Relational Meditation Series continues.
With the end of Summer came the end of the first ever Relational Meditation series at AR+. These were led by Ilaria DiStefano and Hilary Bradbury, aka. “the two Hilarys.” We met every Tuesday, for 9 weeks, as a group of people from different countries, with different meditation experiences, gathering to practice the art of being present to oneself and one another through meditation. It was a lovely experience of communion and co-creation (and laughter).
Ilaria, Dr. Ilaria DiStefano, writes…
“Using the pronoun we, I honor the voices of the participants and our shared experience. With my heart full of gratitude for the fellow relational meditators who joined us, the beautiful field that was co-created over the weeks, and the extraordinarily generative space which is AR+, my blog feels like a celebration of our journey together.
At our sessions, first through noble silence practicing different meditations in stillness, and sometimes with (gentle) movement, we cultivated attunement to the “I” space, the “We” space, and the “space between us.” We practiced centering ourselves, first, and from a centered presence, connecting with others. From this opening to the broader field of awareness. Inquiring into our personal and shared experience of “now,” we co-created beautiful relational poems, completed creative inquiries, metaphorically dancing together within the present moment of interdependence.
We also struggled with, and giggled about, how difficult it can be to be present to oneself without losing the connection with others, and to be present to others without losing the connection with oneself. And we were amazed at how generative such moments of communion can be. In our shared presence, (sometimes with lawn-mowers roaring outside our windows as Tibetan bells were ringing the sacredness of our practice), inner revelations, mutual support, and creativity could manifest abundantly.
We were surprised by the learning about ourselves that emerged in the practice, and by how those could change our being in relation with others. We were touched by the level of intimacy and group coherence that could be created by meditating together for so brief a time. It was a wonderful way of knowing and caring for each other.
After each session, we could go back to our day inspired, nourished, and engaged by our experience, wishing for that to ripple out in other relationships and co-creations.
We were, over time, stimulated by the creative potential of the practice, curious about new experiments that might integrate different kinds of relational meditation, and about their application for innovation in our environments.From our gratitude and appreciation for our practice together, emerged the desire to extend the invitation to relational meditation to everyone involved in collaborative endeavors.
At our last session, four of us fellow meditators recorded a brief video as a crystal of our experience. Our hope is that it might inspire other practitioners to explore, develop and spread relational meditation in the world. We recommend – even just a bit of this – for all meetings. It likely only improves the capacity of participants to be present, not just in body alone, but also in mind together.
Imagine…what difference could it make to begin your next group meeting with a brief relational meditation?In the calamities we are living through, it is essential and urgent for us to nurture our capacity for centeredness, deep human connection, and co-creativity. Relational meditation is a wonderful way to do so.
In the spirit of ART, this was our way to contribute as we were practicing—and enjoying ourselves! We hope you enjoy, use, and diffuse the video!”
We’ll start again in 2022. If you wish to co-create the next Relational Meditation series with us, please let us know. For now we’re holding Wednesdays. At UTC 20.00, i.e., Noon San Francisco, 3PM New York, Wellington 08.00 +1.Starting Wednesday 9th Feb, 2022, on “Valentine’s Wednesday,” the Wednesday before V-Day. The time remains a little flexible until we see who wants to join. If you’re interested in being involved just let us know with an RSVP email.