Meditation 
It's hard to explain why I meditate or sit. I think it's just playing with awareness and relaxing into myself and the present moment. Early trauma apparently divorces us from both. It's really an exercise in being friends with your mind. Loosening it. Letting feeling and sensation have their way too.

I just spent a month at Upaya Zen Center. I was new to the Soto Japanese lineage but found it very beautiful once I settled in. The practice period was based on the four Bodhisattva vows. Two of them relate to cutting through our stories and delusions. But living a somewhat monastic life made me deeply appreciative of enchantment. I wonder about the line between delusion and enchantment. The connection between stillness and social justice. Between structure and letting go.

It's a powerful feeling to drop into "one body" when you are largely in silence working at an energetic awareness of others, moving in step, voices chanting, candles flickering. We communicate so much more than we realize energetically. There's something deeply relaxing about letting go of who we are and melting into these rhythms. I was often moved to tears.

More on Upaya at the link below...

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Inspiring school in Harlem: what if we grounded ourselves in our bodies from early on? 
One of the most inspiring parts of the Transformative Learning conference at Columbia U this year was a visit that we arranged to the Thurgood Marshall Lower School in Harlem. Wow. These students practice gratitude, compassion, checking in to their feelings, reflection, meditation daily. They even have classroom charters grounded in how they want to feel. These have extended to even family charters. When I asked Cameron, our 7 year old guide and peer mediator what he liked about the school he told me" I like that we share our confidences." Gulp. Imagine a world full of these practices? This is what meditation can be, I believe. An ability to be in step with ourselves so we can be in step with others.







Not Perfect and Toppling Colonialism 
Rebecca Thomas has been an inspiring Poet Laureate. Perhaps one of the most touching and historical moments in Halifax was the removal of the Cornwallis statue last weekend. Click on the link below to hear her poem that moved Councillors to vote for the removal. Social norms and what we sanction can be changed slowly if we keep, as Rebecca says, "tough skin and soft hearts." Also such a powerful reminder of the role of art in our collective imagination.
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Self-actualization through dance- conflict is vital 
Met an inspiring dancer/professor, Jo Blake, at a meditation/yoga retreat in Nepal. He uses dance and movement in community. He introduced me to Crystal Pite who also uses dance and theatre to work through trauma, freedoms, self-actualization. I've really come to realize, in my work, that these forms and explorations are so critical to our collective analysis and action. The spaces it opens for connection, healing. We are somatic, individually and collectively.
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Hyang Cho  
Cho's work is so provocative and inspiring. Erasure. Text. Trial. Check it out at the link below.
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