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Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Serenity's Sanctuary - Compassion

Each Sunday I am going to do a blog post called “Serenity’s Sanctuary.”
It will offer a photo and an excerpt from one of my Ebooks
that are now being offered FREE on the website.
May the offerings touch your heart & inspire you.




Compassion is knowing that
you are part of everyone,
and everyone is a part of you - is you.
When seeing this there is no longer judgment,
just a deeper understanding and respect
for our humanity –
a deepening of compassion.

~

In the deep Stillness of Being
there is a fullness of Being that just is;
a deep compassion for everything as it is.

There is a sense of compassion for the world
when seen as a whole – in context.

~

The nature of Being is deep compassion.


Sweet Serenity...

~



Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gone, Gone, Gone Beyond


Our Yodi Bodhi passed last night. And so I wanted to post this as a tribute and Memorial to him. This is a picture of him from maybe a year ago, or less, sleeping in the chair where he just about died last night.

He rallied in the last day or so and we thought maybe he had dodged yet another bullet in his long life – 18 and ½ years. But that was not to be, evidently. Yesterday he deteriorated rather quickly. I knew he was dying. I got to spend 2 hours just sitting with him and holding my hands on him in the living room where he lay. Thanking him for being here, for his life, and the light that he brought. I thought that was going to be it. But he lingered longer and moved himself behind the chair in the picture. We thought he would die there peacefully. We moved the chair and sat with him on the floor – waiting for the end. Sometime after 9pm he began to struggle, so we took him to the 24 hour animal hospital to have him euthanized.

And so he has moved on or dissolved back into the greater Ocean of Being.

Gone, Gone, Gone Beyond.

Gone from suffering to liberation.

Gone all the way to the other shore.

Our grief is beyond words. No matter how one spiritualizes, or philosophizes, or constructs formulas for dying, death is messy. There is nothing particularly “spiritual” about it. It’s a laborious process just like birth… And I am thankful that we got to be present to him through the process, as difficult as it was.

Yodi has returned to the Eternal.


No coming, no going

No after, no before

I hold you close to me

I release you to be free


We will miss you dearly. You were such a presence in our lives…

We love you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grocery Store Wisdom - Heart Smiles

Today while doing the routine grocery shopping I wasn’t *looking* for any wisdom to pop out at me and interestingly 3 delightful experiences emerged that put a smile in my heart, and so wanted to share them with you.

I wound my way through the produce section and then to the fish counter. The “young kid” that I like to wait on me was busy waiting on another woman, so I hung back, circling, waiting. It appeared that she was going to take a while, so I went on to the meat counter. While there, the “young kid” from the fish department found his way to me through a back walkway between the two departments. He poked his head out from behind the wall and asked if I wanted my usual… I had intended to go back to the fish counter after I got my poultry. I lit up like a Christmas tree. The fact that he would remember “my usual” and make an effort to find me was such an exquisite delight. This simple act of genuine friendliness put a smile in my heart and on my face, and shifted my whole perspective. It opened me up, took the focus off my blind-folders-on approach to grocery shopping and made me aware of the “others” that I was encountering.

Then at my next grocery venue, I was getting some Taco Bowls from the bakery department for our Friday Summer dinner – a big Taco Salad. The girl behind the counter was new. She was most mindful in trying not to break the delicate taco shells as she stacked them in a sturdy plastic container for the ride home. I always buy a couple extra, just in case. The other woman there was just getting off duty – at 12noon. For some unknown reason she struck up a conversation with me as she rounded the bakery counter, coffee mug in hand, coat draped over her arm. She had the most lovely German accent. And I listened amusingly as she explained that she was just getting off work, because she comes in at 3am to bake all the baked goods for the next day. And that on Saturday she comes in at 2am because there is more to bake because of the Sunday crowds. We engaged for only a brief moment, and she was off. And hear came that smile in my heart again that just delighted me.

My steps were getting lighter, my outlook brighter – needing sunglasses now instead of those blinders.

Finishing up I went to the check out stand. There was only one cashier open and there was a line… While waiting, a woman appeared and stepped in between me and the woman waiting in front of me… Hey – no cutting in line lady… (No I didn’t actually say it, but I was thinking it – my little kid “dibs first” nature takes over in these situations sometimes). She then “realized” I was standing there and made a face and started to go to the back of the line, which was me, when the woman in front of me said to her, with a full faced smile, wearing a big straw hat: Since you only have one item would you like to go in front of me? Oh gosh, I was feeling just a tad embarrassed at my thought that she needed to wait just like the rest of us… Then the woman in line in front of me turned to me and said: You don’t mind do you? (Maybe she had been reading my mind!) And so of course I said, no not at all with a smile – and by this time meant it.

The other woman, who cut in, beamed from ear to ear. She was obviously in a hurry. She thanked the first woman profusely, and then thanked me as well. We were all bowing and thanking. The kind woman in front of me turned to me and exuberantly went on about how there’s only one way out of life – we’re all going to die eventually – so why not be kind. Interestingly my heart opened just a little more with a smile at this woman’s obviously genuine offer of kindness. Although, her exuberance about explaining it was a little over the top, it still put an amused smile on my face. And as she left, she turned to me and said – thank you for your kindness. Okay, now this nearly did me in folks. It was totally unexpected, and a bit undeserved. And I responded, well actually you started it, I was just passing it on. With that she was off… In her kindness and, yes, even in her over-exuberance she managed to light up two hearts today. That’s more than I can say for myself most days.

I wasn’t *trying* to be present, or focusing on being particularly *aware* today, and 3 “strangers” unexpectedly emerged and made a difference in my life today. Three strangers lifted my heart and made me smile… Wow – “The Mystery” in disguise, touching hearts in the everydayness of life…

So what lights up your heart? What puts a smile in your heart? What hearts are you lighting up?

Heart Smiles – MeANderi
www.ASerenitySanctuary.com

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Prayer of Silence






Awareness of the Divine Essence as our innermost true Self requires silence.
It is turning toward what lies hidden within –
to the internal – the all-embracing totality of Divine Being.
It is the way of meditation, the way of inner silence before Spirit.

Remaining quiet before Spirit is a “prayer of silence,”
through which we listen to that which secretly speaks to us
in the “inner room of the heart.”

What is hidden deep in our innermost being lies in silence and stillness,
and in the silence of the deep springs the eternal, inexhaustible, original
source of all being.
Where words fall silent, the everlasting begins…

Wolfgang Kopp
From: Free Yourself of Everything.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GSW - What Are We Buying Into?

Actually, this particular Grocery Store Wisdom story comes from my husband. He shared it with me a couple of days ago. So I thought I’d write about it here. I know you won’t mind a borrowed story. :)

In the grocery store you expect to buy things – food and assorted other products. You expect to see ads nearly everywhere. They are hanging from the ceiling, in the store windows, affixed to the shelves. The shopping carts are adorned with ads, not all related to food, but for Insurance salesmen and Realtors. And over the last few years I’ve seen ads adhered to or painted on the floor, all in an attempt to get our attention and get us to buy a particular brand or product. For the most part I have been able to actually look past them. They are just there. But it’s getting to be a little more ‘in your face’ lately. The cashiers in the larger chain stores are asking if you want any ice or cigarettes, as well as soliciting a donation for the current charity that the grocery store is sponsoring. For the most part I ignore those too, except to donate the paltry bag refund to a local school for bringing my own bags.

Anyway, my husband made the usual weekly trip to the small chain health food store where we buy our water and other hard to find grocery items. He related to me that when he got to the check out stand the conveyor belt had actually been turned into one huge rolling ad. The ad was for our local energy company that supplies our gas and electric. The ad was a large picture of a woman holding her hand over her nose and mouth, looking startled. He said the ad was supposed to be some kind of PSA to warn people of the poisonous gases escaping into our environment. This is the same place where people place their food items, and supplements! I mean really folks. What are we buying into here?! It appears we are buying into the collective fear. Both he and I were actually surprised that this small grocery chain had bought into this kind of fear-based advertising. Yes, it’s important to be aware. It’s important to be informed. But this, for us, is a little too much ‘in your face’ already. Evidently several customers have made negative comments about the ad, and the cashiers don’t like it either. So what were the owners of this chain thinking when they agreed to do this? Implanting fear in the psyche is not really a commodity I want to be reminded of every time I go to the grocery store… Being faced with this image of a fearful woman covering her face does not promote health and well being. But there it is – in your face…

And now for another PSA - from the ridiculous to the ridiculous.

While we were talking about the above story, my husband also related this story from a trip he made to visit his mother in a small town in New Mexico a couple of months ago. He said that while they were in the grocery store he noticed that there was a continuous announcement being played over the store loud speaker the whole time he was there, which was about 20 mins. He said the ads were for local realtors and businesses that just played over and over and over. In a 20 min time period he said he heard the same ad for the same realtor 4 times! I mean, Muzak is less offensive than this! Or am I just being cranky today? :) Not enough inner Stillness in my diet lately…

So in my crankiness I ask: What is this need for constant, deadening stimulation? What is the need for fear-based selling? Something tells me it’s corporate greed actually. CEO’s keeping us hooked on stimulation like a caffeine fix, feeding the compulsive, fear-based nature of the conditioned mind to want, want, want. And so collectively we buy into it – evidently. When we are entangled in the mind with its wanting, needing, having to have, we pay attention to the externals that are telling us what we need in order to live ‘the good life’ – or what we need to fear that might keep us from “the good life.” It doesn’t feed the corporate coffers to sell Stillness or Serenity aka: Presence – Awareness - Beingness… (Well on second thought, maybe it does!) Can you imagine your shopping experience if the CEO’s ran their businesses from a place of inner Stillness, aka - the space of Knowing Awareness – awakened Consciousness? Just imagine your favorite spiritual teacher as a CEO of your grocery store. That would be a whole different experience…

What are we buying into and why…? From the everyday experiences to the spiritual path, what are we paying attention to? Are we buying from the fearful mind, or from the Heart of Stillness? As for me, it’s still some and some as I continue to steep in this pot called Life…

Heart Smiles – MeANderi
www.ASerenitySanctuary.com

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Silence of the Night

A night of difficulty sleeping last night. Nothing in particular keeping me awake, except this hum through my body, this intense vibration, like high voltage electricity running through a power line. While I was laying there awake, feeling this incessant humming, I also noticed how silent everything was – just silence - and I rather liked it. And then this phrase ran through my head and I got up to write it down:

"Free myself from attachments and entanglements."

It had a liberating feeling to it, but I had no clue why this ran through my mind at this particular time. Maybe it had something to do with all this “steeping on stories” that I’ve been doing. Maybe it was my inner Guru knocking at my door to impart its wisdom :) With curiosity I began to journal as to what its significance might be. At 1:30am I wrote:

I see it as inclusive of emotional, mental, familial and relational attachments and entanglements, although this doesn’t mean I’ll be giving up relationships and running off to some Guru’s high mountain cave in the Himalayas – but there’s evidently internal attachments and entanglements that I must free myself of…

I can’t be truly “free” if I’m still emotionally entangled in everything – i.e.: hanging onto emotional baggage and emotional reactiveness. So I need to look at the baggage that entangles me.

I didn’t need a seer to figure this one out. Part of the hum running through my body preventing sleep at night is a low level anxiety about life, my entanglements with life that keep me stirred up inside – the stories I’m still attached to *about* life, others, myself.

Not following through with the inquiry however, I was drawn in by the Silence. I just basked in the Silence, and wrote about what I was experiencing on my sleepless night:

I’m finding I like this space of Silence… I feel drawn to it. Everything is quiet – undisturbed – unfiltered. No mental distraction. I need to spend more time here. Sometimes I think it would be nice just to stay up all night to bask in this incredible Silence and the creative insight that comes as a result. I’m just feeling embraced in and aware of the ever present Silence that surrounds me – something I don’t feel during the day unless I’m meditating.

In the silence of the night it’s nice not to have to deal with the daily entanglements of maintaining a life! - like the financial issues, the house issues, relationship issues, and family issues – all the stories I keep getting entangled in. To just devote myself to the Silence without the concern for all the rest of it would be heavenly… I am fully awake to the Silence, available to the Silence without the distractions of the day. It’s not even like meditation. It’s just pure, alive Stillness coursing through me. And of course it’s always there, even in the midst of the daily entanglements of life. I can just *feel* it more acutely now in the silence of the night…

I was tempted to stay up and continue basking, but after about an hour I went back to bed knowing that if I didn’t get adequate sleep there would be a price to pay physically, I’d be totally wiped out.

At 3am I was up again with another statement running through me.

“clear of projection”

I wrote in my journal:

In these words there is the sense of being free from all my projections onto life and others. Just free of projecting my thoughts out there, onto what is… I noted that to be “clear of projection” is to be free to live what is - in the moment, moment by moment, without evaluating or interpreting or judging…. Maybe this is part of being “free” of the entanglements and attachments; being free of the baggage, the *stories* that still hook me, which are really only my own mental projections…

Back to bed – again.

3:30 am – The cat meowing at the side of the bed wanting to be fed. Just as I was finally falling off to sleep…

And life goes on, distractions, thoughts, interruptions… And yet there is always the pull of the Silence, like a gentle invitation… Come, come sit with Me, come and be still…

Heart Smiles – MeANderi

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Steeping On Stories

Gather round ladies. It's story time... Waiter, could we get a Zen tea, an Advaita straight-up, and I think I'll have a Mystic Mocha shake... And if the guy over in the shadow box would like to join us that's fine too...

Today I spent the day with my mother... I will spare you the details of my relationship with my mother, only to say that our "story" together still hooks me. It is a challenging and often frustrating relationship. I think at least one of you out there can identify with that :) And the older my mother gets (she's 81) the more she seems to be steeped in her stories. Conversations with her now have become one story after another (and often repeated) of how she has been victimized, of how she thinks people are out to get her, how others are not doing things right - translated, not her way. The me vs them stories, and other assorted tales which always seem to be a criticism of others. My mother is not the reflective type, so there has not been much awareness around all this. And I find I am getting irritated with her stories and storytelling of victimization and martyrdom. And this takes me to where I really want to go, which is that *I* am still caught in my stories. And so I’ve been steeping on this lately.

Most of the spiritual teachers say that when we "wake up" to who we really are, the stories dissolve, and we no longer *participate* in the story. That has not been *exactly* my experience. I know who "I" am - the pure Knowing Awake Aware Spaciousness, some call Presence, Beingness, etc. There has been some dissolution of old stories, but there are still stories - which my husband does a real good job of pointing out to me, by the way. I guess that's what husbands are good at - story detectors - probably because they do such a good job of telling them too! :)

On August 1 I wrote in my journal:

"I realize that I am still creating stories! And I realize how I get caught up in other's stories too... It's still about a "me" when I *know* it is not about me... hmmm. A story is about a "me" needing, wanting, grasping after something and not getting it and telling a story about that. It's a "me" and an "other" who is preventing the "me" from getting what it *thinks* it deserves - whether it's material possessions, validation, approval, acceptance, gratification, a relationship, etc. It's still the "me" seeking for something as proof of its existence, even if the story is about me achieving enlightenment. There has to be a *belief* in a separate self, a me, in order for a story to be told, to be believed, in order to be impacted or effected *by* "others, or events or circumstances." oooo - now we're cooking.

It seems we connect through our stories. In my family it's complaining *about* others and life. We've done it as a way of connecting with each other for years.

"So what happens," I pondered in my journal, "when I don't engage in another's story - or my own? The story dissolves, loses its power, impact, becomes a non-issue. AND - there is the risk that the relationship will dissolve as well. That there won't be anything to talk about - no connection." And maybe that's why it's hard letting go of story, because we use story to connect to others, to get a sense of self in relationship. So what if, there were no stories - where would we meet? How would we relate? Can we meet without our stories...?

A new insight also emerged in this steeping... "It seems it's really all just a story, no matter which one we're *believing* or telling - mundane or 'spiritual.' Once the 'Storyteller' wakes up, you realize it's all just a story. And it appears that the dream story continues. The only difference, it seems, is that you *know* it is just a story arising *in* Awareness. From the space of Pure Seeing - one *sees* the story for what it is - Awareness experiencing Itself *as* the story..."

One of my favorite teachers, Scott Kiloby, says: "Stories are not independent of Awareness, but you no longer *identify* with the story. Awareness *appears as* story. We can entertain the story without identifying with it."

And a blog I read recently, called Just Rest, put it this way: "It is a myth to believe that stories will no longer coalesce. It is just that as it is seen that these stories have no existence independent of Awareness, there is less and less identification with any of them, and a greater experience of Spaciousness.... Practice resting in that which is aware of it all."

My experience is that when I am resting in that space of Aware Presence there are still stories, but they don't matter anymore. I'm not *invested* in them, reacting to them, believing in them. And when I find myself hooked *in* a story again, it's like being consciously unconscious. Sounds strange I know. It's like being *in* the story, but aware that I'm in a story. Very interesting experience by the way :)

And so I wonder, can I meet others in that space of Pure Awareness, the place of no-story, no me, just Awareness, just Life expressing Itself, purely and simply without the need for a story of "me"? Or does it matter? Does that also mean no reading the tea leaves, no cock-tales or messy mystic meanderings?!

Heart Smiles - MeANderi

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Steeping On Seperation

I’ve been steeping the last few days, on my imaginary trip on the imaginary ancient Chinese sailing vessel, like a tea bag floating in a cup of water, allowing the water to flow through till the tea is made – perfectly brewed, ready for consumption. Although will have to say that the “contemplative weekend” did not go as planned. Ah – yes, the key words - “as planned.” I wanted to *find* the deep internal stillness again – as if I had somehow lost it, to “enter” it as if it was a place to go, to “separate” myself from the seeming mental agitation that felt like – well - sandpaper on a raw wound; to get away from the “suffering” of that. But therein lies the “problem” - *trying* to make something happen, seeing “my life” as separate from the Greater Context in which it is being lived, and resisting it, instead of just living it - as it is – warts and all.

And no that’s not a picture of the Great Wall of China, but it depicts what I’ve been steeping on while away. In this steeping time several things arose and flowed through. I think I’ll do a series this week on all the things I’m steeping on these days. One of which is this concept of “separation.” Spiritual teachers say that separation is an illusion. That in reality there is no separation between form and formlessness, time and timelessness, thought an no-thought, duality and non-duality, path and no-path, practice and no practice, self and Self, me and you; that these separations are just dualistic constructs of the mind that are in reality not separate from the pure Awareness/Consciousness that we are. These concepts just arise *in* this pure Knowing Awareness. This is the foundation of the Non-dual teachings – the *illusion* of separateness, because in reality everything is only One – only Oneness *appearing* as separate forms.

On some level I understand this, have experienced this, but something happened on the way to the grocery store today – not in meditation - that made it a little more real. I was traveling my usual route. I turned the corner and came down the hill with the wall coming in to view to my right. The wall has always been there. I hadn’t paid attention to it much, just that there was a wall there. It is quite high actually, I think it must be over 10 feet tall, and as you can see is actually a double wall in one place. The adjoining neighborhood to this busy street is obviously attempting to keep the noise out. But from the perspective of higher up on the hill, above the wall, the illusion is seen. At least it was for me today. It became clear in this moment that the *idea* of separation is an illusion. The wall separates nothing in reality. It’s the same on one side as it is the other. There is just the illusion of separation – a line – constructed by the *idea* of separateness, division - to keep things out – like sound, people, noise, or other people’s beliefs, etc. In reality, nothing is separate. It’s all one reality – inclusive of apparent opposites. When seen from a “higher” perspective, the illusion is seen. The so-called barriers separate nothing really.

As I continued driving I started noticing other walls and fences, illusions of separation. Some walls were thick and wide – making a very clear statement. Some were split rail fences, sending a softer message: there’s a boundary here, but not really. You can see through it. I suddenly became fascinated and amused with fences and walls and the statements that are being made by these illusory boundaries that are erected.

Robert Frost was one of my favorite poets as a teenager. One of his lines is “good fences make good neighbors” and that has been true for me. I like a boundary as much as the next guy. It’s a subtle reminder of respect. One Summer a few years back our neighbor dismantled the fence between our yards for repair and it unnerved me that there was no longer a separation there. Interesting. The mind had become so used to *seeing* the separation that it became unnerved when the separation was no longer there, when the *illusion* was dismantled. The mind loves separation, fences, walls, barriers, boundaries. The mind has a hard time seeing through the illusion… Maybe even doesn’t want to… It likes the comfort of a boundary in place, keeping things separate – which feeds the illusion of safety. I feel safe behind my self–erected fences – maybe – unless there’s a perceived threat from the *other* side. But something saw through all that today and was amused by all these fences we have constructed, whether material, spiritual – as in ‘isms’ - or psychological, to keep things in or out, to keep our “self” protected and safe. As I drove down my route I smiled realizing the humor in fences…

And so that floated through and I wanted to share it. I imagine I’ll be doing more steeping on this as well, as it doesn’t feel fully brewed. But I decided to take a few sips anyway, just to get a taste, and to share a few with you. If you have some herbs of wisdom that you’d like to add to the infusion, I’d be grateful.

Heart Smiles – MeANderi
www.ASerenitySanctuary.com

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mystical Butterflies

For all my blogger friends, known and unknown, I have created this animated expression of Joy. This is a new skill for me, so this was really a collaborative effort with my husband, who has the technical expertise. It is 2 mins 35 secs long.

May it bring a smile to your heart :)

Heart Smiles – MeANderi
www.ASerenitySanctuary.com

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blogger Blob

Hi I’m MeANderi and I am a blogger blob, and this is my first BB meeting. Being a blogger blob is kinda like being Sponge Bob Square Pants living in a different reality under the sea. I am definitely fixated on blogging, preoccupied, dare I say driven to write. It excites me. It’s my passion. But I began to notice I might have a problem when I had a 3 weekend binge on SSS, having to read and comment on 72 links! I had no idea what I was getting into, nor any idea when I started blogging back in June that a mere 6 weeks later I would need to enter rehab. I am so over stimulated with blogging, like a constant caffeine buzz, that it is effecting my sleep and my ability to enter a deeper place of Stillness in meditation… And I’m feeling a little punchy, in case you hadn’t noticed. :) I mean I’m seeing vegetables with eyes! (see yesterday's post below). I’ve been hijacked by the mind that is fixated on churning out ideas for blogs. Lovely service the mind is offering here, but I need to put that service on hold for a while… Should I be admitting this here, at my first meeting? Well I guess truth-telling is the first step to recovery…

Humor aside, the blogger blob needs a new perspective, needs deep rest, and a shift in consciousness.

Yesterday my husband left me a copy of an online article entitled “How to nap.” That was my intervention. It’s an article on the benefits of napping. Hmmm – interesting timing. Feeling a bit sleep deprived, I read the article with curiosity. It talks about the kinds of sleepers and when their nap times would be during the day, depending on whether you are a Lark (early to bed early to rise kind of person) or an Owl – bedding down at 1am or later and arising at 9am. That’s me! (and my husband). Our creative energies kick in later at night, and we often have to force ourselves to go to bed, with a resulting lag the next day.

According to the article an Owl’s afternoon “sleep gate” is around 3pm – the most beneficial time for our bodies and minds to take a nap. I love the word “sleep gate!” That got my attention. Is this like the existential doorway into Enlightenment?, the “gateless gate” in Zen? And where do I find this sleep gate? I guess at 3pm… The article goes on to talk about the most beneficial length of time for our “sleep gate” naps. A mere 20 mins yields a “stage 2” sleep, enhancing alertness and concentration. A nap of more than 45 mins (but evidently under 90 mins) may cause what the article calls “serious sleep inertia.” I don’t think I have that problem. And a 90–120 min nap includes the necessary REM sleep for complete restoration. I can’t imagine sleeping that long in the middle of the afternoon!

But it got me to thinking – maybe deep meditation has the same effect on our minds and bodies as deep sleep. By going into the space of deep internal stillness and resting in Awareness maybe we reset some kind of internal button, just like in sleep. It appears that meditation offers another kind of “gate” similar to the “sleep gate” where we can enter a place of Stillness and feel restored, where the mind can actually still to a slower pace, and the body can feel refreshed. I have experienced this many times. I’m sure someone somewhere has done studies on this. And when I am able to meditate just before bed I get a better night’s sleep. So instead of a power nap through the sleep gate at 3pm, I think I’ll indulge in a retreat through the gateless gate of inner Stillness.

Although I jest about all this blogging stuff, what I realize is that through this blogging experience I have been given a wonderful opportunity to just notice, to *see* that I have been hijacked by the mind into unconscious behavior again… So I’m taking the next few days off, cold turkey, to gain perspective, do some cocooning again and bring my attention back to the Embrace. (I need another “tea with ‘Z’”!) I’ll do some “process art,” or other right brain creative activities that always seem to open the gate to Stillness, allowing myself to Just Be. Ahhh – I’m already relaxing…

I’ll miss my blog friends, but I’ll be back… Gosh you’d think I was taking a long trip on a slow boat to China! Actually, I’m already *on* the boat, already immersing myself in rest and art. I can see the portal gate just ahead as we’re leaving the harbor. I’ll soon be entering Samadhi land – hopefully. But, before I go – I have a surprise already in the works for you for tomorrow, as part of my creative break. So be sure to visit tomorrow’s blog post for a special treat!

See you on the other side…

Heart Smiles – MeANderi
http://www.aserenitysanctuary.com/

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grocery Store Wisdom - Noticing

What if all the vegetables in the produce section had eyes? What if they could see? What would they notice? I know, I know – I ask these kinds of silly questions… It’s the mystic in me coming out again… When I was a child I thought I could hear the water singing as it ran through the gutter in the street, after a rain storm. Okay I can hear your eyes rolling now too. :)

Anyway, as I roamed the isles of my 3 grocery store venues today I was waiting for something to pop out at me, something I could go, ah-ha, there it is, the wisdom for today – something profound of course. But all there was, was noticing – simple awareness. And then I got it, that’s the wisdom! It seems it’s a continuation from the post-it note theme from yesterday. I usually get to work with a theme for a while, so it pops up in everything – including the vegetable bin.

And so we’re back to the vegetables with eyes. What if they could see? What would they notice? Would they be saying: Oh, no here comes that goofy lady again. Or, oh no, watch out, here they come, the tomato squeezers, the watermelon thumpers, and cantaloupe sniffers. Yes, I know – two of those are fruits :) Or maybe they’re just aware – not making judgments about what they are “seeing,” or interpreting, or making assumptions, or coming to conclusions – but just *seeing* - just noticing life as it is being lived, without the need to evaluate how it is being lived; the fact that they ended up in the produce section, feeding humans…

Now this doesn’t suggest that we should just turn into seeing vegetables, after all we were given a mind to think with. But there is something about abiding in simple awareness, and just Seeing how things are, that caught my attention today. Not using the mind to interpret what was being seen – making things right or wrong – but just allowing everything to be seen as it is – all flowing together in seemingly different streams of existence, yet somehow flowing in fluidity. You know, like mixing the vegetables together to make a nice salad. Maybe add a loaf of bread, some spaghetti with pasta sauce, a few oriental noodles - a little wine… Somehow it all flows together into a nice experience to be enjoyed – when experienced from simple awareness.

And so this seems to be my “practice” lately – just noticing – just seeing – life as it is. Noticing the obstacles – but not reacting. Noticing the changes – but not reacting. There’s just awareness without the need to react, to make it all into a big story, without trying to control how it flows, or where it goes. It all just flows as it flows. Life being lived in each moment.

By the way, the next time you’re at the grocery store, notice that I’m the goofy looking tomato peaking out over the Cute Cuke and Mr. Potatoe :)

Heart Smiles – MeANderi
www.ASerenitySanctuary.com

Monday, August 3, 2009

Notes to start the week with...

Thought this was a good blog to start the week with. These little notes are posted on a kitchen cabinet door. They bring my awareness to the flow of Life. They are little phrases that came in times of stillness and meditation. It started with just one - the third one down - and then the one above it, and the one on top, and finally the one on the bottom, over a period of several months. When read from the top down they make a simple statement actually – which speaks for itself…


Heart Smiles - MeANderi
http://aserenitysanctuary.com/

Saturday, August 1, 2009

SSS - Siamese Shadow


This is our elderly Siamese mix (18 1/2 - over 100 in people years) taking in the morning sun through the skylight above. His given name is Yoda, which has evolved into Yodi Bodhi - the enlightened cat - master of light and dark. He has taught us much wisdom about the shadow in our own lives, inviting us to see the shadow within the *context* of the light...

Wisdom in the shadow there is... hmmm?
Yodi Bodhi

For more shadow shots - and wordless wisdom - check out


Heart Smiles - MeANderi