This weeks blog starts on a train back from the Mindfulness Association conference. Plotted up on the train for the next few hours back to London gives me a little reflection time of the past couple of days…
I briefly glance at the few notes I have written down on and then catch a thought about recalling how neat and detailed someone else’s notebook looked!
My last teaching of the weekend was with Heather, a wonderful sit on the subject of how thought becomes thinking. One example that came up was our reaction to a delayed train – a very appropriate example, I walked into Lockerbie station to find that the next two trains were cancelled!
The train company had put on some replacement taxis and so my journey down south continued in a taxi to Carlisle with a couple of conference attendees. I asked them what the highlights of the conference were for them, but asking myself this question now I am not sure picking out some moments and missing out others really does the experience justice.
I can recall some of the great talks, from Rob Nairn’s 10 words of wisdom and talking more about our relationship with the undercurrent, Charlie Morley’s work with veterans and that wonderful breathing practice. The morning meditations, the insight talk with Heather and Choden – what do we really notice at the mention of our next prime minister? The stories of our Mindful Heroes and of course the wonderful presentations from our MSc students – inspiring and oh so relatable!
Of course, all these wonderful talks would not be possible without the Mindfulness Association community and it is thanks to all of you that attended that not only the conference was a great success but the waves of our work, our studies, our sits and teachings, our intentions and practices ripple out having an ever wider impact.
So for me, the conference highlight wasn’t a sit or a talk the conference highlight was the community itself.
The people that had picked up literature a couple of weeks before and decided to make the journey over to Samye Ling, the long term practitioners who have been with the Mindfulness Association from day one, old and new members, all the students who have been part of the MSc. It is the interaction and moments that were had with you that made the conference and indeed have made what the Mindfulness Association is today.
The take away from the conference is – practice. To have such inspirational talks and moments is obviously going to inspire and motivate us. The learning, listening, enquiring, intention setting is all part of our unfolding experience. Not only can breath and sound be our support but the community of the Mindfulness Association is also a support and we want to continue to evolve and support all our members.
No matter how you connected with the Mindfulness Association the impact and support that you offer to the community and wider impact is of vital importance. It felt like the consistent theme and discussion over the weekend was about the acknowledgement and necessity of applying our practice and values in our day to day lives. The very real-life examples of our Mindful Heroes and MSc students showcased this in a wonderful way and I am sure that many of you would have really connected with the words spoken on that stage – I know I did and really want to thank everyone that presented.
It was great to talk with so many of you and I wish some of those moments could have been longer and I hope the opportunity arises in the future.
For this week’s challenge, I am going to take the momentum of the conference and continue to take our core intentions and learned practices into my daily practice and life interactions.
I invite you to do the same and if you didn’t attend the conference and are looking for some inspiration then maybe reread some of your old course manuals or find that tutor video on our you tube channel.
Our practice doesn’t change but the learning continues.
Until next time
Jacky and Duncan