“Who Am I Without My Story?”
I cut the barbed wire stretched taught between two sturdy old fence posts,                          first at one end and then the other.
Tossing it away,  I pushed on the posts, each in turn.
They loosened easily from the ground.
Lifting them free, I threw them aside, away from my body.
Lying back, I viewed the scene without them.

I saw a flawless field of blue sky and green pasture untouched by human invention.
Again came the words that had been moving through my mind, like a mantra,          endlessly asking,
“Who am I without my story?”

I looked into the scene produced within and saw now the fullness of nature revealed.
Three wild Indian ponies galloped into the pasture of my body
and I saw them as me.
Body, Mind and Spirit.

This is who I am without my story.
I am wild and free, uninhibited by custom or convention.
I know not my past and care not my future.
I am here now. This is all there is.

In this moment, I dance myself into existence and awareness flows along each breath.
I continuously unfold.

I am neither nefarious nor reputable.
I am either the falsehood of my story or the truth of my being.

I cannot be both.three wild horses

Colors of My Mind

I have been practicing meditation.  One of the methods I use is to simply watch my thoughts as if they were a ticker tape running across the field of my mind.  As I watched my hyper-active thoughts yesterday, I noticed the ticker tape turning colors.  As I paid attention and looked for a pattern between the thoughts and colors I discovered an interesting curiosity.

When the thought incites the emotions of frustration or anger, it is red.

If the thought is melancholy evoking sadness or grief, it is blue.

Happy thoughts are yellow.  Thoughts of contentment are green.

As I pondered this discovery with great curiosity it occurred to me that perhaps this phenomenon is a two-way street.

I have been practicing changing my emotional weather by thinking of a field of the color that represents the feeling I want to invoke.

My favorite color is green.  The color of my contentment.  So when I  notice I am feeling frustrated or angry, I bring to mind a scene of green.  A lush valley of green vegetation is what comes easily…and I immediately notice my anger dissipating as a feeling of contentment washes over me.

And life just gets curiouser and curiouser!


Listening to the Whispers

Listen-to-Whispers-of-the-HeartI am learning to listen to the whispers.
My body speaks to me. In fact, it never stops.
When I am asleep, it speaks to me through my dreams.
When I am awake it whispers.

It’s not easy to hear the whispers.
It takes quiet.
I have to stop moving and my mind must be still.
But then, dropping in, ever so closely, I hear them.

The whispers of my body are not heard with my ears.
They are felt sensations coming from the deep recesses of my inner landscape.
They speak to me of my heart longings.
They tell the stories of neglect.

I listen in awe, with high regard for what I hear.
I honor the wisdom of this voice.
I have learned to follow this guidance.
For when I don’t, the whispers become primal howling cries.

Lessons from Roy

Lessons from Roy

Mountain Valley Retreat just finished its first four-day retreat.  I invited Roy Dopson, a Canadian man I met years ago, to come and share his experience of life with us.  Being with Roy has helped me to remember what is important to me.  It has helped me to realize that I want to move in the direction of contentment.  I understand that contentment is not dependent on any external condition or circumstance.  It is within me.  Happiness is within me.  The path to happiness, to pure contentment, is through the letting go of thoughts that drive me to action, always seeking happiness through some external event or condition.
Thoughts arise. They are random. They are meaningless. They are simply chemical firings of the brain creating the experience of the senses. Thoughts are the mind’s attempt to prove its existence to itself.
Every movement of the mind, every thought, is a movement away from the Self.
Notice movement of the mind and ask yourself, “Who is doing the moving?” “Who is doing the thinking?” “Who am I?” “What am I? “I am.” “I.”
The “essential Self” is only found in the stillness of mind. The “essential Self” is before thought, before mind, the nameless, the potential that is “prior to” movement of mind.
“Step” in and out of stillness. Stepping out of stillness of mind is the engagement of mind for the purpose of serving the body. Serving the body is acting on movement of mind. IE: I want this…I don’t want that…I like this…I don’t like that…the mind measures everything it perceives. The mind is our sixth sense. It craves focusing on something, anything. For in that focus on something outside of itself, it affirms its existence. I am not that, therefore I am this. I think, therefore I am. The mind is constantly trying to prove its existence by comparing itself to everything it perceives through the five senses.
When you stop the movement of the mind, the mind turns in on itself. It moves from the duality of “I am this and you are that” to the oneness of “I am that.” Oneness is the source of all existence. Oneness is the essential Self, All that Is. Oneness needs nothing for it is Everything. All seeking stops. The experience of Pure Contentment arises. Bliss. Nirvana.
Practice sitting in stillness. Notice what is arising. Let it go. Invite the mind to stop. Notice without judgment. Give no thought any credibility. Remember that no thought has any value to the Self. Thoughts only have value to the ego and the body. They feed the belief in separation.
In the experience of duality  (everything that is more than one) is polarity. For every yin there is a yang, for every high there is a low, for every happy there is a sad. There cannot exist one without the other. Living in duality is a constant roller coaster ride. It cannot be anything but this. We are up and down, in and out, pushing away, pulling toward, constantly in flux between this and that. As long as we allow the mind to run loose, life will be this way.
The other choice to become master of the mind. Choose when the mind is allowed to think and when it is still. When I gain control of a muscle through exercise and strengthening it, I choose when to engage it and when to relax it. Exercise and strengthen the mind through the practice of sitting in stillness and observing the mind. Choose when the mind can think and when it will be still. In stillness, experience the blissful state of pure contentment as the mind stops chasing the highs and running from the lows, endlessly seeking what can only be found when it stops seeking.  The final paradox.  Stop seeking and find that you have within you what you have been seeking.  Liberation from suffering. Freedom.meditation pose silloette

Notes from the Session

Notes from the Session on Feb 23, 2014

Zero Balancingetheric meditation Session with Melinda

Session Intention:  Clarity

Within five minutes a belief came right up to my consciousness!

Surfacing Belief: “I can’t trust men”’

The movie of my life ran through my mind reviewing all of the betrayals I suffered at the hands of men from 6 months of age through the present.

I asked myself:  Is this belief true?

Myself said:  Apparently!

Me:  Are you absolutely sure it’s true?

Myself: Well, in fact not only can I not trust men, I can’t trust women either…the truth is, I can’t trust anyone…not even myself! 

I’ve betrayed myself more times than any other single person!

Me:  What if you could trust everyone?  Play with that belief.

Myself:  “I can trust everyone.”

I can trust that humans will behave like humans and human beings cannot be trusted to be any certain way on any given moment.

When I choose to believe “I can’t trust people”, I am being too simplistic.  Trust is incidental.  For all of the betrayals I have suffered there are many more equally significant experiences of support and love. 

Why does one betrayal cancel out one-hundred acts of love?

 Myself: I am seeing an expanded view of this discussion.  Beyond the single belief that I can or cannot trust humans, I am realizing that all beliefs are concepts.  The human mind conceptualizes, that is, it takes its limited body of experience (finite) from the limitless pool of possible experiences (infinite) and creates a theory based on that incomplete experience.  Beliefs are human perceptions attempting to bind the boundless!  Beliefs are our attempt to control that which cannot be controlled. 

Trying to make the infinite finite is the labor of all beliefs.  A belief implies that the same outcome will happen over and over again…that there is a truth that can be depended on. 

Not so in this Universe.  We (this Universe) are a living, breathing, infinitely expanding experience.   Nothing can be depended on.  Nothing is finite.  Nothing is true. The only constant is change. 

There is no belief (human concept) that is supported by our universal experience…without exception.

Me:  So where does this leave us?

Myself:  In any given moment, I recognize that I am in an ever-changing environment, in which nothing is as it appears, and all is expanding and evolving perpetually.  I survey my environment and use discernment to determine my next step. 

Human beings can only be trusted to be themselves, unpredictable.

I perceive myself as more than this body and mind, this human being. 

It is in that experience of “more than this” that I choose to trust.

I trust in the Tao.

Mountain Valley Retreat…Launching!

Here I go, ready or not! Launching the new website for Mountain Valley
Retreat! Let me know what works for you and what does not…I will greatly appreciate all feedback.

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]