Saturday, June 20, 2020 | 9:24-9:33am
I was certain that I meditated for a bit longer this morning, but it turns out I meditated for exactly nine minutes again, same as yesterday. Totally okay, good for me! The fact that I lovingly kicked my partner out of the bedroom (he was getting up anyway, so it’s okay) to meditate for a second day in a row, is something to be proud of. I decided today instead to put out a question and sit, and just receive whatever comes to me. My question was something along the lines of “How can I serve?” The answer came to me pretty quickly and I instantly got feelings and images of my loved ones. The insight I received was advising me to explore how I can better serve in my relationships. I don’t question it, I just accept and trust it. I saw my partner, I saw the members of my Tribe, I saw my father, all important and sacred relationships in my life. And for each one, I saw that I could be more unconditionally accepting of each of them. I saw and felt a glimpse of what my life might be like if I was more accepting in these relationships, and it felt Goddess-level. I admit I was probably less focused during this meditation, but was happy I received some insight, and happy I made it for another nine minutes! I will be mindful of this insight today and I look forward to what happens tomorrow.
Sunday, June 21, 2020 | 9:49-9:57am
Happy Father’s Day!
I didn’t quite make my nine minutes this morning because I felt a little rushed. I called my dad for Father’s Day and had a nice chat, and then I got right into meditating before I began my Sunday morning routine of watching cooking shows with my partner. Time is definitely an issue when it comes to my commitment to meditate, and I must find the right window when I can relax and really get into it without thinking about all of the other things I could be doing. Although, I think that might actually be part of the challenge of meditating. There is always something you could be doing besides meditating. There is always some drama to turn to when instead you could just choose peace. Peace is never going to be screaming for attention. If you want peace, you have to turn towards it and devote yourself to it. It most likely won’t come find you of its own accord. Peace is almost counter to being human, but many humans have found a way to achieve it, and I’m sure I’m not the exception.
It’s strange, but over the years, whenever I meditate or whenever I have tried to meditate, when I reach a state of relative peace, my mind always goes to the same place, visually speaking. This morning I found a fair amount of peace during my meditation. I did find it helpful to concentrate on my breathing this morning, and my thoughts were coming in and out, but not racing. And then I returned to this familiar spot:
The upper level balcony at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City–specifically facing the Asian wing.
To give you a little context, I did actually work at The Met for four years when I lived in New York City (2007-2011), and as a staff member at The Met, we had the BEAUTIFUL privilege of wandering the galleries whenever we wanted to. The Met leadership encouraged it and I became intimately familiar with every gallery and every nook and cranny of that museum. What a gift.
Often in my meditation, I am kind of hovering and floating on the left side of the balcony (seen in the image above), not ever entering the Asian Wing, but just kind of facing it. Perhaps as I go deeper into my practice, I may someday begin to float deeper into the substance of what this wing of beauty offers. When I worked there, I often gravitated to this section for the spiritual nature of the works of art. I have always been on a spiritual path of exploration, and the art in these galleries in particular drew me in so intimately. This was also one of the more quiet sections of the museum, so I would always venture here when I needed to destress and decompress. Some of my most absolute favorite works from this section are below. If you have the means, I highly recommend you visit this minute facet of the art world at some point in your lifetime.
Maharana Amar Singh II with Ladies of the Zenana outside the Picture Hall at Rajnagar. Attributed to Stipple Master (Indian, active ca. 1690–1715), ca. 1707–8. India (Udaipur, Rajasthan). Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper. Image: 9 1/2 × 7 5/16 in. (24.1 × 18.6 cm). Sheet: 18 7/8 × 14 7/8 in. (47.9 × 37.8 cm). Credit Line: Friends of Asian Art, Purchase, Mrs. Vincent Astor Gift, 1998. Accession Number: 1998.161. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image obtained from here.
Buddha of Medicine Bhaishajyaguru (Yaoshi fo). Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), ca. 1319. China. Water-based pigment over foundation of clay mixed with straw. Dimensions: H. 24 ft. 8 in. (751.8 cm); W. 49 ft. 7 in. (1511.3 cm). Credit Line: Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, in honor of his parents, Isaac and Sophie Sackler, 1965. Accession Number: 65.29.2. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image obtained here.
Celestial dancer (Devata). Chandela period, mid-11th century. Central India, Madhya Pradesh. Sandstone. Dimensions: H. 34 3/4 in. (88.3 cm); W. 20 in.(50.8 cm); D. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); Wt. (with block) 170 lb (77.1 kg). Credit Line: Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015. Accession Number:2015.500.4.14. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image obtained here.
I have tried to analyze why I go to this specific place in my meditations, and if there is some deeper meaning or hidden message that is attempting to communicate itself to me from these visuals. But for now, I will just try to allow this and see how it unfolds. Yes, when I meditate, I float around the balcony of the Met Museum. And? Until tomorrow…
Monday, June 22, 2020 | 9:09-9:18am
Nine minutes again. This seems to be my comfort zone for the moment. I mean yesterday was only eight, but the first day was nine, but who’s counting? Whatever, doesn’t matter. Interestingly, the number 9 is representative of:
“… Universal love, eternity, faith, Universal Spiritual Laws, the concept of karma, spiritual enlightenment, spiritual awakening, service to humanity, humanitarianism and the humanitarian, lightworking and lightworkers, leading by positive example, philanthropy and the philanthropist, charity, self-sacrifice, selflessness, destiny, life purpose and soul mission, generosity, a higher perspective, romance, inner-strength, public relations, responsibility, intuition, strength of character.” (obtained from here)
Today I woke up peacefully, so finding peace in my meditation was easy. I did concentrate on my breath again but felt like I needed something to focus on mentally. So I called upon Parvati, which I have been doing for every meditation, and asked again how I could be of service. This time, I received some visuals of my art (my fairy project) and understood the message as needing to let go and be a bit more relaxed and open with my work. I have been so obsessed with making these little fairies so perfect, and I agree, it is a bit counter to the actual energy of fairies, which is playful, innocent, light, and airy. As I was brushing my teeth, before I meditated, I was eyeing one of my favorite works of art that I have hanging in my bathroom (I don’t mean out of all the art in the bathroom, it’s my favorite. I mean, it’s one of my favorite pieces of art, that happens to be hanging in the bathroom), and I noted the bizarre and whacky nature of the imagery. I have looked at this painting many times before, but it never hit me how Dr. Seuss-insane the figures are. And that’s why I love it so much. So, Parvati was communicating to me my need to do a bit more of that in my current creative project. This scares me, but I’ll try. PS I like to control things and feel uncomfortable when I’m not in control.
I wish I had a caption for this, but I bought it in the Philadelphia Museum of Art gift shop after coming out of the amazing exhibition, “Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950,” and the provenance details were sparse. All I know is it was painted in Mexico somewhere…I think. I saw this and just needed to have it, even though it was NOT cheap. Soooo worth it and I have never regretted it. This image does not do the real thing justice, sorry.
After I received this insight, I of course ended up floating along the left side of the Met balcony–again–and tried not to force anything. It was hard and the thoughts started flooding in. I also have something else happen to me when I meditate and I completely forgot until today. I often see against the black canvas that is the back of my eyelids, white and wispy-like shapes move fluidly and organically. I don’t always see them, just sometimes. I never know what they are and have always just enjoyed them. But I began to see those images towards the end of my meditation, and again, the thoughts started flooding in.
“What does this mean?”
“What are these things?”
“Don’t do anything to make it stop, just relax.”
“Maybe go back to the museum and stay there.”
“Has it been nine minutes yet?”
Then I stopped. It’s okay, I like stopping at a place of question and mystery, because then it leaves me with more to explore the next day.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 | 9:19-9:29am
Made it to 10 minutes today, but again, who’s counting? Nothing profound today and I think I need to get used to that, obviously. Sometimes as I’m meditating, my eyes actually naturally cross and look above towards the third eye, and that did happen almost immediately this morning. But then it started to feel strained (I began trying too hard) and I actively uncrossed them under my eyelids. I would like to get to a point where I can keep them crossed the whole time, since I think it is a much more powerful experience in terms of third eye insight.
I again asked Parvati for guidance of how I could be of service and just tried to focus on that. Focused on my breathing. Hovered around the Met balcony, left side, as always. I actually had some heavy thoughts weighing on me this morning and could not seem to really make peace with them, so I let them be and just kept going.
I think my takeaway from today is the reminder that meditation, once you begin to really bring it into your life, alters your way of thinking and being in the world. Problems don’t evaporate and dark thoughts don’t disappear. But my body’s and mind’s response to them changes. So to be able to sit calmly with some heavy thoughts burdening me and to not react, to not stop meditating, and to just keep breathing through it, will ultimately begin to change how I react to emotions and problems in my daily waking life. Saying yes to meditation is saying yes to peace. It’s actively choosing a calmer way of being. And I’m sorry, but I don’t think our society promotes that, so it’s easy to overlook its value. Drama is glamorized and “peace is boring.” But when you get to be 40 and you’ve lived through a LOT of drama, this way begins to feel much more attractive.
My friend and I gave oracle/tarot readings to each other last night, and he pulled this card for me. Ganesh, remover of obstacles. YES!
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 | 9:16-9:24am
Pitiful amount of time this morning. And I believe here is why. I was super bored. Nothing happened this morning. I sat there calmly, and I was in fact focusing on my breathing (okay, it really does work to do that). My thoughts would rise and fall in a gentle way. I thought of a person I haven’t thought of in awhile, I remembered that movie I saw that one time seven years ago, I heard a loud truck pass by outside, and then I would remember my breathing and come back to stillness. I was pretty much, essentially meditating, full throttle (I think). I was doing my favorite type of breathing which is Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing (look it up, it’s awesome). And although I really struggle with belly breathing, I was attempting to relax my belly on my inhale, which was helpful. But ultimately, I was super bored.
Interesting that one of my motivations to begin meditation was an attempt to seek peace. It took me only a few days to achieve peace and now I’m bored. This is why the world is crazy. For most human beings, PEACE = BORING. However, I know there is something more here. And seeking peace wasn’t my only motivation to start meditating. I started because Parvati told me to and because I want a better life for myself. I want to grow and expand and rise up and I don’t know how. And Parvati said to try this, that this will help. So I’m trusting. And I have in fact heard a thing or two about the benefits of meditating. So, I’m sticking with it. I’ll adapt to the boredom, and perhaps find a new way to look at it. Perhaps Peace is the new Boredom. Maybe I’ll start a catch phrase.
Thursday, June 25, 2020 | 9:39-9:50am
I pushed it to eleven minutes this morning. Yes!
This morning was odd. Everything was different. I have teletherapy this morning so I had to get up early, earlier than my partner. Normally he’s out of bed and upstairs working in his loft before I emerge, so by the time I typically meditate, he’s gone. This morning, I got up and made some toast (with my homemade strawberry jam) and then meditated in the living room since he was still in the bedroom. The first nine of these eleven minutes, I was completely preoccupied with him.
“When is he going to get out of bed?”
“If he waits any longer, he won’t have time for a shower, and he NEEDS a shower today because he didn’t shower yesterday.”
“Will I be done meditating in time for my therapy?”
Then he got out of bed and I was audibly following his every move, yet trying to focus on my meditation, focus on my breath, and relax my belly on the inhale. It was back and forth and back and forth like this for nine minutes. Then, in the last two minutes I found exceptional peace (once he got himself into the shower). I was in the stillness and I was glad I held out to get there. So, I think today’s meditation showed me three things:
- It’s better to meditate without distractions.
- Meditation takes lots and lots of practice. If you tried to write clearly with your opposite hand, it would take weeks and weeks to even come close to writing legibly. And my meditation this morning was nothing but me sitting down to try. At first, meditation is about making the effort. It’s the only way to get better.
- At times, I can be codependently preoccupied with my partner’s actions, so it’s good I’m in therapy.
Friday, June 26, 2020 | 9:49-9:59am
This morning when I began meditating, I was a bit agitated for reasons I won’t get into. And on this morning, my mind did not go to the Met balcony, but instead it immediately went to the place where I became Reiki certified, and I also saw the face of my teacher. I decided to take that information and run with it, so I began chanting the Reiki symbol thingys in my mind in an attempt to calm down and focus. The same as yesterday, it took me a good nine minutes for my body and mind to calm down. And during the last minute, I was able to focus and find peace. I also noticed that at around minute nine when I finally found clarity, I had just adjusted my posture and was sitting up a bit straighter. Perhaps this had something to do with it, and the opening of the spine and body allowed me to open and shift. The subtleties of meditation are truly astounding.
“…the nervous system is comprised of highly sensitive nerve endings that gather and transmit electrochemical signals. With over 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, connecting the brain to the spinal cord and nervous system, the spine is the physical gateway to higher levels of spiritual awareness. This is why proper spinal alignment during meditation is essential. Like trying to sip water up through a bent straw, sitting in meditation with a bent spine can slow down or even block neural connections. This keeps the consciousness locked into external bodily sensations, limiting access to the deeper waters of conscious awareness. In turn, meditation becomes more strained, restless and ultimately, less fulfilling.” (obtained here)
Is this image not awesome?! The article where I found this image is pretty cool too, so check it out if you have time. Obtained from here
So there you have it, folks. Week one of meditating with The Goddess Attainable. I thought today about what my life might be like after quarantine, when I can no longer roll out of bed when I’m naturally awake, have myself a quiet glass of water, meditate in my bedroom, and then blog about it–and then of course start working remotely. No, after quarantine, I don’t know when I’ll find the time. My typical work day involves me getting up at 6:45am and rushing around to catch the 7:30am train. I can’t imagine giving up sleep in order to find time to meditate at that hour. And coming home is usually about decompressing, making and eating dinner, and then relaxing into the evening. That relaxing time might be the best time to meditate, but again, it’s just not the same. I heard from my employer that we will be working remotely for the rest of the calendar year, so I have this precious time and do not want to waste it. I don’t plan to.
Onto week two. Will you join me?