I am inspired to share this blog, for lots of various reasons, mostly to do with my climb. You might recall last year or the year before I wrote (what I think is one of my very best pieces of blogwork) a story on my climb of Mt Everest. Thanks to my friend Deb, this is now affectionately referred to as ‘My Everest’. She is brilliant!
Back to my story, and my reasons to share. This year entered with a few magnificent obsession plans ( thanks Robin Sharma for the phrase and inspiration). It boils up to three areas of extreme and epic focus: writing, meditation and radiant fitness.
Today the page turned in the year, February, the shortest and most powerful month of the year, especially for romance! I am not among the many who have long since forgotten their resolutions from just 31 precious days ago. I am building on and entering the next phase, the second month, and with it, my new habits.
I started reminding myself of my focus for attention using my iPhone, iPad, blue index cards and even notes on my white board at work.
Being more mindful includes focus and dedication to a meditation practice, or at least, for me. Something non religious. Time spent in the stillness of the present, not wishing for more tomorrow or regretting the past. While I have many CDs and DVDs as well as countless downloads within every possible moments grasp, I love the activity and intention of a meditation sit with strangers.
When I moved to the most beautiful city in Canada, Victoria BC, I had never done it and had no inkling in my “thoughts become things” repertoire. In fact I don’t think it was even in a library of activities I had any idea about. I am now proud and inspired by my actions in this vein. I have taken many courses, sat on weekend retreats, attended meetup events and even thoroughly enjoyed five days of silence in a little retreat centre called Bethlehem. I have walked virtually going nowhere in the circles of labyrinth. I have read countless books of bound paper as well as on my Kindle ereader. I have driven my car to the wisdom of “don’t bite the hook” instructions by Pema Chodron. By the way, I strongly recommend everyone get that cd and listen to it thirty or forty times 🙂
Ok, so today my plan was to attend the Shambhala Meditation Center near my home for their free offering of a three hour drop in, come and go as you like, alternating sitting and walking meditations every Saturday morning. Donned with my shawl, and out for a walk in the crisp morning air I arrived in plenty of time and listened to some Mike Dooley audio book en route.
I found a lovely place to sit near some white orchids, by the window so I can also enjoy bird song provided by some very fat little brown birds perched and chattering on the ledge from the upstairs meditation hall.
The singing bowl has been struck and the sound still resonates in the ear long after the room is silent. Ahhhhhhhh, how I love that sound! Sit, walk, sit, walk, breathe, relax, stay awake and repeat. The last sit, my relaxed gaze follows a movement out the corner of my eye. A very pale coloured, and quite petite sized eight legged creature is coming. He moves at a rapid pace and seems to have me his sights. Breathe. Relax. Softly I think, “well, universe, I would sure appreciate sharing the space with mr. Spider, if he stays where I can see him.” The full width of the lovely window that gave me refuge and entertainment, is now the focus of my heretofore meditative relaxed gaze. Little spider gets his message from me, I assume, and takes up his spot at the very end of the window ledge, closest to me. He and I are going to share this spot, or I will let him have it to himself. I sit, I breathe and focus on my breath. In, out, one, in, out, two, in, out, three, …. You get the picture. I have no longer any urge to close my eyes or fall softly asleep. I am alert and present to this moment, this space. Time passed, as it always does.
The sound of the Tibetan bowl rings relief to my ears, I gather my coat and belongings, and head off, ready to spend my day creating progress in the other areas of my life, eating vegan sugar-free, gluten-free and no fat nutritional meals, exercise and writing to the universe.
Thanks for listening, reading and breathing along with me.
All my love,