It's Monday already, and I'm joining in with Sian (and waving to her and everyone there) with Memorandum Monday. Sian's started a new Monday meme that asks that we "tell us something [we] did over the weekend FOR THE FIRST TIME." I don't have much in the way of photos because photos weren't appropriate in either setting.
As part of the exploration of my One Little Word, MINDFUL, I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking about mindfulness and meditation. Specifically, both of those in relationship to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. Two weeks ago, I attended an evening workshop at the Assisi Institute on Mindfulness and Meditation, but the practices there didn't seem to be a perfect fit. This week I was talking to a friend from church about other matters. I knew she had a long history in practicing meditation, and she offered to take me to the Newcomer's Orientation and Sangha at the Zen Center. (Although they meet at the Zen Center, this group does not practice Zen meditation which I am learning is quite different. They follow the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.) After a warm and welcoming introduction to the practice, the Sangha began. There is a 20 minute guided meditation followed by a 10 minute walking meditation, another 20 minute meditation session in quiet, and ending with another 10 minute walking meditation. For someone who has barely practiced at all, I thought I'd be in over my head, but not so. It was peaceful, relaxing, and I was pleased that I could keep myself centered on the breath for far longer than I anticipated. They only meet once a week, and it will be a couple of weeks before my schedule allows me to return, but I'm quite sure I will. The most important thing, however, is I now know a daily practice at home should be easier to establish than I imagined.
I've been wanting to attend the Compline Service on Sunday evening for a long time. There is a concert preceding it on the first Sunday of every month, and instead of watching the Super Bowl, my friend and I went to Christ Church. The organ recital was lovely, but the compline service sung by a group of highly talented voices was simply divine. No other word for it. Everything is performed in total darkness except for the alter which is bathed in candlelight. It was beautiful, moving, and totally refreshing. What a wonderful way to end a weekend!
We're in the midst of having all the galvanized pipes replaced to our bathrooms. Our house was built in 1930, and the water pressure upstairs is poor to horrible. The contractor has finished the new plumbing in our powder room off the kitchen, and the new fixtures are in place. The old ceramic tile floor in my bathroom is gone (YAH!), and the plumbing there is complete. This week the new floor and fixtures should go in there, and then we'll be down to the last and, and very difficult, job of replacing the pipes to the small bathroom in the back of the house. That bathroom will need to be completely gutted, and the pipes go up the wall of the living room. (And that's another first for this week. We've lived here for 30 years, and I've never had to take a shower in that tiny shower before. Must admit, I'll be glad to be back in mine in a week or so.)
Happy Monday to everyone! I hope it's a great week!