Thursday, May 3, 2012

Week 17, Zanna: Entering New Spaces

The Exercise: Our shorthand for this mindfulness practice is "mindfulness of doors," but it actually involves bringing awareness to any transitions between spaces, when you leave one kind of space and enter another. Before you walk through a door, pause, even for a second, and take one breath. Be aware of the differences you might feel in each new space you enter.
Part of this practice is to pay careful attention to how you close the door when entering a new space.  We often move immediately into a new space without finishing up with the old one, forgetting to close the door or letting it slam shut.

We were halfway through our vacation when this exercise started, and it was really perfectly timed.  We spent the earlier part of the week primarily in national parks (Zion and Grand Canyon).  We woke Wednesday in the town of Williams, Arizona. We walked through the door of our room, into the lovely sitting room and then through the door to the kitchen where our hostess made us homemade buckwheat pancakes and poached eggs.  After a quiet and leisurely breakfast we walked back through the doorways we came through to come to breakfast, packed, and walked out the private door to our car.  (We had a great car on our trip.  I'd booked a full size car since it was just a few dollars more, and so that we would be comfortable on our long driving days.  They let us pick a car from several.  They had Nissan Altimas, Chevy Malibus, Altima, Altima, Malibu, Altima, Malibu, Malibu, Altima, Malibu... Dodge Charger.  When we got to the last car, Chris looked at me with a gleam in his eye I've rarely seen before... so I said, "what do you think? Altima?"  He stopped for a second and then said, "I want the Charger". )
We transitioned smoothly in our Charger from the natural splendor of the national park system, by way of Route 66.  Burma-Shave ads and geocaches paving our journey from heaven to hell. 
We were safe in our silver bubble until we exited the car, walked across the parking lot, and opened the door.  The air behind us was pleasant and breezy.  Through the door there were clouds of smoke and a cacophony of bells and sirens and electronoise. 
Miles and miles. Nothing to hit.
It was impossible to not notice the moving from one space in the casino to another.
The most dramatic transition from space to space came Friday.  After a full day of that Las Vegas nonsense, we decided we must get out of town.  Since it was National Park Week, we opted to go to Death Valley, the lowest and driest place in the US.  When we got back to Las Vegas, we quickly got ready and went out to see the Cirque du Soleil show "O" which is about, and takes place in excessive amounts of, water. 

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