Tag Archives: meditation

Travel – Introspection the Easy Way

When in between adventures at home I tend to get introspective and start reading all kinds of wild and crazy books. Seems I’m not content to just sit around and twiddle my mental thumbs.

Started reading the Tibetan Book of Death and Living after watching a documentary The Quantum Activist. Theoretical physicist, Amit Goswami mentioned it during the program. Now I’m having all kinds of strange dreams and am evidently working out issues from the past in my sleep.

Having my grandson here is definitely stirring the sludge at the bottom of my psychological pot. His way of dealing with authority or just about anything is from the victim/I’m being taken advantage of mentality. He has no concept that anything that happens today is a direct or indirect result of what he did or did not do in the past. Where did he learn this from? His mother, of course. My daughter. She could figure out a way to blame the state or someone else if she deliberately shot herself in the foot .

Oh Please...

Where did she learn this from? Why me, of course. The me that existed 35 years ago. I am not that person now. I spent 35 years going to therapy, psychiatrists, Al-Anon meetings, adult children of Alcoholics meetings, marriage counseling, meditation, acupuncture, spiritual retreats, pilgrimages, aura cleansing, novenas, sweat lodges, prayer circles, bible study, rosaries, more meetings, lighting candles, medication, introspection, retrospection, cleansing juice fasts, navel gazing, star watching, shedding tears, having nightmares, making amends, listening to Doctor Laura on the radio, and reading almost every self-help, or self-improvement book ever written. Even the cells in my body are not the cells that were in it 35 years ago. Spooky. What a blast from the past.

Just for the record the 2 favorites that I read over and over are: When I Say No I feel Guilty, and 10 Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up There Lives.

When all that is done, I think traveling is so much easier than the above route and a helluva lot more fun. The very nature of travel forces to you to another mind-set. To enjoy it all, you must give up any delusions of control the minute you set foot on the curb at the airport. At that point it’s too late to go home and get anything you forgot.

talking_hands1The plane leaves on time and gets you where you are going or it doesn’t.  At your destination you are a stranger in a strange land. What is in what is out? Up or down? Acceptable or unacceptable? Where is the toilet? If you are in a country with a different language you are completely out of your element.

You must be creative and communicate without your comfy known language for the most basic needs, food, water, telephone, and shoe store. Right and wrong become more subjective rather than absolute. It’s difficult to get in heated discussions about politics, or anything else, using sign language. Even rude gestures don’t mean the same thing in other parts of the world.

I can’t wait to go again. While I’m waiting nothing is stopping me from investigating the possibilities from the comfort of my den.

Ejected From the New Age Movement

Geek Meditation

Geek Meditation

I got unceremoniously kicked out of the New Age Movement. This happened at its peak of frenzy, about 20 years ago. Before it became so mainstream that you can receive a doctoral degree in auras and past life regression. Seriously, they asked me to leave an alternative book, expensive gift, yoga/meditation center, and never return.

Why? What did I do to cause such a ruckus? I laughed during a guided meditation session. The self-appointed guru-ess and leader of this session was offended and complained to the owner.

While I was browsing the gift shop after the session, the owner approached and informed me of my transgression. I thought he was joking and so did my friend. So we laughed. Wouldn’t you? He made it clear that he was not amused, he was serious. And furthermore, he sided with the meditation chick. I tried to explain why I was laughing during the session, but the harder I tried the madder he got, so I exited stage right. At first I was mildly offended as well, but the more my friend and I talked it over, the funnier it seemed. We were laughing so hard that I had to pull over to the side of the road because I couldn’t see the road for my tears.

This is the only place that I recall getting thrown out of in my entire life. That’s saying a lot considering I spent 20 years in New Orleans in the French Quarter working nights.

The event happened at the end of years of church shopping, spiritual exploration, seminars, self-help books, cleansing fasts and navel gazing. I was rapidly approaching the point of view that everything I read, chanted about and contemplated in a tub of scented oils blessed by Vishnu, was a bunch of hooey, and that at the end of the day it comes from within.

The Lion and the lambThe classics were classics for a reason. What a relief. I do not have to re-invent the wheel and I don’t have to drive, only enjoy the scenery.  The many people who proceeded me on the road less traveled, that road that is now a high-speed tollway, with a fast food joint at every exit, have already figured it out. Actions speak louder than words. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be. Enjoy what you have instead of obsessing about what you don’t have. Simple concepts, but difficult to execute, at least for me.

What made me laugh in the session was one part an over dramatic guided meditation teacher, and the other part my vivid imagination. She said something about ribbons of light steaming out her head. I pictured it and it looked silly, but fun, so I started giggling. What’s not to love about ribbons?

Giggling is contagious. Beside me, my girlfriend started twitching, also trying not to laugh. Then my imagination provided a pictured of me festooned with ribbons, scooting around town, seated in lotus position. I briefly wondered if I would need some sort of Kevlar fanny patch to protect my backside from road rash.  This was the final straw and I burst out in a loud snort. I was overcome and could not stop laughing for several minutes. I managed to contain myself. However, at the end of the session, when we were laying flat on the floor, listening to the soft voice telling us to send love and light to each of our girly parts, I lost it again.

Getting ejected/kicked out of the local chapter of New Age was a blessing. What I took from it was that my life is a journey. It can be a magic carpet ride or the Bataan death march, my choice. When I try to stay in one habit, or rut, hang on to an outmoded mind-set and stop growing and changing I get into trouble. Some of it much more serious and painful that getting the boot for laughing too hard.

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