When I first saw this cartoon, I laughed with knowing awareness, since it is how I and many who meditate, find the practice to go. The truth is, meditation is ‘not what you think’. My initial foray into that realm occurred under water as I swam multiple laps for many years as a competitive swimmer, long before I put my tush on a meditation cushion or yoga mat. It seemed a natural thing to do, as I was in the ‘zone’, clocking mile after mile in chlorinated nirvana. I lost track of time, lost count of laps, my body cutting through the water seemingly effortlessly at times. At the end of the practice, shaking off the droplets, I felt both exhausted and exhilirated. These days, I appreciate the saying that prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening for the answer. I admit, that I don’t have a disciplined practice, catching glimpses of the insides of my eyelids (other than for sleep) not as often as I would like. I do know that when I do submerge into deep delta state, I emerge refreshed and re-energized…who wouldn’t want more of that?
When I am doing it solo, that dialogue in the cartoon is an accurate portrayal, a running patter in my ever so active, swinging from the trees monkey mind, chattering at me about all the things I could be/should be doing rather than ‘wasting’ my time traveling in other realms…plenty of opportunity while I am sleeping, is what I tell myself. When I experience guided meditation in the presence of someone who is soothing of voice and deft of technique, I immerse more deeply, letting go of control. I don’t always remember what happens in that state, but I know that I am receiving benefit nonetheless. Music helps me too, as a beckoning invitation to float away on its melodious and harmonic raft. I welcome entering the zen zone~
As I am writing this, it is still officially Leap Day…that anomaly in the calendar that occurs once every four years, an ‘extra day’ to balance out the year. It hadn’t occured to me until tonight that many people consider it a magical event as well. I was facilitating a workshop tonight called Leap Into Life at the beautiful Greenshire Arts Consortium in Quakertown, Pa. It is a lovely nestled-in -nature venue for workshops, classes, drumming circles, spiritual events and the like. Arlene and Jim Curley are the owners/directors of the center and in the years I have known them, have found them to be stewards of the land on which it sits and welcoming hosts to all who set foot on it, as it emits a palpable healing energy.
On this rainy night that filled the winding forest-embraced roads that took me to Greenshire, I had a sense of exhiliration, wondering what leaps the folks who would attend would be willing to take and how I as a guide could create a safe space for them to do so. As a facilitator, that feels like Job 1. I know that I don’t have the right or responsibility to decide what anyone will glean from our time together, only that I build a ‘container’ for what could emerge and they create their experience. I have seen gifted teachers do this over the years AND I have, sadly witnessed what could happen when others haven’t. When we began the opening circle, those in the workshop all shared that idea…that Leap Day felt like a transitional time, infused somehow with an extra oomph! So, with that in mind, I encouraged them to use it as a springboard, since what we believe, fuels our activity. Intention is like that. I shared with them that leaps need not look like pole vaults. For some, little bounces can feel leap-y! Many’s the time over the years that baby steps into change, were all I could manage. These days, my leaps feel like I am wearing my Wonder Woman cape for extra lift and I am loving it.
They look like asking for what I desire, refraining from questioning, “do I deserve this?”, connecting with people for mutual benefit, knowing that I have resources to share, as do they. We have become family of choice. Rarely intimidated, I expressed to the women there last night, that I heed the wise words of my father Moish: “They put their pants on one leg at time, just like you do.”, and the fun guidance of my mother Selma: “Walk in like you own the joint.” , with head held high, making eye contact and (I added) “knockers up”. That got a laugh from the group.
Another leap is seeing my vision for my life clearly layed out before me, when I wouldn’t have dared to do so in earlier times, since the thought “What if it doesn’t happen?” would plague me. These days, I ask “What if it does?”, which delights me endlessly.
What are your leaps, hops and bounds?
Who supports you in taking them?
Are you willing to hold hands with your ‘family of choice’ as you leap together into your new life?
http://youtu.be/3_wQsERQ_Yc A video with Jim and Arlene Curley…the vision continues
Cynthia Segal (another Facebook friend) was describing to someone the way to create a certain emoticon to go along with postings. Simply by typing the < symbol followed by the number 3 side by side, it becomes a lovely heart.
Had an interesting insight about those symbols: “When 2 or more are gathered in my name….” < + 3 =<3
Although I am an interfaith minister, I am not a Biblical scholar. I am however, a lover of symbol and ritual and know a metaphor when it is dancing right in front of me. The quote from Matthew 18:20 reminds me of the power of kindred spirit relationships. “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Tonight was such a night to have that amazing experience. Sipping tea, I am easing back following a presentation I offered at a healing haven in Emmaus, PA called Vitality Healthcare Center, stewarded by Darin Mazepa who is an awesome chiropractor who actually gave me what he calls an ‘entrainment’ prior to my speaking, telling me he wanted me to be clear for the audience. Less than a year ago, Darin and I did not know each other, but sensed an immediate connection, an ‘oh there you are, old friend’ experience. You all have them, I imagine when happening upon another person who feels strikingly familiar. We share similar musical tastes and world view and until tonight, had never laid eyes on each other, but the in person ‘reunion’ was lovely. When I drove up to his office, I saw my name on the marquee out front and felt like a superstar(: He greeted me with a big old hug and welcomed me into the room which was filled, in short order with eager participants who wanted to leap into a life they had only dreamed of. By showing up, they signaled a willingness to take a step beyond what they thought was possible for themselvcs, into what could be so, with sufficient dream power, followed by inspired action. I met a roomfull of new friends, including Darin’s lovely partner Pamela. Together we stretched and kvetched, (I teach something called the ‘oy vey stretch’), shared our deepest dreams and most heart felt desires and supported each other in drawing in what we wanted. We sprinkled love on each other that poured forth from a can marked Love, Spice for Living. We laughed and cried, we perfectly imperfect works in progress. I am certain that upon leaving the room, these folks also left an imprint; an energetic signature that will reverberate in endless waves of contentment and joy. I am equally sure that they will carry this contagious condition out into the larger world. We may have entered as strangers, but left as family of choice.
Certainly the I Am, was invited into that room tonight and I sense, was metaphorically smiling in welcome, reminding us to continue to gather to celebrate the love that we are.