A Typical Mindful Day in the Community

This is what I would envision as a typical day in the community.

Waking up at sunrise, doing a few yoga stretches in bed before getting dressed and opening up all the curtains to let as much sunshine in. Heading over to the outdoor yoga center, where people are gathering for their morning yoga routine. A few mornings each week, I participate in breakfast preparation instead of yoga, where I collect eggs from the chickens or harvest some fresh veggies and fruits from the gardens. This break up of the routine makes me appreciate the yoga mornings more.

After finishing yoga, I head back to my house to shower and change, before heading over to the kitchen to grab my breakfast, which today is polenta, roasted veggies, eggs and salsa. Most people to choose to eat outside in the quiet section, which is one of the 3 sections we have based on your social preference. A few people are in the silent section, where they all sit facing the sun, focusing on every bite. The social section has a good bit of people sitting in circles facing each other, where laughter intermixes with the eating. I prefer the middle way because I mostly want to focus on the sensation of eating this great meal, but I would like to discuss a little bit about what thoughts other people have about it.

There are a few tables available but it seems that most people enjoy sitting on the ground on blankets, which produces a nice contrast between the cool earth below your bum and the warm sun shining down.

Once I am finished with breakfast I head over to the meditation area in between the fruit trees. Some people prefer the indoor meditation room to keep a constant feeling to their practice, but I want to enjoy every one of these sunny morning, which make the refugee of the indoors seem special when the weather finally makes you feel too uncomfortable.

I get settled in on my cushion, focus on my breath, set my intentions for the day, writing them out, so no tasks nag at me, because if they didn’t make it on the list and aren’t an emergency, they will have to wait until tomorrow to be considered. Then I settle into my breath again and wait about an hour for the gongs to sound.

After meditation, I head to the office room where I use my computer for software development. First I see if there are any emergency emails that I need to address right away, otherwise the emails will wait until I have completed the first set of tasks I set out to do. Today its a few trivial bug fixes. Once I’ve completed those and answered back the emails that I could today. I head out through the fields for a meditative walk that also serves as an observance of the crop development, being mindful of how they change from day to day.

On my walk, I see that some people are busy building new tiny homes, while a group of kids are working on a project for a new type of pedal powered tiller. Some of the more art-inclined kids are making the old tiller more colorful, possibly in the hope that the old tiller will still be used if has a prettier feel to it.

After lunch, which is less communal since some are so engrossed in their projects that they enjoy working into the afternoon before stopping, I join the knees-up meditation group, where you lay on the ground with your knees-up and your head and butt propped up slightly. Some of the people are probably half-napping during this meditation, but there is a gong every 15 minutes which prevents you from falling into too deep of a sleep and help you to refocus on your breath.

Tonight is a drum circle around the fire, a celebration done during phases of the moon cycle, which tonight is a full moon. After the communal dinner, most people gather around the fire for a drumming meditation, where you close your eyes and try to visualize the sound waves produced by the different types of drums. After an hour of this meditation, the circle slowly comes alive with drumming, with just one joining at a time, until everyone is participating. Some people choose to just dance to the rhythm, while others can’t help but to dance with their drums. We take breaks from drumming to tell poems of love, gratitude, nature and peace. People leave the circle as they tire out, but most people try to stay up for the final midnight drum session, ending with a nice long group hug, followed by an individual hug between each person there, before retreating to our homes for the night.