Beauty, the Dulcimer and the Bridge
Updated: May 22
When I realized that gathering to practice and enjoy community with my yoga friends was not going to be possible for months, or possibly longer. And when the full weight of the pandemic was upon me. I decided to offer a weekly meditation group via zoom. Many of my friends were having a difficult time coping with isolation and ached for the hardships our friends, family and neighbors were experiencing.
I had the opportunity first to participate in zoom retreats led by the Monks and Abbots of the Oriental Orthodox Order of the West and realized how effective (and affective) a virtual platform could be. That and along with the encouragement of a dear friend who wanted to receive what she believed I had to offer gave me the confidence needed to move forward.
Our meditation group is informal. We always begin with casual greetings and introductions of new participants. I have practiced various forms of meditation for decades which allows for some variety in our approach. Our focus for meditation is inspired by what is going on in the world and what I know of the lives and concerns of those who participate. I like to use a heart coherence technique from the heart-math institute that I learned from Greg Braden. The practice is simply slowing the breath and inviting a feeling of appreciation, gratitude, care or compassion. This technique triggers positive hormonal release and brings about an experience of peace, positive feelings, reduces anxiety and promotes a feeling of calm. We enter into short periods of silence and contemplate selected prose or poetry that points us towards the strength and stillness that resides deep within each of us.
The following is a short collection of poems that help create a bridge between what we fear and what we love. A bridge that helps us move from the pain and hardship of the pandemic to the beauty we experience in nature and in our relationships with one another.
I wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t go to the door of the study and read a book.
Take down the dulcimer.
Let the beauty of what you love
be what you do.
There are a thousand ways
And kiss the ground.
In the harvest of presence, the evanescent moment
Of seeing or hearing on the outside, what already lives far inside of us,
The eyes, the ears, the imagination
Suddenly become a bridge
Between the here and the there,
Between then and now,
Between the inside and outside.
is the conversation
between what we think is happening outside in the world
and what is just about to occur
far inside us.