Several years ago I left the church that I grew up in.  For me it was a long time coming and I found great relief in finally following my heart and instinct.  I have greatly missed one thing that church provides the space for and encourages: meditation.  Since meditation, for me, had always occurred in conjunction with a religion in a religious setting, I didn't know how to find and develop a space for contemplation after my beliefs changed.  Of course, I've read yoga and zen articles that tell you how to meditate or Buddhist thoughts on the topic but I was still unable to do it.

To a certain extent, my life is sort of a living meditation.  I work a job that I enjoy and perform well.  I come home and tend to the garden, cook, or read. I don't have the typical distraction of a TV (although the computer tends to take its place) or the hectic life style of a parent.  I intentionally try to keep my life simple and balanced.  Attempts are made to find life lessons in most things I do.  Yet, I still yearn for the sitting contemplation of my past but with a different focus then before.

One day a couple of weeks ago I decided to lug my flea- market blue chair to the very back corner of the property to position it right under a canopy of oak tree limbs.  At the time, I wanted to enjoy the lovely spring weather, watch the wildlife flutter around the property, and distance myself from the highway in front of our house.  I have continued to spend about thirty minutes in my chair each day.  I've begun to notice subtle changes in nature that take place daily and have started recognizing different plant and bird species- just in two weeks.  The biggest change that I've noticed, though, is in myself.  Reflecting on the external processes continuously leads me to reflection and contemplation on the internal of myself.   The quiet sitting and thinking has lead me to recognize disturbances within myself that I didn't know were there.  Its lead me to consider relationships in my life, past and present, and the positives and negatives those relationships provided.

Along the way, I've made a handful of true, soul-stirring friendships.   Some of these friends are still in my life actively, others passively.  The most striking piece for me though, is the grieving I've done for friendships that can no longer be what they once were.  People change, life changes, and that requires friendships to change sometimes.  Its a hard process to accept this simple truth when its someone that you felt so connected to at one point or another.   It wasn't until I found myself sinking into meditation on my little piece of earth, that I even realized one can grieve over friendships lost or changed.  It simply never occurred to me.  That's the beautiful thing about being still and listening.  Not to be confused, the feelings I experienced weren't regret or frustrations.  I simply allowed myself the space and time to realize and accept the passage of things that once were in my life in a distinct way and now are not in my life in the same way.

My longing for a spot and way to meditate has finally been met through a happy accident and a longing just to enjoy nature.  I should have recognized long ago that Mother Nature would be my passage way to contemplation again but I guess I'm not that bright!  For now this is my new found form of meditation.  Eventually, it will change because contemplation isn't a static experience.  It requires you to ebb and flow along with it and adapt to the changes it requires of you.  I'll deal with that issue when it arrives.


  1. I too have regretted the lack of an organized means not so much to meditate as to, some nuns would say "recollect ourselves". I find it hard to meditate but I get the concept of "recollectioin". So often I feel my thoughts and energies have been scattered all over the place, shining on the absurd, the silly, the tragic, the important alike, to play with the phrases from the Bible concerning rain and sun. The need to stop and review events and my feelings, then remind myself about the kind of person I want to be and calm my emotions is to recollect myself, and I don't do it as often as I should. It can be harder to do this when one is not a member of a spiritual community that sets time aside everyday or at least once a week to do this. I admire you, Fawn for finding a time and place to meditate everyday and at the same time realize that the vehicle for meditation need not be moribund. It encourages me to be more disciplined about time for recollection.

  2. I wish we lived closer to each other! I am beginning to realize that meditation can be so many things. I love reading your writing. I can feel your heartfelt experiences pouring through, thanks so much.