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Gillian Sanger

How does art, music, nature, or poetry contribute to your experience of peace?

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This week's question asks:

How does art, music, nature, or poetry contribute to your experience of peace?

While peace can be felt and explored through quiet, mindful awareness, various elements in the external world - such as art, music, poetry, and nature - can contribute to our experience of peace and happiness. What of these earthly elements bring you peace? Can you reflect on why you think this is?

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Thank you for this question Gillian. 

Walking in nature greatly contributes to my experience of peace.  I feel awake and alive in nature while listening to the sounds of water, birds, the wind, and the trees. When this occurs, my mental chatter can easily turn off (not always 🙂 ) and I feel open and connected to everything in my environment. This deepens my sense of peace. 

This is a picture of my favourite walking trail where I tend to feel awake and alive in nature. 

 

IMG_0359.JPG

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This is beautiful @Gene Williams! The height of those trees would make it really feel like you are immersed in there.

I agree that time spent in nature is a huge contributor to the experience of peace. Being in the country surrounded by forests always takes the weight off my mind and helps me to ground in the present moment. I also find a deeper sense of understanding of life's flow when in nature as it is such a beautiful reflection of the comings and goings of life, the births and the deaths, the movement and the stagnation, and so many other forces. There is something so settling about it.

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Great picture Gene! And I love what you say, Gillian, about understanding life's flow when you're in nature. 

Walking in nature is important has always been soothing for me. I was terrified before I got married, as transitions are not my cup of tea, and many times I would walk a certain path in a nearby park and on an inhale I repeated to myself "love,"picturing warm light entering my heart, and on an exhale I repeated to myself "fear," imagining letting go of all the fear that was churning inside me.  Another time, I was doing a mindful meditative walk and I actually saw a vision of my maternal grandmother, who I never met because she died before I was born. I had tears in my eyes, feeling her looking down at me with love; I felt cherished and protected. My dear grandmother, a woman I'd always regretted not meeting, became my guardian angel.

Poetry is my emotional outlet. Sometimes I dissociate, and the only thing that brings me 'back' is writing poetry. I feel blessed because poems come to me fully formed, and when they do come to me, I typically feel compelled to record them immediately. For example, I've woken up in the middle of the night with a poem in my head, and even though I'm half-sleeping, I get up to write down the poem. I've noticed that poems I've written in the past, when I was a teenager all the way until fairly recently, tend to be very dark. Lately, as I've gotten more immersed in mindfulness, I've written some lighter poems. It feels like a good transition, although there is something powerful about brooding poetry. 

Below are a couple of my poems.

 

anorexia

                if i should fall

                  into your seductive

arms again

       and stop eating

                start the path

   toward righteousness

      that ridiculous lie

       you had me believing

                                         the punishment

                                i inflicted on my

                      flesh

                        on my

                                soul

                                if i fall again

                will you take me fast

                                   can it be over

                quick so i don’t have

                                 to watch

        them stare at my

                                bony arms and legs

                                   so i don’t have to lie a

                thousand times

                                a day

                                    so the sun doesn’t

hurt my heart

                      and love peal my skin away

 

 

 

greetings

when i say hello

to a stranger

passing by

a homeless

person

on the street

a cashier

ringing my

groceries

it is not

a passing fancy

or thoughtless

action, a duty

to perform

i am

communicating

my genuine

interest and

care for their

humanity

hello i say

and i mean

are you all

right are you

being fed and

does someone

love you properly

are you hugged

at least five

times a day

do you have

enough friends

to confide in

and are you

able to play

regularly

do you find

yourself still

enchanted

when the birds

sing and children

laugh

are your dreams

still alive

hello won’t

you tell

me that

you are a

contented

soul

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This is a picture of the ocean in Hutchinson Bay, FL, where my in-laws have a condo. The ocean is a special place for me. The sound of the waves is soothing, and I have a lovely memory of my mom and I standing out on a dock at Seal Beach in CA, talking about her deceased father, who is a wonderful man, and seeing the sun sparkle on the water like little diamonds. We both felt the presence of her father, and I felt so close to, and grateful for, my mom. 

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Thanks to everyone for sharing in response to Gillian's question.

Nature- the beach or near trees- simply brings me back to the most basic present moment.  The sense of being part of something greater than me, that is also the stuff inside of me, gives me a deep feeling of connectedness and surrender.  For just like the ocean waves flow and change, and the trees' stay rooted throughout changes of season and weather, I too, can flow and change and stay present and rooted.

I have recently been working with an Earth Grounding meditation and sitting outdoors for it.  Such a deeply felt sense of peace when the grass is beneath me and the breeze is on my face and the birdsong is close by.

So appreciate the question and chance to share.  Wishing everyone a day of ease.

 

Rachel

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1 hour ago, Jo L said:

This is a picture of the ocean in Hutchinson Bay, FL, where my in-laws have a condo. The ocean is a special place for me. The sound of the waves is soothing, and I have a lovely memory of my mom and I standing out on a dock at Seal Beach in CA, talking about her deceased father, who is a wonderful man, and seeing the sun sparkle on the water like little diamonds. We both felt the presence of her father, and I felt so close to, and grateful for, my mom. 

This is lovely @Jo L, Many thanks for sharing.

Kind Regards,

Gene

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Thank you for sharing your poems @Jo L! Beautiful. I too (as you probably know now) find a great sense of joy in writing poetry. It is an emotional outlet for me as well, helping me to process and express how I am taking in the world. Many of my poems also tend to have themes of nature in them as I reflect upon our oneness with all living things.

@Rachel - I love the words you shared about flowing while also staying rooted. I, too, connect with the trees in this way.

Is the Earth Meditation you are working with something online that you could link us to? I'd love to check it out.

Speaking of earth meditation, I recently recorded and published a meditation for honouring the earth. I've just really been feeling lately that this time of covid-19 is a wake-up call to have us reflect upon how we've been treating the earth. https://insighttimer.com/gillianflorence/guided-meditations/honouring-the-earth

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22 hours ago, Jo L said:

greetings

when i say hello

to a stranger

passing by

a homeless

person

on the street

a cashier

ringing my

groceries

it is not

a passing fancy

or thoughtless

action, a duty

to perform

i am

communicating

my genuine

interest and

care for their

humanity

hello i say

and i mean

are you all

right are you

being fed and

does someone

love you properly

are you hugged

at least five

times a day

do you have

enough friends

to confide in

and are you

able to play

regularly

do you find

yourself still

enchanted

when the birds

sing and children

laugh

are your dreams

still alive

hello won’t

you tell

me that

you are a

contented

soul

This is beautiful @Jo L, You are very talented.

Many thanks for sharing.

Kind Regards,

Gene

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22 hours ago, Gene Williams said:

This is lovely @Jo L, Many thanks for sharing.

Kind Regards,

Gene

Thanks Gene, I appreciate your comment!

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6 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

Thank you for sharing your poems @Jo L! Beautiful. I too (as you probably know now) find a great sense of joy in writing poetry. It is an emotional outlet for me as well, helping me to process and express how I am taking in the world. Many of my poems also tend to have themes of nature in them as I reflect upon our oneness with all living things.

@Rachel - I love the words you shared about flowing while also staying rooted. I, too, connect with the trees in this way.

Is the Earth Meditation you are working with something online that you could link us to? I'd love to check it out.

Speaking of earth meditation, I recently recorded and published a meditation for honouring the earth. I've just really been feeling lately that this time of covid-19 is a wake-up call to have us reflect upon how we've been treating the earth. https://insighttimer.com/gillianflorence/guided-meditations/honouring-the-earth

You're welcome Gillian, so glad that we can connect on the poetry front! And I absolutely love the meditation you recorded. Your voice is very soothing and perfect for guided meditation...thank you so much!🌞

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13 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

Thank you for sharing your poems @Jo L! Beautiful. I too (as you probably know now) find a great sense of joy in writing poetry. It is an emotional outlet for me as well, helping me to process and express how I am taking in the world. Many of my poems also tend to have themes of nature in them as I reflect upon our oneness with all living things.

@Rachel - I love the words you shared about flowing while also staying rooted. I, too, connect with the trees in this way.

Is the Earth Meditation you are working with something online that you could link us to? I'd love to check it out.

Speaking of earth meditation, I recently recorded and published a meditation for honouring the earth. I've just really been feeling lately that this time of covid-19 is a wake-up call to have us reflect upon how we've been treating the earth. https://insighttimer.com/gillianflorence/guided-meditations/honouring-the-earth

Wow, this is nice.  So this is a course creator site as well as an audio recording site?  You use this insighttimmer a lot?  I never heard of it but your audio sounds so well.  Mine sound hollow.  You do very nice audios.  Thank you. 

7 hours ago, Gene Williams said:

This is beautiful @Jo L, You are very talented.

Many thanks for sharing.

Kind Regards,

Gene

There is an area for just poems also. very nicely done. 

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Happy World Meditation Day to all of you, friends!

@Gillian Sanger I sat with your Earth Honouring Meditation this morning.  Lovely visualizations and grounding.  Thank you for pointing me toward it.

Wishing everyone a day filled with ease, and love in your hearts.

Rachel

 

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