Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Milk for My Soul

I was inspired by EcoYogini's bold ponderings, and also 'The Coil' by A Green Spell to write this post. Thank you, inspiring women!

My spiritual path is how I live my life in every moment. This includes my finest achievements and my most horrible shames. There is no separation between myself and my spiritual path. Yet some things tend to feed me spiritually.

Earlier this week I did a 35 minutes long seated meditation with a local Zen group. Sitting with the group felt so good! It was spiritual nourishment: milk for my soul. I just love sitting with a group! And I didn't like or agree with everything about the experience before and after the meditation. It wasn't that I especially liked the people at this center or anything; we had just met. I just was so glad to have that quiet time with others to sit with myself without distraction. It seems that I have learned just how good regular periods of extended meditation might be for me right now. I think that I need to sit more.

It seemed to settle my inner beast, that pack of hungry dogs that likes to distract me from things I care about in favor of their endless, whiny needs. Their barking keeps me running from one thing to the next and fuels the power of my worries. Bad dogs.

My meditation reminded me that where I am is perfect for me; I can drink the experience of my life like a fortifying liquid. The dharma talk reminded me that to be with my spiritual self I need to be aware of and honor the new growth in my life. When I mentally cling to the past, I am ignoring these new plants living in the field of my life. My ignorance of myself kills this precious new growth. Living in the past is not a true living state--not for the spirit in a person.

The next morning I woke up remembering some very helpful dreams about what I need in my life right now. It was all about building the foundation for myself. I can find my spiritual foundation inside myself, and I need to build a physical foundation in my earthly life to support my inner vision.


Anonymous said...

Heh. I haven't written much about my recent zen retreat but that too, involved much sitting. By my last day there I think we were up to six half hour sits a day plus some walking meditation. Actually, I think the last few seconds were more like 40 minutes a pop.

It's definitely a good thing, yeah? All that time to sit, just looking and listening. Like you, not everything about zen teachings is for me, but much of it is. Most of it really.

If there's one thing that regular lengthy seated meditation gives you, it's a strong foundation. They kinda go hand in hand I suspect.

A Green Spell said...

Hi! Thanks so much for posting on The Coil! I am so appreciative to share these sorts of things with others.

I absolutely love the experience of meditating in a group. It keeps me focused so much more than when I'm alone. It's like you can feel the collective energy in the room, and it sustains you. I love it!

I have been meditating by myself for ten minutes every morning, but it is so hard to stay focused! I have been thinking about getting back into a group practice.

Anyway, thanks again. And I love your blog. I have been here many times before, but I don't think I've ever left a comment until now.


Eco Yogini said...

oh I'm so glad you wrote about your experience! it sounds so intense... and wonderful really.

my small moments of seated meditation during my yoga practice are so important... sometimes i forget. i value them more than savasana.

I agree with you- it's so important to think these things through :)

YogaforCynics said...

There's a meditation group I sometimes sit with just a ten minute walk away (I live in SUCH a cool neighborhood), though, like most serious meditators, they tend to sit rather early, but, having recalibrated my sleep pattern in Costa Rica, I've been managing to show up, when not laid up by spider bites. A friend I was telling about it was really surprised when I told him that all we do is show up, , sit, then leave (perhaps with quiet greetings and goodbyes), but that's really enough.

Kaivalya said...

I too love group meditation practice, but I could do without the 'before' and 'after' parts. Seems like every group I've attended has some sort of compulsory group 'introduction', then a discussion or activity afterward. I end up leaving more tense than when I came in. I'm sure this must depend on the group too.

Elize said...

"My meditation reminded me that where I am is perfect for me" ~ love this. a powerful reminder for all of us, at all times... it can be so hard to remember!

I recently re-read a book that I first read years ago and loved, and although the topic isn't anything to do with meditation, a few pages discuss zen meditation techniques... I hadn't remembered this, but it made me think of all the tiny, little things along the way that have contributed to me being exactly where I am today... which is perfect for me :)