Last weekend’s retreat was exquisite and beautiful malas were made by all. You could feel each person gravitated to exactly what stones they needed to work with. That was wonderful to witness and support.
This was the first teaching-sharing retreat I have done since the fall. We were a small group and on arrival, it was clear to see the toll that the times has taken on everyone. So many challenging circumstances and obstacles has even the strongest among us spinning off kilter these days. This requires a greater dedication to being present with ourselves and what arises than we’ve ever known. Trip planning requires a lot of attention and now every piece of detail has additional conditions to take into consideration, and some things we simply can’t calculate, until we are in it. It didn't take long with the love and support among us to laugh together and get on with what we came do. We joyously got to unravel the knots in our nervous system and focus on creating beautiful intentional knots around each chosen stone as we made our malas. This was a delight.
I forgot how much I love to drive, it’s been so long. How much I love a road trip, particularly in the country without traffic. I forgot how driving, especially alone or with an intimate other can be like having a session with a therapist. And of course this would be the best therapist. The one that meets you in the mirror on a kind and caring day, the one who knows you best.
While in cottage country I passed a billboard that had a picture of a car crash, and the slogan was ‘drive safe, accidents change lives’. It was dramatically effective and got my attention. I know first hand that accidents change lives and I know the determination it takes to rebuild and start anew, with whatever you have. It also provoked the thought that we don’t have to wait until there is a disaster to make radical change where possible or necessary. It’s so easy to stay in our need to be comfortable that we don’t notice that we are getting stronger in fear and not courage. The pursuit of comfort tends to build muscle in attachments and aversions, rather than any true inner peace or liberation.
The billboard provoked me to question what other things change lives? Yes, an accident will change our life, and so will the contact with another pair of powerful eyes that you feel look into our soul and wake us. An inner determination we decide to harness to take us through the mire of Easy Street to the place where our deep life commitment resides. Encounters with teachers can change our path when coupled with discipline and practice to harness life in a big way. Being driven by a cause can inspire change. Whether change arises from inspiration, boredom, or is forced, change is inevitable. So why not be the driving force and make what matters the most be what influences us? The start line is always exactly where we are, in the present moment. How great is that?
There was a post that came across my Facebook feed recently that really got my attention and I think it’s a worthy share. Thank you Ryan Burton.
You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? "Because someone bumped into me!!!" Wrong answer. You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea. Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out. Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which it will), whatever is inside you will come out. It's easy to fake it, until you get rattled. So we have to ask ourselves... “what's in my cup?" When life gets tough, what spills over? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions? Life provides the cup, YOU choose how to fill it. Today lets work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others.
I did a metta (loving kindness) meditation this morning that I created months ago. It was recorded on my phone and is not perfect. Regardless, when I listened to it in my morning sitting, it left me feeling peaceful and loving and this I’d like to share with you, as if we sat together. One day I would love to have equipment for recording, but for now I am happy to think we shared a practice.
Wherever you are, until the next time..
I send support through love, a lotus and a smile
For the meditation, click here or on the photo of the peace sculpture below.
mother daughter malas
of peace, intuition, courage and an open heart ;-)