Monday Meditation ~ Harvest

Ripe tomatoes hang waiting in the fall frost in the bed right next to tall swiss chard and a zucchini that has gotten out of control.  The harvest in my garden this season is scarce compared to last year.  I could blame too much rain, the snails that demolished the early green bean crop or the early fall parching heat.  But those are just factors that I can’t control.  I could have adapted had I given the garden the attention it required.  I was an absent gardener this summer.  I planted and visited but did not provide the attention needed for an abundant harvest.   It is a blessing of the sun, the rain and the hardiness of some of the plants that I have a harvest at all.  We will be eating zucchini everything for awhile and fresh tomato sauce will grace our table for some months.  But I will miss those fresh green beans.

Attention, care and time for self (body, mind and spirit) when lacking can also reap a crop of stress and diminished energy.  If left too long physical symptoms arise as warnings like  dry, limp plants seeking water.   It happens.  Life happens with all of it’s highs and lows pressing in on our awareness to create the things to do lists.   The lists get longer and the days get shorter and our harvest basket of life is not full.  What to do?

Time is relative, check this out by attempting to meditate for 10 minutes.  Set a timer and sit to breathe.  Breathe in and out slowly and focus on the breath.  10 minutes becomes a long time.  And in that 10 minutes of quiet and focus on the breath you have calmed your nervous system which in turn benefits your whole being.   Add a physical activity prior to your meditation time, a 20 minute walk or yoga! Incorporate your spiritual practice as well, a reading or prayer.  No equipment required just 30 minutes.

Once a week do something that provides for your whole self wellness.  What helps you relax, what inspires you, what brings you joy?  Give it an hour or two.  Then practice a short time of meditation daily.  The garden of your soul will grow to support your body and mind as you move through life with attention and intention.

May your week be full and ripe with opportunity for growth and peace.

Blessings,

Sue

 

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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

 

 

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 

Penned by Idols

Girl on Beach“Tell us you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear…..I look but there is no one-no one among the gods to give us counsel, no one to give answer when I ask them. See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion? Isaiah 41:22-23, 28-29.

Wealth, Vanity, Material Possessions and SELF have all appeared as characters in my book. They thankfully are not the main characters but make occasional appearances thinking they might make the story more appealing. They can be beautiful and exciting in different ways.  They are also false idols that can cage me.

Wealth creates a life of ease for Vanity who sits on the beach with a margarita reading great novels, her toes in the warm sand. Vanity is slender and tan in a sleek black bathing suit, skin smooth and young. She heads up to the house where Material Possessions lives in a quaint summer cottage on the shoreline. Right off the pages of House Beautiful each room decorated with crisp blues and greens, bright white gauze curtains wave in the breeze around a small porch facing the sea. Vanity pads barefoot into the house, as Self whispers, “no worry about the sand, the housekeeper will sweep that up”. SELF turns on the news and disgusted with the stories of others suffering, shuts it off and gets a sandwich prepared by her chef with fresh arugula salad. Ahhhh and Lust for a life like this! I forgot about her. She is a control freak and tends to be the ringleader. Fiction, nice to read but eventually I reach “The End”.  Time to get up and clean the house, put some dinner on and throw a load of laundry in before I sit down to some TV.

In reality, wealth puts food on my table, clothing on my body, a roof over my head and material possessions that I can’t even keep track of under that roof (and in the shed, the barn and the garage). Too much stuff! Vanity creates stress with worry about weight and ability in my yoga practice, she revels in the idea that she doesn’t look her age and often devotes her time to an unrealistic goal for her body. SELF is constantly poking her head up and saying “what about what I want?” and “why can’t others live the way I think they should.?” SELF can tend to be lazy and does not use her time well.

These are the idols (false gods) that I turn away from  daily as I pray, practice yoga and meditate on God’s word. They have proven as scripture says to amount to nothing but wind and confusion.  In Yogic scripture Patanjali identifies five causes of pain one of which is raga which is attachment or passion and another abhinivesa –love of or thirst for life, fearing death.   Yoga helps me to still my mind and listen .  I hear that to live life to its fullness is to find my self as God created me, not as the world sees me (or I in turn identify with the world).  I seek to follow, learn, serve others and live in peace with all.  So I Pray, Practice and in doing so hear the still small voice of Love encouraging me to Worship God, creator and redeemer who provides for all that we need.  Gratitude is fostered for all blessings of home, family and friends.  My heart opens to love others and release the grip on earthly things.  There is where true freedom lies.

 

“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”  2 Corinthians 3:16-18