50 chews per bite is goal, not meals’ end!

The outcome doesn’t matter

Don’t make the goal your only aim

Make the path just like a game. 

Live it now, not tomorrow

Live the good, and all the sorrow.

Eat with spoonfuls of 50 chews each

The silence has so much to teach.

Go inside for Divine light’s glow

Let the child (the boy, the girl) inside you grow.

See the world in awe and wonder

“Awakened” from a war of thunder.

Shift your thought from your old refrain

Focus on the minute, the small, the mundane.

It is where the living truly find a rest

When we try to skip what God won’t bless.

Breathe, breathe and breathe again

Welcome the air just like a friend.

In and out, out and in

Let the journey begin, begin, begin.



Omega Institute opened me to pain and pleasure, tears and smiles, rage and ecstasy during the PTSD Retreat for veterans on “The Hidden Costs of War.” But, before I deflated from 10,001 and different emotions, I wrote what happened when I sat in meditation, walked in meditation and gloried in the wonder of reflections of light on a wooden floor in the building where we met, taking one slow step after another allowing my mind to drift away and a higher consciousness to enter. The light was so beautiful, I almost giggled at how much fun I was having simply enjoying this reflection of ceiling lights on the floor below. Each small movement I took was comprised of a dozen changes in each foot as it rose, moved, curved, lowered and inched forward, with the back of the heel toward the floor and then the heel’s meaty part, followed by the foot’s soft “inside,” the rough and bony section of the outside next, and finally the “pad” of the foot as it connected and helped each toe to touch the gentle wooden surface.

I was aware of each movement as well as the light I stepped towards, got closer to, stepped on, though, over and beyond. And when I sat to mediate again, I got a message: “The outcome doesn’t matter. The path getting there is where all “Life” dwells.

Finding “free” time from four days of nearly non-stop silent meditation during our waking hours, I ran up the long and winding rocky steps to the “Sanctuary” building. Huffing and puffing as I reached the summit, took off sandals, opened the door and staggered into the empty meditation hall. I walked to the front and threw myself to the floor in what an observer may have seen as a prostration, placing the front of my head smack on the pillow and the body stretched out in a prone position, my entire front touching the floor.

But, I was simply drained. Exhausted. Physically and mentally tired. I closed my eyes. Meditating, then rolling to my side — never getting up from the floor, while writing about how an outcome doesn’t matter.

I’ll get to it. Time and again. The outcome, that is. Living in the moment, however, is all that really counts in Life.

4 comments on “50 chews per bite is goal, not meals’ end!

  1. Lea Strongheart says:

    Hi Michael,
    I am glad you got through another retreat. I have been having my own..right here…for quite a few months now. I just love the silence…communion with the divine…Yesterday I picked violets, hugged trees and stopped by a playground and tooled over the kid’s extension bridge…the mind of a child…a good thing.


    My prayers were with you as you had your time in Rhinebeck…


    • contoveros says:


      I hurt myself and failed to get closure before leaving. Took me several weeks to get over the opening of old wounds and only now feel them healed enough to discuss it.

      Should have taken part in the last day’s activities, you know, the dedication rites. But, I thought I knew better and shied away.

      Will I ever learn?

      michael j
      still seeking


  2. Phil says:

    Yes, let go of outcome. Just play like a child. See what happens.

    Thank you for sharing, as always, Michael. Peace.



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