Autumn a Time of Transition


My wife and I live on a little apple farm in the Parajo Valley, south east of Santa Cruz.  Harvest is over and the farmer who owns and works the land is preparing for the cooler temperatures and wet weather that autumn brings.  The persimmon trees that grace the land we are privileged to live on are turning beautiful shades of orange.

We are both reminded of the seasons of life and the inward beckoning of our souls.  As nature has its cycles, the human spirit likewise has recurring patterns of birth and decay, expansion and contraction, and going inward and breathing out.

This time of seasonal change and transition can serve as a reminder to consider the status of our relationships with friends, family, colleagues, lovers, etc as well as that all important relationship with ourselves.

Do you have some relationships that need a little attention?

Are there relationships that just don’t meet you the way they used to?

How are you feeling about yourself?

There are many forms and methods of meditation.  I have practiced many types of meditation inspired by the mystics and spiritual teachers from a wide variety of backgrounds, faiths, and cultures.

Every form of meditation I have practiced had several things in common:

  • A reverent attitude – our inner worlds are a sacred space
  • Relaxation
  • Gentle, directed focus of attention
  • When the mind wanders, gentle non-judgmental redirection of the attention back to the object of the meditation
  • A brief period of silent reflection during the ending portion of the meditation to be open to inspirations

You will need a quiet, private space.

Please turn off your cell phone, computer, etc.  You should plan at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted, quiet time for the meditation and 5 to ten minutes of time to write about your experience and/or inspirations.

An Inner Journey 

Beginning ritual:

A coaching colleague of mine once shared her meaning of the word ritual:  “Right you all” – meaning that the purpose of a ritual is to set things right in your inner world so that you can approach the outer would with clear intentions that not only serve you but those around you.

The following are recommendations based on my own practices.

Naturally, you can follow any practice that meets you.

  • Light a candle.

I always recommend lighting a candle.  Doing so generally sets a “mood” that is peaceful and conducive to an “inner orientation”. The flame represents the Light of Wisdom and Truth as well as the flame of unconditional Love that burns deep in the spiritual heart of all human beings.  It also is a universal symbol of Spirit and, for many people, elicits an attitude of reverence.

  • Burn some incense

This is intended to purify the space and to remove any odors that may be distracting.

The smoke also represents the nature of Spirit that naturally expands to fill the void of space.  Please note that it is not necessary, or even desirable, to have incense burning the whole time you meditate.

  • Create a purifying sound

This is done by ringing a bell with a pure tone or using a pair of meditation cymbals.

Ring the bell or hit the meditation cymbals together three times allowing the sound to completely dissipate between rings.  This is intended to purify the vibration of the space.

It even works outdoors.

What if you don’t have a candle, incense, or a way to make a purifying sound and/or just don’t have the time to do all of this.

No worries, just do the meditation portion.

Remember: The best meditation is the one you do!

Meditation Instructions

Those who have practiced meditation can sit as they usually do.  Those new to the practice of meditation can either:

  • Sit with your back, head, and neck in a single straight line in a comfortable chair with arms.


  • Lie on your back on the floor or on your bed

The important thing is to be sure you are comfortable.

Once comfortably positioned, gently close your eyes.

Begin by taking three deep breaths in through your nose.

Breathe in slowly, gently and appreciatively drawing the air and its life giving oxygen into the deepest part of your lungs, then thoroughly exhale.

As you inhale, imagine that you are drawing in healing, restorative, invigorating energy into your body and mind.

As you exhale, imagine that you are releasing all of the pent-up frustrations with life out into the universe to be transformed into life giving forces.

Next, imagine a golden light surrounding your body.

Draw this golden light into your body.  It is full of healing, life giving inspiring energy.  Be with this light and its healing restorative energy.

Now sit and just pay attention to your breath for a few moments.  If your mind wanders from your breath, gently bring your attention back to your breath without any judgment.

Do this for a few minutes.  Five to ten minutes is plenty of time for folks new to meditation.  Folks with more experience may want to meditate longer.

Notice the state of your mind and body.  Be with yourself in this quiet, inner world for a few minutes and notice any inspiring thoughts that come to mind.

To conclude your meditation:

  • Breath more deeply
  • Gently open your eyes
  • Be careful standing up, make sure you are steady on your feet
  • Do a nice gentle stretch in accordance with your age and physical health.

Please take a few moments to ask your self some questions:

Do you have some relationships that need a little attention?

Are there relationships that just don’t meet you the way they used to?

How are you feeling about yourself?

You will notice that these are the same questions I posed toward the beginning of this post.

Have your responses/perspectives changed in any way?

Now set one or two clear intentions about your relationships that are most important to you.

For me, I set the intention to find more ways to let my wife, the treasure of my heart, know that I love her.

How about you?

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1 Comment »

Comment by Alan Roby
November 9, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

Hi Ron,
Love your post! Thanks for the specific recommendations on how to create a useful meditation practice. I felt more relaxed just reading your words!

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