Posts Tagged ‘transcendent’

Regularly Scheduled Transcendence. It’s Important.

Daily doses of happiness are important, vital even, for a life worth living.  But every once in a while, it’s good to be lifted beyond ordinary happiness into a state of pleasure that’s extra-ordinary.

Why?

Because it’s extra good for us.

“We can experience union with something larger than ourselves,” said William James, “and in that union find our greatest peace.”

Is transcendence something you think about? Plan for? What does your regularly scheduled transcendence include?

Maybe your super pleasure happens on a bike, 500 miles on the highest trail in the world – The Friendship Highway in China. 

Or skinny dipping at Berneray Beach, Outer Hebrides  (part of Scotland and the UK). 

Or hiking 26 miles/4 days on the Inca Trail in Peru. 

On the other hand, maybe your favorite transcendent experience requires less exertion, a sound meditation which activates your higher energy centers.  Maybe you slide into a cool lake on a warm evening and find nirvana. Sit on your front porch with your early morning coffee to listen to the birds. Get wheeled outside into a canopy of green trees and soft sunshine from your hospital room. Watch a lightning storm on your front porch. Lose yourself in love.

WHY BOTHER?

What’s the point of having a transcendent experience?

To experience unity with everyone and everything.

In one study from 2014, students gazed up at a towering grove of 200 foot tall eucalyptus trees for one full minute. After directly experiencing nature’s grandeur, they felt less self-centered and behaved more generously.

Positive side-effects of transcendence also include feeling more satisfied with life and rating life as more meaningful. Oxytocin levels in our blood rise, which promotes bonding and makes us feel more connected to others.

According to David Yaden, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania:

“The magic of transcendence lies in its “annihilational” aspect, or the way it induces a feeling of self-loss. Neuroscience research shows that during transcendent states, there is decreased activity in the posterior superior parietal lobe, the area of the brain that locates the self in space and distinguishes it from everything else. When the neuronal inputs to this part of the brain decrease, the brain can no longer separate the self from the surrounding environment — which is why people feel their sense of self diminish, while also feeling connected to everyone and everything around them.”

My regularly scheduled transcendent experiences often involve flowers, music, toning, sound, and food.

The other day I picked the very first Russian Heirloom Black Cherry tomato from my garden and ate it right off the vine. Upon tasting it, I swear I entered another dimension, the tomato was that good. I didn’t (couldn’t) move. I stood still on my sidewalk, letting the taste of the tomato tell me everything it wanted to tell me.

If travel is required in order to to create transcendent experiences for yourself, it’s worth it. Spending time on a mountain with a wide open view, for instance, does something for the soul, and lingers long after.

Besides the accidentals, the unplanned bliss experiences, what about deliberately scheduling activities that will most likely lift you up above the daily hum-drum into another realm or reality?

WE RANG THE NIGHTBELL

This past Saturday evening, a girlfriend and I had the great pleasure of eating at Nightbell in Asheville. This restaurant is described as a “vintage-chic destination offering innovative American small plates, craft cocktails & local brews.” Chef Katie Button also owns Curate, another successful Asheville restaurant. Nightbell derives its name from days gone by when a guest rang the nightbell for entrance after 5 pm.  The long and the short of it is that this restaurant is clearly dedicated to food that feeds the body, nourishes the soul, and delights the senses. 

We entered, walked upstairs and were seated near a lovely window, looking down on the street below. Our first server was a dark haired young woman wearing thick eyeliner, an up-do, and a simple, perfect, floral shift, revealing elaborate tattoos — flowers on her right arm and more art across her back.

She was calm, kind and present as she introduced us to the Nightbell dining experience and poured our tall glasses of cool, pure, delicious, water with no ice. That’s how they do it. (It made me wonder how they create something as simple as blissful water.)

As she spoke to us, at one point her gaze wandered out the window, to a young man passing by on the street below, who had looked up to see her as he strolled by. She waved (ever so gently) and he nodded back. Their sweet-as-can-be practically secret public moment only added to the softness of her communication with us.

Since my friend is a wine expert, we thought it logical to order wine. But we opted for a craft cocktail instead, which Nightbell is famous for, one involving Altos Reposado Tequila, Benedictine, fresh peaches, lemon and salt.

Benedictine, the French liqueur, was created in 1510, by the Benedictine monk Don Bernardo Vincelli. The recipe calls for 27 plants and spices, mainly Angelica, Hyssop and Lemon Balm. It is said that there are only three people on earth who know the complete recipe for making Benedictine.

The drink was beyond divine, perfectly balanced in every way. The very first sip caused a “rising up” of my view on life. In fact, it was transcendent.

Along came cold cucumber, fennel, and buttermilk soup. It was bright green with a center aisle sprinkled with corn relish and sour gherkins.  It was also divine.

(I rose a little higher.)

Then came summer squash, roasted lemon, pickled coriander, goat milk ricotta, and puffed farro. It was interesting, with very contrasting tastes, not a wild favorite of mine. However, I loved the presentation — tiny rolls of shaved summer squash filled with lemon and coriander, with tastes of ricotta dropped invitingly here and there. 

(I hovered.)

Then there were gaining ground fingerling potatoes, sour pickles, celery, dill, crème fraîche. Perfect.

(Up I went, a little higher.)

Then red drum fish, ham hock broth, peanuts, pea tendrils, farro. Again, a wildly masterful combination of taste and texture.

(My heart, mind and soul, everything rose up, up, up.)

We wondered if we could handle the bliss of dessert. Waiter Dan said his favorite was the roasted berry tart, watermelon ice cream, basil, oats, and watermelon rind jam. We ordered it, along with the best espresso I’ve ever tasted, in Bodum double-walled thermal tumblers. Smooth as can be.

(Without question, I levitated.)

At the conclusion of the meal, it’s possible we stepped out of the 2nd floor window into a vehicle designed by magic-man Elon Musk, which teleported us safely and happily home.

Either that, or we walked around Asheville, enjoying the sights and sounds on a Saturday evening.

 

p.s. What will you do this week that connects you to All-That-Is?

 

 

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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Terri Crosby

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