Saturday, July 20, 2013

A prayer

   This prayer came to me when I was on a silent meditation hike. The title is He na ne. Hee-nay-nee means here I am in hebrew. The prayer ends with gracias, thank you in Spanish. It is important to me to clearly and directly ask for help with what I want help with. I feel held by spiritual support and when I call on that support I feel it much more strongly.

He Na Ne

Great spirit
help me to be 
grounded in my body
connected to spirit
and present with it all.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Today I am feeling grateful. I have 24hrs. to do whatever I want. That is my idea of bliss. When I finished seeing my last person before the July 4th holiday the first thing I did was  a drawing in pastels about my feeling tone now. What came up was gratitude. I am grateful to have this time to relax. I am grateful that I am learning to relax. I have been doing physical therapy for my pelvic floor muscles and I am learning a lot about letting go of the tension in my muscles. I am getting trigger point dry needling to help me to relax those muscles. It is uncomfortable and sometimes painful and I think it is helping. It is good for me to be focusing on my pelvis, reminding myself that it is safe for me to inhabit my body. I finished an interview of Philip Shepherd in The Sun magazine last week about the pelvic brain. He says that as a people we have moved away from the brain that is in our belly and focused too exclusively on the brain in our cranium. The pelvic brain is made up of a similar network  as the brain in our heads. It has innate intelligence and can be relied on for decision making. Shepherd points out that  decision making from our gut or intuition has been mistrusted since the age of agriculture. At that time we learned to see nature as something to be controlled and conquered rather than as a source of nourishment and groundedness. We cut ourselves off from our softer more receptive nature and focused on dominating the world with our craniums. Although we have made great technological advances and have created material abundance it came with a price. Reynolds suggests that in reconnecting with the brain in our bodies we unite mind and body and come from a place of wisdom and knowledge. He does workshops to support people in learning to be embodied. From this embodied place we see the oneness with all beings and with the earth. As I work to heal my pelvis, my new found awareness is supporting me in listening to my body's wisdom more deeply. I am grateful.

I just returned from a nature based silent meditation retreat. Gary and I have done this retreat for all four years it has been happening. It is a camping hiking meditation retreat in Rocky Mountain National Park. Thirty practitioners two leaders and a cook share the space of silence. The leaders created a very safe space for us to practice meditation in by setting clear boundaries and guidelines and with the power of their presence. Being in safety surrounded by natural beauty is a joy for me. I felt held in love by the universe. It rained several times each day and I could touch the part of me that felt genuinely grateful for the rain, even in the midst of being afraid of being cold and being irritated. We hiked each day and meditated along the trails and in a meadow at the base camp. I noticed I was suffering much less than last year because I was kinder to myself.  It was easier for me to speak to myself more lovingly even when what I was being loving about was not being loving. I created more space to be OK with my choices and to notice my judgments of myself and others. I spent  time hiking behind a woman with a large round butt and working with myself about my fear of being fat. By the end of the hike I felt love for her freely and appreciated the beauty of her round rear. I could see more clearly that all of what I judge comes from my own fear and it was easier to embrace myself being afraid.
 I love being silent. It is so much less difficult for me when I don't have to try and hear people socially. I could feel my body relaxing the tension of straining to hear and not knowing whether I will hear clearly or not. I felt grateful for the silence as an opportunity to slow down and be stiller. Sitting for all those hours in a not so comfortable chair created deep tension in my pelvis. I was sad to come back in pain when I had been pain free for a few weeks. At the same time, I was  glad to have the opportunity to sit with like-minded practitioners. There is a powerful energy that gets created sitting in a large group that is very different than meditating  alone. I am grateful to be able to marinate in that energy for a long weekend. I was also grateful for the healthy delicious food that was provided by the skillful cook. She prepared food that took my food allergies and the allergies of other participants into consideration so we could enjoy it freely. The tastiness also inspired me to expand my limits about what I eat and how I prepare it. It was a great pleasure to learn from a master. I am also grateful that the leaders offer these retreats with a charge for the food and rental of the campsite and that they are willing to be paid for the rest by donation or dana. Dana is a pali word for generosity. Each person decides with both of their brains what to contribute. The process of seeing what number arises has become more satisfying and I have learned to trust it. My number felt good to me this year. I am grateful that the leaders are willing to show up and put in enormous preparation and energy of presence and organization and offer the teachings according to the generosity of their students' hearts. Lastly I am grateful to you, dear reader, for being willing to read what I write. Thank you