All posts tagged: meditation

Want a ‘deep transformation of character’? Sit down & breathe

During the one hour ‘Blog Mentoring’ session I paid $250 for 3 years ago, I was told I had to find my ‘niche’, and write to it [with all the appropriate hashtags/images/Facebook groups aligned etc etc.] The ‘niche’ hunt continues. Last week I wrote about bushfires; 6 weeks ago it was a shortlisted Short Story, and next month it will be about a wilderness walk in Tasmania, similar to my Kakadu one (but hopefully without the drama). Would I be doing better with a timetable of topics, and a calendar? Maybe. Define ‘better’ though? I’m happy, I’m having fun, I feel connected and supported, I enjoy my blogging; there’s my motivation. And big credit has to go to my increased Meditation practice. It’s not daily [yet], but definitely at least three times a week. Plus one glorious Sunday a month, when I get to sit in a circle with amazing women from all walks of life, and meditate pretty much all day 9.30-3, except for a gloriously chatty lunch hour. Even the 30 minute morning tea …

Grappling with the spaciousness of uncertainty, by Yoda herself (Part 3)

Having finished our first 30 minute meditation from Part 2, and admitted any latecomers we’d locked out in a boundary-setting exercise in Part 1, the lesson began. ‘Uncertainty is one of the 3 main characteristics of human existence,’ Yoda Carol said, sitting her 70+ self on a floor cushion like the rest of us. ‘It’s difficult to endure, so we all cling to certainty. Yet clinging creates further suffering, doesn’t it?’ Well I know I’m clinging to my meditation aspirations as a way to calm anxiety, channel greater creativity, and nurture more peaceful personal relationships, that’s for sure. Is it not going to work? ‘We always want to make the “right decision”, weighing pros and cons, grasping for certainty. But we are just creating more attachment, and more eventual suffering.’ Damn. I thought my pros/cons list-making was a fabulous strategy. ‘There is more ease and wellbeing in letting go, so that we can focus on our actual needs in the situation as it unfolds in real time…’ Would that work for astronauts? Or brain surgeons? …

Can meditation help you set clearer boundaries? Perhaps (Part 2)

“Yes, this is good, let’s begin. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat,” I say to myself. [Where am I? In a yurt on a Sunday with 20 other women, practicing setting boundaries and the discomfort of that in Part 1] I sit cross-legged on my cushion at my Women’s Dharma Meditation circle, while Yoda Carol guards the door and taps the bowl to begin the session. “I love meditating so much, I’m damn lucky to be here. I wonder how I’ll go today? Hopefully I’ll go deep… breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. Ooh, it feels so good already, how great to do it with so many other women… did any of them bring dessert for lunch, or just lots of salad? I’m glad I made my brownies, such a cool recipe, remember that week I made them 3 times for those birthday parties that was fun perhaps I’ll go to that party next weekend… WAIT! Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. Welcome back Brain. Shit, it’s easy to stray isn’t it? I wonder how everyone else is …

Does setting boundaries make you uncomfortable? Good: you’re doing it right (Part 1)

Sunday was my Women’s Buddhist Meditation Day, and the group’s facilitator Yoda Carol began by shutting the door on any latecomers. ‘If you arrive late next time ladies, you will have to wait outside for 45 minutes while we finish our introductions and first Meditation circle,’ she cautioned. The group of 20 women shifted on their cushions, and glanced round the room, calculating who may be missing. ‘Oh, have I made you uncomfortable? It’s simply too disruptive to admit latecomers; we must each just plan to arrive on time.’ More rustling and looking. ‘We all have families, partners, children, pets, or jobs that may make us run late to Meditation, but that’s not the point. We close the door at 9.30am sharp, and that’s the boundary. I’m setting it, and happy to. If you’re uncomfortable with that, sit with it. Boundaries are not always easy, to set or receive, and especially for women. We are so trained to be ‘nice’, to be ‘good’, to not make a fuss or upset anyone… But boundaries are healthy, …

“How much time have I got left?” Part Two

Deep in my essential core, I’m a dancer. I may be 52 now, and not quite as nimble as I used to be, but I still go to Swing Dance once a month, and my beloved 5Rhythms every week. Not to mention the regular groovy late-afternoon outdoor queer dance parties I sometimes see my son at. At age 28, living in Newtown, Sydney, and dancing at techno raves all weekend, I began to wonder if I could make a living with movement somehow… which led me to an extraordinary teacher, Janis Claxton. Her free, wild, & fiery moves still live in my body, while her feisty attitude found a match in mine, inspiring me to pursue performing/Clown/dance & Improvisation (which all still rock my creative world). Last week she died of lung cancer, aged 53.  At the Women’s Buddhist Dharma Day Part One last Sunday, facilitator Carol Perry asked us to reflect on the question I’ve titled this post with; of course, none of us know the answer, and therein lies one of the causes of …

“Let your body be a soft & steady place for emotions to land.” Part One

I just spent 9.30-3pm Sunday in a yurt at a Women’s Buddhist Dharma Day. What does that actually mean G? Well, it meant I got up at 6.30 to cook a spinach pie for the shared lunch, drove there too fast because I left a bit late and didn’t know where I was going, was the second last one to bumble into the serious silent sitting circle of women, and then spent hours listening to a wise elder speak about Ageing as we meditated together. It was a great day, and such a huge gift to myself. The day’s facilitator Carol Perry also taught at that Eco Village/Permaculture Week Intensive I did- remember that? I love her. And guess what? Because I’d almost arrived late, I got to sit next to her in the circle- I began soaking up her wisdom vibes like a thirsty sponge, hoping she wouldn’t notice the intense draining. Last time I heard her give a presentation, she said this, which almost brought half the room to tears: “My first Invitation to …

I just spent 30 mins fighting with my smartphone, & met an Elf

The Scene: Palm trees swaying, blue sky shining, ridiculous rainbow-coloured birds squawking, plus me, dozing in bed in Australia, in that moment before being fully conscious. Me: Mmmmmmmm, I think I’m awake. Evil Elf Who Lives In My Brain And Synced To My Smartphone (now known as EVIE): What time is it? Better check your phone. Me: Nah, today’s Sunday, and I’m having a tech-free morning. EVIE: What!? When did you decide that?? Dumb idea. Just check your phone. Me: No. I’m simply going to lie here, listening to the birds. PAUSE EVIE: How hot d’you reckon it is? Maybe you should check the weather app? Me: NO. PAUSE EVIE: Maybe you got a late text from ’17’, and he needs picking up soon? Or what if ‘H’ sent something romantic/sexy first thing? Me: True. But they’ll still be there after I’ve had a pot of peppermint tea and meditated. I just want a peaceful tech-free hour. EVIE: An hour! But… but… don’t you need to check your WordPress stats? Me: Nah. It’s Sunday, and …

‘We can’t let you keep the hamster. It’s too dangerous.’

And with that, Lulu my best friend was taken away forever. Prised from my soft 6-year old hands, holding tightly to her special travel cage. I got one last glimpse of her ginger coat and black eyes before the security door slammed shut, and the full force of my tears and rage flooded me. Mum protested. ‘This is ridiculous! A hamster can’t have Rabies; she’s never even left the house, except for today.’ Met by an official silence, I wailed harder and louder, realizing it was the only power I had. Fellow ferry passengers tutted or shook their heads, while I screamed at the men in uniforms that I hated them AND their stupid country. So that was the beginning of my long-held, ongoing animosity towards England, small men in authority, and rules that can’t be bent or broken. I also think it was the birth of my Separation Anxiety. I said the first of many goodbyes to my beloved Dad that day, in ferry terminals, railway stations, and especially airports, as Mum and he …

In the dance of intimacy, who wants head-banging to death metal?

I love to dance. I’m a 5Rhythms woman, and blogged about it ages ago (incl a clip in France) HERE. I did 10 years of ballet classes, which I loved, although the best bit was pretending to be a cloud, twirling free around the long sunlit room. I goddamn LOVE Disco, and anything funky sets my feet a’tappin’ and my knees a’bouncin’. Last week at the Attachment course I’m doing, our teacher said: “Emotion is the music in the dance of adult intimacy”. My studious ears pricked up. Ooh, are we gonna dance? We all relish the heart-fluttering sweet ballad of new romance don’t we? Every love song making sense. Or the passionate, sweaty, sexy tango. But who wants to turn up for that surprise ear-bleeding death metal concert by Dispute, Stress and Shove? Not me thanks! That’s what conflict can be though. One minute you’re chatting over a cup of tea, or pushing your trolley down the aisle (I once dumped a boyfriend at the checkout. On my birthday. *sigh. I was young… But …