Exploring Joy Within Mindfulness 

We’ve all experienced moments of joy and wonder: a beautiful sunset is joyful, an act of loving kindness fills us, a nighttime breeze bathes us in deep peace. ….. Then the moment is gone and in its place is an ever so small longing to have another or longer moment.   As human beings we are hardwired for this “joy connection” — which is perhaps why chocolate and Starbucks enjoy such commercial success. …. Happily, this connection is also available through ordinary, everyday mindfulness. 
Simply put, mindfulness is a special way of paying attention –an open-hearted moment of having our full attention in the present moment – a “joy connection,” just like the spontaneous bliss arising from an awesome sunset or the first sip of morning coffee.   We use the word “mindful,” but the joyful or wonder moments happen in an experience of awareness — which goes beyond our thinking mind.  This “joy” experience is not something we “do;” it’s a quality of life that exists, and we move into awareness of it.  
It’s easy to see that sunsets, coffee, and chocolate are not bliss itself; they are only catalysts that kindle our joy within. And since the “joy connection” is what we long for, it’s encouraging to know there are catalysts all around us. Finding and using these catalysts is just a matter of perception and practice; and growing that kind of perception is a natural extension of the open-hearted practice of awareness-centered lovingkindness and gratitude. 
At Tree of Life, our Mindfulness Practice uses a variety of ways to center our attention and develop increased awareness. Along with bringing attention to our senses, breath, and simple movements, we also explore different forms of contemplation. We practice in a meditative environment to enhance our focus, but the exercises are intended to be simple and useful enough to be incorporated into our daily living. There are many ways to make a journey, so the mixture of techniques is an opportunity to explore what works best for each individual’s preference for becoming centered, growing clarity, and uncovering inner resources. 
This process invites us to consider and choose how we want to be in our lives.  Like learning to paint a picture, mindfulness is learned as a skill and, with loving and creative application, it becomes an art. Within mindful awareness are the skills for becoming a Van Gogh or Monet of artful living. 

Group Practice schedule 2023  

Please join us as we explore different ways of being mindful — bringing deeper awareness to our daily lives and deeper presence to others and to all Life.  Since group practice is a supplement to living mindfully, whether you join us or not, please consider taking time to gift yourself with periods of stillness and gratitude. Such a gift to yourself is always a gift to others… and ultimately, to the Life we all share.  

This is a drop-in program; no sign up or commitment required.  Both the online and on-site gatherings have 40 minutes of practice, and we then spend time growing in community. 

AT THE CHURCH:   Meets most 1st and 3rd Mondays 7:00 pm   contact M. E. Tanabe for current schedule   

ONLINE:   Tuesdays 7:30 pm, Thursdays 10:00 am 

For online, our group uses the Meditation Chapel platform because it is easy to use and links us to people from around the world.  A simple one-time registration takes less than 2 minutes to sign-up (but may take a while to receive a reply since the program is run by volunteers).  This signup web link is easily accessible in the newsletter and can also be found here   https://meditationchapel.org/register/      After registering, you will receive the URL’s (web addresses) for all 7 of the Zoom meditation rooms (chapels).  The name of our “Chapel room” will always be Mary of Magdala.  This can be easily bookmarked rather than needing to save a Zoom link.  


For questions contact: M. E. (Emi) Tanabe      m.e.tanabe@comcast.net 

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