Spread Your Seeds

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“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
“What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

When I was a kid, I always wondered if I was the only real human among a sea of robot-aliens. But as I grew older, I began to worry that I was crazy, and everyone else was sane. As my vocabulary grew, the definitions of words became ingrained in my mind – of success, failure, ‘a good life’, and even sanity. Suddenly, there was a list of activities I ‘should’ be doing, majors I ‘should’ be pursuing, careers I ‘should’ have. I quit listening to my DNA and numbed my senses from what actually felt right for me.

While wallowing in this confusion, I slowly realized that others were feeling guilty and lost, perhaps even more than I. One friend, Jordan, grew depressed over the course of eight months during our senior year of college. She wanted to learn how to meditate to quiet the voices in her head constantly nagging her ambitious spirit. We started Spread Your Seeds to raise money for her to learn transcendental meditation.

Tragically, Jordan died before Spread Your Seeds was fully organized, and after, other friends and I began furiously organizing as a coping mechanism. We poured our sadness into it but soon the organization grew heavy. As we were all about to graduate and disperse all over the country and world, Spread Your Seeds was temporarily put to rest.

For a year after Jordan died, I was raw. Raw from heartbreak, from realizing I had to earn independence and from confronting myself for the first time since childhood. I was offered a scholarship to learn the meditation technique Jordan had been interested in. I have since learned how to dive into myself regularly instead of allowing trauma to force deeply rooted feelings out. I believe there are many tools to quiet down and help us listen to ourselves. Yoga and meditation are simply two useful tools for “checking in” in a healthy way.

Upon meeting Molly and Chelsea, and learning more about Tuning the Student Mind, the possibility of a partnership sprung Spread Your Seeds back to life and renewed the mission of providing healthy living resources to students – a group that’s put under the immense stress to figure out their lives while the technocratic world changes more rapidly than ever before.

Our process is simple: we make necklaces filled with seeds. Whenever you feel uprooted, you uncork your necklace, sprinkle seeds out, and instantly remind yourself of how you are in control of rooting yourself back down. The proceeds from the sales of these necklaces go towards providing healthy living resources to students and raising awareness about the ways we can quiet down the noise and listen to our own voices.

It is our hope that Jordan’s spirit lives on in this mission infusing our efforts with meaning, love and commitment. All young people should live in a world where inner peace, happiness and a sense of well being pervades their everyday life experience.

Poonam Dagli | University of Michigan

 

 

The Impact of Mentorship

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“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” ― Galileo

My mentor died last month. It was unexpected. When I heard the news, my breath caught in my throat and a simple “no” escaped my lips.

Imre Molnar was the Provost of College for Creative Studies. A former corporate designer, Imre choose a career in education because he believed in students and was inspired by the kind of innovation one only sees in the freedom of an experimental incubator like a student studio.

When the President of our college organized a meeting for faculty and staff impacted by Imre’s death dozens showed up – including professors, maintenance men, department chairs and administrative staff. It says a lot about a person when his impact extends far beyond the boundaries of his authority. There were over 800 people at his memorial.

I remember the first conversation I ever had with Imre about bringing transcendental meditation to College for Creative Studies students. He listened to me with rapt attention. The intensity of his gaze suggested the sincerity of his interest. His pointed questions helped me to narrow my focus and strengthen my arguments. As our meeting finished, he smiled at me. Spreading his arms wide and gesturing to the stacks of papers strewn around his office he said, “Molly, you have an outstanding idea. As you can see, I am mired in my own mess of papers and projects. This will have to be a grass roots effort but I want you to know – I believe in you. And, I promise not to get in your way.” His silent support served as an enormous motivator. His belief in my ability to be successful empowered my efforts by helping me to see myself through his eyes. I knew he expected the best from me.

The art of teaching is the ability to help others see things in new ways. It doesn’t always take a lot of words but it does require a sustained attention on your pupil. Listening may be the most powerful tool a good teacher develops. It is in the act of listening that we allow students to rise to expectation, shift perspective and feel their own internal knowingness. Active listening engages student’s attention and helps them to expand their own knowingness. It also creates an atmosphere of warmth and love which motivates students to strive to do their best.

Many years ago a dear friend of mine lost her mother. After the funeral, she and her four siblings were sitting around the table laughing and crying and telling stories about their beloved mother. Eventually, her eldest sister confessed, “I know this is hard on all of you but ultimately this is the most difficult for me. You see, I was always mom’s favorite.” A pregnant pause ensued while everyone gathered their thoughts. Eventually they all said, “No, no, no!!! I was mom’s favorite!” Could there be anything more powerful than a mother whose children all believe they are the most cherished?

Human nature is to please. We all work extra hard to please the loving mother, the doting father and the high minded teacher. Imre was an inspirational leader because he knew how to make everyone feel respected, valued and appreciated. We all believed we were his personal favorite. In my mind, his death has opened the heart of CCS – with each of his “favorites” hungry to share Imre reflections, there is more talking and reaching out on campus. Ironically, the lasting impact of Imre’s personal touch style of teaching may be a renewed commitment to collaboration.

Imre’s life inspired a great and empowering legacy – a true commitment to creativity, innovation and thinking outside the box. I am proud to be one favorite in a crowd of many – it insures my ability to tap into the great resources left behind in the collective memory of my many new friends.

 

Molly Beauregard

Found Within

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My childhood neighborhood; was one of those where everybody knew everybody and I knew these streets like the back of my hand. I knew which families lived in which houses, what time Mr. Konsol would pull in the driveway from work, what time Bob and Virginia would water their yard, these details became so known as if I would be tested on this information. Maybe that was what made it so special; it was small enough for us all to grow into a family. Our days were filled with new games, invented activities, neighborhood sports, but never boredom. It was these days that were relatively care free. The only worries were when the street lights were turning on and it was time to head home. The greatest attribute of that vicinity; had to be the woods surrounding us. We considered these trees the essence of what is was to be young. It was our get-a-way, and retreat just feet away from our homes. The majority of my memories took place within these trees. It was the place that we knew we were free to express ourselves and be whatever we wanted to be.

No one was judged; no one argued here, it was just ideal. Within these trees I received my first compliment from a boy, it was the first place I attempted to smoke a cigarette, it was where many secrets were shared and stories were told. What made it so great was how we took something so simple and refined it to be so unique, attaching experiences and memories. Now imagine the devastation when they tore down a section of the infamous woods to build condominiums. This new complex took away our trees and eliminated the safety that we found within them. Since I was too naive to respect economic growth, I handled it quite selfishly. It seemed to be that the reality of all of it sucked the imagination out of us.

Looking back now, I appreciate how we were able to take something so basic and formulate it into euphoria. Nature so effortlessly inspired us to be ourselves and taught us to appreciate the most simplistic things in life. I did not think it was possible to find that simplicity again until this semester. I have recently discovered that…“Everything worth knowing can be known within.”

Erica Kimber | Interior Design Student, College for Creative Studies

 

 

Movement

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A certain professor once told me that I needed to start finding intellectual pursuits that furthered my growth as a human being and kept my mind off of others. She also said that people were a matter of the heart, and all I needed to worry about was how to love them better. Three months later and I am just now starting to really understand what she meant by that.

This past year has presented some personal life challenges that forced me to look at people in a different light, and it wasn’t positive. I became discouraged and sour, introverted and detached, and very not my usual self. And as a naturally self-aware person, I could only let the charades continue for so long. So, I decided to make some changes.

The coming new year seemed like a perfect time to flip my world upside down and refuse to take any more bullshit from myself. So that’s exactly what I did. I got up, de-cluttered my house, and organized my studio. Oh, and I started practicing yoga. This ladies and gentlemen, is a monumental feat. As I have not only challenged myself to do it every day for 365 days, but I have also began to blog about it.

My intellectual pursuits are now becoming very satisfied, as well as my desire to get into shape and meditate. I’m excited to get back into writing too, another resolution of mine. (The number of birds I’m killing here with this one stone is really starting to add up) As a once anti-blogging, out of practice with journaling, glassblower revs up to write something every day for a year about her experiences with moving meditation.

Whoa, ok. Now that I’ve announced my big challenge, I can move on to the real point of this post. When going to set up my tumblr, I had completely forgotten that two years ago, when I was not so determined, I opened a tumblr account and posted a hidden gem. It was all about moving from the past and coming to terms with my situation. If I’m not mistaken, I was doing a lot of journaling around that time, and also had some family/relationship hardships that I was going through. So it’s very appropriate that I would write something like this.

It’s a very stream of conscious entry, so much so, that I completely forgot and denied that I wrote it for the first ten minutes upon discovering it. But lo and behold, it’s mine (I even goggled it). Oddly enough, it’s still extremely relevant in my life today, just in a completely different way. But this time around it’s so much better, because I’m finally moving and becoming present in my own life.

I hope you can find some meaning or truth in my thoughts. After all they’re not really mine, but more so a collective of thoughts, my words just merely an interpretation.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my blog @ www.spiritgangster.tumblr.com, and follow it if you’d like.  I’d really appreciate it!

What are we, where are we going, and where are we from? Thy do not tell me in thine stories of fact and foe. For the love of thy soul rests not. I dreamt of a day when the true tale of thus far was no longer real. My days possessed in the soul are those that I cherish deeply and wish to let go, and move on from. They are true inner workings that will always be there. They are the ghosts of my eternal soul. 

I live within, there fore I am. I am within; there fore I am not within. I am, but I am not. Nothing is for certain, and that we can coin with it. We are what we set out to believe and be. What do you want, and how can you get it. Do you know how to get it, and to get it yourself. For you have to be sly and cunning, but not deceiving, honest action and movement. Vivace. Movement. The constant action of the body and mind, which stimulates the senses and keeps the soul sane. 

Different types of work, all creative, all approached from a different angle. What a life. We must strive to be more everyday, every single fucking day. We must strive to be better people, we must adore the earth that we walk on, and we must know what is good for us in our heart. We are the people. We are the life that we want to be. 

I am no more a truer being than what I was yesterday. I am what I am. I am that which lives on and on and on. And I am what will always be in the person next to me. And within me, and around me, and all over me. I am the power. I am the true being. I am the strength. I am. Me. Love me. Love you. Love all.

 

Namaste

Brit Hamlin | Glassblowing major at College for Creative Studies

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A Time to Listen

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How does one learn to listen to that inner voice in a society that values alert problem solving and devalues silence? Learning transcendental meditation this past semester has helped me to understand that it was a mistake to believe that what was happening outside of me was creating my life. When in reality my internal self has been creating my life experience all along. Through the practice of meditation I have learned to stop and listen. Listen to what my body and mind were asking for and, more importantly, not allow the troubles in my head to steal too much of my time. Over time I have begun to see that positive thinking will see me through, positive actions will pave the path I seek. The moment I start doubting myself, I will see that doubt reflected in others. Making sure my truest desires influence my actions pushes doubt to the faintest level of my mind. I have learned who I am by recognizing who I am not and by rubbing up against that which I don’t want to be.

When you know who you are, then nothing that happens when exposing yourself to opposing parties is able to penetrate you. You see your pain in all people; you see your struggle in all people because you know you’ve been there before and felt it. You learn not to force your beliefs on others or hold on to feelings that do not belong to you. As William Shakespeare says, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” We all play many roles throughout our life. Our success lies in not losing sight of our inner Self. Commitment to that most silent self is what will ultimately allow one to stay on track.

We can choose what role we want to play in society. We can also choose what it is that we want to give and receive. Though there is no denying that our environment influences how we feel, I now realize that I am the creator of my own cage. The door to my cage is always open. I don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations other than my own. Each step I take can be a step toward building that cage or ripping the door open. Being a part of the planning, construction and demolishment of your own story is what makes you alive.

Jennifer Bueso | College for Creative Studies | Interior Design

 

The Effortless Ease of True Creativity

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It is my belief that reaching enlightenment will not happen over night or come with force but with ease and great passion towards unlocking the inner core of the mindless self. Fulfillment of this goal comes with perseverance in bettering the current state of living and reflecting on the past, present and future to move forward to a greater state of being. My goal is to continue living with the knowledge and great guidance of those who have come before me and to view life as a weightless journey filled with everyday opportunities that arise from hard work and positivity.

Life has a funny way of throwing you into hard situations that require decision-making and tough choices. There will always be rough points in life which may be difficult to overcome. Not handling a crisis well creates a crooked path into the future. The best way to avoid this is to limit the obstacles that could arise in your life through reflection and the practice of meditation. Preparing for the future isn’t an innate skill set but one that can be learned with knowledge of living accurately.

According to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the transcendental meditation movement, “every thought springs from the deepest layer of the mind but is only appreciated consciously when it reaches the superficial level of ordinary awareness. Re organization of mental material goes on in the depths at the subtle levels. Creativity consists in the ability to appreciate and make use of these subtle levels, and this ability in turn depends on the capacity of the individual to allow his mind to become still. One cannot see into the depths of a pool unless the surface is perfectly calm (Anthony Campbell, Seven States of Consciousness: A Vision of Possibilities Suggested by the Teaching of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 137). Reaching those deeper levels of pure tranquility through the practice of meditation helps to release your mind and strengthen your inner creativity. The fact is that creativity is already in existence within you but buried behind the barriers of everyday life. This is the life I want to live and grow from, to be aware of my surroundings and take in the world around me and not be clouded by fear or worry. I want to help others and be the person who spreads the light of guidance to those before me.

Imagine all of the possibilities to cherish life during every moment without having to understand why it is that you are doing what it is you are doing but to simply embrace every moment of existence. This is the path I want to run down – not the crooked un-easy path laid with uneven stones which complicate the surface. The surface of my path should be made smooth by my own reflection and habitual practice of meditation. I want to embrace my inner creativity and relish every aspect of life while inspiring others to feel the same.

Kaylee Johnson | College for Creative Studies

http://kayyjohnson.blogspot.com/

 

Slowing Down on Life’s Super-Highway

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One gorgeous, sunny day in Austin, Texas, I found myself contemplating my career of thirteen years. Actually, I’d begun thinking about leaving three years prior, but this time I was serious and full of courage, determination, and willingness, no longer thinking “what else could I possibly do?!?” You see, I’d worked in public safety since I was twenty-two, working as an EMT and Paramedic in various capacities throughout those years, fighting stress, burn-out and fatigue. Now…I knew it was time to move on! Change was on its way.

I’d been living the high-paced city life for way too long. Often I would rationalize that my pay rate of $12 to $30 per hour, depending on my job assignment, made everything worth it. Being disconnected from emotion as part of my job created an emptiness that is beyond words. The pure stress of my work was almost unbearable at times. I’d frequently eat in the car in order to be able to make my next appointment and I’d always purchase pre-made meals from Whole Foods. I kept a very precise calendar and planned at least one month in advance. On my days off I would deal with severe traffic, often times taking me over an hour to get across town to visit a friend. Occasionally, I didn’t even leave my apartment due to exhaustion. It all took a toll on me, one that came with a high cost to my mind and body – it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I wanted something more fulfilling. I wanted to rediscover myself and find a life that brought me joy.

It’s funny how The Universe works. I’d thought about “going back to school” during those three final contemplative and peace-seeking years. Once, I returned to the community college where I’d taken classes before, attempting to fit my credits into something I wanted to do now. No. That wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I considered various other things I believed I was interested in learning or doing. Those doors closed, too. It was as if The Universe had a plan and if I could get out of the way long enough, It would lead me to the best-suited place I could imagine.

I arrived in Fairfield, Iowa on August 17th, 2011 after selling the majority of my stuff and a two-day drive, pulling the remainder of what I owned in the smallest U-Haul available. Big changes occurred in a very short period of time! Let me recap them for you: I quit the only job I’ve ever really known, got rid of a bunch of material attachments, left my friends and family, and moved to a small town in another state that happens to be in the middle of nowhere. Doubts occasionally filled my mind. “What was I thinking?!? I don’t like cold weather! And the landscape around here isn’t the most enticing.” Yet, somehow, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Fairfield instantly felt like home.

The first few months was a roller-coaster ride! I was met with so much kindness, compassion, and support. I simply didn’t know how to handle it. These concepts were mere concepts before I got here to Fairfield, so my emotions were up and down while I was adjusting to the idea of receiving and trusting. Meditation helped. I was happy I could sit with myself in silence more than two minutes at a time, which is all I could stand when I initially learned basic meditation from a book.

Here at M.U.M. we practice Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM. We meditate in our classroom for ten minutes before lunch, then another twenty minutes prior to the end of the class day. A third meditation is highly encouraged, which I normally did in the mornings before school. TM is a natural stress-releaser, and it helped me purify all the stress I’d built up.

But my purification process took quite a while – it felt like forever! I was enjoying my classes, but my first semester was a bit brutal; at least it was in my head. The community and other students really made the ride easier. They comforted me with their loving arms, which is what I’d been yearning for. It was then I began to understand why all of these people were so compassionate and supportive of one another, because after I’d purged the majority of my own personal stress, I became more like that, more like the person I desired to be. The second semester started off a bit rocky, but once I got past that part I felt re-strengthened, vibrant and confident I could get through anything. I now trusted myself and The Universe, wholeheartedly.

Today, I have truly learned to slow down and trust in the process we call “life.” I enjoy almost everything about living here and going to school at M.U.M. The 1.5 hour work-study shifts are pleasant, even if I only make $7.50 per hour. The cold weather is even bearable. And making plans? HA! I love not having to keep a calendar! I have really learned how to “take it as it comes” and live in the moment. I rarely drive my car these days, often walking or riding my bike around town. I even cook my own meals, frequently sharing time with friends. Most importantly, I’m reconnected to my emotions, body, heart, and mind.

I finally got out of the way. I gave my keys to Divine Order, and The Universe took the wheel. I’m continuing this trip I like to call Transformation and Transcendence. Slowing down and simplicity are now my motto. My meditation mantra is what I use to gain access to The Super-Highway where I’ve found joy! Here…there are no tolls.

Keli Dean | Maharishi University of Management

Start Small, Think Big: Building a Foundation for the Future

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I’m a dreamer. I have a huge imagination and a tendency to idealize the way things should be. But sometimes these high ideals cause me to become impatient because I’m not always able to get to where I want to be fast enough. ‘Start small, think big’ is an aphorism I’ve found comfort in reminding myself over the years, and one I’ve largely benefited from.

I’ve been blogging continuously for about 14 months now, and around the time of my initial blog launch anniversary in October, I realized it was time for a serious blog makeover. I took the best parts of my old blog and transformed it into something bigger and better—Sustainalizer. This transformation made me realize just how far I’d come in a relatively short period of time; that I started on a small scale and now my work is undoubtedly expanding in a positive way.

Sustainalizer is a grassroots hub for socially and environmentally conscious information. It is dedicated to creating a sustainable, just and peaceful world for all beings, by educating people on the most important issues today given humanity’s fragile economic, ecological, and social state. Sustainalizer advocates and shares information on taking action for change, progressive news, healthy recipes and restaurant reviews, self-help and alternative healing.

Start small, think big has been a wonderful affirmation for me; always reminding me that starting on a small scale is not a bad thing. After all, that is what sustainability is all about—building a strong, sustainable foundation so that the future is not compromised by a faulty infrastructure. With enough hard work and persistence, we will all end up where we want to be!

You can subscribe by email to Sustainalizer, here 🙂

With love and light,
Samantha | (Normally) Your Food Fanatic

Socially Awkward Networking

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Recently, I read an article about how Facebook improves communication skills. It suggests that social networks are practice for gaining “21st century skills needed to be successful in today’s society”. This pushed my buttons just a little bit. I’m all for Facebook just as much as the next person. It is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. But, there is just something so extremely impersonal about the whole thing.

Facebook offers individuals a way to express themselves freely, which is fine, but it also may indirectly call them to be inconsiderate. I’ve found out things about people that I didn’t want or need to know just by browsing through my news feed. It goes from extreme comments, to mundane information, to something that should be said in person. On the same page I can find out that one friend just made a sandwich or another is dying of cancer. Looking at my own personal experiences of how my friends have communicated with me through Facebook — purposely or not — has left me feeling very unimportant and disconnected.

For one example, my boyfriend of three years broke up with me publicly, via Facebook, by simply changing his relationship status. Not only was it completely insulting that this was not said in person but it was open for everyone to view. Recently a good friend of mine was in a tragic accident. She died shortly thereafter. Instead of having someone track me down or give me a phone call, I found out because of R.I.P. messages being left on her wall. This literally began to happen a scant 15 minutes after her death.  Finding out something so heart breaking from starring at a computer screen, made the whole situation even worse.

In the article it says young people use Facebook to build new connections with people from all over the world. But what’s the point of building new ones if you don’t know how to sustain your current ones properly. I grew up with the internet and for a long time I had terrible people skills due to not knowing how to communicate face to face. Facebook is a way of communicating without taking responsibility for what is being said. It makes it seem like the words are not real and do not matter, which in cyberland, I suppose they aren’t.  Unfortunately, in real life, casual Facebook messaging can leave a lasting impression on one’s heart.

 

 

Christinn Najjar | Photography Student
College for Creative Studies

http://christiannajjarphotography.com/

 

Entire Life Meditation

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Today, I am graduating from Yoga Teacher Training. The last two months have included well over 200 hours of yoga practice. So instead of giving you a specific project, idea, ritual or practice for living sustainably on this Sunday, I am going to share with you my final paper, which I feel is an approachable anecdote to sustainability through the practice of meditation and yoga.

In Yoga Beyond Belief Ganga White states, “Your entire life is meditation, all other specific forms of meditation are secondary.” In order to lead a fulfilled life, we have ideals for how we must interact with the world. We have life partners, we maintain relationships, we raise children, we work. According to Ganga White, these day-to-day activities are all “entire life” meditations.

What is the difference then, between entire life meditation and specific practice meditation? I have always felt that the benefits of my specific meditation practice come not in the act of sitting, but instead reveal themselves later in ordinary everyday interactions. When I fall out of my specific meditation practice, although I am still “meditating” in everyday life encounters, I am not reaping the benefits from sitting quietly with myself. As White says, “…all other specific forms of meditation are secondary.” However, in my opinion, bringing in a specific meditation practice will transform your entire life.

Because I sometimes choose to fall slightly away from my meditation practice, I am able to more closely examine my body physically, mentally as well as physiologically to process the differences when I am regularly meditating and when I am not.  The most specific example I can give for the benefits of regularly meditating is having a language. When I am practicing twice a day for twenty minutes everyday, I reach access to a library of words I cannot find easily when I am out of practice. I am able to hear words flow out of my mouth without thinking about how I want to say them or what order to say them in. It’s as if I am one step ahead of myself, saying exactly what it is I meant to say, yet being amazed by what comes out.

White says in reference to a seated meditation practice, “How can we escape mental pressure through yet another form of effort and control?” I respectfully disagree. Yes, It does take effort and control to have a regular specific meditation practice. For me, it’s a few half sun salutations before sitting and sometimes fighting the urge to burst up and get on with my day. Effort. Control. As I often say, the hardest part about meditating is actually sitting down to do it. Effort. Control. But my specific meditation practice greatly increases my chance to “escape mental pressure.” My regular practice is actually my tool for escaping mental pressure. It has become an organization mechanism in my mind. Seated Meditation allows me to categorize my actions, thoughts, my reactions and my emotions without thinking about each one of them independently.

Where is that space we are going to? What great plethora of “stuff” am I accessing and bathing in when I dive deep? This “stuff” reveals itself in multiple areas of my life, one example is my yoga practice. I have been practicing yoga for less than half the time I have been meditating. My meditation has deeply informed my yoga practice. Additionally I would say that my yoga practice has deeply informed my “entire life meditation”. It has created a space for desire to live a healthy life. It engages me with my community. It makes me want to live in a more sustainable way so that I may be actively involved in helping reduce the damage we consistently do to mother earth. Combining my meditation practice with my yoga practice allows me to resurface from inside my mind with fresh, creative, healthy ideas. These ideas, present themselves to me as if they are separate from me. Ideas that may resonate with other people. Ideas I’d like to share.

I have always been a teacher. When I was seven, living in Oregon as an only child, I remember educating the neighborhood kids on the different trees and bushes and bugs in my backyard. When I was fourteen I would collect a list of all the animals we would see on the way to the bus stop. I would read encyclopedias with intent to teach my friends about the calls of the species we would hear. I would talk about why they are native to our area, what they eat, when they mate. Similarly, as a twenty five year old, I adhere to the practice of yoga. Attaching myself to a lineage right away, knowing what I need from this experience early in the game. The seven and fourteen year old me emerge in my approach to diving deep into the subject, in order to bring the knowledge to others.

Starting Tuning the Student Mind was my attempt to invoke this spirit in others who are my age. As cliché as it sounds, we ARE the future. It is our duty to lead grounded, healthy, sustainable lifestyles. Because yoga and meditation create the space for desire to do those things, we need to bring yoga and meditation to students. Creating academic classes structured around practices that invoke spiritual awakening is no easier than moving a graveyard down the street. But this organization is one of my “entire life meditations”, an idea sparked by the act of meditating itself. And it has transformed in infinite, undeniable ways through of the act of practicing yoga.

It must be then, that your entire life is yoga. Every other specific yoga practice is secondary. I don’t know if Ganga White would agree but this, to me, is the meaning of bringing yoga off your mat. Be it yoga or meditation, both have been deeply seeded in my being for my entire life. Off my mat, in everyday life, on my mat, seated…all of these reach the “stuff” in some way or another. They just all access it and process it differently.

Our entire lives are one full meditation from start to finish. By practicing seated meditation and living our yoga on and off the mat, we learn about our mind, how it works, what it prefers, what it distastes. By bringing the “stuff” out and into our everyday lives, we learn about our full self, how to interact with others, what they prefer, what they distaste. When we are able to analyze both perspectives of meditation – “entire life” meditation and specific practice meditation – and unite them with one another, we are ready to progress, work together, be compassionate, learn, adjust, center and continuously advance.

Chelsea Richer

 

 

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