Many Voices. Many Paths. Many Ways. One Goal.
As researcher and writer Brene Brown says, we are hardwired for connection. However, we live in a modern world which encourages competitive attitudes and a habit of constantly comparing ourseves to others. It’s a world that often promotes a hedonistic and egoic form of happiness, dependent on finding one’s ‘best self’ and living one’s ‘best life’. Even things we do for others can take on the function of strengthening our identity - the ego/mind.
From a Mindfulness and ACT perspective, all this focus on becoming something as an individual, on discovering something special within so the identity can become one we can feel satisfied with, leads to grasping, insecurity, isolation and stress. It gets us ruminative, closed and checked out.
It’s only with a Eudemonic model of happiness, one derived from being aware, open and engaged - focusing on our values driven contributions - that we can truly begin to let go of the small ‘me’. This ‘little me’, the identity, is the target of our scrutiny and criticism - it’s never perfect enough. When we start to let the struggle go we can experience simply being in the world and focus our energies on adding to it as directed by values held deep in the heart.
A sense of community, the sharing of ideas, the witnessing of other’s growth, the support spoken and unspoken, the shared experiences, these all help us to rise above a self consciousness that can too easily spiral into self obsession.
In Buddhist philosophy they talk of taking refuge in three things - a teacher, the teachings about reality and the ‘Sangha’ - a community of motivated wisdom seekers. We don’t need to agree with each other, nor do we need to believe the same things. We are not ascribing to any doctrine or ‘right way’ to live and contribute. There are so so many ways to be aware,open and engaged.
We are talking about a fellowship of travelers, lots of people all moving toward living their mindfulness and lifting up the moments in front of them as much as possible each day and each in their own unique way. Our hope is that we can learn from each other, share with each other and support each other as we do so.
In this Community section stories will be shared. In ‘Why I Meditate’ we get to hear how others have approached their practice and managed to habituate it. In ‘Journeys’ we hear stories of overcoming and breaking through. How people navigated and honored the space between no longer and not yet.
If you have something you’d like to contribute please get in touch.