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Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Meditations: The Universe is Testing Me

(This week's Monday Mediation post is written by a guest. I welcome anyone to contribute to my blog platform to offer other viewpoints, insights or experiences to add to our well-being and avenues to expresses ourselves!)

By Elizabeth Manzo, guest blogger

Over the past month and a bit, I have been unexpectedly homeless for two weeks, learned a hard lesson in friendship, moved three times, and had my first (known) stalker break into my apartment while I was there (incidentally creating the need to move a fourth time). Besides all of these overtly negative happenings, my practice as a yoga guide are growing,
and opportunities to serve the community are presenting themselves constantly. I am feeling shifts in my life as bits fall away and new bits enter with an ease that can only be attributed to my growing meditation practice. I say “growing” because meditation requires a huge pile of discipline, or, as my Great Aunt Sally would say, "training." In the same breath she has said this "training" is something I lack, an embarrassingly truthful statement.

Speaking of my Great Aunt Sally, there is something I noticed about meditation. After following my teacher David-ji Life on a meditation walk, I began to wonder if meditation can be found throughout humanity in various forms. The tense father who is noticeably calm and collected after a run, the Christian who prays scripture to reveal her path, the surfer emerging cleansed of anger and anxiety after a session, the singer, the artist, even the knitter. When one becomes focused, enthusiastic and engaged in an activity, they naturally find freedom from the constantly whirling thoughts in their modern minds, and become one with the moment - able to act and be.

In a lecture on the practice of meditation, I was given the instruction to "Choose your seat, Be Still, and Focus your precious faculty of thought." Is it possible that, due to over-stimulation of the mind in the modern world, some of us have adapted ways to accomplish meditation in alternate formats? After a session in the ocean, hunting the lines of a beautiful south swell, I emerge feeling cleansed of anxiety, relieved of stress, and humbled by the power of the ocean. Much like my friend runs to "clear his mind," I find my meditation in the act of surfing. The physical and mental focus required in this outlet demands that I be present in the moment - my mind has no space to whirl about creating distractions.

But when that pesky ego pushes in as I'm flying down the line, or when events in my life throw me off balance and cloud my vision with third person thoughts of grandeur or even persecution...Crash! Return the requirement to "Choose your seat, Be Still, and Focus your precious faculty of thought."

~ Elizabeth Manzo, walking lightly on the earth

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manzo is a passionate surfer and yoga instructor at Fitness Works in Morro Bay and Yoga Centre in San Luis Obispo, CA. She may be reached at

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