drop of water
By Rose Mina Munjee, our Wednesday evening meditation guide.

It has been wonderful practicing with this community the past few weeks.  I’m looking forward to many more sessions of practice and exploration of mindfulness in our lives. We began with the basics of mindfulness, starting by stopping, practicing walking and body scan, experiencing the 4 postures, and cultivating gratitude as a path towards greater joy.  Then we moved into compassion, especially for ourselves, something we don’t often learn how to generate in our society.

These are some phrases of gratitude offered by Jack Kornfield:
“With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day.  With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me. I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given. I offer my gratitude for the blessings of this earth, the measure of health, the family and friends, the community, the teachings and lessons, and for the life I have been given.”

It is also helpful, as we discovered in our practice, to regularly write down or share in community, something specific in our lives we are grateful for. When we shared with others in the room we noticed that this created a feeling of sympathetic joy – for the happiness of others.

Last week, during our study of self-compassion, we read from Kristen Neff’s book, beginning with a quote from Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are: “When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”

Kristen Neff says, self-compassion is made up of three main components. First, it requires self-kindness, that we are gentle and understanding of ourselves instead of being critical, harsh, and judgemental.  Second, it requires that we recognize our common humanity, a feeling of connection with others in the experience of life rather than feeling alone and alienated by our suffering.  Third, it requires mindfulness, that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than exaggerating or ignoring our pain. In order to truly be self-compassionate, we must achieve and combine these three essential elements.

Please join me this Wednesday at 6pm as we continue to practice with self-compassion.

Drop in Mindfulness Meditation classes are offered every Wednesday night at 6 pm at Union Yoga + Wellness by donation /  Pay What You Wish.

 Rose Mina Munjee practices and teaches applied mindfulness meditation and contemplative practices to enhance daily living and support transformation. She integrates therapeutic and restorative yoga as well as Craniosacral therapy in her work and she practices insight-based Mindfulness Meditation. Rose has had a mindfulness and yoga practice for over 12 years. She was first introduced to these practices through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction which was life altering and the beginning of a passion for deeper practice and for sharing this with others. She has taught yoga and meditation to people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of mobility, with a focus on breath and body awareness, trauma sensitivity, and stress reduction. Rose has taught in retreat, studio, educational, and corporate settings.