practice will come in handy.  I can feel my heart bursting as I write this.
One Love,

PS Here's what my identical twin Brother Lefty had to say.  Thanks for WMUA and WMCB Radio Host Daria Fisk and the gang at GCTV for their part in the Video!

Rambling on with Brother Lefty Smith*
*Society of Bodhisattvas, Budd(h)ies, and Bozos

Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sitting in the Rain!

From yesterday's email to my #OMG! (#Occupy Meditation Group!) friends Jeanie, Karen, Peal, Alice, Brenda and Jeff:

Dear #OMG! Folks,
How Special was that?  

Five of us maintaining that #0MG! Peaceful Presence on the Greenfield Town Commons in the pouring rain-- with two others touching base before sensibly scurrying off to drier pursuits! (In the Non-dual Universe where is there to scurry off to really?  We're always still joined at the Heart, right?)

This probably dates me, but perhaps Jeanie and maybe Peal can relate: "Singing in the Rain" with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Conner was a Hollywood musical I loved as a kid.  The title song came running through my brain as I was leaving Jeanie a message to let her know that "we were on--rain or shine!" Of course it became:

"Sitting in the Rain
Just Sitting in the Rain
What a glorious feeling
It's Zazen again!"

The rest of the first verse's original lyrics seemed pretty appropriate too:

"I'm laughing with the clouds
So dark up above 
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love."
I'm so grateful for having all of you in my life.  Our Peaceful Presence makes high noon a special occasion each and every day! (except for Sunday, of course.  We can't be too attached to this thing, right?)
One Love,

So, with a gentle rain tapping on the roof outside my window and a frog chorus singing in harmony, I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning's Monday Morning Mindfulness.  Of course, this is easy to say because we meet indoors at Community Yoga and Wellness Center but I'll say it anyway:   "We're on--rain or shine!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

I've incarnated as Papa Smith and am spending the weekend with my daughter Persephone, her husband John and the two wonderful Grandkids, Lily and Demetri.  Sunday's party will include a joint Birthday Celebration with Demetri now officially entering the "terrible two's" and Lily taking her new blue dye hair-do into her 13th Birthday! Yikes.

So, with Community Yoga and Wellness Center closed for Memorial Day there will be no formal Monday Morning Mindfulness, on May 28.  I plan to spent time tomorrow morning Sitting with the memory of all those who've died in the warfare we have subjected ourselves to as a people.  MMM will resume on Monday, June 4. 

Anyhow, I'll return to Greenfield in time to join the #OMG! Peaceful Presence on the Town Commons by Noon on Monday,  Hope to see you there.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Announcing Monday Morning Mindfulness!!

A weekly morning space to share
 Sitting Meditation, Walking Meditation, Gentle Stretching, Instruction and Discussion 
 with Lance Smith every Monday.  

One hour sessions begin at 7, 8 and 9 AM,  with a half-hour discussion beginning at 10 AM.

Drop in and leave at any time or attend the entire "mini-retreat."

Free and Open to All
Donations appreciated but NOT required.

For more information: 
Contact Lance at mondaymorningmindfulness@gmail.com
or (847) 502 6204

Sunday, May 6, 2012

One Step at a Time

Be careful of what you say!

One evening a couple of weeks ago, I got all philosophical and preachy about the zen ideal of "ceaseless practice" in an email to a longtime Dharma Buddhy of mine.  The next day I sustained an injury that has me hobbling ahead using crutches.  Now, I have to navigate up and down the rather steep stairs here at home with as much moment to moment mindfulness as I can muster--or else! 

I spaced out for just a milisecond or two yesterday--and had to jump down the final two stairs to keep from taking a nosedive.  Ceaseless practice?  I have to practice Walking Meditation now each time I grab the crutches.  I have to slow down and pay attention.  I can't get lost thinking about what's next or I might bust my butt.  My current predicament makes "taking it one step at a time" crucial.  I don't want to be buying a stairway to heaven just yet.

Years ago in sesshin, one of my teachers spoke of the intensity of practice at times that the stakes are really high.  He called it "rattlesnake zen".  I think I understand what he was talking about a little better now.  

I also feel a deepening appreciation of single steps and thousand mile journeys--and of clouds and silver linings.  

That being said: I successfully climbed and descended the stairs at Community Yoga the other day--and will begin Monday Morning Mindfulness tomorrow, Monday May 7!  You're invited to join me on it's maiden voyage.  Bring your zafu if you have one.  (The studio has a variety of bolsters, blankets, blocks--and chairs).  Beginners are more than welcome.  

The exact nature of what happens will depend on who shows up!
(Come to think of it, it's really always like that anyway, right?)