All posts tagged cleansing

Following My Bliss: Nature Meditations Pt 2 (Corbett’s Glen Park)

Published July 26, 2013 by Susan Woodward

100_0615After leaving Tinker Park, I headed to Corbett’s Glen Park… this little gem that is actually alongside the 490 expressway!  The cement wall blocks out the traffic sound, and as I walk along the creek, I swear I am more in Letchworth State Park than in Penfield!

Considering that it seems as if I was entering another realm, I decided to mythologize the experience (why not?).

Before actually getting to the nature trail, you have to walk through this tunnel.  There is a GORGEOUS farm house on the other side just along the trail, and it’s like entering another world.  I considered going through here as crossing the threshold.  I had to step aside as the threshold guardians came through (in a truck…maintenance folks who had been cleaning up the trails).

100_0616This is the view once I have crossed the threshold and entered the new realm.  Almost instantly the traffic noise from the nearby highway disappeared and all I really could hear was the waterfall.  It added to the feeling that I’d left Rochester and found my way into a mystical place.  Does the shape of this opening not look like a keyhole?

I turned toward the farm house to admire its beauty and envy its location, and then i turned toward the path along the creek.  After walking in the direct sun through the labyrinth, hiking in the cool shade of the trees along the water was refreshing.


The creek had several lovely little waterfalls that were absolutely musical.





I made a point of sitting and listening to the music of each of these falls.  Fortunately, there were very few people out that day, so I pretty much had the creek to myself when I wanted to sit.


At one point, I realized that I had stones in my shoes, so I decided to put my feet in the running water to cleanse them.  While I was soaking my toes, I thought about the walk through the labyrinth, especially my meditation about the weeds.  I also noticed bits of those weeds had stuck in my sandals.  This was a perfect time to wash those last bits of things that no longer serve me away!  The water was clear and cool, and even though I only put my feet in, my whole body felt refreshed!

100_0636Like the totem of the duck that I’d thought about from the labyrinth, I was also on the lookout for a totem from my walk.   I sat with my feet in the water and asked any creatures who wanted to come to me to do so.

When I went back to my walk, I noticed a large dragonfly buzz past me.  I asked if I could take his picture, and he very obligingly landed on a nearby leaf!  He even let me take a few shots so as to get a decent one!

I asked him to open his wings, but I guess I was to be content with him simply taking a seat on the leaf for me.  As a matter of fact, I found an entire group of dragonflies (I wonder what that’s called?)  In any case, I’d never seen more that one at a time in my whole life, and here I was seeing more than half a dozen all in one place!

Of course, I had to look up his meaning!

Symbolisms of the Dragonfly


  • Maturity and a Depth of character
    The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

    The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life.


  • Power and Poise
    The dragonfly’s agile flight and its ability to move in all six directions exude a sense of power and poise – something that comes only with age and maturity.
    The dragonfly can move at an amazing 45 miles an hour,  hover like a helicopter fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up, down and on either side. What is mind blowing is the fact that it can do this while flapping its wings a mere 30 times a minute while mosquitoes and houseflies need to flap their wings 600 and 1000 times a minute respectively.

    The awe inspiring aspect is how the dragonfly accomplishes its objectives with utmost simplicity, effectiveness and well, if you look at proportions, with 20 times as much power in each of its wing strokes when compared to the other insects.  The best part is that the dragonfly does it with elegance and grace that can be compared to a veteran ballet dancer. If this is not a brazen, lazy, overkill in terms of display of raw power, what is?


  • Defeat of Self Created Illusions
    The dragonfly exhibits iridescence both on its wings as well as on its body. Iridescence is the property of an object to show itself in different colors depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on it.

    This property is seen and believed as the end of one’s self created illusions and a clear vision into the realities of life. The magical property of iridescence is also associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.


  • Focus on living ‘IN’ the moment
    The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis.

    This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.


  • The opening of one’s eyes
    The eyes of the dragonfly are one of the most amazing and awe inspiring sights. Given almost 80% of the insect’s brain power is dedicated to its sight and the fact that it can see in all 360 degrees around it, it symbolizes the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self. It also in a manner of speaking symbolizes a man/woman’s rising from materialism to be able to see beyond the mundane into the vastness that is really our Universe, and our own minds.

Okay!  So that is definitely food for thought!  And it is appropriate for me on so many levels…and I am feeling blessed to have not only seen them this day, but was able to take a keepsake along with me afterward.  That’s my boon from this place.

As I was returning, I decided to try to be artsy as I reached the threshold once more:

100_0639The leaves symbolize life, and the tendrils are growth.  There is a light awaiting me on the other side of the threshold, and the waterfall is singing goodbye for now.

100_0644Once I got on the other side once more, I asked if there were any last minute creatures who wanted to be photographed, and this guy landed near me.

He’s so cute, how could I resist?  And since he wanted to stop by, he must have had a reason, so I looked up his totem as well:

Blue jays are talkative creatures utilizing a wide range of vocalizations to express their opinions. Indeed, their speech abilities are so advanced, that they are able to mimic other birds and even humans. Blue jay’s have been known to mimic hawk calls as a ploy to lure these birds of prey away from jay’s nests.


Likewise, those with the blue jay as their totem are quite loquacious and have the gift of gab. Common vocations of those with the blue jay as their totem are sales people, lawyers, politicians, public speakers, and teachers.

Interesting.  Click on his picture for more because there certainly is!   I certainly felt that I had been given many gifts today, and it wasn’t even noon yet.  I felt that in order to complete the journey of the day, I needed to visit a second labyrinth.

On to First Unitarian Church!

Still working through the desert

Published October 13, 2011 by Susan Woodward

While I think I managed to find myself in this place a bit unwillingly, I think this is all good for me.   Focusing on the beauty of the situation is key to survival and moving onward.   In slaking my thirst, grounding seems to be working so much better for me than running and seeking.

At any time when I begin to lose the sense of solitude and drift toward loneliness, my grounding ritual has been very effective lately.

First, I imagine myself surrounded by a calming blue sphere of light through which only good can enter and anything negative cannot penetrate.   Next, I see a tap root emerging from my root chakra and plunging deep into the earth, boring deeper through the layers of the surface, forcing its way to the center of Mother Earth until it finds its way to a large crystal underground cavern.  In its center is a clear, deep pool of the purest water, and my tap root plunges into the clear waters, drinking deeply and carrying its cleansing liquid upward to me.  I can feel it moving first through my root chakra, cleansing and purifying, and then moving slowly upward.  As the water reaches each chakra in succession, I can actually feel the area being cleansed and purified until the water finally spills out of my crown chakra and flows over the outer form of my body.  Impurities are carried out and washed away, leaving me with the feeling of warmth and love flowing from the Earth Mother.

As the waters continue to wash over me, I next imagine branches growing out from my crown chakra and reaching up toward the Universe, spreading out and bringing down what energy my body needs and is able to contain.  It comes down as licks of fire and, like the water, moves through each chakra in its turn, only moving downward this time.  The fiery energy burns any negativity that exists inside me, including any illnesses that may be lurking, or any ill will I may be harboring.  The flames further purify me, and they exit through the root chakra, rising up and around my body.  The flowing water does not quench the flame, nor does the flame evaporate the water.  As the ash of any lingering negativity is removed by the fire, the water rinses the chakras and washes it out and back into the Earth where it becomes positive energy.

These moving cycles continue until I am feeling fully cleansed and energized and ready to withstand the vastness of this desert I find myself in.  Then I slowly withdraw my tap root back into myself and bring my branches back inward from the Universe, only allowing enough cleansing water and purifying energy that my body can handle to remain with me.

And this is a good place.   Indigenous boys go into the wild on a quest to find the man inside.  Jesus went into the desert for 40 days to prepare himself for his ministry.  Moses led his people to freedom through the desert, although it took 40 years.   So I think that this desert time is preparing me for something… I don’t know what, and I don’t know when it will happen, but something good will come from this.

I don’t know if I will continue to travel alone, or if a companion will appear on the horizon…. but I do know that I will continue on this journey.  I will do my best to not run for the first mirage that appears, thinking that I have found my oasis, only to be disappointed.   If it is my destiny to have a companion, I will wait for him to appear instead of running out to seek him.  If I am destined to travel alone, I will do so with wonder in my heart and learn to appreciate the beauty of the desert while I am here.  When I begin to feel lonely, I will search inside myself for solace and know that I am never truly alone.   I know that I will come across the oases of family and friends, and I will visit and be happy with them, but I will also know that my own journey leads elsewhere and that I cannot plant myself in their gardens.  One day, I will have a garden of my own, but today is not that day.

And that’s ok.  I have the kiss of the overhead sun, the warmth of the sand under my feet, and the jewels of desert flowers to bring me pleasure.  I sing to let any creatures know that I am in their midst so that I don’t catch any unawares and frighten them into thinking I am an enemy, thereby causing them to attack.  And with no one watching, I dance in the openness without anything to impede my range of motion.

And so I continue forward… or in circles… or who knows for sure out in the wide openness?  But at least I continue.  And when I feel the thirst come upon me, I know how to best quench it.

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