Tag Archives: #Consciousness

Altered States at ConsciousCafe Canterbury

ConsciousCafe Canterbury hosted a brilliant evening this week on the theme on “Altered States of Consciousness”. Host Cora shares her thoughts:
 
“Afternoon meetings do have a different energy and this one felt particularly bright and lively as the sun flooded into the studio and I was delighted to have a brilliant turnout of people, there were 18 of us in all. This was a lovely surprise especially after so many people had said they couldn’t come because it was an afternoon session!
 
It was difficult to give a clear definition of what an altered state of consciousness was. It implies a different way of seeing and feeling reality. Andy Wood described it as dreaming while still awake which is the level that the Shamans work at. Helen felt that we needed to shed layers of trauma and stress to find our true state of consciousness which was a state of peace and stillness. Everyday living created a less desirable altered state when there was too much stimulation.
 
One of our participants recounted how she had reached an altered state of consciousness through holotropic breath work which had been developed by Stanislav Grof. This work sounds fascinating and well worth looking into in more detail.
 
We can reach altered states through drumming, breath work, chanting, yoga, meditation, hypnosis, dreaming and with drugs like ayahuasca. Andy gave us an experience of drumming as we relaxed with the intention of finding our power animal. Julie recounted how she can go spontaneously into an altered state and within this state she can access other people’s reality which she can describe to them with stories, symbols and archetypal characters. She can use these visions to help a person to gain more self understanding and healing.
 
In our summing up of the afternoon we concluded that altered states can help people to heal, to gain self knowledge, to deal with traumas, to access their creativity and to become generally more complete and whole as a human being.
 
Thank you so much to Andy Wood, Helen Porter and Julie Stocker for sharing with us the healing work they are all doing.
 
Someone said as she was leaving that it was the best ConsciousCafe meeting she had been to so far!”
 
ConsciousCafe Canterbury is hosted by Cora Kemball-Cook and meets once a month on a new topic. You can follow the Canterbury page for updates all the latest events.

ConsciousCafe in the News!

“A SKIPTON-based group which sees members travel from all over the north to discuss life issues and share opinions has gone from strength to strength, say organisers.”

ConsciousCafe Skipton has been featured in The Craven Herald, the local newspaper for of Skipton and the Dales. Our wonderful Skipton host Gina Lazenby was interviewed for the article – she had a lot of high praise for her growing and thriving group.

“A really vibrant discussion group attracting people willing to reflect and share on issues that are important to all of us, like relationships, making a new start, finding work you love, and creating connection. It’s very participatory and people say they appreciate the warm atmosphere we have created. People are craving the opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and to have their opinions and feelings shared and heard by others.

Read the original article here.

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!

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.

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“Food for the mind and soul”

William Murtha
Author of, 100 Words: Two Hundred Visionaries Share Their Hope for the Future.

ConsciousCafe is such a wonderful concept and some pretty amazing people gravitate towards it.

Jessica Richards

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