Meditation & Mindfulness

The birds have vanished into the sky, And now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together the mountain and me, Until only the mountain remains.

— Li Po

Come as you are to the Sunday morning mindfulness meditation group at School Street Yoga!

Our group has been meeting on Sunday mornings at SSY for a number of years now in the cozy room downstairs, directely under the yoga studio. We warmly welcome you to join us whether you’re a well-seasoned practitioner or you’ve never meditated before but are prompted by curiosity to give it a try (or two or three) or if you’re somewhere in between.

We begin at 8:00 a.m. with a short reading, do seated meditation for about 20 minutes, then about 5 minutes of mindful slow walking, followed by a final 20 minutes of seated meditation. We then return to the opening reading and talk about it as well as anything related to mindfulness. While our discussions are serious, we welcome humor. Sometimes the readings come from a book we are reading and discussing as a group. (The book discussions are optional, of course; anyone is welcome to leave after the meditation.) We aim to be finished by 9:20.

If you’re a beginner at meditation, one of us is always willing to meet with you 20 minutes before our group sit for a bit of orientation. We just need some lead time so someone can meet you at SSY early; please text either Natalie Harris at 207-649-0268 or Emanuel Pariser at 207-660-1059.

Seated meditation, by the way, is a wonderful mate for yoga. And yoga provides a highly functional gateway into seated meditation. They’re made for each other.

Previous readings discussed:

“Mindfulness is a kind of energy that can help bring our minds back to our bodies so that we can be established well in the here and now, so that we can get deeply in touch with life and its many wonders and truly live our lives. Mindfulness allows us to be aware of what is going on in the present moment—in our bodies, in our feelings, in our perceptions, in the world” — Thich Nhat Hanh (Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm, 74)

“I think there is something about people like this [people we are drawn to] that has to do with the body’s energetic field. They don’t just aspire to kindness, they radiate it. They have dissolved some of the barrier between head and heart, between the wish for goodness and goodness itself” — Willa Blythe Baker (The Wakeful Body, 46.)

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.” — Pema Chodron

“If your everyday practice is to open to all your emotions, to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that — then that will take you as far as you can go. And then you’ll understand all the teachings that anyone has ever taught.” — Pema Chodron

“To listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.” — Mark Nepo