Here, a poem supporting a dear friend during high summer

This incredible sunset inspired these simple words that flowed toward a dear friend that evening as I awaited a Blue Moon in July of 2015.  There on the hilltop looking toward home in Hillsboro.  Let me offer this poem, Here,  to you as well.  As a dear friend no matter who you are.

Perhaps it will speak to you, support you,  help you to meet life ‘here’ in some kind way.

Kind Regards  —  Brant

Welcoming as a Way of Meeting the World

Dear Folks;  One morning recently I was taken by the urge to share, write and speak about welcoming.  It was a new day, one I was thankful for.  Not that the day had done anything in particular to earn that thankfulness.  I was simply thankful for the opportunity to be alive, to drink in the elements of the experience of being alive.

Perhaps it was a morning of living and sensing life’s precious and beautiful essentials and offering them back to the world as Carrie Newcomer describes in her lovely song Bare to the Bone;  “What we do in love and kindness is all we ever leave behind.”

Likewise the morning may have been an experience of vulnerability.  Powerful vulnerability toward the beautiful and difficult elements of life as Brene Brown describes in her TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability.

Perhaps it could be called a moment of Grace as David Brooks describes in a recent podcast interview: moments of clarity, openness, appreciation that hit us once in a while.  And then as he describes, we long to be worthy of those moments of Grace by living with them side-by-side and even guided by them.  

As I let the morning open to welcoming, the meditation below emerged.  I hope you are encouraged.  So often we encounter the fears, disappointments, and traumas and clinch inward as we hold back from welcoming.   Perhaps this will encourage you and find you welcoming yourself and others a bit more today.

Welcome Meditation

 

Coaching and Trainings for Organizations Over the Years

 

 

Dear Folks;  A number of years ago I began to get requests from organizations to provide mindfulness-based trainings and coaching sessions,  I have worked with a diversity of organizations and many professions since then to develop and deliver coaching and training programs tailored to their unique goals and intentions; better interpersonal communication, leadership, health and wellbeing, stress reduction, enhanced teamwork.

My unique quality as a coach and trainer is to work with each group in a relevant and tailored way to find the elemental qualities of balance, communication, and interpersonal relationships that move an organization toward it mission.

It seems like my work as a Peach Corps Volunteer, corporate work from shift worker to executive, and decode of government service have all provided a broad, empathic background for serving you.  Below is a sampling of my programs.  Contact me if you would like to learn more.

Listening at the Shores of the Great Silence, On the Brink of Everything

I awoke this morning to the lyrics of one of my beloved artists, Carrie Newcomer.  Tearfully thankful she put words to such wisdom.  Her recent song, On the Brink of Everything (Youtube video & Lyrics below),  seems to echo so much of what becomes more evident with the passing years, with the kind disciple of contemplative practice, across years of teaching, and with timeless wisdom that seems to be shared by folks across time and many cultures.  Antonio Machado, the great Spanish poet of the last century spoke of this same thing in his timeless poem, Last Night as I was Sleeping, especially the last stanzas that speak of listening at the “Edge of the Great Silence.”

I couldn’t help but share these with you .  My hope is that they will be nourishing perspective during this turbulent time in our nation’s, our world’s history, and perhaps in your personal life.  It’s my invitation for us to find our way to settle a little more thoroughly and kindly on this ‘edge’ and the ‘brink’ of life’s rich offerings; both joyful and challenging.

Practices shared here in my classrooms are ways toward that, though I am sure, you will find your own ways.  Follow your heart as I recently have been sharing in my MBSR students midway through their training, “There is no right way, there is your way.”

On a more personal note and for those of you who are my students, the lyrics of Carrie Newcomer’s On the Brink of Everything capture the heart of the motivation of teaching and coaching for me.  In one stanza she writes “I never sang ’cause I know something, I sang because it’s a prayer.  The finest one that i could bear.”

Dear folks, I hope you sense that same spirit about what I offer.  I will echo her sentiment to clarify the heart of what I intend.

“I never taught because I knew something, I taught because it’s a prayer.  The finest one that i can bear.”

Kindest Regards  —  Brant

Carrie’s On the Brink of Everything via YouTube:

 

Why I became a Yoga Teacher!

I have met many folks who have become yoga teachers.  Their motivations are very diverse though what they most often have in common is a full sense that this art and science has been to very helpful to them personally and they wish to share with others as a loving contribution to help make life better for others.

Come and meet a number of folks who have trained to teach and are just beginning or have done so for many years.

Perhaps you are someone just interested in yoga and want to learn more about it.  Perhaps you are a student with burning questions to ask a teacher about their path, perhaps you are a yoga teacher and just want to meet other teachers and folks that show up.

You’re all welcome to attend!

Hope to see you here!  Please RSVP to assure there is enough room for all!

Kind Regards  —  Brant

Nice Restaurants Nearby if you choose to share the evening!  See the list:  Find Yoga Hillsboro & Nearby Restaurants.

How can we be present to what’s happening in the world without giving in?

You and I see the images of families separated at our borders, refugees making perilous journeys is small rickety boats, and read headlines of difficulty and despair.  If you are like me it is often way too much.  How can we let all that in and feel in any way that we can offer something helpful?

Without answering that question directly, my intuitive sense this summer was to devote more of my time to support folks nearby more directly in any way I could; donations of time, money, effort to those in need and those helping others.  Last term I put together an evening to share with everyone to ponder the question together, “How to make the world a better place?”  Likewise I offered time and space here for morning meditations a couple of times a week to provide a quiet, safe place to share a quality of attentive presence with one another, in the face of whatever life is right now.

Of course this does not fix the bigger problems around us and the sense of helplessness to affect the bigger problems still lingers.   Yet . . . something, some small thing,  has been offered in a direction that is hopeful.  That seems to lead toward further contribution.  Perhaps at Helen Keller noted what we sense can be “. . . transmuted to the deeper faith.”

I was so thankful and encouraged when a friend sent along this podcast from the NPR program OnBeing.  It’s commentary by Krista Tippet, the show’s host.  She has interviewed hundreds of people on her show.  Folks who meet the challenges, huge challenges, seemingly unsolvable challenges of the world in ways that are courageous and hopeful.  What so many of them have in common is a sense of hope.  A willingness to lean deeply into the problem at hand with courage, compassion, and hope.  A sense of ‘Yes, and . . .’  Seeing the world for all its difficulty and the joy that is tucked in there nearby.

Here is an incredibly hopeful and encouraging commentary by Krista Tippet about her struggle to make sense of the difficulties she sees every day and her willingness to practice hope, give herself permission to sense joy even as she works to make the world a better place.

I hope this will encourage you as it did me  —  Brant

How can we be present to what’s happening in the world without giving in to despair and hopelessness?  commentary podcast  by Krista Tippet on NPR’s OnBeing

 

Morning Meditation Practice this Summer; Wednesdays & Sundays, 7 – 8am


I am so very glad to share morning meditation practice with you this summer on Wednesday and Sunday mornings.  Sharing with one another an attentive, strong, and compassionate presence encourages these qualities as we meet the challenges of daily life.  

More details about these mornings here (signing up, how we’ll practice, outline, activities):  Morning Meditations

Everyone, the public is welcome.

Kind Regards  —  Brant

Yoga for Osteoporosis Series; July 9th, 16th & 23rd

This is a series and general overview of the information and yoga postures laid out in Dr. Loren Fishman’s book Yoga for Osteoporosis.  This series will be both informational and experiential.  There will be readings and assignments.  Simple postures outlined in Dr. Fishman’s book will be introduced and reviewed.  Read an article about his work:  8 Poses for Bone Health.

Here’s a link to a very good New York Times article about yoga and osteoporosis and a review of Dr. Fishman’s book:  12 minutes of Yoga for Bone Health  

Talk over and get a referral with your healthcare provider prior to registration if you are in a acute phase of bone pain or difficulties.

This will be a full learning experience class with homework and requires Pre-register and commitment to complete the series.  Dr. Fishman’s book is included with your tuition if you register by July 1st. If you do not preregister by July 1st and there is still room after that date please make sure you have a copy of the book by class one on July 9th.  Readings from Dr. Fishman’s book will be part of your homework.

$70 for the series;  Mondays, July 9th, 16th, 23rd; 7-8:30pm  Send in or bring your tuition to class one on July 9th  Contact Brant to pre-register.

Loving Dad: Early Morning Father’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Begin Father’s Day with the brief gift of attentive presence in simple contemplative practice, readings about fatherhood and parenting, reflecting on how we might honor the fathers in our lives and ourselves.  Bring a story, photo, heirloom or otherwise about fatherhood and share a bit if you wish.

This is intended to be a unique and nourishing  way to begin your day of honoring fatherhood.  Perhaps honoring your father, your father’s father, fathers you know, you as father, perhaps a son or relative who is a young father.  If you bring your Dad he is welcome as my guest.

Learning materials will be included during this shared morning with you.  Materials for writing a card for Dad will be available and included.   8-9:15am with doors open at 7:30am. $15 tuition.

Please RSVP/Preregister so we have enough space for all!  More details:  Loving Dad more details link.

Kind Regards  —  Brant

The Holy Longing

 

 

 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

 

These passages seem to capture some of the essence of the consequences of practice as we continue a way of living with a sense of offering an unqualified attentive presence.  Of course in Goehe’s time the notion of mindfulness was nonexistent though of course presence or mindfulness is simply a quality of being human.  We all find our own way as Goethe reflects in his writing.

 

 

The Holy Longing
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tell a wise person or compassionate, or be silent,
because the fearful, angry, or reactive person will shut you out.
I adore what is truly alive in us,
The passion and longing will risk everything

In the calm waters of loving,
where you were conceived, where you have conceived,
wonder can claim you,
wonder in the warm light and searing flame of a candle.

In such moments you are no longer obsessed with darkness,
a desire to know love more deeply will sweep you upward.

This won’t make you falter.
You’ll sense magic as if flying,
then lust for that light,  insane for that light
you’ll be the moth and you’ll enter the flame
and you’ll be gone; you will be transformed.

As long as you avoid such passion, such commitment, such loss; to die and so to grow, you will only be a troubled guest on this dark earth.