A meditative hit

22:58. I worried a lot that I would lose my “wilder artistic side” if I dropped the wine… but I’m getting a glimpse of it coming back. Wine, I felt, gave me guts and recklessness in creativity. The kind I always associated with truth.

But guts, bought cheap, rot quick; and so it was, for the liquid courage with which I’d managed to infuse my creative output. I became a series of multiple personalities that I couldn’t put together into one person.

It’s funny, I feel my selves coming together again… and this gives me the urge to do something different with my various creative outlets… to meld them together into one somehow. BUT… I remember having this feeling last time I made it to four months and a bit… and focussing far too much on that.

What if I imagined my life not in the span of one year, but in the span of an actual lifetime?

What if I remember to see a universe in a tiny patch of grass.

Yesterday I did sitting meditation for an entire five minutes. Five minutes, people!! And in half-lotus. Ouch. (Sadly I’m not physically flexible, though my inner nature bends with whatever current flows my way, or at least has, in the past.)

Anyway, it was uncomfortable, and yet… replenishing.

How to do sitting meditation in three easy steps:

  1. “Sit beautifully” wherever you like. “Sitting beautifully” means sitting as straight and well-postured as you can, on a chair, on the floor, outside or anywhere at all.
  2.  Notice your breath. Don’t try to breathe any special way. Just notice your breath, and become aware of your body, your*self,* as an organism.
  3. Notice any bodily discomforts. Accept them (or make adjustments, within reason).
  4. Notice your thoughts passing through your mind. Don’t judge them. Just notice them and accept them.
  5. Soft focus. Don’t become obsessed with any one thought. Just notice it, allow it to grow a little if you like, then let it float on. Think of the thoughts as being like images or movie clips in a slide show.
  6. Keep bringing attention back to your breath. Not any special way of breathing, just the way you are breathing.

Ok that was six easy steps. Let’s accept that.

In my sitting meditation yesterday, I had a beautiful memory.

Two years ago, my husband and I took our yearly weekend away together while my parents looked after the kids.

We both love camping, and had gone south in our camper van to camp by the Mediterranean sea.

I had not booked anything, thinking we could get a last-minute place (as is often the case, and as was often my way). But every campsite in the area we’d chosen was full.

Finally, we were driving down a small strip between the sea and an inland lagoon. The sun was about to set, and we were exhausted. It had been a long day of travel after a stressful week.

But the colours on the lagoon were spectacular. Then I saw a figure on a rock overlooking the lagoon.

The man was bronzed and lean, thinly muscled. He wore only loose trousers; his brown chest and arms were bare.

He sat, facing the sunset, in full lotus, sitting beautifully, back straight and elongated, arms raised and palms together. Eyes closed, sunlight upon lids, long greying beard knotted under chin.

“Here! We have to camp here.” I said to my husband.

“Here? But it’s the side of the road. No toilets. Are you sure?”

“Yes.” (This coming from someone who’s only been sure of about five things in her entire life.)

“Okay then.”

We camped there and it was perfect. (Well except the part about no toilets.) We ended up staying there both nights.

But on the first night, we set up camp; and then, as per usual, I could not wait to open a bottle of wine and roll a cigarette. I did not want to just see the sunset… I wanted to drink it and smoke it too. It never was enough, and I always wanted more.

But, dammit, I’d forgotten to bring the corkscrew!

Well, I’d ask the yogi next door. He had a vintage camper. He was über-cool. Natch he’d have a corkscrew!

I felt a little shy, but walked over. He was preparing a plate of food, the likes of which I’d not yet seen in France before. There was no meat. There was no cheese. I could not even figure out what it was.

“Bonsoir, excusez moi… ” Do you have a corkscrew I could perhaps borrow? I asked him in French.

He seemed friendly enough, when I first approached him, but when I asked for the corkscrew, his expression closed neatly.

“Non. Pas de tire-bouchon.” No corkscrew. Then he said, looking quite clearly into my eyes (and his eyes were dark as earth), “Pas d’alcool.”

What? This cool dude did not drink booze, even just casually, on the weekend, on holiday, with a sunset?

Not even wine? ….Ever?

At the ripe old age of 44, I felt like a child.

His words trickled down into my consciousness like dharma rain on a hot summer night.

There were tiny flowers growing amongst the dry grasses, all along the edge of that lagoon road, which glowed yellow as I walked back toward our van.

 

 

19 thoughts on “A meditative hit

  1. Meditation is something I’ve just started! And for a woman who loves to talk, I AM LOVING IT!!! It actually makes me feel super refreshed afterwards.
    Also, I love the details you used to write you memory. I felt like I was right there with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I love this, now I will think of both you and Allie whenever I don’t feel motivated, and just sit up, right then and there, as beautifully as I can… 😘

      Also thanks for your very kind words, these mean so much especially since I’d always wanted to write about this memory but never had, for fear of “getting it wrong.” But I always feel so relaxed here… and that’s mostly thanks to you all. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This. Oh. This is a magnificent piece of writing. I’m in tears.

    I love my morning meditation. I struggle with habits but it is one that I see the profound positive effects of without fail and keeps me hooked. Thank you for sharing your memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve only ever had a place “speak to me” at Arches National Park, which is the spiritual center for so many Americans. It’s all rock, and so I’m not surprised that rock spoke to you. Congrats on 4 months. I’ve never really considered following the AA method of giving up alcohol, but their one-day-at-a-time mantra seems right to me. Rest-of-my-life always depressed me. I think I’m over that now and the rest of my life is OK, but it wasn’t for several years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for coming to visit, Jeff. Loved your latest post!

      It was more the man on the rock, than the rock itself in this case, 🧘🏼‍♂️ but Arches National Park sounds wonderful. 🙏

      As for AA, I follow the mantra “take what works and leave the rest,” same as in any philosophy. :))

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I could not have had a more beautiful and relatable introduction to this blog…. I could honestly make a list of all of the parts that resonate with me deeply, even the campervan trip itself in the South of France…. and finding camping spots based on sunsets and views not amenities. The feeling that the addition of wine will enhance any experience despite it being already as magical as that (I forgot how so many French wines still need a corkscrew).

    And the sentiment… meditation, enjoying the moment without the need to modify it. This is such a beautifully told and gentle reminder to reconnect and focus on things that are important. So happy to have made my way to this blog, and to have discovered you as a writer and a friend.
    😘💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rachel… such a lovely and wonderful surprise to see you here, and to get this comment just before I head off to bed. It just makes my evening. Thank you so very much.

      I need to get back to meditation. I’ve been a bit word-manic, and it isn’t doing me, nor my writing, for that matter, much good. I can see that now, in retrospect.

      Hugs, my lovely friend. And thanks again. ❤︎

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will be back for more, I feel like a broken record to say it, but so much of what you write feels like i understand it because I’ve lived it. Your words do not come across as manic in any which way. Quite the opposite. Words I would use to describe yours include – intelligent, honest, beautiful, inspiring, passionate. And that’s without even thinking about it. I’ll be in touch, sleep well my friend, I’m up and drinking my morning coffee. Another addiction xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And now I’m still here, still binging on words… but with tears pricking my eyes (again, just like this morning!) to see yours. You are way too kind. And me too, addicted to morning coffee.

          By the way, that post over here that I told you about in email – I made it private. [facepalm.] Ah well, two steps forward, one step back. Whatever it takes, to get on with the day. ;))

          Now I really will go, so I can end with your kindness as I hit the pillow. Have a lovely morning, ray of sunshine. :))

          Liked by 1 person

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