Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Am Happy I Am Not A Pilgrim Child

I am happy I am not a Pilgrim child,
Pilgrim children had to do a lot of chores.
They fetched water, firewood, berries, and wild plants.
They helped cook, clean, plant, and harvest crops.
They had to bow to the adults.
They had to serve their parents before they ate.
They slept on mattresses stuffed with straw on the floor.
They took a bath a few times a year (Pee Ew!)
I am happy I am not a Pilgrim Child.

My sweet son wrote this original poem in 1999 and mounted it on a Hornbook when he was in Mrs. Hannon's third grade class. It's still hanging in our dining room. Looking at it, especially around Thanksgiving, reminds me to be thankful for my family, friends, and hometown where my children received a loving public education.  

From me and mine to you and yours ~ May your Thanksgiving season be one of abundance and LOVE.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Calendars Shmalendars

Humankind the world over clearly disagrees about nearly everything - politics, science, culture, religion, personal values, etc. You name it, there’s someone somewhere who will refute it. Be it individual, national, global, and probably inter-galactic, there’s variety in all thought and practice. How the coming year (2012) will unfold and ultimately turn out is one of those trendy topics that people are hotly debating.

Scholars acknowledge that the Mayan “Long Count” Calendar marks the end of a 5,126 year period; however, the implication of this is widely up for grabs. Astronomers seem to agree that for the first time in 25,000+ years, during the winter solstice of 2012, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way possibly disrupting earthly energy. What this means, however, is open to worldly and otherworldly interpretation as well. There are voluminous apocalyptic theories and expectations to go around as well as hopes for a Christ initiated rapture… and that’s just for starters.

In my personal world of spiritual friends, gurus, and scholars who promote a luminously positive way of thinking and being, we believe the ripening of a New Age will be the result of a Loving and Peaceful Universal Consciousness. We are human; after all, so we do the very best we can one breath at a time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

* Meditation * Mantra * Music * Mandala *

Meditation entails any practice used to quiet one’s mind thus enabling the practitioner to focus on the present moment.  Physical activities including yoga, walking, running, sewing, cooking, etc. may focus the mind and empty it of extraneous thoughts. Less physical activities including observance of the breath, mantra meditation (the continuous chanting of a sacred sound or phrase), and guided meditation (following auditory or visual prompts) are also vehicles known to shift brain activity from a stress prone state to a measurably calmer state of being. Meditation is a personal experience; what works for one individual may not work for another.

My Gopi friends (gal pals on a similar spiritual path) all meditate.  They are somehow able to sit quietly, often in lotus position, and empty their minds seemingly at will. Now and again, there’s background music conducive to attaining an altered state of consciousness.  I have what some yogis refer to as Monkey Mind, an overactive cerebral condition which challenges the aspiring meditative mind to be still.  

The meditation practice that works best for me is chanting. When I’m singing Sanskrit mantras, it’s difficult if not impossible for my mind to wander.  Ram Dass, in his latest book be love now, impeccably states what I know to be true from experience, “music has a unique ability to convey emotion, and when it combines with the vibrational quality of a mantra, there is nothing like it to bypass the mind and open a direct route to the heart.”

If you’re a tried and true meditator or if you’ve not yet attempted it, the following meditation tools just might work for you. Included herein are some of my favorite people and inspirations. Click the links provided below for cd ideas, sample tracks, and more.