Rest Within a Sense of Wholeness

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Betwixt and Between

IMG_3487Take a moment to close your eyes and take three breaths. Simply get a sense of yourself as you breathe in and out. Gently let your eyelids fall and allow the sensation of breathing to prevail. Relax.

Imagine that you are sitting at the edge of a deep pool, feet in the water, pants or skirt hiked up. Feel the warmth or the coolness of the water on your bare skin. Wiggle your toes in the current. Notice your seat against the edging of the pool; feel the air against your skin. And, relax.

As you are now fully placed in this dream-state become aware that there are fish swimming below. Some are beautifully colored and move gracefully within their school. There are several large sharks slowly circling in the shadows, neither retreating nor moving forward. Manage any considerations you may have about having your feet share the same water as these creatures. Notice the sensations that are predominant in your body and relax into them.

Realize that you cannot know what will happen next. Shift your awareness by simply feeling what it is like to be here, seated betwixt and between and manage the impulses that may try to dislocate you from this position.

Open to this in-between space, and receive what is here waiting. Allow the images, memories, and feelings to find you and observe.

It is in the “betwixt and between” that our conscious mind gives way to the unconscious and our dreams give voice to our soul.

The Mystery in Life

When I was a boy, I spent time in a ravine. After school and on weekends, I found solace in the woods. Filtered sunlight illuminating the soft, green moss that couched the sides of forgotten trees, and the pungent smell of composting earth offered me the calm and peacefulness that only nature can provide, a respite from life, home, family. It was here that mysteries were uncovered and language was spoken without the use of words. It was here that I learned to respect and commune with the natural world.

The ravine has come to symbolize the unfolding of life as it should when left to its cyclical nature. Leaves would fall, the earth would harden, my footprints would lay frozen on the ground, and then before too long, as the days began to lengthen, the creek would flow more freely and with this spring came life, renewal. And, just as summer could not grow any sweeter, the leaves would begin to color, the air chill, and as the acorns fell, they were quickly buried for safe keeping.

Life in the ravine taught me to love. It taught me about the sacred and the preciousness of every living thing. It taught me respect for a world that I can only inhabit not control. It taught me, most importantly, to walk gently upon this earth and tread lightly over its surface.

Image: Paul Zachman, 2009