Dissolving Out of Clock-Time
“Time takes Time” -Ringo Starr “Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time –and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” -Georgia O’Keefe
Dear friends, Hope this finds you, and those you love, safe and well. Here's some new meditations and mindfulness activities to help during our shared experience of pandemic. May you practice these in peace and good health until we are meditating together again, in person. Below are four invitations. I encourage you to take them...
Have you lost track yet... wondering what day it is? Or, so involved in an activity that you don’t even care what time it is? The pace of your day – and even time itself - is unfolding in ways that you may not be used to, or comfortable with. In my weekly meditation classes, we often study how our minds are usually trapped by schedules and clock-time. So much so -- that often we operate in a daily trance as if clock-time, and its accomplices: speed, trying to keep up, efficiency, productivity, getting ahead and impressing others -- were the most important things in life. Growing up in West Virginia, my friends and I thought it was funny when we would see a dog start frantically chasing a car down the street. The dog could never catch up. But, we especially enjoyed the idea that, if the car stopped, the dog wouldn't know what to do with the car anyway! For us now, the car has stopped. The gospel according to clock-time is now diminished, and the familiarity of daily schedules has stopped. So, we're having the unfamiliar experience of every day being influenced by the rhythm of natural time. What if the value of your life time was more important than the values of clock-time? Consistently practicing mindfulness can help you harvest the wonderful experience of being in each moment of your life. Which is the only moment you can ever experience anyway, no matter what the clock says. To develop a natural, friendly experience of mindfulness, and to help adjust to the rhythm of how these days are unfolding, try the following mindful activity meditations.
Invitation One: Mindful Activities Instructions: There are some suggestions below, but the activity itself doesn't matter. What does matter is allowing lingering, luxuriating and savoring into them. Be generous, time-wise, to each part within these everyday activities. The time you set aside doesn't necessarily need to be long, however, the power of this exercise is lost if you finish early with the intent of squeezing another activity into your remaining time. How long should each activity be? As long as it takes for you to feel completely satisfied with it. When your heart becomes the time-measuring device, the activity will wind down naturally. Remember Ringo Starr’s advice: Time takes Time. Activity One: Having a cup of coffee, or tea. And savoring every sensory part of the coffee, e.g., the feel of the cup, the aroma, the taste, the setting... and lingering over each part. Activity Two: Take a leisurely walk just to walk, when it's not multi-tasking as exercise. Simply noticing walking itself while you are walking. Activity Three: And as artist Georgia O'Keefe might invite us - taking time for yourself for really seeing one flower, in all it's fine detail. And maybe another one further down the street. Seeing, and knowing that you are seeing.
Invitation Two: Mindful Breathing, Pausing, and Reflecting The beautiful poem below was written by Irish poet, Kathleen O'Meara, after she survived a plague that devastated Ireland in the 1860's. Instructions: Begin with breathing until you feel still or receptive, then read the poem below a few times. Pausing and Reflecting on what resonates with you. Finishing by journaling, drawing, collaging, or creating something from your reflections. “ SOMETHING LOVELY” And the people stayed home read books, listened, rested and exercised, made art and played and learned new ways of being and were still and listened more deeply someone meditated, someone prayed, someone danced, someone met their own shadow and people started thinking differently...and people healed... and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways, dangerous, mindless and heartless the earth began to heal and when the danger ended and people found themselves they grieved the dead and they made new choices and dreamed new visions and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully just as they had been healed --Kitty O'Meara 2020
Invitation Three: Creative Formal Practice Try using the link below to two of my original, guided mindfulness meditations outside, “Knowing Where You Are,” and “The Breathing Scan," https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHMNyPeHxYDijBeJBqGfZRg Instructions: Either listening to Knowing Where You Are outside, without ear-buds; OR, Listening to the Breathing Scan as you are doing one of the activities with the poem above.
Invitation Four: Sharing your experiences of these meditations. Email us your experiences that may inspire others to practice. Recent Comments : "I was so bored and restless at home one day that I finally gave in to listening to the Breathing Scan to have something to do. I let go and just started following along and by the end I realized I wasn't restless. In fact, rather than being more bored, I was actually surprised to feel relaxed." -Jake G. "In the "Opening Your Heart Window" meditation, I noticed sound is the strongest anchor into the present moment. In this outdoor sensory meditation, the songs of the birds, the rustling of the trees, even the distant sounds of traffic ...held me gently in the here and now. And then, the feel of the breeze against my skin became a distinct pleasure which I so often take for granted. This pleasurable anchoring in the here and now, is the beginning of peace. By bringing my mind back to active listening, I am anchored again.” - Ranjani B
Peace is Every Step, -Jerome