Will this heatwave never end? I wondered to myself. It was Saturday, August 14, and the previous day’s high had reached a sweltering 91 degrees in Renton. I got up at 7:45 and was pleasantly surprised when I stepped outside to let the dogs out to do their business. The air was cool, almost chilly, and so I left the front door open when I brought the dogs inside for breakfast.
Saturdays are typically days when I get up and go to an outdoor dance class. I love to start my weekend with exercise. Today was different because we had a special event called meditation scheduled before dance class. Meditation is a class I’d taken only once before, and I was excited to try it again.
Before leaving home, I drank my lemon juice water and a cup of coffee as part of my morning routine, then showered, dressed, grabbed my yoga mat, and left for the park. On the drive over, I’d prayed to God that I’d be open and receptive to the meditation and that I’d find peace.
I was the first to arrive and walked towards the basketball court at the back of the park. I spread out my mat, took off my socks and shoes, and sat down in a shady patch underneath the evergreen trees. Kiwanis Park was soon bustling with kids on bikes, dogs on leashes, and couples chattering as they walked the paved loop that circles the park. I sipped some water and waited.
Familiar faces trickled in and our meditation coach Amy arrived.
We sat in a semi-circle around Amy and closed our eyes. I felt comfortable sitting crisscross applesauce with my hands relaxed on my lap. My body felt good. I had slept well and awoken pain-free. I was open and unrestrained. We chatted a little and then settled into mindful meditation.
Amy began to guide us on our journey. She asked us to imagine ourselves taking in a deep breath and having it flow all the way deep down into our bodies – inhale – and then blow it out – exhale. We did this several times. And then something strange happened. With my eyes closed, I could see myself standing at the top of Mount Rainier. As I inhaled, my breath was white like a cloud, and as I exhaled, it was a deep royal blue. Inhale, white. Exhale, blue. I looked around in my mind’s eye, and I could see across a vast expanse. I was alone. I was cold. I began to shiver. I could feel the wind on my skin.
How can I be cold? It’s a hot summer day! I reminded myself.
I felt slightly nauseated, but I kept my eyes closed, and the sensation passed.
Amy guided us to go deeper within ourselves and let go of any grudges, and welcome forgiveness. We continued to breathe deeply, fully expanding our lungs and then fully releasing our breath. Inhale, white. Exhale, blue. Inhale, white. Exhale, blue.
Next, I was in the field adjacent to my childhood home in Pennsylvania in my mind’s eye. I stood there in the knee-high grass in my childhood body, still shivering but entirely at peace. I had just completed the final edits to my book the day before, so I’m sure it was on my mind.
I had a strong sense that everything would be okay with my soon-to-be-published book and with life in general.
Before I knew it, our meditation practice was over. Amy told us to open our eyes and look at the ground. When I did, I noticed that the air around me was warm. The sun was shining, and there was no wind.
We all had a chance to share what we experienced, and I did. I told the group about my breath being different colors, and Amy said the colors meant that I had a clairvoyance gift. She said if I’m mindful and I nurture it, I will be able to see things. She had no way of knowing that my next book will feature two people with this same gift!
I prayed for peace earlier in the morning, and I found it. I was grateful for the experience of mindful meditation.
Her next Alchemy in the Park meditation will be on 9/4 at 9:30 am.