This morning on my walk suddenly came to me the phrase “the texture of light”… hmmm.. ok.. that seems a bit vague, and intriguing. I’ve just gotten used to the concept of the texture of breath, so let’s explore the texture of light as I walk. Mostly I let my body feel the idea of “light” as I walked, and then came home sat with “the texture of light”. And all my senses came out to play.
How a sunny day can feel like plunging my hand into honey, or a pocket lines in something fuzzy and soft. The laughter of butterflies. Exuberance. The smell of a puppy’s head, or chamomile in summer fields. Bright light can reveal, invite growth, and it can be searing, desiccating and deadly. It can sound like trumpets, or a party.
Light bouncing off water- dancing on a wall and feeling like cold rippled glass. The shimmering of chimes.
Shadows like voluptuous velvet, or digging my toes into crumbling dirt. A deep and distant hum.
Cool light like the tickle of mist or snowflakes. If I stand still with ears and heart open, I can hear the mist settling on my skin.
Moonlight- mystery, magic, connection, and cycles. Coldness. Sorrow.
Candles and firelight invite me inward. Into story time, coziness and sleep.
Considering something from outside its usual perspective or sense can not only enrich experience with something, in this case light, but can also serve to spark creative thinking in other ways.
What in your world might you explore with this approach? What fresh insights did you gain?
I can’t wait to explore more this idea of the texture of light. *************************************************************************************** Image is a close up photo I took of my dish scrubber. It’s all a matter of being willing to experience differently.
The other day I was walking the scenic route to the grocery store, ruminating over something or another. I turned the corner and started down the hill. A thought in the background: “Oh. That’s a nice breeze.”
I walked a few more steps. And said out loud “No. Wait.” and walked backwards a few steps.
Came fully into my senses. Felt the breeze, soft as butterfly wings, caress my face. Heard it’s language change from tree to tree. Smelled fresh mulch. Pine. Eucalyptus. Sniffed the air some more. Smelled coffee. And breakfast wafting from someone’s house. More. The crispness of mountains, And the promise of snow.
The beauty of taking pause is that it creates the opportunity to fully experience where you are, in the moment. It can be a minute and spontaneous reset, if you are open to receive it.
Like this morning while I was out walking and stopped to look at this rose, fresh after the rain. Really look at it. Watch rain drops quiver. One slid into the other, uniting. Whispers of colour in the shimmering cloud grey light.
Getting up close enough to see the world upside down through the lens of a raindrop.
I was half tempted to kiss a raindrop.
Whatever had my attention that day blew off with the wind, but what grabbed my attention has stayed with me. I can bring it up at any time and savour it. While doing mundane tasks. Before a meeting to center myself. At night as a prequel before drifting off to sleep. As a doorway to meditation, wandering through the experience and feeling all the sensations that arise.
I invite you to give it a try. Pause. Even for a few seconds. What does the keyboard feel like under your fingers? What do you sense in your body? Is there a colour theme around you? Does anything come up that’s been calling for attention? Did the pause spark a creative urge, or present a solution?
This video combines three of my creative practices: music, art, and meditation. I used the often accepted premise of colour and sound associations with the seven main chakras of the human body.
I got to thinking- what is the origin of these associations? I mean- the notes are from a modern Western scale. Even thinking about the chakras themselves. They line up with major endocrine glands, and that makes some sense. Sometimes I think every cell might be a chakra- little galaxies dancing around in the dense formation we call our body. It’s useful to have guides of some sort for visualization. When I’ve worked with people’s energies, I have felt different buzzes of energy rather than colours, and not necessarily where the chakras have been traditionally assigned. After all, the body’s nervous system is bioelectrical, and I’ve often thought just as possible to “leak” as a light switch that’s not wired correctly.
Humans are interesting in to what they give value and meaning. I found information that the association of colours with chakras either began with the Tantric association with the elements, in 1927 from Charles W. Leadbeater’s 1927 book “The Chakras”or in the 1970s with Christopher Hill’s book called “Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body”. So colours have become associated by mostly universal agreement.
Sound is another matter. There’s been a bit more study from my short stint of looking, around the effect of sound as a healing tool. Also a lot of claims, and again agreed upon parameters.
There’s no doubt that sound can create the opportunity, a doorway, if you will, for the brain and body’s relaxation response to kick in. And I’ve seen videos of people with Parkinson’s have their tremors decrease dramatically when music, especially favourites of the subject is played.
Music- groups of sounds linked together in a deliberate (even in improvisational music) has been a proven tool for people to access their unconscious mind, express feelings they might not be able to with words (emotionally or physiologically), and connecting with the breath through movement, vocalizations, and breath.
I’m less certain of claims, for example, of a tuning fork or singing bowl of a certain frequency being placed on the body will invoke healing. The vibrations feel good, but I’m not certain of the healing properties. Or laying on a vibroacoustic table (I’d like to try that out! For science!) Other than the mind is a very powerful tool on its own. Plus. Singing bowls have a fundamental tone and multiple overtones, so which is the supposedly healing tone?
I do what I call sound experiences, but I wouldn’t call it sound healing. I create a safe and supportive atmosphere with sound allowing the listener the opportunity to relax and allow the body’s natural instinct to rest and repair to activate. I will sometimes invite participants to sense if they feel a sound in their body, and if and thoughts or associations come up that they’d like to explore.
Sound/music has the potential to invoke a relaxation response- which can include a decrease in blood pressure and theta and delta waves of the brain, but it’s not guaranteed. Sounds one person finds soothing, another may find jarring or creates tension. I personally have trouble feeling relaxed around high pitched notes, ocean drums or white noise.
I’m excited for the research to dive into this intriguing field.
I found a piece of writing I wanted to share here today, and while reading was instantly transported to the scene that inspired it. I was driving, and while at a stop sign, saw a man waiting for a bus. As I drove on, a whole story was born, simply from that chance encounter.
Then I thought: Oh! My theme for today is daydreaming. I did a bunch of research on the significance and importance of daydreaming, and was set to write A Big Article, and it didn’t feel right. So I did some dishes and went for a walk, and had my AHA.
This was the practice of daydreaming in action!
The default mode for our minds is wandering, which I feel in part is why so many people who sit to meditate feel they fail. Our minds have a bunch of “apps” running in the background, sorting, categorizing, resetting, and when we take time to sit, it all comes to the surface, it’s named as monkey mind, and we decide we are meditating wrong.
In this mode, we are working against the natural process of the mind. If you choose instead to get curious, you might notice a vacillation between analytic/linear and empathetic/creative processes. This is part of the beautiful syzygy of being human- the flow between opposites.
Have you ever noticed that if you are working and working and working on solving something and can’t, you get a sudden urge to do something else? Sure, it can be procrastination, or distraction. It can also be your mind telling you it needs a rest. To go deep into areas that are not accessed often and maybe even come up with a novel solution to what you were so struggling so hard to solve (or find your car keys).
Give into that urge. Set a timer if you are feeling time pressure. Do something mindless for a few minutes. Sudden remembering in the shower, anyone?
Structured daydreaming is when you select a topic. It’s a rehearsal of sorts, where you envision the entire reality, including all the steps, and any obstacles that might arise. Performers and athletes use this technique to visualize future actions all the time.
Some have described daydreaming as thinking for pleasure. Isn’t that a lovely concept? Allowing your mind to wander without a goal. Kids do it all the time. It becomes a social activity when a group gets together and creates a new reality or fantasy world together. It gives you an opportunity to explore interesting topics in new ways, and there are lots of studies showing that daydreaming can enhance creativity and productivity. It can decrease stress.
This is sounding a lot like instinctive meditation! Why not set aside some time each day to daydream. Twenty minutes is great, as it gives you a chance to really get in there. Start with five or even two minutes if twenty feels daunting. I sometimes ask “OK mind, where would you like to go today?” After things like to do lists or other issues float by, I’m often delighted to find myself remembering a time I was in Nature, or sometimes music or writing or a visual art idea will come to me.
Daydreaming has been pushed to the back, I feel. Sure, some of us get lost in scrolling on our devices, but on some level that input is still being filtered through the mind, without giving it a chance to dance about in it’s own inner library.
Give it a try, and let me know how it goes. Give your mind some unstructured playtime, without expectation of an outcome. Let your inner critic/censurer take a break. Daydreaming is a great superpower to have! **************************************************************************** For those who are curious, here’s the written piece that ended up inspiring today’s theme. *************************************************************************
The man stood at the corner, hair slicked back. His grubby brown suit was tight, giving the impression that he’d been standing too long in the hot sun and had swollen up with the heat. Entire continents of sweat began to appear, spreading across the oceans of cloth. In one hand was a well-worn paper bag. He would look down the street… at his watch.. down the street.
With a sigh, he sat on the bench and opened the bag. The book was large and covered in elaborately tooled brown leather. It seemed the pages were made entirely of gold, the gilding was so heavy on the edges. He wiped his hand on the thigh of his pants, opened the book, and moved his lips as he read.
While he read, he imagined walking up and setting the book on the lectern. Now they would listen, and see his importance. After the service, the people would walk up to him, talk to him and….
Suddenly he heard the voice of his Grandmother: “The bigger the crown, the bigger the fool”.