I'm learning that the best way to become aware of that inner judge (no surprises here!) is just to practice more awareness in general -- something I definitely need to get better at.
So I spent some time this morning, both before and during my meditation time, just tuning in; paying attention to the sounds around me, the sensations in my body (especially since a trip to the theater last night has left me with a stiffness in my lower back), the scents in the room, the feelings arising within me....
So the meditation time was actually more peaceful: I wasn't battling the urge to drift from center, just noticing it, noticing where it was taking me. And I found I seemed to be seeing -- or craving; I'm not sure which -- colors: soft sky blues, and pale warm yellows -- sort of sunrise colors. I decided to share them with you this morning, which was a wonderful excuse to go browsing through my image folders -- especially the ones of boats and water at sunrise -- to find some color to share.
This image is called A Fine Rowmance, and is one of my alltime favorites: I liked it so much that I blew it up large and printed it on canvas. Normally it hangs outside our bedroom door, but for the last few months it's been hanging at the Virginia Mason Clinic on Bainbridge, part of a whole show of boat pictures. I'll be glad when it's home again: how it looks is how I like to feel, and it's always nice -- for those times I drift away from center -- to have something around to remind me of those feelings.
Oh -- and now I realize, that whole longing for color may have been triggered by this passage on awareness that I read this morning in Soul Without Shame :
"Awareness brings a definite quality to your experience: when it is available in an unrestricted way, your mind has a lightness, a clarity, and a cool freshness, almost like the air on a crisp fall day. Things appear bright and new as if you were seeing and hearing them for the first time."
And that passage in turn reminds me of a meditation passage from The Seeker's Guide -- which we are still reading for my spirituality class -- that turned up last week:
"Imagine you have been on a long journey, climbing a high mountain through uncharted territory. The cloud cover has been thick and the path covered with underbrush and loose stones. You have been tired, scared, doubtful. But now, as you reach the top, the clouds lift and the way is open and broad. The air is pure. It brightens your mood. Look around: the sunlight is strong and real; the rocks seem lit from within; the clear sky is charged with energy. The atmosphere stirs your emotions, purifying and revivifying you to the core of your being. You feel almost translucent, fully alive, alert. You perceive subtle, spiritual vibrations that communicate to you through the cells of your body and the energetic field around your body. Your mind is at peace; your heart fills with what it has always hungered for. You are in the presence of God. You are in the Landscape of the Soul. You are home."
Yup. That's it. That's where I want to be -- and where I felt I was when I took this picture. Pure heaven -- not in the sense that I've gone to meet my maker up in the sky somewhere; more in the soothing and uplifting sense that we are One, right here, right now, and always. I have only to open my eyes and heart to see.