A nice meditation for Collective Prayer Sunday

When I started down an unintended spiritual path with lots of 80’s New Age practices, I frequently listened to/practiced guided meditations.  Somewhere along the way I by and large wandered away from it.  Lately I’ve been in the mood for them again and most of my old stuff is in formats I can no longer play, so I’ve been dipping in to offerings on YouTube.

I’ve found a few things I like and have a growing list of more to try.  Yesterday — after midnight so technically during CPS — I found this one.  Not only did I enjoy it, but even though it started out as a personal thing, it wound up with lovely healing and praying for peace for the earth, so I thought it suited the idea of Collective Prayer Sunday very well.

Enjoy!

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Pushing the River

Kentucky River by Hall's 3.JPG

Kentucky River, L. Gaitskill 4/16

The week before I left for Marin, I had an appointment at which a big release in my head finally occurred.  Always pressing for this long process to be over, I hoped the release might lead to finishing the unwinding process before I left.

Didn’t happen.  So then I moved to hoping it would finish out there.  Didn’t happen.  Though the unwinding has been moving at quite a pace since the big hang-up piece released, it’s taking longer than I hoped.

it’s not that I don’t know better than to keep pushing.  Not that I’m unaware that when I keep looking ahead I’m not staying in the moment.  Patience and waiting have been major, ongoing lessons for me as I don’t do either naturally :-).  But I’ve found it especially hard to keep myself from looking beyond the pain and discomfort of all this muscle stuff… to  gaze hopefully into a future where my body is free and healthy.

I imagined that the unwinding would be done by the time I got to Marin and I’d spend my weeks there resting and meditating and contemplating my next steps.  Instead, lots of unwinding happened there, though for once it didn’t interfere with sleep and I got tons of rest.  Instead of mapping out the next phase, I slipped into relaxation, allowing the huge shift created before the trip to percolate through.

In spite of those hopes for “doneness” and planning, I quite naturally moved into being in the moment more than usual, enjoying the scenery, the quiet, reading and walking, etc.  Since I’ve been home the unwinding has gone amuck again and is back interfering with sleep.  And I’m frustrated again, wanting it to be over.

So much in my face is now open and so little is left…  but the remaining pieces are the deepest core and they’re SO tight.  I’m not sure how much longer — I just know every day I want it to be the last day.

While I struggle with patience, I’m also understanding all the “wait” messages I’ve been getting for some time.  Besides the inner message I’ve been receiving for a while, lately I’ve been drawing runes and tarot cards with “wait” messages.

And finally I’m settling into a place where — at least some of the time — I am prepared to just wait.  The inner wisdom is that while my body is reorganizing itself (more on that in another post) I need to just sit back and let it happen.  It takes a lot of energy to re-do a body.

But sometimes, I kinda want to push the river 🙂

BTW:  It’s Sunday, so I hope you’ve already found or still have set aside 10 or more minutes to pray or chant or meditate for/on peace.  See CPS page for more info.

Progress, Sundays, etc.

Clipart MP900446423 by iCLIPART

Clipart MP900446423 by iCLIPART

After several trying days with the unwinding and resulting sleep issues, the left side of my face is vibrating today with all the blood/energy flow in unaccustomed places.  The only really tight spots left seem to be opening — still a process, but moving at last.

I’m a little fuzzy-headed so have struggled to focus on much writing the last few days…

But I HAVE given some thought to Collective Prayer Sundays and, for the moment, have decided:  I’ll leave the page up on this site but, unless, like today, I happen to post around the right time and thus add a reminder, I won’t specifically be posting reminders on here any more.  I will put a little more attention into the Facebook page.  You can always see the latest posts there on the right side of the page here.

So, hope you find at least 10 minutes for peace.  Every day really…  There’s no such thing as too much Being Peace…

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  May love fill and surround you.

Playlists and fun and peace time…

Liz over at be.love.live, has been posting playlists for a while now.  As part of my try-new-things writing and playlist listening venture (see post for the first part of the story), I’ve listened to a couple of her lists and one of them (I forgot to note it, so I’m just guessing it was this one)* sparked my own list creation adventure.

I’d not heard of pretty much any of the artists nor the songs, but I found the general style reminding me of a lot of music from the 70’s that fused folk and rock, country and rock, folk and country…  I started hunting around on Spotify and wound up creating my own list.

Part of the fun arose from the fact that, while these were all artists and tunes I liked at the time, most of these fell by the wayside for me as I grew older.  While I still listen often to the old Bonnie Raitt and Carole King recordings, many of these folks I’d not listened to since, say, 1975…

A little bit of not so fun was that some of the lesser known artists –particularly a number of Chicago folks who recorded on small labels — have not had their work switched to CD nor digital formats and so are unavailable on Spotify or, in some cases, at all.  Since much of my old record collection was wiped out in a basement flood about 10 years ago, it’s disheartening to realize my old Chicago faves and a few others won’t be replaced.

Back on the enjoyment front, it was so fun to hear all these tunes I’d just about forgotten.  The list will probably change as I need a few more listens to decide if some material should be pulled off and given a different playlist.  And I might add to it…  But the current version can be found here.  It’s best listened to with “shuffle” as I just made my stream-of-consciousness way from one group or artist to another, sometimes prompted by Spotify’s suggestion of similar artists and sometimes sparked by one artist to think of another; I stuck them on the list as I found them.

Liz, btw, very kindly types up a list of songs and artists and puts it in her posts along with the link to the Spotify list.  I’m way too lazy.  If there’s a way to copy and paste the list from Spotify, I have yet to crack the code.  And I’m too lazy to figure it out 🙂

Two pieces I really wanted to have on the list and couldn’t find on Spotify were from the late Mimi Farina (with Tom Jans) and the original (pre Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham) Fleetwood Mac, whose album, Bare Trees, has long been a favorite, with Sentimental Lady high on my list of all-time favorite songs.

This little writing and listening practice has had a wonderful side effect.  I’m so energized when I finish that I’ve been doing yoga or riding my exercise bike afterward and then I feel drawn to do the Ego Eradicator and sing chants.  It winds up being an hour to an hour-and-a-half of renewal/me time and I can’t express how much it’s doing for me.  And if on any day I’d told myself I had to start spending that much time at once it never would have happened.  All arose because I was willing to spend 15 minutes writing and listening to music…

In the meantime, it’s Sunday — don’t forget to find some time to BE PEACE.


*Not sure that anyone listening to her list will see how I got from it to mine — I think it might be one of those you have to be in my head things 🙂

Enjoying Sunday Peace

For some reason praying for peace has been at the forefront of my day since waking up and mentally repeating the lovingkindness chant for a while before getting up.  Lovely way to begin the day.

After several days of things shut down (snow) around here, the post office was out making deliveries so the essential oils suggested by Hanna (see post) finally arrived so I guessed at a ratio, mixed them with carrier oil, tossed in some rose oil and put some on.  I’ve felt a bunch of energy moving ever since.

Late in the afternoon I wanted to meditate.  Notwithstanding the morning chanting, I’ve not been in the mood for the lovingkindness chant for some time now (though I repeat the chant to myself often).  I HAVE been drawn back lately to the Ego Eradicator, which I did for the suggested 40 days a couple of years ago and wrote about here, here, and here.  So I began with that.

Then did a short guided (by me) meditation to look into the Roman past life that’s hanging on in my head and work on releasing it.  Made progress though the sense is I need to meditate on it some more. My guidance is to write a spell about it and create a circle in which to meditate.

Then I moved on to singing Gayatri Mantra, followed by Om Shanti Om. I love Deva Premal’s versions of those and I like to sing along with her instead of singing alone (and having to count along with my prayer beads 🙂 –let her do the counting…).  Going out of order, I remembered after I finished meditating/chanting that I’d meant to smudge the room (burn sage and cedar) as I’ve not done it in AGES and forgot, so I smudged anyway.

My final step was to leave Om Shanti Om playing on a loop in the room.  I’ve found that a piece of music with a particular energy to it can impact or shift the energy in a room just playing on repeat.  I used to do it sometimes in my classes when I felt a need to shift — just put a particular chant or chakra balancer on repeat and let it move the energy in the room through the whole class.

All day I’ve just followed my instincts about what practice or chant to do and I feel SO good!  Hope you found 10 minutes or more to pray or chant or meditate for peace, thereby creating peace in you.

When the only change is energy…

from: http://www.vishvarupa.com/aum-om-omkara-pranava.html

Om

Julianne from Through a Peacock’s Eyes left a comment a couple of days ago in which she used her awesome ability to read energy and told me my energy has transformed a lot in the last couple of years.  I really appreciated getting the confirmation since shifted energy is all I can feel.  It set off swirls of thinking about trying to count progress when inner growth and changing energy are the only indicators.

Some years ago one of my teachers mentioned that one of her favorite things about hanging around with me was watching me constantly transforming.  It was a nice recognition of the fact that I have never stopped working on myself, doing practices, looking inward, releasing, etc.  Those confirmations help me because I get a little lost when all the change is energetic and/or inside.  Sometimes I start wondering if I’m just imagining I’m different or if anything has moved in my life.

When I started this path I was deeply unhappy.  Drawn to a therapist who used meditation and other metaphysically-based techniques, I loved the new world to which she introduced me but I was there to figure out how to be happy, how to find work I loved and wanted to do, to cope better in the world.  I DO cope better, but I’m financially far worse off than when I started and my outward life/world has changed very little.

Somewhere along the way the practices led me to value the spiritual side of the journey but I still have the desire to live a different and more fulfilling life.  Right now it’s pretty different because all the troubles with my health that have had to be dealt with as part of this journey have left me barely doing anything.  I have to dig deep quite often to find any faith that all of this work and changing and shifting energy actually leads somewhere; and that it leads somewhere I want to go…

Hmm…  Set out to have a better life and the two main outward indicators of progress are I’m poorer and I don’t do much.  Hmm…  But I’m calmer and kinder and healthier and I have found a hard won equanimity in which the world no longer buffets me easily from one emotional crisis to another.  I’m far healthier.  And my energy keeps changing.

Some days it’s hard to keep going along the path down which my intuition is leading me because I just want for life to change in measurable ways.  I’ve seen people wander away from this journey because their frustration at the seeming lack of progress became too great.  It has me wondering how many people give up when the journey outwardly seems to take them nowhere?

I feel my journey has moved so slowly because I am sort of a culminating point of ancestral issues and past life issues creating blocks throughout my being.  It’s taken years to clear away all the debris that’s had me stuck.  And it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of conversation out there about this kind of journey.  I know I’m not by any means alone at starting off with lots of movement and excitement and then running into a tangled web of issues that take forever to unwind.

How many people lose their way because there’s so little support or information about a long, slow slog through the dark night?  So much New Age style literature implies that you should be able to just change your “mind” in an instant and start living a different life.  I’ve seen very few people for whom it’s happened that fast; and of those it’s generally been people who have a dream not that far off from the life they already lead who achieve change so quickly.

Makes me happy again about all that tenacity and determination I got from my ancestors because this version of the journey is slow and frustrating.   I don’t know that I’d have stuck with it but for their legacy. I’m curious to hear stories from other bloggers of experiences — whether their own or friends’–with a slower, longer journey, keeping faith, etc.

Don’t forget it’s time to set time aside for Collective Prayer Sunday!

 

Whew… don’t have to have a passion…

Gilbert sharing some interesting view on creat...

Elizabeth Gilbert  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a widespread assumption in the spiritual community that we’re all supposed to “find our passion” or “pursue our passion”.  It’s implied that without passion and its pursuit life is somehow lacking.  I always feel a bit flummoxed when I encounter this opinion as I don’t feel I have a passion.

The “Shame” of Not Having a Passion…

I’m not too inclined to toe the line with such opinions so I won’t say I’ve suffered because of it, but it certainly has caused me to think about my interests and whether I feel passion for them.  And sometimes to worry that I’ve lost my verve.  To wonder whether I should be trying harder to determine a passion.

It isn’t that I haven’t had one.  As a child I was pretty single-minded about pursuing music and, more quietly, I always wrote.  My passion for music fell by the wayside, particularly when I realized I don’t really have the right skill set/talent for the type of music I’d prefer to make.  But I remember what that felt like to have a burn to do something.  Which is how I know I don’t particularly have one now.

So I felt relieved and pleased when I finally played my recording of a Super Soul Session with Elizabeth Gilbert.  She told a story of speaking about passion and the need to have one and then receiving a letter from an attendee, describing how badly the talk made her feel since she didn’t have a passion.  Elizabeth examined the idea of pursuing passion and concluded that some of us have many interests and our path is to follow curiosity in whatever direction(s) it takes us.

That’s more or less what I’ve been doing for a long time. I’ve followed a variety of seemingly unrelated threads and over time I realized the threads have been slowly forming a picture; each thread I’ve been led to follow connects with one or more others.  Quietly something is unfolding and I’m content to follow each beckoning trail until the tapestry reveals itself.

I like that she was able to step back from a conviction about passion based on her own experience and to realize not everyone has the same path; not every one has a passion.  Some of us have some meandering to do.  Some of us are drawn to many things and no one of them calls more strongly to be pursued.

Sometimes the exhortations to find a passion and follow it feel a little like bullying to me since I don’t have one.  If you have a passion or ardor is important to you, you may find such advice is helpful.  But for many of us the assumption that everyone must have a fanatic devotion to some particular pursuit is hurtful because it makes us wrong for failing to single-mindedly pursue one course.

The Video

The “embed” feature on the video doesn’t seem to actually put the video in the post but this link immediately opens the video of Elizabeth’s talk here:

http://www.oprah.com/video_embed.html?article_id=59798

Choosing Words…

I’ve also sometimes felt like “passion” is too strong a word for me.  I used to live on a roller coaster of emotions and one of my favorite things about years of spiritual practice is the greater equanimity with which I live; melodramas used to be constantly playing in my head as I exaggerated emotions and turned everything into a drama and I DON’T miss that.

Passion always feels to me like a word that belongs on the roller coaster ride.  I kind of like “follow your bliss” better.  And I really like Gilbert’s quiet hummingbird, flitting along the paths of its curiosity.  Those words feel like they fit better with my hard won state of balance…

Don’t forget it’s time to set aside 10 or more minutes to pray or chant for peace!