Sunday, April 24, 2005

Throwing Stones

When I got sober in 2001, i started practicing some Zen and Daoism. A friend sent me a box that was hand carved and in it there were small stones. Every night after the late meeting i'd attend and then go out to eat, i would come home and do my nightly ritual. I had a box with slips of paper in in which i kept by my computer. I would write down my issues for the night, my resentments and my problems that were preoccupying me at the moment.

I would take these slips of paper and tape each one to a rock from the "box." With a handful of rocks I would walk the 2 blocks to the beach from my apartment. I lived right off the beach in Miami, and so you ask, why did I move to Canada??? So at midnight I would make that walk and sit on the beach and meditate. Just me, the waves, the ocean and my God. The beach is pretty deserted at night, it is not safe to be in the water after dark because of sharks.

So I did that nightly. The ritual of throwing those rocks as far as I could into the surf was a cleansing activity for me. I physically wrote down what was bothering me, then I god rid of that crap and gave it to the sea. In the hopes that those issues would work them out. I did eventually master the art of emptying my brain and letting go, at "That Point" in my sobriety. I did that every night for 4 months until I moved to Montreal. I love peaceful meditation. Amid the noise of the beach life, the best place to get away from it, would be on the beach after dark, when the city sleeps. or when the city was still sleeping, but before they woke, ( see end of post )

When I moved to Canada, I live in Verdun, which sits on the St. Lawrence. From my apartment that was across the street from a park that sat on the riverbank, I would do the same thing with my paper and my rocks. The St. Lawrence is a dirty and dark body of water, but the meditation was the same. I don't do that any more, because we live too far from the River.
But I can see it from our windows.

There are many different practices I use in sobriety and life. That was one ritual that I found extremely helpful in my recovery. That box of rocks still sits on my book case with all my Harry Potter Books.

The beach at Midnight was something I did to spend time with me. It was away from other people and it was quiet time for me to get in touch with my spirit, and commune with a Higher consciousness, with my higher power.

You see, locals and residents do not go to the beach, because we live in the city and we have lives and we work. There are some friends I had who lived on the beach for their tans, but it was not a big thing with me. The other great time to sit on the beach and meditate is at dawn, when the sun rises. There is no better time to see God and his creation that to watch the sun rise from the East over the water as far as the eye can see.


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