Category Archives: Meditation

All of me

I wait in the clearing for them to join me. It is my celebration, after all.

The sun is shining, bathing the lea in a warm glow. There is an entire meadow of soft greenery for us to dig our toes into. Nothing sharp, nothing dangerous, nothing to mar our time together. There is just the slightest breeze. The sky is the most pleasant timeless blue imaginable.

The first to arrive is a girl about 8 years old. Her skin has a sage tint, the downshot of difficulties in breathing. She brings me worms, leftover from when she gathered a bunch for her sister’s birthday. For some reason she thought worms would make a good gift. She is a bundle of fears, although she is well-fed and well-loved. I just want to hold her while she breathes. I want to breathe for her.

Soon, the 17-year old comes upon us, all arms and legs and attitude. She is skittish, like a colt, just waiting to be hurt. It’s because Doug, her boyfriend, has just dumped her for the 4th time. Well, they’ve broken up 4 times, but she was the dumper at least once. I think about telling her there will be many more heartbreaks, and that she’ll have ample opportunity to be on both ends of them. Each one hurts, but when it’s all said and done, she’ll be thankful that she and Doug (and the many that follow him) parted. I’d tell her, but she wouldn’t believe me. She hands me her diary, the one she just started and intends to keep for the rest of her life.

The next young woman arrives in a black gown and mortarboard and with a gold cord dangling from collar to waist. You can feel the promise that fills her. She looks both ready to tackle and tame the world and also petrified of taking her next step. She will face rejection after rejection before she comes on a job with a meager paycheck that will fulfill her emotional, if not monetary, needs. She is planning a wedding, but is having thoughts of calling the whole thing off. The burden of this thought weighs down her shoulders. I whisper to her, “listen to your gut.” She looks at me hopefully and shows me the keys to her first apartment. Where she will live alone.

A very sad woman enters our circle. She’s in her 30s and she’s been crying, crying, crying. The losses she has endured have sucked the very life out of her. She has beautiful, glorious child-bearing hips, which are going to waste. Her dreams have evaporated. She feels alone (although, still well-loved) and without hope. We instinctively move toward her, trying to sense if she will allow us to comfort her. I barely recognize this woman — the toll has been so drastic. Can’t she see that this chapter, like all the others before, will end? Her hands hold only tissues full of tears.

The next woman to grace the clearing has graying hair, still long like I knew she would. She is weary — after all, she is raising teenagers. The one knows how to trip all her wires and the other is just growing up and away too quickly. She has a peace about her…the peace that comes from repeatedly being shown that this, too, shall pass. Her eyes pierce through me, chiding me for my petty complaints about the drains of childrearing. She has brought me a watch — one that ticks twice as fast as normal.

We turn to receive our final guest. She walks toward the west and is a few inches shorter than the rest of us grown women –still a head taller than the child. She is white-gray in hair, fissured of skin, and her eyes and lips have lost several shades of their original vibrancy. For all her physical feebleness, the corners of her mouth are upturned. Her eyes are kind, and she exudes patience. Like the sky above us, there is something timeless about her. She extends only her trembling hand, representative of the enduring body that houses her immortal spirit.

These are my Selves. They have come to honor the fact that I have been on the planet for another turn around the sun. They bring me their tokens and dreams and insights. I envelope them and am enveloped by them. One by one, I welcome each into my heart, accepting the gifts they have brought. I acknowledge the gift she is, she is, she is, she is, she is, she is.

I am.

Image: Vic-Art

I was syndicated on

Om lost and found

I’ve told the story before of how my grandfather, who died 3 months before my daughter  was born, may have sent Tessa to us. But I’ve never told the story of the possible cosmic doings behind Reed’s joining us.

Because I lost the words. Literally.

While we were in the Adoption Wait in 2002, I was attending energy work classes with my mentor, Ethel. One day Ethel brought sets of  japa mala beads that she’d made, more than enough for each person in our class. I chose this pink quartz  and burgundy glass set.

Ethel gave me a Sanskrit chant to say daily with my beads, one that would draw to me a soul who would teach me.

She said it was a good idea to say the chant to music. So I took the tune of a children’s song I had learned years previously in Japan and inserted the Sanskrit syllables.

I fingered my japa mala necklace faithfully, fondling each bead as I chanted the given sentence, eyes closed. Daiy I went around the circle twice for 108 repetitions. I knew when I was finished when I arrived at the bigger guru bead.

As you can probably guess, seven-and-a-half months after I began Om-ing, Reed was born about five-and-a-half weeks early and subsequently came into our family. There’s some intriguing math in there.

When I began blogging, I wanted to share the mystery words with other infertiles who wanted to invite a soul into their lives. Being the documentarian that I am, I knew I’d be able to easily find the mantra.

But I couldn’t. I scoured my daily journals. I re-read my notes from class. I perused my dream journals and every scrap of paper I may have written the prayer on. I tried to dig up the words from my own memory. I even asked Ethel, and she had no idea where they had come from. The words were lost to me. I finally gave up looking.

One day while sitting under the dryer at Crystal’s hair salon, I thumbed through a Yoga Journal. I opened to a page that featured an article ABOUT MY CHANT.

I scribbled down the words giddily. And now I can give them to you.

So if you are seeking a soul to teach you and are willing to open yourself up, get some prayer beads and find or make a tune that fits these words:

Om namo bhagavate vasu deva ya.

More on this mantra here and here (meaning varies from what Ethel told me). You can also find videos on this chant on YouTube.

Perfect Moment Monday: Jai Ho

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. Details on how to participate are at the bottom of this post, complete with bloggy bling.

Please visit the links of the participants at the bottom.

Here’s a perfect moment from my week. I hope you’ll share yours, too.


Have you ever had one of those fleeting thoughts that your life is so fragile you could die any second? Followed by one of those even rarer thoughts that dying in this moment would be OK because of the amazing thing you just experienced, which filled you so with life and joy that for just a moment you felt your own timelessness?

This happened to me this weekend as I crossed the street to get to my car following a dance/meditation class I attended for the first time. Had I been hit by a car, I would have died happy.

My yoga studio offered a Bhangara dance session Saturday. I had no clue what Bhangara (also Bhangra) was, but I’m really into moving my body these days, so I signed up.

I knew Bhangara was a dance form that originated in northern India. I knew that it had been recently popularized in the film Slum Dog Millionaire (to the song Jai Ho). Here are scenes from the final credits.

Bhangara is a dance of joy, of abundance, done to celebrate harvests and marriages and other happy events. It’s not technically difficult — you do better at it when you just feel the music and let it take you over. It’s very energetic and, from what I can tell, it is done as a group. Think Deepak Chopra meets Achy-Breaky Heart, with more free-form.

Our instructor, a western woman, greeted us in traditional Punjabi dress, complete with turban. For an hour, she showed  us several Bhangara moves to traditional and modern music, and we moved around the room energetically. The dance requires a lot of jumping around and springiness — we got quite an aerobic workout and today my calves are chanting at me (not Ommmm, but owwww).

This is NOT me and my class (sorry, WiseGuy!), but it’s similar to what the 11 of us learned to do.

It was exhilarating.

We closed the class with a brief meditation to heal the planet with our feminine energy. The instructor chose a mudra to activate both our hearts and our third eyes. Feeling and knowing. Connecting and healing.

As I sat in the stillness, people swirled in and out of my mind. Family members, friends, some of you. I had a sense that debris was being released. Clearing. Expanding. Healing.

That was just the beginning of the magical moments. The yoga studio has a set of vertical windows  on the west side of the room. I sat on the east side, almost facing the windows. At the start of the meditation, I was in the shade. In those few minutes, a beam of light only 6 inches wide landed fully on my face, allowing for incredible warmth (yet not uncomfortable heat) and a fantastic color show on the inside of my closed eyelids.

Bright yellow, fiery red, vibrant orange swirled around in my mind’s eye. Verdant green, limitless blue and deep purples joined in to make a gorgeous chakra dance. (And you know how I love my chakra colors — see my header).

I continued to breathe deeply and I filled with an intense joy — boundless, uncontainable joy. On the rare occasions when I get filled up like this, I experience an uncontrollable bodily function.

I cry.

Much to my dismay.

It’s embarrassing, and it takes me away from my happy place. I so wanted to surrender to the tears, but I feared what the others would think of me. Fear is quite a buzzkill.

Nevertheless, each time I find the joy I surrender a bit more.

When the instructor brought us out of the meditation I had a few tears rolling down my cheeks. I hoped the other women didn’t notice. But who knows? Maybe they were crying, too.

That’s a pretty long post to describe just one perfect moment. But since so many of you were in it, I wanted to do it justice.

Mwah, my friends. Wishing you all a joyous week.


To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment in a blog post, on Twitter, on Facebook, or simply leave a comment below.
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  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others (from the links below), and let the writers know you were there.

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What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Be sure to visit these moments and share the love, and please come back next week (click to subscribe).