As Shunryu Suzuki said, “there is no such thing as enlightenment, only enlightened activity”. The insights we’ve gleaned on the cushion, or in play and exploration, find traction as they latch onto all parts of our day. This month, we are going to work through our Mondays with the intention of applying what we know in larger and larger circles. We’ll start first with ourselves, heaping on radical acts of kindness and self-compassion that make up the forever-work of getting out of our own way. We’ll move slowly outward, to see how we can use our practice to show up in relationship, with another person, to our community.
On Sunday October 22, Avi is offering his teachings on loving-kindness in a workshop format. Traditionally offered in a 7-week course, this format will give participants a retreat experience and an opportunity to delve deep into the realms of emotion, love, compassion and joy.
Cultivate your creativity, intuition, spontaneity at this full day retreat with the CEC’s prime mentor, Shinzen Young. Prepare for more “zen bounce”, inner knowing, and spontaneous bursts of wisdom in your life. Get some good karma too – this event is a fundraiser to help CEC in our efforts to extend and expand programming.
This month at CEC, we’ll explore narrative as a practice in conjunction with meditation: plunging into the wild depths of story country and then popping back out onto the misty shores of equanimous-observer-land.
I approach meditation for what it is: a thrilling exploration – and transformation – of consciousness. Course features a mix of guided practice, discussion, and weekly meditation-in-action homework assignments. It is both practical and contemplative, with an honest take on both the limitations of meditation practice, as well as its strange and beautiful existential dimensions.
Next class starts Fall 2017
“Jeff Warren is an exceptional teacher. He explains difficult, intangible subjects with razor clarity. His enthusiasm is contagious and never wanes – not for his subject or for his students, all of whom he treats with warmth, empathy and professionalism.” – Roy Baskind, neurologist
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. Bonus: It’s all FREE!
July’s theme is body and we are going to touch the magic we hold by being microscopes unto ourselves. Outside, the weather will be warm, the plants and trees and birds talking to each other, circling the same aliveness our neutrophils are. At first, we’ll just sit in the middle, get our posture right, so we can pay attention, then we will begin exploring the body’s infinite, evolving landscape, in rest, in movement, see if we can get a sense of what it’s like to be everything everywhere.
This month at CEC we’ll be diving into the thicket of emotion. Come explore the depths in a safe, fun space through innovative meditation and social practices.
Art, like meditation, illuminates the ineffable. Painting, literature, poetry, music, dance, theatre, film…these have incredible capacity to comfort, heal, inspire, incite, ignite. Bring us face to face with our own humanity and all of its terrible beauty. We’re going to make art of this next month at CEC. We’ll extol our community’s artists and teachers to introduce practices that breed creativity, feed artistic souls, and illustrate how art can enrich and inspire the contemplative path.
Not a retreat … this is an ADVANCE. The CEC retreat is unique for the way it builds on meditation practice, taking the insights we have on the cushion and applying them immediately to the social sphere, with engaging interactive practices and celebration-infused movement and hilarity and off-key campfire pop-punk-folk sessions. A fresh inquiry into who and how we are – and how to find centre amid the rollicking hullabaloo of life.
“A caring supportive fun community vibe unlike anything else I’ve experienced in the mindfulness world.” – A.C.
Inquiry is to knowledge as a vast river is to a cup of water. Knowledge is a contained end product, useful for some purposes, but ultimately limited. Inquiry is a process of asking questions and contemplating possible answers. This month at CEC, we explore the theme of inquiry as practice. Each week we will meditate on a different fundamental question.
Evidence suggests our minds wander from the scene in front of us, into waking dreams about half the time. Paying attention requires not just a decision, but a particular effort. In this March month, we are going to explore the intention, the effort, and the questions that follow, like what does it feel like? Where is it pointing? What riches does it bear?
The idea to let go of controlling your experience, no agenda, no need to change anything. The permission to just exist for a while. Phew. Really? I can just sit here, just be? After so long spent trying so hard, it’s such a relief. A deep peace emerges from that allowing, when I can let go of wrangling my experience and evaluating my performance. Feels like freedom.
Many people, especially busy urban dwellers, feel overwhelmed and undernourished. They struggle alone with their challenges, and are only rarely able to discuss – let alone practice – deep matters of belonging and connection and embodiment. The vision of The Consciousness Explorers Club (CEC) is to provide a fun and accessible venue where people can discuss these things as they emerge from perspective-altering spiritual and psychological and social practices. Our members go on mind-body adventures – together and independently – and then share their insights and discoveries and inspiration with the community. For this month’s offerings, click on the most recent monthly post on the homepage
“Jeff Warren is an exceptional teacher. He explains difficult, intangible subjects with razor clarity. His enthusiasm is contagious and never wanes – not for his subject or for his students, all of whom he treats with warmth, empathy and professionalism.” Select post for more testimonials.
Most teachers will tell you it’s a good idea to choose one practice and stick with it. That’s probably true. It’s also fun to mix it up. Different occasions provide different windows of opportunity. Here are a bunch of different techniques. Some are meant for the cushion, others for the street, or the forest, or the bedroom…