Free antidepressants: Nature, exercise, meditation. Side effects may include: peace of mind, more energy, creativity, inspiration, compassion, and a happy body.
“Quiet friend who has come so far, feel how your breathing makes more space around you. Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell. As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength. Move back and forth into the change. What is it like, such intensity of pain? If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine. In this uncontainable night, be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses, the meaning discovered there. And if the world has ceased to hear you, say to the silent earth: I flow. To the rushing water, speak: I am.” ~Rilke
“Ah, not to be cut off, not through the slightest partition shut out from the law of the stars. The inner -- what is it? if not the intensified sky, hurled through with birds and deep with the winds of homecoming. ~Rainer Maria Rilke
I thought I’d post an inner workout video🧠💪. It’s a bit silly to record myself meditating, but perhaps it may inspire someone else to learn. Much of social media is about creating illusions, and I don’t want to add to that with a meditation post. Please don’t imagine that I spent this entire hour blissed out and enjoying stillness. That does happen for me, on and off the meditation cushion, but more often than not I’m making a continuous mental effort to keep my attention focused on my breath and body sensations. My thoughts and emotions are coming and going like these clouds, and I am making more efforts not to be carried away by them. Over time this trains the mind to be more present. I find a present centered mind to be more flexible, creative and proactive. Meditation also opens my heart and mind to new perceptions, emotions and coping skills. It opens up a space around my small personal drama to make room for generosity and compassion. I still get caught in the webs of anger, craving and delusion, but l’ve gotten better at getting unstuck. If you’re interested in starting a meditation practice feel free to reach out😊🧘🏻
"Every day, priests minutely examine the Law and endlessly chant complicated sutras. Before doing that, though, they should learn how to read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon." ~Ikkyu
William Blake said “Man has no Body distinct from his soul; for that called Body is a portion of a Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.” Care of the body is care for the mind, or the soul or spirit if you prefer that language. We live through our bodies and we take in the world through our senses. When our body is healthy it helps our minds to feel clear and light. Ghandi knew this and walked astounding distances into his elder years. John Muir would climb 14000 ft mountains with his dog long before technical climbing gear was invented. There is wisdom in physical exertion, and it’s the easiest thing to verify for yourself. I’ve had my share of health challenges, including major foot surgery one year ago this month. Every time I workout it’s an exercise in gratitude for me. That helps me with the “pain” of the workout, which I don’t really perceive as pain. This workout kicks my butt every time(it’s TRX Ropes and Straps ), but burning muscles or a fast heart rate are really just intense sensations. Whether they register as pain or not is a matter of perspective and choice. And as with the body so goes the mind. Emotional pain can also be reinterpreted as just intense sensation. It just takes patience and practice. Luckily we have no shortage of intense sensations to practice on.
Don’t forget to use your far away vision. We spend a lot of time looking at things close to us, but our eyes and minds are meant to take in not just details, but entire vistas. The sky is always available if you don’t have access to a wide open space. It’s good to take care of the details of our lives, but don’t get stuck in the mouse’s vision of only what’s in front of us. We are all capable of the eagle’s perspective too. Take some time and feel life from that broad lens. See if it doesn’t bring some calm and illuminate what matters. *From my hike of Mt. Juno in Alaska a few years ago.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes today. I spent most of the day helping my dad put siding on this little house he’s trying to sell. Siding is my least favorite job and always seems to demand a blood sacrifice from my fingers😳. But I enjoyed helping him. I prefer giving to receiving. I’m an acts of service type of person. When I stay at a friend’s house, I always look for something to fix, even if it’s a loose knob or a squeaky hinge, and I do it without telling them. It feels nice to give back a little. And to be honest, it’s always been hard to for me to receive. I’ve had to work on that over the years. I like a genuine thank you from someone, but anything effusive I tend to play down and brush off. Maybe some of you know this reaction in yourselves. I think it’s because I know I’m not 100% altruistic in my actions. I do help people, but I sometimes experience resentment or I just don’t do it happily, and my mind isn’t free of occasional agendas and consciously or unconsciously wanting something in return. But, no one is perfect. We are all complicated beings, full of paradox and contradiction. Our actions matter most, even if they aren’t performed like saints. I’ve learned to be easier on myself, and to receive more. That part of my psyche will always be a work in progress. In the meantime does anyone need me to fix anything?
I enjoy eating healthy food. It makes me happy to eat delicious things that I know are giving my body what it needs to thrive. This time off has allowed me to come back to the healthiest thing I eat, and I always feel it’s effects right away. This is a recipe that gets passed around the holistic health community, and I’ve been eating it for 2 decades. Officially called thermos cooked cereal, we affectionately call it The Gruel. But I think it’s delicious or I wouldn’t eat it every single day. These grains and seeds are powerhouses of nutrition. Look them up for yourself and see how packed they are with goodness. This breakfast is the hulk of multivitamins, delivered the way they should be, in a whole food form. It takes some prep to make this. The ground mixture lasts me a week or two in the fridge. Slow cooking it in the thermos overnight allows the nutrients to keep their full potency. It looks kind of weird, but it tastes good! I load it up with berries so it’s even better and full of antioxidants too. You can make this gluten free by taking out the rye and barely and substituting brown rice. If anyone wants to try making it, PM me and I will walk you through where to buy everything and how to make it. Try some gruel!
I feel the need to post this periodically, as a reminder to myself and others. Disentangle and deprogram yourself. Live your own life, have your own thoughts and emotions, see your own uniqueness, and feel the innate joy hidden behind the piled up techno garbage that floods our consciousness . “We have to create culture, don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told 'no', we're unimportant, we're peripheral. 'Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.' And then you're a player, you don't want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.” ― Terence McKenna
Every day is Earth Day to me. She’s our mother, our provider and our home. Here’s my favorite expression of gratitude by St. Francis of Assisi. I love it so much I memorized it, and I will recite it for you if you invite me to your vegan Thanksgiving😊🥑🙏🏼 *Circle of Days* We offer thanks and praise, For the circle of our days. Praise for radiant brother sun, Who makes the hours around us run. For sister moon and for the stars, Brilliant, precious, always ours. Praise for brothers wind and air, Serene or cloudy, foul or fair. For sister water, clear and chaste, Useful, humble, good to taste. For fire, our brother, strong and bright, Whose joy illuminates the night. Praise for our sister, Mother earth, Who cares for each of us from birth. For all her children, fierce or mild, For sister, brother, parent, child. For creatures wild and creatures tame, For hunter, hunted, both the same. For brother sleep, and sister death, Who tend the borders of our breath. For desert, orchard, rock, and tree, For forest, meadow, mountain, sea, For fruit and flower, plant and bush, For morning robin, evening thrush. For all earth's gifts, of every kind, We offer praise with quiet mind. Be with us, Earth, and guide our ways Around the circle of our days ~ Saint Francis of Assisi ~
We say we “pay attention.” I think that’s exactly right. Attention is currency. We make investments with it and in time we see the returns, or the losses. They show up as the quality of our lives, and in the state of our minds and hearts. Where are you investing your attention?
I’ve always been drawn to liminal spaces. The transitional places between the known and the unknown. The space between waking and dreaming, between one stage of life and another, between silence and the laughter, and I imagine the space between life and death. It’s a place of stillness and movement both. Crossing a threshold out of one skin and into who knows what. There is both mystery and deep knowing there. Pay attention the next time you find yourself in the inbetween.
Every day there are gifts for us to bring into the world. Recognize them, no matter how small, and spend the energy to bring them in. It’s a good investment.
Sometimes balance is more important than progress.
“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” ~Marcus Aurelius