Sanctuary Adventure

An excerpt from the upcoming book:

 Underneath: Seeking The True Teacher

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Bend Oregon:

Day one

At a horse sanctuary where my friend, Alpal, and her family live, there are 80 horses, among other creatures. The horses have been rescued from dire circumstances such as starvation, abuse, neglect, and greed. Each one has a harrowing story. Some have had the time and the right ingredients to heal, but some will never not be traumatized. Their pain has soaked into the fabric of their being. The weak and injured tend to be in their own stalls, but there are also herds of ten or more gathering in bigger fields. Communication comes in soft rumbling whispers that roll out of their incredibly shaped forms: massive four-legged, graciously tailed, big-eyed, long-nosed beasts. (We are beasts as well, dear reader.)

The skull of a horse is so uniquely different from ours. They whinny while the donkeys in the pasture on the other side of the barn bray. Their voices cross the boundaries that hold their bodies in. A tribe of wild horses, wild because these ones have been rescued from being rounded up from the wilderness of the Rocky Mountain Range through North America, shipped by train up to Canada to be slaughtered for the meat trade. These wild horses huddle around the water trough. There is also a large pond that hosts a plethora of birds. Three horses notice us and stroll closer, curious, yet reserved, sussing us out. I feel blessed to be in their presence. Although I recognize that it’s not about me, I do desire a sense of recognition between us, and of course it has already occurred even if I am unaware. It is in the ether, yet my human patterning lives in thinking, in terms of identity, and this limits my ability to receive information. It is as if I want him to ask me my name. (Dolphins have unique signatures that they use throughout their whole life. Interestingly, they never make the sound signature of another dolphin, only their own. So they can’t talk about each other. They are present with themselves as the subject.) So I stand in relation with the horse and let go and forget about me, or at least attempt to while staying in my body. There is so much more to notice than what is in your head. We stand in each other’s presence for a bit and then our paths take us along.

Chickens, cats, bunnies, and a duckling live here as well. Free to roam and that is how it should be, although there is a lot of chicken shit on the porch. The waddling duckling chases after our feet as we walk through the house. The bunnies hang out with the chickens grooming under the picnic table. The farm life, so sweet.

Life is ever giving and must be free living. It is an equation we reside in. We are not the designers, we are the designed. Noticing the natural intelligence that arises from birds who roost to bunnies that burrow to horses that run, and we are the humans that witness to tell the stories. You must first be empty like a glass ready to be filled.

Posted on July 6, 2018 .

An exercise for your meditation practice:

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The Mystery Within

 

  • Find a comfortable seat and close the eyes. Feel the natural process of breathing. Relax the shoulders and the inner thighs. Feel the weight of your body and give it to the earth. Feel the support of the earth give rise to that body.

  • Lean back slightly into the space behind you. Find that spacious, yet precarious line of balance, your spine dangling upwards.

  • Relax the jaw, feel the back teeth separate slightly. Lick the lips and place them gently together. Place the tip of the tongue at the front of the palate and relax the root of the tongue. In Taoist thought, the tongue is the tip of the heart and the tongue is also the embassy of the mind. The roots of the word embassy are connected to being a servant, a bridge, but it also literally means ‘going around,’ as the tongue does.

  • The lids of the eyes are heavy and drop down. The gaze is turned inwards. Release a sigh on that exhale and feel the body relax.

  • The breath is smooth, rhythmic, and deep, yet unmanipulated. The breath breathes the body.

  • Feel the movement of the breath in the body: the ribs expand, the lungs press down towards the kidneys in the back body, to the sacrum, in the front body to the space of the heart, to the lower belly. Feel the home within the body.

  • Imagine yourself sitting within your own body on the pelvic floor with your heart above your head? Listen to all the sounds that surround you, the ocean of sound surrounding the continent of your being. All of those sounds are within you.

  • Seek the origin. Imagine the striking of a bell. Let the sound penetrate and absorb into that center and emanate outward.

  • When you are ready to return, bring your awareness to the inhale and slowly open your eyes.

Posted on June 20, 2018 .