Archive

Jun 12

Sing Your Song

Every morning, shortly after I wake, I do my “sit-spot” practice outside in our front yard. This is a practice of simply sitting and being present with everything in nature. It’s a beautiful way to begin my day with the freshness of the morning air, the sun beginning to peek through the leaves, the squirrels racing up and down the oak trees, and most of all, the birdsong.

I relish hearing the variety of birds in our neighborhood. On those beautiful, bright, sunny mornings it is pure delight to sit by our grassy patch and hear a bird calling from the tall redwood tree 5 houses down to the right, and to hear the high-pitched clicking sound of a hummingbird as it zooms in for a drink from our Mexican sage.

This morning, however, was quite different than the others for the last couple of months. It was dense with cloud-cover, and rain was expected. For California in June, this is rare. With ordinary eyes, one might wake up, see the dismal looking skies, and decide to just pull the covers over the head and go back to sleep. A dreary, cloudy day. Continue Reading »

Jun 05

The Hawk and the Gopher

Posted in: Animals, Attachment, Awareness, Embodiment, Grounded, Nature, Paradox | Comments Off on The Hawk and the Gopher Tags: , , ,

hawk_conniehabash_spirituality_counseling_meditation_menloparkLast month, I led a spiritual retreat at an idyllic farm, tucked into a secluded valley in Half Moon Bay, California. The focus of our day together was embodiment – being fully present, centered, grounded, and aware in our bodies and connected with the Earth.

In the afternoon, we immersed in a practice called Sit Spot; sitting outdoors, quiet and still, taking in whatever we experience from nature.

I sat on the edge of a field, facing some trees and the rising slope of a hill behind them. There was a gentle breeze, and my gaze lifted up to the clouds floating by. High in the sky, almost at the height of the clouds, I saw a hawk. It was slowly gliding in circles on the currents of air, as hawks often do. I couldn’t stop looking at it as it drifted higher and higher, further and further away over the distant hills until it was just a speck, and then disappeared from my view.

It struck me as an interesting contrast to the idea of embodiment – floating up higher and higher into the clouds, far above the earth, rather than deeply rooted in the soil, as we had much of the retreat. Continue Reading »

May 10

You Are Not Limited to You

Posted in: Animals, Oneness | Comments Off on You Are Not Limited to You Tags: ,
photo by trestleJeff from morguefile.com

photo by trestleJeff from morguefile.com

Humans are a strange species. We are, to my knowledge, the only species that attempts to live in insolation from other species. We may collect in human groups – and we may have a few select “pets” – but by and large we don’t consider ourselves part of the ecosystem, and certainly not kin to other living beings. After all, we are human, and therefore we transcend animal instincts.

Well, maybe not so much. Or, maybe the traits that we think define us as human aren’t limited to our species. Isn’t it rather anthropocentric to believe that we’re the only beings that think, consider the future, reflect on the past, and have feelings? What if these are traits of consciousness, of any living being, and not exclusively human? What if our experience is universal between us and animals, and maybe even other forms of life, only we experience ours through particular filters of human language, perceptions, and behavior? Continue Reading »