Springing into life

Springing into life

The sun is beaming out giving us 10 degrees of warmth in the UK, signalling the start of spring, it feels like a heat wave compared to the bleak grey 7 degrees of recent weeks. As I leave the house and the full blast of the sun hits me in the eye, I am moved to tears, feeling it’s blessed heat, it’s life-giving rays. I call to mind that I am the beneficiary of the sunlight of three months ago giving this earth and all of us our life force.

I am currently participating in an online meditation programme with Dharma Ocean and the daily practice for this 2 week unit is called earth breathing, where one directs ones awareness down into the earth. Not the physical earth, but our awareness of earth. It’s leaving me a bit raw, a bit vulnerable, a bit prone to weepiness when confronted with life.

Last night I had a curry with a friend at a local curry house we wanted to try out. The food was good, the service a bit manufactured. This morning my abiding sense is of the chicken I ate in the chicken and spinach Balti. We noted that the chicken chunks were huge. It reminded me a of a programme I watched recently where a chicken reader is campaigning to change chicken rearing standards. It showed chickens waddling about, unable to stand up due to the disproportionate weight of their over grown breasts, bred for the market that demands plump chicken breasts on every plate in the land, at the lowest price possible. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m becoming less and less drawn to eating factory produced meat. Last night served to confirm that I need to stop eating meat in restaurants unless I know their provenance.

I feel as if I am springing more deeply into life.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it! It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

~ Martha Graham, dance choreographer

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sky and clouds

IMG_0217This afternoon I stepped out of my flat into the street and was shocked to see the sky and the clouds. I think I truly saw them for the first time. The sky, intensely blue, shading into paler blues and almost turquoise. The clouds, bright white, yet soft and fulsome, floating, reminding me of the lilies of the field….they toil not, neither do they spin….the clouds today were neither toiling nor spinning, simply being clouds. I found myself slowing down, walking without any haste, each step, imprinting my happiness on the earth as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests in walking meditation. All day it was as if the sky and clouds beckoned me, I went about my business, shopping and walking and catching the sky and the clouds. The sun was intensely bright in Dewsbury, then eclipsed in Huddersfield by darker clouds, heavy with impending rain, and still they called me in their beauty. Thank you clouds, for your beauty and the rain you bring.