In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


A Day Of Silence

Little Portion in Republic, Missouri is where I spent my Sunday.  It’s where I spent the entire day, on a silent meditation retreat.  I’d never been on anything like this before.  I’ve spent weekends at yoga workshops practicing meditation and pranayama but never a whole day of meditating and being silent.  If you’ve known me for very long you know that I have the tendency to be, well…a chatter box.  This has shifted quite a bit over the last several years though.  I’m hoping I’m a much better listener than I used to be.

We started our day in that white barn that you see.  It has been converted into a bed and breakfast if you will.  Complete with a kitchen, public use room and bedrooms that were private and what not.  This piece of property has three buildings.  The barn, the yellow house that you see that used to be a milk house and a neat stone house where some nuns still reside.  This property also has several acres, a few beautiful gardens, a huge rock, and a stream that runs through the entire place.  Beautiful location.  And just a short drive from my house.  Who knew?  I want to go back here again.

We started out as a group meditating upstairs in a public use area.  I led us through some gentle yoga stretching to prepare for our sit.  We sat for awhile as a group together.  I don’t know how long.  I quit wearing a watch when I quit punching a time clock and purchased my video store.  After our group sit, we were free to continue sitting indoors, or go outside.  We all went outside.  The morning started out cloudy and a bit on the dewy side, but it cleared off nicely for the afternoon.  A few  of us chose walking meditation like we do at the studio.  Some of chose to sit on the benches by the water, or rest in the hammocks on the property.  I chose walking meditation with my camera and it was awesome.

Walking and meditating.  One person did this barefoot, awesome!

The creek.  Sun reflecting on the water.

Frodo.  Take me away.

A view of one of the beautiful gardens.

Someone asked me the other day why I meditated.  What did I get out of it?  And was it worth it?  My only answer at the time was that I liked it.  That question reeled out of control for the rest of my day as I continued to think about it.  I like the way I feel afterwards.  I like the way I feel while I’m meditating.  I like uncluttering and clearing  the junk in my mind.  I like the mental clarity that goes with that after I’m finished.   I’ve received answers to questions that I haven’t asked yet and that can be kind of scary.  I’ve also received explanations to things that have happened in my life.   And perhaps why they happened in the order that they have.  It’s cool, it really is.  And I do see now why some people come to class a few times and never return.  There’s a truth that happens during meditation not at all unlike the truth that you experience on the yoga mat.  It can seriously creep you out.


I left the retreat about two and a half hours early.  I had to teach a yoga class at MSU that evening and I didn’t want to stress out about it, or be in a hurry.  When I arrived home our son was at work and my husband and daughter were fishing together.  I was thankful.  I had a few hours to spend in silence and adjust to the tasks that had to be done in due time. 

So.  Do I quit meditating and forget all this stuff that keeps coming up over and over again?  Or do I stick with it?  Do I follow my heart and deal with the pain and other feelings as they present themselves?  I’ve answered my own question already.  I’m not qutitting.  I’m sitting with it.  Where I’m going with this I have no idea and I actually kind of like it that way.  I’ve lived my life without a plan for a long time now and it seems to suit me quite well.  I know that if I have enough money for today, I will be OK.  I know that if I have my health at this moment, everything is damn near perfect.  I know that if I get a “thank you” after I teach a yoga class that that’s all I really need for the rest of the week.  It’s all good.

I’m staying on the path.  It’s a good thing and I’m happy about it. 

 At the moment anyways and that’s all that counts really.

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Freaky Caterpillar

Yesterday afternoon as I was walking up the porch steps to the in-laws I saw this crawling about.

I wish I would’ve taken more time to get a better photo of this dude.  I thought I’d try again today.  But today he’s turned almost completely brown and is hugging a dead leaf pretty hard.  He’s going to turn into a Yellow Swallowtail butterfly!  I’d never seen one of these before.  I took him inside the in-laws and he kept crawling around and raising his head up.  He looked like a snake or a fish at certain times.  He also had a red or orange tongue like thing that he would show us every now and then.  Creepy!  Definitely a weird little caterpillar.

These caterpillars are found in town, in areas that are older with mature trees which describes where we live.  I also learned that they are seldom seen and usually move about and feed at night.  We had a windy afternoon yesterday (sort of like today) so I’m guessing he was on a leaf that was blown out of a tree.  I also learned that these caterpillars are usually not around after September.  I’m guessing since we’ve had such a warm fall so far, this is why he was out and about.  I’ll post some more photos as he moves through his changes.  How cool is this?


New Family Addition

I love cats and I have ever since I can remember.  I seem to be drawn to them the same way that they are to me. 

We had three cats here in this house until last Thanksgiving night when we lost our eldest to old age.  She was 19.  Our other geriatric feline is 16 I think.  So three years ago I was at a K-Mart on Mother’s Day none the less to purchase a sweeper.  When I walked into the store there were cages full of cats waiting to be adopted.  I left with a white kitten that day and a new vacuum. 

Enter Lauren’s dad.  He lives in Ash Grove in the country and someone had dumped two kittens on his road.  He likes cats, but his wife doesn’t.  I’d been thinking about getting another cat and I love to get them when they are little.  The other cats adjust much better and so does our dog.  Last Sunday afternoon, we made the trek out and picked one of them out.  I really wanted to take them both but there’s the expense of getting them fixed, at the same time since they are the same age.  Something told me I just couldn’t afford all of that right now.

She’s a very sweet little kitten and I’m thrilled we made a good choice.  Lauren named her Lily and it seems to fit with her sweet nature perfectly.  She’s wild at times like kittens are but after she plays a bit, she’ll just crash out right there on the spot.  She also likes to sleep on an incline, head up or head down. 

Not much else is new or exciting around here, except maybe this serious cold.  Have a great evening.