|Debra Mullikin-Kilpatrick & Deba Sengupta|
The Mindfulness Practice Center has been a steady source of comfort and balance in our lives during these difficult past 12 months. The energy and commitment of our community did not diminish even when the pandemic forced us to abruptly switch our weekly in-person gatherings to virtual meetings via Zoom. Indeed, we evolved into a wider, more inclusive community, as nearly 3 in 4 members stated in a survey they regularly attend these Monday evening meditation sessions via zoom. This is a reason to cherish what we do, reach out to more members, and enrich more lives in communities within our physical footprint.
Our community: The survey responses also indicate what members appreciate the most is how we have created this community for ourselves, where shared empathy and spiritual growth exist free from judgement. Members feel relaxed and find peace as guided meditation grounds our wandering minds. The connectedness and synergy of our community help individuals peel away layers of their emotional drivers and understand themselves better.
Practice and topical discussion: Members unanimously appreciate how beneficial and authentic the practice is, pivoting to the quietly discerning way Ted Meissner, a certified teacher of mindfulness, conducts our practice. Through his creative, compassionate, and disciplined approach, Ted effortlessly brings equanimity, kindness, and self-discovery well within our grasp. His ability to unpack complex topics such as the inner critic, forgiveness, avoidance/suppression, acceptance/letting go, while encouraging people to speak their truth, helps transform our topical discussions into listening opportunities for all. When Ted is unavailable, Carole Williamson, a certified workplace mindfulness facilitator, uses her deep understanding of humanity, and her creative and kind demeanor to not let us skip a beat. This community is incredibly fortunate to have them both. Our members also feel that our community is a great place to start a mindfulness practice, for those interested, and encourage anyone to try it on for size.
Member responses to the survey questions clearly portray a collective intent to be mindful in every moment of our lives. We fundamentally agree that the benefits from topical discussions bear more fruit when more individuals share their own thoughts and experiences surrounding the topics. There is a strong desire to explore connections to poetry, book discussions, compelling article topics, and invite guest lectures. We feel committed to expand Mindfulness Practice Center and reach more individuals in our surrounding physical communities. To this end the board is considering several initiatives to leverage local libraries, etc. and integrate outreach efforts in order to make a more meaningful contribution to the broader communit