Where's the village?

Monday, November 14, 2011


I'm not a regular meditator. But by God the DVD says to meditate after doing Shiva Nata so by God I am doing it now. Yes, I know, whatever. But Havi says it too! So there. I am now trying to meditate after doing Shiva Nata. And I tell you what: it is HARD. Even harder than the other times I have tried it! I mean, let's ponder this for a moment. Do something that is specifically designed to stimulate your brain, and get it all fired up and active, and then sit down and DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO IT AT ALL. See? Hard.

So here's the latest moment of hmmm: I have stopped trying to just empty my thoughts or let them pass or "notice them then let them go" or whatever. It doesn't happen. Let's notice a thought and then stop! Um, no. When I pay attention to a thought, it sticks around and gets comfortable and tweets to its friends that there's a great thought party up in here. So I am doing what is probably meditation 101 or perhaps remedial - I am building a picture in my mind instead. If a thought comes into my mind, instead of letting it go, I turn it into a part of the scene. Yesterday was windy and leaves were flying everywhere, so the scene in my mind was me walking in the middle of a whirlwind of flying leaves. Each thought became another leaf that blew around me, but I was the walking center of stillness and they were around me and not touching me. Today it's rainy, so in the scene the thoughts were raindrops bouncing off of my umbrella. Etc. It seems to so far be weather themed, and related to what's happening at the time. We'll see what transpires as the days go on.

Maybe when I get really good at it, practice it long enough, or get more epiphanies, it will be easier for me to just have the empty mind. But for now this is helping.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Re-started my Shiva Nata practice this week. I was reading a post on zen habits about changing your life, one thing at a time. I mean, really. How many times have we all seen that before? Baby steps. Take it slow. One day at a time. One change at a time. It never worked for me before, but now suddenly it does? I don't know, maybe I was just in the right place, the right frame of mind, the right mood for it to finally sink in.

So the thing I started with was sleeping. I've spent the last two months going to bed at 10 instead of 11. A little thing. And I haven't done it every night. Sometimes I stay up to watch TV, or surf the Internet, or read a novel I don't want to put down. But I'm feeling the difference. And starting to think I can try something else.

I'm trying to make all the changes, at least at first, about doing more of something instead of less of something - I don't deal well with denying myself so I'm leaving that until I'm feeling really good about this process.

So this week the "one thing" is doing more Shiva Nata. I did it once two days ago, twice yesterday, and so far once today. It feels good. It isn't even remotely fast enough to be considered cardio, but even the slow movement makes me feel like I can breathe a little deeper. And I'm having some moments of "hmmm" again.

This morning's was about Induction into Mystery. Back story: Yesterday, I wanted to try to keep something in my head while I flailed. So since I was staring out the front door at part of my garden while Dancing, I tried to chant "garden garden garden" in my head the whole time. And this morning I wondered if my desire to learn about Edible Forest Gardens and Permaculture is a desire to be inducted into the mystery of those fields. To be part of the elite few who Have The Knowledge.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. But it's interesting.

I had another one about an hour ago, but I forgot about it when I started writing this. Oh well.