Sunday, July 25, 2010

Drip Dry - A Three Minute Standing Meditation

This is a good, short, fun standing meditation practice: Drip dry in the shower! When you finish your shower, turn off the water and just stand there in the basic beginning T'ai Chi position or the "Embrace the Tree" position if you want to try that.

Focus your attention on the water running off your body, all over your body, head to feet. It will take about three minutes before the drips really slow down to almost nothing.

Relax and sink your weight; keep your crown lifted; your tailbone slightly tucked in (pointing down vertically); knees unlocked; palms and fingers open and energized.

Then have fun and just melt with the water - that's all there is to it. Do it as long as you want; 1,2,3,4,5 minutes, whatever - keep it easy and light.

Let me know what you experience.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"The Last Station" - Tolstoy Movie

Seems like a synchronicitous moment to me - having read and been so moved by Tolstoy's short story "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" (see earlier Blog) and then seeing the recent movie about Tolstoy's life and the cult-like movement that grew up around him. The man definitely saw Backstage in Life, and through his writing he brought thousands of people with him on that little backstage tour. "Hey everybody - great show don't you think? How would you like a little tour backstage to meet some of the actors and see how we make all the scenery and special effects work?"

See the movie - read the short story - welcome backstage!

Want another treat? One of my favorite seeing-backstage-in-Life monologues - Edmund's speech from Eugene O'Neil's otherwise extreeeeemely depressing play: "Long Day's Journey Into Night."

"You've just told me some of the high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected to the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and singing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself - actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, to something greater than my own life, or the life of man, ... to life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Soccer is No Fun if You Don't Play to Win!

You have heard me say that life is a play, that it is meant to be play, that one of my absolute goals in life is to have fun with my work, to turn everything into plaaaaaay.

That does not mean that I don't take things seriously - nothing is less fun than playing a game where the other side doesn't take it seriously - does not try to win. There are things to absolutely take seriously in 'Play' and things to take lightly.

Look at the fans on the losing side of any of the World Cup games. You'd think life was over and that their entire self worth, as a person and as a nation, were dependent on winning.

Come on - it's only a game - that's the part that should not be taken seriously. Playing is real, it exists in the 'Now.' The outcome of the play (winning / losing) is in your head, is an interpretation that you attach importance to (or not if you really know how to play).

As an adult I really know how to play 'Chutes and Ladders', I can enjoy the game and not be attached to the result. My daughter, Michaela, 3 yrs old at the time, did not know how to play. The game was happiness or tears to her depending on how she was doing - up the ladder = smiles, laughs, giggles, Gooooood feeling. Down the chute = tears, sadness, sorrow - Baaaad feeling. Who enjoyed the game more? I think I did (except for not wanting my daughter to feel sad); my detachment allowed me to have fun without losing perspective.

What is fun is the thrill of the game - testing your skills against a worthy opponent. Why do Red Sox fans hate the Yankees and why do Yankees fans hate just about everyone? How much fun would a game be if the other team always really sucked? I think we should love our opponents for being good at what they do - it's a lot more fun for me if the game is really close.

The game of Life should be played no differently if you want to have fun living it. Take the playing seriously, take the result lightly; enjoy the villains and the obstacles because the game isn't real, at least the part we can see isn't real. The energy of playing is real, the energy behind what you do is real, --- the outward appearance is all smoke and mirrors.

Aaaand... Feeling is the energy behind what we do. Do you know that you can actually feel good about feeling bad? Next time you feel bad about something, no matter what the cause - actually screw the cause, the cause isn't even important except that it gives you the opportunity to feel - next time you find yourself feeling bad - Reeeeallly let yourself feel bad. Don't tell yourself that you shouldn't feel bad, or that there is anything wrong with feeling bad, or that you'd like to kill the person who 'makes' you feel bad, or that it is somebody's fault for how you feel, or anything other than really just giving yourself permision to feel deeply awful.

Go so deep with it that you even lose the concept of 'bad.' So deep that you are just feeling what you are feeling as pure energy. So deep that you eventually come to a place of thanking the 'cause' of your feeling (person or situation) for the gift of giving you the opportunity to feel.