‘A Time to Talk’ by Miranda Wayu Forward and Alan Kaishin Crawford

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There is a time for silence and a time to talk. As we sit in zazen, many things can arise for us: we may notice our conditioned patterns of thinking, our emotional reactions or questions that plague our lives. Then, when we get off the cushion and go about the business of attempting to integrate and embody the practice in our everyday lives, we can often encounter obstacles that confuse or frustrate us.

‘A Time to Talk’ provides an opportunity to express and work through some of this ‘stuff’ in a safe, supportive and confidential environment with people on the same path who may be going through similar experiences and facing similar challenges. It is often comforting to discover that we are not alone in our difficulties. The catharsis of being able to share our thoughts and feelings openly provides a welcome release, but when we are truly heard and met with empathy and compassion, it can be a truly healing experience.

John Welwood, author of the “Psychology of Awakening”, wrote, “When we really honour our feelings and go deeply into them and express the truth that is contained within them, then we can let them go“.

As well as offering emotional support, the group also provides an opportunity to connect more deeply with other Sangha members as we share our lives and challenges with each other in an open, authentic way. ‘A Time to Talk’ brings Sangha members together and builds supportive relationships.

The group will be hosted by Miranda (Wayu), a senior practitioner and Monk at StoneWater and facilitated by Alan (Kaishin), Sangha member and experienced group facilitator and therapist. However, ‘A Time to Talk’ is not therapy, it is simply and above all a group of fellow practitioners meeting to talk through whatever is going on for us.

‘A Time to Talk’ is open to all StoneWater Sangha members and will take place once per month on a Sunday afternoon. Regular attendance is ideal, as it allows trust to build in the group, but you are also welcome to come to group just when you can. However, please contact Miranda in advance to confirm your attendance at each individual session so that we can monitor group numbers and let you know of any changes to the time/date or venue.

The structure will be as follows:

  • Arrive at 2:50pm for a 3:00pm start
  • Offer incense and sit a short period of zazen (20 minutes)
  • Group Session (90 minutes)
  • Optional social time to share tea and biscuits and chat more informally (20-30 minutes)

We will leave you with this quotation from American Zen teacher, Norman Fischer:

Expression is healing. It opens us, propelling us forth into our lives. It’s not so much a matter of ideas, even of feelings, for expression is more than a cognitive or an emotional act. Yet somehow the simple act of speaking truly, out loud and to others, inspires us finally to point our prow out to sea as we set forth onward for the journey

(Sailing Home, Norman Fischer)

Our first group will now meet on Sunday 9th October 2016. If you would like to attend please email Miranda at: mforward61@gmail.com