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a week with limited internet, facebook or phone.

kid time early in the morning, lots of coffee and time in CT cold spring.

sometimes we need the time away to pause from our lives&retreat back to home.

a place of tradition & family. i cant sleep well here my head stays up remembering.

years&years of memories in one place. showing our kids who we were and going with the flow of who we are now.

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silence. ( why Zen is no joke)

“count your breath to 10” she tells us.

and when you wander away go back to 1.

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now, it’s like a dream. we sat in zazen. eyes mostly open. hands gently placed. left on right. thumbs touching.

it was peaceful and quiet & HARD with your mind flying from here to there. no where to run even though you want to.

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my first silent meditation retreat. no reading or writing. no talking. just a retreat. like tiptoeing out of life.
“easy” and gentle with yourself. but it wasn’t. it was hard not to do. not to do anything. I’m REALLY good at doing a bunch of everything all at once , in one day! to do lists and calls and emails.. the list goes on. but to do nothing. really do nothing. that’s hard.

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I used the mantra HERE to ground myself while walking. I let myself remember to LET GO. and as time passed I watched myself go through a range of emotions. anger. frustration. giggles. not understanding what was happening.

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Maezen showed up as she does and taught us. guided us through the journey. but we sat and didn’t run. no one ran. we showed up. over and over and over. we walked and we sat. and the light began to shine from the inside out.

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a practice I don’t really understand.  it’s okay.  the life that is my life is here. it’s all here. she reminds me of this. my life IS sitting in Ohio in a barn for 2 days  staring at a wall and then it’s going with the flow in DC with the screaming yelling kids and the dog who peed on the floor.

She wrote this about our time together.

seeing karen.

in the back of my head, I know it’s approaching.

I have said it a bunch of times.. in passing.. “oh , yeah I’m going to this meditation retreat.. in Ohio”

Inside my body. my heart starts to skip. my head starts a mantra. unknown. unknown.unkown.

I have no idea what is about to happen. but I ‘m pretty sure it’s going to change my life.

that’s what she does, EVERY TIME I’M WITH HER.

when I read her words.. my heart is connected. I feel like she’s talking to me. She hears me. She knows me. She opens me up and sees the inside.

she’s my teacher.

at her last visit to lil omm, I cried almost the whole weekend and then GROUNDED. like I had not been in years.

Her energy lifts me, swirls me around , and then leaves me a little.. out of it . Only to fully return to myself. in a more open way. with more love and beauty and tears and life. Grounded. Confident. Present. Deeply Rooted.

I cry. I need space. I feel WIPED after being with her. After the practice and the teachings. and  the knowledge. and the space. sitting quietly. doing nothing.

When Karen Maezen Miller (Momma Zen & Hand Wash Cold Author  & Zen Buddhist Teacher/ Priest) posted months ago that she was teaching a retreat in OHIO in MARCH- I thought. that’s crazy! Ohio? WHY? March? WHY? I can’t do that. I can’t afford it. How selfish of me to even want to go?  And then I took a DEEP BREATH and I knew I was going. .

I did everything I could to make it happen. I started the ball rolling and now I am days away from the flight.

Okay, lets start here- A FLIGHT ALONE WITHOUT KIDS. has not happened in a very long time. I’m going to be PLEASANCE!  not  mama. not owner of lil omm. no masks, veils, roles or responsibilities. just me.  So, is that what is totally freaking me out?

a few days on my mat, on my meditation cushion without any of the parts of my life that I have relied on as ways to identify myself. ( mom, community member, wife, friend, teacher, coach, bness owner.. the list goes on and on) instead it’s  Just me. ME.

I’m not sure what will unfold.

I’ve had tough days over the past few months where just the thought of this retreat was enough to get me through.

I’m called to the practice, sitting and stillness save me over & over.

I’m ready Karen.

Watch this to inspire yourself. 

Or Karen herself .

Blue

post saylor party. beautiful weekend of joy.
today I feel emotional. deflated . a bit anxious.

I spend A LOT of time reading, writing and absorbing feelings associated with positivity. I live my life AWAKE. in the moment, vibrant, motivated positive ways and then I don’t.

And  today , where I need a long talk with my best friend &  to move my body and eat healthy to feed my soul. I need to spend time hugging my kids and rubbing feet and backs so that I connect with others. I know when I get down how to ask for help, reach out to those around me and give myself some space to be okay with the fact that I’m not okay today.

Part of loving life so much and jumping into change is that I also experience deep sadness. The yin and the yang. Practicing yoga does not mean I live life being happy all the time. it means I know the deep and vast experience that we have in this world. I have it  too. good days & hard days, joyous days & scared days. days of sleepiness & days full of energy.

Today my heart is heavy, my stomach in knots. I feel tears and I’m grateful that I have the capacity to feel my life the joy and the pain. I read this today. perfect.

West Wind #2

You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me.

Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul.

Listen to me. Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and hearts little intelligence, and listen to me.

There is life without love

It is not worth a bent penny , or a scuffed shoe…

When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil,

fretting around the sharp rocks- when you hear that unmistakable pounding-

when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlements,

the long falls plunging and streaming- then row, row for your life toward it.

Mary Oliver