Monday, August 13, 2012

Peach meditation

Once again, I had one topic in mind and another decided it was going to be written about instead. This morning, I saw a lady in a sensible pencil skirt hanging a sign for a church thing and I had some jealousy and anger because that would never be me because I'm Pagan. It was another reminder that I'm a second-class citizen because I don't get to devote my life to being a clergy person in the same way that the mainstream religions do. There aren't any accredited seminaries that would be appropriate for pagan clergy and there's not sufficient infrastructure to support full-time clergy. Maybe we'll see this in a hundred years, but not today and I hate that. I wanted to be a church lady and a preacher.

But, I have the life that I have. I wouldn't give up my career as a scientist for anything and I'll serve my gods as best as I can in the ways that are available to me.

I'm working right now on redescribing thirty someodd species of butterflies and one new one. After a long day of this where I actually started and finished a description (four to go!), I come home not terribly long before Husband takes Kiddo to dance. This means that I have the house entirely to myself. Considering that I also have two big baskets of peaches to freeze, I thought I'd work on them. Peel, cut, slice, sweeten, freeze. I'm not yet far along in the process, having taken a break to eat one of them.

The house is quiet, so I took this as an opportunity to meditate while slicing peaches. It's really hard to find time to meditate, so I do it while I'm doing other stuff. I meditate while driving, cooking, walking, gardening, and even when visiting the euphemism. Any few minutes I can grab on to my brain, I try to meditate. Now, before you freak out about me meditating and driving, the kind of meditation I do is neither the close your eyes and go "Om" kind nor the kind where I zone out in blissful peace. The kind of meditation I do is actually some hard work, but it helps me keep from turning into the She-Hulk and rage-smashing everything; it keeps my brain in good, healthy, working order.

Awareness meditation is pretty much just what it says on the box, so a driving meditation would include awareness of the sounds of the road, positions of the cars around you, and the interactions between your body and the car. If you were gripping the steering wheel too tightly, you might remember to relax your grip some or you might adjust a little in your seat so you can see your mirrors better. You might even be aware of the thoughts going through your head and letting them pass on by you instead of getting all caught up in your brain like a song on repeat. Put simply, awareness meditation is doing what you're doing while you're doing it.

So, back to my peaches.

And having finished freezing said peaches, back to the blog. There's quite a lot to be aware of while peeling and slicing peaches in a quiet house. There's the position of the knife and the curve of the fruit. This is very important to be aware of. There's also the smell of peaches, my sitting posture, the sound of the dryer going, the occasional movement of a baby still gestating, a few traffic sounds, and the little aches and places where muscles have tensed up. In addition to that, there are the thoughts passing through my head, most of which have nothing to do with peaches, so as those thoughts leave, I think of peaches.

I think of how this is a true labor of love. Simple awareness has turned toward metta practice. Metta means, more or less, "loving-kindness." It's the kind of no-strings-attached love you might feel for a big-eyed purring kitten or a tiny helpless baby because it's a living thing and living things are deserving of love. When you are a kitchen witch, feeding people becomes one of the most powerful acts of love and therefore one of the most powerful acts of magick you can do. By putting back peaches, I'll be feeding my family and helping them thrive and grow.

And here's where we ratchet up the woobie a bit. I'm a Pagan and I love the Earth, so I bought fruit from a local grower who chooses sustainable farming practices. I want the Earth to thrive and grow, too, so I practice metta toward the Earth as well. Good sun, clean rain, and rich earth all help the food to grow. These are the gifts of the gods and I feel so much love and gratitude toward them for that.

It was a good meditation for today. I'd had a bad case of the crankies and to end the day on a note of gratitude and metta is what they call a good thing.
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