Three-fold Walking Meditation

This is the last post about Sacred Essence. Can you tell I found it an interesting night?!

We followed up the silk painting meditation and the story of Fundevogel with a walking meditation called “three-fold walking”. This is a meditation in movement in which we become aware of what is actually involved in the activity of lifting out feet in order to move forward. It took intense concentration, and I with my heavy sinuses and tiredness found it challenging to keep my balance as we walked so slowly in a circle around our candle. This is an excellent meditation to do by the light of the full moon, by the way!

Here is a description of the three-fold walking meditation:

1. The Decision to Move Forward.

Stand still and tall with your feet together. If possible do not look at them and instead just feel them. Feel them beneath you: trusty and strong, bearing and distributing your weight, meeting the earth beneath you and testing it for security. Our feet are so important to us and we very rarely give them much thought.

The first step begins with the decision to go somewhere. Some thought goes into this and the idea is followed through with lifting your knee – not your foot! Our knees are connected to our vision because they point us in the right direction. Our feet are aligned with our knees and if not for our knees and our vision we would not walk the path we need to! When the knee is lifted the heel is lifted too. The ball of your foot and your toes are still touching the ground.

2. The Commitment.

With your toes on the ground you are not yet committed to your decision to go. It requires trust that your decision to leave the place where you are grounded is the right one. What should happen when your foot leaves the earth? You will have one foot only on the earth, not a secure position of balance at all! Do you go forth and see what happens?

You do. Your knee lifts your toes and your foot moves through the air to land with your heel on the ground in front of your back foot. Your front foot now rolls from heel, to the ball of your foot, to your toes. Firmly on the ground now, but not firm enough. One foot in front of the other is not an aligned position for your body because you still have one foot left behind.

3. The Leap of Faith.

One foot is still placed where you were standing before. In order to actually move forward we need to make the decision to lift this foot and bring it forward. This means leaving our past behind us. If we remain in our past we become static, unchanging, immovable. Forward we must go!

Shifting your weight forward on your front knee, and lifting your back knee your back heel comes off the ground, followed by your toes and with the process begins again: the leap of faith. The only way forward is to trust to your inner guidance, knowing that where your foot lands will see you safe and moving in the direction you need to go. Your back foot swings past your front foot, which is now firmly planted and taking the weight of your whole body.

Moving forward in our lives, in any situation, begins with the intention to go somewhere. It begins with the (1) decision to do something, (2) the commitment to see it through, and (3) the trust that it is the right decision, without looking back, without regret.

Absolutely everything we decide happens in this way. One foot in front of another. If you have a tough decision to make, perhaps you could try a three-fold walking meditation and see what decision arrives from the experience. Often it does not matter what you decide to do, so long as you decide something and trust in your inner guidance to see it through.

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Fundevogel

To continue describing the events of our Sacred Essence Women’s Circle the other evening, the silk painting meditation was followed by a storytelling session of the Grimm Brothers’ version of Fundevogel.

Fundevogel has always been one of my favourite stories, and the lines “Never leave me and I shall never leave you: Neither now nor ever” very nearly made it into my wedding vows. I believe that Fundevogel explores themes of trust and guidance.

To cut a beautiful traditional story short (I do recommend you read this one!), Fundevogel was a boy who was found in a bird nest and brought up by a kind family. The cook, however did not take a liking to him and he was mercilessly hunted by the cook and his helpers who wanted to put him in a pot and boil him. His adopted sister and closest friend Lena had an unshakable belief that all will be well and when she found out what the cook’s intentions were she informed Fundevogel what he needed to do to escape the peril. Together they transformed themselves into something beautiful that the cook’s helpers could not recognise: they searched everywhere but just could not see the beauty before them! Twice Fundevogel and Lena managed to escape before the cook came after them himself. Each time Lena calmly stated what they would do:

You be the rose-bush and I the rose upon it. The beautiful red rose growing in the middle of the woods clearly didn’t belong there but the mal-intenders did not recognise it and turned around.

You be the church and I the chandelier within it. An empty church with a chandelier in the middle of the wood – for goodness sake! It was not considered unusual, it was searched thoroughly and STILL the children were not recognised and were saved once more.

You be the pond and I the duck upon it. Finally the cook saw through this one but Lena didn’t blink an eye. She calmly solved that problem too (how? go find the story and read it!) and voila no more problem. Fundevogel and Lena were able to return to their house (their centre of being, their happiness, their comfort) and resume their direction in life.

My interpretation of the story is that we are Fundevogel. He represents us as we stumble through the woods in our responses to the problems we encounter: we need guidance if we are to address them. Lena is our inner guidance. She recognises when we are in trouble or are about to meet something that is going to disturb our lives and sets us in the right direction. She never once doubts that all will be well and she uses her imagination and speaks her intentions positively and clearly – and so it happens. When we imagine what we could do and project our positive intentions out into the world the negative cannot recognise us as victims and so it turns away. I am convinced that it CAN be as simple as that!

The meditation we followed this story with was a three-fold walking meditation. Coming in the next post 😉

October Sacred Essence

Sacred Essence Women’s Circles have been offered monthly over the last year. They are a time and place where women can take a moment to slow down, to breathe, to take comfort in each other’s company and explore healing ways to be whole.

Sacred Essence offers a variety of modalities to explore and express women’s healing: meditation, yoga, breathing, ceremony, craft, song, dance and artwork. It is a deeply peaceful place to unfold in the safe embrace of sisterhood.

Sacred Essence took a break this month while both Melissa and I have been distracted by baby business (no news from Melissa yet but very close!). October Sacred Essence will follow the theme of Intention and how we can focus our intentions to reflect and vibrate with our inner core of beauty. The world is a beautiful place! Let’s create that together again and again and again … In this coming circle I will be sharing my favourite fairy tale of all time (one that nearly made it into our wedding ceremony as part of our vows!) and also we will be silk-painting a sacred altar cloth!

Come and play!

Monday October 4th, 7:30 – 9:30pm,
$20 per session or $45 for three sessions

Moonlight Prep Room, Silkwood School

39 Shepherd Hill Lane, Mt Nathan

RSVP to jennifer@ceremonieswithspirit.com
Please RSVP by 1st October so that I can plan for adequate craft materials.
Please share this link with your fellow womyn. All are welcome.

Blessings, Jennifer

Intention and DNA

The thought of using our words with intention to recreate the exact meaning, emotion or mood that we ourselves are experiencing has led me into some interesting reading. Intention has always been a part of my work as a celebrant, and as I mentioned in my last post, it was a big part of my work as an early childhood teacher as well, however it is only in the last year or so that I have come to realise how deeply intention really does affect us and move us.

I have been reading all kinds of interesting stuff this week on this topic, snatching sentences here and there while breastfeeding the little one. (That is about the only reading time I have now … I tried to have a little quiet read in bed this morning with no joy. The prevailing concept seems to be: Mum is still, therefore Mum is available!) The bits I have managed to look at have been tantalising indeed – all kinds of interesting ideas about how connected we all are in this world. I am looking forward to pursuing these thoughts, but it will be an ongoing project I think!

The most interesting thing I picked up was a book on Shamanism which talked about DNA and its connection to our emotions. I am pretty open-minded, but I have to say I am not ready to buy the idea that DNA are reptilian-like creatures that came as refugees from outer space and populated this planet, forming little social groups that eventually became the first complex organisms on this earth. I’m not ruling it out, mind you! Anything is possible … but for the moment I am more interested in pursuing the research done on DNA and how it connects us physically and spiritually.

It seems the DNA are so intrinsically linked with our emotional state, that DNA removed from our bodies will change behaviour at the exact same moment that we change our emotions. No matter how far away our DNA is. The implication here is that when we touch somebody and leave our DNA on them, they are then connected in a small way to our emotional state. Those people we touch often (family, close friends), and who we feel ‘in tune’ with are likely to be the ones who are experiencing our DNA’s behaviour. So it is true that our thoughts and feelings (therefore our INTENTIONS) do have an effect on others. We are all connected.

There will be more to come on this topic – but in the meantime there is plenty on you-tube to illustrate what I am talking about! Here is a beautiful one demonstrating Dr Emoto’s research into how our words, and the intention behind our words affect the very structure of matter. It gives me goosebumps! To think that water can create such beautiful forms with beautiful words and feelings. Imagine, that as most of our body IS water, it too would be creating these beautiful pictures inside of us when we feel good, and when we are consciously sharing our good feelings. How wonderful our bodies must feel to BE beautiful! Imagine too, how your physical bodies must feel when we indulge in negative feelings. We can’t do it to ourselves!! No wonder we get sick!

The Power of Intention (and another baby photo)

I haven’t had the time for writing recently (this post has taken several days to put together – the little one much prefers me to gaze into her eyes instead of the monitor, and I am quite happy to oblige!), but it doesn’t stop the words tumbling about in my head. I am still trying to write my luc bat poem, and while I keep talking it up, I am wondering now if it is meant to be written. The challenge of trying to find the right words to fit within particular parameters is an enjoyable one, and it is something I just have to take my time over – it has led me to become interested in the idea of intention: how we use our words to evoke in other people the same ideas and feelings that we have.

Words do not become meaningful unless we attach meaning to them. Until we assign a value to them, they are combinations of straight and curved lines on paper, or combinations of sounds in speech. The problem with our language is that no matter what we say or write, we evoke an emotion in other people, and this is what I am struggling with in my luc bat poem: how to choose the right words that portray the meaning that I intend (and within the parameters of the poetry form). I can say words to you and you may receive them and understand them differently to that which was my intention. How do we use words precisely? We don’t, not unless the person being spoken to has a shared experience of our intention: a common understanding. The irony here is that when you share a common understanding with someone – words are not always necessary.

Have you ever experienced goose-bumps when you’ve heard something beautiful? How did you recognise it as beautiful? When we are speaking to another person, or when we sing or play music to them, we are literally touching them. Sound activates our sense of touch – it moves us! This happens because the sound waves we create with our voice or our instrument enter another person’s ear and touches their ear drum, causing vibrations that are converted into sensory information that is interpreted by our brain. This is why music evokes emotion so easily, and why it is important to choose our words carefully. Because of our ability to touch others with our words, I believe it is important to choose words that most closely match our intention. I believe it is important to consider your words before they leave your mouth because in doing so, in speaking from a place of our own truth, I think that we have more of a chance for our words to be received in the spirit and meaning for which they were intended. Are you sharing words with another person that are aligned with your personal truth?

(Now, the key here is – do you know what your own personal truth is?! That one is another journey!!)

This was one of the ideas that became important to me in my work as a kindergarten teacher. In my work I became very aware of how every gesture, every word, every detail in the environment has the ability to create a response in another person. In our early childhood environment we wished to create an environment that nourished and supported children’s growing bodies and imaginations, to create a place where they could feel safe and know the world is a good place. So our use of voice, sound and choice of words became one way of supporting this. I often felt like a priestess, even then, holding this intention for my class of children. I continue this now, as a mother. It is every bit as important.

Oh I have so much to write on this subject – but with such little writing time! I do have time for a quick Linden update though! The little seven-week old is discovering the power of speech now. She has always been a listener – she listens with her whole body, and she makes the sweetest lop-sided grin when you talk to her. She is moving me with her words now, that’s for sure: the effort she puts in to making her ‘ER’ sounds when she chats to us clearly pleases her as much as it pleases us 🙂 She is totally aligned with her personal truth and her meaning to us is clear: Life is Good!

…and for Karisma and Melissa … here is another Linden photo. This photo almost captures the look she often has that makes me feel like she is enjoying some personal joke. It is fuzzy because she won’t be still 🙂