Writing Zazen

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Practice

Filed under: Daily Practice,Inspiration — Silent Warrior @ 1:00 pm
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Saturday 8March08 12:26pm

Some of the pieces I have added to my daily practice include which began on my writing retreat:

Rumi Wakeup – I got this from Wayne Dyer’s book Inspiration, Your Ultimate Calling (one of my favorite books). He discusses that time in the early morning when you wake up (between 3am and 4am) and you don’t have to get up. The thing is to actually get up. It’s based on a Rumi poem that says something along the lines of, “The morning breeze has something to tell you, don’t go back to sleep.” I’m not always religious about it because I love sleeping but eventually I will be. I love the 4am hour for its peacefulness. I do stream of consciousness writing and record my dreams from the night before.

I do the Adi Mantra from Kundalini Yoga – Ong Na Mo Guru Dev Namo. Which means I bow to the Creator, to the Divine teacher within. From that I move into my stretches and a Kundalini Yoga set and another chant. I’m slowly starting to add 15 minutes of silence, that I want to do twice a day before I write. It’s kind of hard to sit silent for 15 minutes straight but I’ll get it. As Quincy Jones would say, “It’s ragged but I’ll get it.”

I’ve been doing a couple of writing exercises to get the words flowing. One is from 30 Ways to Help You Write by Fran Weber Shaw, which I used to do years and years ago. You write “Now I’m Sitting Here and…” at the top of the page, then relax all the muscles in your body and listen to the sounds. Then you write nonstop for two or three pages and stop. That was how I used to do all of my writing, so needless to say, I’m getting back to beginner’s mind as Natalie Goldberg so aptly calls it.

And another exercise that I got from a writing newsletter where you write down three random words like ‘pimps, women, black music’ and with those words write a scene for my novel. You basically come up with three words for 15 scenes of your novel and write each scene starting the first sentence with one of those words and including the other two words in the first paragraph. I guess it gets your mind away from thinking about how to start. It’s crazy but it works.

I also write a series of affirmations in my steno from an article I read on manifestation in Mind Power News, an email newsletter that I receive. I’ll look for the article and post it. Basically it’s 4 affirmations: 1- What I am doing now (some goal that I want to realize) 2- How I support myself in realizing that goal 3- The good feelings I have for realizing that goal and 4- A Thank You to the Universe or God.

And overall, I’m enjoying the abundance I already have in my life. I have books galore and enough inspirational CD’s and meditation tapes and CD’s to cure all of Toronto. Ha Ha! So I’m making it a point to listen to and enjoy what I have. I belong to the Spiritual Cinema so I have all these great movies and short films. I’m building a DVD collection because my breakfast buddy buys me DVD’s for birthdays and Christmas. And Music? Well anyone who knows me knows I have an insane amount of music, what with working at Sam’s years ago and having that itunes addiction and importing anyone’s music collection that I can. And I also belong to Simply Audio so I have a decent amount of audio books. If I didn’t leave my house for a year I still wouldn’t make it through all the stuff I have. And with my comfy bed? Praise God I am blessed!

I’ll see if I can find the manifestation article…

SW

Building Momentum

Filed under: Daily Practice,Inspiration — Silent Warrior @ 12:20 pm
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8March08 Saturday 11:46am
It’s another snowy day in Toronto. I can’t believe how much snow we’ve had this year. Most people are complaining but I don’t really have much to complain about. I really do enjoy when we have distinct seasons. It always bodes well for the Summer. You have to live through the dark in order to enjoy the light, or something like that.

I am finally feeling like I’m living in more light and less dark, which is always a good thing. And the best part is that I’m feeling grateful for the light. So snow schmoe, no worries!

I made it past another birthday. I wasn’t sure how that was going to pan out since the money is still funny from the big pain of 2007. I had no ideas what to do for my birthday and I was contemplating letting it pass by unmentioned. My friend frogs legs had the brilliant idea to go to Southern Accent for eats and a psychic reading on Feb 29th, the day before my birthday (otherwise known as my alternate birthday). It was six women and a very cute, flirty server and lots of laughs. My girlfriend Jojo provided most of the entertainment regaling us with her stories. It was great being in the company of all strong minded women. And the psychic reading was stellar! That never hurts. Plus what she said fell in line with my goals for my personal 2008, which began on March 1st. The night was ended with a few hours of Karoake, the Carpenters (Thanks frogs legs), much laughter and a promise to do that shit again!

On the Wednesday before my birthday, I had the brainwave to extend my weekend and turn it into a writing retreat in my apartment. That I could afford. I used to do them periodically but with the big pain of 2007 and all the other dramas it sort of fell by the way side and then some. All of a sudden I was super excited about my birthday. I worked on my itinerary (writing, meditations, juices and healthy foods, inspirational CD’s, and mild workouts like stretching and Kundalini Yoga). It was a fantastic weekend which helped me to ground myself, get back in touch with my novel in progress and make a commitment to the practice of Kundalini Yoga. After several years of following/reading Guru Rattana’s New Millenium Being and doing some of the chants she recommends in it and really feeling the benefits of it, I found that it was time to make it my daily practice.

My three day weekend was a perfect way to build momentum for my goals and get away from the chatter. I didn’t watch television, no telephone and no internet (although I did go on Facebook a couple times to check out the birthday wishes, but it was mere moments.) On the Monday, I went to the book store and bought Kundalini Yoga, The Flow Of Eternal Power by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa as taught by Yogi Bhajan. And I went on to itunes to buy various versions of the mantras that I wanted to practice. I burned a couple CD’s of the mantras. I’ve been sleeping during the week with the main CD on and find that I have calmer, more peaceful sleeps and I feel more able to deal with the frustrations that come up at work and in life. So it’s all good.

My next thing to save up for is the offerings at Guru Rattana’s website http://www.yogatech.com. She has packages with DVD’s and books that I would sure love to order. I’ve been finding that the exercises (sets) that I’ve been doing each day have been relieving my arthritic feet which is a huge bonus. And my writing focus has been great.

Life is always going to have it’s elements of frustrations, I figure, but it’s sure nice to have a practice that helps me to cope without sabotaging relationships or being a total shut in.

SW

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