Retreating to Hear your Song

Your Song Shines Through

Meditation on the Stories Our Lives are Telling  (3 minute audio)

What if it really doesn’t matter what you do?

What if all that really matters is how you do whatever you do?

What would you do?

How would you do it?

How do you make love to the world?

What is the story your life is telling?

From Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s The Dance   pp 152-153

Retreating inside daily

Since I recently taught a daylong meditation retreat, I’ve been considering the value of  my daily meditation practice.  This morning I meditated on the ferry to Seattle.  I stepped off the boat, contemplating what it means to bring the state of meditation into my waking state, my work state?   I made my usual stop at Starbucks and Sarah McLachlan’s Angels was playing.  As they were making my Grande Soy Latte, I tuned in to Sarah’s angelic voice and lyrics. Although I have heard this song about 100 times, I noticed that I was listening  today from a place deep in my heart. I was in a state beyond planning the elements and order of my “to do” list; a transcendent perspective overflowing with compassion, wisdom and creativity.  Today I remember who I really am at my core and that most certainly does impact how courageously I show up as a leader in my world.  How truly amazing is that?

Here is my favorite recorded guided meditation CD:

Flickr photo courtesy of Grand Velas Resort

Advancing with Discipline and Freedom

Swan Meditating at Bloedel Reserve

My most successful clients have great discipline.  While I have a strong ability to focus, when it comes to discipline,  I tend to get all harsh and controlling with myself.  My old pattern is to approach the discipline of maintaining a schedule, planning and maintaining the systems that support me with a heavy intensity.

Although I get things accomplished this way, it’s often a recipe for dragging me into the dust.  Can discipline have a feeling of flowing freedom and spontaneous joy?

When I get right down to the root of how this can be possible, it has to start with disciplining my mind.  Having my mind serve me, here in the present, as opposed to compulsively painting one picture after another of my past present and future, my character, the world I live in, my relationships.  You know, the endless list.

Here’s what I think is the linchpin of Advancing with Discipline & Freedom.  Focus first on disciplining the mind through Retreating into a daily meditation practice.  I’m pretty sure the ULTIMATE freedom is stilling the mind so it can rest in the Heart, the source of deep wisdom, spontaneity, love and creativity. (OK… ALL the good stuff.)

Once the mind rests into a Heart centered focus and presence, all the scheduling, planning and systems will flow powerfully with great ease.  That my friend is a path to success that I can sign up for!

Things I noticed as I crossed the road while on retreat in India

Retreat to Advance stamp

Context.  “The Road” is a 10 ft wide lane of crumbling blacktop that winds along next to the ashram.  OK…here we go:

  •  14 teenage boys on 4 bikes.   
  • A crowd of exuberant Indian children skipping and jabbering away in Hindi,  in the night…yelling “Hello” in English. (I’m in silence…so all I can do is smile and nod…which makes it worse as I start laughing and can’t stop. )
  • A little horse drawn surrey with tiny horses and a whole family packed in the back. 
  • An endless supply of motorcycles, rickshaws, really loud buses and fantastically painted trucks all honking and swerving together with beautiful sari clad women, babies and children hanging precariously everywhere you look.  Overloaded?  What is overloaded? (Yes, these people are so stunning, I feel like I’m on a movie set.)
  • Sacred Cows, of course. 
  • A wagon pulled by oxen, again packed with beautiful smiling families. 
  • The flower garland vendors who won’t give up their quest to have me purchase and are convinced I haven’t paid for the one they threw around my neck when I wasn’t paying attention yesterday.  Rather than going after me for the rupee’s they have targeted my roommate to pay, who has to dodge them every time she crosses now too.
  • The guards who are quite handsome in a vibrant sort of way, I do feel safe and protected …and a little light headed in their presence. 
  • An old sadhu covered in Kum Kum who looked into my eyes and for several hours I’m seeing stars and galaxies circling around in my head.  And speaking of stars, what is up with the tall smiling, completely amazing European businessman? 
  • A young Indian man, with a wooden box on his head that I am sure has a snake in it. 
  • A parade of chanting pilgrims, complete with megaphones, cymbals, drums and their own teacher carried forward on a garland clad truck.  
  • A truckload of chickens and last but not least….at 3:45am, there is no one but us meditators crossing the road.  The end.