Friday, June 26, 2009


New England is the place for me,
A cozy cottage by the sea,
Seagulls calling near the shore,
The water sending back its roar.

That's part of a little poem I wrote (without paper or pencil) in 10th grade, wearing my blue & gold cheerleading uniform, at night, on a noisy bus coming home from a basketball tournament......typical me, putting off assignments till the last minute, but I got an A- on it. For a landlocked Southern girl, I've always been drawn to the sea, and when I learned what meditation was, that cottage, actually just a hut in the sand, became my escape. It's still there (in my mind), sort of ramshackled and looking as if it were decorated by a 1960's Flower Child, beads hanging in the doorways, colorful, rumpled cloth mats on wood floors and lots of floor pillows to snuggle into........this is the first time I've told anyone about it.

My college English professor said that he meditated, and of course I wanted to know how, as I plan to know a little bit about everything before I expire. Following his explanation, I went home, tried it and was hooked.

Since then, I've found lots of kinds of meditation, one of them being prayer, but prayer (and I've probably been doing it all wrong) seems to be giving God a to-do list, and what I consider pure mediation is the opposite, simply opening myself up to......I call it the Source........("The tao that can be described in words is not the eternal tao"). When I'm needing to escape from reality, I meditate and envision my seaside hut.

The purest form of meditation, though, seeks to avoid dwelling on images, a tad scary at first because we operate on images. Here's how I do it:
I go into a quiet room, blinds drawn, noise makers like TV and radio off, find a comfortable spot to sit cross legged, sometimes on the carpet, sometimes if I'm feeling stiff, it's in my huge, soft recliner surrounded by pillows. I rest my hands in my lap or on my knees with middle fingers touching thumbs. Some people chant a mantra, but I usually go it alone. Eyes closed, I concentrate on the so-called "third eye" in the middle of my forehead and upon measured, slow breathing. As I begin to feel connected, my head invariably leans backward, and I wait in the attitude of "show me what you want me to know". If something is really bothering me, I may present it or him or her, merely as a word and wait. Sometimes I get insights so unexpected I'm in total awe. Sometimes it comes the next morning when I wake up. Sometimes not at all. But I always feel renewed, and when I'm too long between meditations, I wonder why I waited so long.


  1. I love the verse, Cat, the cottage, the get-away-ness of it.

    Today I visited with a bunch of art buddies at the home of one of us. When I turned off the highway to her home -- nestled among several woodsy-looking buildings -- I was immediately on a rutted, skinny dirt road, tree limbs brushing my windows, puddles from last night's rain spattering my car like a watercolor spattered with a toothbrush.

    We all met and took a trail through the woods to her treehouse. It's her "cottage by the sea" cut into a clearing on her property.

    I enjoyed a piece of heaven for a few hours...

    It's so good to see you, Cat... :)

  2. Hi, Barb. I'm so envious of your friend! A treehouse! Thanks for sharing that image here. Wish I lived close enough to be there with you girls.