This coming week we will be starting a new format. Each weekly meeting on Monday will feature a topic for discussion and meditation. During last night's meetup, we discussed choosing the topic of acceptance for our first theme. Our member Claire has agreed to bring in a guided meditation on acceptance she recently recorded. Additionally, we may have some readings on the subject. A significant part of mindfulness is practicing non-judgment, or equanimity--it's what allows us to be in the present moment more fully. When we judge ourselves, we cut ourselves off from who we truly are, and we construct a reality that is defined more on history than what is happening now. We go out into the world believing we are too much of one thing, too little of another. We project that judgment onto others and it can solidify our stance, yet keeping us from the true source of our suffering: our own lack of accepting circumstances as they are. We often draw on our experience from the past to justify our judgments, but when we see them for what they are, we can realize that the history is nothing but a memory. The only power it holds is our belief that it defines us and our reality. When we learn to let the past be, and look more closely at how things are now, we can loosen the power grip it holds on us and begin to accept ourselves for who we are in the moment. We can look at our judgment of others and see how accepting ourselves makes it easier to accept them as well. Using meditation as a way to watch the breath and focus on observing thoughts and sensations with equanimity, we can move into the direction of acceptance. Come join us for a gathering to explore acceptance of things as they are in discussion and meditation. And let us know if there are topics you would like to see included in future meetups.