In preparation for two complex certification tests last week, I went up into the mountains to unplug. My husband and I camped out in a tent at The Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. It is a most serene location in the mountains at an elevation of 7,500 ft.
As we approached our tent, we were greeted by one of the locals – a deer laying out and eating grass across from where we were staying. He or she was not frightened by our approaching and even seemed to pose for the many pictures my husband took. We would see more of these magnificent creatures walking around throughout our stay. They seemed to understand that we understood their positions as residents and our positions as visitors. The deer were quite lovely hosts and we were respectful guests, making sure to leave this place better than it was when we arrived.
The hubby and I took a nice sunset hike up to The Great Stupa, entered the building and proceeded to meditate. I was a bit sticky with sweat and noticed a fly buzzing around. This made it a bit difficult for me to clear my mind. My husband had no problem, however.
The next morning, we took another hike to the Great Stupa for another meditation session. This time I was extremely sweaty and had an even more difficult time clearing my mind. This prompted me to ask myself this question “Am I a fair-weathered follower?” A quick evaluation helped me to determine that this was indeed true. When I am at home I seem to always be adjusting temperature to my comfort levels before entering into prayer and meditation. Whether it is setting up fans and the air conditioner or turning on the electic fireplace.
Is it possible to pray or meditate when I am not comfortable temperature-wise? This is a good question for a woman in the throes of peri-menopause. Also, a good challenge…and I am always up for a challenge. As I have learned, I closed my eyes and began to focus on my breath. Each time I felt a drop of sweat, I would once again return to my breath. When I thought about how hot and sweaty I was feeling…I returned to my breath. Before I knew it, a half hour had passed as I slowly let my eyes flutter open. It can be done! Under any circumstances, I can connect with my God!
There are numerous descriptions of prayer and meditation from various sources:
One of my favorite being: “Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when God talks to you”. – Unknown
“There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life.” – Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, Page 98
“Never think you are alone even in most difficult and dark times. Devote that time in praying and meditation. God is always with you.” – Anurag Prakash Ray
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer”. – Psalm 19:14
“As the deer pants after the water brooks, so does my soul pant after thee, O God.” – Psalm 42:1
I love Psalm 42:1! I long to be just like our lovely hosts – the deer, panting for the water in my seeking connection with God. Am I always like this? I would be liyng if I said yes. So many deadlines, distractions and sleeping through the morning alarms tend to get in the way. There is almost always something. Do you have this problem as well?
Good thing for us, we can pray and meditate at any time of the day – under any circumstance or uncomfortable temperature. Stay Blissful My Friends – E