Archive for December, 2020

Meditating for tricky bit between Xmas and New Year – the egg meditation

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

This gap between Christmas and new year can be a tricky time in the best of times. For me it can often feel like the doldrums.

At times like this I switch up my practice and bring out the big guns: the ancient zen butter meditation.

Here’s how it works: I sit preferably cross legged on the floor or bed, with my eyes closed. I begin by grounding myself and settling the breath and body so I am relaxed but alert. A little smile at this point often completes the setup nicely.

Then … I imagine a piece of fresh and fragrant butter, about the size of a duck egg, resting on the top of my head.

The butter slowly begins to melt and as it does it runs down over the head, face and body spreading warmth and a sense of ease as it goes. This spreads into and through the body, relaxing the muscles, cleansing and purifying the internal organs, the brain, the lungs, the heart and the liver etc. All worries, thoughts and difficulties flow with the butter into the ground that accepts them and takes them away.

When the butter has entirely melted and sunk into the earth, imagine a new piece of fragrant duck egg sized piece of butter sitting atop the head and repeat.

There you have the soft butter meditation. This is actually considered medicinal in Chinese medicine. I find it incredibly comforting.

Sometimes I will add ‘something’ to the butter as the meditation repeats … a pleasant aroma perhaps or a comforting thought or a memory of a place, but try it as simply butter to begin with.

🧘‍♀️

Happy New Year!

Grieving as Practice at the End of 2020

Saturday, December 19th, 2020

Mindfulness teaching and university courses all done for the year now. So now I am moving into a bit of a home retreat space. Time to practice more and time to rest. And most importantly, time to bring a bit of ritual into life.

I am realising how much ritual has been lost in 2020. Those things we do together and that we pay particular attention to doing carefully and well. Whether that is the companionable silence and holding modest gaze on a retreat, the lovely nourishing bit at the end of a Hakomi weekend, birthing a shamanic drum together, singing or sharing a story at a gathering, sitting in a circle, sitting around a fire, doing tai chi on the lawn, practicing consent at a cuddle party or tantra retreat, smudging each other with sage, doing mindful walking together, passing round a talking stick, dancing together in five rhythms, ringing bells at the end of a practice, lying down for a gong bath, suiting up for paddleboarding, reading aloud a poem, packing my backpack for a camping trip, and so many more rituals that I have been missing so much this last crazy year of restraint and distancing and survival.

I am really looking forward to the ritual of baring my arm and receiving a vaccine! 🙏 So that I can take part in all the other rituals in person again. 🙇‍♀️💕

But for now I want to honour the sadness that’s filling my heart after losing my mum and my brother and so many others. I want to honour the loss at the end of some relationships that I have been holding onto even though they were toxic to me. And I want to stay down with the difficult feelings at the end of this very difficult year.

For once I am going to let myself feel depressed and sad, and to trust that I will be ready to rise up again when this dark time has taught me every thing that it needs to. When I have fought my tendency to bounce back too hard and too soon. When all the changes and losses of the past few years have finally had a chance to be fully integrated, without my bloody resilience jumping in the way again. When I have looked after myself and nurtured myself through this.

When I am once again feeling ready to step forward into my life. When, instead of constantly feeling reactive to all that’s been happening in my life, I am once again clear and energised enough to step forward proactively, with my own energy and drive to go forward into this new and very different life.

For now I am moving into practice and ritual and turning towards this time of difficulty into a conscious deliberate way and honouring all that I find here. Stepping into the darkness …

👣 🙏 🙇‍♀️ 🕯🧘‍♀️

Go well and take care friends. ♥️
And don’t forget to find some ritual xx

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