For my birthday I was given a beautiful  new bird feeder by my husband. He hung it on a tree that very morning. We filled it and the birds have found it. As things go in the scheme of the world it was not that big of a deal. But for me the birds are how I meditate.

When I first started to meditate it was difficult. I had a hard time keeping the intrusive memories and thoughts from taking over and running the show. I would talk to some people and they would not believe me when I said this was an issue. Their response was along the lines that I must somehow be doing it wrong. I stopped trying to meditate. (I later found out that what I was experiencing was not uncommon in sever trauma sufferers.)

Then I found the birds. I watch them fly to the feeder. I observe the way they take turns. How some breeds are more communal in the way the eat and others have a specific order. I watch the bluejays balance so very carefully with their tails and wings to stay on the small ledge. And I breathe, empty my mind and relax. And my body, which never relaxes even when I am asleep I think, relaxes into the chair. Peaceful feelings roam about my mind and body as I watch the birds.

I also do what I call “treeing.” I stand outside near our stream and I imagine that I am a tree. I am sending roots down into the earth. I hear the water rushing by in the stream and imagine it pouring down over me and taking all the stress out through my deep roots. To safely take it away into the earth. Once when I was having a particularly hard day my daughters and daughter in law came and stood with me and we joined hands and let the water pour over us in our minds. The joining of hands with such strong women was as soothing as the imagined water.

I have found that any way I can relax and allow my breathing to calm and the world around me to slow and allow me peace is perfect meditation for me. I would like, someday, to pursue meditation is a different form. But for now as with all things what works is what works.

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