They say that we have 60,000 thoughts a day – and most of them are the exact same thoughts that we had the day before. Our heads whirl around-and-around and over-and-over in the same spin cycle. And, most of these thoughts wouldn’t really be considered “contemplative” – they’re mostly time-travel of a sort: regrets from the past or worries about the future.
Through meditation walking, I have learned to open myself up to whatever questions appear that are not connected to day-to-day living – what I call “contemplative head-space.” These thoughts appear instantly in the crevice of space opened up by meditation. Similar to Bill Cosby’s booming-voice conversation between Noah and God they arrive with noise and flash. These are my “zing moments.”
About 3-weeks ago: “ZING” – are you really sure we’re living in 3D space with time added in as the 4th dimension? Perhaps the 3D is time (past, present, future) and space is a single, 4th dimension. This was followed by thoughts of how we construe dimensions in our current world – we take 2D movies and add special glasses external to this to give the appearance of 3D; and, we take 2D Wii interactive games and add an external sensor device to allow us to become part of the screen as though it’s 3D. If we can manipulate our perceptions of space using technology, could we have not have done this with what we consider to be our real 3D using our minds? Meanwhile, other walkers went by talking about troublesome issues with their partners, schools and recipes.
Then, about a week ago: “ZING” – if there is really reincarnation, why is it that we assume/believe that someone comes back fully as a whole-being … as 100% another person (or perhaps, 100% some other animal)? Why do we believe this to be true? How about a person coming back in 3rds – with three future beings having a piece of their soul/essence (and the soul/essence of two other people as well)? Wouldn’t this make more sense in terms of getting it “right” the next time around? Meanwhile, other walkers went by focused on walking their dogs and talking on their cell phones.
So this is why I enjoy meditation walking in nature – to open myself up to thinking that goes beyond the instrumental tasks of life and the ordinariness of the day. It’s like being immersed in a mystery story, but the mystery is here-now and the story is real life, my life.
Posted in Meditation walking
Tagged 3D, Bill Cosby, contemplation, head space, instrumental tasks, Leslie Gernon, Noah God, ordinary day, reincarnation, space, thoughts, time, walking, zing moments
A few months ago I was walking at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve when I came upon a young boy trying to re-find his favorite tree. I so got having a favorite tree! Although I couldn’t help him reconnect with his, I was able to have a full-out discussion about the importance of having such a tree — finding it each time; seeing it in the different seasons; noticing changes brought about by storms or infestations or life itself. And, I couldn’t help out by sharing my tree; or, by mentioning another cool tree that I knew about — it’s a personal thing why a given tree “rings true” for an individual.
At another location, on the Hinshaw Greenway, I of course had yet another favorite tree for that stretch of the woods. Having walked area greenways for 20+ years it’s more of a full-out tree relationship with the magnitude of “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein; and, similar to the shifts and changes of Portia Nelson’s “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters” — except that my tree had three short chapters — life as a work of art, being marked for take-down (similar to the Scarlett Letter “A”), then leaving behind it’s essence in the remaining heart-shaped stump. So here’s the story of my tree – in three short (photo) chapters:
Posted in Let me say THIS about THAT
Tagged Autobiography in Five Short Chapters, Cary, favorite tree, Hemlock Bluffs, Hinshaw Greenway, Leslie Gernon, NC, Portia Nelson, Shel Silverstein, stump, The Giving Tree, tree
I have developed great appreciation by simply looking up at the sky – inhaling the ever-changing cloud designs or the random checker-board vapor trails of jets. Perhaps this focus has come about from working in windowless offices or from the recent up-tick in weather events in North Carolina. But, my sense is that my slowing down to be intentionally mindful of sky patterns is at the core – and these other factors just amplify its impact.
Each work day, I walk slowly into work – breathing in my final breaths of nature as if to hold onto its livingness for the entire workday; choosing the building entrance that bursts into a two-story, floor-to-ceiling glass-walled lobby that puts nature on a big-screen display; and, finishing on a hallway that dead-ends (live-ends?) at a window-wall which neatly frames a tree with its slo-mo seasonal shifts – do I really see what’s different with each passing day?
Every day the sky canvas is different – shifted quickly by the weather and what cloud types nature chooses to use as its paintbrush of the day. It’s about seeing the design and stepping out of the judgment (too hot/too cold; too rainy/too snowy); it’s about finding the shapes that giddily look like something else; it’s about sensing the conditions that hold the potential for a rainbow siting. I appreciate clouds! There’s a group for that – The Cloud Appreciation Society.
Posted in Everyday spiritual practices
Tagged appreciation, clouds, intention, Leslie Gernon, mindfulness, North Carolina, outdoors, sky, The Cloud Appreciation Society, vapor trails, weather