December 19th, 2017
Winter on the Mesa
My fall in Joshua Tree has been such an interesting process: I spend days wandering around on this beautiful desert floor, getting excited about the rocks and the colors and all of the new plants surrounding me. I want to melt into the air here. I want to deeply understand it’s essence. It seems like it has secrets that it wants to share.
Nobody ever seemed to tell us in our youth that we were going to live so many different lives in this one. I think I’m only just now getting the sense of the depth of things that I don’t know or can’t understand yet. Everything feels bottomless… these days… groundless. I’m realizing that all of the answers are the exact opposite from what I was certain of or told... and that they aren't answers at all. I find myself terrified of the unknown yet surprisingly willing to walk into it again and again.
Everyone who lives down here lives on ‘desert time’ ie: a slower pace that is timed by the sunlight. Everyone is in bed by ten and everyone rises with the sun. The land feels expansive and my thoughts seem to follow this. Big and vast and non linear.
My work here seems unclear at times. I feel I was called to come years ago, and I’m supposed to be here right now. When I tell others that live here, this bit of information, they just nod their heads and smile. This is exactly how they ended up here too. The tourists come and go. There is little to do outside of the tourist spots. The locals feel like it’s too crowded and over run with airbnbs. Everyone here hangs out at each others homes while the dogs run around. Everyone here is fascinating and wild and here because they want to be here. These are artists and healers expanding into their own souls path.
Being here, I feel a deeper healing entering into my subconscious. This place just naturally takes you to the deeper work that we all get faced with if we listen or sit still long enough to hear it.
It takes so much time to heal old wounds, so much care, so much surrender and noticing. I know that when I talk about self care and slowing down, It may come off seeming too far away from your own life to put the effort into it. Like the famous Pema Chodron book says: Start where you are. Creating daily practices, and choosing to consume healthier products is really all about showing up to your life. Showing up everyday, no matter what it looks like, and starting from there. What I’m learning is that there really is no right way to listen to yourself and grow. And what you need changes with circumstance.
About 12 years ago I was talking to a spiritual teacher of mine when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was trying to figure out my career path but it all seemed very contrived and I was feeling depressed about the whole thing. He laughed for a while, and after a long pause responded with “well in a way everything we do in our life is contrived.” he then went on to say that “it’s not a matter of what you DO with your life, it’s how you view it.”
Cultivating Mindfulness Meditation:
A daily practice technique
The word meditation, in my opinion, gets over used and incorrectly used ALL of the time. Most people don’t actually know what meditation is. Meditation is a technique that has been practiced for over 2500 years with the purpose to shape or transform the mind. Whatever tradition your working in or just want a non-spiritual meditation practice. This practice is great for you.
Click here for instructions that one of my teachers wrote up. This can be printed out on a 3x5 index card for convenient use. Try and practice this for 10 minutes everyday for a month and see what you notice. At your desk or your dining room is a totally ok place to do this…. you can even sit on the toilet if you have no other place to go that is private!!