The Enchanted Cottage – Zen Mindfulness Meditation

Enchanted CottageAbout 4 years ago I received a friend request from a guy named Bruce. I didn’t know him, but he’s active in the gay community here in Bakersfield, which is how I believe he found me on Facebook since I am somewhat active on Facebook. He told me that he owned a metaphysical shop, and I’m sure he told me the name, but I didn’t remember.

 

Earlier this year in April I was walking on H St. to the post office, which is right at the corner of Brundage and H. I noticed this shop called The Enchanted Cottage, which I have literally walked or driven (as a passenger, I don’t drive) past a thousand times in the 17 years we’ve lived here. When I came home, it occurred to me that this might be the place Bruce told me about, so I got on Facebook and sent him a message asking him and he said “yes, this is the shop that my partner Stan and I own.” I walked there again to say hi and to see what the place was about, since I have literally been curious since he sent me that friend request. Yes, I’ve been looking for this shop for 4 years, and it was 2 blocks from my house this entire time.

I became curious because I saw a Facebook event for a Zen Mindfulness Meditation class, and so when I went over there, I asked them about it and he said it was that night. In fact, it’s every Wednesday night from 5:30 to 6:30 p. m. I’ve attended their weekly meditation ever since.

Zen Mindfulness Meditation

The Zen Mindfulness Meditation class by Tracy is a full hour and she does 3 different meditation styles. Half of the hour is a guided meditation and if you’re new, she’ll explain what she does and answer questions before she begins, otherwise she’ll get right to it. She is very gentle and mindful of everyone’s feelings and she is a very good teacher. The 2nd part is a walking meditation. We walk outside when the weather doesn’t try to melt our skin, so when it’s too hot outside, we walk in the classroom, and I’m sure when the weather turns cold we will walk inside. The final part of the meditation which can be from 10-15 minutes is usually a silent meditation. At the end we take refuge in The Three Jewels which are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

0717171609

You might see people meditate on a round pillow, that is called a Zafu. They actually started selling those at the Enchanted Cottage a month or so ago and I put one on layaway and bought it with sales from my Etsy shop. I was lucky that I didn’t have to have it on layaway for too long.

When I bought my Zafu, I brought a blanket for the ground, because people who sit on a Zafu cushion to Meditate also have something called a Zabuton, which is a larger square pillow that you place under the Zafu. I paid $100 for the Zafu, I couldn’t afford to buy the Zabuton from a company. Unfortunately, a month after I bought the Zafu, it began to snag and some red thread started to come apart, which is not good. I don’t blame the Enchanted Cottage for it, but I let them know it was happening so they could complain to the people they bought it from. I didn’t ask for a refund or exchange, instead I removed the cover and we went to Beverly’s for some fabric so I could make a Zabuton and so I could make a cover for the Zafu. I actually tried to repair the Zafu, but failed miserably. I will try again another time.

0805171646.jpg

Not too long after that I decided I wanted to change the fabric, because I mainly just wanted the option to change it like you would change a pillowcase on your pillow, so this is the way it looks now.

0810172318-1

And yes, the bottom of the Zafu covers have elastic all the way around the bottom so it’s like a fitted sheet.

The meditation is $5 per week, and I usually set aside $20 a month for entertainment, and I figured this is a good use of that money. Why do I attend a weekly class when I can do it at home for free? Why do people go to church every Sunday when they can pray at home for free?

I am an Indigo, and one of the things I was told to do as an Indigo is meditate. I also get to get out of the house and say hi to people and I get to form friendships and I am learning more about myself as not only an Indigo, but also my psychic abilities. Yes, I am a psychic medium. My third eye is open, but I have no connection with my spirit guide, so I’m not a very good psychic medium, but that’s why I’m going to the Enchanted Cottage, to learn and connect. One of the things I need to do to help myself with this aspect of my life is to meditate. So that’s why I go there. Another reason is I have panic attacks, and this helps me. In fact, my doctor suggested meditation as opposed to medication, so this is basically doctor prescribed. Take 2 quartz and call me in the morning.

Advertisements

How I Beat Insomnia

insomnia

Insomnia sucks. You lie in bed in a dark silent room with your eyes closed hoping to drift off to sleep, but all you can think about is new ways to beat the bad guys in your favorite video game, or how you would design your tiny house layout. Maybe you are thinking of something that someone said and it is bugging the heck out of you. Perhaps you are having flashbacks of a time when you were treated poorly by someone or a group of people. Or fill in the blanks.

That’s been my problem for several years. I remember a time when I could barely keep my eyes open after midnight when Ghost Hunters was doing a live ghost hunt on Halloween, but for the last few years, staying up past midnight was a non issue. In fact, I was lucky if I was going to bed by 5am. Insomnia has been awful for me for a very long time. I was taking Ambien for more than 10 years, then the insurance stopped paying for it, or any other sleeping pills for that matter. I’ve been buying over the counter sleeping pills. Your body becomes immune after taking so many sleeping pills. One of my doctors told me to take Benadryl, and I did, but that too stopped making me sleep. I thought about buying NyQuil, but that can get expensive.

So how did I beat insomnia? I bought a FitBit earlier this year, and it has an alarm on it that vibrates to wake you up. I decided to start using it, so I would set the alarm for 8am. The first couple of days I would wake up and 8am, but press the button and go back to sleep. Then I decided to get up at 8am, but by 10am I was sleepy again, so I would take a nap. I tried staying awake as long as I could, and try as I might I would still fall asleep after noon around 1pm or 2pm. I tried my best to stay awake, so when I would find myself drifting off to sleep, I would sit up and drink something cold and get up and walk around. Sometimes I would get in the shower because washing your body usually wakes you up.

It might have taken me 2 weeks to finally get to the point where even though the alarm is set for 8am, I wake up at 6am. Of course I try to go back to sleep and wake up at 8, but there are days where I’m so awake that I just can’t possibly go back to sleep, so I just get up. Now when I’m watching my shows at night, I’ll start drifting off to sleep at like 9 or 10pm and I’m asleep all night until 6 or 8am. No more sleeping pills.

We have a new doctor who is Hindu and he told me I could try meditation and I have tried meditation in the past, but I’ve gotten to the point where it just puts me to sleep. I mean like during the day. I think trying to meditate at night when you are trying to fall asleep is a great idea, but I don’t need to meditate to fall asleep anymore since my body has gotten used to calling it a day by 9pm. So I don’t need medication, nor do I need meditation to sleep.

It’s a wonderful feeling when you are able to fall asleep at a decent hour, despite the fact that I don’t have a job to go to in the morning.

My Cycling Accident on March 16th

map to store accident

So this is how it happened. As you can see from the map on the left, I ride my bicycle with the blue line towards Albertsons going south on Chester. I lock my bike, go to the store, come out, unlock the bicycle and then head North on Eye street (now in red). I could go all the way back to my street, but I have bullies that live in the apartment building (note the X on Eye street). If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have broken my arm.

Anyway, I turn right on second Street, ride through the parking lot of the restaurant to get to the sidewalk on Chester Avenue. I normally ride along the sidewalk in front of the church until I get to their parking lot then I ride through the parking lot until I get back to my street behind the market.

What happened instead was that I hit the sidewalk bumper in front of the tax place. As you can see from the Google Map it does not exist, so it’s new. Here is the picture to prove it.

bike accident curb

I hit the corner of the little curb with my front tire and went head over handlebars and landed with all of my weight on my left shoulder. Here are the x-rays to show where my injury is and the bones broke in 3 places. There are only 3 x-rays.

xray1 xray2 xray3

I had my MRI today which took about 45 minutes. Most people probably don’t like to sit in a machine for 45 minutes, but thanks to my friend Jeff, I was able to meditate the whole time. The attendant mentioned something about breathing hard making blurry pictures and I learned how to take small breaths in meditation so I took small breaths and she told me that nobody has ever done that before and that she wished all of her patients did that.  I won’t know anything until April 2nd, so i will blog again then.

Someone showed concern about my weight loss program. Because without the bicycle, with a broken arm, it’s going to be difficult to get any exercise. Well, to be honest I haven’t been really doing much exercise and I lost 35 pounds. So I really don’t see how it’s going to be any different. I’m positive that I will continue to lose weight because I will continue to eat healthy as long as my arm is broken. That’s not going to change. My motivation is still here, I am still 110% motivated to lose this weight. Just wait until Saturday when I weigh in.