For a couple of months now, I am leading a weekly meditation circle at a community centre in my neighbourhood. Participation is free. It’s a small group, some regular participants, some people come and go. I never really decided to do this, it somehow just “came” to me.
We developed a routine in our practice together. It’s almost the same “procedure” every time we meet. We arrive there, all still busy with what live just presented to us – and leave more balanced and centred maybe sometimes even slightly happier.
When spring arrived we were all sitting outside on the entrance steps, wondering if we could held our session outside in the sun – and one of the participants offered the backyard of a nearby church for the next meeting.
The following week we gathered again, this time at the entrance to the church’s backyard, a sunny afternoon, 23 degrees, light wind, just a gorgeous day – and still everybody caught up in everyday life issues.
We started our practices, feeling the grass under our naked feet, the sunshine through the spring leaves of a huge tree and being surrounded by the many sounds of nature and the city -and settled into our meditative practice.
I have hardly experienced such a shift in my own well-being. From being caught up in past and future demands I was able to just be in this moment, immersed into the beauty of this afternoon and felt hold by the energy of all of us. I left truly happy.
In re-thinking and re-feeling what had happened later on that day, I was reflecting the words of Josef Goldstein at a retreat years ago. He was talking about happiness and reminded us that real happiness is often experienced through honest giving, no matter what this giving might be.
Without offering to guide this group (for free), I would have never went to the little garden at this wonderful afternoon with all other meditators – and would have not experienced that these shifts truly happen, again and again. I also realized that offering things for free can be so liberating, expectations decrease, organizational modalities almost disappear and we can be fully present for the things we really want to do. What a treat!
Happiness still stays a gift, but we can start contributing our part to let it happen.