Z is for Zen

*photo courtesy of Follybeach

When I think of Zen, I think of peaceful,calm vibes, a room, of brown n' white  with touches of green,  lots of plants, bamboo, orchids and others.  A serene spot, to refill or recharge my battery.  Time out for grown ups!

A time of meditation or reflection to enlightenment...is the description of Zen.   Me, it is a time, that I alone can be calm, let my brain rest, I usually try guided imagery.   It is a great way to go to one of your favorite spots, without spending money.

For example:

First imagine one of your favorite places, for me it is the sea shore,back home in Maine:  looking at the waves gently rolling in kissing the rocky beach and then pulling away.   Tidal surges in and out, as tiny treasures and sea life is gently tossed about.   I now see, someone I love, walking towards me.   I see them wave and smile as they get closer. They grab my hand and we walk along the rocky shore, til we get to a sandy spot.   He says, let's dig, I try to talk, but he says, not now, later.    We dig, I think we are looking for clams, keep digging he says.   We dig, and dig until I don't want to anymore.  What are we doing?  Then he hands me a sand dollar, it is alive,  gray and furry.  We use to catch these in the summer time, when I was a kid, we'd  put them back, in the water.   I put it back; I  remembered what the sand dollar represented.   Do you remember.....  


The Sand Dollar or Holy Ghost Shell is one of the most unusual specimens of marine life. The markings on the shell, to some, symbolize the Birth, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. On top of the shell, an outline of the Easter Lily is clearly seen. At the center of the Lily is a five pointed Star representing the Guiding Star of Bethlehem that led the Wise Men. The five narrow openings are representative of the four nail holes and the spear wound made in the body of Christ during the Crucifixion. Reversing the shell you will recognize the outline of the Poinsettia, the Christmas flower, and also the Bell. When broken, inside the shell are five little birds called the Doves of Peace. Some say they are the Angels that sang to the Shepherds the First Christmas Morning.  *Thanks to Follybeach~

He says keep this and remember:      
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye."~Antoine de Saint-Exupery  (this is a quote from the book, "The Little Prince"
 What is essential is invisible to the eye, is such a powerful message and so true...

 We walk for a bit and I bend down to pick up a shiny rock and he is gone.   I call for him, but know he is
part of my guided imagery, I sit down in the sand and feel the sun beat on my head.  It is getting hot, I can hear the sea gulls crying,  there is a gently breeze of pine and the salty sea.   I open my eyes and feel calm.
Try it, imagine your favorite place, a person you have lost, and see what message is given to you...you will
only escape for a while, but the message could be something profound or something to keep you calm or make life a bit easier to cope.      It is like a temporary vacation, no packing, no lines, no travel, no money...
Just an escape to your inner self, this is my Zen.

I want to thank Lee of Tossing it Out, for coming up with and hosting, this unique A-Z challenge!  I did feel
challenged, at times, but loved doing it and meeting so many wonderful souls!   On May 3rd, Lee wants us to post a Challenge Reflections post.   It should be fun to highlight and post about what impacted us, what we learned and how fun or challenging it was!~


Linda said…
Oh beautiful! And since Maine is one of my all-time favorite retreats (Harpswell) I can so relate to your post. Yes, meeting all these wonderful people on the challenge has been the real blessing.
A moment of bliss...!
Yes, the A-Z Challenge has been fun. Looking forward to Monday.
A most lovely post,I congratulate you on finishing the challenge, It has been so much fun and I have found many new friends.

Enjoy your week-end.
Oh Ellie, I think this is my favorite post. I've got an all over feeling of zen after reading this. Brings back memories of beautiful Neskowin on the Oregon coast. I get up really early while the tide is out and look for sand dollars. I've never heard that legend before, it's beautiful. Thanks for sharing a little zen with us. Your A-Z blogging has been so creative! Wishing you well Ellie!

Lisa said…
I should try that! I love the sand dollar at the legend -- never heard it before! It looks purplish to me, is that how they normally look? Beautiful!
Berlin Deluxxe said…
Congrats on winning my giveaway :)
And thank you for sharing with us the story of the sand dollar, my favorite seashell.
Wanda said…
I've never heard the legend of the sand dollar before. Great post and congrats on completing the challenge.
You made it to Z I love sand dollars and sea stars and Maine, I have only been to maine 2 times. I am so glad i met you here, it should be fun monday to read the reflections. I am also having a flip flop swap if you are interested. email you soon. I love the photo have to check that site out.
Watery Tart said…
Very nice, Ellie! I think my zen places involve either looking out at an ocean or down from a really tall mountain--the places nature makes me feel small and insignificant.

Though this reminded me of a silly FB conversation recently with a young friend who asked what the heck LOLZ meant. I told her it was Laugh Out Loud Zen--a state of enlightenment brought about by laughter. I love laughing.
Becky Shander said…
I didn't know all those interesting connections to sand dollars - thanks! Coincidentally, last weekend I found 2 sand dollars at the beach we always go to at Kennebunk. I've never found any before, anywhere, so this was especially thrilling.
Jen said…
What a beautiful way to end the challenge, ZEN, something we all strvie for!
Hi Ellie! Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing! I never knew that before. I really enjoyed reading your zen story too. Makes me want to take a dive and find what's in my own world. Also, thanks so much for your sweet visit! So glad that I'm not the only one in the clean-up and supply frenzy. Have a wonderful weekend! :)
Hi Ellie!

Yeah! All the way to Z!

Oh my gosh, I'm so far behind with all of your lovely posts. I will try and catch up early next week.

Wishing you a lovely weekend and Happy May Day!

Carol Fleisher said…
What a great idea-integrating Guided Imagery, Zen and Christ! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your blog layout and design. Have a great weekend.
Beth said…
Excellent *Z* post! Sorry I didn't find you sooner. I grew up in Maine too and the ocean and rocky coast hold many of my favorite memories.
Beautiful post and you are a beutiful person. I would love to visit Maine. My favorite Zen place is Destin Florida which I visit every year for a month.
You were fab in in the challenge. Looking forward to many conversations.
I applaud you for finished this challenge, I just couldn't do it as I discovered putting myself into that rigid box was hindering my creativity. Fine job, you did. Do you think the military think had anything to do with this? LOL
Ellie said…
Splenderosa-Thank you! I do understand it was a challenge at times! You are funny; No, the military didn't contribute to this project. LOL

Debra-I haven't been to Destin, but use to live
in Pensacola and Orlando. I bet it is beautiful; I thought Pensacola was beautiful!
You were also fab in the challenge! I am going to go back and read some of the post I missed! I hope someday you get to visit Maine(go in the Fall). I am happy you were part of the challenge!

Beth- I also grew up in Maine, on the coast, near Belfast! Nice to see a follow Maine-ac There is no place like home~

Carol-Thanks,I am glad you were part of the challenge!

Sally-Thank you, Happy May Day to you! I will continue to visit you~

Lisa-Thank you, Yes, it is nice to know, I'm not alone, in this struggle. I keep finding things and want to craft, now! Life is getting in my way. You should see my stack!

Jen-Thanks! I am glad you were part of the challenge! I agree, it is something to strive for and not so easily achieved.

Becky-It is thrilling to find sand dollar; They are rare to find these days. I looked when I was home. How special!!

Hart-Thanks for sharing, LOLZ, I love this! I agree, I use to climb mountains back in Maine and this is how it felt. I felt like a small part of something huge!

Wasabi Mom-I am so glad to have met you! I won't be able to do the Flip Flop challenge, but I will stay in touch with you. I will try to participate in another swap. I have 3 goals, set for myself and I'm behind. Where in Maine? I love your blogger name and the pic that proves it!

Wanda-I am glad; we finished! Your post have been so motivating! I will continue to follow you! Congrats~

Berlin-I can't believe I WON!!! Thank you so much! I emailed you my address on etsy! I see you have a shop; something I hope to attempt soon! I can't wait to receive it!
I will continue to follow your interesting blog!

Lisa-We had a sand dollar contest one summer, who found the most had to buy the other family ice cream at the local Dairy Joy. They cheated, we treated, but I was mad. They
used live-ones! They are furry and a light brown color...like the color of these flowers on the sides of my blog. Sea urchins have this purple color. Thank you! It has been fun to get to know you; I look forward to more
interesting post from You!!!

Jenny-Thank you, that means a lot to me! There is so much treasure and beauty at the beach or shoreline. I think for me, it is peaceful, reflective time, while the tide rolls in and out, my thoughts become quieter.
I am glad you like it~ Nice to end on a positive note.

Yvonne-Congrats, I look forward to more insightful poems! Really lovely the way you express yourself~

Alex-Congrats on finishing the A-Z blog challenge! I hope you are having a great weekend; I so thrilled for you, soon to be published!!!

Linda-I am so happy to meet another Maine-ac!
Beautiful area~ I'm glad you finished; I look forward to your posts!!! Congrats~
R. M. Iyer said…
What a wonderful post. The Little Prince is one of my favourite books, though I haven't really had the mindspace for it recently :-(

I am glad I got to meet you. Has been a real pleasure.

~ Rayna
Ellie said…
Hi Rayna,
I feel the same about you! You shared a lot on your blog; You have great insight! I know this book is a little gem. I had to read in in French class, then bought the English version.
Love it! It was a pleasure to meet you~
Bardot in Blue said…
I really loved your A-Z challenge! Congrats on being creative enough to reach it through to the end! I don't know if I could have done it!

xoxo Bardot in Blue
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