Down To Earth Change

It’s been one week since I left the Light Tower. I now find myself very close to Earth. I’m renting a cabin in the Pocono woods with abundant deer and wild turkeys. There is a stream and I walk on gravel and damp leaves. I center my thoughts on Native American animal medicine. I know that deer is Gentleness and turkeys are Giving. But still, in spite of all this beauty, this change has brought uneasiness and fragility.

Michael Fullan, the master of change, says we should expect discomfort and a dip before the benefits of transformation settle in.

This morning, I forgot to put water into my espresso coffee pot. I sat at my computer until I smelled something burning. When I figured out what it was, I went to the stove, grabbed the pot and held it under cold water. I noticed the base was dark and stained from the fire and my stomach ached. I love my pot. I travel with it for warmth and familiarity. Now, I know I’m distracted and dipping. I had gone to sleep with Sadness and woke up with Regret and perhaps these lingering emotions had smothered my brain. A calm mind feels like wakefulness and plenitude.

I will meditate.

***

The sun has risen. The trees let in light marking the sharp angled walls of the teepee cabin like tie die webs and sponge blots. I drink a fresh cup of coffee and I’m feeling calm now. I look forward to a hot shower and I’m planning my day. I’m thinking about the paradox of organizing the future while living in the present, how the future is a clean slate but we are steeped in rich memories.

I think about posture and stance, a dancer poised and balanced, an artist standing in front of a blank canvas, a builder surveying the land.

I recall Antonio Blay’s chapter on positive attitude, which he calls a dynamic stance and I’m thinking about my old friend Chögyam Trungpa’s chapters on perkiness and horse wind.

I’m curious about the impact of our commitment to presence and how that translates into down to earth reality. How important is our posture when it comes to creating? How might circumstances change if we approach the future from a positive stance and a calm presence? What routines should I practice daily that will cultivate beauty, love, abundance and possibility?

***

When I see life and behavior as a continuous experiment,

When I sit and observe the mysterious forces that alter reality,

When I take the time to breathe, express gratitude and trust everything,

I am part of that glorious sky.

I am walking on good earth.

I am alive and willing.

Everything created is beautiful and fulfilling.

Mindfulness, Nature and Time

“There are times in life when we experience a time space warp such that you shift into another dimension that reveals the totality of our existence and immortality.”

Ríos, 2017, TS+EF=SC

It’s morning and I see the full moon setting over my balcony. I’m watching this happen on the same balcony that I watched the sun set last night.

Light streams in from the other side. I run to the window that faces East.

The sun is also rising!

I’m suddenly aware that I’m in that precise moment of time when the moon is setting and the sun is rising and I can see both from my light tower.

I wonder about meaning until I stop worrying about meaning and I just sit and breathe and drink coffee and observe the unfolding of an ending and a beginning.

The sun rises and the full moon lowers in the sky. Its brightness slowly fades, while the other enlarges and emanates.

I remember how I wept death last night and stretched out my hand—

Now, it’s morning and the full moon sets peacefully over my balcony.

The sun rises in the East.

The moon is a pale, circle in the sky.

My eyes hardly perceive it but it is there.

Nature on a Motorcycle

I was surfing and flying through open space, feeling the pulse and pounding wind on my body, sensing the tarmac road beneath. I smelled everything. Manure fertilizes miles of land and it stinks. But it’s real and it goes away when you pass on to the next sensation of mother earth and civilization intermingling. Like, I meditated on the red wild flowers that lined one long road that went on for miles and I wondered, did someone take this same ride and sprinkle seeds? What a thought that someone would spend a day driving along a side road sprinkling wildflower seeds to bring travelers joy. Like, being mesmerized by the mountain drop, the deep hidden valleys that look like green waves and seeing so far away that distance is a riddle.

I got cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon and I learned how to stop, adjust and dress properly.

Oh, what great joy feeling the elements on my eyes, on my body!

Side roads are spectacular. You end up passing through small in-between towns that feel lost but important. These roads are curved and steep and jittery, but the sensation is you are suspended in real-time and surrendering to surprise.

Nature’s beauty nourishes the body and soul. I breathed well, felt curious and uplifted. Removing the window frame was magic.

People worship nature for a reason. Watch the sky, the ocean waves or the mountains. Watch a fire flickering. This is all a kind of nature worship. It’s mesmerizing and fulfilling. It’s a love affair and just as healthy.

I’m beginning to understand the urgency of protecting our environment. It’s not a white paper anymore, it’s an experience. I believe in preserving our wildlife and our parks, our free shores and our landscapes. The urgency of proper planning is there.

I want us to build and develop homes and communities with a consciousness. I want us to honor nature and use it’s wisdom and eat its fruit to nourish our existence.

Solar panels are smart and a spiritual practice.

I want open space and access to unobstructed sky for all people. The earth will appreciate stretching out and she will welcome us here longer.

We need to understand and talk about our relationship to nature. Each of us is different but we are all human and have this similarity, this need for sun and water and mountains and air.

We can do this.  

I cried for an hour during the sunset on the way home. My butt was buzzing.