Baltimore and Beyond: Mindfulness Community (BBMC)
BBMC came into being in September 2014 following two mindfulness retreats in August in Baltimore. During these retreats, one for People of Color and one for Social Activists, retreatants wanted to have a space to continue to gather and connect around mindfulness and healing. BBMC began to fill that need through once monthly gatherings for each group. Since then we have been gathering to practice together in East Baltimore.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a path of practice, in many spiritual traditions, which helps us to become aware of the moment to moment activities of our minds, our speech and our action. As we become more aware of the activities of our mind, we remember certain principles we want to abide by, virtuous principles of kindness, love, compassion, equanimity. We become ardent and diligent in practicing the art of awareness so as to assure that we remain in the present moment where we can control our activities, moving toward perfect understanding and love. This awareness of the present moment brings joy, peace and understanding and transforms our suffering of the past and present assuring a future of less suffering. This is the path of mindfulness.
How do we practice the path of mindfulness?
There are many mindfulness practices to engage in, in order to become aware in every moment. Sitting on a cushion we can become aware of our breath entering and leaving through our nostrils. Following the breath helps to focus our mind, bring calm and ease, and allow us to see the movements and thoughts of the mind. As we become calm, we begin to choose what thoughts we want to keep and which to release. This practice of following the breath can be practiced as we walk, sit on the toilet or on a bus, or eat, take a shower, brush our teeth. When we follow our footsteps- one breath in we take two or three steps, one breath out, three or four steps- we become present to the movement of our feet upon the earth, body and mind together. When we eat we can also practice mindfulness of eating. With each bite we become aware of the food we are chewing, where the food came from, and how lucky we are to have food to eat. The path of mindfulness is a path of life, a beautiful adventure of training the mind toward clarity and kindness, when we remember to remain aware and remember our virtuous principles in every moment. Each step in mindfulness becomes a beautiful step of freedom!
Baltimore and Beyond: Mindfulness Community’s root practice is based on the teachings and practices of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. We also invite those practicing with us to share other traditions which uses the path of mindfulness as a way of living more beautifully and honestly. Blue Cliff Monastery located in the beautiful valley of Pine Bush, New York is the nearest monastery or practice center in this tradition.
Subscribe to our Google Groups pages. You can click the link below or directly email a request to: firstname.lastname@example.org for access to these electronic forums. Members are encouraged to post announcements, start discussion threads, share mindfulness resources, and will receive updates.