Tag Archives: meditation

Ai Chi Again, and Again

I love water!

I’ve been going to ai chi  three times a week since January.  It’s kind of funny that I hurry up to get there so I can relax—like that old military saying, “Hurry up and wait.” But I do love it.
The best moment is when I first step into the warm water—aaah.
The second best is when everyone falls silent, and we begin with simple breathing. Inhale, and the palms of our hands are up. Exhale, down. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.
Then a small step further, to Floating, gently lowering the hands on the exhale. Full inhale, pulling hands up almost to the surface Full exhale, letting them drift down.

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Melting slowly into the sequence of postures: Embracing the Moon, hands form a circle under water, make a gentle slow figure eight. The importance of balance.
Full Moon, reaching up to one side stretching arms, looking up, feeling the stretch down the side of the body. Then turn, other side.
Nurturing. Facing right, right foot in front, push exhale out, draw inhale deeply in, with arms, push out again. Slow. Quiet. Don’t make a wake.
Now nurturing to left, same movement, left foot front.

And so on.  I begin to feel like a ballet dancer–fulfilling a childhood dream, to an extent.  But no one is correcting or criticizing.  Our instructor guides us, but each of us goes at her own pace.  I focus on my movements, refine them myself.

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My favorite might be Freeing, when we stretch to the back, arms wide open, then turn to one side, then wide open in front, and to the other side,and again to the back.

I am watching my hands in the water, these familiar hands, and on the inside they look just as they did when I was a child in school.
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I feel graceful, calm, balanced.

Not-So-Random Monday Thoughts

This morning, as I was writing in my journal, I happened to glance at the cover of my weekly planner, which was out because it’s kind of a habit of mine, to look at the week ahead on Monday morning.

I noticed this quote on the cover: “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” –Buddhist proverb

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I liked that thought very much. Then I just happened to turn to the first page of my journal, to see when I started it, and what was going on at that time. It was November 22, 2014, and I was at a spiritual retreat. I started reading through my notes there, for a little inspiration on a cold Monday morning. I found this idea, from one of the retreat presenters: “Regrets hold us back, don’t allow us to go forward. We need to walk freely toward our God.” Walking again!

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And then, from a meditation book I sometimes read in the morning: “There isn’t anything complicated about how to move through this day. . . . We simply need to walk with the Holy Spirit and we’ll get to our destination on time.” (The book is Timeless Wisdom, by Karen Casey.)  Apparently it’s out of print, but Casey is a prolific writer, and you can find her other books here .

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I started today a little worried, a little tired after a not-so-restful night. But all of these things that I read, somewhat randomly, came together to soothe and motivate me. I love these occurrences. They come when the last thing I’m expecting is a gift. But that’s exactly what they are.

And did you notice? Today is 1/5/15! A perfect day for synchronicity.

The Beautiful Subways of Paris

There is always something beautiful to be found if you will look for it.”

The Quiet Mind    

The above saying, from my favorite little meditation book, I have found to be true.–especially in Paris!  I visited that city in July 2013, and I’ve been looking through my pictures, remembering that each time I emerged from a Métro (subway) station, I was astonished at another beautiful view.

In fact, the Métro signs themselves were beautiful, each one a little different in design. I want to share them with you here.

The Ile de la Cite is the oldest part of Paris, an island containing Notre Dame Cathedral and the lovely Sainte-Chapelle.  I went here first.

The Ile de la Cite is the oldest part of Paris, an island containing Notre Dame Cathedral and the lovely Sainte-Chapelle. I went here first.

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I took the Metro to Alma-Marceau and found the American Cathedral, as well as the Crazy Horse nightclub and many fashion houses. In the distance, there’s a view of the Eiffel Tower.

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This is the entrance to the lovely Parc Monceau, which I had seen in the Audrey Hepburn movie Funny Face. I had a picnic lunch here, then left for my walk down the Champs Elysees.

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This is the Metro stop for the Tuileries Garden, the setting for the Louvre.

Gambetta

One day we toured part of the city by taking a city bus from one end to the other. We got off here, at Gambetta, next to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. The place looked very nice from the outside, and also very big. We didn’t have the energy to wander through it, looking for famous people’s graves.

Très jolies, non?  i love the Métro stations of Paris.

(I must apologize for the randomness of accent marks in my French words; the computer is being very capricious.)