Inward Step

During summer I go inward – not exactly cave dweller inward, but unless traveling, I tend to spend more time indoors, which means museums, malls, and movies.  This year it has also meant diving deeper into meditation, progressing a little with writing projects too. Which is great, except that there is this young girl inside of me who wants to be included in everything… all the “fun in the sun.”

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Qualities

Qualities was the key word for the meditative workshop, beginning with “one quality that (you think) describes you.” People around the room gave words like “kind” and “loving” and “creative.” Mine was curious, although after saying so, I thought “inquisitive” would have been more accurate. This was an ice breaker before a time of meditation.

Next we were asked a few deceptively easy questions like, “What makes you happy?” and “What makes you sad?” Again some answers were shared, that blended together.

bamboo1(what makes me happy? bamboo)

The third question was the one to reach my sweet spot. It was about a figure that has inspired, and the qualities they manifest, one would like to develop. I surprised myself by choosing P, although it is S I consider my ‘heart teacher’. But what sprang to mind was P’s spontaneity, his lack of embarrassment, his overall joyfulness.

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Tastes of Turbulence

Today’s meditation at the library was more chaotic than usual. There was an issue with a generator that began making an upsetting noise as soon as we began.

Due to past training I guess, for me there was a humor about it. It was distracting and I would have liked for it to stop, but it wasn’t upsetting like it was for another meditator. I did let my mind wander though, thinking of stories of teachers like Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche arriving late to a gathering, to annoyance in the air… but in this, a chaotic energy to work with.

So in a sense, as the meditation leader told us today, what we engaged in was an advanced practice.

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music alone

Have continued to attend the library meditation. Eyes open meditation in a group with others is a unique and powerful experience, not because anything unusual happens, but because you all are just there with what is.

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Although one couldn’t call the group secular, the meditations are, as is required. Usually there is a recording, and a guided process, but sometimes music alone. I particularly liked the spontaneous meditation led by one of the two women that have been there each week, and the “prayer for the world” that was not a vague peace wish but felt to tap actual resourcefulness somehow… and underlying connection that was tangible and even gritty.

Yoga Horses

Attended a yoga class recently… felt the distance between where my body is, and where it might be, felt the strength we might enjoy enjoy together… the stature of posture that might carry daily life better… the wonderful ache of core muscles noticed and challenged.

“I’ll never forget this again or let it go” I thought, even days after.

Weeks ago.

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Compelling Patterns and Liberating Knowledge

“The fact and the particular character of a temporal series are entirely due to the view that is taken on Great Time. This does not exactly mean that time is a subjective phenomenon, because the ‘subject’ in a lower space is also a result of a particular ‘knowing’ of ‘Time’.

But certainly, the observer’s ego is conditioned by the restrictive view that is characteristic of lower spaces. Insofar as the ego is self-protective and reluctant to surrender itself to permit the expression of a wider focal setting, ordinary time conforms to the ego’s restrictions.”

– Time Space and Knowledge

This chapter of Time Space Knowledge is titled The Presence of Time — Liberating Potency and Compelling Patterns. I sat a while with the title, and the phrases inside of it… Presence of Time, Liberating Potency, Compelling Patterns.I played with the rhythms,  rearranging the words, “Liberating Presence of Time, Compelling Potency, Potent Time.”

It was fun feeling the ideas… the glow and empowerment of them… reminders that floated up about life situations, ingrained patterns in my scope of self, family. I asked myself, “What is like that now?” and remembered seasons in which I didn’t think I was making life small, just doing my best to accept the way things were. Then I thought of all my seeming rescues… how often some stroke of luck or genius came through, and how hard it was to remember later, what life was like before that change.

I considered the feeling of intentionally forgetting… how no thoughts are bad in and of themselves, or people bad, and how sometimes if I can forget… forget myself, a way of seeing that I haven’t considered may appear… a new texture, or taste I hadn’t fathomed. How greatly changed everything ‘out there’ can seem. S. has said many times, that dropping could be holding in a different way, and A Course in Miracles calls miracles shifts in perception.

I have mused with strange ways of describing ordinary mind/ordinary knowing/ordinary time, and have asked from different stances and angles, what is meant by kinds of mind or mind streams. It is likely something I’ll never stop asking, but without aim toward answers, since answers could close down an enormously rich exploration. I’m addicted to comparing different descriptions of reality because when they collide, sometimes a new universe opens. ‘Ordinary mind’ is about perception, and ‘Knowing’ about reality.

It was many years ago now, standing in a DSW shoe store, that I suddenly realized that I wasn’t thinking.  To ‘see’ that ‘I’ wasn’t thinking could be a thought, but it was certainly a different kind of thought than I’d ever experienced before. I felt held by the thought, rather than compelled to follow it along some line. There was revealed a way of mind I didn’t realize I’d been beset by, until relieved.

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                       Matheson Hammock Park (Miami)


Object and Glow

[Re Exercise 17, Time Space and Knowledge]

Before retreating in Nova Scotia, I’d experienced only the purple water lily blooms common to our gardens in Florida, which are indeed glowy and beautiful, but small. This photo (left, below) was my reward for balancing precariously at the edge of a pond in the middle of wild overgrowth at Windhorse Farm.

On the right, is a photo of my first encounter with a giant lotus in Kyoto, which until that point I’d believed to be the stuff of myths and fairy tales. We happened upon this bloom when peeking through a crack in the gateway of a smallish, I think, temple (there are so many that it can be hard to know which structures are still operating as temples).
Although the photo isn’t is insufficient to capture the awe, tales with magical proportions of deities born from lotuses, made much more sense to me upon this encounter.

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