Have you ever walked along a road, trail, or beach when a small stone caught your eye? Perhaps it was the unique shape, color, beauty, or the ways it reflected the sunlight, but for whatever reason you were moved to pick it up. Maybe you even took it with you as a reminder of that place or moment.
Building a healthy, supportive community is very important to mindfulness practice. Within this caring community we are liberated from our perceptions of separateness. We are free to share our practice, our reflections and ourselves, openly. This nurturing environment allows us to let go of judgment and misperceptions because we know that in this group, there is positive company, love and support.
Plum Village explains the strength of a community (Sangha):
When we’re swept away by our stresses and anxieties, making the time to pause and calm down can seem like a challenge—even if we know it’s exactly what we need. If you find yourself in this situation, try to take just two minutes to give yourself a bliss break.
Breathe easily and freely focusing on your in-breaths and out-breaths. Absorb Thay’s words and the sound of the bell with each inhale, releasing all the tensions in your body with each exhale.
As practitioners of mindfulness, we know that everything is impermanent and that this moment is the only moment that matters. As 2014 comes to a close, it’s natural to reflect on events passed and ponder our aspirations for the year to come.
For me, my moments of reflection come with a smile.
Food is the essence of my social life, profession, and health. This time of year, each week is organized around trips to the farmer’s markets and farms located in my area. For myself and many others, this routine is not just a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. Just recently I read a real estate article that explained the trendy concept of marketing residences for “foodies.” Some homes are being advertised not only for their kitchens, but also for their proximity to the best farmer’s markets and grocery stores!
Food knowledge is not just trendy these days but a form of social, physical, and personal empowerment. My acupuncturist states that “food is your first medicine” as it gives one the nutrition essentials for health maintenance. In my next few blog offerings I am going to share with you some of my personal tips on changing your kitchen into a place of education, contemplation, and personal development.