When I started teaching mindfulness classes when we moved to Malvern I was excited to offer them, and I’ve always enjoyed the energy of the groups.
Back in late spring/early summer I took a break from teaching. At the time I imagined this would be a short break but I noticed a reluctance to programme in any more courses, so I gave myself a longer break.
Now – at the end of summer – that reluctance remains.
In his book on vocation, Let Your Life Speak, Parker J. Palmer describes speaking to a Quaker elder about vocation and calling. When is my calling going to appear, He wonders. He talks about how long he’s waited and yet how nothing is calling him forward. The elder tells him that she was born into a Quaker family, and now decades later she has still never heard her calling. Then she pauses for a moment and says that what she has experienced is paths closing off behind her, and that she takes this to be God’s way of showing her the way.
Teaching mindfulness meditation is a path that is closing behind me.
Personally meditation has been a great support, but it’s not my own core practice. My core practice is nembutsu – reciting the name of the Buddha and trusting in the light of unconditional love.
I’m not sure what I might do in that Tuesday evening space yet. I’m not sure if mindfulness will appear in a different form in the future. I am sure that teaching classes in the way that I used to feels like stepping back into an old version of myself.
Earlier this year Brenè Brown wrote about mid-life crisis as an unravelling. She described the process as a letting go of what no longer serves. I don’t think I’m having a mid-life crisis, but I do like the idea of a healthy unravelling, and of letting go of what no longer serves. Letting go of the classes is a part of that.
I hope you can take this as an invitation to let go of what isn’t serving you at the moment, and an invitation to find your own way forwards into something fresh, and supportive.
I’m still offering mindfulness one to ones, working individually with people either with mindfulness or therapeutically gives me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction. When I’m working from that pleasure, satisfaction, and inspiration, the people I’m working with get a much better experience.
I don’t know exactly what the new shape of my life looks like yet. I love running services at the temple, I love putting energy into my new podcast, and I’m looking forward to more closely integrating body-work and ecology with my therapeutic work.
Thanks to everyone that has taken part in classes in the past, and I do hope our paths will cross again sometime.