Meditation Practise

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Meditation Practise

Postby phil » Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:56 pm

Do you guys find a formal meditation practice useful?

You know, setting aside time to sit, watch your breath, or whatever other technique you find helpful.

It seems fully integrating watchfulness in to everyday activities is the ideal. Is a meditation practice part of your system for acheiving that integration?

Thanks for whatever you'd like to share.
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Postby Clare » Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:15 pm

Today, I did perfect meditation. I am very especially egiocally proud :)

It was early and I had to walk across the park to get to the post office (mail room). There was an early morning fairytale layer of mist over the lawns. I chose to walk across the grass, figuring the frozen earth would not be muddy. It wasn't. It was crisp and slightly doughy under my feet. Not only that, the first piercing rays of the sun set the frost-rimed grass into a million diamond sparkles that dazzled my eyes!

The air was filled with song of birds, all sounding as if they were trying to cheer themselves despite the onset of the big freeze. I reminded myself to put fat and seed out now - high up, where my cats can't reach. I mused how I love the sound of sparrows and blackbirds and woodpigeons, but that I see the crow as the scratch in the record. Then I listened again, and thought about crows and how they are must feel so inadequate - no wonder they are so formidable - to hear all this beautiful song, and then try to join in and find you can just go "ARRRGGGKK!!"

I started to laugh. And love the crows.

And then the piece de resistance happened!

It stopped me in my tracks.I was breathless and totally swept away. The most BEAUTIFUL thing!

A tree. It's leaves burnished gold by the rays of winter sun on the sugar-turned chlorophyll. Bright gold. In the midst (mist) of all the green and silver from the grass and fog and ice, there was this brilliant unremitting gold - Pure gold! And it had outdone itself. The leaves had fallen from the tree into a pool of layered golden light around the roots. So we had a head in the clouds of gold that looked as if it was reflecting in a pool on the ground. I stood still, completely taken aback. I was mesmerized.

So...this is how I meditate. I find this more useful than focussing on breath, etc.

Please don't correct me. Oh..Pluheeeze! ;)
love, Clare
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Postby kiki » Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:32 am

Clare,
You understand meditation perfectly. Bravo!
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Postby phil » Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:13 pm

Thanks for your beautiful post Clare. I wanted to join in, but find the best I can do is.... ARRRGGGKK!!
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Postby heidi » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:20 pm

Hi Clare - Thanks so much of sharing that. I run the beach almost every day, and stop and stretch and do my Halleluia! and share isness with the lements (I posted it some where, Nice Gateway) and the joy of the universe just runs through me! And even when I'm inside, I do it, and still get that joy of oneness.

I do sit sometimes, too, and it is good for me to sit still in awareness. But I'm with you, out in nature is the best place for BEing!
XO
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Postby Clare » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:23 pm

Oh, I dunno about that, Phil. You sound pretty much in tune to me :)
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Postby Clare » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:45 pm

ooh, Heidi, we were posting at the same time.

Yes, I remember reading about your rituals with the ocean and the beach and thinking how beautiful thatwas. I love that idea. It must affect who you are to be so close to the sea - that elemental, tidal force.

And yes, sitting. Sometimes I think just sitting quiet will do it. But nature brings me into the now like nothing else. Good job I am moving to rural France, eh? Then again, I think living in the city has made me see nature as sacred -as it's so rare (and it IS sacred, of course ). But it puts me in touch with that. I find myself treasuring tiny blossoms in the park, jumping for joy at the sighting of a painted lady butterfly, and seeking out sunsets between buildings.

Hmmm, It's gonna be interesting to see what changes happen when I become more rural! <excited squealy feeling in tummy! >

Love , Clare
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Postby phil » Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:35 am

Clare wrote:But nature brings me into the now like nothing else.


Same here. What's interesting is the universality of the experience.

Nature so often has a centering be-here-now influence on so many people, from so many times and cultures, even if they have no knowledge of or interest in the concepts we discuss here.

Some grumpy old workman chomping a cigar spends the day on the lake fishing to get away from his wife. When he thinks about spirituality, which is never, he dismisses the whole topic as bunk. He drinks cheap beer in quart bottles, votes Republican, loves football games and girlie mags, and brags about all the deer he's shot.

(No be-lank, this is poetry, not autobiography, so don't get any big ideas.)

And none of this matters. When he goes out on the lake, nature accepts him as he is, without judgement, and gives him some peace.

He doesn't say thanks, or sing anybody's praises. He takes it all for granted.

Nature could care less. Anybody anywhere anytime anyhow who shows up is offered beauty and peace. That's the deal, no strings attached.

I've read that Tolle, and other spiritual teachers I've heard of, tend to mirror people back to themselves.

Nature is like that. It's a church to a spiritual person, an aesthetic experience to an artist, a playground to a sportsman, a bed to lovers, a workplace to a farmer, a magic land for kids, and blanket of comfort to the elderly. And it can deliver any combination of the above and so much more with ease.

And there it is. Right in front of us. We can touch it. It's solid, real. We can put it in our mouth, hold it in our hand, rub it on our face. We can see it, hear it, smell it, bump in to it, jump up and down on it. We can build a house out of it, or in it. We can wear it. We can eat it.

It's not a concept. Or somebody's theory. Not vague, elusive, or confusing. Requires no interpretation, no allegiance. It accepts all faiths, without requiring conversion.

It's free. For everybody. Always.

It gives life, and takes it. Without exception. Without judgement. Everything made separate is made whole again. Every single time. Has never failed. Not once. Ever. Flawless faithfulness. We could be the pope, or a frog, or even a forum blowhard, and the promise is always kept, no matter what.

A truly universal church, in the most beautiful of cathedrals, accepting all creatures great and small, as they are, without reservation.

Sign me up...
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Postby summer » Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:55 am

Phil, your words were beautiful to read,

Nature is so awesome, that I often feel that my words fall so short of what I am trying to describe. You did a great job of capturing the unconditional love that she is, and how precious every little part of her symphony is. She is Love in a physical form that everyone can appreciate and enjoy.

Thank you
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Postby Clare » Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:34 am

I'll ditto what Summer says, Phil (isn't it lovely that she's called Summer? :) ). That was like a balm for my eyes this morning.

(It's so funny. I just typoed that, and I had wrtten "tha twas like a blam for my eyes" - sort of Shakespeare does Batman)

Balm, and... blam! - you put me right there in the moment.
Thanks, Phil. 8)
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Postby heidi » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:38 pm

Last night I stepped out in the cold darkness of a few minutes (to have a smoke), and looked up in the sky. And, as if just for me, a falling star swept a big arc across the sky. Hallelujah!

Now, if I hadn't stepped out, I wouldn't have seen what I saw, so the smoking itself is a sacrament, too. In fact, the more present one gets, the more everything is a sacrament! :) 8)
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Postby bluejay » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:11 pm

anyone see news about benefits of meditation at conference on health.Actual study done on health of monks.
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Postby be-lank » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:13 pm

"so the smoking itself is a sacrament, too."


As well as my meditation!
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Postby Katiebug » Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:43 pm

Nature is like that. It's a church to a spiritual person, an aesthetic experience to an artist, a playground to a sportsman, a bed to lovers, a workplace to a farmer, a magic land for kids, and blanket of comfort to the elderly. And it can deliver any combination of the above and so much more with ease.

Phil, what you wrote is brilliant. All of it! I never thought of nature that way, so thank you for the lesson. :wink:
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Postby phil » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:24 am

Thanks for your kind words guys. Thanks to be-lank for the writing inspiration.

Anybody other than Heidi have a meditation practice that is really smoking!? :-)

So, we all like the fact that we can start a journey in to now by a purely mechanical act like moving our body from indoors to outdoors. Get in truck, start truck, drive 15 minutes, exit truck, voila.

Sometimes I take the next step in to now with some walking meditation. I play a game where I walk as slow as I can. Go as slow as possible, but don't stop. You know, same concept as still sitting, except that it's harder for my mind to wander, as it has to pay attention to the mechanical moving of my limbs in order to play the game.

Another mechanical gimmick that I find suprisingly helpful in gearing down to be-here-now in nature is officially called the smelly feet portal. :-) I find a place to sit down and massage my feet until every little corner is thoroughly mashed. If I do a good job, usually that alone is enough to open up my chest and breathing, and at that point my mind is usually content to just watch the breathing.

It's amazing really how far we can get in to now with purely mechanical gimmicks like this.

We've pretty well visited all the good nature places with a few hours of our house, so we're being forced to explore new ground beyond the "wow, isn't this new and exciting" nature experience.

This winter I've been focusing most of my time on a park 15 minutes from our house.
http://nature-for-you.com/san-felasco/cellon-creek.cgi

I go to the same little spots, over and over, and deliberately bore myself, and sit through it until I reach a place where I'm no longer asking nature to entertain me. I find I'm not really there until I can stop asking that spot for anything. You guys know what I mean, I don't need to explain it further.

We've tried to bring this experience to the Net by creating videos that loop over and over on a single scene. But it's largely been a flop. Turning the "entertain me" paradigm inside out is an excellent way to lose an audience trained to expect stimulation. And most of nature's power gets lost in the translation of nature in to an abstract medium.

Blah, blah, blah, etc. Geesh, somebody keep this guy away from the coffee machine!

I'm sure you guys have your own tricks, perhaps you'd like to share?
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