Monday, January 14, 2013

Maine's January Thaw

I was sitting at a small table at Peaks Cafe, addressing the envelope of a note I had written to my brother Bill, when I noticed the time - 10:00 a.m. - the beginning of Winds of Change. As I walked to the nearby Post Office, sensations of the January thaw abounded: the sound of song birds chirping, the smell of mud, the feel of warmer air and sun, the brilliance of the day.

After mailing several packages and cards, I walked an easy pace home, up the hill and along the winding road, being purposely aware of my surroundings. There were receding patches of snow in yards and driveways and individual droplets of water, sparkling in the sun's light, coating low lying bushes. My feet squished through the wet dirt and crunched through wet snow, sinking a little with each step. Crows cawed continuously.

Once home, I checked my phone messages, responding to a call from my sister Mary, whose birthday is today (Happy Birthday, Mary!). I appreciated conversing with her during WoC time, holding an awareness of the shared "presents" of each of you, in celebration of her birthday.

It was so glorious a day that after our conversation ended, I returned to the outdoors and walked the curves of Seashore Avenue, watching the rising sea as it slapped against huge rocks and sprayed into the air, rushed to the shore, then retreated to the ocean with a thunderous clattering of pebbles. The waves glittered and the sun glowed.

As I continued walking, I noticed my mind wandering away from the present and into the past and future. Several times, in response to my distraction, I inwardly heard Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, yelling, "Silence!" as he commanded his students in one of the Harry Potter series. Routinely, I slipped into several of my walking mantras, one of them from Zen Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh: "Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I smile, dwelling in the present moment, this is a wonderful moment." 

Wishing to return to silence, I repeated the word "si - lence" within myself, in rhythm with my pace, until gradually, the word shifted into two words, sigh-lens. At that point, a deep sigh flowed through me, expanding my present moment consciousness - my breath/sigh becoming a lens, a way of "seeing" from a deeper perspective. Each time I silently repeated the words sigh-lens, I would immediately be brought to that spacious place of opening. It is in this space that WoC time ended, so I retreated to one of the upper shoreline ledges, sitting in the serenity of sun and sea and salty air.

As always, I am so grateful for sharing the ride with each of you, and invite you to share your own experience here in the comment section of this blog. Namaste.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winds of Change Time

Winds of Change will be held Monday, January 14th, from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. EST. Please set aside this time in whatever way you choose to connect with your Winds of Change family. Namaste.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Epiphany 2012

Winds of Change time began while I was chatting with my sisters Anne and Mary in a fun free-for-all through our shared e-mail, when Anne commented that we were WoC-ing together. I love the sound-play between the acronym WoC and the word walk, as I indeed feel that we walk together during this time.

Once our on-line conversation ended, I lit a candle that has the faintest scent of lilac, and decided to quiet my mind to the 30-minute version of the Aethos Sound Meditation (found near the bottom of the page to this link). What a task that became! I could not position myself comfortably nor the speakers properly, try as I might.

During the course of my discomfort, I observed myself several times, wondering just what it was that was happening. I re-started the recording 7 times - yes, that's 7 - before listening to it without interruption in its entirety. I wanted to take full advantage of the sun that was streaming through the southern windows onto the living room floor, but instead, it turned into a huge production - I was staging the perfect set for WoC time - the sun at a certain angle warming my face, my favorite shawl covering my body just so, the speakers positioned for optimum listening. Though all good, when I real-eyes-ed the distress I was creating by focusing so much on the externals, I smiled, then eased into the simple task before me: lying on the floor listening to the Aethos Sound Meditation in communion with all of you.

Once relaxed, I shifted my focus among my upper chakras, the energy centers of my heart, throat, third eye, and crown. It is my third eye and heart chakras that responded. The third eye created an endless, narrow, glowing filament that extended into what looked to be outer space and my heart chakra glowed, radiating outward in all directions. It is from the vantage point of my heart chakra that I felt as if I was suspended in a pool of energy. In this state, I heard my name being called several times, followed with a question: "Claire... Claire... Claire... Where are you?" to which the response came from the space that was me, "I am everywhere," as, simultaneously, "I" expanded beyond the space that was me and the space of the question, into an ever widening, open space, that was still me and more.

As the sound meditation ended, I remained on the floor, feeling the space that was me become aware, ever so slowly, of my physical body. When I opened my eyes, the expansiveness I had felt lingered, as "I" and Room intermingled. My body felt light and airy and spacious. After acknowledging each of you, I got up and continued with the rest of my day, still feeling your "presents," even as I write this. 

I would love to hear of your own experiences during this time, as would others, so please do comment. Namaste.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Winds of Change will be held Sunday, January 6th, from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30a.m. EST, so whatever you choose to do during this time, know that we will be "WoC-ing" together.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Winds of Change

Thank you for this opportunity to share in the Winds of Change. It has been a very hectic retail holiday season and I have been lagging in stamina, so I looked forward to our time together in solitude.

My spiritual resolution for 2013 is to be in Awareness, everyday ~ to experience my humanness, our shared humanity, as the spiritual beings we are, from moment to moment, breath to breath. It is in this state of attentiveness that I walked the 15 minutes from my workplace to the ferry terminal, bundled against a wintry cold, dark, Maine evening. Once at Gate 5, I waited in anticipation, sitting on an outdoor bench nestled against the south face of the terminal building, sheltered from the winds and looking out to the sea and the approaching Machigonne II car ferry.

Our time together began as I walked onto the ferry, through the warm inner corridor of the first deck, up the stairs, and out onto the second deck of the stern. As the ferry left port, I positioned myself near the doorway out of the wind, sitting on a metal hub facing west. I walked to the outer reaches of the bow and was overcome with a deep urge to share the complete experience with each of you, so I climbed the outer stairway to the top deck and my usual perch, with nearly a complete 360 degree view.

As we rode to Peaks Island, to the west was the Portland city skyline, an array of lights, yellow and white, green, blue and red, ever receding; to the north, were faint city lights, a darkened Fort Gorges, a dimly lit Little Diamond Island, and then the open sea passage around Peaks; to the east were the lights of Peaks, growing ever brighter with our approach; and to the south were huge oil tanks luminescent in the night, the squat Spring Point Lighthouse decorated in two tiers of white Christmas lights, the steady, rhythmic flash of Portland Head Light in the distance, the pale, snow-covered House Island, and the open sea.

It is the sky that I am so drawn to, and on this dark, cold, windy night riding with all of you on the top deck, I watched the overturned Little Dipper spilling into the Big Dipper to the north; protector Orion standing watch over Peaks and the the seven sisters - the Pleiades; and Cassiopeia sitting proudly in the south, all among an array of heavenly, luminescent bodies, ours and the sky's.

As we were docking, in the frigid sea, there were seagulls, white in the light of the ferry,  paddling away from the mother ship. We debarked and walked the serpentine back road, listening to the crunch of footsteps and the wind sighing through the woods, our way lit only by intermittent street lights and the stars. 

Once home, I lit a votive candle of Our Lady of Fatima and a stick of Awareness incense, then turned on Tom Kenyon's Worlds Ascending and prepared an organic butternut squash to bake, the preheated oven warming the kitchen. As the Winds of Change was ending, I lay down, knees bent, on the carpeted living room floor, basking in the presents of all of you. 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tsé bighánílíní (Navajo)
“The Place Where Water Runs Through Rocks”

         "Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are thousands of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."  ~  Rumi                                                   

Happy New Year!