203: Times The Universe Was Oddly Satisfying

I’ve got posts about crystals and poetry in the drafts folder but here’s something that made me oh so satisfied. I think you’ll like it too. And if you want to take it to a spiritual level, you can use these little coincidences and perfections as a reminder that life is beautiful, chaos is balanced by perfection, and everything happens for a reason.

Presenting… The 31 Most Pleasurable Things That Have Ever Happened.

Enjoy.

This shelf that makes everything better.

#8: This shelf that makes everything better.

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128: Getting To The Root Of The Babbler

candlesThe babbler is the one who is ruining your meditations. The babbler is the one who brings up your to-do lists, memories and plans for the future and uses the emotions tied to them to distract you from concentration, regardless of how dedicated you are. It’s the fault of the babbler that so many people think they are no good at meditation. Last night I had a close encounter with the root of this voice and I want to talk about it. [Also, this is the first post I’ve worked on for more than a day during this challenge.] I’ve spent many hard months learning to call upon my babbler by many different names… “inner voice”…”ego”…”Little Veronica”… they all helped for a while, each led me to know some small part of where these natural distractions are coming from. Let’s take a deeper look.

Close your eyes (at the end of this paragraph, obviously) and imagine a lake. The surface is wavy and wind stirs up the water making it choppy and tumultuous, unable to reflect the images of fluffy clouds drifting across a blue sky. Now sink deeper into the water. As you move down towards the center of the earth, note the increasing stillness of the heavy, almost solid water. When you get to the bottom of the lake, the water will be motionless and you will feel one with the silent stillness. (Now’s the time to take three breaths and visualize this progression.)

Beneath the memories of missed opportunities and awkward moments that float across the surface of my mind-pond, last night I decided to sink down (as I do many nights) to find stillness; however, tonight was different because I realized that as I moved down, I was also somehow moving to the root of these distracting thoughts, and quickly I found myself at the bottom of the lake, facing my ego.

At the tranquil bottom of a pond that seemed so crazy and unsettled, I saw that this gentle creature, so often demonized by cries of, “Kill the ego! Lose it! Forget about it!” was actually just very humbly working in overdrive to keep my special self alive. Little Veronica was overwhelmed by fear and constantly asking what she could do to feel safer and more secure, constantly scanning the area for threats to her peace and joy. This searching and asking is the voice of the babbler and this voice is formed when we are small, bearing appropriate fear and love tendencies related to our childhood environments.

This fearful creature inside all of us lives alongside the peaceful and joyful internal presence we call the spirit. The act of meditation is training the babbler how to sit quietly and recognize that s/he needn’t be active all the time, that the work of surviving can be shared. It’s no coincidence that society has increased difficulty teaching our children the habit of stillness and that stress runs rampant in adults and despite increased scientific evidence of its benefits, so few people find they can sustain a meditation practice.

It’s my hope that with an awareness of where these thoughts come from we can all view their arising not as a failure to meditate, but a good sign, a clue that will lead us to the root of the babbling, the end of the treasure hunt, and along the path to stillness.

pond (1)

The mantra is the mirror which reflects your mental formations as you seek deeper into yourself.

Have you been to the bottom of the pond before? What’s it like at the root of your thoughts? How do you get there? Is the babbler your friend or your enemy or even, your frienemy? How do you feel when thoughts, dreams, emotions and feelings drift across the your surface?

Day 93: What Is Joy?

"allow" being the key word

“allow” being the key word

This affirmation really struck me today.

Through all the health struggles, work pressure, relationship issues, and the ongoing battle love and fear are waging in my life, I have still found moments of deep joy and gratitude over the last seven months, but today when I woke up to a message that ended with the question, “Are you happy?” I was pretty conflicted. My instinct was yes but my frown said no. So I thought about it.

There is a deep internal knowing that I am a blissed-out, joyful being of light that I have come to recognize over the last seven years of being a happiness advocate and I know this is the undercurrent of all my daily experiences because of constant, daily work. Yet I still have trouble seeing how can I ignore the struggles and challenges — which are often at the fore of my mind — by putting the stamp “happy” on my forehead (ego)? I’m not the only one who thinks a weaker person would collapse in my position… so don’t I deserve the space to be sad?

Well the answer is yes. YES. Do you hear me?

Sorry, slipped into my teacher voice there for a moment talking to myself. I answer my own questions a lot.

We all deserve the space to be sad and depressed because they are just the valleys of the sine wave of this human experience. That’s called compassion, ahimsa. Without the changes on this crazy ride, we wouldn’t get the chance to stick our feet out the window and feel the warm breeze rush through our hair – there would be no movement, nothing to experience, total monotony. Yes, I know permanent monotony seems appealing some days but think about it more realistically please, Veronica.

You see, I know all the doubts, I’ve had them all, or at least it feels like I have. I’m getting pretty good at talking myself down from those wild points-of-no-return insanity and all I can say about that is practice makes perfect. Let me be of service to you with this humble offering of an affirmation and then let yourself touch joy for just one moment. Don’t be afraid. One moment is all it takes to remind yourself there are good things and then you can go back to your well-deserved valley/cave/blanket fort. Joy will be there when your solitude has done its work.

 

With Joy, Sadness, and Everything In Between,

The Sacred Here and Now