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State Beach, Block Island

Low Tide, Block Island, photo by Noelle

The surf comes slow and steady, lapping quietly only a few feet away, and never desists. She seems a persistent child, playfully pulling me ever further away from my thoughts. I match my breathe to her comings and goings, at first a difficult task. I am full of the busyness of life at work and the chaos of travel. Yet, after a time, she in her great depths and I in my shallowness upon the beach become one. My muscles sink deeply into the sand, as I rest motionless upon the towel.

Tide's Arrival

State Beach, Block Island photo by Noelle

At mid-morning, the beach is not yet busy, and the gull’s calls are distinct from the din that comes with afternoon beach goers. I open one eye and see a large gray-breasted gull inching toward me. He is surveying for any booty to steal, pirate thief that he is. His beak nods dismissively, as he finds nothing and walks on down the beach. I find a sudden longing that he stay awhile longer. He speaks to me of sea and sky, salt and sand.

The ocean laps, my eye closes and the meditation drops deeper still.


Beach Access, photo by Noelle

There is no effort in this sort of meditation.

The Earth and sea work on me, as they have on the driftwood that litters the beach around me. Softening my edges, tempering my life force, wearing away abrasiveness, leaching from me all that is no longer essential to my purpose and form. Clues are there – tasty salt upon my lips, a breeze lifting my hair – that unseen forces work steadily at this disassembly. An effortless altering of my biochemistry. We think it’s back to some baseline peaceful state, but I think it’s to a new version of me at peace that is forming. I am not the same, as I was before. The same as other peaceful times. The quality I know as peace, changes as I change. Each return to me, from a wound up person in the throes of life, shows me a me I have yet to meet.


State Beach, Block Island photo by Noelle

Thoughts barely rise, before the sun evaporates them off my mind blurring my sense of where I end and the sand begins. This feels essential. A kind of reset where I am wiped totally clean before rebooting to my new form. It is hard to remember when I used to lie here and pull my other life with me onto the beach towel. Endless, frenzied thoughts about life elsewhere, hardly noticing the call of the sea and the gulls. Somewhere inside of me, I think I have always known my troubles only existed if I kept thinking about them. That they would evaporate if I wasn’t there tending to them and where would that leave me? If I gave up thinking about them, then I might not exist anymore either, for who was I without them?

What a tragedy, not being me, once seemed.

Malingering at the Lagoon

Block Island, photo by Noelle

Now I call the wind and the sea to me, ravish guests to an abundant feast. There is nothing I won’t give them. There is nothing they can’t have. This ship has beached here and has lost all defenses. Pirate gulls and marauding wind, my treasures, such as they are, are yours for the taking.

If you enjoyed this piece, you can find more in my book of meditations called “Into Your Meditation” available on Lulu.com, Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.



Photo by Noelle

Today, I send into your meditation prosperity. In a recent lecture, Dr. Roger Teel of the Church of Religious Science spoke on the art of abundance and made a beautiful observation. He said “Abundance consciousness is the abundant infinite life intelligence and potential of the divine — everywhere present. All are abundant because you are an expression of that intelligence.” He noted that “Prosperity is how much of this abundance you are allowing to flow through you and your life.”

Abundance is the natural expression of All That Is. Prosperity is the expression of our self-worth, self-love and awareness of our divine nature. Essentially, how steeped in love our consciousness is, becomes what determines how big a valve and how open that valve of prosperity will be in our life. To quote Teel again, “Consciousness is causation. It sets the tenor of our life.”

Prosperity can mean many things. Most of us think of money, but more simply it might be best thought of as healthy expansion. Expansion of physical well-being. Expansion of healthy, loving relationships. Expansion of ideas or creative projects. Expansion of awareness of ourselves and others. Expansion of forgiveness and grace. As we expand we are in the flow of our personal prosperity. We are living with all the abundant valves within us – open.

I make the distinction here that prosperity is about so much more than money, because if you see prosperity as being solely about money, then you’ll naturally assume a millionaire is prosperous. It is true they have financial wealth, but many of us know millionaires so impoverished in other ways that they seem to live a shadow of a life. Afraid of losing what they have, or others stealing what they have, or being too afraid to spend what they have, or being so out of control with what they have they spend wildly with no enjoyment or focus. Further, when prosperity is seen only through the eye of financial means than when our funds are low, we see our prosperity as low and a scarcity model takes hold of our mind. Money can confuse us about what real prosperity is. This is affirmed often with lottery winners, who, within a few years have spent their seeming lucky win and are often less happy than before they won.

To be prosperous we must love ourselves deeply and profoundly.

We live in an abundant Universe and as sovereign beings we are given the abundant gift to determine how we will experience our individual prosperity. We can choose anything, even impoverishment or shackles. We are that free.


Photo by Noelle

My friend, Diane, often speaks on her habit of looking for abundance in every moment she can find it. She notes eloquently about how it has changed and effected/affected her life. Watching her face while she does this is a true pleasure. She becomes light and her eyes sparkle and dance. Her countenance becomes awed and humbled by what she allows herself to perceive of this abundant Universe.

I am certain, just watching Diane, that our bodies were made to step into the flow of this great abundant, infinite intelligence, as Teel referred to it. We become our most authentic selves, when we drop our limited facades and allow spirit to move through us on rich, abundant waves.

Scarcity thinking robs us of not only the life we seek, but the now moments we live in. It shrinks our view of the world and our place in it. It feeds our unworthy and unloving thoughts about ourselves and others. It lures us into an impoverished prison cell within our mind, telling us there is nothing past these walls.

We are altered, alchemically, when we step into appreciation, gratitude and an abundant consciousness that sees so much more than the dust along the floorboards of life.

That’s a perspective for many of us. The habit to look and look until we see dirt along the floorboards, confirming the appearance of cleanliness is flawed. Always looking for the cracks, rather than the greater wholeness. Denouncing the good, because it can never overcome the true abundance of bad in this world. This is how we rob ourselves of our own prosperous life.

I practiced Diane’s intention to see all the abundance the Universe has to provide this week and it was humbling:

A single lawn possesses millions of blades of grass
A single tree is crowned by hundreds of thousands of leaves
Even the smallest of beaches is graced with billions of grains of sand
The ocean is a nearly infinite body of water molecules
My body contains more than a trillion cells
In this moment as I write this, millions of synaptic connections between nerve cells are taking place
On average there are 288,886 molecules of oxygen in a single breath
My heart beats 115,200 times per day
Any human will think 60-80 thousand thoughts per day
On a clear night, the human eye can perceive two to four thousand stars above it
My body will heal itself tens of thousands of times over the course of my life, from the smallest paper cut, to broken bones and common colds.
To go from home to work, I will pass hundreds of street signs, thousands of light bulbs and sit in rooms made of millions of screws, nails, bricks and paint strokes.
A dog’s fur has, on average, 15,000 hairs in a mere square inch
A single sun produces enough light rays to grow all life on our entire planet
Seven billion completely unique human beings walk this earth and compared to the number of insects that walk alongside us, we have a scant presence.

We are swimming in worlds so abundant it is a wonder we don’t laugh and dance like kings and queens.

Stop for a time today. Meditate on how abundant the world is all around you. Ask yourself, how open is this valve inside of me? How much am I allowing love to flow through me just as the Zambezi River thunders over Victoria Falls at 550 million liters per minute.

Is the world really dying and heading toward disaster and ruin, or is that all we can see through the tiny hole of our own prosperity valve. Not the Earth’s lack of abundance, but our own scarce perspective.

If you like this piece, please consider checking out my book at the link below or using the link above.



Seed: Photo by Noelle

As the night’s cool, even if the days have not, my mind ponders the autumn. A sacredness for transition points has settled into my soul of late. The awareness that one thing is ending and something else has not yet bloomed. I feel that inner toggle switch laying idle in my hand, as there is no clear direction yet to take. One season eases out slowly in the daylight hours, while another is tiptoeing in at night. I find myself embracing, more and more, in-between spaces and allowing the peace it brings to sink deeply into me. Intuitively, I see the power in their lack of direction or action.

There was a time when everything in my life had to have some clear direction. Some plan, clear outcome, a certainty provided on the front end that all would be well. I realize our entire culture has built this need for safeguards and assurances in. We have insurance polices for every possible eventuality. Contracts to ensure everything goes according to plan or someone else will be at fault if it doesn’t. We have schedules and calendars and smartphones that offer alerts so nothing can be forgotten. We are all so afraid of the unknown, the unexpected, the misdirection, which, in the end is never a misdirection. Spiritually speaking, we are always going in the right direction. It can only be the wrong direction by our reaction and resistance to where we are.

I’ve come to understand the weakness in the constant hunger to know where things are going. A hunger that is always driven by fear. Given how little we can predict ahead, I was surprised when it dawned on me how much of my life I’d lived with a low-grade anxiety. Constantly seeking ways to know the future or like some boy scout, be prepared for every possibility. For a woman who would never describe herself as anxious, it was a revelation.

Now I watch the leaves turn as a summer wind lifts the edges of my skirt. I sense myself leaving a number of things, but also feel no clear planting of my feet into something else. An older version of me wants to pull out the notepad and make lists so something can be accomplished to get it all moving to somewhere. I smile and breathe down her fear. She’s worried nothing will get done. She’ll end up wallowing in no man’s land without a life. She’ll miss the boat, she’ll be left behind. Oh, the calamity of no plan!

Today, I’ll just enjoy being nowhere. The sun is up and there are hours left to play. As a destination, nowhere is a grossly underrated place to be. If I possess any doubt about this all I need do is stop and listen. Ah, see, starlings have filled the cattail beds.

Snow Falls Gently

Free Google images

Free Google images

It came in so quick. Probably didn’t help that I’d left late, which is rare for me. Everyone had been driving at standard, rush hour speeds, and then brake lights lit up the pre-dawn morning, as the roads went from merely wet to snow covered and slick.

I look out my windshield and the snow is quite beautiful.

The white, probably 80’s vintage 280Z is clearly in a hurry and rides the bumper of the only slightly newer Ford Bronco. I turn away, not to feel the anxiety of a rear end that hasn’t happened yet. My hands are gripped too tight on the wheel. I focus on relaxing them. I have that odd displaced feeling of not being wholly in myself. Sort of half there and half outside the vehicle trying to project my senses forward.

The snow falls in big flakes I want to touch. So peaceful – snow and all this darkness. Mother Nature’s crazy womb.

There is no reason for concern. This is a good car with all wheel drive, new tires and anti-lock brakes. I’ve got this and yet I find my hand rubbing my neck. A Pathfinder rushes past, only to come to an even faster halt up ahead with a slide. Feeling his movements sets my nerves on edge.

The evergreens off the interstate are already covered in winter white in a matter of minutes. In my mind I can feel the cool wind standing in front of them. They wave in the winds coming on this storm front. I wonder if they are beckening me out of the car.

A Toyote slides sideways two cars up and all of us brake. My breath catches and I hear my inner mantra on over drive, “I’m okay. I’m okay.” I see another slide a bit in my rearview mirror.

As we enter a smaller valley the wind is cut off and the snow falls so gently here. It’s magic as I look off from the road.

In pioneer days we’d all stay in and wait till it’s over. How advanced we’ve become, eh? The Toyote recovers sort of and begins moving again. He is our lesson and we all move at a crawl. I find myself estimating the pace to the time I’ll arrive at work. I’ll be late. Stomach tightens a bit. I wish the car behind me wasn’t so close.

The snow falls gently.

Relaxing my hands again from the wheel I take in a few deep yogic breaths. Look how smoothly this car moves. This should be my focus, not the car’s hazard lights off to the side of the road. The woman is talking frantically to someone on her cell. My heart beats slightly faster as I remember what that feels like.

Rooftops glisten in all that white. Drab winter grays and browns are gone. A winter wonderland in less than ten minutes. I crack the window a bit to feel the cold air. It’s fresh and clears my mind a bit. Bits of snow ping my face and somewhere in me I know I am not separate from this beauty.

I try music, but it is too distracting at the moment. Three cars have come to a head in an effort to change lanes. No one has hit the other, but they are trying to determine who will go first in this darkness and snow. One of them struggles to find any lane. We all hold back to let the scene sort itself out.

The snow falls gently. I watch it melt on my windshield. What it would be like to stand in the middle of an open field and let it melt over me?

It’s all in timing and perspective, isn’t it? Seven at night and I could be in that field. Seven in the morning and I’m gripping the wheel. Not going to work and it’s beautiful. Getting to work it’s an obstacle to navigate. A different day or a different hour and everything shifts. How many things are like that in my life, I wonder? Just a different day or a different hour. A slight turn of my mind from the obstacles in front of me to the mystery and beauty all around me. I wonder…

The snow falls gently.


Free Bing Photos

If you ever want to see how ingrained a habit is, try breaking it, even once. I meditate every day after work. The weather has been unseasonably warm and to not go out in it would be a travesty, as my mother would say. To catch it I have to leave as soon as I get home and delay my sit for just a bit. Small thing, right? Even as I feel an exhilaration to hit the trail my feet drag as my body clearly wants to sit for meditation. Working at getting out the front door is tantamount to walking through a tunnel of cotton candy. It’s odd feeling your body wanting to go back inside as your head, heads out. That odd feeling though, is the sound of gears grinding on my ego’s ideas on how life should be. I’ve been thinking lately that I should practice that grind more often.

On any given day, goose poop litters the paths and sidewalks all the way to the marsh. On my walks I hop between the piles looking as if I’m playing the longest game of hopscotch ever. I know it’s pointless since, as the snow melts, the runoff is full of goose poop. What appears to be a clean path, isn’t. Still, I hop along imagining I am a paratrooper crossing a mind field into enemy lines. One wrong step and I’m done. Its entertainment for me, if not my neighbors and reminds me of being ten. Today, however, I remembered the muckers. I have sneakers I only wear to my friend’s barn to muck the stalls. Their bottoms have slogged through a lot of horse manure and I leave them in the garage. I don them happily knowing they were made for the world’s biggest piles of dung and finally leave my stoop.

A neighbor’s voice carries easily across the lake in a deep baritone, as he appears to be talking to someone on the phone. It is impossible not to eavesdrop.

“Everywhere we go, I ask after someone and they always say, “Oh that guy, he’s been dead for ages”. Then they seem all apologetic. Alice just says, “Don’t worry honey, we thought we should be dead ages ago, too.” His laughter banks off the houses on the other side of the lake and I can’t help but smile.

“Listen, listen here… I went to my 61st high school reunion. They had a list of names of those who graduated that year. Three pages of dead folks and a page of the living. All anyone wants to talk about is how so and so died. If he died parachuting out of a plane or in a runaway train ya got my ear, but other than that, hearing how old people died is about as interesting as stewed beets. Honestly, I’ve had a better time at a funeral.” He guffaws loudly. “Huh? Hell, I’ve already written my obit. No one lies about my accomplishments better than me. Ain’t that right, Alice.” I think I hear a kind of grunt come from inside the house, presumably Alice.

“No, no… I’m gonna be 87 next week. No, I’m not kidding.” He slams his hand down, emphatically, on the deck rail. “I’ll be 87. A guy called the other day to try to sell Alice and I life insurance. We told ’em if he was selling death insurance we’d be in!” Laughter storms the lake.

“I make a damn fine Rob Roy, I tell ya and here, listen up… If I get to heaven before you, I’ll have the finest Rob Roy you’ve ever had sittin’ there on the bar…. Well, hell, if you can’t drink in heaven where can you drink? Ain’t that right, Alice” Finally, Alice appears on the deck, “Ask him if he thinks that was water they were drinkin’ in those cups at the last supper? Ask him that.” I realize I’ve fallen in love with a woman I’ve never met.

Their banter continues and I walk on facing the setting western sun. They say sunlight is good for the cones in your eyes and that all of our sunglass wearing is actually weakening our eyesight. All our indoors-ness and computer screens are shortening our cones and causing them to vibrate in shorter color ranges. Holistic practitioners say we should get at least thirty minutes of sun every day. This is also true of the pituitary gland, I’ve read. That as we age the pituitary calcifies and it needs sunlight to blast off those calcifications. These are the sort of odd concerns and thoughts one has as they age. Do I have a clean pituitary gland? I mean, who wants a pituitary as hard as your shin bone. So I walk with my eye lids half closed and let the sun warm my eyes and imagine a limber pituitary and long, vibrating cones. Or I do for few moments, but the sun is warm and speaks so much of spring that after a time I am walking, half lidded thinking of beaches and warmer days to come. My meditation time is now long forgotten, along with the goose poop, as I walk into the sunny marsh. I realize I have gone from weird hopscotch lady to pituitary worrying sun bather. I remember the old man having himself a fine laugh at death with his old gal, Alice. I laugh, too. Me and my muckers and my calcified pituitary and short, faded, retinal cones, breaking the ceiling on my wierd little habits. I laugh even harder and wish I could confirm how funny life is with old Alice.

Christmas Eve

Re-posted from Enchanted Nature's Facebook page

Re-posted from Enchanted Nature’s Facebook page

Christmas Eve is upon us, laden as it so often is with darkness, mystery and old stories. The shopping is done and the fires are now lit. The last of the decorations find their way to the tree and the scent of meals half prepared for Christmas day fill the house. There is a wonderful quiet that comes on this night. Children are for once off to bed eager for the morning. Exhaustion from the preparations leaves us hole up in chairs sipping brandy or venturing out into back lanes for one last, silent walk in the winter’s air. Candles remain lit upon tables and music, rather than television fills the late hours. There is a pause on this night not felt really at any other time or evening of the year. A willingness to be quiet and allow the mystery of our spirit to take over our otherwise rational minds. We can’t explain it really. Just a feeling of something larger than ourselves, even for those who don’t celebrate the holiday. A “something” about this silence that affects most of us in a wondrous way. Leaves us with the ever so subtle feeling that maybe, just maybe, we are so much more than we think we are.

Peace, goodwill, and joy to you all. May the mystery of this night fill you with the spirit of the child you have, in fact, always been.

Little Gem

Free Bing Photo

Free Bing Photo

“You exist in time, but you belong to eternity. You are a penetration of eternity into the world of time. You are deathless, living in a body of death. Your consciousness knows no death, no birth. It is only your body that is born and dies. But you are not aware of your consciousness. You are not conscious of your consciousness. And that is the whole art of meditation; Becoming conscious of consciousness itself.”

~ Osho

Little Gem

Re-posted from Enchanted Nature Facebook page

Re-posted from Enchanted Nature Facebook page

“Can you imagine if you really let it in that you are not a problem to be solved in any way? Imagine you knew that anything that would tell you otherwise is just a movement of thought in the mind that says “Whatever is, isn’t the way it is supposed to be.” So the biggest act of compassion starts within. And when the self is no longer seen as a problem, this is called “the peace that passes all understanding.”
~ Adyashanti

Beginner’s Mind

Image re-posted from The Mind Unleashed Facebook Page

Image re-posted from The Mind Unleashed Facebook Page

I thought I was at center. I felt as balanced as a ballerina in Swan Lake. At the place of nirvana where cherry blossoms float down and the world smells of nag champa. Where you aren’t wrestling snakes in the evangelic’s circus tent, but sipping honey from lily cups. One of those cool Zen-catching moments that Ram Dass and Kornfield talk about as casually as the goodness of roasted potatoes at Sunday supper. You know when the sky opens as to Moses and you’re blessed with eternal peace. Then the horns blared and I looked at the dashboard clock. Funny how certain we can be about things, until we’re not.

Time. The time to get from here to there. It haunts me like a wolf. If I can let the time go then I’m catching Phoenix feathers and dropping into downward facing dog, a hawk swooping Earth. Hourglass snatches me up, though, and she is a mean old, nanny demanding I learn my lessons. Feels like someone should have mentioned that time is a whip cracking in your head that’ll be your undoing if you aren’t careful. Instead we are offered lovely chimes to mark it.

I thought enlightenment was a place, like Intercourse, Pennsylvania where it was always funny to touch that spot on a map. That with the right amount of effort and time I’d be there, properly dressed and ready for congratulations. The fattest, blissed out cat, in full lotus that ever walked through the doors of the Ritz Carlton of the Tao Te Ching.

Oh, all of the thoughts you have thunk, little grasshopper.

A work in progress from The Writer’s Church in Boulder, CO. Hosted by Marj Hahne. Inspired by “Elegance” by Fleda Brown.