mad in pursuit journal


Firing the Grid

Yesterday morning I went to an hour-long global meditation —7/17/07 at 7:11 A.M. My friend Joanne held the gathering of 6 women in her office down the road to support the effort of Shelley Yates. Yates and her son were saved from drowning by light-beings and she has been subsequently instructed by these light-beings to (to make a long story short) bring joy to the planet, starting at 7:11 AM yesterday. Firing the grid.

I'm as skeptical as an old Israelite when a stranger pops up to save the world. But then there was Jesus (not that his plan has really worked out). Yates had one of those crossroads conversions, like St. Paul. I'm skeptical about those too, but obviously it didn't stop St. Paul from becoming massively influential.

I'm in a mood to admit I don't know anything.

I've been doing a little self-taught zazen meditation, never anything in a group, and never for as long as an hour, so it sounded like an interesting experience.

The other women in the group were more advanced in their knowledge of harnessing energies through reiki, crystals, and their own intuitive skills. I am a stranger to these arts. I've never seen an aura and no one's ever commented that I have one. Maybe I'm an electromagnetic dud — certainly that was my experience with boys when I was growing up.

Anyway, we sat in a circle on the floor, around a "campfire" of candles, rose quartz stones, the "sacred objects" we brought along with us, and a bowl containing our "intentions" for the meditation. The "sacred object" I grabbed when I left the house was a broken soapstone carving that came from my grandmother — two of the 3 no-evil monkeys, with See No Evil missing since the 1950s. When each of us jotted down our intentions, the others could craft some expression about healing Mother Earth. All I could think of was "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil." It's a start.

The room was cool and my fellow mind travellers wrapped themselves in blankets, a couple stretching out comfortably on the floor.* If the sun hadn't been streaming through the blinds, the campfire image would have been complete.

I'm still at the place where I think meditation is supposed to be an ascetic practice. Ecstasy through agony. No pain, no gain. But then I always look at every challenge as a competition with myself. I'm not a go-with-the-flow type, not easily anyway.

So I got through the hour sustaining my half-lotus seated position and embracing the universe. The walk home at 8:20 was lovely. I don't know how much I helped to refuel the planet's energy grid, but there was definitely a bounce in my step.


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Silently and serenely one forgets all words;
Clearly and vividly That appears before him.
When one realizes it, it is vast and without edges;
In its Essence, one is clearly aware.
Singularly reflecting is this bright awareness,
Full of wonder is this pure reflection.
Dew and the moon,
Stars and streams,
Snow on pine trees,
And clouds hovering on the mountain peaks—
From darkness, they all become glowingly bright;
From obscurity, they all turn to resplendent light.
Infinite wonder permeates this serenity;
In this Reflection all intentional efforts vanish.
Serenity is the final word [of all teachings];
Reflection is the response to all [manifestations].
Devoid of any effort,
This response is natural and spontaneous.
Disharmony will arise
If in reflection there is no serenity;
All will become wasteful and secondary
If in serenity there is no reflection.
The Truth of serene-reflection
Is perfect and complete.
Oh look! The hundred rivers flow
In tumbling torrents
To the great ocean!

By Zen Master Hung Chih


* NOTE added 7.21.07

In retrospect, I think that participants curled in their own blankets and not facing the center detracted from the group energy... insofar as I know anything about group energy. We were assembled individuals, not a group till we grasped hands in a circle at the end.