Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Personal Practice’

Aftermath

The few days following an intensive retreat—this writing follows my annual Summer Movement Monastery at Ravenrock—is an especially potent passage. Day to day consciousness is returning since I am not longer practicing 6 hours a day with the community. Yet all that has happened inside me during the previous two weeks is unfolding. I remember these periods following Sufi Camp as well. 

 

Design ArabesqueAftermath at Ravenrock
I sit on the Porch watching the thronging hummingbirds and, in the far distance, Hermit’s Peak. 7:30 my phone tells me. I could wear my watch as I did during retreat, but it now sits roundly on a high shelf serving as a tiny, barely visible clock while I begin to once again forget time. It is only a few days since everyone left. The sessions are suspended until we next meet. The Barn is empty of bodies yet full of the grace we all spun. In the aftermath, I read Rumi who makes graceful sense. I sit in the field of the One, the Most Subtle Read more

What Really Makes a Daily Practice

Amanda wrote. She had been thinking of me, of Dancemeditation because she wanted to get going on a daily personal practice. This was not the first time she approached me. Her persistence is a good sign.  Many people seek me out expressing anything from an interest to a desperate need for a regular practice. In response, I have organized trainings bursting with techniques to deepen and relax, increase sensorial existence and calm overactive minds. I have made instructional DVDs and online courses to sustain practice at home. As well, I have written extensively about every aspect of practice. Considering this, I briefly wondered if I had done too much, fostering dependence, making the trudge appear more entertaining than it is. This time with Amanda’s request, a wave of clarity washed over me. I had never said the one, most important thing, possibly because it seemed too obvious. I don’t know. But I had not said this one thing… Read more

Running in Water

Zero-G
My round, fibrous-fatty-blood-coated* heel bone meets the gritty bottom first, then my step rolls fluidly along the footsole, smooth as frosting under the soft press of a spatula. The sole expands as I move through the step, but very little because I am in water up to my chest and weigh almost nothing to my legs. Read more

Sufi Tea

Four of us met for Sufi Movement Meditation and Tea last Friday. It was early afternoon in crisp, late autumn when light fades quickly. The first snow, the way we love it, feathery and delicate, glittered on the few leaves still clinging in the shrubbery. The dusting gives us time to switch gears into the darkest, coldest season.
Read more

Dreams of Dying

Someone has moved all the living room furniture to prepare for the lecture. I say no, put it back. They refuse so I must put it back myself. I go to move the red chair; its arm is broken; a tattered Indian throw covers grimy brocade upholstery. The stained blue love seat verges on collapse. The paintings are not paintings at all but cheesy magazine pages pasted onto thin, rumpled cardboard and put in a flimsy dime-store frame. Rather than a charming installation of venerable, valuable antiques, the room has been a farce. It should all be thrown out. Read more

Mexico Retreat

The retreat in Mexico is complete. I sit under the canopy lunching on greasy, soft pork ribs with Claudio Naranjo and Cynthia Merchant. Sparrows dart in and out of the bougainvillea, calling sharply, insistently, joyfully to one another. We watch them meet and tussle face to face, wings whirring in their mating. They carve little hollows to nest in the rush roof over our heads, then gather fallen feathers to upholster their birthing chambers.

I said, “I have a new life.” My heart felt soft. Read more

Corpse

In bed, alone, under two duvets to be warm on a cold night, I move with music in the earbuds. I focus on my right leg, which strokes the sheets, then my right side. Whoosh, a flood of tears. Strange chunks of brittle, wooden tears. Inside gloom in my skull I see Dad. Dad—-after he stopped breathing, when we were alone in the quiet room before the coroner arrived. Quiet. No longer hushed. Empty quiet. I sat in blunt shock of a din gone. His body cooled and stiffened. His skin drained and tightened over the bones Read more

Winter Night

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

All the to-ing and fro-ing from caregiving his ADLs has enflamed my chronic act-up-under-duress injury. I feel like a parolee; I can only go a few steps before a skewer pierces my trochanter, my IT band, my quads. I lie down and tuck the pain under a heating pad. My brother brings me a set of crutches which help. Ibuprofen helps. Not walking helps. It’ll heal but not tomorrow or the next day. Read more

Internal

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

He is more and more internal. Even when awake he is internal. I am more internal. I write less. Say less. Express less. Except to John, the other caregiver. We talk about him, about how we each see him and this part of his journey. These conversations go very deep. We are powerless, cradled in the palm of the Great Power. Read more

I Become an Angel

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

I slide my arm under his shoulders to move him gently onto the pillows. He is all skewed and will wake with a crick in his neck if he sleeps too long that way. As I move him, he opens his eyes and gazes at me. Pure pure pure love. He smiles. All his face arranges itself around the feeling of happiness. Read more