Sit Simply

The new treatment room addition to the little house is finished. I have been moving into it and in doing so freed up space in my old treatment room that is in the big house.
I love my old treatment room. It is a sweet small space with a big window seat and its tucked away upstairs where it’s quiet and out of the way. As I cleaned out the closet I “saw” a meditation nook replacing the things I had stored in it that were moving to the new room we built out at the little house.
Yesterday I set about creating my vision. I took out the shelf system and moved it to the closet in the new room. I took down the hanging bead doors that had closed off the closet from the rest of the room. I filled the holes left in the wall from the shelves and sprayed them with wall texture and paint. When everything was dry, I stood and looked at the empty space imagining what belonged there.
Pulling down a box of sarongs and scarves in my bedroom closet I went through them and found a painted silk I bought in Mexico years ago. It is four by six feet and a soft beach scene. Sky, ocean, sun, palms, birds, sailboats…all the elements of nature are depicted and the colors are vibrant yellow, blue, red and green. When I gaze at it I feel the sensations of being at the beach and it has a calming effect…perfect!
I have been moving my library out of my bedroom to various bookshelves around the property. A small maple-wood three-shelf bookcase was freed up in the cleaning process so I brought it in and placed it so that the hanging silk just meets its top edge. The silk covers the wall almost totally above the shelves. I set the shelves on a small woven prayer rug I got from a medicine man we did sacred ceremony with in Peru. His wife wove it in red and black filling it with the animals of Peru and other elemental symbols.
Next I went to my yoga room. Standing in front of my altar, I selected items that felt right to grace the new altar I was creating. On the top shelf I placed an altar cloth that a dear friend made for me. It fit as if it had been made for the shelf. I placed a candle in the center to represent fire. A glass pyramid filled with sand and shells brought in the element of the sea. Hawk, turkey and jay feathers found in my yard represent air element and a clay hand sculpture is both earthy and representative of my work. A small glass dog was a gift from my grandmother’s neighbor given to me when I was four. It holds the energy of the grandmothers. I also placed a pair of brass meditation chimes, a Mala, a rosary and a third prayer bead necklace, all gifts with spiritual and historical significance for me.
On the second shelf I placed items that represent my shamanic work: my medicine bag and a second medicine bag that was given to me when I broke my arm by my friend, Gray Wolf; a turtle rattle from a pow wow I attended in South Dakota; a pheasant wing from a hunt I photographed with high school friends in South Dakota; and an icon of White Wolf, my power animal.
The bottom shelf has four small framed pictures: one of my children, one of my family taken when I was twelve, one of G and me, and one of myself taken with a Kirlian camera which captured my auric field.
My meditation cushion is facing the altar, all contained on the small prayer rug from Peru.
This morning I got up early, went in, and sat. It felt genuine to have a dedicated meditation nook and my meditation was effortless and rich. I felt as if my body responded to my intention to honor my practice with this effort, creating a place with no purpose other than to sit simply in prayer, contemplation and meditation. I am so blessed.IMG_4260[1]

Fountain On, Gate Closed

IMG_3950When we put up the fence last year the atmosphere changed. No longer exposed to anyone driving or walking past, it was nice to be outside and feel protected from view. I am trying to explain the feeling I have around that experience and freedom is the best word I have. It was like being inside but I was outside.
For over nine months, we have enjoyed the fence and the many projects we started inside it. The buildings, transformed to meet the needs of their new functions, as well as new structures, have grown up within the cedar walls that protect and surround us.
Two significant events came together yesterday. A beautiful fountain that once graced the courtyard of the Spa at Warner Springs Ranch found its way to the center of my patio. We turned it on and within thirty-minutes, six hummingbirds were having a party. They hovered and dove, perched on the edge and drank, bathed and fluttered about, delighting us with their miniature grace and beauty. In native tradition hummingbirds represent joy and love for life. The hummingbird’s initiation of the retreat’s fountain feels auspicious. I am looking out my window and a hummingbird is drinking from the fountain as I write!
The second event was the installation of the gate. The fence has had a wide opening at the driveway for vehicle traffic to enter and leave the retreat. Yesterday the gate construction was completed. After the workers left, G and I closed the gate and then walked back and sat on patio near the fountain. As we sat, enjoying the sound of the falling water and the gentle breeze coming down through the valley, we remarked about the difference we were feeling with the gate closed.
It felt like the feeling the fence gave me multiplied many times over. G agreed that he felt very relaxed and cozy…like the feeling he has when he is inside the house. I added, “It feels like our house just expanded into the whole property.”
I stood up, pulled my dress off over my head, and spent the rest of the afternoon working outside on various projects without any clothes on…why not? No one can see me. The fountain is on and the gate is closed. I am as happy as the hummingbirds.IMG_4250[1]

Who Is Driving My Bus?

Just breathe

Who is driving my bus?

She feels slightly angry and has a hard edge
She is not smiling
Her breath is shallow
Her brow is furrowed

Close my eyes
Breathe deep
Feel my feet
Feel my heartbeat

Who is driving my bus?

She feels softer, yet in a resigned way
Her lips have turned up a bit
Her spine is resting back in the chair
Her eyes have softened

Breathe again, with full awareness
Feel my chest rise and fall
Feel my belly swell and flatten
Breathe all the way down to my pelvic floor.

Who is driving my bus?

Emotion rises
Tears well in her eyes
Her sinuses burn
Her throat slightly closes

Allowing myself to feel
I notice heaviness in my chest
I hold it gently
I open my heart-space to myself

Who is driving my bus?

She is smiling as tears of joy well in her eyes
Her body feels soft and warm
Her feet have melted into the floor
She knows she is not alone

I breathe and feel grateful
I have the key to transformation
Such a simple and profound practice
Now… Spirit is driving my bus.

A Simple Life

floating in oceanGive me a simple life
Long lazy days
Strung together
Like beads on a string

Give me a simple life
Long walks
Long talks
Long hugs

Give me a simple life
Banana breakfast
Nut-butter lunch
Salad dinner

Give me a simple life
Tiny house
Tiny yard
Tiny dog

Give me a simple life
Blue sky, brown earth
Pink spring, green summer
Red fall, white winter

Give me a simple life
Words on page
Paint on canvas
Song in heart

Give me a simple life
Healthy babies
Happy children
Loving adults

Give me a simple life
Clean oceans
Clean skies
Clean earth

Give me a simple life
Birth
Life
Death