Mindful Meetup Limburg originated as a follow-up to the Meetup group called “Mindful Nature Walks”. This was a group founded with the intention of bringing together like-minded people in the Limburg region to walk and/or meditate (in nature) in a respectful way for each other and nature. The core concepts here are therefore respect for people and nature and awareness/mindfulness.
The platform I used for organizing walks and meditations was “Meetup”. In itself a great app, but I noticed that the application had a strong filtering effect on the composition of the group. It is mainly an app aimed at expats or students who often change their place of residence. I also found the app very pricey in contrast to a simple website.
This site is, among other things, an attempt to make the group composition a bit more varied. It is also an attempt to involve several people in organizing activities and to make it possible for people to put their own activities on the agenda.
That is why you will find two categories of activities in the agenda:
- organized by Mindful Meetup
- organized by third parties (not affiliated with Mindful Meetup)
Do you want to organize something yourself or do you want to put something on the agenda, take a look here how to do that. The starting point of the activities is grounded in humanism. So no claims here about healings, past lives, supernatural powers. or the medicinal properties of stones.
Wiki quote humanism:
........... and today humanism can refer to a non-theistic attitude to life centered on human agency that focuses on science rather than revelation from a supernatural source to make sense of the world naar een niet-theïstische levenshouding gericht op menselijke keuzevrijheid die zich richt op wetenschap in plaats van openbaring van een bovennatuurlijke bron om de wereld te begrijpen
My own intention as an organizer is to regularly organize a walk with or without (unguided) meditation and to organize a weekly or fortnightly meditation evening.
Who am I and why this website?
I'm Bart Decker and currently living in Urmond. Without divulging a whole life history here, I will briefly go through what prompted me to first start the Meetup group and now continue with this website.
So I deliberately go as short as possible.
A few years ago, my life took a drastic turn due to a failed back operation. What followed was a turbulent and difficult period of loss, rehabilitation and acceptance. Loss of physical possibilities, but also loss of loved ones, accepting less physical possibilities, accepting daily constant pain that will not go away, rehabilitating with head bowed in an environment that hinders you more than helps and sees you above all as a patient who has to listen in rather than as a person to be listened to. It was, and actually still is, recalibrating the relationship with myself and others.
For me, and I'm sure anyone going through tough times, this was also a period of deep introspection. A newfound confidence in myself. For me, mediation and nature were the two ingredients to create space between the intense feelings and thoughts that my situation evoked. Space between the story that makes up my mind of the situation and what is “really” taking place.
Everyone recognizes the tendency of the head to create a story that is often not positively charged. The head strings everything together with the danger that the weight of the story becomes unbearable. The tendency to self-identify with thoughts in absolute black-and-white terms is almost automatic. When that happens we tend to extremes in reactions to ourselves and others and the nuance disappears. Anger, envy and bitterness lie in wait. We then live in the head instead of in the experienced reality.
What I have learned in the space created by mediation and spending time in nature is that many opposing emotions can co-exist. Sadness or anger at parting, with a joy for the other for the courage of that parting, sorrow for the loss of physical possibilities and the joy for regaining new possibilities, the heaviness of the physical pain but the lightness that is when you find that part that doesn't hurt.
Of course the tendency to self-identify with thoughts has not disappeared and I do not float above the yoga mat with the idea that I have discovered "the secret of life" and that I want to help others with it. Nor is it the case that daily meditation or walking in nature completely removes the stream of thoughts or “that which is difficult”.
In any case, for me it (often) brings that calmness so that, in a daily challenging situation, I can (usually) approach myself and others from that calmness.
Albert Camus' poem “winter” sums up the whole period well.
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Nu hoeft je verhaal natuurlijk niet heftig of zwaar te zijn om lekker mee te wandelen of mee buiten te gaan mediteren 🙂 Ook als je net de lotto gewonnen hebt, ben je hartstikke welkom 🙂 De kans is dan wel wat groter dat we je vragen voor de koffie te betalen.