Tag Archives: awareness

Mindfulness And Chocolate!

chocolateOn the edge of a cramp my belly craves chocolate and sugar which is surprisingly delivered at 8.30am in the glove box of my car as I return the driving sunglasses to their home. No breakfast at home and now artificial stimulation is glaringly there just as my willpower says “You’ve got to be kidding!” and promptly eats a row before I settle into five minutes of meditation. This is no clear space of light and clean with mindfulness sparkles gleaming out into the urban landscape. There has been no natural organic segue from sleepiness to waking alertness on my more traditional nine to five day. The trees and sunshine do their best to draw me back into the earthly realms as they wink and smile at me but part of me feels quite disconnected.

sunny-tree-branches

gum tree paperbarkPart of this feeling is my reluctance to come back after a five day holiday that my Beloved and I took at the beginning of our house sit almost two weeks ago. So lovely to let go of the everyday world and especially the online one, a wonderful convenience but it does impact on our organic selves in ways that are not always helpful. The more sensitive I become in the world the more I notice when I’m not feeling connected to the natural world. It’s easy in modern society to sometimes forget that we are natural beings and that much of what creates happiness for us comes from inner resources. It isn’t so easy in front of  a computer in an office to reconnect with that place so I tend to focus on my body as a doorway or bridge from one realm to another. When I arrive at the car park I consciously connect with the trees and the birds and if it’s too wet to sit for my meditation I at least spend a moment with my hand on the trunk of a tree.

disconnected

And even then I can fall prey to unexpected windfalls of chocolate and get caught up in the concrete and steel, the humming of lines of energy, seen and unseen. So the first part of navigating days like this one are just about practicing mindfulness and not giving yourself a hard time when your actions are not always peaceful. If you notice sensations of disconnection then that may be a victory in and of itself! Even if you can’t seem to get back into the flow be grateful that your inner growth has fostered deeper understanding and the ability to see more clearly what is happening in your body, mind and spirit. If you persist with this process you will improve the quality of your life. I can say this with great certainty as this has been my experience so far, the more I bring awareness to me and to my life the happier I become overall.

But there always seem to be times of varying energy levels in life’s tapestry and the trick is to ride the waves whatever the speed, to wherever it is that life wants to take us to next! I for one would like to take a moment to thank Life for all that it brings to me and especially for the gift of my dear Beloved who brings a song into my heart every day in every way. Aho!

Big Rainbow

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Depth Surgery In Silence: Letting Go Of Pain.

The silence on this blog has stretched on for somewhat more than just ten days, perhaps it has provided a welcome relief to all the noble chatter that has gone on in the three years since inception.I say noble chatter with the greatest respect, it has been the most wonderful place to express my thoughts and feelings with honesty and being as open as I can be. And it will continue, this is not a preamble for a dissolution, but some things have been dissolved and so as I continue in all aspects of my life it will be interesting to see how that letting go has made a difference.

letting go of balloons

 

I have done long retreats but never one like this Vipassana and I am truly impressed with not only the process itself but also with the organisation that keeps it going in the world and that makes it available to all completely through donation. It does not matter how much money you have or how little, whether your status in the world is high or low. Are you prepared to renounce the life that you live for ten whole days and to live as a monk or nun might, hours of meditation and bells telling you where you are meant to be at certain times. I always felt a great attraction to this life and so when the opportunity presented itself I threw myself in at the deep end, by the time I got half way through I must have been doing between 6 and 8 hours of meditation every day.

Vipassana meditation

It was not easy, especially on the physical side of things, sitting for many hours in stillness is not something my body is used to. And yet the pain was such an amazing teacher, even in the moments when I wanted to scream with the intensity of the sensation I felt gratitude to the experience. That has to be a sign of spiritual maturity surely! When you can be thankful in moments like that your eventual understanding is assured. Watching this pain over many hours I couldn’t help but notice that it wasn’t always the same, and the less importance I gave it the less intense it became. So when in the discourse the teacher spoke about adding our mental pain to the physical sensation I understood what he was saying with my body not just with my mind. When I simply observed without reacting the intensity of the sensation became so much less. I was observing the sensations in my body as they were in each moment, sounds like such a simple thing and yet it has had a profound effect upon my deeper self.

Goenka breath and reality

The process we went through was described to us as being like a surgeon operating very  deeply into our minds, the part that is left untouched by the majority of people in this culture. So I am different as a result but what that will mean in my life is something that will unfold over the following months and even years. There will be another 10 day retreat in there at some point. and a regular sitting for my Beloved and I once a week for an hour. And the increased awareness that I now have of bodily sensations can be a part of every moment that I experience. There will be more reflection on all of this for sure but that will do for now, enough that I am happy and well and enjoying this wonderful life on Earth! Namaste.

As I searched for images for this post I found a hilarious account of a Vipassana experience, you will laugh even if you’ve never done it, if you have please check out this link, especially if you could do with a good belly laugh!

http://www.fearfuladventurer.com/archives/9895

Bigger, Better, Faster……….Slow Down!

Rainbow Man at the Enchanted Gathering.

Rainbow Man at the Enchanted Gathering.

Life has been a little bit crazy what with being between two house sits for almost three weeks, ending in the moving haze I referred to in an earlier post and arriving in a house full of Celtic musicians. Then a couple of days at the Enchanted Gathering with lots of magic, frequencies and dancing, freezing cold and fires burning as the Wizard and the Rainbow Man kept crying, “More wood, more wood!”.

The Enchanted Gathering.

The Enchanted Gathering.

So it’s been very busy and quite intense and my Beloved and I have been enjoying the chance to slow down and begin to get to know our new environment which we now have all to ourselves.  I’ve also started reading a new Diana Richardson book, “Slow Sex”, if you’ve read my posts before you might remember me talking about her book “Tantric Orgasm For Women”. I’ve read the introduction and the first chapter and already I’m feeling very inspired, and not just about sex either, the principles she is talking about can be applied to everything that we do.

couple make love

In fact her inspiration to write the book came from another writer called Marc David who wrote “The Slow Down Diet”, he is a nutritionist and expert on the psychology of eating. He talks about eight qualities that are an integral part of how we are nourished when we eat and it is less about what we eat and more about the way in which we do it. Awareness and relaxation are two of these qualities and you will hear a lot about these in any book on tantric sex worth it’s salt.

passionate embraceWhen you slow down there is an entire world of sights and flavours and smells to savour, and if you can actually relax you offer your body the opportunity to respond to all of this treasure. Most of the time we have ideas about things, whether it be food or sex, that we try to force upon the body. Then when our experience is less than satisfactory we think that there must be something wrong with us, if we can create that ‘perfect’ body somehow it will all made right.

It is so important to nourish ourselves on all levels of our being, bring the sacred into everything that you do and you are well on the way to true fulfillment on a soul level. And remember that life was meant to be fun!

Letting Go Of Who You Think You Are.

spiritual loveDiving into the space of eternity I fall into the softest state of being, letting go of the things that are supposed to be who I am in the world. Following the path of the heart, letting go of who I think I am, this has been a major part of my journey into relationship as a spiritual practice.

Not that you have to be in a romantic relationship in order to let go of the ego’s assumptions, I’ve been following this particular path for what feels like a very long time. Just reflect for a moment, how much of your sense of identity comes from what other people have told you over the years? Parents, teachers and institutions, images in a culture that screams out youth, money and status! Even those who appear to embody all of these desirable traits, will often secretly feel unworthy. I can think of at least one drop dead gorgeous young woman I know who constantly surprises me when she seems unable to see her own beauty.

It’s such a relief to let go of all of that weight of expectation, to drop into the stillness of expectancy, quivering on the edge of the unknown. But to get to that place you need to be prepared for being uncomfortable at times, breaking old patterns requires focus, determination, and a certain amount of bloody mindedness.

heart leaves

It can also be fun and I am very excited to be bringing my awareness to ways in which I can support people in doing this for themselves. My Beloved and I have been accepted to run a workshop at the next “Joining Gathering” in September, it’s called “The Path of the Heart: Letting go of who you think you are”. (http://www.thejoining.com.au/) So far we make a good team, in the bedroom, the kitchen, in tasks around the house and on the dance floor, this is our opportunity to take that energy out into the wider community.

The adventure continues and my own path of the heart shines out like the glorious sun on a crisp autumn morning.

“Until further notice celebrate everything!” (St Germain through Azena Ramanda)

The Face Of The Divine Is You.

RainyDaysIngredients for staying in bed for far longer than one is supposed to, touch of autumn chill in the air, so cosy under the sheets! Cat snuggled into my bum and the backs of my knees as I lie in a foetal position, thoughts of my beloved drifting into my awareness as I listen to the gentle rain falling outside and allow myself to simply be. Yoga does tempt me but here you find me still partly snuggled under the sheets and cotton blanket with the cat curled up between my legs, computer on my lap, writing to you.

This is the cat I was referring to, a visitor to the house.

This is the cat I was referring to, a visitor to the house.

And now I know what I came here to write, something I have been thinking about sharing with you, a letter I wrote to my Beloved.

Dear Lover,

I treasure your tender loving gaze, your upturned mouth with soft lips tempting me to taste this beautiful bounty that is you. I trust you utterly at depth, I always feel perfectly safe when I am with you, allowing me to open more deeply then I have ever known. You open me to divinity, to the timeless essence that is existence, that cannot be bound for it is boundless. I am you and you are me, together we connect in the energies of love, the ecstatic dance of the polarities.

Love pours out from every cell and when I truly connect with that vibration there is no distance between us, even when we are apart. I love you and always will, looking forward to our shared future as cosmic micronaughts!

Thank you Mother for bringing us together, and to Ganesh for the removal of obstacles.

Your Lover (The Woman who adores you!)

passionate embrace

I never did finish “Dear Lover” by David Deida, so I bought a copy for myself from the Book Depository, it’s the kind of book I think is best read a little at a time. My letter above is not unlike what David Deida writes in his book, it may not be for everyone but I really like the way that he describes being in a relationship. As a spiritual practice it becomes your therapy and everything becomes heightened as you let go of heaviness and shadow amidst great and intense pleasure, light shining everywhere.

Light, delight, and beauty, nature in all her moods and the flow of fun, faeries and moon dust, the Goddess and her consort, true love in my heart, we are all one.

Tuning Into Your Inner Road Map: Finding Perspective.

spiritual energyIn order to clear, things have to get stirred up in the first place, sometimes in ecstatic spaces and sometimes with a fair bit of discomfort. It’s all a part of the process and the more you are able to accept ‘what is’, the less you suffer. Easy to say not always so simple to put into practice, I try to remember to surrender and let the energy keep moving, breathing into it seems to help.

The Inner Neural Workout!

The Inner Neural Workout!

There’s always a lesson too, a map to be read in our cells of emotional, spiritual, mental and physical fields, all holding the stuff of which we are made. Learn to be a reader who can tune in to the finer vibrations, it enriches life in ways beyond imagining as you allow yourself to be there in full.

wildwoman

Being present in all my fullness when there is fear in my belly is pretty intense, it helps to bring the light of awareness into the picture. In that moment I know that however dominating that fear and tension may be, that  it won’t last forever. I think of being in my lover’s arms and melting into that security and it becomes a bit easier to stay with that discomfort in my being.

Getting a bit of perspective can also help if you are ever feeling a bit overwhelmed by what life is throwing at you, when you can see the kind of life that some people live your own problems can seem so much smaller. This video from Carl Sagan’s TV show “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” certainly puts things in a very sharp perspective, enjoy:

http://www.nextworldtv.com/page/25858.html

blue geen planet

The Compassionate Brain.

My current main themes for contemplation are all revolving around awareness and the way we can choose where and how to focus our attention. You can see the world as revolving around you and take everything personally, or you can decide that other people have their own issues and problems and that their actions, however annoying at times, might be coming from the same place as your own frustrations and worries.

Matthieu Ricard.

Matthieu Ricard.

Compassion is not just some high-minded flaky concept that Buddhist monks and New Age hippies bandy about, it’s a very practical way to operate in a world that is incredibly stressful for just about everyone. So says Matthieu Ricard, a former molecular geneticist and buddhist monk, also known as the happiest man in the world. With functional brain scanning technology it is now possible to see what is going on in the brain as it happens, Ricard was hooked up to one of these machines and asked to meditate on compassion. There was an increase in gamma rays which are associated with consciousness, attention, learning and memory. There was also a lot of activity in his left prefrontal cortex which indicates a huge capacity for happiness, this man is very unlikely to making negative choices about his experience. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/29/buddhist-monk-declared-worlds-happiest-man/

There is so much evidence these days that shows that we can change our neurology, and the good news is that you don’t have to spend hours in meditation every day to do it. Whatever time you can find for that kind of activity will be time well spent, but it’s also about the myriad of choices that you make every day about how you are going to perceive your current experience. Keep making positive choices and that positivity will begin to accumulate and eventually you will begin to change your default settings to happiness and joy.

Joy-and-Happiness

This video is an excerpt from a speech made to a graduating class of college students in America and is a refreshing take on what education is all about, it’s exactly the sort of thing that ought to be taught in schools. It manages not only to convey meaning most concisely, it’s also very entertaining and if you are interested you can check out the whole speech.

Video (09:23)

http://www.nextworldtv.com/page/24400.html