Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wandering Mystic Meditation From Home

Five weeks after arriving home, I'm still giving in to false starts and indecision concerning what to share in this meditation. I rely instead on others' words to explain what I've been experiencing.

I'd expected all sorts of creative juice and energy to well forth after attending the Spacious in Spain women's retreat: a week of beach sun and Galician rain followed by a sumptuous week enjoying Paris.

What has happened instead is a slow and steady trickle of memory that cannot be explained any better than in the words below. So, I won't even try. In the midst of your life, may these phrases echo deeply and give you pause to reflect on your day.

"Slow living is not a retreat from daily life, neither is it laziness or a nostalgic return to the past ... slow living is a process whereby everyday life—in all its pace and complexity, frisson and routine—is approached with care and attention ... it is above all an attempt to live in the present in a meaningful, sustainable, thoughtful, and pleasurable way." Excerpted from the book Slow Living by Wendy Parkins and Geoffrey Craig.

When Michael Phelps pushed his heart, lungs and muscles to their maximum limit for maximum speed in the Olympics this week, the world celebrated him. When he slowed his body down with an "herbal supplement" for maximum relaxation and reflection, we chastised him. Why do coffee beans make you a winner but marijuana leaves make you a loser in our society? Think about it.

Nancy G. Shapiro is a coach and writer who conducts writing and well-being retreats at LifePath Center and other locales.


  1. I imagine coffee's just as addictive as the illicit drugs... if not more so.

    Nice post, Nancy!

  2. I'm sure everyone's chemistry is different, but sugar and caffeine have a far more potent effect on me than the herb I smoked a few times. Also, peyote wasn't much more than turbo chamomile in my experience (which you can read about in the upcoming book Fresh Wind & Strange Fire).

    I think North American legal preference for caffeine over marijuana simply means we have more Puritan religion in our roots than Rastafarian. There's no excellent reason to be dependent on or terrified of botanical drugs. I also share Nancy's conviction that we need to know how to slow down as well as hustle to live a balanced life.