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Sacred Resistance on the Campus Green

27 Weeks to the Election

Open Your Heart Pose

Share Grief can make you feel closed off. This pose is thought to open your heart. It can help you feel important emotions. Put a small pillow down on the floor.Lie down on your back. Make certain the pillow is in the middle of your back and your head is flat on the floor.Move your legs far apart.Lay your arms on the floor with your hands factng up.Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth five times.—Lora-Ellen McKinney in All About Grief

Keeping a Grief Journal

Share Keep a journal (or two). You can use any notebook for this. Write down your thoughts, emotions, fears, and conerns. You can draw pictures or write poetry, songs, or stories about the person you lost or about an experience that is making you deeply sad. Finish the sentence In your Grief Journal, finish the following sentences: The thing that makes me saddest is ...If I could talk to the person who died, I would ask/say ...Since the death of ________, my family doesn't ...My worst memory is ...If I could change things, I would ...One thing ...

Mental Health Awareness Month

Share According to the World Health Organization, one in every eight people in the world lives with a mental disorder involving significant disturbances in thinking, emotional regulation, or behaviour. If you or someone you love has grappled with depression, PTSD, an eating disorder, separation anxiety, or one of many other mental health conditions, you know how hard it can be to function and how invaluable effective care can be. In 1949, Mental Health America (then called the National Association for Mental Health) started this month-long obse...

How Mindfulness Can Help Us Heal White Fragility

A group of women meditating in lotus position.

Welcome back to the third article of my series on mindfulness for racial healing.  It’s been encouraging to have received positive feedback about the first two articles. The resilience, maturity, and courage it takes to endure through the initial discomfort that arises when we talk about race and racism is admirable. As it turns out, the subject of this month’s exploration is White fragility—not at all an easy topic to address in mixed-race spaces because it is so nuanced and distinctly different for White people and for BIPOC (Black, Indigenou...

All About Grief

Share Did you know that the word grief come from the Latin verb gravre, "to burden"? How true that grief is heavy and hard to bear — all the more so for young people, newer to loss. Even more than adults, they need strong support for working with melancholic, brokenhearted, mournful, and despairing feelings. That's exactly what All About Grief provides for readers ages nine to 13. Drawing from psychology, sociology, neurology, and religion, its 87 pages give a wide yet detailed view of grief's many facets. Chapters One through Four explore big ...

Come Have Breakfast

Share Elizabeth A. Johnson is a religious sister, member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and emerita professor of theology at Fordham University in New York City. Her many books include the influential She Who Is — a bold work of feminist theological understanding published more than 30 years ago now. We know many Roman Catholics for whom Johnson has been a pivotal thinker for imagining and reimagining the sacred and Divine. Johnson is profiled in our Living Spiritual Teachers Project. You’ll find interviews, articles, quotes, and reviews, at thi...

Come Have Breakfast

Share “I have found one thought experiment very effective in introducing sobriety to minds drunk on human supremacy. Start with the idea that in the hierarchy of being humans rank higher than trees. When we breathe, human inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. In the presence of the sun trees do the opposite. As part of their life process of photosynthesis, they take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Photosynthesis is responsible for producing a great amount of the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere. Take away trees, and humans would s...

A 12-Minute Meditation for Sitting With Uncomfortable Feelings

Adobe Stock/ Stranger Man In this meditation, we’re going to practice sitting with an uncomfortable emotion. As humans, we have all sorts of emotions that show up in our day. We have irritability, anger, sadness, anxiety, joy, and physical discomfort. Avoiding our emotions or closing off to them can lead us astray from listening to the underlying need of our emotion or the values that the discomfort is pointing to. So in this practice, you’ll practice observing and offering compassion to a difficult feeling. You can do this meditation sitting o...

The Five-Second Rule

Share "Grief and our emotions affect how our bodies feel. Did you know that it can work the other way around? Engaging in activities like yoga, running, walking, or martial arts increases the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can help improve your mood and energy. "Use the Five-Second Rule. If you find that you are about to do something negative or are about to be overwhelmed by grief, start moving your body for five seconds. Swing your arms! Stomp your feet! Wiggle like a worm! Hop like a bunny! You will be surprised by how five seconds of mov...

Inaugurating a Movement in New Haven

28 Weeks to Election Day

Russell Did It! What Nanalan’ Teaches About Honesty and Problem-Solving

In the Nanalan’ episode “Russell Did It,” Mona learns an important lesson about telling the truth. What are the mindful messages in this episode? Read on to find out!  1. Truthfulness starts with being honest with ourselves. In the beginning of the episode, Nana shows Mona and Russell her fancy new cat figurine. “It’s so glorious and wonderful, isn’t it!” Nana says. “Please don’t touch it, because it’s very, very breakable, okay?” However, as soon as Nana leaves the room, Mona can’t resist wrapping her arms around the cat. Russell whines anxiou...

My Friend Andy

Share If the dogs who are friends with unhoused people could talk, what stories they would tell! Thank goodness for the realm of fiction where their voices can be heard, as in this tale told by a canine narrator named Fluffy who walks through town every day with their family. Fluffy wants to play with Andy, a playful gray dog they pass every morning along with his busking human friend. But we can see a taut leash holding Fluffy back — they're never allowed to go closer. So what happens when Fluffy, chasing a ball, runs out of the park and gets ...

Presence

Share Tracy Cochran will be known to many by association: she’s the editorial director at Parabola, the popular, non-profit, quarterly, interspiritual magazine. She’s also a committed Buddhist practitioner, a meditation teacher, and founder of the Hudson River Sangha, which meets in Tarrytown, New York. Her book is all about the practices of being present, compassion, listening, and meaning. She tells stories from her life, rich with experience, and she quotes other great teachers including Robert Pirsig, Meister Eckhart, Annie Dillard, Bhikkhu...

Presence

Share “In the Buddhist tradition, as well as other spiritual traditions, the human world is considered a place of special possibility precisely because we are positioned between heaven and hell. Each human life inevitably contains a mix of happiness and misery, and nothing stays the same. Things are lost without warning. Mishaps are always happening. Keys and jobs and great loves are lost, as well as a red wine spilling on a white suit. And it turns out that our true awakening depends on this very instability. It is in the midst of those awful ...

Brightening Up Tax Day with Gratitude and Dissent

29 Weeks Until the Election

Ecological Spirituality

Share Diarmuid O’Murchu has long been a part of our Living Spiritual Teachers Project. He’s a member of the Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Missionary Order, a social psychologist, workshop leader and group facilitator for adult faith development, and author of many books including two previous winners of the Spirituality & Practice annual book awards. O’Murchu excels in articulating the spiritual practices of hope, connections, meaning, and transformation. In this new book, he challenges common religious understandings of human holiness that p...

Ecological Spirituality

Share “As we begin to feel our way in and through the natural world, we begin to transcend the rational, functional consciousness of viewing life as an amalgam of objects put there for our sole use and benefit. We feel our way into a range of connectivity. “Emotional connectedness … becomes a perceptual wisdom that begins to see what systems theorist Jeremy Lent calls the ‘patterning instinct’ across several life structures. It can evolve into what visionaries like Douglas E. Christie describe as a contemplative gaze. “If we can remain long eno...

A Mindfulness Practice for Nonjudgmental Awareness

There’s a space that opens up for yourself when you can sit with your thoughts and sensations and practice observing them without reacting to them—without trying to fix them or ruminate over them. Nonjudgmental awareness is sort of like remembering your most horribly embarrassing moment and appreciating the pings of regret and shame—just finding some room to let yourself be human for a little. The more we practice sitting with our whole selves nonjudgmentally (the good, bad, beautiful, and painful), the better we get at opening ourselves up to ...

Zoom Fatigue is Real: Here Are Six Ways to Find Balance

The Covid-19 pandemic transformed the way we work, leading to a surge in the use of video conferencing tools, with Zoom being a prime example. But with this new mode of communication comes a challenge: Zoom fatigue. Zoom fatigue is a form of burnout caused by an excessive use of video conferencing software, particularly Zoom. About 26% of adults who frequently use video conferencing are affected by Zoom fatigue. While video conferencing tools like Zoom have been instrumental in helping us stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, research sh...

About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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