Welcome to Stage 2: Delving Deeper
Week 5: Summary
Congratulations! You've made it to the end of Stage 2 - and here, don't worry if you didn't get to all of it I will be recapping everything on the webinar tomorrow evening, so pop along and join in for our group session at 8pm or just continue reading.
Today I wanted to summarise everything for you about stage 2 before we delve into stage 3 (and some of my most favourite teachings!) Also I'm in the midst of creating the new website which I hope will have logins for you all so that you can access your content on the site thus keeping everything together for you to access and use whenever you want.
We started stage 2 with the four noble truths and Buddhas teachings about suffering. Basically he said, over 2,500 years ago that we are all unhappy because we contribute to, cause, and are unaware of the suffering we inflict on ourselves, others and the world. Now this isn't something to blame ourselves for, its more important that we become aware of where in our life we can reduce our suffering. Once we become aware then we can begin to make changes that are good for us, and in doing so contribute to our happiness.
Which led us to mindful eating (week 2) and the firt invitation was to start to become aware of what you may be ingesting that may be a cause of suffering - not only with respect to food, but also conversations we have, the tv we watch, the radio we listen to, the words that we read.
Another contributor to our suffering is the busy lifestyles we lead. The stories of Sysiphus (week 3) and the tale of the horse (week 4) demonstrated this, we are so caught up in our busyness that often we miss the moment, we miss life. As life is only ever in the now.
With the cessation of our busyness and reduction in this form of suffering, we rest, we heal and we gain awareness about other patterns of behaviour, certain foods, or ways of thinking that may be contributing to our suffering.
(Note: Mindfulness is not about not doing, it's about doing what we need to do in this moment and enjoying the life that's here.)
I remember someone saying to me that they couldn't rest as there was no value in it. Well after this stage I hope that I've in some way conveyed how very valuable stopping, resting and being is. Without it we circle in the same patterns, doing the same things, with the same conversations and we may end up burnt out, lethargic and lacking any joy or interest in life. If we want to be happy then we need to make changes and we need to stop in order to see what those changes are.
To me stopping is one of the challenges of mindfulness, the one I'm most resistant to (ah yes, resistance rears its wonderful head here!), so if you remember all the way back when we talked in Stage 1 about resistance - this then shows me that stopping and resting is one of the most important teachings for me as I resist them the most!
I'd love to know how you got on and what your thoughts are on suffering and stopping. Please get in touch - Ellen@Xhale.ie
See you at the webinar tomorrow evening,
Here are all the teachings and practices for Stage 2 and a brand new formal practice for you.