May is Meditation Month at Laughing Lotus! Dhyana, or meditation, is the seventh limb of Patanjali's Eightfold path of Yoga leading to Samadhi, complete union with Spirit. Through the mental practice of effortless meditation the mind becomes settled. By sitting, standing, or walking in focused silence, the heart relaxes and the brain is at ease. It is in this silence that we can find ourselves at peace, no matter what strife and stress the outside world brings.
In seeking to spread such well-being, this month Laughing Lotus supports The Lineage Project (lineageproject.org), a New York City based organization , inspired by San Francisco Mind Body Awareness Project, that since 1997 has been using yoga and meditation to help bring mindfulness practices to at-risk youth, helping them to overcome poverty, marginalization, and incarceration. Among the Lineage Project's programs are:
- Yoga practices in Public Schools: Currently, Lineage Project workers teach twelve classes a week in Humanities Prep, a small public school that serves students who face both behavioral and academic challenges.
- Alternative to Incarceration Programs: Lineage volunteers bring mindfulness practices to youth participating in the Fortune Society's program that keeps youth charged with felony crimes out of jail and under supervision, while receiving the "life-stabilizing" services (including yoga training) that will help them regain control over their lives and hearts (http://www.lineageproject.org/programs/alternative-to-incarceration-programs/).
- Juvenile Detention Centers: the Lineage Project brings mindfulness practices to two detention centers (Horizon and Crossroads) that house 10-to 15-year-old juvenile offenders in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
In the words of spiritual teacher Sri Chimoy:
Silence is not silent.
It speaks most eloquently.
Silence is not still.
It leads most perfectly.
As we embrace silence this month at Laughing Lotus, we may come to the profound realization that without mindfulness practices, we are all, in the words of Bo Lozoff, "all doing time." So, sit, get quiet, and be free. And then, get involved. Please click here to see how to help the Lineage Project in their efforts (http://www.lineageproject.org/get-involved/) and remember, Love really does Save the Day!
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