“I have some food in my bag for you
Not that edible food, the food you eat
No, I have some food for thought.”
– Erykah Badu
Food For Thought is our take on afternoon tea, an opportunity to feed our bellies and minds every Thursday here at Impact Hub Birmingham.
Join us as we gather around the workbench and discuss key themes and ideas each week, hosted by the community over tea and cake!
This week’s Food for Thought topic is habits. We all have habits that block us and bring undesirable outcomes. How do we deal with stressful situations? How do we overcome laziness, strong desires and anger…? Do we give up to these harmful habits or use whatever tools we have to overcome them. What about the good habits? How do we develop them? I want to share some of the tools and practices which have been very helpful for me. We can encourage, support and inspire each other to overcome what needs to be overcome and set up new habits that will eventually bring good results for us and the community.
This week’s session is led by Cetovimutti with Mindful Habits.
Before coming to Birmingham in November last year, Cetovimutti had spent 4 years practicing as a Buddhist nun in Theravada monasteries in Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. Where she practised various ways to deal with the impurities of the mind. Cetovimutti has a deeper understanding of practices such as: vipassana (insight meditation) , tranquillity meditation known also as samatha, metta (love and kindness meditation) and compassion.
Before her ordination, Cetovimutti was a painter, seeking to inspire with her works of art. Back then, she had observed that the quality of the mind influences the paintings. Therefore, when the mind was clear and bright the forms and colours naturally came together in a harmonious way. On the other hand, when the mind was shadowed by negativity, the paintings became more dark and unappealing.
Furthermore, Cetovimutti started to understand that the state of the mind influences every aspect of life, as everything we perceive throughout the senses is interpreted by the mind, which further dictates our actions of thoughts, speech and body. As an example, when I was cooking with love and kindness the food was better.
As a result, letting go of the bad qualities, and cultivating good ones became for Cetovimutti more important than any tool or knowledge she could acquire to make my work better. It occurred to Cetovimutti, that in order to be a better person and consequently a better painter, she needed to understand how to deal with anger, greed, delusion and all the habits that create suffering.
While traveling through Europe and Asia Cetovimutti met inspiring Christian priests, Hindu gurus and priests, teachers, shamans, Buddhist monks and others that claimed they found the true way to happiness. She listened and learned from all of them, back then they all seemed to point in the same direction. But, it was only when she got to know and practice Theravada Buddhism that she started to see clearer the nature of habits and learn to work with them. Seeing the importance of what she had learned, Cetovimutti decided to dedicate herslef full time to the practices that the Buddha taught, and being a nun gave her this opportunity. Cetovimutti now resides in a monastery in Birmingham, and continue to develop her practice.
Food for Thought is free for Impact Hub Birmingham members to attend and £5 for non members. If you’re not a member, you can book your ticket via Eventbrite here.
If you are interested in hosting a conversation or activity of your own at a future Food For Thought, please do get in touch.
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