Thursday, November 29, 2012

Swimming is easy but you do have to get in the water.

After reading "Changing gears" (my last writing), a friend asked what it meant when I used the quote, "If you only have five minutes to meditate, make sure it is a universe of it's own."  She did not know what "universe" meant in the context of meditating and I sensed she felt it was out of reach. Not wanting her to give up,  I replied, "It is like swimming, you can't jump off the side of the pool, not knowing how to swim, then say, "Oh shoot, I give up, I can't swim. I'll never get the feel of it."  She laughed and said, "Write it."

Indeed, you can't learn to swim by looking at the water, no matter how hot the day, nor can you learn to meditate by not meditating. To swim a person needs to experience the feel of their body in the water, the feel of how buoyancy works, then learn and practice the strokes repeatedly until one is in another "universe" called swimming, quite different from standing on an edge of the pool and looking on.

Swimming is not hard, in fact, it is easy and ordinary after you learn -- so is meditating.
However, one does have to jump in to get the feeling, practice the strokes, take the time to stop, breath, quiet oneself, and try not to think of the daily jobs waiting. En route spirit grows,  silent resonance begins, feeling is evoked, then arrival -- meditating, a sacred place. 

photo source:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Changing gears...

I was thinking earlier how meditation is like changing gears in a car because one can actually feel the difference in the levels of energy after each shift. I noticed how distinct the differences felt.

This morning I did not feel like meditating.  My only urge was to get on with my day.
Jobs to be done, waited.  So as a pump primer, I picked up a meaningful reading. A little feeling other than dull and neutral evolved. I slowed my breathing -- softer, deeper. An awareness of presence began to form, mine, then Other. Finally, I was ready to meditate, no longer wanting "to get going", I just wanted to Be in the hum of being.

This energy movement from dull neutral to spirit-feeling was like shifting gears on a standard (car).  I started cold, then with a little reading shifted my energy into first gear and second, (stiff, noisy) working up to third, then forth where the engine is beginning to hum. Once in fifth gear the energy purrs between the paws-pause (I couldn't resist). A place of no thought.

Leaving the bedroom after, it struck me how distinctly different each shift of my energy felt, like moving through different layers of aliveness, like sitting in another reality. if one has only five minutes to meditate then "make sure it's a universe of its own."*   

*Piero Ferricci, psychotherapist, philosopher

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bounty-ful memories

News of the sinking of the HMS Bounty triggered memories long forgotten of my personal connection with the grand ship.  I and my future spouse were there when it first took form in a Lunenburg shipyard 50 odd years' ago.  The ship was a replica of a vessel with a history worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster -- which, of course, happened.

Going to Lunenburg to see the ship take shape was an adventure. We had very little television, no iphone, or ipad in the early sixties.  Here, an 18th century historical drama was being brought to life in the form of wood, caulking and tar. Most Nova Scotians knew the story. On these visits, one week the keel was laid, on another visit the ship's ribs curved up like a well picked turkey rack.  Months later standing under the bow, the ship looked massive. Finally in 1960 the day of launching arrived and so did we. As it moved down the slipway we knew we had watched the HMS Bounty come to life, again.  

This morning, the ship is at the bottom of the ocean as are the initials the two of us carved on the keel that day in our own private celebration, when no one was looking.  Today, fifty years later, Bounty's sinking and the loss of life is, indeed, sad and personal.

(Published November 2012 in the Reader's Corner of the Halifax Herald.)

(Merchant Marine Published November 2011 in the Reader's Corner of the Halifax Herald: click here to read article.) 

Monday, November 12, 2012

dragon fly

Taken by Lisa from the kayak
"See the light in the tiniest insect, and even in the invisible particle that forms that creature's leg. It's the same light that beats your heart and holds the universe in place -- so allow yourself to not just be in the awe of the insect but to be the insect."  Wayne Dyer 

Dragon Fly...

Having toast and coffee on the sun deck, I noticed this phosphorescent blue-green thread quivering suspended in air, two feet in  front of the rail. Watching four wings emerge,  it is a dragon fly.  I wonder, is it really?

As I watched the blur of gossamer wings, I am captivated by the insect's green iridescent, hovering beauty. Labels and naming freeze life into matter, into objects, into things. Maybe it isn't a dragon fly, an object, a label, a description, a life reduced to a definition.  Maybe it's something else. The longer I observe this hovering motion of color the faster we both seem to be dissolving, escaping solid matter -- no boundaries, no sides, no containment. 

Then it moves toward the rail. I ask in a quiet voice, hardly breathing, "How about it little dragon fly do you want to play?"  I wait, it moves through the rail, hovers in front of my legs. "Are you connecting? Are you hearing my caring? Are you feeling me out, too?" 

Breaking contact,  I move back to the deck table.  Glancing over my shoulder, the iridescent blue-green seemingly follows. I shift slightly back, again. Now it almost touches my T-shirt, pauses a few seconds and fly's back toward the lake. 

The power of seeking is in leaving the question.  Mine is, was this little insect making love, too?