That is what I am doing. Doing what is required for me. I struggle a lot with what that means and depending on the day it may mean that I need to be meditating more, working out more, working more, allowing myself some time off or to tell myself to stop thinking….about myself and to think more about others. And most of the time that is what is required. Think more about others.
Give. Share. Help.
That is why I get involved in my community and I do that in different ways. My community may be right around me or it may stretch much further. With the Internet and social media there are no boundaries. How I get involved goes from donating financially to different organizations, giving my time (I am president of De la rue aux étoiles 2015 for Dan la rue this year), or why I am writing this post, by riding my bike for two different organizations that are looking to find solutions to cancer.
I will be doing two rides again this year to raise money for cancer research: The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer to benefit the Jewish General Hospital and the Team Ian Ride to benefit the Princess Margaret Hospital. I am not sure that I need to explain why I am doing this. At least not after hearing a radio commercial from an insurance company I heard recently that started along the lines of:
Protect yourself in the case of a cancer diagnosis…..
Cancer has become such an insidious disease, so much a part of our daily lives. It is just there. Until it hits close to home and someone we know gets it, then that disease that seems to be everywhere becomes very real and not just cancer. The fear, the pain, the unknown become all too real and we do what we can to deal with it. What I do is I ride my bike to help raise money to help fund research. The research that these rides are funding is working. It is making inroads. It is making treatments easier and better and people are living longer.
I could go on but I think we know it all. In many cases we know too much. So I am simply asking you to donate to one of my rides and let’s continue to fund the research that will help us get closer to finding more solutions to cancer.
Let’s do what is required.
To donate to The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer: CLICK HERE
To donate to The Team Ian Ride: CLICK HERE
Last week for the International Day of Peace I hit the streets with a few other huggers to give away Free Hugs. For those of you who don’t know about Free Hugs, watch the below video, it explains it all.
But how did I end up giving away Free Hugs for the International Day of Peace?
In surfing the pages of Facebook I came across an event for Free Hugs for World Peace, I checked to see if it was being done in Montreal and when I didn’t see anything I said to myself, “Why not?”
It seems I keep doing that these days!
I contacted Vincent Marx who had started this initiative through his site 1 True Spirit dedicated to revealing the 1 TRUE SPIRIT that exists in every one of us, in all life, and in all things and I was off to the races.
Actually, I was off to the art store to get poster paper and felt pens.
First I launched the event on Facebook, and then the night before (yes, I am one of those people that pulled all nighter before the exam), I enlisted the help of my friend Eric to make posters with me. Well he made the posters and I watched him.
Wednesday, September 21st 2011 was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky for the International Day of Peace. I packed up the car with my posters and my meditation pillow – I had organized a MedMob (Meditation FlashMob) from 12 to 12:30 and from 12:30 to 1 PM we would give away Free Hugs.
The location was in the centre of downtown Montreal (Phillips Square across from The Bay for any of you that know the city) and after negotiating with a band that was playing a little too loud for us to meditate, and finding a spot on the pavement between the kiosks and a photography exhibit that had popped up since I had first chosen the location, a group of twenty or so of us of sat in meditation.
After the meditation, I asked for anyone who wanted to join in for the Free Hugs. Anne, Marilyn and Karen were ready to give it a hug, and we hit the streets to offer a little free love to complete strangers during a busy lunchtime in Montreal.
I hope you can see from the video (thanks Carl and Joanne) we had a lot of fun. What you can’t see is what it feels like when someone you don’t know trusts you enough to let them take you in your arms and give them a real hug. What does it feel like? It just feels right. It feels like there is no fear, no hate, no anger, that we really are all brothers and sisters, from one family, and that there is one true spirit that exists in all of us.
We did this for the International Day of Peace, but I will tell you a secret, I kept the signs. You may just see me sometime standing on the corner giving out Free Hugs. If you see me, don’t be shy, come and get one, they are free, and I promise, they don’t hurt.
And by the way, you don’t need a sign to give a hug away. Why not give someone you know a hug today, you may be surprised at how good it feels.
For information on 1 TRUE SPIRIT, click here.
Every morning I get on my iPad and I read the newspapers, go through Twitter and then check Facebook – first my personal page and then the other pages that I am administrator for, one of which is The Social Effect. About a week ago, as I was scrolling through the Newsfeed for The Social Effect I came across a post about a Flash Mob Meditation in London. I happen to be a fan of Flash Mobs. I have wanted to take part in one or stage one for years. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched the Oprah Flash Mob in Chicago or the Sound of Music Flash Mob in the train station in Belgium. I am not sure exactly what it is about them, the reference to old style musicals when everyone would break into dance, the simple joy of the onlookers, or is it just that they are a lot of fun! When I saw this idea of meditation and a flash mob THAT caught my intention. Yes, meditation is part of my life. When I am consistent it is morning and night, and when I am not, it is when it is. That simple. To put the two together seemed genius to me. I checked out the site for Med Mob Inquire Within that was the parent organization to see if there was a Meditation Flash Mob in Montreal and found there was only one in Ottawa.
It was almost before I knew it that I had typed and posted an inquiry on the MedMob page to ask how I could go about setting this up in Montreal. By noon that day I had spoken to Patrick in Austin Texas and heard his story about how the first Mediation Flash Mob had started, and by noon the next day, with Patrick’s help, I had a Facebook page and a Facebook event set up. If that does not show you the power of the Internet when we are willing to take action, I don’t know what does!
Is this not the time to create the world we choose to live in?
On July 28th, over 94 cities around the world will meditate in highly visible public spaces. The intention is to expose the world to meditation and expand positivity to every walk of life.
It is an event that is open to everyone, from every path, experienced or not. This is a movement that is happening throughout the entire world so we come together as one unified force to set the momentum for the future of our planet.
Right Here Right Now
The future of our planet?
Those are big words.
But think about it.
All over the world.
At the same time.
All of us.
Just for an hour.
And we sat in meditation.
Or as quietly as we could.
What would happen?
What would we hear?
We will never know until we do it will we?
“I can’t meditate!”
That is what I thought. But that is why they call it the practice of meditation. It is not something we perfect; it is something that we do. And when I do it, I am surprised at what I hear or learn about myself. Not always what I want to hear, and often I don’t learn anything. I always do come away a little quieter, with a little more space and patience and a lot more love for whom and what is around me. I started meditation as I went down a Buddhist path a few years ago, but mediation is part of all religions, some of our western religions just hide it better than others. Now it is part of my life and has no religious implications for me. It doesn’t need to for you either.
So why don’t you join us as we mediate on Thursday, July 28thfrom 12 to 1 in Dorchester Square in Montreal?
You aren’t in Montreal?
Then see if your city is having a Med Mob and mediate there.
There isn’t one?
You are working and can’t make it?
Sit in silence wherever you are. That works too.
Or do what I did: START ONE. Contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spread the Word
Now, I have a favour to ask. I would like to get more people out to our first mediation next week. I have shared the event with all of my friends and many of those attending have done the same. If you are on Facebook, would you share it with your friends? Even if they are not in Montreal. Maybe they have a friend that is, or it will pique their interest and they will find the MedMob going on in their city.
Here is how you do it.
Right now we are at 40 Attending, 48 Maybe and 466 Awaiting Reply. It would be amazing to see 100 attending and 1000+ Awaiting Reply!
Silence is Golden
You can bring your kids or you can bring your parents, or: BRING EVERYONE! This is going to be a beautiful event that we will all remember. You are welcome to come to the entire event or for part of it. You can meditate the entire time, or you can sit and bask in the peace.
Come experience the power of collectively exuding peace and feel the impact we are having by sitting together, silently radiating happiness and grace in all directions. Simple acts can stimulate major paradigm shifts in thinking and with all we have going on in our world, I am not sure that would be a bad thing.
If you would like to join the Mediation Flash Mob Event on July 28th, click here.
If you would like to join the Montreal MedMob Facebook page, click here.
If you would like to learn more about MedMob Inquire Within, click here.