THE LEARNING LAB ON CONNECTION AND COMPASSION

Synopsis:

This Learning Lab experience focuses on how connection and compassion, essential to human health and wholeness, can improve the overall wellbeing of self and others. Included in the resources are information on the research-based benefits of using touch and interpersonal contact mindfully to heal the brain and reestablish stability in times of difficulty, in addition to learning specific body language and behaviors to best show compassion to others.  In this experience, we will engage in compassion-based mindfulness practices and compassionate listening and communication.  Participants will leave with tools to improve listening skills and ways to connect more meaningfully with those around them.

Reflections from Participants:

  • “Body armor protects from harm but does not permit pleasure and comfort.”
  • “People are connected like the points on a compass.”
  • “[Mindful interconnectedness is] trying to see the invisible.”

My Own Experience: 

“We humans all struggle the same trials. It should help with the loneliness to know how little difference there is in the themes that mean the most to the human life.” 

May, 2014 journal entry by Brandi Lust

“When listening to someone else, I find the space to hear. I find the words don’t need to be articulated before they are said. I find I hear the opening, the space where I can be of help…” 

Mar. 2015 journal entry by Brandi Lust

“Where in this world, and how, do we happen to find one another at the moments most needed?  Once this is done, we live forever in one another, and we become more of who we are meant to be.”

Mar. 2015 journal entry by Brandi Lust

More About Compassion and Connection: 

Mindful compassion and connection is bringing the conscious attention of mindfulness to all of the ways that humans are dependent on one another emotionally and physically on a deeper level than our articulated feelings or even our conscious thoughts.

Humans are attuned to one another’s emotional states in ways that are inherent and beyond our conscious control. This attunement can unknowingly cause damage to self and others if these connections are ignored; however, our implicit bonds with everyone in our environment are also necessary for survival and are the source of all of the greatest human joys.

With every interaction with another human being, we are connecting to that person on a level that is physiological as well as emotional. In addition, we communicate our own emotions to every person we meet in affecting ways unknowingly.

Mindful interconnectedness is using this knowledge and these connections to our own advantage and the advantage of all of those with whom we come into contact.

MORE WRITINGS ON COMPASSION AND CONNECTION

Mindful Connection and Compassion

THE ART OF BEING HUMAN: MINDFUL CONNECTION AND COMPASSION

Ah, not to be cut off, 

not through the slightest partition 

shut out from the law of the stars.

The inner- what is it? 

if not the intensified sky, 

hurled through with birds and deep 

with the winds of homecoming. 

– Rilke, via Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach 

So, I believe this post is about human’s desire to connect and the many and varied ways we fail and succeed to do so, but I found myself winding and weaving through various sources of inspiration I have recently encountered, so bare with me!  It will be an interesting and (slightly?) tangential ride. (I hope.)

READ MORE HERE

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HEART FOCUSED BREATHING

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”

– Antoine de Saint Exupery, The Little Prince

There is something special about the heart: a miraculous, continually pumping, life-giving organ located in the center of the chest, the heart beats 100,000 pumps a day, over the course of a life that’s 2.5 billion beats.

READ MORE HERE

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GIVING UP CONDITIONAL LOVE

I have been listening to a podcast called The One You Feed after a friend recommended it to me. In a recent episode, the host, Eric Zimmer (one of the podcast founders who also lives in Columbus, Ohio), interviewed Don Miguel Ruiz, most well known as the writer of the book Four Agreements.

While listening to the conversation, I was incredibly struck with a statement about love from Miguel Ruiz that rang true in my own human experience.  It is as follows:

“We learn to love the same way that everybody else loves… the way they love us is with conditions. We can say that with 99.999 percent of humans, they love with conditions… And that’s how we love everybody, but everybody also loves us the same way. They love us if we do what they want us to do. It’s the reason we want to please everybody in the world.”

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