A conversation between Martina and Michaela
M: Hi Martina. How are you ?
Martina: Hi Michaela ~ I’m well thank you. Sorry I’m late, a neighbour called !
M: Never mind. Glad you could make it. Welcome to the sofa. Just make yourself comfortable.
Martina: Thank you. This is a lovely space to be.
M: Yes it is. We are here at the same time and we can communicate and exchange real time. Is there anything you would like to talk about ?
Martina: I’ve given some thought to this but not a great deal ! Evolving presence brings up new experiences or feelings each moment. Tai chi/Qigong are a focus for me at the moment. The “community” of a group I found locally has been a gift ~ a little like the ET community. Good to meet people on a conscious level whatever that may bring ?
M: Yes, this is something I have noticed too. I was very much used doing things on my own, but with awakening I find this is impossible. We do need each other to help us along the path. And that includes the people on the ETTV forum, my family and friends, as well as others. Are you practicing together with the “community” you found ? What are you doing ?
Martina: I’m delighted that the Qigong group meet in our local park every morning 365 days a year ! The blend of “souls” is tangible as we each struggle with whatever is going on ~ or whatever we perceive to be going on with us, individually. The environment of grass, trees & sky brings an equality to the sessions. We each experience the breeze or the sunshine on our faces.
There is a beautiful feeling as people walk across the grass to gather for a shared time together. I’ve been going for 3 weeks & we gently become acquainted or not . . .
M: So this is regular practice then ? It is peculiar how much we “tune-in” into each other after a while. I like how you mention “the blend of souls is tangible”. Are you just practicing in silence or are you spending some time talking too ?
Martina: Yes, regular practise when work allows. There is gentle music playing as we do the first 30 minutes, but strangely I don’t hear it much. I do get distracted by the birds & cloudforms :~) We will have a social gathering next Tuesday so time then to talk. I prefer to be as silent as I can during the session. Then there is a truly shared stillness ~ although we’re also moving our “form” in the Qigong. Breath is a key part & I like to follow my breath without talking. I recently had allergic asthma but it has improved with this recent work.
M: Oh, I am convinced about this. Energetic exercises can be quite powerful in terms of making meridians smooth and they can also dissolve emotional blockages. Do you feel it is helping you to become more present too ?
Martina: Certainly is. I began to practise yoga regularly 12 years ago. Then Tai Chi 7 years ago. The timing is unimportant but if I look back I can see where there has been a steady strengthening of presence practise & a movement towards “wholeness” that wasn’t there before. Grateful to a homeopath who was treating me at the time, who gave me the number of a yoga teacher. I knew from the first phone call I was “home.” An emotional healing began then which continues now & is joyful ~ as the ET forum has also been in some way. Eckhart’s Findhorn Retreat was a beautiful pointer too. It felt so familiar & each practise has enriched the other.
M: Yes, this is also my experience. It appears that the “right” practice – or the “right” teacher appear, when the time is right. Like you said, it feels like coming “home” and it evolves from there. For example, I was never keen on doing yoga – but I have been doing Pilates for years, which is a very intense holistic system, if you do like it is intended. Later I started to do some other meditative moving exercises – I am a mover…cannot sit still. :-). But I think it is important to “prepare” the body for the spiritual work that is happening inside. We need a strong body for that and it is also important that the energy can flow in an unobstructed way. Otherwise it may lead to unpleasant symptoms. I have seen this a lot actually, physical symptoms as a side-effect effect of meditation. These things are really powerful, even though they seem to be common place like running or doing push-ups.
So did you actually go to Findhorn to attend a retreat ?
Martina: No. But I know the area, & a dear friend visited in it’s early days. The landscape & in many ways the “growing” aspect always fascinated me ~ in terms of self-growth & plantlife etc. Scotland has a depth of spirituality purely in an “earth” way ? There is still wilderness & profound quiet there. The resonance of earth is a great teacher. The practise in the park has been more powerful than I expected, due to the connection to the ground. Yoga is usually practised indoors in the UK ! I need the presence of nature more, for “flow”.
M: Yes, I understand that, nature has been my best teacher in terms of discovering the laws of the universe. I also had this impulse to be outdoors a lot and get “grounded”. It really helped me to fully blend into that “spaciousness”, when at the same time I could touch the ground. It is like I was making sure I would not “fly off”. :-). But you mentioned something up there that caught my interest – you said “ The landscape & in many ways the “growing” aspect always fascinated me ~ in terms of self-growth & plantlife”. Could you explain a little bit what you mean ?
Martina: There’s a truth to plant growth that has a sweetness for me. I equate my own journey with that of a plant. A liberating feeling is to lean against a great tree & know it has been growing minutely,
imperceptibly for years. In Tai Chi practise we stand like trees & there’s a breeze I feel between my hands that may be what a tree “feels” in the wind ? A tree doesn’t “need” to grow in the way we can sometimes “decide” to embark on personal growth ~ the growth happens as part of it’s natural cycle.
That’s the kind of growth I trust.
M: This is a beautiful and very peaceful analogy, Martina. A tree just is, perfectly content in its form, patiently growing, trusting that everything goes according to the divine plan. Thank you, I will remember that image. No need to rush or push oneself or get anxious, frustrated or even annoyed. Growth is organic and my only job may be to give it all it needs at the time.
I think you are an illustrator ? Have you actually captured this impression in a drawing ?
Martina: Hm. Good question :~) The closest I get sometimes is in a photograph maybe. An intimacy with bark or leaf forms ? But drawing possibly is most expressive of the movement of forms ~ if you can really “swing the pencil” as a tutor once said to us students!
M: Not sure what you mean…isn’t a drawing just capturing a moment in time ?
Martina: A drawing captures a moment in time but also weaves the observed form into the inner body & then out through the pencil, so you become “one” with what you draw ?
M: Oh, I see – you establish a connection and make it dynamic. Do you actually see your “drawing style” change with all the “inner” development ?
Martina: Well, I love this evolutionary process, Michaela ~ I need to do more drawing ! When I draw for “myself” & not for “work” the style is more raw. It has a different feel, but maybe the line or energy is still there in my digital work ~ not sure I can tell.
I do promise myself to find more time for expressive drawing.
Do you draw or paint ?
M: I used to draw when I was a kid and as a young woman. Caricature mostly, that simply came to me and I would capture “the essence” of a person in a few pencil strokes. I still have to laugh when I see them today, but I have not done it in decades though. I would love to see one of your examples – do you think you could show us a digital version of something ?
Martina: Yes, of course ~ selection will be fun ! Just tell me how to ? I’m still smiling at the notion of your caricatures :~) A rare skill to capture a person’s essence & combined with laughter ~ lovely. Did you perhaps wonder about drawing caricatures of the folk at the ET forum ? ! Starting to imagine a rogues gallery now . . .
M: Ha-ha, thats a perfect idea. We do have an “arts and crafts” section on the blog as well. So if you want, there is always room for beautiful examples of visual art.
Martina: Thank you Michaela for that kind invitation. I will either email you &/or upload to the blog. This has been a very generous experience ~ lovely to “meet” with you here. Thank you for the opportunity. I am going to do some work now !
Wishing you a very good day. With love, Martina
M: Thank you too, Martina. It has been lovely and I think we touched on some really interesting subjects. Thank you again for your time, courage and patience, trying this out. See you on the forum.