Monday, January 5, 2015

Goddesses in the Dust: Epiphany, not Resolution

An archaeologist unearths the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

The word epiphany is from the ancient Greek word ἐπιφάνεια, which means manifestation, striking appearance or sudden realization. Last year I wrote about Epiphany, the Christian holy day, which occurs on January 6 and is the twelfth day of Christmas. It is also the root of the Italian word and custom of La Befana, or an old woman who delivers treats to children on the eve of Epiphany. 

This year I thought about what epiphany means to me. An awakening of awareness can come in many forms. Instead of resolutions I'd like to propose an alternative - what if we were not to promise to lose weight, exercise more and be nicer to others? What if, instead, we decided to explore ourselves? The epiphany here is not about how we can make ourselves better, but how we can simply treat ourselves better by examining our lives? 

Another word for this is mindfulness. As the author Jon Kabat-Zinn states, "Mindfulness in an ancient Buddhist practice which has profound relevance for our present-day lives. From the Buddhist perspective, our ordinary waking state of consciousness is seen as being  severely limited and limiting, resembling in many respects an extended dream rather than wakefulness. Meditation helps us wake up from this sleep of automaticity and unconsciousness, thereby making it possible for us to live our lives with access to the full spectrum of our conscious and unconscious possibilities. Sages, yogis, Zen masters have been exploring this territory systematically for thousands of years; in the process they have learned something which may now be profoundly beneficial in the West to counterbalance our cultural orientation towards controlling and subduing nature rather than honoring that we are in intimate part of it. Their collective experience suggests that by investigating inwardly our own nature as beings and, particularly, the nature of our own minds through careful and systematic self-observation, we may be able to live lives of greater satisfaction, harmony and wisdom."

Here's my meditation spot, where I will be sitting in 2015...

Do you practice any form of meditation? If so, what kind, and do you feel it is helpful?

22 comments:

  1. Hear, hear!
    Truthfully, I meditate all the time, especially now that I have so much leisure time. As a working mom, the only "meditation" I did was during travel time to and from work, when the traffic was easy going, and I wandered off galloping with no goals in mind, till I got to my destination. Not exactly mindfulness.

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    1. It's hard to be mindful with a carload of kids that's for sure. I'd love to know how you meditate all the time - do you mean walking meditation? Cooking meditation? That's true mindfulness for sure!

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  2. yes, but i found it too long in classes. i'd only last for about five minutes and they went on for an hour. At this point in my life, I'll try anything. I hope the mindfulness trending isn't just a fad. I'm not religious so I don't pray, so maybe a meditation spot will help me.

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    1. I've read that you can do a little every day and work up to longer amounts. I'm hoping mindfulness isn't a fad either, but if so, maybe it will stick around long enough to make a difference is many peoples' lives.

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  3. You have a beautiful meditation spot.I actually tried this for the first time last week at an art class...heehee..yes at an art class...the goal was to allow the mind to open enough to let the creativity flow out instead of being forced out..which I must admit I often feel as though I'm "forcing" my art to flow.It was a relaxing and enjoyable experience and I'm planning on joining a group dedicated to meditation,and self awareness.My goal is to like you,create a spot at home where I can do it when ever I want. Here's to looking inward in the new year.xox

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    1. Cat, I love that idea of letting the creativity flow. Forcing doesn't sound very attractive does it? Nor fun - and I'd like to think of the creative process as relaxing and pleasurable. Good thoughts to ponder~

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  4. I do not practice meditation but i pray from time to time, which seems to be similiar😄

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    1. Whatever form works to communicate with Spirit that works for each person♡

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  5. Getting to know ourselves more - I think that's a perfect epiphany. Happy new year Amanda.

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  6. ohm namah shiva (did i even spell that right?) sidda yoga: i have meditated for years and i have not meditated for years. when i do, twenty minutes feels like a two hour nap. it slows my restless insistent mind and frees me from worry. something happened to me in 2014: i don't know how or why, but i am calmer and more accepting of come what may. i pray i stay this way :^)

    your photos are luscious, amanda. i wish you a most prosperous and lovely year in every way. i'll be along for the ride xoxo

    love
    kj

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  7. Dearest KJ,
    You have had an emotionally full year and your dear mom's care took precedent. I'm so happy the meditation you have done in the past has brought you peace of mind, so undoubtedly it will continue to do so as we move into the New Year. Many blessings and love,

    xoxo
    Amanda

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  8. I wish all our politicians would read this and find a little time to meditate ... too many are feeding the wrong wolf!!

    The viewfinder of my camera is where my type of meditation takes place - there are a couple of spots that I seem to wander over to ... and the recent fire we had has left me a gift of sorts - I think of her as my goddess of the fire, a new path is now being tread which passes close by to her, will share her with you in my next post. May 2015 deliver many mindful awakenings*!*

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    1. Annie, I look forward to your post about the goddess of fire. I love how you describe her as creating a new path to tread. Blessings to you in 2015 xoxo

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  9. What a great way to start off the new year :) x

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  10. 'The epiphany here is not about how we can make ourselves better, but how we can simply treat ourselves better'

    Chills. In the best way + sustained. That's part of epiphany, right!?

    Happy New Year, Sis!

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    1. Blessings to you all as well dear Suze - how are the books coming along - both those being written and being published?

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  11. Hi Amanda, wonderful post..love your meditation space, so beautiful and uplifting..enjoy the magic! Also loved the Befana picture, a tradition for me growing up! The kids at school always thought it was neat I had good witch visiting me while they had santa claus!

    Loved your post and yes meditation has always been a part of my life...an every day sort of "beingness" and mindfulness..conscious and unconscious..and even as a child..I think we all unknowingly meditate in some gentle way before even knowing/realising "what that was we were doing"...kinda like natural magic and bliss..part of our nature to be in tune and at one and awakeness!

    Wishing you a most magical and beautiful 2015 with many blessings..and I look forward to more of your creative world.

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    1. How wonderful you have that background - yes, I imagine having a good witch visit you would rate as very cool among the school kids!

      I like what you say about meditation coming as an unconscious thing with kids - natural magic and bliss - will remember that one.

      Thank you and blessings in the New Year to you as well dear Victoria ~ xoxo

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  12. each morning i sit and read poetry. when i am lucky to have been moved enough to have first forgotten myself, i might find my hands on my face and feel the bones and realize/remember that this small crucible houses every possibility for me. if this is sitting, then i sit. outward, then inward, and then outward again.

    i especially like the wood of your meditation spot. touching that might be enough for me:)

    xo
    erin

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  13. Losing oneself. Yes. Those gaps in between thoughts when we are - merged with all there is.

    That little wood shelf is actually a small antique stool from when we lived in England. My mother loved to collect antiques and I treasure that as well as an old grandfather clock. When it rings it feels as though the beat of her heart is pulsing through our home.

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