…something happened to me over the summer. I feel less defensive, more at peace. I would say I have developed more resilience. A layer of old grief has been stripped off. I know where to find peace in myself. That is my ‘coming home’.
“Meditation is a bodily practice.” I will never ever forget these words from Hamid as we prepared to start our meditation practice in Monchique, Portugal in a region called the Algarve. I had never been to Portugal and there I excitedly found myself with nine other practitioners (ahem…students…most of us hugely interested dabblers who had not yet developed a consistent practice). Also with us was Miri, our yoga teacher who was the other leader of this retreat, also a participant. That made twelve of us in total, with Hamid. I sat in a rectangular formation with my fellow learners and listened carefully.
A lot of instrumental music purports to relax the mind and body. Not much of it delivers. This does.
Note: serious events transpired to prompt this post.
So, I’m working on curriculum design for my drama classes. It is report card time. And the horror of world-breaking news and events around me takes a toll in ways I sometimes can’t quite sense but know it is there, if nearly intangible.
ie. There has been yet another deadly bombing in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, 45 minutes from where I live, yesterday. Embassy alerts will come tomorrow morning. You understand. Tragic. My heart hurts.
I’ll borrow a quote from my good friend Shane, the photographer who took the portraits for my first album Endless Contradictions now: “If this world doesn’t drive you to your knees, you don’t live in it.”
One must not bury one’s head in the sand of life, but one must take care…turn off the ‘noise’ of the mind, the news, the worries, the propensity to obsess. Life happens as we go about our business. We cannot control everything.
Time out. It is important to switch off.
Music is healing. We should not forget this. My choice of streaming music is Spotify. But YouTube plays a not-so-distant second. A friend sent me this today. Enjoy. Take care of you.
When I taught five classes of drama per day in Canada, I found my body and voice tired and in need of a break between sessions. A great deal of energy that goes into the facilitation of ‘structured play’, as it is called. So, I quickly found a solution.
I told my students at the start of each class, “This is the only class you will ever get to lie down on the floor (carpeted, of course) and close your eyes.” They loved it, dropped their bags and ran to lie down and get comfortable. Win-win situation. They never knew that it was their introduction to guided meditation. It settled them and gave us all that ‘pause’ for re-focusing on the moment, the class to come.
I played my students one of my favourite songs about peace, written by one of Canada’s legendary artists, Loreena McKennitt. The key to life, I believe, lies in the koan of the chorus. It is a good for waking in the morning, resting in the day and sleeping at night. Enjoy.
“In your heart, in your soul, did you find peace there?”