I was away from the Pacific NW, actually out of the country, during the woeful 93 consecutive days of rain in 2007-08. Though I certainly heard a lot from friends and family while abroad. This winter has challenged people in a similar way; inviting all of us to dig deep inside and reach
towards each other for vitality, fortitude and stamina as the buds have so tentatively emerged through the cold and damp. In my own circles and community, it’s been a time of death and birth, seeing the generative spring forth right in the midst of endings and grief. I’ve found myself awed at the larger circumstances of this life. Those familiar with my writings will not be surprised that I find refuge in the breath’s wisdom and invite others to do the same. Our lungs are always here for us. With a bit of attention, we can feel our feet connected to the earth. And with every cycle we are gifted the restorative rising and expansion of the inhale, the softening and yielding of the exhale. The world breathes us moment by moment. And when we allow, we can find support in the continuous contraction and expansion of this precious life.

During these soggy months, life has been vibrant and full. I’m in the middle of teaching a 6 week Introduction to Meditation Class. Next series will begin October 9th on Monday evenings. This Sunday I will be offering a Day Long Meditation Retreat 9:30am-4:30pm. There are two slots left. Please contact me asap if you’re interested to join us.   These are offered on a donation basis. Remaining retreats for the year are scheduled for Sundays

*      June 11      *  October 1    *    November 5     *

Last week, I presented to the Seattle Symphony about Meditation and Mindfulness. Several more presentations are happening in the month ahead. And this last weekend I provided two workshops at the UUBF National Convocation on Art and Contemplative Inquiry. Photos here are from the Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, OR where the conference was held. Right in the fullness, I’ve managed to nestle some time for painting. While the mountains are still filled with snow, allowing skiing and snowshoeing well past the Spring equinox, I made it up Mt Si week before last. Time outside is imperative to both my creativity and mental health and this Greater Good Science article outlines just how time outdoors makes us “kinder, happier and more creative”. If you’re unfamiliar with how to get into the mountains, consider resources like the Mountaineers or the Washington Trails Association to support you. The lowlands are filled with gems like the Boulder River and Ebbey’s Landing.

Allergy Help

Spring’s fullness isn’t so easy for everyone with the plant world blooming and explosive pollen counts.  If you’re struggling with seasonal allergies, have a look at this previous newsletter for suggestions to decrease congestion, watery eyes, and chest tightness. Might make returning to the breath more pleasant.

Wishing you joy filled moments beneath an open sky, a stretch of mountains, an open body of water. Even in the wet, we live in an astounding corner of the world. I hope you’re treasuring it as well as your own vibrant, precious life.