I know, you’re probably already googling for verification, and you’ll find, as I did, that it actually does rain diamonds on both Jupiter and Saturn! Apparently, if you are a gas giant, you can turn lightning into methane into graphite into diamonds! It’s not as poetic to recite how this happens, but it quiets the star-gazing dreamer in me, who wants to share uplifting facts and have an answer when folks say, “What??!!! Rains dimonds?”.
Now, you can do this, too!
Speaking of wonders, I was just introduced to yet another inspiring podcast, called The Year of No Grudges. The fearless, poetic genius behind this endeavor is called Andrea Gibson. A dear friend read me some of Andrea’s honest, vulnerable, hilarious tidbits.
Embedded in one piece, called Goosebumps, where the speaker surrenders to beauty, after long trying to resist it, they recite each gorgeous wonder as it is allowed into their heart, and dutifully cite the number of goosebumps raised.
One of these treasures was, “It rains diamonds on Jupiter”, which yielded 189 goosebumps.
A Missoula treehouse filled with candlelight: 143.
The biggest dog in the shelter hiding behind a teacup chihuahua and
the woman who came in to adopt a cat
bringing all three of them home:
Andrea Gibson reveals a “before” and “after” of opening to life, allowing her very skin to pucker in response. We are more likely somewhere in between a life without beauty and tears and one overflowing with them.
The same headline can evoke cynicism or compassion from me, depending on my willingness and ability to see or hear from my depths. One day, I love the way tears squirt from my eyes like stepped-on geoducks, and the next time I cry, I am clouded over with shame, masking and fleeing as fast as I can.
I learned this meditation that’s helping me invite the world into me and then allow myself to move into the world.
The barriers keep thinning, until I am sometimes like that ice cube that naively floats in the water. It thinks it is something other than water, but the water is transforming it all the while.
Eventually the ice cube disappears, remembering or reuniting
or done worrying about it!
“I was water all along!”.
Want to give it a try? I learned this gem of a meditation from Sam Harris, on his meditation app called Waking Up.
I use it every morning, yes, every morning. I highly recommend this kind of backing for folks who want to meditate but aren’t sure how to start.
The app is free for a week or two, and the practices are five minutes long to start.
I will be paraphrasing his lesson, and I encourage you to do the same if you decide to bring this into your own practice life.
Sit comfortably and close your eyes or gaze downward with soft eyes. Take the time needed to get yourself comfortable so you can stop fidgeting.
Notice your breath for a while, just letting it be.
Then, feel the space around you, all around you. Keep your eyes closed so you can use your feeling sense better.
As you inhale, breathe in what’s around you. Receive it all. This might include a vase of ruby red flowers or the annoying sound of the refrigerator’s motor. Imagine that all of this is moving toward you and you take it in.
You could expand your territory beyond the room, into the building, or even outside, as far as you want to go with breathing life in. Maybe you breathe in the diamonds raining on Jupiter.
After a while, feel for who is doing all of this receiving. What is that part that can take everything in?
Whatever you find to be the one who is taking it all in, use your exhalations to breathe that part out, into the space around you. As you did before, feel for how far you want these exhalations to go. Could they reach the gas giants in the cosmos?
Lastly, add the inhalations back in, breathing life in, breathing self out. Feel the exchange, the fluidity, perhaps a loosening of the imagined barrier between inside and outside, the before and after, self and other.
If you get a chance, let me know how you liked this meditation.
I will close now, with a snippet of Mary Oliver, shared with me today, by someone dear to me. This excerpt carries the same mood for me, of merging into life through stillness:
When I am alone I can become invisible.
I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned.
I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing.