These days it’s easy to get caught up in external pursuits – education, career, money, family, beauty, possessions, admiration – when we are bombarded with countless messages of “buy this or attain that and it will make you happy”. Even when the pursuits are noble – helping others, protecting the environment, bettering society – one’s happiness can still depend on succeeding in changing the world. Could the pursuit of happiness itself be robbing us of something more fundamental? Continue reading
Let’s gather for the last workshop of 2018 to practice meditation, enjoy like-minded company and work on whatever unresolved questions and inner challenges remain at the end of the year. This will be the first L11 workshop without a set theme – the themes we engage with will be determined on the day by the needs of the group. You can either bring a question or inner dilemma to work on, or come with an open mind and see what emerges for you on the day.
The pace of modern life is becoming more stressful – more projects to do in less time, more people to keep in touch with via more communication mediums, more choices to consider, more activities to do… and less rest.
Having lots of things on the go can make our minds very busy – constantly solving problems, evaluating options, trying to predict the future. This results in stress, which in turn causes the body to tense up and enter the physiological state of “fight or flight”. Being in this state for too long can cause irritability, exhaustion, low moods and negative outlook on life.
A great deal of life’s upsets have to do with things not going how we want them to go. It is common to have a desire for control – desire to influence reality to be the way that we think is best. This involves many positive and fruitful aspirations. But things don’t always go our way and some aspects of our reality are very difficult if not impossible to change. In this workshop we will explore ways of using meditation and movement to peel one layer of our suffering – the inner resistance to parts of our reality that we want to change but can’t. Continue reading
According to the Western medicine, core functions of the human body such as digestion, heart rate, blood flow and oxygenation are regulated by the autonomic nervous system that operates mostly outside of our direct conscious control. It consists of two parts: sympathetic and parasympathetic. Continue reading
Every life has its share of challenges accompanied by difficult emotions – fear, anger and sadness. Most of us were never taught how to be with and move through these difficult emotions and how to embrace their gifts. The common approach is to “toughen up”, avoid unpleasant feelings and distract ourselves with work, entertainment, shopping, drugs or chocolate. If we use this approach and accumulate internal emotional baggage, is it any surprise that we find it difficult to be alone with ourselves, to open emotionally to another person and to feel love?
In this 3-hour experiential workshop we will step beyond the dominance of our thinking mind and re-connect with the fluid intelligence of our physical body. We will focus on getting in touch with our inner movement impulse and learning to follow it, releasing the weight of the physical tension that no longer serves us, and exploring the natural rhythm of circular movement in our body.
In this 3-hour experiential workshop we will focus on bringing our attention into the present moment and learning to just “be” – without having to do, fix or change anything. The participants will be guided through a series of meditation techniques that help to overcome the mind’s constant need to solve problems, worry, dream and be entertained, uncovering the state of conscious presence underneath. There will be multiple opportunities to ask questions that come up during the practice. This workshop is not religious and is not centered around any specific tradition or guru.
In this 3-hour experiential workshop we will focus on bringing our attention into the present moment, accessing the healing intelligence of our body and experiencing awareness that is beyond our thinking mind. The participants will be guided through a mixture of sitting and movement-based (body-based) meditation techniques and there will be multiple opportunities to ask questions that come up during the practice. This workshop is not religious and is not centered around any specific tradition or guru.
For readers who haven’t read earlier articles, Laingholm Eleven is a home studio where I offer Tai Chi and Meditation classes in a large converted living room. Despite teaching professionally in the past I’ve decided to run the classes here on a non-commercial basis, so there are no fees and our only advertising has been via the Roundabout, community notice boards, the web site and word of mouth.
The classes have been going for about 1.5 years now and we have a group of several regular participants as well as new participants who periodically come to try the classes. This article is an invitation to those who are looking for a new hobby to fill some wintery evenings.