I am sure that the weather-people and journalists are having a field day with the hurricane and storm metaphors. Their angle on Hurricane Sandy is probably different than mine or yours. This peculiar “perfect storm” affords a real opportunity for enforced indoor or internal time. Well, I did go out Monday morning for a leisurely haircut, but skipped the long lines at local food stores, like Barzini’s, and came home to miso soup, floor mat yoga, and my favorite magazines.
Staying in, knowing there is nowhere to go or way to get there, made me realize how many activities are not really essential. Life could be greatly simplified without the excuse of a storm. So why don’t we take these days off, or in, on a more regular basis, like on a day we don’t have to show up somewhere for work? Is it purely out of guilt? I like to think that hard-wired into our DNA is the collective memory of journeying. This past Saturday in synagogue we read the ultimate journey story, “Lech Lecha,” which means “Go Forth.” God commanded Abraham, the story goes, to leave everything familiar behind from his father’s land and to go forth in trust to a strange land. God doesn’t speak to us as directly (though we might wish s/he would), but we can meditate to fine tune our ability to listen to the call of our souls.
For 5 minutes, turn off the news. Stop tracking the outer storm. Try this:
- Get comfy. Close your eyes. Know that there is nowhere to go or be.
- Breathe in and out, feeling the gentle rise and fall of the breath. Sense the power and beauty of nature in the form of this storm.
- Become aware of a vast stillness that transcends 3-dimensional time, space, and form. Envision that you are a grain of sand on a beach and also the beach in a grain of sand. You exist in everything and everything exists in you.
- Expand your consciousness to embrace all of creation in this moment. Nothing exists that is not part of you, and you if it.
This meditation is derived in part from Kashmir Shaivism, the yogic philosophy of consciousness, and is ancient, like Abraham’s journey. Whether on foot or within our own beings, all journeys start with one step. Listening to God, a Higher Power, or that still, sure inner voice, sets us in the right direction. Hurricane Sandy bides us extra practice time. There’s nowhere else to go.