How Tiny Tracings Helped Inform My Meditation Practice

Meditation allows us the opportunity to drop into the most yin space of your mind and invite it to rest. With practice the stillness can be both comforting and an opportunity for you to develop your inner listening skills that are able to tap into the depths of waters formless and often timeless expanse to hear the whispers of your soul that are most connected to the wholeness of the universe.

Meditation opens us up to the realms of possibility that we haven’t yet encountered. Informing our capacity to dream while providing the safety of solitude and hopefully the inner peace and presence to be able to pause and wait for the serendipity to occur in its own divine timing.

Except Meditation is tricky for some. To sit on a mat or a pillow for some Element types, the stillness of their body only amplifies the noise inside their head. I find that most of the time Metals and Waters will enjoy the practice of getting on to a mat or cushion. Whereas, Woods may find it easier at first moving allowing their mind to come to a resting place during a really good run or workout. I find that many of my Fire clients like to dance first and then come into a resting position, and for the over thinking Earths slow intentional movements like Qi Gong or Tai chi can be really quite helpful to channel the mind. Guided meditation are also helpful as they allow the mind to rest on the words and invitations of another.

I first learned to meditate on the ice, skating in these little circles making tracings which used to be referred to as figures or patch. When I was doing this, I didn’t know or have any idea of what mediation was, and I certainly didn’t enjoy the practice however, I learned a lot of about myself during those 60 minute sessions.

If you’re unfamiliar with what figures or patch is, its no longer practiced by figure skaters today or at the very least not in the same way. It involved clean sheets of ice, that were divided into strips, one for each skater. You weren’t allowed to just skate across the ice during a patch session you had to move about along the side of the boards and along the lines that divided everyones “patch” then once you made it to your place, you proceeded to move in slow intentional directions around a circle and figure eight that you would make with your blade tracing.

You would go around and around, first forwards, outside edges then inside, then a new figure eight would be created and you would do it backwards, and depending on your level and skill other turns and changes would be done within your set of figures.

Your focus would be on creating the perfect set of tracings, the goal that every time you went around the circle that your tracing with overlap with the previous, no more than a dime widths apart from each other and no flats – meaning that you would be on the right edge the entire way. This was incredibly hard, it requires extreme focus on each part of your body and foot to ensure that you could execute it correctly.

For the most part, this entire session was done in silence, no talking, on really special days there would be classical music playing lightly in the background but you grew to not depend on it, and for a seven year old this was so very boring. jumping and programs were way more fun, however as I got older I learned to appreciate this practice as its showed me how my mind found its way to rest.

Like everyone when they begin the process of meditation the mind is busy. Usually patch was the first session when you got to the rink and so your mind was full of everything that happened that day. I thought about the conversations I had, the boy I liked, the homework I needed to get done, but as the time went on and I got through the first circles, I started to become more aware of my body and what it was doing, I started to feel the weight of my foot in my skate and the small changes that I would make to improve the edge, and eventually all that I was focused on was the tiny space in front of me where my blade was about to reach.

Sometimes, though you can never plan it, magic would happen, a solution to a problem that I was wanting to solve came forward, I would find resolution with my self about something that I was feeling insecure about. I would be able to turn my bad mood around and find myself being more positive which ultimately allowed me to be more productive and able to go about the next sessions coming up along with the rest of my day.

I didn’t recognize patch as anything other than an hour where I had to trace a figure eight, by myself in solitude as anything other than that, but now I am so appreciative to have had this opportunity as it has helped inform my meditation practice now. As an Earth dominant and a Water secondary I oscillate between a cushion and needing to move. I trust the inclination to one or the other and allow it to be what I need in that moment. Then I let my mind wander, I don’t force it to shut out the thoughts, I know that they will settle with enough presence and then whatever is meant to happen in the time that I allow my mind to reset will be the medicine that I need.

My point is that all of the practices and rituals that bring ourselves closer to the inner landscape of our soul look different on every individual. The moment we try to confine ourselves to one way or a box that everyone else seems to fit is the moment where we cut ourselves off from our own knowing. Relax into what you know to be true. Trust that your natural tendencies are assisting you to receive the medicine that you need and that its walking you home to the inner wisdom of your soul.

I invite you to spend a little time inquiring on what activities that you already do that provide opportunity for you to have your mind rest and experience flow?

A cushion, a yoga sequence, a really long run, or maybe walking your dog around the neighbourhood?

When you have a an option or maybe a couple that are available to you I invite you to do them as often as you can and see what medicine and miracles become available to you as a result.




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