Posted in Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Water

Reflections on frustration

It’s a long story, the details of which are probably not necessary for this post, but I spent yesterday morning visiting with frustration, trying to get to the bottom of it.  After digging through the surface issues, I finally hit the core of the matter.  The core, of course, is very personal.  It was a realization that I have not been honest with myself.

I was going to write “truth is such a fickle thing,” but that’s not true, is it?

Your body is the piece of the universe you’ve been given; as long as you have a pulse, it presents you with an ongoing shower of immediate sensate experiences.  Red, salt, loneliness, heat.  When a friend says something painful to you, your chest aches.  When you fall in love, that same chest feels like fireworks and waterfalls and explosions of ecstasy.  When you are lonely, your body feels empty.  When you are sad, it feels as if there is a Mack truck sitting on your lungs.  Grief feels like tidal waves knocking you down, joy like champagne bubbles welling up in your arms, your legs, your belly.  Our minds are like politicians; they make stuff up, they twist the truth.  Our minds are masters at blame, but our bodies… our bodies don’t lie.  Which is, of course, why so many of us learned to zip out of them at the first sign of trouble.

~ Geneen Roth, Women Food And God

I’ve been spending time learning how to be present in my body.  Listening to my body.  I’ve learned that my body knows truth.  No matter what my mind might be nattering on about, no matter what my emotions might be, my body holds the truth of the matter.

It’s not always easy to stay present, to sit with the body and with a truth.  It is, however, liberating.  Once I know, truly know, what’s at the base of an emotion, I can deal with it.  It’s the not knowing that keeps me tied up in knots, unable to move on.

Posted in Air, Earth, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering

Forty-two

The tallest tree in the Future Forest

Start with meditation, and things will go on growing in you — silence, serenity, blissfulness, sensitivity.  And whatever comes out of meditation, try to bring it out in life.  Share it, because everything shared grows fast.  And when you have reached the point of death, you will know there is no death.  You can say goodbye, there is no need for any tears of sadness — maybe tears of joy, but not of sadness.  But you have to begin from being innocent.

~ Osho

Today is day 42 of my commitment to practice seated meditation daily.  The year of stepping outside and the year of daily yoga practice have flowed naturally and smoothly into this new commitment.  42 is a magical number, if you’re a Douglas Adams fan.  42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.  I have no answers and I’m not even sure I ask the right questions.  What I have is this day.  42.  And on this day, I have decided I want to try to share those things that are growing in me as a result of meditation.

My daily walks have become a meditation, a time to mindfully take each step through the meadows, the woods, and around the pond.  Today I walked through the Future Forest where, six years ago, we planted over a hundred baby trees.  Twigs with roots went into the ground.  Most are still looking  like twigs with roots that have sprouted some leaves the way a teenage boy sprouts facial hair.  They are miniature versions of their potential.  One tree, however, stands tall.  A friend gave it to us when she heard we were planting trees.  The tree was small, and she thought it was a linden tree.  We have since decided it must be a birch tree, or a linden that decided to be a birch tree.  The tree dreams and in its dream it is a birch.

One day, a woman found herself standing at Heaven’s gate.  The angels’ only question to her was “Zusai, why weren’t you Zusai?”  Within that simple question lies the heart of all our soul work.  If you are David, why aren’t you fully David?  If you are Susan, why aren’t you completely Susan?  We are here on Earth to become who are meant to be.

~ Angeles Arrien

This one tall tree in the Future Woods is still hanging on to its leaves even though the rest of its immediate world is beginning to resemble winter.  Gray skies, brown meadows, a muted, going-into-hibernation world surrounds the birch.  Eventually the tree will let go into winter.  The leaves will all change color, and begin to release, one by one.  Even as it lets go and succumbs to winter, the tree will continue to be the birch tree of its dreams, fully present as a birch tree during the winter months.