Archive for the Peace Category
My step father is a Berber, one of the indigenous peoples of North Africa who lived there long before the Arabs conquered that land. He taught me a way of calming myself and bringing the soul of beauty back into my life when I feel distraught. It’s a technique I call breathing the moon but it can be done with any thing of natural beauty: a flower, the spacious blue of the sky, a body of water, and so on.
First, you must go for a walk outside. This is simple and gets your blood flowing, fresh air in your body; it clears your head. As you walk, take notice of things of beauty that your eye catches because these are important and not accidental. When your attention is drawn to that thing, stop walking. Look at it and try to get quiet, making a bit of room inside yourself for the presence of that thing. You don’t need to physically touch it. Imagine unlacing yourself, opening up your heart, your soul, or whatever you believe is yourself. Take six long, luscious breaths that draw the presence of the beautiful thing into yourself, looping into your body and out again in a continuous circuit. There is no negative, no waste to imagine removing. You are simply integrating and sharing yourself with a particular instance of nature. Move on, do this at least six times with various things during your walk. I have found that the essence of that which has been breathed into oneself remains, lightening and balancing one’s experience for a long time. You can rely on this practice to soothe you, and you may find over time that the things you have breathed, for instance, the moon, seem to remember you too, greeting you like an old friend whenever you see her.
-from “The Woman and the Owl Project” (a book and community project led and envisioned by Dr. Jessamine Dana)