Meditation – Sound Off

Ahhh meditation, one of my favorite topics.  So many different styles, traditions and preferences:

  • Silent Meditation
  • Guided Meditation
  • Walking Meditation
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Gong Meditation
  • Singing Bowl Meditation
  • Zen Meditation
  • Yogic Meditation
  • Vipassana Meditation
  • Taoist Meditation
  • Transcendental Meditation
  • Moving Meditation

I could go on and on, at the risk of sounding like Bubba from Forest Gump.

Recently, I sat with a group of people whom I never met before yet we all knew each other well. We discussed our various daily meditation rituals and got on the  subject of sounds we might listen to while meditating.  Singing bowls, flutes, gongs, echoes of nature.

My input was a bit different, though I enjoy meditating with all of the above sounds.  What I wanted to share was an experience I had within the first few days of my sobriety.  I had suppressed my senses for so long that after a few days of being clean and sober I noticed sound in a manner of which I may have never known.

We lived on a busy street in Northridge, California at the time. The large trucks would loudly vibrate the road, the stray dogs barking after these trucks. Birds chirping, helicopters flying and car doors shutting.  All of this sound, was just so…beautifully…vivid. The vibrations were somehow calming at an exceptionally un-calm time of life.

So while yes I love to listen to the lovely sounds of Deuter and singing bowls, sometimes I just love to find a busy intersection and soak in the hum of everyday noise.

This reminds me of the concept of Wabi-Sabi, which is essentially finding the beauty in imperfection.  I have been practicing this a little lately while looking at a once nice pair of curtains that have now been shredded by our lovely cat Lea.  I  stare at these curtains and watch their tatters blow in the breeze.  It is a nice practice, helping me to save the money I would normally spend replacing anything I consider ruined.

Well, reverberation is the same. Each season, there  are new sounds. Some pleasant (birds singing in the spring), some not so pleasant (loud kids yelling at each other).  All are necessary in this grand home we call Earth.

Today, take a deep breath…take a few. Then close your eyes and listen to hum of noise around you. Soak it all in and enjoy the moment. In this moment, experience…Bliss!

Stay blissful my friends – E

Sunday Shot of Bliss I.

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So dig this: I arrive at a weekend convention with a rather large gathering of people who wish to remain anonymous.  Going through the schedule, I find a workshop titled “Following Your Bliss”.  Coincidence? I think not.

Not knowing exactly what to expect, I arrive early to listen to some of the loveliest people share how unexpectedly they are doing what they love to do. How it all came to be through imperfect faith and with the motivation and support of other people you would never guess would become the encouraging souls they are. Miracles begat miracles…

One speaker a successful entertainer, another working on his state bar and the third, a young man finishing up his PhD in genetic science. None of these gentlemen ever believed they would be where they are today.  Most likely, neither did the people who knew them.

Wishing I could take notes at a faster pace, this is what I  gleaned from this workshop and it is pretty damn powerful!

1.  Trust your instincts – Even if they don’t make sense. You will know in your gut which decision is the right one.

2.  Be fearless. It’s ok to be afraid, but do it anyway.  A recent action/step I took:  When I bought this domain and committed to writing 3 times a week.

3.  Appreciate the process. Even the sucky times are something you will look back on with fondness.

4.  Dare to dream!  This very blog is just one baby step towards my dream!

5.  We can do anything, regardless of our pasts.  Oh I have a past for sure. Though I do not regret it nor wish to shut the door on it, I do not have to let it hold me back.

Each speaker repeated this quote from another everyday person: “My life is unfolding into goodness and happiness”.

If you don’t feel the power in this statement, I am more than happy to repeat it “MY LIFE IS UNFOLDING INTO GOODNESS AND HAPPINESS”…Get it? Got it? Good!

And it is all good! I am one who truly believes that we exist for a bigger purpose than paying bills and then dying.  I wish you all this wonderful unfolding…and of course: Bliss! Stay blissful my friends. – E

If you liked this,  check out:Let Go, Keep Going, or Start Over

Did you Read the Label First?

Funny how we are inclined to labeling.

Have you ever watched the show “The Killing” on Netflix? Like most moody and dark shows, it seemed to balance out my upbeat and joyful nature.

The character Stephen Holder, played by Joel Kinnaman is often labeled by his fellows. They think he is Buddhist because he is a vegetarian and quotes many philosophies. Yet when he does show up to a place of worship, it is a Catholic Church. When his daughter is born, he names her after a Hindu goddess.

I can relate. I remember my brother once posted on my Facebook page “Is it a Buddhist holiday? Because you haven’t been on Facebook all week”…I’m not Buddhist. Though I do quote many philosophies and religions. I do Yoga and meditation daily, occasionally participating in Kundalini Yoga classes taught by a devout Catholic Yogi.

I love chanting. This does not make me a Hindu.  For it is Christ who I reached for at my lowest point and who I believe with all my heart, brought me from my darkness into His light.  This would make me a Christian…If a label is necessary.  Is it necessary?

 

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Throughout my early Christian life, I belonged to a church fellowship that labeled everything…”A Sin”. “Depression” was a sin, the mentally ill were “demon possessed”. “Working Mothers” were “Feminazis”.

Our children’s games and cartoons were an all out assault from the devil who was luring their souls to hell…And Yoga, no way. Those people are the most demon-possessed. “You cannot practice Yoga safely without allowing some bad spirits into your very soul” I was told. Even selling Mary Kay was some kind of new age abomination.  It was so hard to keep up with all these unwritten labels.

They say we only hate what we don’t know.  Fear is the root cause of hate. Frustrated by all this narrow-minded teaching, I finally stopped going to church.

I was angry and resentful…at first. Also suffering from anxiety, overweight, and a smoker. So I decided to give Yoga a try.  I allowed myself an open mind. My life has changed a great deal since then.

Attending church now, without judging or labeling others, I recognize that I cannot control others who might choose to label me.  I will just let the “Labelers” label….See how easy it is to fall into this without even trying? Thank God His mercies are new every morning!

Christ loved the sinners, the thieves, and the liars when no one else would love them. He gave all of them a few new labels; Forgiven, Born Again, Loved. Perfect and Sinful were not included in those labels. We did not earn these labels but were gifted them regardless of our pasts!

A label we can be happy to be free from “Fearful”.  Ah yes, we can try new things with confidence in our salvation and not worry about spending eternity in the lake of fire.

As for now, it is time to get ready for a spiritual gathering – in Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s right “Sin City”.  Going to meet up with a bunch of liars, cheats, thieves, and addicts, who for just today choose to no longer live according to their labels.

How do you feel about labels?  What would you label yourself today if you had to?

As for me, label me Blissful! Speaking of which, stay Blissful my friends – E

Who is Today’s Teacher?

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Sometimes people tell me I have a nice voice.  I  reply “No, if you want to hear a singer, you should meet my daughter”.

Some people call me an artist. I reply “No, if you want to see an artist, you should meet my son”.

Some people tell me I can write.  I reply “No, if you want to read something that will blow your mind, you should read my oldest son’s work”.

I raised them. I taught them. But who really taught who?  I believe I learned more from each one of my children. Possibly more than I could ever offer as a teacher.

At the age of 40, after overcoming many traumas, I got this tattoo representing all that I had learned up to that point.  Three of those roses, represented what I learned from each child:

Blue = To attain the impossible & perception
(psychic change)

Red = Love, Respect, Courage

Orange = Enthusiasm, Support, Autumn – Son

Gray = Wisdom, Knowledge, Modesty – Oldest Son

Pink=Feminine, Vitality, Emotional Maturity – Daughter

So I ask you who is your teacher today?  Is it your boss, who shows you what a true leader is?  Is it your mother, who just does what needs to be done? Could it be your dog who shows you how to be content?  Is it that noisy neighbor who teaches you how to be quiet?

Someone once told me that everyone is a teacher. Some teach us how we want to be and some how we don’t want to be.  My choice is to be open minded enough to learn. No judgement, just observation.

Stay Blissful my friends! – E

Freedom – By Michael T. Clark

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With Michael’s permission, I am pleased to share these lovely words with you all. Stay Blissful my friends! – E

I see so clearly now,
Everything is so real,
Thanks to the Universe and God,
I’m almost healed,
So happy I survived, I’m full of love,
I can finally feel,
My body is strong, my spirit is alive,
I’m full of gratitude, thank God I survived,
I’m here to help those in need, never give up, together we can achieve,
I’m living proof, there is a way out of this disease,
We’re going have to fight, were going have to cry, through truth and compassion, no one else needs to die,
There is hope, there is light,
I’ll hold your hand, I’ll guide you through the night, when you wake up,
You’ll be free, welcome to this beautiful life…
Live 2 Love…

New Name? – New Vision!

 

“Thoughts by EV” is now “Living Elysian”.  This being more applicable to the name my mother chose for me!

One more thing I didn’t appreciate in my mother: Her choosing my name.  I never liked my name growing up, preferring a more common name like Sarah or Lisa. Until the one day my then boyfriend (now husband) and I were looking up definitions of our names.

Blissful! Yes! Elysian Fields (Baseball related – good for two huge fans of the game!)  I love bliss. Want to share bliss. Just the word…Bliss! My word. My name. What a gift! Thank you Mama!

Join me today and seek bliss in your life. Speak the word bliss into your life today. And maybe go a little further and speak these words that I have just spoken:  Today, I will accept the gift of Living Elysian!

Blessings to all beings today. Namaste. – E


 elysian (From Websters Dictionary Online)adjective, ely·sian often capitalized \i-ˈli-zhən\

Definition of ELYSIAN  1:  of or relating to Elysium

2blissfuldelightful <elysian peace>

Examples of ELYSIAN
  1. isle and enjoying a life of elysian ease

First Known Use of ELYSIAN 1579

The Pharisee Problem

Beautiful words of wisdom.

Samaritan's Song

It’s easy to dismiss the Pharisees as a group of gnarled old men skulking around in corners – and indeed, that’s how I pictured them for most of my childhood.  And yet rather than vilify them or scoff at their mistakes, I think we’d be well served to see where they stumbled.  Because though every Christian wants to be like Christ, I suspect if we’re honest there are days where we have far more in common with the Pharisees.

So let’s discuss it.  The Pharisees were…

1) Self-proclaimed cultural gatekeepers. The Pharisees believed they’d cornered the market on interpretation of the holy Scriptures.  Their love of legalism and law was bound up in their belief that they were the only ones who could understand or apply Scripture correctly.  And their constant struggle with Jesus might be summed up in one sentence: “You think you’re the authority here, but we

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