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The Art of Being Here
What it means to us - and what it could mean for you

Photo credit_Bruce Phillips

On the Art of Being Here

Let's start with an intention. The intention to be here: fully present to our experience, whatever it may be. Witnessing this moment - the movements of the mind, the sensations of the body, the wide world unfolding around us - with curiosity and openness. You could also call this receptive presence: mindful awareness. 

 

When we intentionally practice mindful awareness, one of the first things we may notice is how often we're not here. Perhaps we're fretting over an old memory, or worrying about the "what if's" of tomorrow, or fantasizing about the future. The mind is an incredibly inventive place, not limited to the here and now. This is hardly a bad thing: it can help us invent, create, plan, problem solve. But it's something to notice. We may find the runaway habits of the mind take us away from the life we're actually living. We may miss meaningful moments right in front of us. We may push away important signals from our body (signs of distress, hunger, love), other people, and our environment. In the vital moment of now - the only moment in which we can act - we might not be here to decide which path to follow. Instead, we may act on autopilot, repeating what's familiar, what we've always done. These old patterns of thought and behaviour have gotten us this far, but like the grooves of a record or the pre-drawn lines of a colouring book, they can limit us. As we practice mindfulness, we may begin to see that we can live differently. We may explore drawing new lines, playing new musical riffs, becoming the artist of our own life.

Noble Aspirations

As we practice being here, we may come to recognize not only what's present, but also what's truly important to us. The answer will be different for each of us - our own aspirations of how to live a full life, connect to the world around us, meaningfully express ourselves. The art of being here is about learning how to support and honour our noble aspirations. It's about turning aspirations into clear intentions for how to live. It's about stepping out of old patterns that don't serve us to explore new ways of being. It's about living life with more creativity and freedom.

 

We support this endeavour through community mindfulness programs and guided meditation practice. Mindfulness meditation trains our attention to be here. We become more intimate with the full range of our experience and habits of mind. We can see how we tend to relate to the joys and challenges of meditation practice, and we can experiment with new ways of meeting these experiences. What we discover in our practice can reverberate into everyday life.

 

We also offer reflections on mindfulness and creativity on the Being Here blog. Artists and non-artists are welcome! While we speak to an artist's creative practice, above all, we're interested in creativity as a way of being - exploring new choices and possibilities in day-to-day life. While creativity is innate to all of us, it isn't always easy to access. Doubt, fear, distraction, busyness, self-judgement - in both art and life, so many things can shut down a sense of possibility, leaving us feeling stuck.

 

So how do we come unstuck? How do we go ahead and do what we truly want to do? How do we nurture our seeds of intention and help them grow into something beautifully wild and flourishing? These are the questions that inspire our work. We've found them to be deeply personal - the kind of questions you can consider over a lifetime, finding your own evolving answers. Our hope is to offer a sense of possibility and support - like sunshine and water - to help you on your way.

 

We're honoured to walk alongside you on your own path to blossoming.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

- Mary Oliver

Image by Lina Trochez.jpg

"May the noblest aspirations of your heart be fulfilled."

- Ajahn Pavaro

The Art of Being Here, Founded 2022

Edmonton, Canada

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