We are delighted to be partnering again with the wonderful Dragon Cafe for their new initiative offering on-line support to their patrons. Tamara Russell from the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence will be sharing over 8 sessions a creative exploration of our “dragons” – the movements of breath, body, blood, heart and mind that make up our experience as limited, yet awesome, human beings. The final session will be a curated on-line gallery show of the work created over our time together. At the Dragon Cafe, ALL are welcome. Details at the bottom of this post.
Usually, this creative healing space finds it’s home in the Crypt of St. George the Martyr church in Borough London. They have taken (mindfully) the courageous step of moving on-line. This gives their activity leaders a chance to share healing creative practices with those stuck at home, and unable to access the resources and community desperately needed in these increasingly hard times.
The spirit of the Dragon Cafe was set out by Founder Sarah Wheeler. A true “mother of dragons”, Sarah shared her story, her pain and her creative expression with huge courage and vulnerability on the walls of the cafe. She inspired others, both those working in healthcare and those needing those services, to take risks, get messy with any medium that feels right, and have the courage to be real with our pain and suffering. Not in indulgent or pitying ways, but with the strong belief that it is through creativity, and community, that we can heal together.
Mindfulness Centre Co-Directors Dr. Tamara Russell and Tony Langford, as well as other collaborators including Dr. Maya Campbell, Anthony Fidler, Delpine Perrot and Dr. Vitor Pordeus, Tiago Tatton and Sylvia Maria Affonso da Silva, have all offered workshops, experiences, events, dance, and explorations of various kinds at the Cafe.
The Cafe’s innovative and cross-cultural approach is closely aligned to the spirit of work at MCoE. Exploring mindfulness in new ways, not afraid to take risks and get it wrong and inclusive to all. It recognizes both the very real and necessary “boundaries” between those who care and those who are cared for, whilst at the same time tuning into our core humanity and recognizing the suffering by both sides of our imperfect system.
At it’s inception, the Dragon Cafe integrated a whole systems mindfulness approach. Threading mindfulness practice and the ethos of “care+attention to prevent future harm” throughout the system. It’s not always easy to be mindful and many bumps along the way illuminated places where more could be done. Sarah’s death was one such moment that left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the organization and the Dragon community. Yet she is with us always in the spirit of the Dragon Cafe and in the willingness to try again, approach our Dragons and keep going.
This course is dedicated to Sarah Wheeler. It is a small attempt to “replicate” her courage in facing the most fierce and imposing dragons (our minds), in order to discover the gold within that these dragons protect. We will need the Three C’s on this journey together (Courage, Curiosity and Compassion – try the short meditation offered down below to explore this more). We will explore mindful ways to create, play, move, share and heal on-line. We will offer our curated creative output at the last session (Feb 15th 2021) so that others can witness, be inspired and take their own small steps in their healing journey, knowing they are not alone.
We start October 26th 2020. The session runs from 3-4pm (GMT) every other week. Register in advance for this event:
In the first session we are getting ready for this journey to supported self-care. We will start by learning about your three dragons. The movements of heart, blood, body and mind that help us to know which dragon is with us at any one time. Learning how to Feed Your Green Dragon is our overall aim. This will help us when we have to get stuff done (with our focused and goal-oriented Blue dragon energy), as well as resource us for times when our Red Dragon (fear, threat, sadness and loss) overwhelms. We will share ways to creatively enhance well-being with practical tips to bring into your daily life. Come with a pencil/pen and some paper and if you can, anything you have to hand that is red, green, and blue. Or just come …..and see what emerges.
It’s wonderful if you can join us for the whole journey, but please also feel free to drop in along the way.
You might like to try this short (8 mins) practice to explore your thoughts and feelings about the Three Cs (curiosity, courage and compassion).
A short video where Tamara is talking about the three Dragons (in the workplace setting, but it’s about the brain, so relevant to us all).
Tamara talking to Senior leaders in the Creative industries “The Future of Work is Brainwise and Dragon Friendly“