I find at times that deep meditation is difficult for me. There are others as well who are revved up by life or just their metabolism who find it a struggle to quiet the mind. It begins just fine. I breathe in and out slowly and set a mantra or focus point for return when distracted. Then the thoughts begin. Ideas and things to do begin dancing around as I struggle to maintain quietness of mind. Some days it’s just a no go and I let go. Meditation is just that. Letting go of my grip on trying and just being. So what if all these images and words fly into my time of supposed peace. Like dreaming I think these things say something to me, so in the moment I resist pondering and just observe.
I return to the breath and the image of sitting on the shoreline watching. It is here, when I release judgement on the thoughts jumping in, truth presents itself as guide. Minutes dissolve as awareness becomes. Birds chirping outside the window, the clock ticking, the cool air brushing past my arm are all in this present moment of bliss. My awareness tunes in to God and the presence within me of Holy Spirit is filled to the top with peace, love, joy. Perhaps it is just a moment but that is all that is needed. Just that, a moment of being, silence, presence.
Have a blessed week of presence,
I watched a bird this morning. Standing at the window my coffee cooling with the passing time, I watched. It is often like this for me after a busy week. When days run circles around me my mind begins the dance of things to do. My usual peaceful morning walk through the garden brought to mind all that is to be done in this place. There is weeding, planting and supporting what has been planted that I should get to. I dream of what the finished landscape I am creating will look like adding more plans to the purpose. Then I come back to myself just as I begin the tasks- of -the -day list looming long.
So I stood at the window to watch and breathe. I feel my bare feet on the carpet, happy for the ability to stand and feel and the freedom to choose this moment of peace and grounding. That’s when I saw him. A busy Cowbird walking all over the lawn in circles with something already caught in his beak. It made me wonder what he was looking for and what would he do with it when he found it? Would he drop what he had possession of for something better? Every few steps he would cock his head to bring one eye closer to the ground for a moment and then march on. He covered an area of damp morning grass with a keen eye and intent steps. So like me this morning.
I hold in my heart and my hands the promise of a day and set my mind to focus on each moment as it comes. The cowbird will continue to search for something better because that is his nature. I can move beyond my nature to release my grip on the day and open to the lessons that are right outside of my window.
May you have a blessed day and week of Presence.
Do you ever wish someone would just come to their senses and do the right thing? Do you ever think that about yourself? I know that many times I do not. I can be quick to point the finger away from myself and slow to turn the wrist the other way. What’s up with that? Finger pointing is not a yoga pose, nor is it helpful in relationships. A very famous and humble teacher once said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
Sensibility is the coming to know your-self and how we see that self in our relationship with the world and with others. It is also awareness of our presence in a space and time. When I am excessively occupied with activities, things-to-do and worry, my sense of self is diminished. I separate myself from what is present and important, from people and from God.
Every time I teach a yoga class we begin by creating awareness. We feel and deepen our breath; we feel our feet or bottom on the floor. We begin to feel – become sensitive to the space we are in. It is a part of what I have been studying in Gestalt Pastoral Care courses that demonstrate how we hold wounds, physical and emotional in parts of our body. And in our human nature to protect our image of self we bury the hurt, the shame or the fear. We get busy or overeat or use substances to entomb the feelings.
So often in my own Gestalt work I come to the truth that the flaws I see in others are present in my own wounds. In the practice of yoga the asana (poses) opens areas of the body we hold closed much of the time. The breath combined with movement may bring about feelings or sensations that rise to our awareness. The time of meditation opens space to experience internal and external sensations. We become sensitive to our inner being and can explore our self while God’s grace meets us there.
When I practice this, a light of compassion always rises in the morning of my soul. Others become mirrors for me instead of irritations, and I learn. Yet still I avoid or distract myself and a reminder comes that urges me to get out the mat and get to work.
This week I pray you are open to your senses, all of them. And that you find your-self growing to find peace and compassion for yourself and others.
I am not flexible. That is not really true. As a yoga teacher I have greatly improved my physical flexibility with practice and patience. But if I look at myself compared to others, specifically other yoga teachers, children, those who are double jointed or acrobatically inclined, I am not flexible. There is much more to this though and if I look through the narrow lens of body image and ego I make judgments about myself that serve only to hinder my growth.
I am flexible. At the age of 60 I can move into poses I could not have done in my twenties. It is work and devotion to keep moving toward growth and includes the knowledge that God strengthens and uplift me to overcoming fear and my own self inflicted limitations.
I am flexible. Through life events and changes I have learned to be flexible in attitudes and beliefs. Change is a good teacher if we allow it to be and God’s grace is always available to help along the way.
This week I will continue my physical practice of flexibility but will also spend time to look in. To seek awareness of how others and my own thoughts and ideas hinder growth. As trees sway in the wind, I hope to sway in the winds of life, firmly rooted and grounded in God’s grace as well as growing tall and strong, remaining flexible.
May your week be filled with flexibility and growth in mind, body and spirit.
Moving through Sun Salutations in my mind and heart, another steps on to the deck to practice. Her mat ready and her mind set on movement of body with focus and intention….she is present.
My mind tends to jump ahead more often than it slips behind but at times the review of events is appealing as well.
Sweeping my arms to the sky with a gaze toward heaven….I know it’s not there.
Diving slowly to surrender is where I find it. Letting go the grip of burdens and attachments in worldly terms there is a peace that enters.
Stepping back to open my heart in acceptance. What is……is. The gifts of release….
To Just Be
Breathing in the Son rise there is nothing left to do or that can be done to enter this state of Grace.