Tag Archives: Meditation

Wisdom: Rumi on the Rocks

naked ladies

Coffee?   Toast?  Kisses?  How to transition from slumber’s sweetness to everyday responsibilities, preserving the wisdom and certainties of Self while activating the personality’s readiness and skills?

On inspiration just after the onset of summer I opted for reading aloud each morning from Coleman Barks’ “A Year with Rumi”.   I began in earnest July 1, settling into a chair on the back deck, book in hand.  Absorbing the morning cool, I started to speak into the forest, hoping I could harmonize with or at least not disturb Her morning melodies.

” . . .Dawn comes; blindness drains away.  Each day is eternity.   Do not avoid your suffering. Plunge it into the  Nile . . . .”

My inspiration on transitions must have been mistaken.    After reading such enticements, why would I want to pull on my collared shirt, clean jeans, and work shoes?   I only wanted to sit and reach deeper, to sink into uninterrupted contemplation and heart dreaming.

I encountered the same on July 2 and 3 and 4.   I considered giving up the project entirely.  But somewhere in the week of July 11, a change occurred.  Instead of sitting on the back deck in a chair, I sought the coolness of a stone overlooking the front garden.

On this rock, against the earth, the poetry lifted yet grounded and prepared me.   Sensual symbols accompanied by wise verse called me to remember the Heart’s values, to engage the risk and bliss of small sacrifices for the sake of healing.  Small gifts to give moment by moment in the everyday world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound and Silence: Airport Meditations

LuggageI used to uphold airport meditation as a measure of accomplishment; a rite of passage so to speak in the quest to “be a good meditator” regardless of outer circumstances.    I pursued this goal off and on over a decade or so, sitting with equal vigor in the relative quiet of NW Arkansas’ XNA and the multi-linguistic clamor of New York’s JFK.

It wasn’t until February, 2012, however, that I first experienced a profoundly immersive airport meditation.   It happened in Terminal B (I believe) of Dallas Fort Worth’s International Airport (DFW).   Arizona-bound to see my father who was in the final days of his life, I settled into the crowded gate area and closed my eyes, seeking not some pre-defined success or self-affirmation but rather Love’s solace and radiant silence.   What else can one do when approaching a convergence of vulnerability and the profound need for courage, grace and strength?

I recalled that spontaneous DFW experience last weekend as I wandered through O’Hare International after an embracing weekend with family in Chicago.  Surrounded by routine boarding calls and urgent gate change announcements, I was reminded that the primary obstacle to hearing the Heart’s Song rises not so much from outer noise but from the inner clatter of scattering thoughts and emotions and the agendas they agitate.

I still practice airport meditation on occasion, although thankfully no longer compelled by the noisy desire for accomplishment.    The simple possibility of once again registering the sweet Note of our Togetherness is more than enough.

 

 

Sound and Silence: Amidst a wordy week

buckeye.jpg

The week has been full of necessary words – read, spoken, heard, written, thought.  Personal.  Professional.    And it’s only Tuesday.

More than ever silent interludes are claiming my gratitude and replenishing my equilibrium and passion for life.   I linger over teeth brushing.   Relish dishwashing’s contemplation.   Treat myself to meditation under the stars at night and on the exercise bike in the morning.

Slipping into silence reminds me of the spring buckeye poised to unfurl; both being ripe with potential and unfolding beauty.  Both of sacred design.  Both so enticing and pleasing during these busy days of spring.

What do you enjoy most about inner or outer silence?  Or both? And how do you cultivate silence in your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth: Lost in Desert Light

 

 

sabinoThe Earth offers abundant gifts.   One I cherish most is late Winter hiking in the Sonoran desert.  I love the silence, the invigorating air, and the spectacularly hardy flora. From the bold Cholla to the humble, mosslike Resurrection Plant.  But most of all I love the Light.

Cholla

Light. It’s everywhere.  Penetrating.  Surrounding.  Embracing.  Pouring from the sun.  Radiating from the prickly palette of vibrant arid browns and greens.  Inviting exploration.  Immersion.  Meditation.  Healing.

Mount Wasson

For four days at January’s end my Mom and I hiked our favorite Southern Arizona landscapes. Mount Wasson, rising from an expansive saguaro sea.   Madera Canyon’s progression from riparian woodlands to absorbing views of Mount Wrightson’s snow drenched peaks.   Sabino Canyon with its back country trails and gushing tannin-stained stream.

I had encountered a difficult loss and some rigorous professional challenges in the preceding week. The luminous meeting of earth, sun and spreading sky evaporated my concerns and melted my sorrow, creating space.  Where a phrase associated with Capricorn: Lost am I in Light Supernal, yet on that Light I turn my back arose for contemplation.  In my heart.  And mind.

My understanding of astrology and astronomy levels in at basic.  But certain aspects, such as this Capricorn keynote, have experiential appeal to me. The desert beckoned me into its Light and invited me into the enveloping Luminosity of my greatest hopes and interlacing dreams for the Earth, the human family, my friends, family, and myself.  This Light renewed my strength and prepared me to return to the Ozarks and my everyday responsibilities with refreshed initiative, optimism, courage, and creativity.

desert flower

(Note: Capricorn in late January?  No, according to current mainstream astrology.  Yes, in the view of astronomically-based “real time” astrology which looks at the sun’s transit of the ecliptic in relation to the constellations, as they appear in the night sky.  Click here  for more information about this system).

 

Endurance: Consulting the wood stove oracle

Love

A friend invited me to a 2016 personal visioning gathering held last weekend.   She promised snacks and wine.   Also art supplies to give the vision form — an opportunity not directly in my skill set, but playfully appealing nonetheless.

A deep cold surged in the night before, and as I often do on those penetrating frosty eves, I settled into the narrow stretch between the wall and the wood stove.   Ruby, my  wonderfully plump companion cat stretched along side me; together, we soaked up the warmth.

That toasty wood stove nook lends itself to pondering, dreaming, meditation, questions and answers   I hypothesize that over the winter weeks it’s become invigorated with creative expectation.

Do you have a go-to space you’ve super-charged with wonder?  For insights?

Simply thinking of the visioning gathering initiated an easy flow of goals, projects, and initiatives for the coming months.   I jotted down the list in a small notebook I’ve taken to bringing with me when entering the wood stove realm.  At the top of the page I wrote  the heading “Carry the Vibration of Love”, and I re-considered my list in that light.

Love can be an amorphous ideal.  A word often exalted and deprived of  its everyday application.   To love is a gift.  A vocation, a commitment that expands and grows, taking many forms, filling a new year’s list. . . .  challenging, healing, enlivening  . . . perhaps endlessly day after day.

At the 2016 visioning gathering I picked up a magazine from a stack designated for collage making.   It was a random home and garden publication.  I flipped through the pages.   “Love”.  “Love.”  “Love.”   “Love.”    Caught my eye.  Again and again and again.   I smiled and reached for the scissors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Response: Sacred Symbols vs Status Symbols

healing mandalaA healing sand mandala was exquisitely created and then ceremoniously brushed away last week in the ballroom of the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs.  It was a profoundly generous labor evidencing the power of ritual and symbol, as well as the impermanence of form.

I felt fortunate to break away from work and visit briefly on the second day. The room was stuffy with summer heat, but an obvious peaceful enthusiasm and curiosity filled the sun-lit space. A friend who had been witnessing the mandala’s creation for several hours that morning and the day before said she could feel her heart absorbing the mandala’s healing spirit.

Her comment stimulated my wondering at the potency and depth of a symbol’s influence if that symbol comes from a culture other than one’s own. Is the response of a westerner to a mandala rich with Buddhist iconography markedly different than that of a Tibetan whose culture organically conceived the symbol and projected it into sacred art to be infused with meditation and prayers over centuries?   Similarly can a generations old, cherished family crest still evoke intended qualities of character and responsibility in our modern day?  Or is the question more the Heart’s ready receptiveness? Or simply a general willingness to respond to symbolic human wisdom regardless of history, culture, geography or form?  What has your experience shown you?

Given that we live in a global society that bombards us with materialistic status symbols, perhaps what matters most is finding and interfacing with those symbols that evoke Self-Centering, Earth-Loving, Wisdom-Seeking, and Inspired Action   Whether a statue of Kuan Yin. A bouquet of daisies. An image of a solar warrior.   A child’s drawing of the earth.   Some experimentation may be necessary to determine which symbols radiate sufficiently compelling magnetism to counterbalance and even outweigh the ubiquitous pull of advertisements for smartphone, cars, perfumes . . . things and desires which entice us away from Ourselves, instead of drawing us into the sweetness of the Heart’s Healing Gifts and Spiritual Message.