Archives for posts with tag: words of love

How do I ‘measure’ time in those timeless moments of meditation?

Just one moment...

Just one moment…

I woke early this morning, feeling rested and serene. It is an ordinary enough morning. I sat down to meditate…it was 5:35 am. In the ‘next instant’ it is now somehow 6:50 am. More than an hour slipped by as I contentedly planted myself and my awareness fully in just one moment… now.

Some other moment.

Some other moment.

I don’t know that meditation ‘does anything’ for me beyond the obvious bits of change I really feel: the increase in apparent emotional resilience, the improvement in my sleep over weeks and months, improved posture, an increased everyday level of contentment, increased patience and compassion with myself and others…but… that’s not exactly ‘science’, is it? It is simply my experience with the value of meditation in my own life.

Another moment, another day.

Another moment, another day.

When I started this blog, I was struggling. A lot. I struggle less now, and enjoy the moment more. Even the challenging moments seem less fraught with a sense of futility, doom, and torment, and a bit more like ‘moments’, themselves. Learning to meditate, and doing so in the face of a personal conviction that “I already know this and it doesn’t help me”, has been critical to my personal growth, and healing, this year. I’m not ‘selling something’, and there is no ‘helpful link’ to a product anywhere in this post.

Yet another moment.

Yet another moment.

I am a student of life, of love, of mindfulness. I am asking questions, a lot of questions, and gently observing my experience more, and thinking ‘about’ it less. I am learning to live firmly in my ‘now’ and slowly, little by little, I am healing my ancient hurts.

75 minutes of meditation slips by as comfortably as 10 minutes these days. Unmeasured time, uncounted minutes. Worth it? Totally. I am learning that time spent in meditation, spent observing and aware of ‘now’, of living mindfully, is just about the best way to spend it. Certainly, taking time for timeless moments in meditation is a lovely way to begin a Monday. Any day, really, but definitely a Monday. 🙂

The photos? Just a handful that didn’t ‘have their moment’ in earlier posts, on other days. Pictures of evening light and quiet moments in 2013. This has been a very important year for me. I don’t cry much these days… I do meditate.  It is possible I spend as much time meditating these days as I once spent crying.  I haven’t the data to quantify that accurately, so I can’t say with certainty; I feel changed.

A very recent moment just at dawn. A beginning.

A very recent moment just at dawn. A beginning.

In the morning, life can feel so new, so ‘right now’, and so gentle. In some moments, these days, my whole life feels that way: new, gentle, and ‘right now’.

Today is a good day to experience change, to wonder, to be awed by loveliness, to embrace what matters most, to smile on the inside, to love. Today I am compassionate, joyful, and kind. Today I am tender, and gentle. Today I will change the world. 😀

 

 

 

 

Actually, roses need no defense. They are thorny, lovely, fragrant, bear fruit that has nutritive value, and when selected with care, amazingly low maintenance – so what’s to defend? I’ve often found myself defending roses, though, from the standard variety of attacks: too much fuss, too few/many flowers, too much/little fragrance, prone to rambling/stunted, wrong color, wrong scent, wrong location. There is a theme there.  Do you see the thread of objections weaving through the tapestry of human experience? Too much effort, too little outcome, not quite this, not quite that – dissatisfying on some level, perhaps to costly; the same objections each of us offers to pretty nearly anything we choose to object to. ‘Too much’, and ‘not enough’, are the battle cries of discontent.

I’m learning a few things about discontent. (Call it ‘dissatisfaction’ if you’d like, I’m not sure I’ve identified a real difference, myself.) I am learning that expectations drive discontent when my experience doesn’t ‘measure up’ to the expectations I have allowed myself to indulge. I am also learning that I am sometimes quite mired in the experience of feeling discontented or dissatisfied before I realize that I’ve gotten there, and that being mindful of the developing feeling can be critical to preventing it from escalating and becoming an even less pleasant experience, such as despair, or sorrow, or disappointment. I am learning to embrace my will as a path to an outcome I’ll enjoy more, because willful action is often quite satisfying.

I am learning, and practicing, making clear specific requests to address clear specific needs. (Well, damn, that seems obvious!) I have a lot of opportunities to practice, and it’s definitely worthwhile – because I have a lot to learn.  It sounds easy, but I find that asking for action, or change, is met with a variety of reactions – based on the person receiving the request.

  • Some people tend toward the ‘helpful by nature’, and receive requests comfortably, good-naturedly, and without much argument. It is sometimes too easy to burden those sorts of people too much, because they are so accommodating about the demands life places on them to start with.
  • Some people already face their world and their experience with a lifetime of resentment, summed up, saved up,  and returned as a volley of objections to any request for action or change.
  • Some people don’t quite seem to be having the same conversation I am, and I find myself wondering what they are hearing once they have finished filtering and interpreting the words that struck their ear drums, and then wondering whether to try to straighten it all out, or just wander off in search of sense and understanding elsewhere.
  • Some people choose to be reserved, indirect, withdrawn, sullen, evasive, or ambiguous – rather than communicating at all.

I’d like to understand all that more clearly.  But, in lieu of understanding, I’m working on ‘cleaning up my own mess’.  Learning to communicate more clearly than feels safe, more accurately with fewer words, with more willingness to slow things down to gain clarity and understanding, and more good-natured frankness about my own limitations. So far so good. I’m also much more inclined to be firm about my own boundaries and needs. That one is much much harder. I dislike confrontation, and I enjoy harmony. Communicating harmoniously with people who relish conflict is incredibly difficult – because our goals in communication are not compatible.  A challenging puzzle.

…Huh…this went on longer than I intended, and as I rambled I found myself drowning in words, half-formed thoughts colliding with the miscellany trickling through my very active mind, snagging here and there on a moment of urgent meaning, and suddenly…pointlessness. So…I’ll just stop now. Unfinished. Incomplete. Human.

Here’s a picture of ‘Circus Clown’ (Moore, California, 1991). I’m sure there’s a metaphor here, somewhere…

Fragrant, thorny, robust, and lovely.

Fragrant, thorny, robust, and lovely.

I woke to a brand new day, this morning.  I slept well and deeply – if you have a sleep disorder, or anxiety, or suffer from ‘existential dread’, or struggle with your person demons in the wee hours before dawn, you already know what a good night’s sleep can mean for the dawn of a new day.  If you don’t, please take a moment to appreciate the delight and power of good sleep.  🙂  Yesterday now feels like…well…yesterday.  That’s nice.  It wasn’t so long ago that a day of fighting hormones and tears would have lingered, mingled with regret and frustration, and become a thing all its own.  It was a gentle life lesson, as life lessons go, and a good way to really highlight the power of mindfulness in my life.  I’m ok with that.

It has been a mindful morning, so far, and a lovely one.  I feel calm and balanced.  I enjoyed the leisurely start to the day, and delighted in the brief, sleepy ‘good morning’ of a lover wandering through the kitchen, only to remark further “I’m going back to bed, I’m not ready to be awake yet.”  Warmth, and love, and tender consideration shown in his effort to wake early enough to chill together a few minutes were as meaningful as if he had actually been ‘ready to be awake’.  I smiled for a long while after I heard his footsteps heading down the hall, and the quiet click of the door as he returned to the land of dreams.

Another rose blooms...and even the bugs are happy; this one must be tasty.

Another rose blooms…and even the bugs are happy; this one must be tasty.

The walk in to work was one more delight this morning, sunny, mild, and the air is filled with the scent of flowers and the sound of birdsong… easy enough to photograph flowers, but try as I might, I can’t capture birdsong in a picture.

New life - potted annual flowers reaching breaking through the soil.

New life – potted annual flowers reaching breaking through the soil.

My garden is always the first stop on my commute to work. New seedlings reach for the sun from pots along the walkway. “Baby Love” keeps right on blooming. All the roses are fat with buds now, and beginning to open.

"Baby Love" blooming first, and likely all through the summer and into fall.

“Baby Love” blooming first, and likely all through the summer and into fall.

So, here it is Tuesday, and the smile I am wearing matches the song in my heart. It’s a very nice feeling – and if I could I would share it with the whole world.  There’s entirely too much misery, more than enough to go around, and too many people getting more than their share…but I am learning, too, that we each have to walk our own path, find our own way, and create our own solutions, however much we think we have ‘figured it out’, it is always entirely individual and unique to who we are, and we can only share our lives and successes, our ways and understandings, with people who choose to share them.  🙂

Oh, and…

Wild roses are blooming.

Wild roses are blooming.