The truth is always deep beneath the surface level of the words. It is the silent, peaceful knowing that is infectious. This feeling of peace is beyond measure, beyond reason and certainly beyond words.
Many years ago the communication scholar, Marshall McLuhan, famously coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” In other words, McLuhan understood “medium” in the broadest sense. He used the example of the light bulb to describe his theory. A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a profound effect on the environment. A light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence.
Similar to the light bulb, the life of every individual in their every thought, word and action influences the entire field of the cosmos. Therefore, someone with peace at heart naturally vibrates peace and harmony to influence the whole universe.
February 2017 Book of the Month
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.
Rather than offer a book club pick this month, we thought we’d suggest students check out a new website: www.bigwavesstrongboat.com.
Social worker and TTSM friend, Mary Waldon, has put together an outstanding resource for individuals looking for a “taste” of meditation. One of the quandaries of integrating meditation into daily routine is finding the time to sit. This collection of guided meditation allows for an active mindful practice. And, seriously, why not use your shower time to develop mindful awareness? Besides it’s FREE, it’s ONLINE, it’s FRIENDLY and EASY to use. Honestly, Mary may have eradicated all valid excuses for putting off the exploration of self. Enjoy!
It’s interesting how the world works, isn’t it?
When I was younger, I remember being mesmerized by magicians. Trying to figure out how I was being fooled right before my eyes was a game to me. I wanted to master this art of “tricking” people. Magic felt make-believe.
Now that I am older, I realize magic does not only lay in the hands of a magician but also in the perspective you chose to identify with. The soft breeze in the air outside that makes the branches dance, the old man laughing at the comics in the newspaper alone in the diner, the happiness that fills the air with the sound of children’s laughter are all emotions that we as humans resonate with. Magic is real. Magic is simply your fears turned into faith and each moment that we feel love and gratitude.
For so long, I deprived myself of this love. I deprived myself so much that I stopped eating, I checked out of relationships, and I crawled into a ball of jealousy and judgement. I realize now with great awareness that the reason I gave up on love was that I simply couldn’t see the magic. Like I said, it was all make-believe.
Through my recent experiences I have grown in compassion for myself. Having compassion for myself allows me to see that my actions were motivated by raw vulnerability and a confused identity. Now that I have grown up, I have decided to look for the magician within. It is my goal to create magic without any manipulations. I have forgiven myself for my own naivety. By opening my heart to the love I am deserving of, I am able to open my arms for those who still feel tricked.
Your greatest strength is love. Your strongest power is magic. You hold the key to all things good in this world.
We’re thrilled to announce that the Tuning the Student Mind movie is now available for free online.
Click here to view the 27 minute movie as well as our 13 minute deleted scenes.
Molly brought her new puppy to group meditation with the 7th graders at The Boggs School. Gotta admit, he was a bit of a distraction from meditating but Louie sure knows how to spread the love!
January 2017 Book of the Month
New York Times bestselling author and medical intuitive Caroline Myss has found that when people don’t understand their purpose in life the result can be depression, anxiety, fatigue, and eventually physical illness—in short, a spiritual malaise of epidemic proportions. Myss’s experience of working with people led her to develop an insightful and ingenious process for deciphering your own Sacred Contract—or higher purpose—using a new theory of archetypes that builds on the works of Jung, Plato, and many other contemporary thinkers.
I have a beautiful garden in my backyard. The woman who helped me plan it made it clear that we needed to have a diversity of flowers in the bed. We laughed a lot during the planning – you see, I happen to really love lilies and other July blooming flowers. Debra reminded me that I wanted a garden that flowered throughout the year. And, she was right. In the spring, I have tulips and daffodils, in the summer I enjoy my lilies, in the fall I have mums and in the winter berries.
Love is born out of allurement – a gravitational pull toward something. This allurement or attraction is related good smells, a soft touch, a pleasing image, a shared laugh. Love is born out of this attraction.
With meditation and the expansion of consciousness, a new form of love spontaneously flows through us. This love is a love for the sake of love. A love related less to a figure-it-out mentality of evaluation but the simple flow of love as an undercurrent of feeling. An internal lighting up in the mere presence of other. Living in this state of love turns the world into a garden without any favorites.
A meditation on interaction that needs to be watched over and over again to capture its rich, resonant beauty.
Produced by Aj Jackson & Narrated by Molly Beauregard
I have been seeing quite a few posts about meditating for peace lately. Several of them encourage meditating this weekend with the hopes of influencing a positive outcome for our national elections. Frankly, I think it is a good idea.
Neurology has confirmed that the individual human brain is actually hard wired to influence other people within our social circle. In fact, there is a body of scientific evidence that personal thoughts have an infectious nature. Karl Mannheim, the father of the sociology of knowledge, wrote about his sense of this phenomenon in his famous book, Ideology and Utopia. It was his belief that the social emergence of collective thoughts are a reproduction of feelings, understandings and perceptions of individuals living together in society. The ultimate chicken and egg puzzle – historical knowledge conditioned by groups of people living together and social change instigated by conscious beings becoming aware of the power of their thoughts.
It seems logical to me that thinking that comes from a nourished, calm mind will be more positively impactful than thinking that comes from an anxiety riddled mind. Recent research has repeatedly offered evidence that a meditation practice enhances areas of the brain involved in perception and the regulation of emotion.
Thinking is, simply put, a means to both individual and collective evolution. This is why a meditation practice is so imperative. It influences both the personal and the collective. Spending time in silence allows one to transcend the daily input of distractions, noise and stress. The repeated action of sitting in silence incrementally builds more and more purity of thought. Thoughts that bubble up out of an exploration of inner knowing are more likely to be connected to the finest level of feeling.
If my experience of twenty-five years of daily meditation offers one truth, it is this: All you will find at the basis of yourself is a well-spring of love.
Love as an undercurrent to thinking has just got to be good for the environment!
My advice for this weekend – sit, meditate, vote!
~ Molly Beauregard