While savouring the feeling of interconnectedness during my morning yoga practice today, I was reminded of this beautiful Native American quote by Black Elk.
“At the centre of the universe dwells the Great Spirit. And that centre is really everywhere. It is within each of us.” -Black Elk
How very true this is.
He shared the many profound and powerful visions he experienced, my favourite being one he described after seeing a great tree. (which represents the Tree of Life)
“And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and understood more than I saw.
For I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.
And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.
Photo of Candice Benson, taken by Heidi Parker of Seeking Santosha Nicaragua
When some people think “meditation”, they think “I can’t do it”, “It’s boring”, “I can’t sit still that long” etc.
I used to be one of those people so I understand! I really do.
I really struggled with it at first.
My busy mind was always coming up with new tricks and excuses to tell me that there were definitely more important and interesting things to do. Sitting still for 20 minutes cannot possibly improve my life THAT much.
But, after a while of consistent practice, I’m here to tell you:
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” -T.S. Elliott
2013 was a crummy year for many people in my life (myself included). Mine was volatile, unpredictable, difficult and full of change. Out of the darkest moments spring the greatest gifts – the key is being able to walk through the fire and learn.
“Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny….
[But] there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth…. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one. And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, ”The Alchemist”
I remember when I read The Alchemist for the first time, about a decade ago. I was in Southern Thailand, incredibly sick with dengue fever. I was confined to a guesthouse unable to move or go outside. All I could do was sleep and read. I devoured this beautiful book in hours and can honestly say it changed my life. It carried messages I desperately needed to hear at the time and would continue to need again and again over the next 10 years.