Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘meditation’

COFFEE ON THE PORCH

The weatherman warned that the day would be the last 60 day temperature of the season. It was 60 degrees at 7:30 AM. I couldn’t resist. I put on a light jacket and heated a cup of coffee and spent a very relaxing 1/2 hour on the porch. I tried to meditate. It didn’t happen. Instead I watched a plane fly overhead, listened to the wind in the trees and a siren — ambulance or fire engine, I didn’t know. A large bird flew by — big sea gull or ??. In short I took a break from the day. I will admit that after a half hour passed, I made a cup of hot tea. I was chilled. 60 degrees, even with a light jacket was still not warm enough for me.

We all have different talents. Some people are very good cooks or comics or artists. Some people are very good at organizing, writing or planning. We all have our individual talents — the trick is to recognize them and use them well. One of my daughters is in the habit of having coffee with God. She tells Him her concerns and listens for advice. I storm heaven on a regular basis, problems and concerns personal to me or my concerns about the world or our country. I don’t hear with a voice in my ear, God’s response to me. But I know that I am listened to and often the answer will come through. If I’m paying attention.

Part of my heritage is Irish. Andrew Greeley, author, has referred to the Irish gift with the heroin Nuala Anne McGrail in many of his Irish novels. Does my gift come from my mother, who happens to be on the other side? I don’t think I will ever have the answer to that particular question and does it matter? My German grandmother’s birthday was on a Monday. I took Robin for a walk and met a friend of mine. I told her of the approaching gathering with my granddaughter and great grand. She had many items that would have made their visit easier. Although searching our house and talking to my daughter I learned I didn’t have to take advantage of her offer, I thanked my grandmother for her help.

Does it really matter where my gifts come from? Does it really matter if the gift is cooking, or writing or art? Does it really matter that I receive “help” from the other side. I recently picked up the book Waking Up In Heaven and read a few pages. I will admit that the book didn’t come home with me. I’m aware that many of my family, friends and four footed companions are on the other side. I’m also aware that I am seldom alone. I left the book for a person who really needs to read it.

IMAGES

I have been told many times that I have talents that I don’t use. No hints have been given as to what those talents are. I just keep muddling through — trying to do the best that I can. I have shared that I try to meditate, but only on a very rare occasion do I get an image or connection. Exactly what is supposed to occur when you meditate? I don’t know. Sometimes I will get an image, sometimes I will see light — blue, yellow, clear. Most of the time I have a blank screen where nothing happens. But sometimes I get a surprise.

I was at Botanical Garden — enjoying the sunshine, the breeze, the day. It was cool — jacket needed, I was glad my hat could be fastened. The daffodils were still in bloom, crab apple trees waiting for warmer weather. The waterfall was running. I stopped to catch my breathe and listen to the running water. Before I sat down, I read a note about the cherry trees that the Japanese government had given to Washington DC and also The Botanic Garden.

Sitting on a bench to rest, I closed my eyes and watched as a gray image dressed in ceremonial garb came towards me. The image stopped within touching distance — too close if it would have been an actual person. I was surprised by the image, and although I tried to discern more about it — the image disappeared before I could tell if it was male or female, and what the garments actually were. I just had the impression they weren’t normal American clothing.

From the waterfall, I wandered to the Japanese Garden. I usually try to stop and watch with closed eyes (meditate?) at one of the secluded areas but the Garden was too busy to try. As is my practice, I wandered over to the island, crossing the bridge through the wooded area, visiting my favorite places, talking to others and taking pictures.

At the end of the wooded area, in the sunshine, protected from the wind, I stopped again on a bench — closing my eyes. I was amazed to watch many gray figures wander past. I don’t remember most of them, but one was a farmer in overalls with a woman walking with him. They were proceeding down the path, heading for the entrance. I watched for a minute, then decided that maybe it was time to leave.

I stopped for a bite to eat at the cafe. Since it was a beautiful day, I wanted to sit outside. An oriental couple were leaving as I looked for an empty table. “Thank You” my response to my world. I saw a young woman looking for a place to sit. Everything was taken, so she sat on the bench by the fence. Since I was alone, I asked her to join me. SURPRISE (not really)– the woman was Japanese, a teacher who taught the Japanese language to her students in a high school.

RUFFUS

The Mind, Body, Spirit Exp. comes to our area three times a year. I try to attend at least two of the events. I’ll admit that this summer I wasn’t looking forward to attending. I had low energy, just plain TIRED. My husband knows how much I enjoy going — it is one place where I’m comfortable — the participants are more talented than I am — he convinced me to go.

This weekend, I felt like I was walking under a dark cloud that I couldn’t escape. Tired, no energy, no workshops that called my name — “Why am I here?” — that describes the situation. Since I go to the event so often, I know many of the vendors. When I stopped to talk to one, she suggested that I spend some time with crystals. I had already spent time looking for a new crystal pendulum without success. Each one I tried didn’t want to come home with me. I wandered to the booths that sell crystals. On the way, I stopped to chat and shared my quest. Doing so, I received help. A brother of one of the vendors suggested I follow him and he would help me find a pendulum. We wandered to the first booth I had stopped at that morning, but instead of pendulums, he stopped at pendants. “Choose one.” he said. There were more than a hundred pendants on the table — many emblems, many different colors — too many to choose from. I put my hand out and touched three — one for healing, a mermaid and a dragon. I almost chose the pendant for healing but both the creator of the pendant and the brother thought I should get the dragon — I’m fiery and have good energy. (Not Saturday but they’ve known me for many years.) I knew I needed a name for the dragon, but the brother told me that the dragon would tell me his name. I almost laughed, I have a hard time with names, titles. I stopped in the bathroom and thankfully the name Ruffus popped into my mind. The dragon had shared his name! And that is not all he shared.

I remembered the direction to spend time with crystals so I revisited the artist and asked what crystals comprised the pendant. Although I could list them, I have tried three times and each time something has occurred to stop my writing. Therefore I will take the direction that the knowledge of the dragon’s properties is for my use only, and just say that the various crystals in my dragon seems to be working for my good.

Sunday morning, I arrived in time to listen to a shaman who uses song for healing. Preparing for meditations, I always close my eyes — I closed my eyes to listen to his song and not be distracted by the outside. I was very surprised. I don’t have control over my talents — they are gifts that come and go at their will, not mine. With closed eyes, I saw a lion, a dog, a wolf, and an eagle. I knew I wouldn’t remember so I opened my eyes and wrote them down. Closed eyes again, I saw a buffalo, a deer, many winged species, then recognizable — a crow and a hawk. When his song was over, I asked the shaman if his song was meant to call in the animals and told what I had experienced.

Many of the crystals in Ruffus are for clarity and channeling. If Ruffus can chase the dark clouds and help with my other issues, he and I will be VERY good friends!

BREAKTHROUGH

Ordinary Sunday — attending church with our daughter’s family, I stopped in the bathroom before services began. I listened to a woman as she wrestled with her makeup. She wasn’t happy with the way the makeup looked or how it was going on. She was rather verbal about it. So much so, that I counseled her to stop being so hard on herself. Her doctor had threatened her with insulin, she wanted to lose weight instead. And I remembered how my husband is often telling me to stop being so hard on myself. Stop being so negative. The words flow so easily out of my mouth.

I asked her how old she was. She didn’t want to tell me but finally did. I mentioned that she was twenty years younger than myself. She didn’t believe me — she looked at my neck, and said I had a young neck. I thought my neck looked like a turkey wattle.

As a matter of fact, I’m beating myself up with a wet noodle this morning. Figuratively, not actually. My weight WAS DOWN two pounds. I WAS so happy, but not today. In fact, my weight is UP three pounds and it is all my fault. Saturday I made a new recipe for pickles and used one tablespoon of salt to relieve the cucumbers of their liquid. I thought the salt would wash off when I washed the cucumbers before adding the brining liquid. Oops! I should have cut the salt. TOO LATE NOW! I could toss the remaining pickles but I have a feeling that I will continue to enjoy them and deal with the extra weight.

More than seven years ago my daughter gave me a mandolin when she was working for Pampered Chef. It rested in my cabinet until Saturday. I often thought of using it but never did. I always took out a knife and sliced whatever needed to be cut. Over the years I’ve watched demonstrators use it and remembered the one sitting at home. The cucumbers needed to be cut thinly, I needed the mandolin. IT WAS EASY and I was careful and didn’t cut myself.

The minister asked a good question: “What does it take to see real, lasting and effective change in our lives?” I remembered many years ago when I was at the camper, taking a walk, trying to find words to put on cards I was giving to participants in Christ Renews His Church weekend my group was hosting the next week. These words came to me during the walk: “Lord, as long as you are with me, I’m not alone.” I used those words for the cards I was making for the group of women we hosted. My husband used the words to make a card for me. And remembering the gift of those words was a great breakthrough in my life.

It is time for another breakthrough. Real — effective — lasting change? I need to stop being so hard on myself. I need to stop the negative talk — easier said than done.

MUCK

MUCK

Gooey, slippery, smothering — muck. It is hard to get out of it — it grabs hold and doesn’t let go. Sometimes there is a reason for it. Rain causes the ground to become a muddy mess. That wasn’t the kind of muck I was stuck in. AND THERE WAS NO REASON FOR IT. I had been trying to lose weight — unsuccessfully. The weather, although moderate wasn’t to blame. No snow — temperatures above zero — I was able to get out of the house, safely take Robin for a walk. Thankfully no serious health problems or money problems. Okay, not enough money to go on a shopping spree but again, thankfully, no bill collectors calling on the phone.

Grey skies or if you prefer gray skies — the good news — kept the temperature up — I tried to convince myself to be happy for the blanket — warmer weather. I missed the sun, the blue skies. I exercised — I even added strength training. I tried meditating — no progress.

To make matters worse, my memory took a vacation. I’m usually good at writing checks, remembering to pay bills. The muck affected my ability to think. I won’t bore you with some of my mistakes, hopefully it isn’t long lasting. Our car needed a repair and I miswrote the check not once but two times. I went to the bank the same day — that was definitely a mistake. Thankfully the clerk was very helpful. I thought my forgetfulness was past until I totally screwed up when it came to filing our paperwork to save money on our taxes. Thankfully I discovered my mistake in time and was able to get the paperwork downtown before the file date.

Depression? Winter Blues? I don’t have a clue. I don’t have any energy — I have the time to make some progress on our house but no desire to do anything. I wandered to the store on Saturday — I met a member of our church. She shared the news that a parishioner had gone into the hospital for surgery and something went wrong, she had just attended his funeral. We should be glad we are still here. And I am — I just want to get out of the muck. The week before, at the store again, a woman ahead of me confided that the calorie count for exercise on the program I’m using to try to lose weight is high. And I thought that allowed me to eat a few more calories. WRONG!

Still trying, but some results would be nice.

INVITED

Thanksgiving at our house usually brings our youngest daughter and her family, and our oldest daughter and her husband into the city to join us. Sadly her husband had a fever and stayed home. The food was delicious (if I do say so myself) and the company was delightful. Our youngest daughter was able to connect my new smart camera to the internet so I could share photos. Then she brought out some of the old games from the foyer –starting with SORRY, with modified rules. Next came Animal Families Memory game — 72 cards, no reading required, ages 4 to 10. I watched as my youngest granddaughter challenged her mother and grandfather to a game. I was tired, so I begged off but promised I would play the next morning.

Six o’clock comes very early in the morning. My granddaughter was bright eyed and ready to go. My brain decided to sleep in but a promise is a promise. A cup of coffee didn’t help. I hoped I would be able to match one or two pair. My granddaughter took pity on me and helped me find THREE pair. I was NOT impressed with my ability. Meanwhile, my grandson, (8) was intrigued. So we played another game. He gave his sister a run for the money — I did just a little bit better. A second cup of coffee helped. Even when I remembered where a match was, they had their turn first and beat me every time. Thankfully I had a little “help” from the other side so I had more than three pairs.

When their mother got up, her brain stayed in bed also. I’ll have to admit that even brain challenged she did a lot better than I did. Next our champion challenged her father. He was under the false impression that we were helping her to win. As a doctor, he has a good working memory. Which is a good thing since his daughter showed him how she plays the game.

Both of those games were favorites of our daughter — which I had forgotten. In my quest to eliminate stuff, those games could have easily been eliminated. Thankfully I hadn’t reached that area of the house.

My husband had NO PROBLEM. In the first game, he helped our granddaughter make matches. Last year he studied to get both the technician and general license in HAM radio. He exercised his brain and it showed. I haven’t taken on any memory challenges and it showed.

I’m reminded often to meditate and I will admit that I try without success. Sometimes my mind is just to busy to settle and other times, it just stays blank, resting in its nothingness. After my daughter and family left for home, I caught up on some of my e-mails. I read that a Harvard MRI study proved that meditation literally rebuilds the brains gray matter in 8 weeks. Either I have to get out the cards for the memory game and practice or meditate more often or both. NUDGED!

DOT TO DOT

I woke this morning thinking how the various synchronicities in my life direct me. When I enrolled for a class in creative writing, may years ago, our professor said that when synchronicities occur in your life, and you recognize them, more occur. If you have been reading my blog for a while, maybe you have noticed some.

To recap the past month: At coffee at the campground, someone told me about a camera — Christmas is coming — I now have the camera. Even though I don’t know how to use all the functions yet, I was able to capture a skirmish between my husband and my granddaughter with light wands — complete with sound. Since my husband usually doesn’t become involved in their battles, this film is priceless.

I had been looking for a new coat with functional pockets — Shopping on Wednesday I misplaced my change purse with my credit cards and money. Frantic search of my purse didn’t produce the missing item. Searching the pockets of my jacket did. Shopping later that day at Costco — I found a coat with functional pockets that fit. (It is very warm.) I had to return to Costco on Friday to get a perscription for my husband. The coats were already gone. I talked to an employee who I have known for many years. She confided that she almost took her own life on Tuesday with a knife laying on the counter. She heard God tell her to get out of the house. She said she wasn’t sad, depressed, or worried. She didn’t know what caused it, she thought it was Satan but she planned to talk to her chaplain. When I told her about a prayer I had for the Archangel Michael, she asked if I had another copy. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that I DON’T HEAR GOD talking to me. I’m glad she did. Needless to say, I was back at Costco on Saturday with a copy of the prayer for her.

(The card was written by a pope in the 18th century. He had just finished saying a private Mass when he heard a conversation between God and Satan. Satan said he would destroy the church. The pope returned to his quarters and wrote the prayer.) We happened to be in the country for Mass on the day the prayer cards were given out. I asked if I could have a couple.

This morning I was trying to sign on to my I Pad. I wanted to meditate. BLOCKS WERE UP. I signed on to face book but it didn’t matter how many times I hit the space to access the meditation — nothing happened. I finally signed onto Face book itself. I saw a message form our older granddaughter mentioning a tornado that was in there area last night. After I got that message, I was able to access the meditation. I have to admit, most times I’m not able to meditate — I have a blank screen but I’m stubborn. I’m not giving up yet.

Most of the time I don’t connect the dots when I’m writing. I leave it to the reader to see them, of course, sometimes I don’t see them myself until later.

“HELP” in my life doesn’t occur with flashing lights, just an ordinary event occurs followed by another ordinary event. I only get hit on the head when I’m not paying attention. Hopefully this ramble will help you connect the dots in your life.

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