Tag Archives: conscious discussion group

Compassion with ConsciousCafe Singapore

ConsciousCafe founder Judy Piatkis with Singapore group leader Hanna Krasnodebska, earlier this year.

Conscious Café Singapore met recently for another interesting discussion, this time on the theme of Compassion, with special speaker Anita Kapoor who introduced the topic and led the discussion.

Compassion is at the root of human contacts and relationships, but is it really evident in the way we are currently interacting with each other, or with nature? What are our personal experiences of compassion? Is compassion a clearly defined state of being or does it have a spectrum? Is compassion a dominant modus operandi currently? What can we do to bring back the compassion into our interactions and stop being a cutthroat?

Compassion is a virtue of our humanness. It is wired into our biology via the vagus nerve that transmits information to and from lungs, heart and organs of digestion and additionally serves the parasympathetic nervous system that is calming in opposition to the fight-flight response. It is our “nerve of compassion” that promotes altruism, gratitude according to Professor Porges’ Polyvagal Theory. There is also the “love hormone” oxytocin that is responsible for the social bonding.

The dominating concept of “survival of the fittest” that originated from Darwin’s evolutionary theory have been influencing societies and cultures for the past 150 years.  There is a need in the contemporary chaotic, fragmented, competition-dominated world to shift into a kind and compassionate co-existence. Participants shared their experiences of how the education system ingrains and reinforces competitiveness, how workplaces value and reward it, and how at the level of individual interactions this can be a dominant characteristic. In the presence and pressure of constant comparison we either strive to fit in or isolate ourselves into our own personal world – a private reality, we get depressed, feel anxious. If we do not get that top prize we are no longer “unfortunate” – that term has at least a smudge of compassion. No, we become “losers”.

That disconnection has been spreading. The rise of individualism, the emancipation of the individual in modernity from many societal structures has been, on one hand, a positive development, but on the other it’s increasingly producing its own antithesis – tribalism, conformism. Yet so many of us are craving a true community to belong to.

Our group discussed the aspects of compassion as a spectrum of engagement. Often a compassion is mistaken with pity, the feeling of sharing the suffering of another human being, while compassion is the feeling of empathy and a desire to help, to alleviate the suffering. It is very powerful to hear a personal story and participants were generously sharing.

We touched on the importance of the self-compassion: that special kindness towards oneself that is interlinked with forgiveness towards our own errors, mistakes and failures. Various examples from personal practices on how to cultivate it were shared: looking after oneself, seeking physical comfort, letting go of perfectionism, practising mindfulness, being aware of emotions and shame arising, allowing oneself to seek help.

We concluded that there is rising awareness of the importance of cultivating compassion in children as well as in adults, and that we all as individuals can contribute by being aware of our daily interactions and response choices. Compassion in action.

 

This blog post is written by Hanna Krasnodebska, leader of ConsciousCafe Singapore. Follow the Singapore group page to keep up to date with upcoming meetings!

How to Feel Good about Yourself

In April we had our biggest event ever in the two-year history of Conscious Cafe Skipton. It could have been the speaker, Nick Haines of the Five Institute joining us from Nottingham that was the big draw, or it could gave been Nick’s subject of “How to Feel Good About Yourself”. Either way, nearly 40 people joined us for a brilliant evening. We have three videos of the event to share with you, along with a full transcript and summary available to download.

 

The basics of Chinese philosophy, how the 12-year cycles work, and the key dates that will impact us

This first video tackles the premise that the more you know about yourself, the more likely you are to feel good about yourself. We look at the cycle of twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac and, according to Chinese philosophy, how each year affects us, particularly what has happened in the last 12 and what the next 12 years will be like for us, individually and globally.

 

 

Looking at the Five Energies, what they say about us, and what we might be here to do in the world at this time

In this second video, Nick Haines explained the Vitality Test and how it helps you to understand more about how, according to Chinese philosophy, the five energies are balanced or emphasised within you. Each of those five energies presents a KEY PRIMARY QUESTION that will likely endure in your life. Knowing this, and knowing the questions that drive us, is very helpful for relationships and understanding what drives others. When you know your Primary Question it’s easier to understand the gift, and challenges, that it gives you. Take the Vitality Test to find out which of the five energies dominates your life and the enduring question that guides you.

 

 

How family dialogue makes an impact on us in childhood and why it is virtually impossible to emerge out of it into adulthood with robust self-esteem

The 3rd video is where Nick Haines hypothesises why it is virtually impossible to come out of childhood with robust self esteem. Neuroscience now indicates that questions have more power over us than statements. Statements with power and force, like scolding ones that are negative in childhood, have greater impact and staying power than ones spoken with gentler, loving tenderness. Your unconscious mind is programmed to answer questions. You best serve yourself by asking Conscious Questions. Conscious questions that leverage our imagination and command the unconscious mind to respond can be constructed with a “WHY?’” or a “HOW?”. These will generate more positive, creative responses and will help us feel good about ourselves. Being kind to ourselves is key, and questions about good self care will make us more sustainable and of course happy.

 


This post was written by ConsciousCafe Skipton host Gina Lazenby.

Reflections on Love in Singapore

Hanna Krasnodebska with some of the members of the recently launched Conscious Cafe Singapore group

On Tuesday 26th February 2019, Conscious Cafe’s Singapore Group met at the cosy Reading Room to discuss the theme of “Love and Loving practices”, fitting with February’s holiday sentiments.

Hanna Krasnodebska, the group’s leader, started with the notion that love is an energy, and the highest frequency which connects us with the deepest part of ourselves; how love influences human biology, creating an internal environment for nourishment, connection and well-being.

The group discussed aspects of love in the context of forgiveness and gratitude, the giving and receiving. We talked about unconditional love, parental love as experienced from both familiar perspectives, that of a child in a family, and that of a mother who created and raised a family. One of our participants offered an insight: “a woman who experiences a rhythm of cycles has unique path marked with milestones of puberty, potential motherhood, life creating and nurturing family, menopause and becoming of a wise woman, a guiding elder.”

We explored self-love and how we find it challenging to accept ourselves as we are; how the family, community and wider environment influences us in our “quest for love and its expression”. 

The gathering comprised of women and we observed that it would be very interesting and complementing to have a male perspective.

All Good Vibes for Conscious Cafe Geneva

Since it’s humble beginnings, Conscious Cafe Geneva’s meetings have taken place at the MLC Café-Littéraire, a charming coffee-cum-bookshop in the heart of Carouge, run by the lovely Francis. Due to ongoing renovations, the café is set to close for while, which set group leader Debbie King the task of finding a new space.

“I thought it would be REALLY difficult,” says Debbie. “So I set aside a day to go hunting for one in Geneva, thinking it would be the first of several expeditions. And guess what – I found three! Not a single person refused me. At the venue I liked the most, the patron simply opened his arms and said ‘of course! Walk this way and look at this little room beside the bar which you can have all to yourselves FREE, whenever you want.’ AMAZING.”

Debbie left town feeling on top of the world, with the most powerful thought: the universe truly provides for a well-intentioned deed.

A Conversation on Uncertainty

ConsciousCafe Canterbury held a wonderful, deep and honest conversation on the topic of uncertainty at The Conservatory, which is the perfect place with an intimate feel. Perfect to hold a thoughtful and mindful discussion.

Our conversation ranged far and wide from talking to the moon, and finding solace from the moon and nature. We realised that we need to accept uncertainty as part of life. We felt that religion may help some people deal with uncertainty by giving them something they could trust in and a feeling of something greater than themselves. One participant, Vicky, said it is best to “go with the flow and accept that we are just a little wave on the ocean”.

Each of our group looked back to a time many years ago when they faced uncertainty and dealt with it and looked at what they had learnt. Richard remembered that at a difficult time of uncertainty in his career, keeping a dialogue with everyone really helped him. Another participant said that she had learnt that uncertainty “bears a gift”, and “we can learn to thrive on uncertainty. Feel it, allow it and surrender. See what your gut feels”.

Everyone is different in their reactions to uncertainty. For some, it may trigger fear and stop them progressing whilst others feel the fear and uncertainty but don’t let it hold them back. What are your experiences with uncertainty?

This post is written by Cora Kemball-Cook, leader of ConsciousCafe Canterbury. Follow the Canterbury group page to keep up to date with upcoming meetings!

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Upcoming Events

  1. Canterbury: The Mastery of Luck

    12 August @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

“I meet old friends, make new friends and feel positively challenged and uplifted.“

Nick Williams
Author of 10 books, including The Work We Were Born To Do
www.iamnickwilliams.com

“I’ve been coming to ConsciousCafe events for some years and can honestly say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. If you long to engage in meaningful conversations with people who are interested and interesting then ConsciousCafe is the place for you!”

Sue Gouldman, Career coach

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