slow down. as you climb the mountain take an occasional look toward the top so you know where you’re going… keep your eyes on the path directly in front of you so you don’t trip or lose your way… and, perhaps most importantly, be sure to take in the view you already have.
we all have a waterfall we’re chasing. either it is a real list of goals – things you’re hoping to accomplish before you can rest and relax and enjoy life. or, it’s the idea of one day being happy, of one day being succesful, of one day being beautiful, relaxed and rested. think for a moment. are you committing this error of thought? i didn’t think i was until i found it in the most basic of places.
sitting below the waterfall on this page i sat and meditated. you see in recent meetings i’ve met people who share my hopes for inner peace and who maybe fell into deep with new age goodness, but whose hearts are kind and who have surmounted incredible obstacles and possess an inner glow. they have encouraged me to stick with my personal growth and to embrace what i’m inclined to do.
as such, something told me i need to meditate. yoga was a gateway drug! something also told me that i needed a visual cue, and an anchor. so i bought my first pair of 108 mala beads. i wear them to remind me of my yoga mind and to help me during my day think about peace, calm, gratitude, hope and other adjectives related to that star in our minds eye we can only see from a corner glance.
indeed, i was wearing these beads and finally one day my yoga teacher asked me if i know how to use them. i didn’t really and went home and googled it, falling a little deeper into my new age haze. interestingly i found the use of malas to be beautiful. they work kind of a like a rosary in that you repeat a phrase or mantra once for every bead. in the case of my rudraksha beads, it is advised that you pick one phrase you wish to embody during meditation. you then practice meditation with your mala for 40 consecutive days.
om. shanti. shanti. shanti. om.
peace. peace. peace.
this is my phrase. this is my goal. and so i hiked an hour into the malibu canyons, climbed up rocks and shimmied across a ledge to find this waterfall. i found a peace there that wanted desperately to hold onto. and so i sat with my mala, repeating 108 times “om shanti shanti shanti om.” personally, i found this meditation to be so helpful. my mind has an anchor and is less likely to sway into negative thought patterns, worries, or anticipations. i sat and listened to the water crashing. winds would pick up and mist graced my face, the trees swaying allowed sunlight to occasionally warm my back. i heard birds wings flapping. i smelled wet dirt and paid attention to the water flowing behind me against the rocks as it traveled down the mountain. i was working on my relationship to myself while at the same time working on my relationship to nature. submersed in the moment – no past no future – i thought “peace, peace, peace” and in living in that moment found my waterfall.
of course, when i began on bead one i repeated the words quickly. i rushed it. i grabbed for peace. i grabbed for enlightment. i grabbed to stop feeling the way i was feeling – heart broken and like a failure. it wasn’t until i slowed my breathing, checked-in with myself, and opened my senses that i began to settle. this is probably why there are 108 beads. it takes awhile to slow our minds, and mine especially. i began this blog to find myself – to live life passionately and find the job and situation that would provide me with meaning and satisfaction. instead, what i found was a power to be happy while on the journey to all of these things. it’s oddly cyclical. (by the way, i highly recommend reading the way of the peaceful warrior. you can meditate on the words from almost every page and it does a great job of bringing you back into yourself and the moment and helping you find everything you are looking for while you are looking for it. the waterfall is right now.)
today is day three of my meditative practice. day three. i don’t know how else my perception of these musings will change in 37 days from now – if at all – but i already am proud of myself and smiling more often. so, from me to you, consider meditating. consider finding an anchor from deep within.
with gratitude, thank you for your time…. <3