Day 69- the full moon hangover

No, I did not break my detox and get drunk. Last night was a full moon and according to popular belief, that can affect humans in many ways. I always believed that it was because we are made up of 60% water and since the full moon can affect the tides then it can also affect my aqueous body. Whether there is truth in this theory or not, I know that when I wake up, I definitely feel a little… off. According to astrologists, it could be a result of the ‘Mercury retrograde’, which sounds like some kind of party the Mad Hatter would invite me to, but when I look at the community noticeboard we know as Facebook, there is definitely something in the air. There is even a UFO video on my news feed. If this isn’t strange to you, then… never mind.

When I wake up, I feel like my bed is holding me hostage. It’s not that I am still tired; I slept like the dead for ten hours but I just can’t motivate myself to get up. I make three feeble attempts at sitting up and then just flop back down and curl up into a ball. I don’t feel sleepy, or sad, or sore; I don’t actually feel anything. I just keep very still as though the day might not find me if I just stay here long enough. Eventually I decide to start by reading some meditation ideas. I need a good technique today, one so good that it gets me out of bed because my detox fruit smoothie for breakfast doesn’t have the same magnetism as it did on day 1. I try not to think of the raisin toast and soy mocha that I am secretly craving, but eventually it is my trusty bladder than drags me out of the Manchester United covers. (NOT my choice- this is Padang, remember)

After my morning ablutions, I sit down on my cushion, grab a dot of meditation balm that ends up being smothered across half my face and finally close my eyes. I change music no less than three times and finally settle on Music for Deep Meditation, the Healing Power of Ocean Waves and Tibetan Singing Bowls. My flatmate used to hate when I listened to this track because she said it sounded like aliens and when my eyes are closed, I notice that it does have a bit of an eerie feel to it. I try focusing on myself as a drop of water, hurtling through space. I see the vast expanse of ocean beneath me and I fall into it. For a while I imagine myself floating in it, but I suddenly become afraid of the creatures lurking within… so I become one with the ocean. As my awareness expands, I become the ocean and all the creatures in it. Suddenly I am a tsunami crashing against buildings and I have to stop myself and get out of the water. I am on a beach, somewhere in the Telo islands, West Sumatra. There is a long beach break of “spitting A-frames” that Andrew loves. I am sitting on that beach and watching the ocean settle. Eventually it calms down and changes entirely into the gentleness of Long Bay in Malabar, where my home is in Sydney. I am sitting in the water and it reaches to my waist. It barely moves, but is cool and still. Then the water starts rising and I am drowning! HELP! No, I say quietly. The water slowly lowers. I get out and sit on a rock, staring at the ocean but I don’t know whether to stare out to the vast horizon or in to the calm bay. I have to bring myself back to the ocean countless times before I finally open my eyes. It isn’t the deepest meditation I have ever had, but it has given me insight into the power of my subconscious mind. Without a focus, without gentle direction, it can cause fear, grow out of control or try to drown me in thoughts.

Every day may not be a success, but every day I sit with myself and learn something new. Every day I am present, even if it is just for a moment and every day I am more aware of myself. If nothing else, this daily meditation gives me that expanding awareness.

Day 26 – meditation happens

The mind is like the ocean. The salt is all the thoughts. They never go away, but sometimes they are more still than others. I am sitting watching the gentle waves breaking up against the beach of Playa Esmeralda, where we are camping. The white wash is like my mind, a swirling mess of thought cascading over itself in an endless barrage of waves.
Then I stare at the horizon. Past the breakers, the ocean is glassy and blue. Meditation is like trying get out past the breakers. Today they are beating me back to the shore. After about twenty minutes of getting moved around in white wash I stand up and walk away. Sometimes it’s ok to forgive myself and walk away.
Later in the afternoon the persistent jet lag is threatening to throw me back to sleep so I go for a walk on the beach. It’s low tide but the dark wet sand is still cold on my Barr feet. The Santa Ana winds are blowing me down the beach and a swirling mist of dry white sand is dancing around my feet, guiding me forward. I stop and stand in this swirling magic and through the wind I can hear a vulture in a nest above me, warning me away from her young.
Sometimes meditation happens to you, even just a moment, but you will know exactly when it does and somehow you are more grateful for those surprise moments of bliss, like a gift from the universe.