Exercise as Meditation | Touchstones of the Sacred | Touchstones of the Sacred

Archive for November 2009

Exercise as Meditation

November 25, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


Exercise is my most important daily touchstone. Without moving, stretching, challenging and invigorating my physical being on a regular basis I quickly sense my spirit stagnating, negative thoughts try to invade and I am disconnected from my true essence, from the sacred. Often I like to exercise alone, as it’s my time to recharge, daydream, or let go of something troubling. When immersed in physical activity I reach a meditative zone – where everything suddenly shifts into perspective, the chatter of thoughts, worries and apprehensions fade away. More than just a “runner’s high”, I find a sense of both cosmic and earthly unity as my muscles, heart, and lungs find their rhythm.

Today was a gorgeous late autumn day and I took full advantage by biking out to Cathedral Park to see a community garden plot I may be leasing. Not knowing where exactly the garden was, I set out for an adventure along Willamette Boulevard, which winds along a great ridge on the west bank of the Willamette River. The view was glorious – evergreen blanketed hills to the west, lovely historic homes to my right, and behind me snowy Mt. Hood, resplendent without the usual cloud cover.  As I pedaled I noticed the sky, filled with sunlight filtered down to me through gauzy clouds and a lacy curtain of brilliant red and yellow leaves still clinging haphazardly to gnarled branches. I  also noticed I’d been smiling ever since my ride began.

When I arrived at the majestic St. John’s Bridge I knew I was close to my destination. The garden plot was sure to be down the steep hill leading to the water and Cathedral Park.  I rode through the park, down toward the river, still not finding the garden. I now faced a steep hill to climb. Empowered and exhilarated from the ride out here and the beauty of my surroundings, I trusted my body to get me up the hill. And not only were my muscles focused solely on climbing the hill, my mind was laser-focused as well. Lingering frustration from a phone call this morning, doubts about making it up the hill, the never-ending To-Do list evaporated, and there to my right, down a quiet street was the garden.

The Space We Occupy

November 23, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


Five people in my immediate world have died in the last two months. They slipped away during the night; they left when 911 was called and responded. Bodies weary, worn, weathered and no longer wondrous with life, let go of earthly hold. Spirits tireless, bright, dignified and elegant uttered their final messages — silent words of release and love.  Somewhere in the years of then and now these five people lived. Through inspiration, objective, focus, responsibility and trust, each of these men and women were constant to their role as human being. Clearly without perfection they sought to live nobly, a testament to the grace rooted at their core.

“Maturing is not just aging. It’s taking responsibility for the time you take up and the space you occupy,”  Maya Angelou affirms.  Within the bounds and limits of expanding ourselves, we as conscious individuals attempt — and often fail– to express our soul’s aspirations. We become mired in doubt, believing we are less-than. Ego driven, we are afraid to look, act or BE older. Media reports to us unceasingly, the countless ways to remain beautiful, youthful and ageless.  We have forgotten we are not these bodies.  We live in fear of wrinkles, flawed countenance and loss of sex drive. Instead of taking stock of how we give back to the world, we fixate on how we appear to the world. By doing so, are we not misusing the space we occupy?

I believe aging is — in part– about discovering our purpose, uncovering the picture of a bigger story.  This enterprise is no small task.  It requires presence and deep consideration.  Some days I struggle with my attempts at soul’s work. Some days, I’m not even sure I know what that work is! Caught up in my own human fears of aging — physical limitations more apparent, dreams unfulfilled, making sense of the reasons for my existence — I let ego steer me away from the knowing I AM spirit. I live in the past of regret and the future of what-if-only.

During these times, corralling my attention to the moment is imperative.  I don’t ignore my fears; I move through them. I strive to age with dignity and grace.  The five residents that passed away at the care facility where I work, have been an example to me. They have reflected it is through our imperfection in aging, that we grace this world. Though we cannot always be benevolent of heart and less driven by ego’s insecurities, we can prompt ourselves to live responsibly. We can wake up every day and in our finer moments, get close to our soul.


November 20, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Poetry







Essential Shadow

November 19, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Poetry


Ill on the inside candor eludes
dodging light and opting
instead for the lies
passed around at board
meetings like propaganda
Cock and bull creation.

Unconscious cannot be
Deception hovers waiting
its turn
Coveting its place.

Codify your darkness
mistrust failure insecurity
Grant order to chaos
of the heart
Seek solace perpetually
In another?s tenet.

Unconscious cannot be
Deception hovers waiting
its turn
Coveting its place.

Intrinsic to each to all
Struggle assimilate value
Darkness to illumination
Hand in hand a balance
Vital as blood breath
Petition truth as heroic quest.



November 10, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


Gratitude is a magnificent word. Daily, it appears on the breeze of my dreams’ finales like a gentle alarm alerting me to the waking hour. Taking a few moments to silently list what I am thankful for is the origin of my day. The inventory is extensive naturally, but mainly the beneficiaries of my grateful register are family and friends. Gratitude has immense power. Similar to the motion of a bird’s wings in flight, it lifts the energy of thanks to realms we cannot touch with our human hands.

While some claim pseudoscience at work, Masaru Emoto’s studies of positive intention on the structure of water are compelling. His work reveals that music, prayer and the words — love and gratitude — produce beautifully shaped water crystals. While emphasizing he is not a scientist, nor the studies “double blind,” Emoto has nevertheless opened our eyes to the possibility we can have profound effect — in this case on water, one of humans? most essential needs. The notion that basic H20 can be appreciated enough to form symmetrical, snowflake-like shapes when frozen is extraordinary. Imagine the myriad other possibilities! Read more »

Tips for Mindful Eating

November 07, 2009 By: Rachelle Goering Category: Mind Body Spirit


In my last entry, I promised I would follow with some tips for mindful eating. There are numerous techniques one can integrate into their life that support mindful eating. It is a skill that must be learned and practiced. We possess the ability to be mindful in all areas of lives. Cultivating mindfulness in eating will help us to live a mindful life. Below are some tips for mindful eating. Some of these suggestions are from the book Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays. If you want more information, I highly recommend her book and CD.

Step One: Slow Down

Americans tend to gobble their food. Eating on the go is the norm now–fast food, drive through, microwaves, etc.– is common place in our society. Did you know that the average meal last about 11 minutes? Read more »


November 05, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Poetry


Your hands held my tears today
A waterfall of salt stained
heart pressed soul wrung
Beginning from a distance
reeling fear in its blackest shadow
Unfolded sorrow unexpressed loathing
melted muted dreams
All tumble from eyes that viewed
horror as joy bareness as bounty thorns as caresses.
Your hands held my tears today
and when fingers could no longer contain them
They became pearls
dropping rolling tumbling
transformed to tiny moons of wisdom
hair-breadth strands of sunlight.

Giving Birth

November 04, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


I’m stripping – one fear at a time, one feeling at a time, one label, one tear. I’m stripped of each element of my person. Who is doing the stripping I can’t really say. Am I the perpetrator? Is this stripping societal, accidental, an act of God? All I know is it is happening whether I like it or not, regardless if I’m ready or not.

Sara Davidson writes in her latest bestseller Leap! What Will We Do With the Rest of Our Lives? that this act – the “s” word – is “when the supports that prop up your identity are kicked away.” Now I understand intellectually that my identity is not truly who I AM. I know on a deeper level of being alive, I am not this body that isn’t as perfect as I may want or a mother who desperately loves her three children -the youngest having returned to college today. I don?t want to believe I am unemployed or worse, unemployable. Read more »

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