Archives for April 2021

United Kingdom (UK) MSC Teachers Community

It feels timely during this time of the pandemic to raise awareness that we have a rich and growing community of MSC teachers in the UK.

We are a community of MSC teachers in the United Kingdom who have been meeting regularly for several years for mutual sharing, support and friendship. The idea of creating a UK network of this kind was initiated by Vanessa Hope and several of us joined with her in making this happen – we currently have a volunteer coordinating team of five and are keen for others to join us so please get in touch if we haven’t met you yet, whether you’ve taken your teacher training online or in person overseas.

Between us we organise monthly Zoom meetings for our UK community with a range of topics such as EDI, teaching online, marketing, co-teaching, social media, specialist interests etc. We have a range of potential developments in the pipeline too, such as a regular UK teachers’ practice group, a book club, and buddy arrangements. 

We also have an annual networking meeting each September – previously held in London, though online last year. We’ve developed our own website with listings for teachers and courses too. Visit us at https://mindfulselfcompassionuk.com  

Please do get in touch if you’d like to join our mailing list or to know more about us – it’d be great to hear from you.

Ali Lambie

About Ali Lambie

Already a therapist and mindfulness teacher, Ali came across MSC in 2013. This made a huge impact and she immersed herself in this field, gradually becoming a Trained Teacher, a Certified Teacher and then Teacher Trainer of MSC: this work is her passion. These days Ali is fully engaged in teaching MSC and supervising and training others both in the UK and internationally with CMSC. Ali enjoys supporting other teachers in her various roles and often has newer teachers working alongside her too. 

 

Planting Seeds of Compassion in Israel

TODAY IS A CELEBRATION DAY. It is the celebration of love over fear, of light over darkness, of attentive open-heartedness over closing and exclusivity, of joy over sadness, of common humanity over isolation.

It is of no use trying to look at your calendar for a holy day coming from any religion or faith. You will not find the answers there because it comes from a celebration of love that began months ago as the pandemic was taking hold around the world. 

In my home country of Israel, as we watched the COVID virus touch so many families and friends, a group of women friends and I created a new compassion program to help our community cultivate inner peace. We called it  PLANTING SEEDS OF COMPASSION and offered it as a bilingual program taught in Hebrew and Arabic for Jews and Arabs in Israel.

One of the secret dreams I had in my pockets since hearing of Mindful Self-Compassion years earlier was to offer these transformative practices to the people of my country—Jews and Arabs alike. Learning and teaching Mindful Self-Compassion is a privilege by itself and I am grateful to Chris Germer and Kristin Neff who dreamed and created this well-tailored program and who inspired my dream, which I silently kept as I waited for its moment to appear on the surface again. It’s hard to imagine a silver lining inside the pandemic, but I would include this program as one.

This ripple effect brought together a beautiful circle of women whose intention was, and still is,  to heal the collective trauma as well as the personal, ancestral, cultural, and planetary traumas that common humanity experiences. With a vision in our eyes, conviction in our guts, and a determination to serve the best we could, we gathered as one. Recognizing the mutual suffering that we all share, we were able to bring a healing vibration to this part of the planet that is in such a need for mutual compassion. 

For the first time, Arabs and Jews sat together and learned a mutual MSC program in the languages that touch the deepest part of their hearts—their mother and father tongues. Without struggles or politics involved (although politics is always associated with any action done here) and no peace organizations supporting us (as far as we know), our small circle of women began planting seeds of compassion. These are tiny seeds but very meaningful to our hearts. We might never get to sit under the trees from which these seeds will grow. However, we felt an urge to make this move, believing that while we may not move mountains, we can attempt to make small differences with caring attention on the land we live in and with the people we meet. 

We trust our efforts will continue this vibration of compassion in ways that are still invisible to us yet if we link our intention to a higher vision, the dream will manifest itself. 

I am grateful for all the love, opportunities, and interconnections that have led us to this moment. I am grateful for everything and everyone being my teacher. In some way or another we are all interconnected, we all are human beings and go through similar life phases. Supporting ourselves and each other is the least we can do on this journey. This is what creates a circle of compassion.

I am grateful for all the ancestors, teachers, friends, family and nature itself that made this pregnancy and birth of compassion possible. I am grateful to the wise and intimate circle of midwives made out of the gentle, believing hearts of so many amazing people gathered to contribute to that healing. And I am deeply grateful for being alive. 

In the hardest of times, it is up to us  to shine our brightest and to evolve together. Our circle of women is helping each other do that by planting seeds of compassion, and then letting go of what may come. Planting seeds of love without expecting love in return. Planting seeds of peace, without expecting the world to always be peaceful. 

In the end, this is what we can do—plant our seeds, water the plants, and then let them take their own course, while celebrating each other and our growing community of compassion.

 

As my brother, Nimo says:

 Whatever grows will grow,
Whatever dies will die,
Whatever works will work,
Whatever flies will fly,
Whatever fails will fail,
What’s meant to soar will soar,
We are planting seeds, nothing more.

https://youtu.be/5AmqYcWjBmc

Thank you for celebrating with us and listening with your amazing hearts.

 

Australasia MSC Teacher 2021 Lunar New Year Meet & Greet

Did you know that we can celebrate the new year twice? That’s exactly what we did! One and a half months into 2021, more than 120 MSC Teachers in Asia and Oceania gathered together to mark the beginning of the year of Ox with Chris and Kristin. (If you would like to read about Lunar New Year, this will be a good place to start

The CMSC Lunar New Year Meet & Greet was organized as our first attempt to facilitate communication and network building among MSC Teachers in the Australasia Region. It holds 13 countries and regions including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. 

The celebration started off with warm greetings from Yuka Ebihara, CMSC Regional Coordinator for Australasia, and Tina Gibson, a member of the Professional Training Committee overseeing MSC Teacher Trainings in the region. Chris’s encouraging message that followed helped us reflect on what matters the most in our lives and what we want to bring to this world together as a global family. Kristin shared how touching it was to see so many MSC Teachers carrying the important message of self-compassion, delivering it to almost all parts of the world.

A short breakout session made it possible for everyone to be acquainted in a smaller group setting, introduce their own languages and wish each other safety in the coming year. We also had each country/region representative give a brief overview of the MSC-related development in their respective area. It was inspiring to learn each team’s progress and good practices.

The event ended with a beautiful short practice, “Giving and Receiving Goodwill”, guided by Kristin, which was a blissful adaptation of one of the MSC Core meditation, “Giving and Receiving Compassion.” We all sent goodwill to ourselves and to the world as we enjoyed each other’s loving connected presence, breathing and wishing together for a more compassionate world. (If you want to use the recording to practice it, watch the recording from 40’00”!)

For those of you who missed it, please join us next year. In the meantime, enjoy the recording below!