Imagine that you’re awakening early and joyfully to a new day, with the sun shining gold over steep rock walls-- and the only sounds that of a river rushing over stones in the background, bird calls piercing the air, and intoned chanting from a nearby meditation hall. This was my experience last weekend at the Zen monastery retreat center of Tassajara in a canyon below Los Padres National Forest in the vicinity of Carmel Valley, California.
For 48 hours, I just soaked in the exquisite pleasure of walking, bathing, swimming, eating, and simply being in the harmony of sensational natural beauty combined with Japanese-style architectural simplicity. My spirit soared out of the confines of city and daily life. Sitting in an outdoor mineral water pool, with the scent of bay laurel in the air and complete tranquility around me, I felt beautiful and radiant, inside and out.
So-- how do I bring this all home so I can live every day in the expansive Tassajara spirit? How do I market my work as a coach and somatic therapist at the computer, and still feel my spiritual self that resonates to natural beauty?
Fortunately, I had a wonderful coaching session for myself (yes, coaches benefit from getting coached, too!) from “metaphysical coach” Keri Lehmann, MCC, who helped me affirm the value in being more purposeful about who I really am. For me, this means acknowledging my connection to the spirit of nature and the universe that is larger than myself and animates my body, my life.
A new practice I developed with Keri is this: Before beginning my social online marketing in the morning, I go outside and connect with the air blowing around me, the passion of the sun (even if behind the fog), the clear presence of water in the Japanese stone washing basin, and the firmness of the ground under my feet. I rest in my conscious connection to what is beautiful in the world around me and in myself. At that point, I’m ready to begin again to connect with the work I do and the rest of my daily life with its meetings, errands, and other focuses. I feel the Tassajara spirit and know I’m carrying the larger picture of my life within me, whatever I’m doing.
JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION!
• What is it to live in the bigger picture?
• What is your image of living with aliveness and expansiveness?
• What are some steps you’ve taken to live on purpose with what is alive in you?