Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

A Meditation on How We Meet Endings

I want to draw our attention to endings: the end of a day, the end of a meal, the end of something precious and rare, the end of this sentence. 

How do you meet endings? I mean, most of us have some developed habits about the way in which we meet endings. Are you aware of your habits? Without any judgment or criticality, let’s just take a look to see what our relationship to endings are. Like, when you go to a party, or you go to a conference: Do you have a tendency to leave emotionally or mentally before the conference is over or before the party’s over? Or maybe you’re the one in the parking lot waving goodbye to everybody as they depart. Or maybe you find some way of cocooning yourself, isolating in some way, pulling back into a kind of protective stance. Or perhaps you become ambivalent or indifferent about endings—maybe endings are very emotional for you. Maybe you get sad or scared. Let’s just take a look.

When you end a relationship, how do you do it? Do you try to shift it into some other form of relationship so that it will continue? Do you end it with a text? How do you say goodbye in the afternoon when you leave your work—do you say goodbye to your colleagues? When a friend is sick and dying, do you go visit them? How do you meet endings? What are your patterns? Are you happy with the way you meet endings? You don’t have to be wedded to your old way of doing it. You have the freedom to change it, right here, right now. 

When an ending comes, what happens in your body? Do you get tight, contracted? What’s the emotional experience? Does it bring about anxiety, fear, sadness? And what happens in your mind when endings come? Do you have remembering thoughts or planning thoughts? How do you meet this experience? 

Exploring Endings and Beginnings

I want to draw your attention to endings. The way that we end something shapes the way the next thing begins. When we hang on to the past, it limits our capacity to welcome the new. A lot of times we hang on because we’re still demanding something of the past, wanting it to give us more of what we’d hoped to get from that situation—more success, more love. The more comfortable we are with endings, the more we can welcome the new and release the old.

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Marketing Coordinator

Come join the dynamic team at Mindful—a mission-driven media company that is dedicated to sharing secular mindfulness to support good health, positive relationships and a compassionate society. With a monthly audience of over two million, this is a chance to make a real impact! You’ll enjoy our positive, flexible and collaborative work culture. 

We’re seeking a Marketing Coordinator, preferably based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but we will also consider remote candidates. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated to execute marketing strategies that foster inspiration and engagement and to run campaigns that are audience-centered and data-driven. You’ll thrive in an ever-changing, fast-paced environment. You’ll see problems as opportunities and offer ideas and solutions that help drive campaign success. You’ll work well both collaboratively and independently as needed. 

Key Responsibilities:

Plan and manage assigned marketing projects including the development of marketing plans, promotions, and engagement activities.Support the implementation of promotional campaigns in collaboration with other Mindful departments and/or external partners to develop content and marketing materials.Assist in managing Mindful’s digital presence, including website updates, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and social media execution.Manage marketing email campaigns. Track performance through digital analytics.Write, edit, and design marketing promotions, newsletters, and other digital media materials as assigned.Any other duties as requested.

Qualifications and skills:

Some relevant promotional and/or marketing experience. Superior project management skills with knowledge/experience in business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, marketing campaign management, design and content writing.Ability to excel in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Confidence in evaluating options and making recommendations on proposed solutions.

Nice-to-haves:

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Finding Light in the Darkness

Last winter I decided to head to the “land of fire and ice”—Iceland—ostensibly for a yoga retreat. Nearly every one of my friends asked me some version of this question: “Why don’t you wait until summer, when the midnight sun burns all day and night?” My answer was twofold: I hoped there’d be lessons to be found in the long and dark days; and (mostly) I wanted a chance to see the magic of the aurora borealis.

Experiencing the northern lights remains at the top of many people’s bucket lists, and I felt that longing deeply. The Romans named the northern lights after Aurora, the Goddess of Dawn, and if ever a soul needed a new day, I did. 

 As I revealed to the 14 strangers in our first night “welcome circle”: “I’ve been living in a dark hole for the past two years. Not in an ice cave or anything like that, but the suicide of a friend just before Christmas added to a series of painful losses, including the death of my parents in a three-month window, punctuated by my husband’s exit from our marriage in between Mom’s and Dad’s passing. I’m looking for a new beginning.”

The…

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The Bright Side of Boredom

My mother, like so many mothers, must have gone crazy from hearing the refrain over and over and over again: 

“Mom, I’m bored.”

My oldest brother, helping our dad in our vegetable garden, asked after about five minutes, “Dad, do you still have to keep working after you’re bored?” My dad found this particularly amusing, since he was an HR manager who dealt with adults struggling with the same question.

Boredom was for me a state truly to be loathed, brought on by sitting in classes that dragged on with teachers who droned on. But it was generated equally by lazy summer days we had pined for but couldn’t seem to fill with enough entertainments. Why couldn’t life be a perpetual Disneyland?

As time went on, boredom seeped into relationships—it kicked in once you got past the early flush of excitement. It also became a signal feature at my early jobs. When I bagged groceries at the A&P (a once-august grocery chain that died a long, slow death), we had a three-foot-high clock on the wall, and I used to watch the minute hand just crawl, while I wanted to crawl out of my own skin.

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Three Meditations to Foster Deep Gratitude

Open the heart. If you want to appreciate the life that you already have, it’s helpful to stop yearning for things to be “different” or “better” than they are right now. By practicing loving-kindness, you can connect to a place within yourself that fosters love and compassion and allow that place to flourish. Follow this three-minute practice to open up your heart to all the good in your life.

Appreciate the moment. When your thoughts become focused on what could be, you lose contact with what actually is. This guided meditation helps you notice your experience as it happens, so you can notice what’s going right, instead of worrying about what might go wrong. Rather than falling into harmful thought patterns, you can embrace challenges that come your way. Doing this strengthens your sense of gratitude for the present moment.

Savor the good. On days when gratitude feels difficult to find, tune into your senses. This meditation invites you to cultivate thankfulness by slowing down and noticing what you can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. There doesn’t have to be anything special going on in order to practice gratitude—maybe it’s as simple as feeling grateful for your morning coffee, or for a good book. Explore this simple practice to appreciate the little things.

Original author: Nicole Bayes-Fleming
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