Finally my garden looks perfect, no weeding required.
Every inch of the garden twinkles, aglow with a pristine white perfection. Because a fresh snowfall brings many blessings, and that is one.
Yet a certain garden-area chore still needs to be done. Blog-Buddies, unless you’re living on Mars, I’ll bet that you know what it is.
Shoveling snow? We’re ready.
Armed with sturdy shovels, my husband Mitch and I take turns. We’re scooping out a path from the house to the street. One small strip to begin, with more clearing to come in the hours and days to follow.
According to the weather forecast, however much show has already landed and stuck — at least that much more will come. Shoveling is to become a way of life for us, lasting a couple of days, at least.
“Words cannot describe the joy of this shoveling experience.”
What? I’m a writer. 😉
I may say many things in this life but never (God willing), “Words can’t describe.” For me there can always be words. And so here goes.
The Unique Joy of Today’s Snow Shoveling
The joy begins with playing dress-up. Last time I got to shovel snow was two years ago.
Down from the top shelf of my closet, hello! Down tumble my trusty waterproof boots. On they go, after the wooly face helmet and my warmest coat. Boots seal up the lavishly long, tomato-red tube socks, knitted for me by my “Mother-in-Love,” Mitch’s mom.
Really, how is this specialness different from dressing up for Cinderella’s ball, or some other grandly special occasion?
Well, it’s for real. Also there is duct tape.
Yes, fairy-tale perfect or not, duct tape must be part of my story. Because these boots are more than 20 years old,. Certain cracks have appeared. Just as you wouldn’t want a beloved teddy bear to lose his stuffing, a snow shoveller really doesn’t want the guts of her boots to plop onto the driveway.
For me, there’s a certain excitement about duct taping my clothing. Never got to do that before!
Shoveling, an Exercise that You Make up as You Go Along
For so many things one might do in life, there are teachers. Those funny teachers, telling a person “the right way” to do this or that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for those funny teachers doing their thing when it matters. (Haha)
But shoveling snow need not be perfect. At least mine doesn’t have to be.
So I relish the free-form exercise of it. The dance of it. The improvisation.
Results show, too. What fascinating movement to the puzzle of driveway-clearing!
Thinking about it now, I’d rather see results from my dance in this way than if the entire audience at the Kennedy Center Opera House were to spring to their feet, applauding me madly.
That pristine, shimmering snow’s “reaction” is good enough for me.
Hunters, I’m told, love their sport because it helps them to feel one with nature. Personally, I haven’t hunted in this lifetime. Personally, when it comes to physical courage, in this lifetime I’ve been so wimpy that I wouldn’t dare hunt anything larger than a cockroach. Chances are, that animal would devour me before the opposite happened.
Shoveling as my snow sport of choice? It sure brings none of the danger of downhill skiing (more wimpy, on my part).
Yes, it’s official. For now, shoveling show has become my favorite form of one-with-nature, just-big-enough snow adventure.
Only Afterwards Do I Think about “Rounding”
So all-engrossing was that delightful sport, I didn’t think about what I’d been doing until back indoors. And that’s when I made the connection that inspired today’s blog post.
Long ago, way before the Age of Awakening, I was involved in the Transcendental Meditation program. It didn’t take long after my initiation — 47 years ago, plus 2 days — before I was taking advanced courses. Well more than a year of my life was spent doing courses personally at the feet of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and I also attended plenty more TM “Residence Courses” without him.
Every TM retreat highlighted something called “rounding.” Maharishi had us do this sequence:
- 20 minutes of meditation
- A set of yoga asanas
- 5 minutes of a breathing exercise
That full sequence counted as “One round.” After you finished, hooray! You got to do it all over again, as in the Beatles song “Dear Prudence,” where the witty chorus goes “Look around, round, round.” (You can hear the Beatles sing it at the previous link.) (As it happened, Prudy is the one who taught me how to do those TM-style yoga asanas.)
What was the point of rounding? It was meant to work like an extra-evolutionary version of regular TM for 20 minutes twice a day, to be followed by regular human activity.
This was one of Maharishi’s genius ideas. (And when I use the word “genius,” I really mean it. Genius is not a word I fling around casually, like the judges on “Chopped.”)
Maharishi understood that experience at the Divine level needed to be stabilized, or integrated, through human activity. He was so right.
And recommending rounding, or that much TM, was right, too… for the time in which Maharishi taught folks like me. Long before the Shift into this Age of Awakening.
By Contrast, What is “Rounding” Today?
In this Age of Awakening, any Technique Time is far more potent. Long-term members of this online RES community are familiar with the concept of 20 Daily Minutes of Technique Time, Tops.
Limiting spiritual and psychological practices for self-growth, to this extent, doesn’t just help us to evolve most rapidly on the path to Enlightenment. There’s a protective value. Keeping Technique Time down to a maximum of 20 minutes is the single most important way to avoid spiritual addiction.
Ironically, if you’re aiming for Empath Empowerment®, that “Less is more” approach will help you.
And even after moving into Enlightenment, it’s important to limit Technique Time in this way.
In this Age of Awakening, what do we gain from alternating 20 minutes of Technique Time, total, with human-type activity? Exactly the benefit of rounding.
The funny thing is, after crossing the threshold into Enlightenment, ordinary human activity (even without any Technique Time) is enough to heap glory on glory. While a simple activity, like shoveling snow, makes it easier to notice this with no distractions.
- Not because you’re shoveling the snow as a form of mindfulness meditation.
- Not because you’re trying to shovel snow “from the heart” or “in a spiritually authentic manner.”
- Not because you’re repeating like mad, “My Beloved Father-Mother God is twinkling in every perfect snowflake.”
- Nope, regular human activity: Bend and scoop and fling and blow your nose and, maybe, sometimes, smile.
What a novel way to evolve when living in Northern Virginia, where slow-motion blizzards seldom entertain us.
Can there be spiritual evolution once you have moved into Enlightenment? Certainly.
My friend David Buckland is just masterful at delineating this growth within Enlightenment from the perspective of consciousness.
Me, I’ll content my self with the human perspective, as an Enlightenment Coach who specializes in Householder Enlightenment. From that perspective, I have to say that shoveling snow makes for the most colossally sweet rounding.