Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

A good friend said that to me yesterday, and I’m thanking him for that reminder. 

Just getting back from volunteering at Sundance (which requires way too much energy to write about now!), getting back to my “real” life, I realize I’ve been in a bit of a funk for far too long now. I talked myself into believing I had ADD, but Ritalin is definitely not the answer for me. I think it made things worse. Lacking health insurance or funds to experiment with psychopharmacology, I’m going back to the basics. Meditation. And good old cleansing.

I started the master cleanse again today. I guess this is about the fourth or fifth time I’ve attempted to do it in the past couple of years. No coffee, no food. Just about a half gallon of the spicy organic lemonade (lemon juice, grade b maple syrup, cayenne pepper, water), lots more water, and some herbal tea. I passed out mid-day, probably due to the lack of caffeine. Getting off coffee isn’t proving to be so bad this time! I didn’t get a devastating headache. And I’m not feeling super-starved like I usually do. 

The hardest thing has been the emotions. So much is surfacing. And that’s where the meditation is helping. Whenever I get overwhelmed by emotion, I sit and breathe and make my way back to a place of non-judgement, love, and connection. It only takes a few minutes, or a couple of rounds of alternate nostril breathing. And I’m okay.

My intention for this cleanse is to get back to a state of equilibrium.  I just want to get back to my normal state and see what that is. Without coffee, without alcohol, without mood elevators or stabilizers. I know they work for some people, and i respect that. I can’t do that right now, for better or worse. 

The longest I’ve made it on the cleanse is 8 days.  I’m not attached to being on it any length of time.  What I want is to feel better. And using meditation as my crutch feels like the right approach.  I’ve taken at least six meditation breaks today.  

Meditation for me is so many things. Sometimes it’s just sitting still, and watching. Noticing what arises, what I say to myself.  Noticing the thought patterns and learning from them. Sometimes it’s using breath to release emotions.  Sometimes it’s repeating a mantra. Sometimes it’s consciously trying to empty my mind of any thought, gazing toward my third eye, and literally seeing what arises.

So far, finishing day one of the cleanse, I feel a little weak and slightly hungry, but it seems like the fog is lifting. I’m doing gentle asana to get energy moving. and letting myself rest a lot. 

I wonder how this will turn out.

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ardha chandrasana

ardha chandrasana



I need some new photos. 

It does not look like this where I am right now. The ground looks like frozen meringue with a crystal crust. It got warmish yesterday, so the snow melted, then it started to rain, which turned to snow. So our trail along the canal looks sort of like a candy-coated lunar surface. This the only picture i can find of ardha chandrasana (half moon), taken where I used to teach yoga in Rincon. My ardha chandrasana today was a more bundled version (three down coats, a hat, mittens, scarf, jeans, and shoes with trackers). 

Pooka did not like the idea I came up with yesterday — of being fed and having to wait for me to meditate before going out for a walk. I got the furnace going, hoping she would chill there for a while, but no. She would have none of it. I sat in meditation for maybe a minute. It was really really cold, so i grabbed my coat, and this, to Pooka, means time for a walk. So I caved.

We walked along the canal for about half a mile, to Savage Lookout — a point that juts out and overlooks frozen fields. Sometimes Savage Lookout feels like a stage. I like to do a few poses there before turning back. Today I lifted my arms up, pressed the right foot into the snowy earth, bent the right knee, and hinged over into warrior 3, arms extended overhead, parallel to the earth, in line with the left leg. I lost my balance and dropped the right hand (holding Pooka’s leash) to the ground, rested the left hand on my right foot (the ground was was icy!),  lifted the left leg into standing splits, and then stacked the left hip over the right, shifting into half moon, hovering there for a few breaths. For balance, I repeated it on the other side.

Then I squatted down and Pooka came over and got close, so I wrapped my arms around her in the squat and took some deep yogic breaths. It was miserably cold. This is the first time my legs have felt cold on our walks. My thighs were frozen! Walking back, it felt like my brain was freezing. 

Back home, I combined meditation and cleansing. I drank 32 ounces of warm water with two teaspoons of himalayan salt dissolved into it. Really Fast. And then sat on my cushion by the fire. I decided to sit until the water did its trick. The salt water flush is like a tidal wave moving through your entire digestive track, pushing everything in its way out. And I needed it after that large Maggie Moo’s cocoa amooretto, pistachio, strawberry combo the other night.  The salinity of the water makes it impermeable by the kidneys and blood, so it doesn’t get absorbed. Gravity pulls it through you. I don’t know if it’s true that the salt helps draw out toxins on the way, but I like the way it sounds. It reminds me of swimming in the ocean.

That left about a half hour to sit near the fire and keep catching my mind wandering. The simple tool of refocusing on the breath helps bring me back into the present. My mom vacuuming upstairs (have I mentioned yet that I live in my parents’ basement?), the squeaky wheels of the vacuum, Pooka’s convulsion-like spasms while dreaming (complete with little growls and barks and claws tapping on the bamboo floors as she runs in her sleep), these are distractions I keep noticing but letting go of.

Just like thoughts, patterns that no longer serve me, and that large cup of Maggie Moo’s. Consciously acknowledging them and letting them go.

I still need to figure out a way to schedule in my asana practice. Just back from the walk in the morning, I want to drink coffee or orange juice. And then I think of food. And the asana gets postponed.  At least I got in that ardha chandrasana at the lookout.

postscript: got a tweet from @Spacekitten about her new mix and, being the impulsive person that I am, I downloaded it and kept practicing until almost 2:00.  Nice to hear new music. Thanks!

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