With 23 classes behind us and 8 classes ahead, we begin to hold in equal measure and awareness that the CDP, in this current form, will end. How can we approach this ending PROCESS with intention? How can we care for ourselves gently and one another as we begin to release the course and invite in the next phase of our lives? Our next adventures? Is it possible to remain even MORE freshly engaged with the material to come, knowing that our remaining time together is relatively short? This is our invitation!
This is the number of minutes in a day. If you aren’t already — perhaps your practice is lagging? — how about trying to practice for 20-30 of those minutes each day in the name of self-kindness? Re-committing. Turning back inward and hearing what the silence and your own wisdom have to offer.
- Creative Invitation: With 8 weeks to go, we encourage you to revisit, hone, and revise your intentions for the remainder of the course. Please do this in any way that you wish. If you’re somebody who prefers more structure, you may craft your intentions in the form of a self-compassionate letter similar to the one you wrote to yourself in Month 1 as you began your journey. You may wish to address some of the following specific questions:
- What is something of yourself that you wish to bring or offer to the community during the next eight weeks of class? Deep listening? Genuine sharing? A lively presence? A suspension of judgment? A request for support?
- Today, how are you relating with the ending of the CDP? (Embracing? Resisting? Indifference? Something else?)
- What new beginnings/silver linings come up for you in regards to the end of the CDP?
- What are your intentions going forward, for these remaining 8 weeks? Remembering that each breath of each day is an opportunity to try something new or begin again.
- I (Aimee) will be traveling to Austin this week to care for my mom, who’s having surgery. It’s a happy thing. 🙂 To allow me to dedicate my full attention to that, David has kindly agreed to lead the group through the first session of our monthlong study on Exploring Challenging Relationships.
- Michelle Becker will be with us Oct. 16. In preparation for her offering, please familiarize yourself with Paul Gilbert’s Three Circles model of emotional regulation. You can read about it directly in Mindful Compassion (Chapter 3), and if you don’t have a hard copy, you can read the chapter online here. Michelle’s put together a useful model, so we strongly encourage you not to miss.
- On October 23, we’ll dedicate our class to forgiveness. You may wish to read The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path to Healing Ourselves and Our World, by Desmond and Mpho Tutu. It will inform our discussion in class, and it has a series of thoughtful exercises you can do on your own if you feel that now is a good time in your personal journey to dive into that for yourself.
- We have a rest week October 30; no class.
- Our final day of class is Nov. 27. That day, we’ll leave space for any creative offerings your time in the CDP has inspired you to share with the group; spoken-word poetry (your own or others’), a song you might like to sing … even a hand-dance! Fear not: this is entirely optional and simply a way to allow a safe and welcoming space for different modes of expression as sometimes, synergistically, magically, occur at the end of MSC intensives.
- If you are considering re-joining the CDP anew in January, or you know someone in your life who would benefit from a community like ours, we welcome you! We are grateful to report that classes are filling steadily, and there is limited financial support still available for Cohort 5.
- As a way to stay connected after the course ends (for those who wish to do so), the video below is a short demo of the new online interface that’s currently being tested by CDP graduates in the cohort just before yours. This online space is free to use, retains the same agreements we established in class, and will be available to any CDP graduate in any cohort (though it is private to the world at large). Nearer to the end of the course, I will email you all links so that you can explore and join if you wish.
- Note that we will be piloting a six-month series of free, monthly, 1.5-hour Community Practice Sessions for any graduate of the CDP. (Open to all cohorts.) The sessions, on a topic of the facilitator’s choice, will include a check-in, a spaciously paced MSC exercise or meditation, and a group discussion. These sessions will take place the final Thursday of each month beginning in November, and if after six months there is continued interest, we’ll continue the offering. We’re also toying with the idea of inviting CDP graduates who are also teachers-in-training or already teachers to offer practices, so if you are inspired and wish to offer a meditation, great! Please let us know by emailing us directly.
Day of practice sessions: Final Thursdays of each month
Dates: November 29, 2018 – April 25, 2019. The offerings may continue after April, depending on the level of interest and participation.
Time: 11 p.m. PDT | 1 p.m. CDT | 6 p.m. UTC
- This week’s video recording and password is “Ch3cking1n”
- The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path to Healing Ourselves and Our World, by Desmond and Mpho Tutu.
- Article: Living Through Death: Love at the End of Marriage, OnBeing. They write: “We are all in some way preparing for endings. Some day the music will stop next door, and everything will change. But for now, the music keeps playing. Life is being lived, completely and honestly. I will keep listening. I will keep remembering that the most extraordinary lives are often the ones lived most quietly, most remarkably, by one’s neighbors and loved ones, if we just pay attention. If you just listen, everyone has a song.”
May your practice and commitment serve to enliven, strengthen, and deepen your experience of this one precious life.