Regardless of the hype and conflicting reports on the Internet about this August 2015 comprising an alignment of 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, once in 823 years, (Chinese silver-pockets-full legend) the facts do remain that indeed this is the line up for the month. Perhaps the real gift in all the rhetoric is that this special aligning of 5’s is getting us to think about our resources, whether they be our personal monetary situation, our planetary resources, or abundance, in all its forms. It’s an opportunity to take stock in all things that feature our abundance and welfare.
Perhaps you have an unusually large bank account right now, but are feeling deprived in the relationship area of your life, or your health has taken a toll. Accumulating all that “wealth”, and spiritually you feel a void. August, the mid-way mark to the year is the perfect time to pause and reflect on the year’s goals and make some minor or even major tweaks to your life. Time to re-set the course and steer your ship of life in the direction that affords you balance and happiness.
Personally, I find even the smallest daily changes to be the most powerful. Others prefer to play larger and overhaul in a big way! Ultimately the changes you make and how they are initiated is up to you. The question we often find ourselves asking is this: what is the most important change we can make if we only had ONE to select?
This is where stillness and meditation come in. As the great Master Teacher, the Buddha suggested, all the answers we seek are indeed within us. Indeed.
Turn off the iPhone ringer, lock the front door, unhook the land line, if you still have one, dim the lights, light a candle, burn some sage or palo-santo (refer to previous articles for more on this practice), light your favorite incense, sit comfortably on your favorite couch, chair or meditation cushion. Remember you do not get more “spiritual points” for sitting cross-legged on the floor in agony. Are you meditating to sit (and to “look cool”?) or sitting to meditate? (to find answers). The latter, of course! Many of us lose sight of this fact and think nothing is happening if we are not sitting a certain way, wearing the latest yoga outfit or holding our thumb and index finger together. Meditation is as unique to each individual as a snowflake that falls from the sky…no two are alike. It’s your practice.
In fact, feel free to skip all the foreplay mentioned at the beginning if you prefer to meditate with noise and bright lights, or dislike incense, etc. Find what works for you. It’s not the method; it’s the intention and repetition that will garner results over time.
Once you settle in to a comfortable position, eyes closed, begin to simply watch your breath, listen to the rise and fall as it goes in through the nostrils and out again the same path. Allow the inevitable noises, smells and other distractions to be acknowledged, and then simply return to the breath, again and again for as long as you are able to stay and just be. That may be a few minutes, twenty, thirty or all day.
Now comes the tricky part. The part of all this that gives you the information you are seeking – that message you are looking for. For some it will come in the form of actually “hearing something verbally”, as in a conversation with a friend. For others, it may be a “gut feeling” or sensation, like goose bumps on your arms, legs or all over. I t may be an actual vision or picture in your minds eye, or it might be all three, or a combination of two. If you happen to have a journal nearby, which I highly recommend, take a few minutes post meditation to jot down your first thoughts, sensations or visions. Herein lies the pearl, the answer, the juicy part of all this inner work you just did. You might be surprised at how simple the suggestion is! Whatever is revealed, it is magical because it comes from the source of your own inner wisdom, your own personal compass.
As an example, I have been slowly working on ramping up income and clients for my new business, all while choosing to stay in balance with personal health, and in a way that also allows me to honor my own personal spiritual practices, like yoga, meditation and chanting. As a Feng Shui practitioner, I also know how important our personal space can be in reflecting balance to us and how important our surroundings are in attracting that which we choose to bring into our daily experience. Perhaps as a “nod” to the validity, however anecdotal or superstitious August’s “silver-pockets-full” declaration of abundance is, I was guided to drive to Downtown LA ‘s Chinatown district and walk the streets chatting with the local shop merchants until I found the tallest, healthiest money tree to replace one I had gifted to a good friend. I placed it in a regal position in the Southeast corner of my living room, blessed its abundant magnifying properties and, almost immediately, calls for new projects and proposals came flooding in. Word came from a company that owed me money that it would be deposited on Monday, and a check came in the mail. Perhaps you would say that these things would have happened anyway, without the “money tree” and my Chinatown sojourn? My reply to that is that now its time to go and water that money tree!
May your August be one of abundance, peace, joy and time for the personal practices that garner inner balance for you! Namaste!