Meditation on Waterfalls

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One of my favorite meditations is on a waterfall.  I have a very specific waterfall I meditate on which is not one I have ever seen, but it is one I have used my own imagination to create.  I cannot adequately describe it, but it of course is quite beautiful and includes a large waterfall, a cave behind the waterfall, and a huge pool which it empties into.  The pool and waterfall are surrounded by a variety of flora in various sizes and colors, producing wonderful fragrances.  There is also a rocky ledge overlooking the pool opposite the waterfall.  It is there where Jesus sits.

Water and waterfalls offer a multitude of opportunities to relax and meditate on.   We can simply listen for the sound of a waterfall, or simply seeing water flow can be mind freeing and totally relaxing.  Other meditations can include a much deeper appreciation of  waterfalls by contemplating a multitude of deeply spiritual meanings rooted in water and in how it flows.  Scriptures  are filled with references to water, how it flows, and as the source of life. From baptism to blessings flowing, water is a strongly and pervasively symbolic.  Even simply meditating on the word flow can be extremely gratifying.  Today I had the pleasure of reading this scripture from Isaiah: “And you shall be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never fail.”  What a perfect way to head to the waterfall!

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Thanksgiving

After a couple of long nights and days of working, I will be taking a few days off from pressure washing.  I will however be working on a couple of important proposals.  Tonight I will celebrate meeting the challenge of working so hard the last two days by running a 5K in Lafayette in a temperature of the low thirties.  Isn’t it interesting that I choose another great challenge to celebrate meeting a previous difficult challenge.  I think it is safe to say that I enjoy challenges.  And so I offer my gratitude for the challenges in my life.

I must also give thanks to all my customers over the fifteen years I have been in business.  Without customers I would not have a business; I would not have been able to live out the dream I had since I was a child.  I owe a great deal of gratitude to family and friends also, both past and present.  Some loaned me money; some offered moral support; some gave advice; and some motivated me.   Without the support of friends and family, again I say, I would not have been able to attain my dream of owning my own business.

I must also thank my deceased grandfather who never knew that it was he who inspired me to want to be a business owner.  He could not read or write, although he could sign his name, had limited math skills, and yet he was able to run a small, country grocery store.    He also taught me that “hard work will never kill you”.   Another important lesson I remember receiving from him in a very brief conversation was to  not worry about what the other guy (the competition) is doing.  Do what you want to do; worry only about yourself”.  Of course I had no idea at the time what wonderful pearls of wisdom I was receiving.   Thank you Paw Paw!  Now you know, and so do I!

Most importantly, I want to thank God for everything: for the good and the bad, the black and the white, and the darkest night that can reveal the brightest stars.  I thank God too for all of the gray in life, for it is in the gray that I have found balance, peace, forgiveness, healing, justice, closure, true love, joy, friendship, health, and wisdom.  Glory and thanks be to God!  Amen.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all!   May blessings flow into your lives.

A Holy Roller Coaster

I have been practicing Yoga on and off for about two years now.  It is one of the most profound and spiritual experiences of my life, and I absolutely love it.  For me it is a form of deeply spiritual prayer, and it allows me to experience God in a way that is different than other forms of prayer I choose to partake in.  One of the many great benefits of Yoga for me is the fact that it allows me to get in tune with my body,  its Creator, and the mystical relationship that exists between the two in the deepest recesses of my being.

Another very important form a prayer I enjoy is attending Mass.  As I age and mature both  emotionally,  spiritually, and in my Christian faith, I appreciate Mass more and more, and in recent years have come to realize what a beautiful prayer the entire Holy Mass really is.  From start to finish, we pray, and so Mass is filled with many individual prayers and  many different forms of prayer.  Extremely important to me is the realization that Mass, through all the individual prayers in a variety of forms, truly is one whole  prayer that is much greater than the sum of its parts, and  it produces wonderful spiritual fruits.  And therein lies the beauty of the Holy Mass and the reason I love it so much.

The Holy Rosary is also a form of prayer I love and enjoy.  Like Mass, the Rosary is made up of many individual prayers and different forms of prayer.  The recitation of the prayers is accompanied by meditation on mysteries.  While I sometimes pray the Rosary without mediation on the mysteries, it is meditation on the mysteries that transforms the Rosary from a simple recitation of prayers into a beautiful spiritual journey often leading me to unexpected destinations.

A few days ago the thought occurred to me to combine Yoga and the Rosary  because I love them both so much, and they both involve meditation.  As I began to ponder a “Yosary”, I came to the conclusion that trying to recite the Rosary, even silently, while practicing Yoga might not work very well.  Being still and quiet are so crucial in Yoga, and I think the busyness of the Rosary would make Yoga less effective, which is the opposite effect I was trying to achieve.  So then I began to consider the possibility of meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary while practicing Yoga.  This was my aha moment!  I realized that this would be the perfect way to combine Yoga and the Rosary.  Thankfully I was correct!

The first time I prayed my “Yosary”, I was moved beyond what my limited mind and thinking had allowed me to consider.  Meditating on the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary while practicing Yoga was a wonderful experience I will not soon forget.  As I moved from one mystery to the next, not only did I feel a closeness with God and the Holy Trinity and Mary, but I also became aware of the ebb and flow of the five mysteries.

Jesus dies, descends to the dead, and then rises from the dead via his resurrection in the first mystery.  He then stays on Earth for forty days before ascending to Heaven in the second mystery, the Ascension.  Next, the Holy Spirit descends on the apostles in the third mystery, the descent of the Holy Spirit.  The fourth mystery is Mary being taken up into Heaven in the Assumption.  In the fifth and final glorious mystery, Mary is crowned queen of Heaven in the Coronation.  So as I am ending my “Yosary”, I am keenly aware of the ebb and flow of the mysteries, and it is then that I recognize that the Glorious mysteries are essentially a Holy Roller Coaster, filled with ups and down, valleys and peaks, pain and sorrow, joy and glory, but ending ultimately in  the ultimate victory in Heaven.

And so it is with life.   I once mentioned to someone that life was such a roller coaster, and they suggested I get off that roller coaster.  In a perfect world I could have I suppose.  But my imperfect life is very much a roller coaster, some of it because of choices I have made, but much of it is simply because that is how life is sometimes.  If we can come to understand and embrace our lives as they are, without denial and without fear, we can gather and develop tools that will not only help us survive the ups and downs, but will also help us to learn to enjoy the lows in the knowledge that they are always followed by another high.  As someone recently pointed out: Easter always follows Good Friday.  So let’s ride this coaster until we coast back to its origin where we can finally exit the Holy Roller Coaster and rest for eternity.   Amen!

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Put First Things First

“Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off track by every nutshell and mosquito’s wing that falls on the rails.” Henry David Thoreau

Stay focused; do what is important. Not everything that is urgent is important. Sometimes urgency is a nutshell or a mosquito wing disguised as something important with the intent of derailing us. Today I will do my best to implement this wisdom because I believe in it. As is often the case, saying something is much easier than doing it, but it is no excuse for not trying.

Stephen R. Covey devotes an entire chapter to this subject in his great book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  The chapter is titled: Put First Things First and is the third habit.  Covey discusses his thoughts on time management using a Time Management Matrix comprised of quadrants which divide daily activities by importance and urgency.   Covey’s matrix modernizes time management practices and confirms what I believe Thoreau alludes to in the above quote.

I love this book, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Order book here 

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