Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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There is a long history of contemplative practice in Christianity. In the 1970’s three monks from Massachusetts created modern instructions for centering prayer. This form of meditation is close to Yoga Nidra. It teaches the mind to rise above the normal thoughts that inhabit our thinking. A jolly attitude is recommended toward the thought forms that casually intrude into one’s session. By gradually improving the ability to concentrate and fully focus on the selected subject or word, those pesky internal discussions cease and desist that constant chatter. All forms of meditation are aimed at this goal. If we have control over our thoughts we have control over our reality.
Lectio Divina is a way to use scriptures as the focus of the silent contemplation. Since journaling is a valuable way to amplify the lessons learned a company is producing lectio divina journals with recommended scriptures for each day with plenty of space to write down any impressions or ideas that spring from the session. These guys are monks, so they always use Christian texts, normally the Bible, for the inspiration. They refer to this as a centering prayer, which is a perfect way to describe the experience. Asking for divine inspiration at the outset is the way to invite holy blessings. Writing down journal impressions creates a bridge between the contemplation and everyday life. Insights gained are captured in the writing practice.
I think anyone can do this kind of meditation. You don’t need to use Christianity or any other specific religion to do it. Time spent quieting the mind and discovering the power of meditation and journaling is a wonderful way to simply deal with stress in the modern world. Simple Abundance, or gratitude journaling are secular ways to include contemplation and writing in our lives. There are many variations on this theme. I think now is the time to develop practices that increase our joy and comfort in the world. We are our own best medicine when we join forces with all that is. We will all drive ourselves mad without some well tended personal space and time dedicated to centering. I hope you will discover a method that soothes your soul and raises your happiness quotient. You don’t have to be a monk to like it.
The following quote from the famous Dr Carl Jung explains the unconscious inheritance of unsolved and unanswered mysteries from our ancestors. My intense study of all the branches of my family tree that still bear data leads me to conclude that Dr. Jung was onto something. There are certainly themes that run in families, if not a shared fate. We have more than our immediate family to thank for the belief system we have been handed. The religious, cultural, and sociological forces that inspired our ancestors to take action and undertake dangerous missions and travels have not evaporated into thin air. They are passed on as attitudes if not as law.
“I feel very strongly that I am under the influence of things or
questions which were left incomplete and unanswered by my
parents and grandparents and more distant ancestors. It often seems
as if there were an impersonal karma within a family which is
passed on from parents to children. It has always seemed to me
that I had to answer questions which fate had posed to my
forefathers, and which had not yet been answered, or as if I had to
complete, or perhaps continue, things which previous ages had left
unfinished.”~ Dr. Carl Jung , Memories, Dreams, Reflections
I wonder why my addition to my family fortune and mindset will be. History changes the perception of everything, but when we learn about our ancestors we are instantly on their side, no matter what they were doing. With few very crazy exceptions I find I am sympathetic with all of my relations in history because I would not be alive if it had not for their ability to survive. I admire their adventurous natures, and am embarrassed by slaveholding, war mongering, and some elite royal behaviors of my people as they managed to survive. I identify with them and their struggles, trying to imagine myself alive in much more primitive conditions. I wonder how I would have managed in heavily religious times, or times of extreme violence and conflict. Trauma as well as enlightenment is inherited. Distrust as well as confidence is passed down to the next generation. Self image as well as ethics are part of the ethical will we are given. Our national identity contains within it preferences and prejudices that last for many generations. Can you think of belief systems you have that you never questioned? Have you ever wondered if the thoughts in the minds of your family members before your birth have influenced your thinking? How do you explain the collective consciousness?
I love maps and charts. I am wild about pedigrees and anatomical models. The visual imagery path is my natural way to learn. I read, but to really get into a subject, I read charts, mind maps, and even word derivation. I am curious about where things arise and where they go. I like charts because they show momentum and details that we would not be able to hold in our heads without a picture. Here are words about the time I was born:
Zodiac in degrees 0.00 Placidus Orb:0
Sun Aquarius 9.58 Ascendant Aries 5.44
Moon Scorpio 10.22 II Taurus 14.09
Mercury Capricorn 16.19 III Gemini 10.55
Venus Aquarius 28.33 IV Cancer 3.18
Mars Pisces 6.24 V Cancer 26.12
Jupiter Pisces 10.52 VI Leo 24.41
Saturn Libra 2.03 R VII Libra 5.44
Uranus Cancer 6.10 R VIII Scorpio 14.09
Neptune Libra 19.30 R IX Sagittarius 10.55
Pluto Leo 18.50 R Midheaven Capricorn 3.18
Lilith Gemini 12.49 XI Capricorn 26.12
Asc node Pisces 19.42 XII Aquarius 24.41
Now here is the chart:
I like the visuals. One part of our intelligence is keyed into these pictures and symbols. We take in the information in a different way when we see it in a circle. The practice of drawing mandalas, or any circular design has been a hobby of mine since I was a child. I had a toy called the Magic Designer that held round paper discs and created geometric designs. This technology would later become Spirograph.
I think my love for charts makes me a good navigator. I have done a fair amount of it in planes and cars with accuracy. I enjoy knowing exactly where I am. The same can be said of my family tree. I stay the same, but as the tree grows and I learn more about my pedigree I have a much fuller picture of my karmic situation. If you read charts, now you do too, gentle reader.