May 16, 2011

zen In My Garden

Hello and happy Monday to All!

Wow! I just finished a beautiful week off of work after returning from Australia.

My schedule in the past six weeks took me to New York to lecture at ECA for a week, then home for a week, then to England for 10 days to lecture at Fit Pro. Then home for just over a week before heading to Australia to teach HLC 2. When you couple all that travel and time shifting with LOTS of students and ceaseless questions for Paul, fatigue is natural.

It’s been amazing to be home with Penny and Vidya. I’m always excited to enjoy Vidya’s amazing cooking too!

Penny has been very busy organizing the first ever “CHEK Conference 2011” here in the US. My 50th birthday will be part of the celebration (I’m not into celebrating birthdays with any grandeur), but Penny felt it was an important milestone in my life to share with others, so we are.

I will be offering some exciting presentations for both the public and the professional. We will also have several other excellent presentations by CHEK Instructors and presenters.

Matthew Wallden set up the first ever CHEK Conference in London a couple years ago and it was absolutely amazing. I’ve been to a lot of conferences in my life and I was blown away at the quality of presentations the CHEK team made in England, so this US CHEK Conference promises to be very exciting for all who attend!

Rory Mullin, a long time buddy of mine and major supporter of the CHEK Institute is spending a few weeks with me at the house, which he often does in his off season; Rory is a therapist/trainer for the Toronto Raptors basketball team so he loves to come visit when the season’s over so he can get some deep rest and restore his creative juices.

Sunday, we took some San Pedro cactus that I had fermented in the garden to create a healing medicine. San Pedro is a legal supplement that has many amazing medicinal properties, as well as having a small amount of mescaline in it, which enhances color, depth perception, connection, and gives one great inner-strength. It is very healing for mucus membranes throughout the body, as well as connective tissues.

I am constantly studying ways to create natural healing formulas for myself and those that may need them. To say the medicine spirits teach me a LOT would be an understatement!

I typically take guidance from my soul to create a mandala for each day that I work with healing medicines, which serves as a guiding energy structure. This was my mandala for Sunday.

This mandala shows the rock spirits rising out of the ground to create beauty with us. It certainly exemplified the day. Rory has been with me on so many of these healing journeys that he now say’s, “I need to see the mandala before we start so I can see what kind of day to expect.”

His statement is funny, but true. We’ve had the experience of looking at our mandalas after the day and were amazed to see everything that occurred during the day right there in our mandalas!

I love accessing Great Spirit instead of trying to figure and plan things out with my head. So much more relaxing and fun.

Before we began, I spent several hours dismantling the previous formation I’d built for charging my water. It was huge with over 100 large stones in it so it was as much work to take down as it was to build.

Taking formations apart can be more dangerous than building them because you can disrupt key anchor points. If you aren’t as aware as a mountain cat, you can end up making a nice donation to the garden’s blood bank!

This image shows us beginning our building on Saturday morning. This project progressed through Sunday evening and we’ve still got a few hours work to finish it.

Vidya took over 300 photos of Rory and I working in the rock garden over the weekend. It was amazing to look at the photos because over and over again, Rory and I were in mirror image postures and often lifting stones that would interlock together without even thinking about it or realizing it until it spontaneously occurred.

After days in the rock garden, we never once bumped into each other or had any painful reminders to “stay zen!” Here you can see me communicating with the stone spirits for direction.

Below you can see the personality of our new creation emerging. We don’t go into these creativity experiences with any pre-conceived plan. Once the formation begins to create itself, it’s easier for us to see how the puzzle wants to be created.

We were visited by the gofers, as usual. These amazing little soil-workers love to watch us create. They are very friendly once they come to the conclusion that you are safe to interact with. I absolutely love Mother Nature! She’s so beautiful.

Here you can see the foundation being laid down. Some of these stones weigh 400 or more pounds so this is not a party for weaklings!

Here you can see just what I mean.

That stone probably weighs 250 pounds. Getting crushed fingers and toes is the penalty for wandering out of TAO!

Lifting rocks is a meditation. Just as a zen master may wack you with his bow for getting trapped in mind, the rocks and earth have their own special way of teaching “presence”.

Here you can see me creating a new stack.

I like complex stacks that look like they should fall over, but don’t. Here you can see me placing a heavy top-stone on a wild stack I created. It looks like it should fall, but it doesn’t!

Rory has turned into a great zen gardener! Here you can see Rory next to his beautiful little zen Buddha stack. He created this while we worked on the bigger project.

Vidya created this amazing mandala over several days. She’s much more patient than I am with her art. She will work on a mandala for days and develop it in multiple layers. She creates some of the most amazing art I’ve ever seen! Enjoy!

Below are a few more images from our time in the rock garden. I hope you enjoy them.

I’d love to share some of the amazing growth and development opportunities that can be gained in the zen rock garden with you.

I have another day of body-mind-spirit integration in The zen in the Garden workshop coming up in a couple of weeks here in Vista at my home. I’m looking forward to sharing an intimate learning and growing experience with you and introduce you to the nature spirits of the garden, the rocks and pedro medicine.

Enjoy cultivating your inner-stillness. I’ll be back to share more with you tomorrow.

Love and chi,
Paul Chek