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Tag Archives: Kyle Shiver
I have been working a seasonal job in a call center to make extra money this holiday season.
Today a lady called, and when she had finished ordering her products she suddenly exclaimed, “I don’t know what to do my husband died and all these grandkids are coming and I miss my husband so badly.”
I said, “You are going to keep it moving forward Margaret, because that is what we do.”
“Yes.” She said. “That is what we do. Thank you.
And we hung up.
And the terrible grief pains of missing my mother, who passed away on Christmas Day of 2017 appeared. And it just became so clear that there are SO MANY people who have loved and lost, and who have gone through so many trials and tribulations.
It was the summer of 1996 and I was living in Central Square, in Cambridge MA.
I’d moved up there the year before to become a street/subway musician, and that was easy enough to do, once I overcame the fear.(which is another entirely different story)
In the mornings, I’d work at the coffee shop down the street from my apartment. And then in the afternoon/evenings I’d go play music in Harvard Square, a subway train station, or a gig.
The goal was simply to be playing somewhere every day.
When people ask me how to begin meditation, I suggest that they do the same exact thing that I did in the beginning.
- Sit in a quiet place in a comfortable position. You can sit on the floor, you can use a wall for back support, or you can sit in a chair. Sit up straight, but try to be comfortable.
- Now you want to keep your eyes and mouth closed and breathe through the nostrils. Inhale/exhale equals one complete breath.
- You can imagine that the air coming in is a color.
- You don’t need to take really deep breaths, but you want to, “breathe the body,” rather than it just breathing on its own. (Which it does a vast majority of the time.”
- Now you want to focus your attention on the breath for twenty-five complete breaths.
- When your attention wonders, (not IF but when) as soon as you realize that you have drifted away from the focus, you go back.
- When you have wondered away and you, “come to,” you go back to the focus of the breath. If you can remember what number you were on when you drifted off, then just start there. If you cannot remember, then you start over again at one.
- After you focus on the twenty-five breaths, then stop, “breathing the body” and just observe as the body breathes.
Now, the most interesting thing that came to me in the beginning was, “Holy cow! I cannot even focus on one thing long enough to count to twenty-five!” Often I would get to three, or maybe seven, and then the mind would re-mind me of a bill that I hadn’t paid, or of something at work…
When I got to the teens I was ecstatic!
Then came the day I sat down and with all of my might, held my focus in place for twenty-five breaths.
What is a, “Spiritual Practice?” What is your personal, “Spiritual Practice?”
In your mind, it could involve prayer and/or meditation, yoga and/or exercise, food/diet, the clothes you wear, the work that you do, or simply going to church. It could even include where you choose to live and the furnishings in your house.
But most often when I think of, “Spiritual Practice,” or when talking with someone about their practice, what comes up is what we don’t do, or what we feel like we need to start doing.
Someone reminded me recently of the quote from, “A Course In Miracle’s” which says, “A miracle is a change in perception.
And boy was it good to be reminded of that.
After all, isn’t that what we are looking for? A change in our perception? We want to get rid of negativity in our lives, we want to forgive people, but how?
How exactly am I supposed to see that this is okay? How am I supposed to let this go? How am I supposed to deal with this person or this situation?
First off, understanding that when we have negative energy inside of us, it is ours, is a big step.
How can this be? How come you don’t see what I see? I mean, it is pretty obvious what the situation needs, or what the painting represents, or what the song is saying.
It turns out that we perceive things based on our own experiences and belief systems.
As we go through life, we form associations, likes, and dislikes. Everything that you see and every word that you hear, triggers these associations in your brain.
This is something that I have to remind myself of often as I move seemingly from one world to another.
I leave a death-bed where I am attempting to bring comfort to the person and the family, to go talk with someone who is very distraught because their child is in jail or their best friend overdosed and died last night.
An hour later I am laughing and playing in the water at the pool with my 9-year-old daughter.
And there is something inside me asking, “What the heck is going on here?”
“It is kind of like life.” I said. “Sometimes you just don’t know if you are big enough or strong enough to do it.”
My friend immediately said, “You don’t have to be.”
She told me that when her daughter was younger, they lived next door to an elderly woman. The daughter, who was twelve, would go and visit the elderly neighbor a lot and over time had befriended her.
One day, the elderly friend passed away, and the little girl was asked to officiate the memorial.
What does it take to become enlightened?
What does it take to get all the things we want, or to become all that we want to become?
“I’ve climbed to the top of the mountain. Now what?”
Jesus, the Buddha, and every other spiritual teacher that I have ever encountered, taught us that everything is within us already.
“Thoughts become things!”
So our life circumstances and everyone around us, comes from the make-up of our thoughts.
I got sucked in to the news again.
It happens sometimes, but it is so annoying. CNN, Reuters, BBC, and even the Drudge Report…
What is the President doing? What’s up with North Korea, China, Syria, and Russia?
Next thing you know I am reading this story about the next flu epidemic, which they know is coming. Millions will die.
The Facebook killer. The shooting rampage.
It just starts off bad and ends up worse.
It is a wonder we all don’t go jump off a bridge!
That reminds me of a story I saw the other day about how they are spending millions to construct a net beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, because so many people jump off of it every year.