Archive for September, 2011

Meditation Lesson at the Creek

September 24, 2011

Meditation Lesson at the Creek

I’ve wanted to meditate for the last few years but haven’t made the effort to learn how. I learned self-hypnosis in 1987 and that does help me when I remember to use it. My son Max has anxiety issues, so I tried to convince him last spring that we should take some classes in meditation. I looked up the schedule of a few places near my home. Max thought it was a great idea for me. I didn’t follow through.

I knew that my friend and former beau Mr. Spiritual Journey meditated daily. I asked him to teach me. It took all summer, but we finally got together at Beaver Creek in Sedona for the lesson. I met him at the freeway turnoff and followed him to the picnic area a few miles away. It was a weekday, so we had the place to ourselves.

I am a very linear thinker and totally goal oriented. Mr. Spiritual Journey is the opposite, of course, since the journey is the raison etre. We sat at a picnic bench in the shade and he asked me about my spiritual beliefs. He had to coax it out of me since I spend little time thinking in that dimension. After an hour or so, he finally found some common ideas and vocabulary. He then went over breathing, what to expect, no time limits, and how to watch the parade of thoughts without latching onto any.

We used the porta-potties (they had no bad odor!) before we hiked a short way to the creek. These are pictures taken from the red flat rocks we sat on. I loved the exposed and gnarled roots of the old tree.

 

He spread a blanket on the rocks and we meditated. He told me to stir when I was done so he would come out of his meditation.

It worked! I was transported from my worries and was shocked that I had no trouble shutting out worldly thoughts. We ate some fruit and talked about the experience. It was getting a bit hot for me. It’s at least fifteen degrees warmer in Sedona than Munds Park, and we were in the sun. We rearranged our positions and I chose to put my feet in the chilly creek before we meditated again. I got even deeper into it and stopped feeling my feet in the water. Mr. Spiritual Journey said I had experienced an out of body experience, but I’m not into that interpretation yet.

The next morning, at my usual anxiety time of 5 a.m., I meditated. Right there in bed. I didn’t get to the place I’d been at Beaver Creek, but I staved off the anxiety. I’ve made the time to meditate every day and I like the feeling of calm. Another fantastic side effect is that my appetite in general has diminished and my sweet tooth is under control for the first time in quite a while.

I highly recommend meditating, even for those like me who are not particularly spiritual.

It Keeps Raining

September 17, 2011

It Keeps Raining

Hail at my cabin in Munds Park, 9/14/11

I’ve been spoiled by living in the desert for almost forty years. This week I whined because it was gloomy and rainy up here in Munds Park. Not just a little rainy. I’m talking pouring every day and thunderstorms and malt-ball-sized hail. I must suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder.) SAD is usually mentioned in the winter in the eastern states when people don’t get enough sunshine. The cure is a special lamp that mimics sunlight. My tolerance for no sunshine has eroded since living in the Valley of the Sun. It’s three days without a full day of sun and I fall apart.

I’m a writer, so being confined to the house isn’t a bad thing. I finished the revision of my magnum opus, my novel. Since I couldn’t take long walks, I got up the gumption to query an agent I’d met last year at a conference. I haven’t heard back yet.

It’s cold, too. I make myself stir from the cozy chair that’s next to the heater and go to exercise class in the mornings with Sheri. I do feel better afterwards and the other women are very cheery. That helps. And yesterday I did see two rainbows.

I’ve always talked to my dog, but now he’s answering. I don’t think that’s a good sign. I got the sewing machine out of the storage shed and may actually start on the quilt I’ve been planning for five years. That’s desperation!

I take the daily sunshine in the valley for granted until I’m somewhere cloudy or rainy. I do think people are friendlier in climes with an abundance of sun. What would New York or Paris be like if they had three hundred days of sunny weather? Maybe the clothes the designers fashion wouldn’t be so outlandish.

The rain has let up enough for me to sit on my porch. I’m grateful. Oh! There’s a ray of sun! I lift my face to it and bask in the lightness and warmth. Intellectually I know it will stop raining and get warmer again and be a beautiful fall. I must learn patience.