So February 2014 is forever gone. I am actually just a little sad to see it go. February is that page on the calendar that is somewhat empty. Never sure exactly what to place there. Somewhat suspended between seasons. Separated from every other month by its shorter length, and the fact that it is the only month that can pass without a full moon. Like a pause……but not for too long.
Here we are in March. Named for Mars, the Roman god of war, who also was the guardian of agriculture. March is the beginning of the season for farming and contains the equinox, the official beginning of spring when the earth passes neutral and begins its tilt back toward the sun. When day and night are of equal length.
The beginning of the March forward…….
The blankets of crocus on our street have begun to bloom. And nothing…..not snow, nor ice nor cold……will get in their way as they lift their faces toward the sun.
Have you ever noticed that March contains a lot of reasons to drink? March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras and college Spring Break all fall in the month of March. Wow! A wonder any of us make it through.
I like a good beer as much as anyone, but I chose March last year to focus on also spreading the word on meditation – perhaps as a counter balance. And I am repeating it again this year with “March…..a Mindful Month”. A virtual community where we all commit to at least 10 minutes a day of meditation, including daily emails from me with tips, techniques and inspiration. We are now up to 73 people! (if that little voice inside is still whispering….send me an email and join in!).
Why would I want to meditate? Well the list of health benefits could fill a page. But to me, the magic of meditation is in simply seeing yourself more clearly. Over time beginning to realize that “you” are not your thoughts. So freeing!
In the Yoga Sutras (basically the bible of yoga) by Patanjali, he begins by defining Yoga:
Yoga is experienced
In that mind
Which has ceased to identify itself
With its vacillating
Waves of perception
Huh. So yoga is not about placing the body in shapes. The yoga asana practice that many of us do is simply one of the pathways to Yoga. A wonderful one….I might add. The asana practice helps us learn to become still while we hold a pose. To focus on what each part of the body is doing. To find the intimate link between movement and breath. To step out of our day and onto our mat. Meditation is another one of the pathways. Another chance to step out of our day and into our seat.
When I was a child I loved to dive down to the bottom of the deep end in the pool and look up. Where I sat felt so dense, calm and silent. Unmoving. Up above I could see the flailing legs and splashing of the water. I could just barely hear the yelling and shrieks of laughter. All far away in what seemed like almost another world. Those legs and waves at the top of the water symbolize the mind. Busy, moving, changing, loud. And when you are up there it feels like that is all there is. Caught up in the action. But by diving deep down you can see clearly that there is more….so much more….buried beneath the surface. That still place of calm is the true self ….”you”. And “you” can look up and watch your thoughts. That’s what meditation is.
“I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”
Diving deep whenever I get the chance,