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Monday Night Explorations for August 2017
Start times and locations will vary this month.
Check us out on Facebook for last minute updates and adjustments due to weather and all the other things we don’t control
Join us – What do you have to lose?!
DATE: August 7
PLACE: Trinity Bellwoods Park, little hill on the north end of northeast field
TEACHER: Erin Oke
THEME: Practice in picnic
Erin: We’ll celebrate the end of a midsummer’s long weekend with a sit in the park followed by meditative frisbee throwing, badminton playing, sunset watching and other such splendor. Bring a favourite snack to share, game to play, or just your nature loving self.
DATE: August 14, 2017
PLACE: High Park – Meet at the gates at Bloor and High Park Avenue, bring stuff to sit outdoors, bring bug spray or cover up for mosquitos
TEACHER: Avi Craimer
Avi: Today in meditation we’ll anchor our awareness with the glorious trees of High Park. We’ll tune into the trees with sight, sound, smell and presence.
DATE: August 21
PLACE: Riverdale Park West, meet at Riverdale Farm’s front gates
TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Mind in Nature
JEFF: We’ll do a calming nature sit, exploring patterns in nature, and how nature helps us find solutions. Will be a nice relaxed evening, come on by!
DATE: August 28
PLACE: The grass beside the Palais Royale on Lakeshore (west of the building, east of the public washrooms.)
TEACHER: Stephanie DeBou
THEME: Earth, fire, water, air
Steph: The four elements provide a conduit between the physical world inhabiting the outside of your body and the physical world inhabiting the inside of the body. In this sit we will explore all 4 elements as they exist externally, and internally, and the intersection between the two. Afterwards, join me for a potluck to close the summer and the last of the CEC’s outdoor meditations. Come enjoy an evening of mindful snacking and engage in a feast of the senses! Please bring a food item to share and something to sit on.
The Peace of Wild Things
…I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting for their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
camp sunrise, photo by H. He
Every summer, I spend a month running camps for low income children and teens, and every year I’m struck anew by the incredible impact nature has on their way of being. A trip to a local beach yields hours of absorbed enjoyment spent skipping stones and digging holes. A short bus ride brings us to a different world, where snakes sun in the tall grass, coyotes can be heard howling, woods and fields are theirs to explore. I watch even the most closed youth open to the beauty of a sunrise, find delight in an unexpected encounter with a turtle. Through their eyes I see more clearly the interconnection between all livings things, and feel the peace that comes from that belonging.
Practicing in nature can enhance our feeling of connection to something larger. On my worst days, if I can only drag myself to sit by the lake, or even remember to turn my face to the sun, I can find some solace, buoyed by the breeze and birdsong. On better days, I can feel it flowing all around me, this system of life that I am but a small part of. More time in nature deepens this connection, and as it grows, so too a commitment to care for this life-sustaining world.
I’ll keep this short and sweet, like our Canadian summer. August is nature month at CEC, and we’re taking the practice off the cushions, out of the studio, and into the wonders outside. There will be park picnics and woodsy walks and lakeshore sunsets to behold. Come join us if you’re near, and, if not, may you find your own deep patch of summer.
– Erin Oke, Consciousness Explorers Club