How the gym at the Y is like a past life monastery and a psychic on the spiritual path

gym-pool collage

I don’t need to try to convince you.  It wouldn’t do a bit of good in the least anyway. Some things you know, that’s all.  And it’s not because my work is doing psychic readings—everybody has things they know but can’t prove.  Past lives can be like that. Of course there’s also wishful thinking and self-delusion that has to be ruled out but like I said, if you know you know.

Its that way for me and Tibet and also the monastic way of life–feel certain I was a lowly and not very evolved monk once.
Still am in many ways I think; yet the monk thing is the topic for this post.

And the gym at the Y too.  I’ve been a swimmer there for a year and just in the past month have felt the attraction to climb the stairs to the upper level–the location of the gym.  (Maybe the intuition guided me there, knowing before the mundane mind did that I was going to need some muscles to lift and move boxes.)  Anyway…

I love it up there nearly as much as I love the pool, but no, the pool is my first love.  Yet, the gym reminds me so much of my lifetime as a monk in a monastery.  How’s that?  Well, it’s like this…

Every body, including the body of this self, has these ear-buds in the ears listening to their favorite music–or at least that’s what I’m doing.  (Michael Jackson’s song and his music is the muse for me.)   Nonetheless, whatever they are listening to, they all have earbuds in and they are all focused inward!  Yet together in the same place walking by one another, barely nodding, aware of others to a minimal extent and focused inward maximally.

Wow!  Respect, consideration, harmony but most everyone not plugged into anything but the inner self, the workout plan and their own body.  Love that!  Just really dig (to use an old hippie term) all that inward-ness aligned with the body and music.

Totally makes me think of a different lifetime in which I danced ballet in Russia–my parents pushed me and I had to dance but used it mostly to escape my body and my life.  It’s very similar to what I do now especially on the treadmill.  The machines do require a bit more focus and presence–but it’s still all inward.

I miss the Y but realize I’m getting attached to going—and we know that’s NEVER a good thing.  I have clients today and am using it as a rest day anyway since I did a lot of moving boxes into storage units and helping my sister pack, stack boxes and clean her carpet over the weekend too.

Balance in all things–that’s probably something learned in that ballet dancing lifetime in Russia.  I wonder if most of those peeps in the gym would relate their work outs on the machines and lifting weights as a type of meditation.  If they thought about it at all, I’m sure they would.

PS — i love the weight assisted chin up machine the best.  I’m lifting more of my own body weight than I did at the start.  I love the progress I see and of course the whole meditative experience of it and being with others sure does make me think of my days at the monastery — everybody in their own world then too, but in a whole different way!

Tomorrow I swim!  Wasn’t I a dolphin once? 

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Impressions, Imprints, Cyber-footprints in SAMSARA

samsara2
SAMSARA and IMPERMANENCE

Impressions!  Imprints!  Cyber-footprints!

I don’t think about that often enough.  Or so I recently realized!  I tend to work through my rough days on my blog, hoping that as I do so that a reader out there somewhere may be helped through the insight that I, myself, seek.    But before going further, there must be an understanding conveyed.  One that I don’t convey as often as I should; one that should go without saying but that I forget to say–perhaps even forget to say to myself!  But look, it’s not easy to stay awake sometimes!  Life is full of … well, the most efficient way to say it is through one word SAMSARA.

Let me get an official Buddhist definition of that word [SAMSARA] and this from Wikapedia seems as good as any others from Google:  Saṃsāra (Sanskrit, Pali; also samsara) is a Buddhist term that literally means “continuous movement” and is commonly translated as “cyclic existence”, “cycle of existence”, etc. Within Buddhism, samsara is defined as the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that arises from ordinary beings’ grasping and fixating on a self and experiences. Specifically, samsara refers to the process of cycling through one rebirth after another within the six realms of existence where each realm can be understood as either a physical realm or a psychological state characterized by a particular type of suffering. Samsara arises out of avidya (ignorance) and is characterized by dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction). In the Buddhist view, liberation from samsara is possible by following the Buddhist path.

I use divination to help me find peace because the process of  looking for insight puts one in the mental framework wherein one shifts or better said begins to detach from the mental affliction long enough to look for insight. [My profession involves divination after all; its a habit.  LOL.]

I’ve been conversing through private text on my Facebook account with a blog follower who summarized the last few years of my life in a few lines that made me startle a bit, thinking ‘Man o man, my life really sucks!”   But of course it doesn’t, and it is full of just as many ups, downs, attractions and aversions as anyone else’s here in Samsara!  No better or no worse, at least potentially, as anyone else’s life who is aware of their mind where it is all located anyway!

Here’s the last bit I wrote this morning, sharing a paragraph from the communication that I’ve been having with a reader:

I think one comfort is that we are never alone in what we experience since the human condition seems very universal… in that no matter what kind of dilemma one is in, one can always find so many others going through the same illusion or experiencing the same dream (or nightmare); so that on some level there is comfort when we can do as the Buddhists do which is Tonglen … basically to say, ” May all of us, may we join together , all of us, and may I be the one to gather it all up here, now;  and then may we all be free of our delusion and wake from the dream and be liberated! And how does the liberation happen”?

What kind of  liberation? Mental–for that is how it all occurs anyway, in the mind.  So, to look at life and hear, see, experience it without aversion or attachment, either one… to just say “Oh, now it is this and now it is that or now it is ‘not’  this and now it is ‘not’  that… hmmmm… okay… and that’s how it is or isn’t…. and now I notice that there is a regret thought, or a memory thought, or a judgment thought, or a happy thought, or a silly thought, or a sad thought, or whatever it is.”   Just looking at the mind.  Well, that’s pretty simplistic  sounding, but most Buddhist teachings are and that’s why I, for one,  like them. LOL I may blog this. Don’t be surprised if you see this text again!

Some  last thoughts:  IMPERMANENCE!  This is a good one to reflect upon too.  That helps put it all in perspective as well… the Buddhist perspective of the “precious human life.”   I have to often remind myself not to become caught up in self-cherishing; this, too, being the source of difficulty and suffering.  And then if all else fails, I hit the pool and go swimming to focus on my kick, stroke and lap times while everything else falls away!

Separating Self from Race Consciousness, a Meditation on Happiness

guitar in water imageI hope the guy downstairs doesn’t read my blog–chances are he doesn’t.  He sings you see.  And apparently he loves it because he does it often with his guitar accompaniment.  I love swimming and do that regularly too.  We both have a passion.  I don’t swim very well if I compare myself to many of the other swimmers–especially the triathlete types but I can’t not swim anymore than the guy downstairs can ‘not’ sing and play his guitar.

When you enjoy doing something, you simply must do it or unhappiness sets in.  I’m happy after my swim and I’d bet if we asked the guy downstairs that he’d say he’s happy when he sings and even when he isn’t singing, the song sustains him like my swim sustains me in between workouts.

Sometimes you do things simply for the joy of it and you don’t necessarily want to make a career of it.  Sometimes you ‘do’ make a career of it–some do, some don’t.  Everybody’s motivation is different.

I’m not trying to enter a triathlon and if you saw me in my bathing suit you’d see how far from that I was  anyway; it’s not my goal.  My goal for swimming is different than the guy in the next lane over–it’s an exercise in mindfulness for one thing.  Oh, there are other reasons why I swim too—I really love the water.

It separates me from race consciousness–from society, from the 3rd dimensional world.  Why? Its a present moment, time-altering thing.  Its my own path, my own inner truth.

Swim your swim, sing your song—

“Sing, sing your song and don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing.  Sing your song!”  Or swim your swim!  Got to go now, the pool is calling to me and I’m missing the water!

Swim Meditation – Laps with Spirit Guides?

Sun Light

Labored breathing.  Right effort.  Quickened heartbeat.  Mine.  Arms, legs, head moving, pushing, pulling in rhythm with air exchange.  Water supports yet provides resistance while embracing, engulfing and surrounding the body.  The lane—all mine.  It is my sanctuary, my temporary escape.  Me and the water that surrounds me–simplicity.  The water is dependably fluid and alive, willing to work in harmony with my efforts.

There’s only limited human activity at this place—only certain other humans come and go here.  Relatively few—practically none if we compare to the nearby Interstate Highway.  Those few others… we share this liquid refuge containing loud overhead fans which do not support human conversation—other swimmers only nod if there even is an exchange at all.  That’s fine with me.  Lifeguards watch over but do not otherwise interfere.   They, too, seem lost in their own inner world; meditating in their own way I suppose.   I like that about this place; every human consumed with their own workout concentration—each in their own thought.  A sanctuary, a haven, a retreat, refuge.  I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Pool Sangha.

The roof and walls here protect from too much sun during the summer months and in winter shelter from the cold.

Unique.  Enchanting.  Sacred. Magical. It wasn’t there when I started my swim—I’m sure I would have noticed that source of light and warmth on such a cold day.  But as I lifted my head to turn back to swim the next lap, I noticed something for the very first time.   High windows of thick glass harmonized with the late afternoon’s solar rays, translating them to multiple balls of white light catching my eyes and uplifting my heart.  Oh, it was like Light Beings were looking in on my swim.  Spirit Guides?  Archangel Michael?   I drew them into myself as I smiled and pushed off the wall strong with my legs to attack the next lap all the while secretly smiling at the enchantment of it all.

After every 600 yards, my custom is to stop and check my lap times, quickly take a 6 second pulse to see if I am within my target heart range and grab a sip of water.  Those small breaks were made so enjoyable as I turned toward the window and the many balls of light and rays that the pattern in the thick glass made of Father Sun.

I thought of the life and experiences of the world of fish and other sea life between my counting of my laps as I finished my swim.  If I’m completely honest, I fancy that I was once a fish.  Am I pretending or is it a memory?  Many times I wish that I could stay under water, could develop fins to breathe and swim in the ocean.  I love the silent world of the underwater.  If the chlorine wasn’t irritating my nose and if my fingers and toes didn’t start to wrinkle, I’d not want to get out at all.

I love this social circle of lap swimmers; perhaps all like me—loners.  There’s a mutual respect, a secret knowing that we are all the same in some way.   We choose the silence that immersing in water for an hour or some part of it can provide.

Some days my mind wanders and I’m suddenly uncertain what lap I’ve just completed, loosing count and my pace suffers as I try to figure that out.  Other days, I’m aware of each stroke and how well I reached out, how consistent my kicks were and I know exactly what lap I’m on.  It is about awareness, being fully present, fully awake, fully alive—heart beating, labored, right effort, quick breath, rhythmic movement supported by water which also provides resistance. Life Itself.  As I reach the wall, the balls of light smile at me as Sun filters through the high window and I turn to swim another lap.

Do the gods smile down on us on certain days? Or is it just energy striving for balance? Taking refuge in devotionals to deities

gods smiling down2

I had to blog this!  It’s not about astrology or divination or the psychic–actually, today’s post is not my usual fare.

It’s just that I may have broken out of Dante’s inferno.  I had to laugh at the sign at the entrance of this apartment building which reads, “relax now, your home”–but most comical is that the image that accompanies those words is a tropical drink glass.   Alcohol and drugs could help numb the experience of some types apartment living–I do neither. My experience since the current downstairs neighbors moved in has been one in which the sign should read, “Abandon hope ye who enter here”–  which Dante says is written above the gates of hell.

I know,  I know!  Yeah, look–we make our own heaven or hell–don’t preach to the choir.  But sometimes we have a little help one way or the other.  Yesterday the help I received was… well, I wanted to write about it and add that I have also recently retreated into deep devotionals to my most cherished deities.

Wonderful day yesterday!  Was that ‘Life Itself’ balancing out the day-of-frustration from the day before?  No matter; but the gods did seem to smile down up on me in these ways:

started the cool~ish morn with a one hour walk getting out the door early before Lady India downstairs began her usual morning tirade and on my last lap around the ‘complex-ed complex’ noticed not one single body was at the pool.  Really?  So I took advantage by sitting in a poolside lounge chair, shutting down the music playing in my ear (sorry M.J.) and wow, listened to the birds and let the morning breezes whirl around me.

Close to heaven; yet,  the silence could be broken at any moment by the vocal cords of other humans.  It wasn’t–should I grab my suit?

I had just walked an hour and a little swim could be nice as long as it’s quiet…. got home and India was ‘up and at ’em’ –voice boxes fully engaged.  Ahhhh, and that’s Life in the Land of men with wide horizontal striped polo shirts, madras checkered colored shorts and flip-flop zories shoes where the women are women and the men are too!

No matter; I stripped down and grabbed a suit and changed,  and gathered a few things and drove down… yeah, I could walk but every second counts.  Checked the water and the PH and Chlorine levels were rarely perfect but it gets even better!

I swam laps for 27 minutes right down the center of the pool and nearly started to pretend that it was my own private lagoon!  I love imagination!

After the first half hour having the pool to myself I began to fantasize while I swam—maybe all the humans went to another planet? But it was more likely that since school starts tomorrow they’re all busy with those kinds of activities—after all, they’ve had the pool with their screams and cannonballs all summer long!

I began to tire from the 30 minutes of laps so I interspersed arm and leg water resistance exercises between laps–and still had the pool to myself!  I even had time to practice flip turns which is something you really don’t want to do in public if you can help it!

Wow, the gods were really smiling down upon me today!  I then sat in the sun resting from all my exercise—I’d walked an hour and swam for an hour; what more could a girl ask for? Sitting in the sun all alone!  Listening to the birds and the breezes looking at the sky with so much gratitude!

I looked up at the sky and smiled as I saw a cloud that looked like someone running; awesome.  I saw other patterns in the clouds and enjoyed my speculations forgetting all my cares and remembering how cool it was to see the angel at the bottom of the pool!   How’s that?  Well, …

Snow Angel type reflection cast from sun creating shadows while swimming breast stroke
Snow Angel type reflection cast from sun creating shadows while swimming breast stroke

As I swam the breast stroke interspersed with freestyle, and while the sun shone upon the whole affair, I noticed that the movement of the arms in the water and the movement of  the water itself cast a shadow  at the bottom of the pool which looked sort of like those snow angels you make when you lay down in the snow and slide your arms up and down.

Anyway, it was my own private, magical moment and I felt happy and enchanted. 

The rest of my day was peaceful–quiet.  Thank you to the gods who smiled down and all friends of the Light!

PS  yesterday was a rare gift, perhaps from Venus whose gift I’ve had an eye out for as she exited my 1st house to the 2nd.  One awesome gift as she moved through my first house was a 20 pound weight loss; but maybe the final departing gift was one of peace and solitude which I do value so highly.

I’m also hoping my 3rd house transiting Saturn in Scorpio neighbor karma has finally exhausted itself and has completely played out!  It had to be karmic–anything as intense as this neighbor situation has to be karmic!  Their lease is up in January I’m told–everything  must eventually come to an end.

Lightning Strikes and Dreams Turn into Reality – Uranus Station Direct, Saturn trine Neptune July 2013

Lightning Strikes and Dreams Turn into Reality
Lightning Strikes and Dreams Turn into Reality

Uranus is stationing  direct now about to turn direct again and Mercury does the same thing in a few days!  I always think of Lightening Striking (The Tower Card in Tarot) with Uranus.  Most astrologers think of Uranus as the higher vibration of Mercury—I agree.  Electrical storms or electrical technology could get our attention in some way or another right now.  And we had a humdinger of a lightning storm yesterday afternoon—the thunder was so loud the walls and floor shook… a typical Uranus event, lightning strikes! 

Luckily, I left the pool just in time to get back home and unplug the important electronic equipment here and tired from a long swim; I lay down upon the living room floor, feet up, dark clouds enveloping the charged atmosphere and enjoyed the show from Mother Nature, courtesy of Uranus.

Astrology teacher, Kim Marie (AKA Star Lady) says that right now “Emotions continue to be highlighted usually triggered by unresolved family of origin issues.”  I had a discussion with a good friend about that very thing yesterday—i.e. cultural and familial conditioning and the expectations involved. Pluto is opposing a good deal of planets in Cancer right now (Mars, Jupiter, Mercury) and by sign the Sun is involved in that mix.  These are typical summertime themes actually with planets in Cancer. 

Swimming has been high on my priority list – with so many planets in Cancer, the water sign, that’s right on time.  And in my case, these planets are showing up in the area of my life involving ‘community’—the 11th house.  (My swimming is in a ‘community’ pool.) 

INTUITION LESSON:  I’ve noticed that I was hitting the pool at the right times at the start of things and once or twice, not paying attention to my intuition, my arrival coordinated with full lap lanes.  The more anxious I became about getting there in order to secure a swim lane, the more people wanted to share the lane with me.  I was arriving at the pool at totally wrong times!  Yesterday, I went back to “feeling” or “intuiting” when I should leave for the pool and THAT worked out fine.  I was able to swim for over an hour without interruption. Of all people, I should know better than to let that type of concern rule over my intuition.  Generally speaking, when we are relaxed about life and going with the flow (not being restless, nervous or apprehensive) our intuition will guide us without our realizing it is!  Things just seem to work out and we hardly notice—except when they don’t and then we realize (as I did) that we were coming from the wrong mental and emotional space.

REAL WORLD versus DREAM WORLD… that’s another interesting transit happening now (Saturn trine Neptune).  Where does that occur in your chart and how does it play into your natal Saturn and Neptune?  For me, it’s houses 3 and 7 respectfully where the transit occurs, triggering the 12th and 2nd natally.  However it plays out for each of us specifically, generally speaking the imagination or dreams can come into the world of grounded form easily.  Imagine only good things or that which you wish to see brought into the world of form; this is the advice! This aspect will be vital through November; so dream well use your imagination wisely.

PS—this trine of Saturn to Neptune is in the Disseminating phase indicating a high degree of socialization is involved