What am I looking for?

Posted on November 29, 2008

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I can feel a restlessness beginning to get stronger inside of me.  It is a familiar feeling this restlessness.  I have felt it in other moments of my life and it has led to extend my typical ‘earth energy’ boundaries in uncharacteristic ways.

I’ve been looking into “going back to school”, and more specifically, exploring the field of “contemplative education” via programs from Naropa University in Colorado and the like.  In my searches, I’ve also come across other groups, sites, projects and programs like The Lineage Project in Brooklyn, the InnerKids Foundation in Los Angeles, the Park Day School in Oakland and so many other unique and inspiring “sanghas of learning and teaching” incorporating stillness, silence, movement, breathing, bowing, contemplation-reflection-mindfulness into educational environments.

These Enlightenments Inspire My Enlivenment!

It gets me thinking: so what experience am I looking for?  Am I looking for a formal learning environment?  Am I looking to get a “degree” out of this?  To meet people, professional networks?  To formalize my “praktis” and merge it with my “teaching/professional work?”

I’ve also asked myself if “going back to school” is the ONLY way to accomplish, attain or experience this.  Perhaps, on a crazy whim here, I could actually…

• Travel around and meet with these various projects occurring around the United States and engage these inspiring projects in person

• Create a project around the things I would learn and collect from these various types of “schools” (documentary, book project, website, etc.)

•  Activate my restlessness and desire to learn by creating opportunities for me to EXPERIENCE, MERGE, UNIFY, ENCOUNTER, MEET FACE TO FACE, BEING TO BEING with the Universe of Contemplative Education!  It’s out there, so what am I going to do about it?!

~  ~  ~  ~

What a joy it has been to know there are so many other friends out there doing similar work.  And as one friend reminds me — there is the work we must do in our own communities to bring awareness practices to our youth and communities.  YES WE CAN to that!

Naropa University’s application for the Contemplative Education program is due in mid-January 2009.  I am awaiting to hear about other details such as financing, scholarships, experiences of alumni, etc. as I continue to explore its match for me.  As well, there is a slowly growing recognition of all the resources and abundance that already exists here in San Diego for me to access.  The teachers with the Dharma Bums Center who are working to bring meditation into schools.  Of course, our friends up the mountain at Deer Park Monastery.  The World Beat Center and mindful music making they inspire in young people.  So many dharma doors already here — and so many more out there!

Dear Universe,

I know U will be here to provide me with the best experience for myself and all others concerned in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive and in its own perfect time.

My intention is to continue with my dharmic commitments by encountering more opportunities to connect teaching practice in the classroom with mindfulness…to bring wellness, confidence and insight about in the young people of today.

My intention is to create opportunities for myself and others to work for the dharma in a more embodied way by organizing ourselves into a school, a sangha, to offer a refuge of learning for today’s young people and their families, especially here in San Diego.

My intention is to make my work my praktis, and to experience joyful creativity and moment to moment freedom with diligence in learning and disciplined activity to re-create our world, inside and outside the classroom.

Whatever form it takes, I am open to receiving the spiritual communication.

May all beings be well.

With metta,

C:~

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