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Late Summer 2015 Newsletter: The Practice of Relationship

22 Jul 2015 12:25 PM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)

July 2015

Dear Friends,

I'm thinking more and more about how mindfulness practice is about relationship. About relationship to our own thinking and emotions. About relationship with each other. Habits of relationship are so powerful and automatic that we hardly notice them, taking for granted that things are just that way. But are they really? Always?

Consider how you relate to tasks, to time, to memory, to the whole show. What motivates us? What drives us? There are no easy answers to any of this but our regular mindfulness practice can shed some light. Our practice can help us to pause and consider. Is this situation or person or tendency really always that way? Really automatic? Or are things more flexible and changing? 

Lately I've been especially enjoying my morning meditation practice because a friend comes over to the little meditation hut I've built in the back yard. Practicing on my own there's often a little resistance (or a lot) but when my friend comes over there's none at all. It's just time to practice. We sit together and there's a groundedness and a peacefulness I can feel. And I can feel this even if the mind is agitated or tired or jumpy. And especially when the mind is quiet. One morning in Spring when it was raining comes to my mind now. The sound of the rain, the feeling of the breathing, the support of my friend's presence.

I've been hearing lately from many of you that you too are seeking out friends to practice mindfulness with. To sit together. To do the gentle mindful yoga together. Perhaps a reading or a poem or a conversation about  how it's going that's supported by the practice to be a little more real. That's really wonderful.

Practice also helps me see how self-focused the mind can be. I know that my friend's arrival at 7am each morning for practice helps me get me out the door and onto the cushion. But it's hard for me actually feel and understand that it helps him too! Of course I know this in a kind of intellectual way and we thank each other periodically for the friendship and the mutual support. But the real feeling of this two-way support is only available to my mind if I slow down enough to drop into it. To feel it. 

It's surprising how rarely we feel the reality of how much we help each other in everything we do. We can be so wrapped up in "how is this for me" that we miss the radical interconnection and relating that's happening all the time. But when we do it usually feels so good. Our lives feel more real. More alive. Brighter.

Which reminds me of a quotation from the Chinese Buddhist teacher Sheng-Yen I saw recently.

 When we share our light with others, we do not diminish our own light. Rather, we increase the amount of light available to all. Therefore, when others light our candle, we issue forth light. When out of gratitude we use

our candle to light other people’s candles, the whole room gets brighter.

May we all be real together and share the light of that real-ness.

Best wishes,

Tim Burnett
Executive Director, Mindfulness Northwest


Late Summer and Fall Events with Mindfulness Northwest

Seattle: "Meeting Mindfulness" Day Workshops

Two one-day workshops on mindfulness we're calling "Meeting Mindfulness" are being offered this Fall. This workshop combines introductory instruction in mindfulness with a day-long immersive experience. 
  • Saturday September 26th sponsored by UW The Whole U and UW Medicine for the University of Washington community. For anyone with a UW NetID.
  • Saturday October 24th for Healthcare Professionals sponsored by Washington Physicians Health Program. For any Healthcare provider.

 Seattle Classes for Healthcare Providers
Seattle Workshop for Psychologists (6 CEs) Bellingham Summer Classes & Retreat:
Our usual summer drop-in classes are going well on Monday evenings through July and August. This year we're going to use the small classroom adjacent to Mindfulness Northwest's offices. Mondays 7pm until August 24thDetails here (and an option to pre-pay online).

I'm looking forward our summer day retreat will be held at the gorgeous Semiahmoo County Park, near Blaine, WA, this year on August 22nd. Details here.

Semiahmoo Sunset

Bellingham - Fall Classes for the Community:

A wonderful retreat from our friends at the Mindfulness Institute.ca in Edmonton, Alberta

Mindful Self-Compassion Retreat August 22 - 28 with Steve Hickman and Michelle.

Tim will be attending this 5-day retreat based on the 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion course developed by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. It's a quick direct flight from Vancouver or Seattle to Edmonton.

We're hiring! MBSR Teacher Position

Half-time position for an enthusiastic and skilled Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher for Seattle-area teaching. Possible starts in Fall 2015 or Winter 2016. Please email the office with your resume and please let friends now.   office@mindfulnessnorthwest.com 


Mindfulness Teacher Training Program
Application Deadline for the 2nd wave of applicants extended to July 31st
Discernment Option for Potential Teachers: October 1-4
We've received a wonderful set of applications which we are in the midst of processing now and there is one last slot available. 

Information about this exciting opportunity for 2015-16 can be found on the MTTP page to go directly to the application click here.

Apply by July 31st to be considered please.
We're opening the initial MTTP retreat to those who want to explore future participation in mindfulness teacher training. You'll be able to practice alongside this years trainees as we discern our motivations and values around teaching mindfulness to others.

The retreat will be a mix of silent practice and reflection exercises with lots of community building. Come dip into the trainee community and get a feel for whether this might be a part of your future path.

Fall Retreat Options for the whole Community
Join us on retreat this November at the peaceful church camp we rent on Samish Island in the Skagit Valley for a weekend or consider joining us for a full week.

The Fall Weekend Retreat option is Friday November 6th 4pm through Sunday November 8th at 2pm. 

The full week Roots of Mindfulness Retreat runs Friday November 6th 4pm through Friday November 13th at 3pm. For serious students and teachers of mindfulness. 

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