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.

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When Life Sux, is it ULTIMATELY Real? Taking Refuge in The Three Jewels

take refuge
Taking Refuge in the Heart Sutra and Also in the Three Jewels

I went back to my last post to read it over.  I was looking for a quote.  After reading it over I thought, wow, sounds like she’s depressed–if I didn’t already know she wasn’t, I’d think she was!  I’m not, I just go deep to find answers–right down to the moment of death and gloriously beyond if need be.  People in the West and mostly young people think somebody is depressed if they talk about death.  I didn’t want to ‘go there’ either back in the day when I was in denial about that particular fact of life–some things people just avoid thinking about. If we ‘really’ thought about some things, we’d never do them at all. Take flying in a plane or driving a car—if we fully contemplated the complete possibilities of what could go wrong and were honest about it, we’d never do those things.  It helps to go into denial about those things–the dangers at least.  And another thing that helps is that somewhere at the back of  our mind we know this is all just a dream that we’re supposed to row our boat merrily along!  And because we know that we say things like, “Oh well, when it’s my time, it’s my time.”  I think part of the reason we say that is we know on some deep unconscious level that this life ‘is’ an illusion…a dream.

I know this stuff–or do I?  I mean the study of the mind and so-called ‘reality’ has been my focus for years–but maybe I expect too much of my own intellectual understandings.
There’s reality that is conventional and there’s reality that is ultimately simply energy and a dream illusory state–both true at the same time.  But darn if conventional reality can’t be a real heavy duty battery sometimes!  I have no idea why I said it that way….battery just seemed to want to come after the words ‘heavy duty’.  Some old commercial that stuck in my mind just came up probably.  But maybe that’s an important observation–mind is everything and excludes nothing.  THAT really does blow your mind–to use some hippy slang from the good ole’ days!

A friend/client of mine was just in a horrific car accident–horrific.  Yeah, I know I said that, but  the word horrific fully deserves the repetition if you could see what was left of her car.  Now you think I have trouble convincing myself that my irritating Indian downstairs neighbors are simply a dream that I should row my boat gently around–somebody who had to undergo numerous operations with pins and plates and screws in her arms, hips and leg… try telling her that at 2 AM when everything’s throbbing and she can hardly move.  She’d probably throw something at me ( and I wouldn’t blame her ) if I suggested such a thing to her!

Life–illusion or not, dream or nay–can get intense sometimes!  Fact:  my mind is irritated by the neighbors.  Fact:  I must do what soothes my mind.  Big revelation that came to me in meditation.  I can’t begin to work through this until I do that first.  I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the’ in-your-faceness’ of it like I’m sure my friend is too with her circumstances (much worse than my own of course)–yeah, it’s an illusion but the illusion hurts and sometimes life really sux.

Strange how it goes though. For people in pain they try to get them to go to the level of getting them to stop identifying with it, separate out from it.  The therapist say give your pain a name and give it a color and mentally do all this stuff step-by-step to control the pain in order to it and see it as the illusion it is–in those ways. That’s got to be tough to do–makes the challenge of my situation barely worth mentioning in comparison.  I suppose it’s all relative as they say dependent upon how real you make it all.  So anyway working with the mind comes into play in all of these cases somehow, eventually.

Yeah, we can try to escape and I’d say she probably wants out her badly damaged body at times the way I want out this apartment situation with my loud neighbors.  It is aggravating and frustrating –my friend’s situation is admittedly 1,000 (or more) times more serious and intense than my own.   But in both of our cases, we deal with it via the mind because the mind makes it real and the mind can also detach from that reality.    At least as a coping mechanism until something changes it can.  The neighbors will move and my friend’s body will heal.  That’s the nature of life–impermanence!  It was change an impermanence that got us into these situations and it will get us out too; meanwhile we have to do what we can to take care of ourselves.

I just flashed on a scene from the movie THE MATRIX.  Neo comes out of  the Matrix after just having just fallen, landing onto the pavement and his mouth is bleeding.  He says, “I thought you said the Matrix wasn’t real?”  Morpheus replies, “Your mind makes it real.”  –a great scene!

But, just how I am in my own mere situation , if I have to suffer it (and apparently I do until further notice)… how do I, despite that mental suffering, let it be for a good purpose?  And if it isn’t something obviously purposeful–trust me, I will find one and assign it!

It simply occurs to me that… well… Is it a co-incidence that at this same time I find myself the Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying? (again)  Anyway, it brings to mind that when it’s time to go—oh, hush, we all have to go eventually, so you may as well face up to it when you’ve got the courage–anyway, when it’s time to go I can look back and realize that I used some of this irritating, frustrating B.S.mental  stuff as prep work for THAT in-your-face experience (death)!  Now that’s an experience that I can’t get out of our face. No way around that one.

So, look. Sorry,  but if you are looking for a blog that gives you fluff and lace and soft pillows, maybe keep looking because you can probably see by now that I use this blog to work stuff out….and in doing so, I assign a purpose to the effort that goes beyond just this self here. I hope the effort helps someone else.  YOU possibly if you’ve read this far–who knows?

Yeah, so what’s the conclusion? (me asking Self) Well, mind gets irritated especially when you make the irritation too “real” so what cha’ gotta’ do to take care of that?  And then I remember the lines that I posted on Facebook today:

Wisdom Teacher’s say: Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion What others do will not matter so much when you see life as a dream. Do all you can to keep positive intentions during the dream.

I’ve got to get back to reciting The Heart Sutra again — and also got to go back to the chant, “I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!”

There will probably be more about this–I feel that there’s still more insight and wisdom, but it’s nearing 2 am and I have to be up at 6!
But then again if I can get back on my path with all this and not let the delusions below me distract me further (am asking the Angels for help!), then I may not ever have to write about these downstairs neighbors again!@  I’m getting rather weary of it.