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Maintaining Presence This Holiday Season

By December 10, 2019January 22nd, 2020Podcast

Join us in Chicago for House of Bodhi with Lola Wright at The Hideout on December 18th. Visit bodhicenter.org for tickets!

This episode features excerpts from a recent House of Bodhi with Lola Wright, Bodhi Center’s brand new live experience! Wherever you are in the world, you can get a sense of what we’re up to in Chicago. Lola shares a personal story about succumbing to holiday stress herself and offers suggestions for how we can become less thrown off course by the chaos of daily life. The episode closes with a walking meditation and some homework that will be useful to you as you move through your week.

The episode features special guest artist avery r. young and master juggler Cyril Rabbath.

To financially support the on-going availability of our live events, classes and this very podcast, visit us bodhicenter.org/giving, or text GIVE to 773-770-8577. No contribution is too small and no contribution is too large.

For more information on Bodhi Center, please visit us at bodhicenter.org.

For more information on Lola Wright, please visit her at lolawright.com.

This “talk” is electronically transcribed. Please excuse any errors or omissions.

Lola Wright: You are more than this meat suit. A feeling lasts 90 seconds. Awakening is for the many, not the few. Hello and welcome to, And This Is Bodhi. I’m your host Lola Wright. On today’s episode, I’m excited to share with you some excerpts from a brand new live experience. We are building through Bodhi Center. It’s called House of Bodhi with Lola Wright.

Lola Wright: For those who don’t know House of Bodhi, it’s this incredible gathering of human beings that travels around iconic music venues in Chicago. It’s intended to be a source of entertainment, of conscious interruption, of inspiration, all in service of shifting human beings, you and me, beyond fear and anxiety. So wherever you are in the world, you can feel as if you are immersed in the evening, right where you are.

Lola Wright: So first I’ll share a segment about pie. Really, I mean with the holiday season upon us, it’s a good time to remember to breathe. And maybe breathe an extra deep breath so that you and I don’t get all worked up about things like pies. I gave this talk on stage with our Bodhi House Band and Bodhi’s’ incredible music director, Ameerah Tatum, so you’ll hear them a bit in the first segment.

Lola Wright: Then later on I’ll share a brief snippet of my onstage conversation with world famous juggler Cyril Rabbath. He’s an alumni of Cirque du Solei and has made a living a life’s work out of juggling. Cyril inspired me to share an extra special meditative experience with you. As always, I’ll leave you with a practice to support you in your awakening, a little homework assignment should you choose to accept it. One piece of background information you should know: that night before I spoke, I interviewed the amazing musician and artist avery r. young. In that conversation avery mentioned the Bears and the Packers as a kind of shorthand for petty rivalries that we can find ourselves in. This tendency to create an us and a them. I just wanted to give a little bit of context, so now you won’t be confused when you me mention the Bears and the Packers. Okay, let’s go.

Lola Wright: I have this thing on my Instagram highlights and it’s such a profound, profound reminder for me, it’s something like, “You are an entity in a life and the drama that you experience is in fact an offering for your awakening.” And so for me, when I look at the drama that’s occurring on the planet today or the drama that could occur in this room or in my own being, it’s actually an offering for my awakening. So at any point if I find myself like why are we talking about this? Oh I don’t like it! It’s an invitation. It’s an invitation for our awakening. You know, the discomfort that was happening in my family system at 13, 14, and 15 was an offering. It was a drama. It was a big drama that would have done well in Hollywood and it was an offering for my awakening.

Lola Wright: So I just want to pay particular attention to the context that we hold of and for this thing called life, you know, it’s become sort of like a buzz context. Like everything in life is for. No really, everything in life is for you. All of life is for you. That’s like a nice platitude, but what that framework actually requires in mapping on to oneself is like a whole other ballgame. It’s like really? How is this challenging situation for me and guess what I get to say there is something that is occurring in the life of each and every one of us that’s thematic. There’s some discomfort there, some disease, there’s some [inaudible] that you’re experiencing. And you are because you’re human. I am because I am human and we can be in resistance to it or we can move our hips and loosen our knees and dance with it and go [inaudible]. Can you imagine having sex with your struggle? Like not from your pathology but like how is this for me? Yes. Yes. Right. It’s like I love the hips. I love the knees because it keeps us loose. And we are walking on the planet like real crunchy. I was at the pie shop Spilt Milk at 6:20 AM this morning because if you did not place your pie order by October 1st, you my friend are not getting a pie unless you show up at 6:20.

Lola Wright: Do you know I was person like 47 in the line at 6:20 and the doors opened at seven and I was like, wow, this is so interesting. What we will wait in line for, the things we won’t do and the things we will do. So interesting! And it was like you could just tell by person like 12 the bags, those folks were carrying out were like big and everyone’s like, “Oh I wonder what kind of pie they got.” [inaudible]. Everyone’s like, [inaudible]. And you can just feel the line, get like real crunchy around some pie. And we get up to the door, they’re now like 10 people before me and it’s cold outside. It’s hot inside. I’m thinking as a business owner you probably don’t appreciate this person holding the door open, letting all the hot air out. I don’t know what mother you had, but Anne Rossiter was not playing that. Turn the lights off. Keep the doors closed. Don’t let the heat out and don’t waste money on this electric bill.

Lola Wright: So this lady had her door open because she was nervous because she needed those pies. But do you know that one in you? I even started to be like, yeah, yeah, I want an apple fucking pie. Not a bourbon maple pecan. Not a traditional pumpkin. I want an apple pie. Well, the apple pies were gone by the time I got up there.

Ameerah Tatutm: Aww Lola.

Lola Wright: I know but I don’t even like Apple pie. My daughter does. We’ll figure it out. But it was really like, it was a great metaphor and how we walk on the planet, you know, always sort of like, mm, not enough. Not enough. Not enough. Black Fridays about to be here and people get real crazy. Even like, you know, you’re just trying to go to Starbucks and you got real uptight about it.

Lola Wright: What does that require? It requires a cosmology of belief, a cosmology of thought that says like, all right, I got this. I got this thing called life and it’s like a fight. It’s like a fight that would not be an example of life is for you. So I just invite you as we move into this thing that is called a holiday season to pay attention to if you are finding examples of people’s innocence or if you are walking in a state of intolerance. We have a lot of intolerant humans on the planet right now. Life does not happen the way I like it. I had an expectation you made a promise and I am now intolerant because you are living outside of my idea of how this thing called life should go. Your peace, your joy, your happiness is not dependent on the pie. Your peace, your joy, your happiness is right where you are at the center of your being. Life will continue to spin and things will drop where you are and they will be an offering for your awakening.

Lola Wright: The awakening that we are being invited into at this time and space is actually an awakening back to your native state. Well, most of us are walking in is an altered state. I’m actually asking us to return to an unaltered state where you turn within and you go, “Wait a second. What’s the truth of who I am?” I am the presence of the infinite. I am the presence of God itself. I am the presence of good. I am the presence of love, of joy, of peace, of freedom. That is my name. That is my nature. And I promise if we have human beings, there will be a tipping point where the consciousness of humanity shifts beyond the Bears and the Packers. That’s just our survival self that yields very little.

Lola Wright: So how are you moving beyond that survival state? What are you willing to lay down, getting yourself all amped up about. The song you’re hearing right now is “TChala” by the aforementioned avery r. young and the Bodhi House Band. We’re going to take a short break in a moment, but before we do, I should tell you that tickets are on sale now for the December 18th House of Bodhi live experience. It will be at the Chicago music venue, The Hideout. It’s going to be a powerful evening with humor and intended to open your heart, awaken your body. My good friend Gentzy Franz who is a brilliant teacher, business leader, conscious practitioner, former Mormon and just hysterical, heartfelt human being. So you’ll want to be with us on December 18th at the hideout and my old beloved friend, The Twilite Tone is going to be doing a party immediately thereafter. So if you’re not already familiar with DJ and producer, The Twilite Tone, he is a legendary musician, has produced the likes of the Gorillaz, John legend, Kanye West, Common and so many others. So if you can hang out with us after December 18th you’ll want to do that. Also, tickets are on sale at bodhicenter.org and we only have a handful remaining. So move quickly.

Speaker 6: As always, all of Bodhi’s programming is made possible by our generous, awakened supporters. I believe that Bodhi is one of the most incredible contributions on the planet at this time. We are seduced by fear and anxiety in ways that are debilitating to so many of us. And Bodhi provides a platform to support people in shifting out of those fear based patterns, those perpetual anxiety states into, and back to your native state. That is a place of peace, a place of freedom with great access to joy. So if you are committed to supporting the awakening of humanity, I’d love for you to make a tax deductible contribution by texting the word GIVE to (773) 770-8577 or visit bodhicenter.org/giving. We are really grateful for your generosity, for your commitment and every dollar counts.

Lola Wright: So maybe you woke up today and had no idea you’d hear the phrase world famous juggler, but that is what Cyril Rabbath is. He’s been a part of Cirque du Solei. He’s been juggling professionally for 20 years and onstage at House of Bodhi, he reminded us all of some very basic biology. The right side of the brain is connected to the left side of the body and vice versa. We’re divided in our neurology.

Cyril Rabbath: And if you think about it, since we’re doing everything in life one sided, we actually developing our brain like the neuropathways in the structure of our brain, not evenly. Juggling is the opposite of that. It’s one of the very few things you can do in life where it’s actually triggering and engaging your body in a very balanced way. The practice of juggling is actually to connect the body with the mind. After a few decades of practicing, I realized that I was able to master my body in my mind to bring my attention to something bigger. I would say, I would dare to say my higher self and bring in to be present in all in the same way I was practicing to be present doing meditation, practicing meditation. But I mean action. And that’s where meditation in action comes in and I believe any master of their craft music, painting, every artist that really master their craft can get to that point of zooming out enough to just trust the body and the mind to do the right thing and being a present moment aware of what’s happening. I become a spectator of my own creation.

Lola Wright: So we tried something totally different, super unique that night and it was powerful. We did an open eyed juggling meditation with Cyril. He juggled, the band played, and I led the room in a meditative practice, again, eyes wide open, watching Cyril. And we’re so used to thinking of meditation as this very solitary, isolated, inward experience. And the truth is you and I can create inward experiences even with our eyes wide open. So we had this multisensory meditative environment where Cyril moved his body and moved the balls while I invited us to relax the central nervous system. And it became this mystical experience that was like a kind of conversation that the instrumentalists were having with Cyril, we’re having with me, and on and on and on. It was very beautiful.

Lola Wright: Cyril inspired me to share something special with you today, a walking meditation. We spend a lot of time talking about meditating on a meditation cushion or scanning our bodies, but the idea of meditating while you are engaged in daily activities may be new to you. You can meditate during anything and anywhere and any time in your life. So let’s go ahead and do this practice now. I want to invite you into an open eyed meditation. A walking meditation.

Lola Wright: Begin to stand firmly on the ground, creating a sense of anchoredness of groundedness, noticing the ways and the places and the spaces in which your feet touch the floor beneath you. If you’re driving, you might choose to do this later, but again, we’re doing an open eyed meditation. So no matter what you’re doing right now, you actually have the ability to move through the world and be in an intentionally aware and awake state. As you begin to move throughout the space you’re in. Bring a kind of hyper awareness to your breath, to the movement of your body and to the environment around you.

Speaker 8: [music]

Lola Wright: As you create this awake state, notice how you are witnessing yourself. You are functioning as the observer of your activity. As you breathe and move, you begin to activate a kind of awareness that has you witnessing yourself.

Lola Wright: You create a kind of spaciousness.

Speaker 3: Notice the subtlety of sight as you glance upon an object before you.

Lola Wright: You may choose to go through a few cycles of breath as you place your awareness on the object that is before you. As you place your focused awareness on an object in your line of sight, as you move about the earth, you may begin to notice, that the boundaries of that object begin to loosen. Begin to soften.

Lola Wright: Continue to deepen your breath. Bring your awareness to each step you take on the earth. Noticing that there is a way that you and I can walk on this planet deeply unconscious and there is a way we can walk on this planet with an increased sense of awareness, noticing our impact.

Lola Wright: As you begin to continue walking throughout the space, place your awareness on the abundance that is all around you.

Lola Wright: Perhaps notice the abundance of books, perhaps notice the abundance of laundry.

Lola Wright: Perhaps notice the abundance of spoons in your kitchen.

Lola Wright: Notice your ability to place your awareness on some thing or someone and perceive through your intention.

Lola Wright: Continue to deepen your breath as you move throughout your environment. And now allow the experience of appreciation to well up in your body. Begin to look around your environment and invite your awareness to fall on that which inspires appreciation in your being. Of course, the question is, what is the source of appreciation? Is it the object or is it your awareness? You and I are constantly creating our experience through our awareness.

Lola Wright: Continue to move intentionally and mindfully through the space. Find an object in your environment that you would like to touch. Begin to notice the nuances of the object through your touch. Notice the texture. Notice the temperature. Notice the functionality or lack there of. Notice the objects purpose in your life in this now moment.

Lola Wright: Setting the object back down. Continuing to walk with a kind of mindful awareness. You might begin to pick up your pace and reintegrate yourself into a more conscious, awake presence so that you can go throughout your day today noticing the ways that you’re deeply connected to all that you interact with. As you and I take just a few minutes every day to be in a deeply intentional, meditative, awake and aware state, it begins to permeate our entire existence. Our awakenness, our awareness becomes more accessible all the time. Thank you for being someone that’s willing to practice. Noticing the ways you move through time and space.

Lola Wright: All right, let’s take a little bit of a practice away from this podcast that we can work on together and then reconvene about later. You can always connect with me following this by emailing podcast@bodhicenter.org or find me on Facebook and Instagram @lolapwright. I really would love to know how the application of these concepts is making a difference in your life. I am not here to support you in the theoretical. I am here to support you in the practical. So let’s think about this for a minute. You know, we’re in this very full time of year. We are oftentimes a midst, a massive swirl of activity, and I want to invite you to have an active practice in the next week of focusing your attention on the swirl of life. So often meditation can feel like an escape practice. So it’s a beautiful thing to turn within and bring your awareness to the center of your being, that still small voice, and the greatest practitioners have the ability to experience stillness in the midst of the swirl.

Lola Wright: So I want to encourage you this week rather than turning within exclusively and having a meditation practice whereby you close your eyes. I want to encourage you to do a walking meditation. Walk throughout your experience and place your attention on seeming circumstances of chaos and see if you can create through the use of your breath and the conditioning of the mind. See if you can create spaciousness between the swirl and the chaos and you. Your ability to practice witnessing versus being enraptured or being consumed by something is your place of great opportunity. One of my teachers, Michael Beckwith said when he visited Bodhi, “Have dominion over your awareness, and you will have dominion over your destiny.”

Lola Wright: Remember, your mind just does what the mind does, but you are more than your mind in the same way that you are more than your feelings. You have thoughts, you have feelings and you and I don’t have to let ourselves be taken out by them. Notice the chaos, the circumstances around you and witness it.

Lola Wright: As a reminder, all of Bodhi’s programs are funded by people who believe in this work. If this podcast means something to you, if our live experience House of Bodhi with Lola Wright means something to you, please consider supporting these efforts financially. You can text the word GIVE to (773) 770-8577 or visit bodhicenter.org/giving. We would love for you to give a onetime gift or to become one of our monthly contributors. I’m your host, Lola Wright. This podcast is produced by Katie Klocksin with editorial guidance from Bodhi’s creative producer Tyler Greene. Music in this episode came from Blue Dot Sessions, avery young and the incredible Bodhi House Band: Ameerah Tatum, Brendan Doshi, Sam Trump, Simon Dufour, Chris Paquette, Kevin Smith, Jackson Shephard. The live show was recorded and mixed by Jay Kyle White Sullivan with support from Joe Dusseau. Our theme music is by independent music producer Trey Royal.

Lola Wright: I even started to be like, yeah, yeah, I want an Apple fucking pie.


Bodhi is a conscious community in Chicago, IL. We offer in person and online experiences for people who are ready to transform themselves and their world. Bodhi uses media, education, entertainment, and like-minded community to support transformation.

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