Meditations of Thanksgiving

This week of Thanksgiving, this entry is centered around gratitude. I am thankful for many, many things and to many, many people. My daughter serenaded me with many birthday gifts and events on my birthday yesterday. I have thanked her for my wonderful gifts and for her abundant love. I thank God everyday for bringing her into my life, such joy, such a perfect gift, and such help and comfort. Also, I thank my ex-husband for pro-creating her with me.

The famous Ralph Waldo Emerson asked us to “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” I include all things and all people in this blog of gratitude. On that note, I will post my meditation journey for the second leg of the 21-Day Meditation Challenge with Deepak Chopra. This week’s journey culminates with a lengthy entry of gratitude.

Entry 10: What would I do without my tears? They came in drops, a pair falling at a time as if synchronized. Karma is always a fascinating topic, but this is good Karma. I banished all noise and all distractions and reached my “destination.” I cleansed my soul and spirit, so, so refreshing and liberating. I cannot believe that the journey is half way over. I need to be fastidious about my meditation after this event ends with Deepak. Namaste.

Entry 11: Towards the end of my journey today, I pressed my eyes tightly together, and the right eye released some tears calling my attention to the flesh. Today’s own was a deluge falling freely and cascading down like Tugela, Africa’s tallest waterfalls. Despite the droning noise of Jerry’s leaf blower trying to intrude from my lawn, the sound of Deepak’s soothing and embracing meditation music allowed me to go within and stay within disconnecting from my body. I was able to delve in and touch peace. Today, I expect and accept abundance to flow easily to me. Namaste.

Entry 12: I was going to begin today’s meditation but had to delay it because someone rang the doorbell and my dog let out successive and aggressive barks. There is something about the doorbell that annoys her, I guess. Anyway, I could not begin today’s meditation until the noise from outside the house and the one Princess was making inside the house stopped from interfering with my ability to focus, to reach my essence. Now we begin. Yes, I reached in, far in, unaware of my skin. The gentle, crashing waves in the background of the music pulled me in, and I honed into it and allowed it to settle within me and center me. I placed my deepest intentions on a list, placed it in a metaphorical bottle, cast it into the vast ocean of all possibilities, and allowed the universe to work through me today. Deliver, universe, deliver all that I placed before you today. The evidence of my arrival are the tears that mingled with those of the vast oceans of the world. I give you my tears as proof that you and I communed today, Universe. Namaste.

Entry 13: I had applied mud mask to my face before I began today’s meditation, which was no problem because the mask had tried completely and would have posed no problem or distraction to my centering ability. Unfortunately, as soon as I reached within, I felt the tears falling down my left cheek causing an awareness of the mask. The tears made the mask balmy, clammy, and I became aware of my face even at the faintest level. I was able to will myself to ignore that sensation and focus. I was almost arriving there when the bell rang for the end of today’s session. I am glad the tears came, but today they proved to be a distraction because they came prematurely, which has an inherent reference to time. Ironically, that is the message of today’s meditation. In the spiritual realm, there are no restrictions of time and space. Only in the physical realm do time and space occur. Opportunities are boundless and so are potentialities in the spiritual realm. Namaste.

Retreat at St. Ignatius House in Sandy Springs, Georgia

Entry 14: Since Sunday is harmonious, it seems perfect to wake up this morning and meditate in order to capture the law of Dharma, conformity with my character, virtue, and nature. Yes, the tears came, the right eye releasing its first in droplets. I guess I have found a way to determine whether I reached my center if the tears come and how far I reached if the tears cascade. Today’s own did not cascade, but the right eye’s tears flowed and dropped while the ones from the left eye hung there. I feel so peaceful, which I know today will amplify by all the events planned for it: church in a few minutes and a day of religious retreat at the St. Ignatius House in Sandy Springs. I am looking forward to a world of absorption of goodness flowing into me, through me, and out to others. This would be one way I can fulfill my true purpose in life besides publishing those novels, manuals, and books of poetry. Another way would be to share my life’s journey and my survival of numerous deaths, devastations, and whatnots. Deliver, Universe, deliver. Namaste.

Entry 15: I forgot to remove my glasses, hence I made myself aware of my body. I tried to go within, but my body needed to make itself known today. Needless to say, Deepak Chopra’s voice distracted me from me so that I did not have to work at ignoring my glasses; I succeeded. The idea of synchrodestiny is very intriguing. The dictionary offers no definition of it yet, but I imagine that in years to come, that word coined my Deepak Chopra will become one of our day-to-day vocabulary because of its beauty and lyrical sound. Tears came when I opened my eyes to let me know that I connected with the universe through my core. I will try harder next time. I will shed all things that make me aware of the body. I will disengage the skin, the flesh, and be all in tune, one with my soul, my spirit. Namaste.

Thank you God for this bounty from my rose garden!

Entry 16: Today, I remember to be grateful. I am always grateful to my family and friends, to the nature that gives me back in all sorts of ways especially when I cultivate it and it returns blooms upon blooms in my rose garden and my other gardens, when it returns abundant harvest to the farmers so that we can have food and have it abundantly. I am always grateful and always say thanks to anyone who has helped me, done something for me and mine. In honor of that, I dedicate today’s tears that cascaded down my face to everyone who inhabits this universe of ours. Today’s tears are ones of gratitude for all that I am (God and my parents), all that I have (God, my parents, and my employers), all that gives/gave me joy (God, my parents, my daughter, my talents and creativity, my brothers and sisters, my relatives, my friends–some of who are like relatives, and everyone and everything that elevate me).

Count Your Blessings!

Today’s tears, befittingly, are tears of gratitude, especially during this traditional week of Thanksgiving. I am grateful to those tears that have made me aware of my soul, that have cleansed my spirit, that have enriched me daily on this meditation journey with Deepak Chopra and many, many other souls like me. I am eternally grateful for these tears that have allowed me to reach my higher self. I am humbled. Namaste.

Meditating My Way Through the Stress of Too-Much-To-Do

I found myself stressed beyond words. Using the cliché that my plate is full does not do justice to the number of commitments I have entangled myself: pursuing a specialist degree (Ed. S.), writing for Yahoo! Voices, maintaining this blog, maintaining my poetry blog, maintaining the blog in memory of my amazing mother, teaching at two universities that are at the extreme end of each other, trying to live a life, trying (and failing pitifully) to fulfill my religious obligations in several ministries, meeting with my numerous literary groups, writing offline daily (in my notebooks and in Word), and latching on to NaNoWriMo to finish a novel between November 1 and November 30.

Feel free to ask, “How are all those going?” Let’s just say that the word “stressed” found a new meaning and a new height in my body and was taking an unrestricted toll on it. Therefore, I had to save me from my obsession to overload. Hence I joined Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge, which began on November 5, 2012. I am so HAPPY that I did. It is proving to be the most sane thing I have done. It truly centers me, restores me from within, and has allowed me to discover magic. I have kept a diary of my daily journeys, just vignettes of my experience. I will post these weekly in addition to my regular postings.

Day 1 Entry: I have meditated before, but I am still trying to understand what happened to me today. Deepak rang the bell and asked me to open my eyes gently; I did without expecting anything really. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I had not realized that my eyes were holding tears until I opened them gently. I am in awe. Namaste, Deepak.

Day 2 Entry: I went further in today and touched my soul’s inside but my body tried to make me aware of it for several minutes. I tried again and succeeded. Yay!  Today, the tears hung inside my eyelids and did not cascade down as they did on the first day. I wonder if the magic is diminishing. I certainly hope not because I feel magical. Namaste.

Day 3 Entry: I have come to accept that tears are part of my peace on this journey. I guess it is the measure of my arrival within, touching my core, leaving my body/matter, and connecting with my mind and spirit. The left eye released a long one today, giving the right eye a run for its money (no pun intended). By the time the bell rang for release and conclusion, another set of tears ran down both cheeks. I feel so content. Thank you, Deepak. Namaste.

Day 4 Entry: I did not reach deep into my spirit today. There was noise in the house, and I was very much aware of the outer sphere. I tried to avoid the external influences and hone in so that I can reach within. I almost succeeded when the bell dinged. Namaste.

Day 5 Entry: Today I went deeper than the day before, but there was no tear today, which was kind of disappointing. I don’t know if this means that I did not go further in than I had been able before today’s own meditation. Anyway, it is a journey in which I am still developing and still trying to grasp the many facets of getting in touch with my spirit. At one point, I had an image/sensation of floating and looking down on something. I could not identify the something. I am still growing and embracing my potential to be, do, and have whatever I can dream. Namaste.

Day 6 Entry: The magic has returned! Yes, yes, yes! The tears came today reversing the last time I experienced them. This time, the right eye released the tear first streaming down that cheek. The left eye followed hesitantly and released its own. I am still bashing in the luxury of peace and calm. It took me awhile to let go of the body because my pants held on to my waist, and I was aware of that contact with the flesh. As soon as I was able to let go of the skin and focus on the spirit, I was able to focus on the purpose of my journey today. I arrived there and produced the result (tears) that I did not know if they would come since they did not come the last two sessions. I am so happy that everything I desire is within me. I have known this all my life. It is so refreshing to have it affirmed. Thank you, Deepak. Namaste.

Day 7 Entry: The tears came today, running down both cheeks. I have come to look forward to them as an outlet of my inner cleansing. My body made me aware of it today as I tried to let go of it. What can you say about a bloated stomach when you are trying to ignore it and focus? It appears that focusing is impossible. I tried to let go of the body, but it did not want to be ignored; so, so disapointing. Namaste.

Day 8 Entry: today’s tears did not run down; they let go as drops and fell into my blouse. Today tried to prove a difficult one, trying to make me aware of my skin, the physical. I could not seem to find detachment from it from within. Therefore, I shed the pants whose elasticity was making me aware of my stomach and draped a loose garment instead, which is why I now understand why Mahatma Gandhi wore loose wraps instead of pants that call attention to them. Today I let go of the physical, things that demand attachment to the world and demand attention from me. I must have reached some semblance of spirituality because the tears greeted me when I opened my eyes. Still, I am going to try to meditate a second time today since I did not achieve the level of potential I seek. “I can create anything, anytime, anywhere,” so here I go creating. Namaste.

Day 9 Entry: BeautifuImagel, just beautiful, was what rang through my mind as I opened my eyes. I have found five new senses: the sense of abundance, the sense of magic, the sense of fulfillment, the sense of bliss, and the sense of giving. Gone are the five physical senses (touch, taste, sight, feel/touch, and smell). Today I give that which I want to receive. Needless to say, the beauty that I mentioned and the magic both came in the form of those welcoming and cleansing tears that came three times in one day. Wow! Can you say, “Bliss?” Today was the height of my meditation. I arrived at beauty, abundance, magic, fulfillment, bliss, and generosity. I am so content and confident right now that it is possible to conquer anything, which is truly my frame of mind: I can conquer/achieve anything to which I set my mind. Thank you, Deepak. Namaste.

Get a Life and Save Your Time

Tonight, one of the major networks is exploring the unsavory issue of how the social media is costing life, time, family, money, and a long list of other losses.

I posted a teaser on this same topic on my poetry blog: with the indication that readers should visit this site for a hashing out of that issue.

The questions I posed over there were: Does life happening outside this page (social media and Web 2.0) prevent my scheduled postings? Does it mean that when I post or stay here or elsewhere online that I have no life?

First, thanks to Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee (World Wide Web), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates (Facebook), Thomas Anderson and Chris DeWolfe (MySpace), and thousands of other internet-connected and Web 2.0 inventors for extreme inventiveness and generosity to humanity. What would life be without the cables (or wireless) tying us to the internet?

Like most things in life (food, television, gaming, texting, telephone, alcohol, coffee, soda, etc.), moderation is the key. With a sizeable online presence, I exercise the self-control that prevents contraptions from swallowing me. I truly do not heave and break out in sweats at the thought of not getting on line. Real life activities bind me to living. Living online does not bind me to life. Following the Weight Watcher philosophy, portions is the way to control overindulgence.

In addition to moderation—but more important–is budgeting: time management. Twenty-four hours exist in a day, undisputed for now (if science does not alter time continuum). Ration the hours wisely. As much as we want to control time by falling back one hour and springing forward during the spring season, we cannot overcome the mandatory restriction on time.

Does life happening outside this page mean that I have no online life? Does it mean that when I stay hooked online for several hours that I have no life outside of it? These two questions are worth considering objectively. I have much to do on and outside the internet.

However, I give so much to my life in the real realm that I try to avoid giving much of my life to the virtual realm. I refuse to deal with addiction in any of its extreme negativity and ensnaring domination. The control freak in me balks at the frightening thought of giving up power over myself to anything outwardly and depriving.

The Department of Family and Children Services is snatching children and charging their parents with endangerment of minors for neglecting their children. Before the internet dominated our lives, TV was the obsession. I once gave my language art students the assignment of turning off the TV for one week and writing about the alternative life they observed and lived.

One child broke down and shook as tears rolled down her face. Operating from shock and disappointment, I spoke with her mother and suggested ways to distract the student from the clutches of the television. Abundant life exists outside the internet or TV or whatever the next ensnaring man-made contraption will come forth. Please get a life and save your time.

Five Steps of the New Writing Process

After years of using the Writing Process to teach students how to organize their writing for maximum effect, the time has come for me to rejuvenate my own look at the Writing Process. Therefore, what unfolds is an adherence to the old but with a fresh look for those who already have a firm grip of the traditional Writing Process. Also, this New Writing Process is elevated for college students and other adults.

STEP ONE: PREWRITING–Brainstorm and gather all utensils and ideas ready for your writing pleasure.

STEP 2: DRAFTING–Immerse yourself in your writing until you feel that you have exhausted all ideas.

STEP 3: REVISING–Incorporate colorful/figurative language for contrast no matter how subtle.

STEP 4: PROOFREADING–Try to see your writing from different perspectives (points of view) and adjust accordingly.

STEP 5: PUBLISHING–Celebrate your writing by leaving a lasting impression in the minds of your readers.