For the first time in a decade, I took a month's "vacation." (I put the word in quotes because I worked a half-time schedule, either by phone or twice commuting into Brooklyn for 2-day work stints in the flesh. Still, living and working out of a rented beach house for four weeks was a marvelous break from an otherwise marvelous life in the city.)
The ocean waters off the coast of Fire Island were spectacular this July. In fact, the guy who managed our rental, and is the head lifeguard out in Ocean Beach, said the sea in this area has really revived, bringing not only clean, clear, warm waves to body surf in, but also new levels of thriving aquatic life. We actually saw a pod of wild dolphins one day frolicking and jumping out of the water in playful delight. What? Swimming with dolphins off the coast of Long Island?! Yep. (And for those inclined to be metaphysical, I will tell you that just before the dolphins appeared, a group of us were out in the waves holding hands in a "circle of love" and chanting the "OM" sound. I guess we were speaking the dolphins' language.)
And maybe, collectively, enough people in this area are shifting their consciousness, and through those efforts, cleaning up the ocean here.
Nicely done, everyone!
There were many moments of meditating and channeling at the beach, especially out by the surf in the morning, a great place, by the way, to send forth intentions and receive information.
Many messages were, in fact, received. One of the earliest pertained to the location of the house we were renting for the first time. Not only was the house on a walkway that we'd been creating an energy vortex on for several years, but this particular house was on a sacred burial site of the Algonquin Indians from many centuries ago.
Now, understand, I had no prior knowledge of this, nor any particular interest in Algonquin Indians. But when I got this message and looked it up on the internet, it turned out that indeed the area of Fire Island we were on, and Bayshore and East Islip on Long Island right across the Great South Bay, were home to Algonquins centuries before.
(I believe this Native American connection explains why I greatly enjoyed smoking some tobacco - cigars - and eating grilled meats during the month there, but had no such inclination on my trips back to Brooklyn.)
At one point, we had some spiritual friends over, and during a group session, one of the Algonquins "spoke" to us, expressing gratitude for the energy we were bringing back to the site, and informing me of something I was feeling intuitively - that I had long ago "died" (or been "born" into spirit, as the Algonquin described it) on the site where the house now stood. Apparently, in this particular "past life," I was a white child, raised and schooled in the ways of the Algonquins, only to die in youth of a white man's disease - the plague. I felt a very powerful well of emotions in connection to this information.
The month was also a time of letting go of attachments. Right off the bat, when we arrived to Ocean Beach during the heat wave right after July 4th, my beloved MacBook Air collapsed from "heat stroke." Yow! I had imagined I'd be enjoying long hours writing in bliss on my sleek, fast, light MB Air, including writing some music on my Logic program, which no one else's computer on the trip had.
Okay, then. I surrendered as best as I could to the guidance and spent more time in playful meditation on the beach. And just in case I missed the point, said computer suddenly started working again when I took one of my trips back to Brooklyn! Clearly, my Higher Self was calling for me, through technology, to let go of an attachment.
Another attachment I worked on letting go of, one even more challenging than the one to my MB Air, was my attachment to my love partner. This is, of course, a big one for all of us.
Here's Mark Epstein, Buddhist psychotherapist, on the subject:
"Clinging is as much of a problem in lovemaking as in the rest of life. In order for sexual relations to be deeply satisfying, there must be a yielding of this clinging in a manner that actually affirms the unknowability and separateness of the loved partner. It is the peculiar convergence of awe and appreciation with pleasure and release that characterizes the best sexual experiences. Separate and together cease to be mutually exclusive and instead become reciprocally enhancing and mutually informative. There is wisdom in this state, not just raw instinct."
Indeed. My partner and I have understood this wisdom for a while, but it becomes so easy, especially when you're in love, to "forget about it," to become "lazy" about including healthy separation in a relationship. So, we used my trips off the beach and back to the city, including one that I made without having the agenda of work, to experience separateness. I enjoyed the solitude at home in Brooklyn, and my partner celebrated life at the beach with an old friend. And indeed, as Epstein says above, the separation created an excited feeling between us, reminiscent of first falling in love.
It's really a pretty good deal!