Written in 2016
Meditation at the Pool
I’m sitting at a Hotel Club in Antigua, Guatemala meditating. I’m at a pool, but I’m still in my meditation practice. And I have (somewhat annoyingly) stopped my meditation to sit down to write this post. I would rather be meditating but inspiration arrives when it arrives, and it is a welcome guest. No matter what I’m doing or where, I keep the radar on and my compass pointed in its direction. Fortunately, inspiration never runs dry when you are open to it.
I am the proverbial frog waiting for the fly.
Back to the Hotel Club. Cloying in the background is a marimba group playing their lively traditional marimba music, which I have heard for the umpteenth time. Iza and Zai are over watching Casimiro the clown do his thing, for the umpteenth time. I guess it’s what we do. We do things over and over and over again, whatever the circumstances. I could be in a silent forest retreat right now, but I’m not. I’m here, every day, happily, and here is the only place to be. So I practice on and try to keep the little Mona Lisa smile intact.
Enjoy the Distractions
When l think of all the “distractions” and noise here, I think back to the time when I was living at a Zen Buddhist center in Los Angeles, California. Zen Buddhist center, Los Angeles, quite a unique juxtaposition I would say. But while deep into one of the many meditation retreats we participated in and helped conduct throughout the year, there were almost always one or two (sometimes 3) ice cream trucks blasting their carnival music into the street.
* Take 3 deep breaths……now.
Welcome back. As I was saying, ice cream truck music is not the ideal background music for a Zen retreat. Or is it?
The point I am making? We are not always presented with the most ideal circumstances to continue a spiritual practice (whatever practice that may be). That in itself is the perfect spiritual practice.
I mean, right now, I am hammering away on my phone and trying to keep up with the words and ideas flowing through my mind, and in a way this is just a part of the extended practice.
Now for the purpose.
- Find a moment (even 5 minutes)
- Sit in a comfortable position
- Listen to the sounds around you
- Don’t focus on anyone sound
- Breathe with intention, follow your breath
- Try to release your mind from all other obligations
You are now meditating and its something you can do anytime, anywhere, for as long as you have available. It offers you a moment to be alone even in a sea of people. It gives you an internal power you can’t get anywhere else.
Want to learn more? Here is a pretty well-written article from Yoga Journal.
The Story Continues…
We are now back home and the kids are sleeping. You parents know the deal: it’s SO sweet when you get those few minutes to decompress, But it’s only 3:30. Do I wake them or let them sleep. If I wake them, back to the beautiful grind of parenthood.
If I don’t wake them I’m F’d because I know they’ll keep me up all night. Yea, nobody wants that so I’ll go with another half hour and hope for the best.
So for the precious moments I have, do I continue my meditation I was so relishing back at the pool? Or, with inspiration still fully intact, do I continue this post. Rache would definitely continue writing so I use her as my guiding work force. And I feel like there is something I need to say, right now, so I am rolling with it and serving it up. Of course with the deepest gratitude for receiving this inspiration to share words and ideas. I feel like other like-minded folks out there in the cyber world are working hard to share their inspiration as well, so I want to give back when I have the chance.
And there you go. One of them awoke. Gotta go!
If you look closely, you can see me on the left when I first started practicing.
Most dedicated western practitioners do two sesshins a year for 7 days each in total silence. Each day you meditate in a variety of different ways for roughly 18-hours. Meditation in these cases can be sitting, walking or working. Often, by the 7th day, practitioners feel ‘high’ or ‘light’.
I meditate every morning and have tried to attend at least 1 sesshin a year while our children were small. Now that they are older, I am renewing my 2x annual practice.
Meditation is Apart of My Work
My art is centered around meditation and in my most recent work, you can see the repetition, patterns, and simplicity of form. I typically meditate for 50-minutes and then do a freehand piece in under an hour. Learn more here on my website.
My Zen brother Billy White also practices meditation as his work. Check out his sound healing at The Heart is Awake.