Meditation: roots and the blossoming of being

When the crocuses appear, they bring such delight. Their beauty, peaking out from under a bush or boldly displaying through a dusting of snow, calls to our hearts.

Crocuses seem to defy the conditions around them kind of like us on the spiritual Path. All of the conditions and circumstances of our life, the relationships that we have, the emotions, desires and thoughts about what should and should not be are Path. These are us stretching, opening, and discovering truth of moment and truth of being. Through the circumstance, condition, relationship, thought or emotion, life is giving us opportunities to blossom, to unfold the fullness that we are, to reveal truth of being.

Some people are social, some are reclusive. Some people are wise, some are learning how to access their wisdom. Some people are flawlessly kind, some spontaneous, some ordered. Whatever your qualities, the ones that arise from truth of being will always bring inner contentment. Qualities that are forced or feigned will feel hollow or like shoulds or flat-out make us unhappy. Tapping into truth of being is as simple as acknowledging what makes one happy.

Find a crocus or a song bird returning early or just stand outside with the sun on your face. Truth of being is in that moment. It is within.

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Graphic: https://www.deviantart.com/indianrain/art/Crocus-202040147

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Meditation: rich textures of being

This meditation is simple, as is the ground of being. OM

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Meditation: the ground

A meditation practice is simple: show up, be present, continue to be present, continue to be present, and continue to be present, continue … . The meditation session ends but meditation continues because we continue to be present throughout the day.

The ground of one’s practice is this simplicity. The ground of one’s being is simplicity as well. Within that simplicity is softness, openness, presence, insight, awareness, joy, and the energy of being alive and aware. Ahhh.

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Window food!

Sunshine is one of the immediate benefits of moving to Jaroso, Colorado this past fall. From my handicapped apartment I dreamed of getting my hands back in the soil and experimenting with growing produce on the window sill or thereabouts. I figured baby greens, micro greens, herbs, and maybe kale and chard would work with winter sun. I had watched and downloaded various YouTubes on standing-water hydroponics (the Kratky method) and thought that this too would be within the first months of experimentation with growing edibles in my new home.

Well, let me report: “so far, so good!” Microgreens are easy. I, more or less, follow Mike VanDuzee’s method but use recycled containers rather than ones from the Dollar Store.  I’ve also started bok choy and head lettuces that way. Then, talking to each baby plant, one by one they are put in either a Kratky container with hydroponic solution (bok choy loves it!) or in a light soil mix.

So far, kale and chard have not liked the standing-water method. All are now in soil and doing much better.

But, the big surprise has been how this particular sunlight is with the variety of plants. I live at 7600 ft. elevation in the San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado. The winter sun has been intense for only a few hours, waxes to that intensity and then wanes precipitously. The temperature at the window ranges from below freezing (no joke) to about 75 and wilty by 1 o’clock to 40 on the window sill by 4:30. Then it plummets again to below freezing through the night. This person’s needs are taken care of by a blanket that has been rigged to easily be put up at sunset each day and is not taken down until about 10 am the next. By then, the sheet of ice that has covered the only single-pane window left in the house is melted and caught in the two folded towels strategically placed each late afternoon. But the plants did not like these fluctuations. Of course, the delicate greens don’t like harsh sun even in New England, but almost nothing has basked luxuriously. Rather, some tolerated it, others moped. Very soon, the three-shelf unit that had been brought from New England was put together and most plants were kept out of the intensity of the sun.

Then, I wanted to experiment with heirloom tomato seeds that I harvested last fall. I just wanted to see a) would they grow and b) could I possibly get indoor tomatoes just as outdoor planting season would begin. Well, again, the light was the issue. So, I got out a lamp that has five moveable “heads” (rather like a hydra). My friend, Jane, had educated me on “lumens.” I like light that is like the sun rather than soft light. Increased lumens signals light that is more like the sun. It is also cooler, whiter light rather than warmer and off-white. Well, the tomato plants immediately stood up and took notice. They have doubled their size in five days. The broccoli rabe and kale are much happier also. So, this led to the next layer of experimentation.

(Drum roll)

This is an old night stand, kind of, from the Goodwill. I’m going to turn it into a small raised bed of indoor plants. Plastic sheeting on the outside protects the environment from water dripping and ruining anything. I’m going to put a variety of food plants in here, just like a raised bed outside: potatoes that have sprouted eyes, kale, chard, parsley, thai basil, probably one tomato, too. What fun! I’ll keep you posted

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, BTW, I’ve harvested bok choy, baby salad greens for my neighbor/friend and myself, plus grown microgreens for three of us. Arugula grows easily and well as do the baby lettuce types. Very little money has been spent but lots of fun has been had and fresh greens with meals.

 

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Meditation: gift

A meditation practice is a veritable treasure trove. The gifts of meditation have been likened to jewels, wish fulfilling gems, to the sun and its rays, to the ocean and its depths, to the sky, its vastness and unfettered freedom, as well as to a lotus. These similes are also  said to represent the inner essence that one discovers through meditation practice, the resultant dignity and integrity that adorn one through the day, as well as the ever unfolding benefits to others and the world that can awaken in one. Luminous perception is one of these benefits and adornments. It is also one of the ways by which inner essence evinces itself.

Luminous perception is awareness. It is cognizance: the knowing that one is aware of being aware. In Sanskrit, this knowing is called prajna. Practitioners know that one of the first insights produced from a sitting or walking practice is how unaware one is through most of the day. Generally, we react. We emote in response, we jump to label or judge, and we dismiss most of the sensory and intuitive data input of the day. Each of these actions is a step removed from awareness itself; whereas, meditation cultivates being aware of the cognitive awakeness that is that moment.

Luminous perception – vipashyana – is a constancy of attention to awareness. Because it is a constant attention to awareness itself, vipashyana is ever perceptive of awareness, ever perceiving in an attentive, alert, vibrant way. Due to this vibrancy of awareness and attention, vipashyana reveals the luminous vibrational clarity and truth that is presenting in a moment through a person, event, circumstance, emotion or thought. Most important, however, is the intensity of awareness and the vibrational intensity of each moment. It is this vibrational intensity underlying all expressions (all phenomena) that human beings react to, respond to, dismiss, or turn away from. We don’t realize that we are ceaselessly running away from or running toward this intensity. Meditation comes to the rescue.

Meditation begins with shamatha practice and simply being present to whatever is occurring within the mind-emotion complex. This steadiness integrates into one’s mind-emotion being as one practices and integration creates a feeling of contentment and peace. Not all reactions are gone, not all judgments are erased, not all cravings are neutered but enough are so that a meditator flows with the intensity of life. Now intensity is recognized as indicating both awareness and what is presenting vibrationally in the moment. Karmic trails and patterns (beneficial and detrimental), resonance and quality, and the joyous, luminous intensity of awareness itself awaken – and do so repeatedly through each day. Now, the meditator is living luminous perception.

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