via Ordinary Meditations: New Year Restart Meditation

Powder Blue Rainbow by Chati Coronel, 2012. From her SkinSkin exhibition.

I thought I would maybe start writing a post, now and then, about some of my friends. Hopefully they won’t mind!

My friends. You would like them. They are artists, directors, writers, art therapists, graphic designers, journalists, travelers, extreme sports enthusiasts, singer/songwriters, filmmakers, dancers, actors, playwrights, social workers, doctors, musicians…and they are all visionaries, aces in their fields, risk-takers and question-askers, ecstatic poets, seers and mystics. I feel extremely lucky to know these amazing, fiercely individual people.

There were nights, years ago and in Manila, when we would all manage to turn up at one place together: the energy, the vitality in the room would be a palpable force. Many a time, at these magical events, a quiet mood would settle over me and I would sit back from the conversation, look around the room at the faces of my friends, and be aware that I was witnessing one of the happiest moments of my life. At the time, I was convinced that the sheer concentration of vision, talent, quality and character gathered there would, most certainly, change the world…how could it not? I also knew that we would find it harder and harder to come together as we got older…that we would scatter, that we would each go off alone (or go in pairs) and grapple with the narrowed-down parcel of life before us.

Of all the things I had to leave behind when I moved to Australia, the nearness of my friends is what I most deeply miss and feel the loss of.

In all my group of friends, I am the underachiever. No, really, I’m not kidding and I’m not being self-effacing.


Artist Chati Coronel on

“Soft human, open heart, mind on fire, walks with tender feet on the earth, laughing.”
Chati describes herself.

Chati is a painter. A fantastic one. She is also a living doorway into stillness, mindfulness, cosmic harmony. She radiates joy, she treads the razor’s edge of the present moment, and being near her puts all your mind’s chattering, falseness and discontent to rest (and yet she is not some naive and prudish saint…her works are sensual; they revel in being alive, in womanhood, in wildness, in playfulness).

She also keeps a quiet, luminous blog, Ordinary Meditations, about her “quest for everyday enlightenment.”

The reason I wanted to introduce you to Chati, actually, is that she’s written a lovely end-of-the-year post about how she and Edber prepare for the New Year. She has, since publishing this post a couple of days ago, gone completely offline, as they begin a process of mind, body, and spirit cleansing, meditating, reflecting, and space clearing—of both physical objects and “old affirmations, old dreams, old goals. Melt away old pains, old issues with breaths. Go to zero.” I thought I’d share her post with you, in case you wanted your New Year’s rituals to amount to a little bit more than noise-making and a hangover on the first day of 2013.

Via Ordinary Meditations: New Year Restart Meditation.


3 thoughts on “via Ordinary Meditations: New Year Restart Meditation

  1. that was an interesting way into the new year Nat. I can see it would be a great start.
    I have actually done a little of this, trying to get rid of some of the extra stuff in our lives and parring down to a better existence. We are heading to the beach to sit at a friends house with some drinks good food, and company.
    sounds like your group of Friends are very interesting. I have a great group of mates who I am very proud of, there is a barmaid, a farmer, a women who works in a chemist , one who sells thermomix, a couple of nurses, a teacher and assistant teacher, a retired bricklayer, a mechanic, a truck driver who is obsessed with his lawn and being neat and me. I know we will have a lovely night together tonight, we will watch some local fireworks and talk of kids and work and maybe even politics. We are all amazing, we bring family to the world and help to guide them, we do the everyday and the mundane but we are good people enjying our lives together. If your friends leave you feeling like an under achierver then you best take another look. that is not what you are and they I’m sure would hate to know or hear that. get stuck into the new year Nat and bring us more of your painting and life. I love reading your blog and the ones you point us to, such a great guide you are. Happy new year and thanks for showing me so much. Shazz


    1. LOL okay, Shazz, I asked for that. In retrospect, and from an Australian point of view, I guess it sounds snooty 😀 We have a very marked class system in the Philippines, difficult to describe to someone from such an egalitarian nation as Oz. The system does end up controlling where you study, what you study, what you do, and who your friends are. It’s not something you consciously seek or maintain…it just happens that way. The system enforces itself.

      I fell in love with Darwin because, over here, people take you as they find you and most things don’t depend on which family you came from, where you studied, or who you know. Australian society is a fluid thing that moves through all the circles.

      The friends I’ve made in Australia are all trades and types, brought together because of who we are and not in the least way influenced by our backstories. A change that I welcomed from day one.

      Happy New Year, Shazz! You’re a remarkable lady, thank you for the straight talk. 🙂


      1. Our straight conversations are why I love coming here Nat. My point of view is valued and I love to say how I see your latest topic. That is how we both grow and that is how we will make a better world, I hope. Unfortunately australia isn’t as egalitarian as we would both like, but the culture in the phillipines sounds very different to ours. I did discuss your thoughts & my answer with my friends over a coffee yesterday. Some thought you would never talk to me again, some thought I was way to hard on you. But you will be pleased to know what you started here, led to us talking about each of our jobs. It was interesting hearing them talk about how jobs and positions in society are valued. Thank you for the compliment, but I’m hardly remarkable Nat……my girls discribe me as “special” and then they usually giggle!


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