On Monday, in the dark of a January morning at 7 30 am, I held the first online mindfulness Start the Week session by Zoom. Not having hosted a meeting before, I wondered how the technology would work out and how it would be to enable the connection to happen smoothly. Would it really be possible for everyone to see and hear and connect? I picked my way carefully across the residual snow and ice towards the hut where I had set things up on my laptop the evening before, with a feeling of excitement and adventure. It was very dark, with no sign of light on the horizon. The day had not yet begun. There was comfort in the embracing darkness, and a feeling of not only opening to the early beginnings of a new day, but also the freshness of the unknown, like preparing to go on a journey.
Having connected to the Zoom meeting link there was the excitement of participants starting to appear on the screen and we were able to introduce ourselves from our different locations, which included Northumberland, central London and Islamabad in Pakistan, several hours further forward on the other side of the world. As we settled in to meditation together, I heard a buzzard calling in the wood behind me, and a voice in the street in Islamabad, briefly, a snatch of sound from another country. It felt wonderfully heart-warming to join in practice together, each in our own homes, and to open to the day and to the week together in connection and awareness. It felt quite miraculous that technology had enabled us to share our intentions to meet for practice and share a peaceful, mindful start to the week.
Start the Week will continue to take place on Monday mornings from 7 30 am GMT and is open to all MBSR/MBCT course graduates. Please email me by Friday before the session so that I can send you a link to the Zoom meeting by email. There is an open invitation to make a donation to the West End Food Bank in Newcastle upon Tyne. Details of this can be found on the Start the Week page of my website listed under Practice Support.