These writings of present moment awareness arose as inspired expression from our meditation practitioners’ community—Relax, Recharge: Right Now!
One with the Ocean
Words are invited into existence within the warm embrace of our tree top loft
We explore our journey – together and yet as one
The ultimate query is the same for all
And we are hungry to embrace the moments of truth each and every time
Creativity reminds us she is here – with open arms – ever present in our hearts
The caress of creative joy – her gentle spirit speaks to a bruised and battered existence
Possessing the golden quill to our internal universe, we are humbled by our truths
Words – wielded like a sword without restraint – birth hope into existence
Heartfelt words, of our internal wisdom, shared
We examine our footsteps and our choices with tentative resolve
Words written on the page – honored with life – their liberation such a joy
A vibrant image created to rest with butterfly wings on the page
We open the windows of our memory and fondly recall our childhood of wonder
We are here today and ask with care and concern
Where did she go and how did she get to this place?
Momentum knows no restraint – answers anxious to spill into the waiting space of white
So powerful the surging current
Heart-felt language streams with gleeful honesty
The stream will become an ocean over time
And I am flush with gratitude
Carolyn Stewart Welsh
10 April, 2012
I remember playing in mud puddles as a child.
I remember the caution of my mother saying….
“don’t get wet or dirty, stay away from the puddles!”
Today, as I wander the forest behind our home,
I avoid the puddles, doing my best to mind my mother’s warning.
I know I will be in big trouble if I come home wet or dirty.
It is hard to stay away from the puddles.
I can see one especially tempting puddle.
The water looks so cool and refreshing.
I am feeling a little warm.
Maybe I can just dip my toes into that coolness.
I can feel the mud squishing between my toes.
It feels slimy and gooey!
Oh my toes are happy and doing a wiggly dance.
I take another step into the puddle.
The water is up over my feet to my ankles creeping up my shins.
I reach down with my hands and touch the rising bubbles
my feet stirred up. I can’t help it,
I have to slap and splash the water
to hear the sounds like a drum.
Oh this is so exciting!
I smell the earthy scent of the mud and water.
I must be careful to stay clean,
can’t get dirty or I will be in trouble.
Puddles are the best things about rain showers in summer.
I feel gleeful I can play in the puddle and not get caught.
As I twirl around doing a puddle dance,
I feel the freedom of being a child.
I spin faster, water splashing up my legs.
I stop and look down.
I am covered in dirty rivulets of brown muddy water.
I am going to be in so much trouble when I get home!
I slowly try to clean off the mud.
I give up and instead continue my puddle dance.
Dizzy now, I sink down, immerse myself,
in the pure bliss of a cool refreshing mud puddle.
24 January 2012
There are two boats on this river: a gondola and a motorboat. I am in the gondola, of course. The slow quiet boat. I’m not the driver; the river is the driver. Sometimes I’m the man with the rudder, trying to make sure we don’t tip or hit rocks, or run into other boats. But sometimes I’m the passenger, just along for the ride and enjoying the view.
We move slowly through the water, inching our way along. I am enjoying the long, slow ride. I hope I’m not too disappointed when it ends.
I’m not artificially protected like the people in the motorboat. If it rains, I’ll get wet, and if there is a sudden gust of wind, I’ll get chilly. It’s all part of the ride.
I have to try not to be envious, ever, of the people in the speedboat. I don’t even want that kind of ride. And I must never judge them. That’s their choice to be riding in that boat. It doesn’t affect me. I’ve made my own choice, and I’m really enjoying my own ride.
But it’s interesting to think of the differences and explore the deeper meanings beneath the contrasts:
thrill vs. connection
speed vs. meaning
protection vs. experiencing
sensation vs. detail
going against the current vs. flowing with the current
control vs. letting go.
13 December 2011
I am in a prison of my own making.
My eyes need not see the world — there is a prescription for everything that occurs and I pass judgement on each according to the convention dictated by those in command.
My hands, withered and straight-laced, lay carefully in front of me. Nothing touches me and I touch nothing. That would be taboo.
I am a tight-assed, old-fashioned prude whose morality squashes the joy and love out of life. What is there to smile about?
Inside my breast, I feel the moon and the stars beating softly, gently, with endless possibilities. But the bars and locks across my body prevent me from following this path or exhibiting anything but behaviour deemed appropriate by others.
What if — what if I made different choices. What if I stopped pronouncing judgement according to prescribed convention.
What if I broke the locks and threw away the bars?
What if I set myself free and allowed the stars and the moon to show me all that is possible.
Then, I will experience all the beauty and godliness that lies within.
22 November 2011
I am being called to this place of beauty and serenity.
It’s an ancient path, well-travelled, yet hidden from many.
Covered in leaves of glorious fall colours, I walk on the path, feeling the cushion beneath my feet, hearing the crunch as I step.
I am drawn to the warmth and wonder of this place, to the light flowing in through the trees, to the steps moving gently upward.
This is a place of comfort and support.
There may be obstacles ahead or there may be gifts waiting for me — I can’t tell. I can’t see where I’m going. I don’t know the destination. No worries. I am trusting where this leads.
I know exactly what I need to know — that this is the path of Just Being.
11 October 2011
Walking is so central to my life. I am now walking towards the light at the end of the tunnel. There was no light a few weeks ago – I couldn’t see it at all. I was in the middle of the dark forest, and I could barely see anything around me. Now there is a beam of light ahead. It won’t take me long to reach it. There will be other dark forests to walk through, but now I have a better sense of where to look for light, how to move toward it.
My footsteps are soft on the pavement. My shoes are tight, just right, and my feet are secure. The trees at my side are my friends. They are old and wise. I meditate on the nature around me as I walk. I hear the rustle of the breeze in the branches, I see the sunbeams at the end of the tunnel, I smell the damp earth. I feel relaxed and secure. I feel protected.
I see the cycle of life in the forest. There is death and life, young growth and old. It all brings hope to me. I continue to walk in one direction, towards the light. I can’t see what is behind me – should I even try to look? Maybe just for a bit – it’s good to be mindful of where I’ve just come from.
I move forward, one small step at a time; small, but significant steps.
11 October 2011
My body is already stripped clean in preparation. My face remains
obscured by a gentle camouflage of coloured petals. Gaps in the
petals allow me to peek out at the world, keeping in touch with
who’s there and what’s going on.
When I am ready, the petals will fall away and I will be bare-faced.
Open. True. And dancing.
26 April 2011
The dawn breaks over the plains, and the road stretches out, seemingly forever. I travel this road, not because it is the only path there is, but because it is the only path for me. I know this, for the billboards along the way remind me. “Have it my way” they say. Each time I pass I remember that I have set myself on this road, it was my choice, my way.
The sky today is clear and bright, I can see for miles and miles. I keep going, hoping I will get over the horizon at last, perhaps to find my mountain home – perhaps to find new adventure.
I pass the sign again. “Have it my way.”
I begin to wonder. Have it my way.
Have I limited myself to this road? Have I created a false sense that this is my *only* way? Have I been passing the same sign over and over, thinking it was a reminder, when it was really saying “no, have it your way”. Change the path, get off the road, explore the options.
I look across the field. I see a new horizon. I begin to walk, leaving the sign behind.
I realize any way I go is my way. All ways, always. Jeff Couture
Spirit whispered in my ear: Dream Big!
Let fly your wild ideas and your heart’s desires.
Caught by surprise and drowning in a sea of tediousness.
I searched up and down, high and low for the spark to ignite my living large.
Then back to Spirit with my frantic plea.
Help me. Help me.
Open your heart, came the answer.
Look deep inside for all the exquisiteness you buried there.
Big Dreams live inside you.
Open up and let them flow.
Reclaim what once was yours in the beginning.
Dream big. Big Dreams.
They are yours for the taking.
Yours for the making.
When you allow yourself to open your heart.
I’m feeling fairly positive today. Partly it’s because it’s the first of March—spring is just around the corner. It’s a bright sunny day and that always lifts my mood. I also feel I’ve reached a milestone—last fall when I decided not to go away, I was dreading the thought of winter. Today I feel winter is passing and that brings optimistic feelings to the fore.
Why today’s picture? It’s not really a staircase and yet there is a likeness as of stairs. For me they represent upwardness, a forward-looking place. That means there are still some challenges ahead—which are good for me, as I always like to be challenged or stimulated with new things. I don’t like that they lead up into a dark space. I’m not sure what to make of that but I don’t feel the space is oppressive or dangerous—maybe more cocoon like—a warm, comforting feeling.
In the picture I see the centre or hole as me. I feel in the core a lightness pushing through the rigidity and the power of the granite (long felt beliefs, self-doubts, thoughts that have been detrimental to me or have held me back). These things are not easy to move but I am working at it, moving out of them with each passing day. This expansion from within also represents an opening up to others—a sign of a willingness to share my deeper truths. I do this with trepidation and cautiousness but I know it is what I want and where I long to be.
My affirmation talks about compliments as gifts that I have learned to accept graciously. While I agree they are gifts, I am still learning about the gracious part. I often shrug off a compliment. Why? Is it that I don’t feel worthy of it? I know something in me feels uncomfortable when I receive a compliment—definitely something I need to work on. Charlotte Maupin 01 March 2011
The Whiteness of Being
Always I feel the intimacy of your gaze,
as though we have met before.
This magnetic pull breeds familiarity;
The velvet feel of you on my fingertips
sends shivers of recognition down my spine.
Although a single remembrance does not arise,
your in-to-me-see gaze stirs me,
yes, I have been here,
a witness to true beauty . . .
that union of great gentleness with great power.
08 February 2011
There is a bird on the window sill, picking at the ice and snow. It’s curved beak is a tool it is never without, and with a multitude of uses. I too carry tools with me, my experience in life, my way of viewing the world, my skills, and my knowledge.
As the bird works at a seemingly unrewarding task — really what does it get from chipping at the ice and snow — so it is with me. I have poured myself into developing some kind of business for the last two years. It seems unrewarding, my successes have been limited. But what an experience! I have added to my skills and knowledge, and I have gained tools with which I reinvent myself.
I am a happy confident person who is enjoying life immensely. I am reinventing myself at ever decreasing intervals. I think there is learning here too. My dissatisfaction in the past has come from this reinvention. Why can’t I stick with something? Why do I change so fluidly.
I think, though, that the future is going to be about exactly this. The pace of change will continue to increase, and only those that can adapt and change with it are going to ‘ride the wave of the future’. Agility and adaptability at a blurred pace — how you define yourself today may literally change by tomorrow.
There is a bird on the window sill, picking at the ice and snow. Today I am the bird. Tomorrow I will be whatever I need to be. Jeff Couture 08 March 2011
I rage inside me at the life not lived.
My anger builds to fury at each thought.
Tears flow, the hurt washes over me.
If only. If only.
Did you think your touch would leave no scars behind?
Or were you blinded by your lustful needs?
I cry inside at paths of love not taken.
Pain rises up with each unwanted memory.
Tears flow. And I wonder. If only.
12 April 2011
A Meandering Brook
I am aware of a sense of peace today. My affirmation card reads, “I am so pleased with my life now, and I know it will only get better and better.” In some ways this is very true for me–I no longer feel the rush nor the pressure to commit to things that don’t serve me well. I don’t worry as much about what I must do to please others nor what I must do to conform to others’ views. This doesn’t mean I am disrespectful to others–only that I am more compassionate with myself.
I look at my picture and I see a gentle brook flowing on its pathway, meandering around and over rocks–not rushing–pausing at each change to pool quietly. I see this as me today taking on new things but not with the drive nor sense of urgency of my youth. Rather going with the flow and reaching out for them as they cross my path. After each experience there is time to reflect and adapt to the changes whereas when I was younger I often felt the need to push forward whether I was ready for change or not. This sense of peace and calmness that fills me, allows me to feel more expansive toward my community and more accepting of my shortcomings.
As each level of the brook drops I feel I, too, drop into a more grounded and centered awareness of who I am and of what I still want to become. I see that this path has an ease to it–no need for me to force it nor to rush to find it, no fixed destination in sight (unusual for me)–but no fear either. Just a knowledge that it is going to get better and better and that my self-awareness will only continue to grow with each new opportunity. Today I am content. Charlotte Maupin 08 March 2011
Like the surrounding forest,
I am a creature of the Earth plane
in ascension to the stars.
A tree grows through me
rooted in my heart
where all journeys begin.
Earth, hands and heart befriend head
growing, undulating toward the light
releasing, emptying thought and story
returning, embracing the essence of infinity.
01 March 2011