As she described her 'communication' process - of letting thoughts settle and deepening her own presence before an animal encounter - it sounded very familiar. It was like mindfulness meditation. Which reminded me that practising meditation is not an end in itself. It is a first step, a ground from which we can share our unique gifts with the world, whatever they may be. It helps clear the decks of anything unhelpful so that that which is life-affirming, inspired and loving may come through.
When I went on my first 10 day retreat in 2005 I was in bad shape. I was plagued with panic attacks, terrified of most people, and in constant pain. I had lost my Self in a barrage of reoccurring thoughts and feelings from the past. This feeling of darkness was amplified by an awareness that there was sunshine out there. There were happy people and situations. I could see it all but it seemed so far from reach.
After 10 days of letting go, of dying to the past and opening to the present moment, the sunshine started getting through. I could feel lightness on my face and in my bones.
'What you seek is seeking you', said Rumi. There is something in all of us that is beyond the accumulations of the past, beyond the likes and dislikes, the beliefs and torments. It is there just waiting for us to take some time to listen, to see, experience and allow.
When I was a little girl I had very strong bonds with the animals in my life - with goats, cows, cats and bees. The world of humans seemed full of chaos but animals were always calm, always loving. It was easy to be with them because they accepted me and treated me like I belonged.
As I watched the interaction between Anna and the animals in her film I was reminded of how natural it is to be present to our own needs and those of others. It may not be the 'norm' in our culture (ie supported) but it is the natural, and only, way for us to flourish as a species.
When there is no more pushing or pulling we let things be as they are. We let ourselves belong together.
May we open to our own presence and allow ease to flow into our lives.
To watch the film click on the black panther pic above.
Good Christmas presents:
Audio CD ~
A Peaceful Mind is Possible €15 ~ Free postage all over the world
1hr One-to-One Mindfulness
2hr One-to-One Heart Art
Ongoing until Christmas:
Weekly Drop-in Classes:
Mondays 10-11am & 7-8pm ~ The Pastoral Centre, Letterkenny
Tuesdays 7-8pm ~ Holy Trinity Church Hall, Dunfanaghy
Mindfulness Day Retreat
Sunday 15th December 10am - 4pm (still some spaces available)
Benburb Priory, Co Tyrone
March 21st - 23rd 2014
Heart Art at Ards and Mindfulness at Ards or your own home
See more info here
Be healthy - love your life! ☼