On Thursday evening I attended an event hosted by the Conscious Club in Sydney – a group of people brought together by a common interest in expanding their minds in order to serve the broader community. It’s also a beautiful alternative to the current social culture of my generation which usually involves artificial stimulants (or depressants) taken in a noisy, crowded environment in which hours are wasted with no apparent character development. The events are beautifully orchestrated with some form of entertainment as the highlight, a short film or discussion, a group meditation and a vegetarian meal with social time.
The theme of this evening was enhancing your character strengths and those of others to be truly dynamic in the world. Take a moment now to identify 5 of your own just for fun.
Mine are kindness, calm, love, integrity, creativity.
On this particular occasion we were lucky enough to have Tom Thum grace the stage to share his story through a very unique journey of sound. Check out his TEDx vid here as describing him as a beat boxing, noise making, hyperactive dude doesn’t really do him justice. His predominant character strengths from my seat were passion, grit, curiosity, creativity and social responsibility.
We also watched a fantastic documentary titled ‘Slomo‘. About a man in his late sixties that transformed his life under the premise of “do what you want to!” Profound motivation I know, what he spends his days doing is kooky for sure but his story is inspiring. Makes you feel a bit silly for over complicating life so much. It’s not long so check it out if you can.
One of my favourite parts of the evening was a short meditation we took as a group under the simple instruction of conscious club co-founder, Tim Brown. I will admit I’m not particularly adept in the practice of meditation, mostly because I haven’t given it a red hot go, I usually just sit quietly through these things. Tim’s gentle guidance encouraged us to just focus on the breathe (or mantra if you have one) without any force and as the mind wanders let it then guide it back to the breathe, that’s it. For the first time in my life I was able to tap into that underlying stillness, a state in which you are aware of your surrounds and even your wandering thoughts but you are almost resting the mind below all that. As we slowly brought the mind back into the room I felt a heaviness, a frozen ness, as though I was suspended in time unable to move, which gently faded and the rest of the evening I experienced with unwavering focus and clarity. Love it! Meditation is going to become my secret weapon of focus.
The events usually wrap with a do good challenge, we are invited to brainstorm what we’d do with $500 to improve the experience of others in this world. I’m still racking my brain for a great suggestion. Feel free to comment below if you have one. My first instinct is to buy 10 people tickets to the next CC event.