You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘meditation’ tag.
Often as I’ve driven back home from New York or Connecticut, I’ve notice that the last exit on I-84 in Connecticut, just feet from the Massachusetts border, is for the town of Union and the Massachusetts town of Holland. As this was one I’d never been to before, and I had a little time on my way home from a weekend in the New York Berkshire Hills town of Pawling with a friend, I decided that this would be the next town to check off my list of the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge.
Holland is interesting as it’s one of the few towns in the Commonwealth that doesn’t have a numbered state highway that goes through it. The exit off of I-84 turns into a town road, that quickly skirts the Hamilton Reservoir, which has houses all around it’s banks. It looks like the type of place that would be very popular in the summer with a lot of water skiers and speed boats going up and down its length. No chance of that right now as there was still snow on the ground there (which was surprising as there wasn’t any snow in Hartford or Boston). I got to the town center, which seems to be just the main intersection. There I saw the town hall, library (very cute), the Holland Elementary School, and in walking a little further, I saw a house with a windmill on it. This was Holland after all!
So, is there something that you’ve always seen, but have been itching to experience, even if it’s not something really momentous?
As I stated in an earlier post, I knew that the first few towns to meditate in would be relatively easy. I would be hitting the towns around me, and I could do them while I was on the way of doing other things. Today, being Presidents Day and a holiday, I had the opportunity to get a massage (highly recommended to anyone who’s never treated themselves well!) and I knew I had only one more town in the Greater Boston area that I normally go through but hadn’t made it to yet. So, my mission for the day was clear: I needed to stop in Watertown.
Many years ago, I used to live just over the border of Watertown in the Waverly section of Waltham (which confused everyone as it’s on the Belmont-Watertown border, but I lived in a little tiny section of Waltham that peeks in there), and when I lived in Cambridge, I used to go to the grocers in East Watertown all the time. While Watertown is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts (founded in 1630), it’s probably most known now as having one of the largest Armenian populations outside of Armenia. I stopped by the Armenian Library and Museum of America (it was closed for the holiday), but I am more likely to go for the food. I still remember the great bakeries and other food stores where you could get all sorts of Armenian/Middle Eastern type food. Given my celiac diagnosis, I have to be much more careful about that, but hope to make my way to these places again.
So, when have you returned to a place you remember from your past, and what triggers your memories?
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a program at the Theosophical Society of Boston by Pam Kristan, and the subject was “Awakening in Time: Practical Time Management for Those on A Spiritual Path”. Pam’s presentation was on thinking about how to manage your time and consider how it fits into your spiritual context. The most interesting thing for me was concept of Sufficiency Practice. Just like yoga or meditation being a practice, Pam mentioned that we need to think and consider what we’ve done already in order to appreciate it before we go into the next thing. This is also the work of my friend Gina LaRoche and Seven Stones Leadership.
Just like in any presentation, the standard set up for that is an introduction, presenting the content, and then a wrap up. Too often, we completely forget about the wrap up. The following is another video blog on my concepts on this.
So, are you noticing what you’ve already accomplished?
Yesterday, I had a relatively quite Saturday, and I had a bunch of errands to run, and was out and looked around the see if I had some time to meditation in a new town, and I was near enough to Lincoln that I decided to make that number 17!
I’ve been through Lincoln many times in my past, as it’s on one of my routes from my father’s house to mine. It’s known as one of the wealthiest towns in the Commonwealth, and for some place that is so close to many major routes and business centers, it’s really rural. People can afford to have very large houses and a lot of space. I wondered around the town center and even went into the town library, which was really nice and quaint. It’s a very quiet place, but it has usually been a place that I’ve driven through instead of walked around. That again is the power of this challenge.
I made a video of my time there, as I was thinking about a workshop I’d been in the past. You’ll see my thoughts on that shortly.
So, where’s something or someplace that you’ve been in many times but never stopped to notice?
This post is about a week old, but after returning from my vacation in the Bahamas, I got caught with the bad cold that’s been racing through most of the communities that I belong to. Therefore, I’ve been spending the last few days just trying to get back into health.
One my first day back, I was doing a number of errands and realized that I wasn’t going to be far from Newton, and taking advantage of the time I had (and the 15 degree temperatures!) I did a walking meditation. I knew that the sight I had to use was the statue of Johnny Kelley that stands near the top of Heartbreak Hill on Commonwealth Avenue across the street from City Hall near Newton Center. Most people know of Newton as it is on the Boston Marathon route and has been the scene of many an exciting exchange of leads in the race. After going downhill for the first 16 miles from the start in Hopkinton, there are three hills in Newton that really challenge the runners just when they are starting to fade. This is where you can make a big move in the race!
I did the marathon in 1998, and race walked it in 5:07:26. It’s my one and only marathon, and it was a great experience. I had to train for months to prepare for this, and it was a great effort and I was quite tired by the end, but I felt a sense of elation as I had accomplished a big goal.
So, what big goals are you planning for 2012? How are you stretching yourself?
Greetings from the Bahamas. I’m on a little vacation, and have decided to do a little video blog instead of a written one. Enjoy!
As I mentioned in my last post, I was doing my walking mediation through the fields of Rock Meadow in Belmont, when the landscape changed from meadow to woods, and I soon saw a bridge up ahead on the path. As I got to it, I found that this was Beaver Brook and that the bridge went from the Rock Meadow Reservation to the Beaver Brook Reservation in Waltham. My little brief walking meditation was all of a sudden going to get longer. I could get two municipalities in in one day! Score!
I have a history in Waltham. My mother was born there, and I lived there for two years myself, not far from the Beaver Brook Reservation, but I hadn’t investigated it. It was striking that it became wooded quite quickly after crossing the bridge from Belmont, and it had your classic New England topography with drumlins and eskers. There were a number of mountain bikers on the trails, and all the trails were rocky (as is usual for New England). As there was no snow on the ground, it was easy to find footing.
Also surprising was to find a fully decorated Christmas tree in the middle of the woods! Someone had extra time on their hands. It brought a smile to my face!
I worked at breathing and trying to watch, listen, and just be present to what was around me. Waltham is technically a city, but this area was as rural as you can get, which is a nice little gem to know about so close to my house. The sun was going down and I had to take about 30 pictures of me laying down on the bridge to try to get my face and the words etched in the bridge in the same shot.
So, have you changed your plans to take advantage of an opportunity, or do you always stay on schedule?
Today has been a recovery day for me. I spent most of the day inside, as it’s been a bit chilly outside, and I’m just working at integrating myself after my retreat back into my day-to-day life here. I’ve still got a lot of laundry to do, but I’ve also done my breathwork, yoga, morning pages, and I’ve gone out for some walks. We have had a very mild start to winter, and there has been hardly any snow that’s fallen, and none that’s stuck to the ground. I know that our municipalities are happy to save money on plowing!
I did decide that I should take this opportunity to get out and add to my list of towns for the Challenge. As this Challenge is evolving, I am finding that I want to use this opportunity to not only go to new towns and cities that I’ve never visited, but to also go to new places in towns where I’ve known for a long time. By the time I decided to do it this afternoon, I didn’t have too much time to travel, so I decided to go to Rock Meadow in Belmont, which is the next town over from me. I had always seen it from the road while driving, but had never been there myself.
I learn upon starting my walking meditation there that it used to be a farm, was owned by McLean Hospital, and was the site of victory gardens during World War II so that people could grow food. The are still victory gardens there, although they are dormant at this time of year, but I was surprised at how big it was. Most of the area is an open meadow, and it makes you think of places that you would see in an Jane Eyre movie of the English countryside.
After meditating and walking for a while, I came upon a surprise. (See the next post to find out what!)
So, have you made room in your life for surprises to happen to you?
It’s the day after Christmas, and everyone is either extremely mellow, or they are frantically shopping for after Christmas deals. It seemed to be a holiday for just about everyone, and I took the opportunity to clean up some things around the house, do some paperwork, and then I set outside to do some errands and do some writing.
I’m the type of person that I need to get out of the house to get something done that takes a lot of focused time. I tend to go to the library to do a lot of writing or organizing. As today was an official holiday for most municipalities, I decided to go to Starbucks, and in wanting to utilize my time well with this challenge, I headed off to Lexington to sit in a Starbucks and get some writing done.
As most of you know, Lexington is famous for the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775 and (along with the Battle of Concord) starting the American Revolution. Lexington now is a pretty affluent suburb of Boston, but with a nice town center and many historic buildings. The obvious shot for me was with the Minuteman statue on the Lexington Battle Green.
On my way home from my family Christmas celebration in Upton, I decided that I had enough time to meditate in another town on the way home (hey, the whole reason for this challenge is to get me to go to places that I otherwise wouldn’t go and experience it.) I decided that I’d try to Hopkinton, as that was relatively on the way home, and not a place that I normally would go through.
Hopkinton is best known to most as being 26.2 miles west of Copley Square in Boston. In other words, it’s the start of the Boston Marathon. I stopped at the Town Common and saw the Marathon Starting Line painted on Main Street (Route 135) and did a walking mediation around the center. It’s quite cold, so I didn’t want to spend too much time, and it’s getting darker earlier.
I did the marathon in 1998 (in 5:07:16, which is pretty good considering I race walked the marathon and finished before many of the runners) and haven’t really been back since. That was a time that I really set a goal (I had been coaching people as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Marathon Walking Program, but hadn’t done one myself, so I really wanted to do this to proved that I was a marathoner too. It was a tremendous effort, but so worth it see that I could do whatever I put my mind to.
So, what goals have you put your mind to?