Offline: Oct. 17-31, please use podcasts

Friends, I’ll be offline from Oct. 17-31 for several days of retreat with friends. Please keep meditating. Use the podcasts here if they serve. Revisit some that brought you benefit or insight. Much love!

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Meditation: the display of the mind

We do an exercise in this sitting that combines various components that we have worked with before. A few different results eventuate, each one easily used through our day to further awaken and stabilize ongoing broadened awareness.

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Meditation: dimensions of present awareness

We human beings are funny. Most people use awareness sometimes but not all the time. For instance, we might energetically test a supplement but then not use the same awareness through the day or use it sporadically. We might follow the guidance of present awareness dimensionally when with a client as a massage therapist or acupuncturist, but less so with ourselves through the day.

Awareness is a mandalic experience. Within the full range of awareness is the dimensional feature of it which we experience when we are present.

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Meditation: the mandala of the unified state

Through exploring our experiences we come into more knowing about the mechanisms of experience. Human beings tend to robotically proceed through a day and a life without this exploration. However, by participating more fully in the five common senses and the range they provide every moment of every day, we have the opportunity to awaken from a dull state of existence to a more full range of Presence and Awareness-Being.

Due to how we have proceeded with contemplation and meditation techniques, it probably has become apparent that a plethora of simultaneous experiences are occurring every second. When one is looking at something, sounds are being heard at the same time and tactile sensations are present. The temperature of the room, of our body, and of the tea we are drinking are also within the same experience of seeing, hearing, and touch. Though these senses, and the consciousnesses associated with them, seem to focus on external factors, examination reveals that these senses also assess the temperature of words or relational environment, hearing can become empathetic listening, visual cues might lead one to in-picture a deeper meaning or associated thought-image.

Truth be told, each experience is a mandala: a complex combination of myriad factors, perceptions, participations, thoughts and projections. Every experience is a unity that includes -but is not necessarily comprised of- diverse features and characteristics. Awareness is aware of it all. Awareness is also the greater unified state. It always includes. The proof of this is the simultaneity of factors and features within our common experiences.

The mandala-like quality of common awareness, which is our common awareness, is typically not fully engaged. Yet, in order to become aware, one must live from intrinsic Awareness. Doing so, one has more to bring to any situation.

Eventually, in this online practice, we will get to emptiness (sunyata). But, without the experience of being present to Presence, Innate Awareness, practitioners tend to misunderstand, misinterpret, and misidentify a fleeting or seeming emptiness as well as how to live with the emptiness of Awareness. Over years of teaching meditation and conscious awareness, it has proved wiser to first explore and examine the daily experience in which 90+% usually goes unexamined and unrecognized before moving onto equally already present emptiness.

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Garden joy – end of the season peace and bounty

There is a profound peace in Nature as she slows completing a growing season. That is so on every scale: forests and meadows, farms, yards, and gardens. I love sitting in the midst of it. The buzz and hum of pollinators plus the never-ending sound of plants stretching to the sun combine with various bird songs and calls through the summer. Then within a couple of weeks, everything starts to quieten. Within a month, inclusive of the first hard frost, a palpable silence falls. As a mother who has birthed and nursed two children, the sensations in the end-of-season garden are similar to the serenity of holding your newborn at breast after labor, both of you falling asleep.

The smoke from wildfires started to obscure the sun and the mountains in June. Arizona first, then California. It was a daily reminder to pray for all the beings dying, being displaced, and for the brave fire fighters plus animal and human residents who would endure life long maladies from breathing the smoke and chemical retardants. The smoke also changed how the garden grew, what did well, and what didn’t. A small consideration on my end since every year of gardening is an experiment with Nature. Not so small for the living beings on the west coast and in the states affected by the smoke.

Squashes and pumpkins, apples and plums, zucchini and peas did well. Tomato plants never exceeded half normal height or girth. Flowers were hit and miss in which did well and what didn’t. The mountain spinach, which self-seeded from last year’s plants, was prolific which is great since it’s the best spinach you will ever eat. It freezes in perfect whole leaves and does not go mushy. The mountain spinach is the tall green plant. You pick and eat the leaves as it grows through the months. Here’s some photos.

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