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Collective Anchor

Eleven months ago, I started this Zoom meditation experience because I deeply feel the need to be in community as I weather the present pandemic storm. I reached out to my close community and it has grown from there. My wife has joined in as well. Silence has taken on a meaning beyond what I expected. Silence now has a capital “S” because in my opinion, Silence is a doorway into my heart and mind. When I sit in Silence, I pause and hear my thoughts, feel emotions and reflect. Silence grants me space to just stretch out and be with me. Sometimes I journey to amazing spaces and other times I practice the art of surrender and acceptance.

I have to also share that Silence has threatened me at times. In my Silence, I feel my pain rise, discomfort grow and fear grip me. Sometimes I feel anger bump against my insides. Breath helps it dissipate. I experience aha moments and glean understanding by giving myself time to process, time to feel, time to just be. I am familiar with the ups and downs and hear myself share them, in vulnerability, because I know we all experience similar ups and downs. I hear the testimonies; I witness the tears and discomfort.

I appreciate breath as a metaphor to living my life. I manage the ins and outs of joys and challenges, maintain steadiness using my breath, recognize the gasps and lock-downs when I hold my breath, and the ultimate release and surrender to life using my breath.

I feel more whole and present with myself, and recognize when I leave my side. I see your faces in my inner awareness and know I’m not alone. I chuckle from comments and reflections. I hold close in my heart your challenges. I am a tree standing in a forest surrounded by other trees and we communicate with each other in ways beyond my imagination. We are a grove with an open invitation for others to join. We continue to amass our web of roots reaching far inward.

I am not the anchor. Collectively, we are the anchor as we practice Silence and deepen our roots. Silence is our gatekeeper. Gentleness is our map as we guide ourselves home. Thank you for your willingness to journey into yourself. Thank you for your vulnerability when you share your thoughts and emotions. Thank you for following your light that brought you to us.

With gentle kindness, as we move into Silence, I imagine each one of you held in loving arms hearing tender words of support and appreciation for the journey that brought you home to yourself. I honor each of you in your life journey.

Let me breathe only grace today, only

that which slows, steadies,

softens, sparks

only that which permits

and pardons and points

to the blossoms inside the broken,

the poetry inside the pain, the nourishing

newness inside the now

Let me breathe only grace

today, only that which invites

me to speak my very own

language for as long as I have breath,

only that which hums:

You can.

You will.

Let me breathe only grace

today, only that which notices the tired

and says, lie back, Love—rest

for as long as you need to. It's not

about how much you do

but how full you are.

And…how beautiful you are when you are full.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you so much. I was raised up in recovery in the saved-by-grace era. In the 7th step, I realized I could have a window of grace instead of going left and acting out, I could stop and turn right and do something healthy. So grace is something very beautiful and important to me. Recently, I learned that the ancient word for grace in Greek is kharistes. In ancient Aramaic, it’s taybutha. It’s the same word for gratitude. It helped me shift from thinking that grace is bestowed on me when I’m in this save-a-wretch-like-me, broken-down, meek position as opposed to it’s when I’m resonating in my heart from gratitude. That shifted it so much for me. I wanted to share that with all of you. It makes sense when we say grace before a meal, we are thankful for the food, we are thankful for grace.

  • Thank you. What I love about this group is that we have learned so much more about the deeper meaning of so many words. I have felt in a state of grace for the last month or so since I recovered from Covid. It has been a feeling like I’ve never had before in my life. It guides me every day. I feel like I’m in peace like I’ve never been before. I’m in harmony with life. I just as soon have missed the experience, but the long-term benefit is definitely worth it.

  • I loved what you said about the tree and the grove. It was a beautiful image that I could see and feel.

  • Thank you. Your description is a perfect description of an Internal. Going in during the silence and seeing how I feel. I love the experience of being here. I love this community involvement. It’s a whole different way to appreciate and learn. We learn from each other. We all have these experiences from years of living life. I am grateful to hear and learn from everyone’s experiences and insights. Thank you for doing this.

  • The past couple of days I’ve been spending the silence listening to a short Kenneth Soares guided meditation. His guidance walks me into a pyramid that bathes me in light and severs the things I don’t need and brings up light within so that I feel strong. It’s beautiful. He provides meditations that are guided or just instrumental. Some are hours long. I can’t say enough about it.

  • I appreciate the feelings and insights that everyone brings here. I’ve never really traveled much, but here, there are people from all over the country, and people have traveled to many places. We get all these insights from people’s different lives and their travels.

  • It’s a blessing what we share. What we experience through our hearts and eyes. It’s a blessing.

  • As I sit here and gaze at the screen, I see beautiful faces. And I see them more deeply than if I were just standing and chatting with you. In this silence, there is a knowing. You like them because you see their face. It’s because our hearts are open.

  • Thank you. What I focused on during the meditation was my breath. At one point, my breath felt very warm. I saw my breath going out to warm the folks that are so cold right now, in Texas and other places where they aren’t used to cold. What came up how much harder it is when I can’t anticipate the difficult times that comes to me. I wanted to send a lot of love and energy to that part of the world that isn’t prepared because it wasn’t in their consciousness to think about it. What came up was my grandmother’s pantry which was full of cans. She went through the Depression and she knew what that was like. She didn’t have much, but when she had any extra money, she’d buy a can of beans. Visiting her was like walking into a grocery store because we didn’t have that. That’s where I went, how hard it is, especially as I get older. When I was younger, I didn’t prepare for much. But as I get older, I want to be prepared and it’s hard when I find myself not prepared. It was a journey for me, and for sending light to those that are cold.

  • Thank you for saying that. That’s the power of community too. As we share, I believe in the ripple effect. When disasters occur, people break open and reach out to each other. I trust that that’s happening where it needs to and that people are helping one another. And I have to say, anticipation is one of the worst feelings that I have because I can bring in every worry possible. But as I age, I appreciate I’m a good problem solver. We each are. For the things that come up unexpectedly, and we are certainly living through a time of not knowing what to expect. And when I can’t solve the problem myself, I reach out to others. It’s amazing the wisdom that we have. I appreciate all your words. It’s so true and important. We all are good problem solvers, good hardy people.

  • I want to thank this group for the work on expectations and expectancy. I was to get a Covid vaccine yesterday. We planned that we’d be sick today and tomorrow we’d take a trip out of state. But because of the weather, the vaccines didn’t come in so I didn’t get vaccinated. I feel really good today but since we didn’t get the vaccination, we can’t take the trip. My spouse is completely bummed. I think whenever we hear the vaccine is available again, we’ll get it. We’ll take the trip. All is well. It’s not a huge down thing compared to what else is going on in the country. A little disappointed. It’s not that big a deal. I think it’s because I am living more in expectancy now than expectations. I have gratitude for that.

  • What an affirmation! Talk about the power of words. Those words are so alike. I know the feeling of each one. One is freedom, the other is laden.

  • Thank you for the reminder. Yesterday was the first day I could try to make an appointment for a vaccination. The system was crashing all morning and I was frantic. I was in this expectation state. At some level, I knew my response was ridiculous; I’ll get the vaccination when I get it. I could see that another part of me was frantic trying to make it happen. Thank you for the reminder about expectancy.

  • It reminds me of the blog post about the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. It helps me to label it.

  • It’s also a great indicator that something else is bothering me. If a little thing is bothering me, usually it’s something deeper that is the issue.

  • Well said. It’s a flag. What’s this flag about? Flags shoot up all the time.

  • Thank you. Thank you for joining in, for listening, for participating, for being a tree in this grove, for trusting your process, for having patience for your silence. I appreciate the silence, I respect it, and I practice it a lot. Thanks for being on this journey with me. Be gentle with yourselves.

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