“The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is. When we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through.”
— Parker Palmer
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What a joy it was to spend Tuesday together with you all! As we embarked on this first session of the CDP, we started to get to know each other and also shared what we can do to help each other feel safe going forward. Here is what was requested:
- Complete confidentiality. Nothing shared in the course may be shared outside of the course.
- Respecting both visible and unseen differences. These could include varying gender/sexual orientations, faith orientations, family situations, mental health struggles, socioeconomic differences, occupational differences, and more.
- Not speaking on other’s behalves without explicit permission (i.e., not sharing what someone else said during a breakout group)
- Deep listening. This can take place in the form of allowing people to have their experience, whether in silence, in tears, or somewhere in between.
- None of us are broken; refraining from attempting to “fix” one another.
- Refraining from giving advice, however kind your intention may be;
- Speaking from felt experience;
- Refraining from one-upping, patronizing, knowing “better;”
- Honoring introversion and extroversion
- Respecting personal space / different-sized space bubbles;
- Assume generously. When in doubt about someone’s intentions, assume that just like you, they are doing the best they can in that moment.
- When in doubt, ask. If you require clarity about something a classmate has shared — whether due to language challenges or otherwise — feel free to gently enquire.
- Practice: Formal practice strengthens the foundations for self-compassion, and we will turn our attention to new ways of working with meditation in the coming weeks. For now, though, please simply continue your current practice. If you haven’t already begun The Meditator’s Dilemma, please do so. We’ll begin to refer to it in Month 2 of the course, as it offers supports for some of the common challenges that many of us face when establishing or sustaining a formal practice. It’s also in beautiful alignment with self-compassion, as it invites kindness, care, and ease into our meditation time.
- Please read “How to Approach the CDP” if you haven’t already.
- As a member of the CDP, you will receive Discussion Board Daily Digests. Please email email@example.com to let us know if you’d prefer to opt out. Also, note that it may take a few days for those to start coming.
- Happy birthday to Alayna Fender! May we wish her a collective bow of appreciation for what she brings to the world and to our community.
- If you need additional tech support (getting profile online, etc.), let us know via email, and we will offer a tech check / tour prior to class next Tuesday on an as-needed basis. If no one requests it, we will not offer it.
- Kindly finalize your payment for the course if you haven’t already. And thank you to those who have!
- If you wish to create extra-curricular practice groups with one another, please add your details to this shared spreadsheet. This is optional, and you may wish to hold for now, until you’re more comfortable in the group and have a clearer idea of how you might best be supported in a practice group.
- If you would like to listen to the audio from yesterday’s meeting, you can view it here. The password is “Br3atheYes” Please remember that these recordings are to be kept completely confidential and will be deleted at the end of the course.
For those of you who were unable to attend this first meeting, we missed you, and we wish you well and look forward to connecting with you the next time!
With gratitude for this community and this practice,
Aimee and David