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Author Archives: kyle
It is really difficult for many of us these days, to not get caught up in all the disturbances in the world around us.
On the news, social media, and out in public, people are taking sides and spouting off all kinds of untrue and conflicting information to the point that it is absolute lunacy.
A storm on full display.
Some of us have trouble staying calm when there isn’t a storm.
I personally have three situations in my life right now that could be considered, “Major Life Situations,” which simply means that they are big things.
I don’t know about you, but each day when I wake up, life contains some uncomfortable situations. There are people around me who have much more uncomfortable situations, and I see them every day, or at least read their posts on social media.
But to rate or judge a situation is useless isn’t it? If you are uncomfortable, if things are not to your liking or what you want, then it is uncomfortable.
I have a friend who walks on two prosthetic legs. I have several friends who have cancer. I have friends who are struggling to take care of elderly parents, friends who are in financial distress, and friends who are in relationship distress.
John and Racheal are at the far end of the room in the sound booth, while Rev. Dale and I take our places on stage.
He on one side and me on the other.
“Okay, we are live,” John says from the booth, and so Rev. Dale and I start playing our opening number, “My Soul Is Welcome Here.”
Since we began the online streaming, we have shortened things, mostly our songs. They are shorter and we play less songs, and obviously we have no congregational singing, because there are only 4 of us present.
We are all experiencing this time of pandemic in different ways.
Some of us have been working the whole time, but so many of us have had our lives turned upside down. The fact is that this is affecting 100% of us in one way or another.
While I will not use this space to discuss politics or to spout off my opinions, I will use this space to bring a little light into the world. I will use this space as a centering space for me, and hopefully for you as well.
The pandemic has set off another pandemic. But this one is a pandemic that is and has always been around. Let’s call it, “The Future.” However it appears to have been really juiced up as of late.
My, what strange times we are living in.
This is unprecedented in our time. Even though doctor’s and scientists have told us for years that something like this would happen. “It is not a matter of, “if,” but a matter of, “when.”
Now that, “when” has arrived and it is NOW, our infrastructure is not prepared. Nobody is really prepared. And so it is a great shock to the system. A great shock to financial and business systems, but also a great shock to us as individual systems.
The things that I can do that help me the most, that relax me the most, that heal me the most, are the last things on my mind during times of challenge or stress.
So I literally have to make a list of these things, and then be very aware and conscious that I actually do these things.
For me it can be simply sitting and playing guitar with no intention.(Such as learning a song for a gig) Just playing. Just enjoying the sounds and playing purely for myself.
Writing is also a go-to thing for me. Get involved in a writing project. Or a drawing/art project, or why not meditate more often and sit in the stillness? Or take a walk around the neighborhood and admire the scenery.
It has been a while since the last blog. Actually this is the first one of 2020! (So, “Happy New Year!”)
My path has led me into trying different things, and saying, “yes” to different opportunities, and just opening up to Spirit in new ways. Meanwhile, maintaining all the things that were already in my life.
Often I’d like to wait until a certain thing gets taken care of, until I finish grieving my mother, until I can have the surgery to repair my eyes, … you know
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.