Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unorthodox Meditation

I've been absent from blogging for a bit longer than is 'normal' for me, although I already exist outside the accepted norm of multiple posts per week. Usually, my blogging process is to wait for inspiration to strike. I don't stress over it, or worry that it won't happen because it always does. People, places, things, moments all come together in a beautiful harmony that will inevitably spark thoughts which lead to a blog article being born in my mind. It is a pulse of sorts, with a rise and fall aspect to how inspiration and writing occur for me on a personal level.

These past ten days or so have been curiously quiet in that regard. Again, I haven't worried overly much. Friends online have begun to email with concerned questions of, "Is your RSS feed messed up? I'm not getting your blog posts. What do you mean, you haven't been writing?? You always write!" That's a composite comment of many. If nothing else, it was a pleasant thing to know that people who follow my blog do look forward to reading my newest work. This didn't do anything, however, to spark that next line of thought that would create a blog post.

So, I have remained open and receptive, but somewhat detached. There are simply times when we all feel the need to retreat. It is not that there are not words or topics to be written - there are many. I just haven't felt that sense of rightness that I normally do with blogging, so, although I have been writing, I haven't posted anything. Tonight, I spent time thinking about this. It suddenly occurred to me that I have been engaging in what I would call an active state of meditation.

'Active', in that I have been living the process outwardly, rather than only mentally and emotionally. I have been writing, quite a lot, yet none of the drafts of posts have resonated as being just the right note for being published on my blog. So, I have written thoughts in snippets, lines of text to come back to or delete, some fully realized posts that will eventually be posted. The sudden epiphany that just hit me is that this is the same process we experience with traditional meditation.

When meditating, we usually sit or recline quietly, allowing thoughts to flicker across our consciousness. We study those thoughts, embrace them enough to honor the thought, then we gently tuck them away and come back to quiet. It is usually a completely mental, inward exercise. Occasionally this will manifest in a different manner - through exercise, through creating art, through music, through spending time in nature. For me, these past 10 days or so have become a physical manifestation of meditation.

I have been physically processing a great deal of information and experiencing the effects this information, these contacts and these thoughts are all having on my body and immediate surroundings. I have been discarding some long held behaviors and activities that no longer serve me, while giving deeper thought to some I wouldn't have even contemplated mere weeks earlier.

I am sure this is nothing new under the sun. I am positive we all go through these active meditative states occasionally. For me, it is a bit unorthodox, but a method that I do occasionally feel shifting to the forefront of my attention. Because it is so completely different to my regular process of meditation, it can be slightly uncomfortable and cause frustration and confusion. I remind myself that this is another instance of Stackable Energy and breathe deeply as I navigate my way along, casting the occasional assessing gaze upwards at that tower of blocks of energy.

Generally when this physical type of meditation takes hold, I do tend to retreat a bit. Sometimes I will become mildly or aggressively ill, depending on the nature of the shifting and meditative energy that I am facing. Indeed, this past weekend, I came down with an indeterminate stomach bug that further pulled me back from the world. I have found that this is part of the whole process and seems to be the physical body's way of cleansing old energy, clearing the way for fresh, new energy to flood forward.

Perhaps this all sounds slightly cryptic and muddled. If so, forgive the indulgence. It makes perfect sense to me and is part of a concept I have been working on for a while. So, rather than writing about a specific topic that struck me in that lovely rush of excitement and enthusiasm, I chose to write about the less sparkly, more subtle aspect of inspiration....that of doing constant inner housekeeping and refining of mental discipline, energetic flow and methods of communicating. Without this slower, more quiet interaction with Self, I would not be able to write the lighter, or, conversely, deeper, more evocative posts. Yin and yang. Endless processing and striving for balance is what I chose to write about this time.

When this type of energy hits my personal horizon, bigger shifts are in the works. I have come to recognize this particular rhythm and cycle. What is it bringing my way? I have thoughts and dreams, but at this moment, I am choosing to not limit the possibilities with labels and words. I am staying open to the experience with arms open and heart full of expectation. I am going through a dramatic shifting of energy, which generally occurs in my life every 5-7 years. This shift has been enveloping me for the past 18+ months and is still in a state of flux. Some of it is mutable, meaning I have control over the eventual outcome; some of it is immutable, and something that will happen regardless of how I resist or embrace the inevitable outcome.

No, I don't always immediately embrace it. Oftentimes, I fight it, resist it, struggle to impose my own will, my own wishes and my own wants. I have learned over a lifetime, however, that this only postpones the inevitable and puts me through a lot of needless grief. Knowing this still doesn't always make the process enjoyable, but it does help to adapt and assimilate the new energy patterns.

I have somewhat of an idea and understanding of what is coming towards me. There are days it feels just right and other days it feels like my shoes are on the wrong feet. This is when the physical act of outward, active, unorthodox meditation becomes necessary. I am navigating my way through it all, swimming with and against the currents at various moments. In a few days, or a few weeks, I will step back into my regular routine, slightly different than it used to be, but better for the changes.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog.

The calmness within

There are some things that you just can't take your eyes off of.

Like these stone sculptures.

There was something about their still presence that captivated me.

Someone had spent the time to find the right-sized, right-shaped stones that could be aligned perfectly. Stacked them up. And then left them there for others to enjoy -- or destroy -- as they pleased.

Here were these smoothed-over rocks lying around randomly that someone had picked up and turned into artwork.

They sat there gracefully. Enjoying the view from their new vantage point.

Eliciting smiles.

The volatile ocean in the background providing a stark contrast to their quietude.

They looked unmoved. Resolute. Strong.

Yet so fragile.

Later that day I found myself experiencing the same swoop of silence.

A large cement ship, christened The Palo Alto, stoically resisting the throbbing sea.

A haven for birds. A sightseer's delight.

Built for one purpose. Cherished for another.

Abandoned as they were, the stone sculptures and the ship shared a sort of silent bond.

Witnessing time fly by.

There was movement all around them, yet they stayed unruffled.

Each of them with some history and an unknown future.

Inanimate objects that somehow managed to inspire a deep sense of calm.

The longer I looked at them, the more grounded I felt.

Invoking a sense of calm.

I saw a parallel with the demands of life.

Every day a series of turbulences. Big and small waves.

If we could learn to stay cool and collected -- face the crashing tide with equanimity -- life would be so much easier.

And we could appreciate the beauty of it all from a unique vantage point.

An inanimate frame of reference.

Experiencing the rough seas but not reacting to the turmoil.

Finding peace within.

Copyright protected by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

Also posted on my blog.