„We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Hi dear readers, liebe Menschen,
Today’s blog post is in English again, after long long times. Yay! I wanted to share with you a guided deep relaxation that I offered in the project: „Corona Connect“ from the Queer body workers Vienna collective. It was my first time recording and offering something like this online and I put lots of my heart into it. So in case you feel like doing it, i hope you relax and enjoy! More background info on this form of meditation rooted in the plum village community, you’ll find below.
Queer Body Workers Vienna is really an amazing initiative with super cool folks offering great workshops around body work, self love, self appreciation, mindfulness and healing. You can check their Facebook Page here: or their website.
Deep relaxation – plum village community and the importance of rest
In this meditation I adapted a practice I got to know in the meditation tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and the “Plum village community”. It is a full body awareness based relaxation technique, that I adapted a bit for people in my queer, body and sexpositive, and activist communities. I wrote more about embodiment practices already in this article some times back.
Similar to a the method of a body scan from MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) we will bring awareness to our different body parts and also the systems, that always operate and work within us, as long as we are alive.
It is also a possibility to invite the energy of gratitude and loving-kindness into our bodies and therefore minds, as body and mind are one and no separate entities. This offer is really an invitation to let go of any “goals” or “efforts” and let yourself be nourished by a person’s voice and guidance. It is an invitation to sooth yourself and rest.
I will integrate some ideas from Thich Nhat Hanh on our nature of interconnectedness or inter being. You are invited to let these ideas wash over you, knowing that the intelligence of your body and mind will pick up on the words or ideas that connect with your inner wisdom about peace, love, compassion and healing.
You will want to lie down on a comfortable surface, with a blanket at hand. There will be no movement or long period of sitting. If you have a nice candle, feel invited to light it.
I decided to do this session in English and not bilingually, as there is quite a bit of talking involved. In case it resonates, I’m happy to offer it a second time in German.
When I spent time in the Buddhist monastery „plum village“ in the south of France in summer 2016, this deep relaxation was offered as an option after lunch. I remember how much i loved it, because it was really a break in the middle of the day, giving me some needed rest, from the full day of activities and talking to friendly and amazing people. I also feel like it connects me to my inner child, listening to a warm and friendly voice, guiding me through my body and maybe also singing a little song every now and then 😉
I feel very connected to this way of Buddhism, which is part of Buddhist schools called “socially engaged Buddhism”. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk, who developed his mindfulness practice amidst the Vietnam civil war. He developed teachings and techniques in order to support social workers, teachers and others working with highly traumatized communities in a situation of collective trauma. He is/was not only a meditation teacher, but also social activist and was forced into exile because of his efforts of creating peace. Thich Nhat Hanh was in close contact with human rights activists like Martin Luther King and others.
I feel that despite the slowing down and less „doing“ which is my reality right now, that the constant atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty, physical distancing and global struggles affect me quiet a bit and it is not easy to relax and let go of some tension.
I personally connect with this background and think it is helping me to cope in this current situation.
I hope you enjoy the practice and am eager to hear how you found it. Feel invited to let me know!
Monastery in France
Online Monastery with many talks, guided meditations, songs
Further recent resources especially for dealing with the current Covid-19 situation