A Spirited Challenge to You!

Do remember a time, a morning or afternoon, that seemed to flow on forever? Where time wasn’t measured; rather you immersed yourself in the experience at hand? Really feeling the contact of your feet on the earth, the warmth of the sun along with the coolness of water, hearing the murmuring of your lover’s breath, the bursting on your your tongue of freshly-picked strawberries. Why do these moments, as adults, seem so rare, so precious? To me, that is precisely where goddess/god/spirit is found. Those fully immersible moments.

How often do you feel this connection? Do you absolutely need to live in close contact with nature to experience them? I challenge all of you urban dwellers to notice when you feel the presence of spirit — not as a far-off vacation moment, but in your daily life. What signifies her arrival for you? How do you feel when you notice her animating you?

Please let me know on this blog about the fruits of your experiment.

After The Drought

Nature is an endless source of wisdom teachings. As many of you know, Texas has experienced a summer of severe drought and wildfires. While running in Houston’s Memorial Park, shrunken and parched trees surrounded me. Indeed many of them displayed the Parks Dept mark of death. I cried over the tremendous loss in a city desperate for greenery. My tears, too, touched that hollow dead place within me.

On a recent retreat in central Texas, a beloved maple tree under which I have done hours of walking meditation also showed telltale signs of dying. As I repeated a silent prayer for this tree, I saw patches of young sweet clover thriving in its meager shadow. So lush and green! Nature reminded me once again that growth is its relentless driving force. That newness and decay are enmeshed.

Now I wait to see what will grown from the desolation within my heart.

Slowly Rising Passion

Lately, I have been obsessing about finding passion. Big juicy passion. Joie de vivre. When I focus on passion, though, not much emotion arises. I feel rather bereft of joy, rather lifeless these days. I do recall a time when energy pulsed through me. Now I feel burdened with responsibility that I have drained my life of its blood.

How will I tap into the well of joy again? Perhaps this time will not arrive with an explosion but perhaps will build with a smoulder. Simply by choosing to think and do what I like. Making everyday choices rather than a dramatic break from my current conventions. That is the way back to my Self — and to a passionate life.

Lessons Learned in Retreat

As many of you know, I have just been in a weeklong silent meditation retreat in Texas. While I try to relinquish expectations beforehand, I must admit that some part of me hopes for big revelations during the retreat. Those elusive “a-ha!” moments when everything falls into place. During meditation session, I actually did have such moments of clarity. Once I tried to grasp and savour them, though, the spaciousness disappeared. Rather than chase after them, I just sat and returned my focus on the breath. By the end of the retreat, I realized that change powered by insight can seem sudden and enormous, but really are made of the countless experiences in each micromoment. Only by piecing these moements together does the web of new perspectives emerge. So, I quietly weave into the new year with no grand resolutions but just an immersion into this very moment.