"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, 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?)