Monday Meditation- Signs and Signals

Living in the present moment with awareness of others, surroundings and self creates direction for this journey of life.  Not always with certainty but there are practices that provide help to be present and centered.  Prayer, meditation, Gestalt work and Yoga have been guides to quiet my mind and heart to focus on the here and now and decide which steps to take on the path.  But sometimes I need more.  I need a physical symbol,  a wake up call to know I have wandered off the path.

The most obvious are signals of neglect.  When life becomes too busy and I stray off my course my plants begin to wither.  I have a schedule of watering my houseplants, they are important to me and the health and aesthetics  of my home but it seems they are the first to suffer from my negligence.

Others are less obvious and only creep into my awareness when missing.  When I am attuned to my spiritual life with God, when I am focused on prayer and meditation, attending worship and studying scripture I generally wake up with a song of praise in my mind and on my tongue.  On these days other signs and signals are glaringly obvious.  Awakening to God’s presence of love opens my heart, mind and eyes to so much more of life.

Years ago I came to the conclusion that if I believe in a creator God who made the heavens and the earth, and if I believe that God is a love so great that my guilt and shame were erased through that love in Jesus, then I needed to spend more time getting to know Him.  On a Monday, because that is when you start new things, I read from the Bible and meditated on the reading.  I thanked God for this leading and guiding and then went for a walk.  I discovered that my conversation with God, listening to the creation sounds of birds and leaves applauding in the wind, continued with the taking in of so much beauty. Love seemed to wrap around me, joy filled my heart and peace settled into my whole being.  It had not rained in several days,  there was not a cloud in the sky and a soft breeze blew.  I turned the corner and right above me was the largest rainbow I had ever seen, it seemed I could touch it if I wanted to. I felt light and I heard a whisper “thank you” .  It wasn’t my word, the Divine Love touched me in that moment as I decided to love back.  To love the creator is to love the creation, the earth, all people, myself.

Much has happened since that time and I continue to learn and grow, I forget and stumble, my plants can suffer and I can wake up without that song in my heart, but I know God loves, not only me but all of creation.  God speaks to us, in dreams, in nature, in music, and all we need do is open our hearts, our eyes and our ears.

I wish you awareness to see signs of love.

 

 

Monday Meditation – Friday

I saw a bumper sticker years ago that said, “I do yoga for savasana”   It struck me as funny because it is mostly true, for me anyway.  I step onto my mat for my body and about halfway through practice I am ready to lay down and meditate. It seems that Friday, for most is that savasana we can’t wait to get to.  It is the end of a workweek and a the beginning of a weekend filled with promise.  By Wednesday, now termed “hump day” those of us starting work on Monday are already rushing to Friday.  During the weekend there is time to rest and relax, spend time with family, go to parties or have one for friends.  Time to sleep in or time to catch up on the chores we let slip during our busy week.  So we begin many Monday’s just looking forward to Friday.  Sometimes when there are longer term goals in mind even the weekend is difficult to rest in.  My savasana is sometimes restless with anticipation of what is to come.

My work week is no longer Monday through Friday but I still hold some of the old habits of rushing through anything to get to my purposed goal.  I love that God reminds me (knowing I need constant reminding) that life’s journey is not about the middle or the end, it’s about the beginning.  When we set an intention or goal for our work, when it has purpose above collecting a paycheck, the week is full of growth and grace.  This week I am working at camp.  It’s an easy place to discover God’s work.  The beauty of the place aside, it is Holy Ground to me.  Stepping on my mat this morning I enjoyed each movement and what it could teach me.  My tightness about work that needs to be done today settles in my shoulders and jaw, I breathe and let it go.  A wonderful Gestalt phrase is “What is happening now”.   I set a new intention of momentous awareness.

In this week filled with promise I promise to look beyond each whole day to see the present.  I seek to find rest in each day even for a short time so that I need not glare into the future.  To look in instead of looking out or past.  I intend on loving and living in each moment and rely on God’s grace of reminders to live fully and appreciate instead of anticipate.

Thank you to Meg who is teaching at the Library and the studio this week.  Enjoy her practice and teaching.

May you be blessed this Monday and each day of this week.

Sue

Monday Meditation – Just That

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,

Sue

Monday Meditation – 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.

Sue

Monday Meditation – Sensibility

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.

Blessings,

Sue

 

 

Monday Meditations ~ Flexibility

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.

 

 

Son Salutations

 

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.

Son Salutations

Sunrise