Forest Bathing Part II

Passing on this article I came across on forest bathing and some “at home “ things to try even if you can’t get outdoors — fragrances and soaking baths with scents that remind you of the forest.  Some seem quite expensive but there are things for $8 and $20 dollars.  Want something free? Try opening a window to let some sounds of the outside in and a bit of fresh air.  Could be all you need to change your mood, your outlook, or state of mind for the better!

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/06/t-magazine/forest-bathing-beauty.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=T%20Magazine

Meditation Challenge

commit_to_sit

This month, I’m participating in Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness Meditation Challenge with a commitment to sit in meditation every day in February.  Last year over 23,000 joined following the program outlined in Real Happiness.  Each week, different meditation practices will be offered.  The commitment is small.  Each day takes less than ten minutes of time.  The first week will focus on a concentration practice.

I’m looking forward to the next few weeks and sharing my experiences. If you’ll be doing this challenge, let me know!

Registration is still open if you want to join us.  Have you ever done a meditation challenge before? If you have, I’d love to hear about it!  If you join,  I’d love to hear about that too!

Here is the link    Commit to Sit 

 

 

 

Now, the Present Moment, and Mary Oliver – Part Two

In this blog pose, we continue exploring Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day.

Here are the final four lines:

 

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

 

These lines can bring up some distressing thoughts, confronting a harsh truth that most of us wish to ignore.  Life as we know it will end – perhaps even sooner then we wish.  When it does, the poem asks us to question ourselves – have I done everything I should have done or wanted to do?  Perhaps we have been pushing to the future something we have always been intending.  Perhaps we haven’t done all that we might have wished to?

 

But, to me, the last question of the poem offers hope.  Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?  What are you going to do NOW that you could,  should, or want to do?  What will you do with your own time?  Take a few moments of your precious time to do some introspection. It is a good, deep question to ponder on a cold winter night.

 

wisconsin-horicon-national-wildlife-refuge-colorful-sunset_800

 

What is it you want out of life?  Are you getting it now?  To me, this poem is a call to action.  It tells us to  focus on our own life’s plan, to live in the now, to take action in this current time, and to make a plan for our future, by figuring out what we really want out of life.  Then, attempt to do it.

 

Start now.  Create a plan as a guiding arrow for your life’s direction, but, always, live in the present.  It is ok to change your plan, (for after all it is only a plan), but if you do, do it freely, and eagerly, and follow your new path with equal zeal and vigor. 

 

The last five words of the poem are the heart of the matter – your wild and precious life.  Your life is indeed precious, your life wondrous and maybe a bit wild!

 

Don’t let these special and precious moments escape you without noticing them anymore.  Make a plan to set a direction for your own path.

 

Use the insights to keep you focused in your yoga and meditation practices.  Savor each and every time you step on your mat.  Take these thoughts into your life off of the mat as well.  Set a direction for what you want to do, yet, live in the present moment.  Follow your arrow, but maintain awareness with each breath and with everything that you do.  Create your sense of purpose, keeping alive a sense of wonder as you live and explore the world with your one wild and precious life!

 

Remembering Mary Oliver

 

remembering mary oliver

 

 

A Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Poem: Yoga Nature — Crow On The Wire

I do yoga in the autumn woods. 
Nature is my teacher. 
The sky is my Om. 
The soil of the ground, my mat
that I lengthen in an upward dog.

The tree is my pose
that stables my imbalance. 
The black slate is my plank
when I feel weak and unsure. 
The leaves crackle under my feet
as I reverse my warrior.

I skim the stones of mindfulness 
across the shallow creek
of glistening waters. 
I breathe in the scent of pine and maple
with Ujjayi breath. 
I stretch and unwind
under an emerald-blue waterfall
to loosen the tightness
of my grip.

via Poem: Yoga Nature — Crow On The Wire