Welcome...

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...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Love Waiting"

I’ve been wanting a dog for a few months now. The thought of getting a dog excites me for some reason. After our cat, affectionately nicknamed “Yodi Bodhi,” died last August after 18+ years I said I was not going to have another animal. It was too much responsibility, demanding a lot of time and energy in the last 8 years of his life, and tied us down in many ways. But – here we are 8 months later and I’m swooning for a dog. There can never be another cat like “Yoda”, so it must be a dog – but not just any dog.

And then I read a blogpost over at 108zenbooks that did me in. Briefly, it was about a dog named Hachiko who, after his owner died while at work, went to the train station every day for *9 years* to wait for his “owner”/life companion to come home! (Until he himself died on the steps!) Genju describes this as “love waiting!” OMG. My Heart started quaking open. Actually my Heart has been experiencing a lot of little quakes lately. I’ll call them pre-shocks, as if warning me of the big quake to come. And I can feel it, the big quake is coming. This intuiting of the big Heart Quake is causing an anxious quiver to run throughout my body. I want to run even before it has actually happened. And I can barely sit with it long enough to get in touch with it before wanting to get up and eat or watch TV or whatever else I can *consume* to numb this deep quaking of the Heart. Even writing about it is creating the RUN response!

I know that having a dog will quake my Heart and crack it open – full quake. I know it will. And yet I want it. Am I ready for that!?

So what is it that I *really* want? What is it that a dog represents for me? I think the phrase “love waiting” says it all… I want “love waiting” - that unconditional, tail wagging, love response that only dogs can give. I’ve tried with humans but it doesn’t seem to work out too well – humans tend to bite. :) And I’ve been known to send a few darts to the heart as well… But can I call a dog “love waiting?” How about “Buddha” – the *Essence* of “Love Waiting…” – or Being-Self, or Divine Mother, or Spirit, or Awareness, or…. You get the idea…

A dog doesn’t care about our baggage; doesn’t feel a need to argue or wrangle over words like “self” – "me" -“non-duality”, or the meaning of “Truth”, or “existence.” A dog *is* in many ways a reflection of “True Nature:” loving, accepting, open-hearted - just Be-ing Presence in the way that only dogs know how to do – “love waiting.” Sorry I just love that phrase.

I ask myself, so why is the thought of all this causing all this heart-quaking, this quiver in my being? What am I trying to avoid? What do I not want to see?

I have a sneaking suspicion it’s “Love Waiting” – but I’ll have to let you know after “The Quake…”

~*~

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Serenity's Sanctuary - Winter

I am a winter being...
I love winter's hush of Quiet,
hibernating in Stillness...

I love the magic of new fallen snow.
I don't mind that we continue to get snow
in the "Southwest" into April ~
So I wanted to post these last expressions of winter
as a kind of farewell...

Actually - it's not always this way here.
This has been an unusual year.
Previous years have been drought-stricken
with virtually no Spring snow - or rain for that matter -
leaving a dry, brown, arid looking winter/spring transition.

So when snow comes to visit in April
I tend to delight in its magic...

I marvel at the way the snow embraces all life
with its beingness,
melting and infusing everything,
morphing itself into different forms on its way to
returning to its natural state of Being...

My heart smiles at the tiny snow crystals playfully dancing
and sparkling in the glint of morning sunlight.
I feel melancholy with the long-reaching branch shadows
that form against the crystalline white,
like the shadows that we are against the backdrop of Life.

I feel a parting of an old friend,
knowing the season has passed for another year,
and the wheel is turning into a new cycle
requiring new energy,
new perspective,
new transitions...

Winter is my favorite season...
It gives me permission to just Be...


Sweet Serenity...

~*~

Photos - Christine



Friday, April 23, 2010

The Rain Connects Me...

The rain connects me
with the yearnings
of the Heart ~
with feelings deep inside…

The rain connects me
with the gentleness and softness
of memories…

The rain connects me
with the woundings
of missed moments,
the tears of loss,
and allows them all to come home…

The rain connects me
with peace and tranquility,
with simplicity,
and time to Just BE…

The rain connects me
with the Heart again.
It cracks me open and
floods me with the embrace of Love…

The rain connects me
with the Heart of Living…


Mystic Meandering
copyright
April 22, 2010

Photo – my April calendar page :)


~*~


This morning was what my husband and I call “an Alaska day” – rainy and low cloud cover over the mountains. We had the good fortune to take a trip to Alaska nearly 23 years ago! My how time flies… We *loved* the rainy weather there. So we got out our “Alaska” photo album today and reminisced. Looking at the photos seemed like it must have been a past life. It seemed faint, distant, not real. I see myself there and yet I know that I’m not there-there – of course, it’s a memory. And I’m not the same as then. Things change in 23 years, and not just physically. Back then there was no real “spiritual path,” no sense of real Awareness, no mindfulness about life, no sense of just Being, not the savoring of each moment.

We thought we’d go back to Alaska for more visits, for more moments, but Life had other directions to go… Reminiscing this morning reminded me that there’s really only this moment that we’re living. There really is no past, or future – except in the mind. No matter what moment I am in, it’s the present moment. The trip to Alaska was a present moment – back then – and now only exists in memory and photos, as if it never really happened. The rain this morning was a present moment that turned into another present moment and another – which actually turned into a blizzard of snow - and then back to rain in the next moment. And tomorrow will be another series of present moments, all connected.

Today reminded me that life, like the weather, is “momentary” - a series of present moments – one right after the other. And each moment has something to offer, an awareness: a pink lady with a white dog in a moment of connection; a reflection in a puddle; the memory of missed moments, of losses; mud-wrestling with suffering giving way to clarity, or the simple joy of connecting with the rain… All fluidly connected – moment-by-moment - delighting in each little moment– one-by-one. The Heart of Living…

~*~



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reflections...

Had wonderful rain late last night and 3 rain storms again today. We don’t get a lot of rain here so when it comes I feel inspired, refreshed and renewed.

My sister didn’t need me to come today, so I took advantage of the “time off” and decided to go for a walk in nature along a canal and open space area. I took my camera.

As soon as I got about half way over the foot bridge that crosses the full flowing canal at this time of year, I automatically took in a deep breath, as if my body knew I was entering another realm – the peace and tranquility of Nature. I snapped a few pictures of a tall branchey Cottonwood against the crisp blue sky (future blog photo), and then proceeded down the wide path that parallels the canal. I was met by a woman dressed in pink being pulled along by what appeared to be an all white German Shepherd dog. She had seen me snapping pictures of the bright yellow dandelions along the side of the path (which didn’t come out well) and she stopped to comment on that. She told me that she was from France (I could hear an accent), had lived in Brazil most of her life, and had spent 25 years in Washington DC. She didn’t appear to be that old to me!

She commented on the beauty of the wild flowers (do dandelions fit into that category? I thought they were weeds) and the cherry blossom trees, while her dog sniffed at me. The dog was not interested in our wildlife conversation and so started pulling the pink lady away while she tried to continue the conversation. I actually started following *her* so I could hear what she was saying… She finally gave up and just said –“Have a nice day.” I returned the salutation, turned and went on – snapping photos – appreciating her friendly gesture and connection.

Up around the bend were my favorites – a couple of Canadian Geese. The geese are nesting now. Eggs had been laid on a high cement piling in the middle of a wildlife refuge pond (picture not clear enough to show you). As I walked I could smell the pungent fragrance of pine and a small crabapple tree in bloom, and stopped there to snap a picture of a bee pollinating (future blog photo).

All along the path there were puddles from the morning rain. Near the end of my walk, close to where I turn around and head back, I spotted a particular puddle (above) with the reflection in it. Not shadows. Reflection. It was like peering into a different realm. What an amazing gift from Nature! I was fortunate to be able to capture this because on my way back the sun was too bright, and the light just glared off the surface, obliterating the reflection… Hmmm – there must be meaning in there somewhere…

Here are 2 more reflection pictures that captured my eye from the wildlife refuge pond.


They caught my attention because they made me wonder, what is real and what is illusion? And how do we know the difference? It seems one is just the reflection of the other – but which one… Ah – the Mystery of Nature… :)

They predict more rain tomorrow and Saturday! Oh boy! I’m giddy!



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Entitlement

Before I looked into the Reflecting Pool on Sunday I have to confess I took a dive into the Sea of Unconsciousness and mud-wrestled with suffering. It was not a pretty sight: lots of venting, whining, arguing in my head about my current life circumstances – bemoaning that *I* didn’t sign up for *this.* “This” meaning the need to “take care of” my sister for the past 6 weeks (and probably 6 more) - which I have written about before, so I won't reiterate the story... :)

My husband patiently listened and allowed me to vent and whine, and then as usual offered up the wisdom that stopped me in my tracks – that stopped the mind from its self-centered indulgence of suffering. He said:

“What makes you think that you’re entitled to have life different than it is?”

Whoa horsey – now that’s the perspective that stopped the gravitational pull back into the subconscious *belief* in a life of being victimized by life’s circumstances – creating suffering and misery. Excuse me while I wipe the mud off my face, straighten my clothes and get back up from the mud hole. It does happen you know, when we least expect it – we are blindsided by our own emotional investment in suffering – as if we were entitled to it.

Ah s0 – yes, I ask – what *does* make me think that I’m entitled? What makes me *expect* that life will go as I had envisioned… And isn’t it this sense of entitlement that causes this mud wrestling – this suffering? Seems so looking back on it.

Hours later I got another view of this sense of entitlement when the phone rang and it was my husband’s sister who literally takes care of their mother who has Alzheimer’s. My sister-in-law is struggling with having to care for her mother, as well as her mother’s loss of cognizance and awareness, AND with her mother not being who *she* wants her to be. I could empathize to a certain degree, although not totally. She is obviously resistant, struggling and suffering. That I could relate to. So I offered my empathy and understanding – knowing how life can take us in unexpected directions. And then I offered my husband’s words of wisdom *thinking* it would help. They were met with indignation and a declaration of disagreement because her *belief* is that we are *entitled* to be happy, to have life the way we want it, as if it was an expectation that life should fulfill. Oops.

And that’s when I heard it again – the *root* of suffering: entitlement and expectation.

As we shared our mutual experiences my sister-in-law then said: “But you *chose* to take care of your sister” as if that somehow lessened what I was experiencing. That pushed a few buttons. :)

My experience is – the “choice” was made already by life circumstances. There was no one else to “take care of my sister.” It was actually not a “choice.” There was really no choice to be made. I just stepped up to the plate to do what needed to be done. No heroics. Life presented the circumstances and I showed up. Not willingly at first. How could I *not* show up!? How could I turn my back and *choose* not to do this? That would have been the choice it seems – to resist where life was going, how life was unfolding – to say no.

My real choice, as I see it now, is in not creating suffering and struggle around what I am being asked by life to do at the moment.

Admittedly that’s been challenging - accepting life as it is, without getting down in the mud and bemoaning my experience…

But even in the mud experience a jewel is offered– a discovery is made: I realized this week that when I am with my sister there is no *thinking* that life should be different, that *I* shouldn’t have to do this, that *this* should not be happening… etc. None of that happens. I am just there, doing what needs to be done – present… And I don’t mean to sound magnanimous here. It’s really not about me at all. It’s about the experience. It all unfolds the way it does, on its own. And I actually find myself *enjoying* being with my sister, *engaging* differently. Wonder of wonders…

The new “awareness moment” now is that when I say “yes” to life as it is, and meet people where they are, there *is* a sense of equanimity that arises internally – despite my moments of mud-wrestling. Eventually the need to oppose, wrestle, resist, and fight with life dissipates – as well as the sense of entitlement. A different rapport with life emerges, one that is more embracing and accepting. This feels much better than mud-wrestling… sigh…

The adventure continues! And more discoveries I’m sure…

i-stock photo



Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Reflecting Pool

Look deeply into the well…
Look into the reflecting pool within.
Who is the face looking back at you?
Look deeply into the reflecting pool,
the well of Being within, and see Being itSelf.

You are the reflection of Being,
playing in the reflecting pool.

Being delights in your reflection – seeing it as its own,
reflecting the Primordial Being within you…
reflecting its Truth ~

Your True Nature…

Look deeply within…


Sweet Serenity…


Photo - Christine



Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Universal Buddha

In this new state of being enamored with “The Buddha” I happened to find an interesting article on-line the other day by Lama Surya Das entitled: Who and What is Buddha, Really? Hmmm… Synchronicity? It was quite enlightening actually. In the article he says: “Buddha represents what is actually possible for each of us – our full flowering… On the internal level, Buddha is innate and ever-present awareness… On the innermost…level, Buddha is our deepest nature: radiant Being or Nowness-Awareness, beyond gender, nationality, religious affiliation, or other local distinctions.” I immediately thought how universal this sounded.

He continued: “For Buddhists, wisdom is not merely a form of belief or a particular truth…but a living, breathing, functioning quality inherent in the mind of each of us, waiting to be explored… Anyone can become a Buddha.”

Further into the article he said: “Enlightenment means to awaken out of illusion’s dream and the snares of conceptual thought, and into a directly lived moment-by-moment experience… Eventually we come to realize there is nothing other than the luminous awareness of Being. In other words, we understand that life itself is an expression of Being. And once this realization occurs within us, we too awaken…” “The innate Buddha-nature or Buddha-ness within each and every sentient being is…akin to clear light. All beings are endowed with this inner lamp of pure spirit, along with the potential for *its* divine unfolding… [In this is] "the equality of us all [in] recognizing the *universally innate* Buddha-nature, the primordial pure inner light." His description was similar to the sense of Buddha energy that I experienced the other day.

Maybe this is what I feel drawn to, this innate, authentic, luminous, universal Aware Beingness that the Lama describes as Buddha Nature that we all are…

Last Sunday I went to a local metaphysical store with the intent of finding a “Buddha” statue, an icon of this compassionate, endearing Presence that I feel. As soon as I opened the door there were 3 large statues of Buddha greeting me at the door, and a sign that said – “All Buddha statues 30% off!” More synchronicity? It had to be the “right” face, so I looked at each one carefully, stepped back, knelt down on the floor, examining their faces, trying to find just the “right” Buddha face… None of them were “it” – my version of “it.” So I kept perusing the shelves through the store, waiting for the face of Self to reveal Itself. And there it was - on a second shelf of a small display case, towards the back of the shelf. If I hadn’t bent over slightly I would have missed it. Hmmm - :) I immediately knew this was the one. It was not a “traditional” looking Buddha, nor the “best” looking, but the face spoke to me. The image was close to the same meditative eyes that I saw in my head. The face reflected back to me the qualities that I feel when I experience the universal Buddha: calm repose, stillness, equanimity, an ever-present Presence of all-encompassing compassion, a meditative knowing wisdom, and peace. All these attributes, for me, embody the universal Buddha… “He” now graces my meditation space and draws me again and again in to this recognition of the innate, universal Buddha within… To the place of stillness, repose and equanimity…



Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Sea of Unconsciousness

Sometimes I feel like I’m swimming in the Sea of Unconsciousness. Being so engaged with my sister over the last 6 weeks, after her “accident,” has been an eye-opener you might say. It’s given me a fly-on-the-wall view of the play of the unconscious with its drama, and what happens when we are unwilling to “wake up” and not continue to sleep-walk through life. It has given me a clearer perspective of how we are “victimized” by our unwillingness to “wake up” – “victimized” (I hate this word) by our own unconscious behaviors – and how this sleepwalking keeps us from making the appropriate choices - like acting on our own behalf. Choices that I don’t think we abdicate when we “wake up” and become more conscious of who we really are. We still have to make life choices. And sometimes that requires a “fierce presence” with the way things are – the way things “go down” you might say.

In this Sea of Unconsciousness, where we don’t *recognize* the Inner Being, the True Self, the Knowing Awareness that we are, we allow others and “the system” (whatever system you want to refer to, including the ego-system) to determine our lives, and the outcomes. We pay the consequences of our unconscious behavior – and that of others as well. In this Ocean of Unawareness we ignore the “wake-up calls” – or at least try to sidestep them and return to our comfort zone. I’ve seen my sister do this on a number of occasions – pretending that “the system” will take care of everything and this (experience) will all go away. Then feeling victimized by “the system” when “the system” doesn’t work on her behalf, because it actually requires that she *do* something on her own behalf – like asking pertinent questions, finding out what is required of her, answering important phone calls, returning voice messages, and submitting applications that will help her pay her hospital and doctor bills….

Not acting on one's own behalf creates incredible drama and a victim story that goes something like: this shouldn’t be happening to me and I shouldn’t *have* to deal with this or *do* anything about it because “*he* did this to me!” - not recognizing our own unconscious behaviors that got us into this situation in the first place.

Being present with life as it is seems very different than allowing the unconscious to drive our decisions…

BEING with life as it is – consciously - is different than just “going with the flow” of the drama of life – with the usual maneuvers of avoidance, resistance and denial when life doesn’t flow the way we want and we don’t want to face what we need to face – further perpetuating the unconscious sleep walk – falling back into familiar patterns.

I have always thought that significant emotional events, traumatic events, change people – wake us up. Sometimes this has been my personal experience. But what I’ve also observed is that initially, when one is feeling wounded, traumatized and vulnerable, there seems to be this inner urge to live life differently, to make necessary changes. People seem to soften, become more open and receptive. But over time, as healing happens, as one begins to “recover” from the wounds of trauma – whether physical or emotional, or both - the personality mechanism takes over again and there is a slow sinking back into the Sea of Unconsciousness - the habitual unconscious behavior patterns that have created the drama to begin with.

We were also the” experiencers” (I refuse to use the word “victim”) of others’ unconscious behavior this week. My husband’s car was broken into Sunday night and a lot of his video equipment for his business was stolen. Another wake up call you might say – to become conscious – to be more aware, to not be so careless with what is left exposed in the car - the practical stuff of life; the no-brainer stuff. But also a “wake-up call” for my husband to move through life differently – with more awareness, to pay attention to his direction in life, to what he really values in life, to not leaving himself vulnerable and exposed, to not being taken advantage of, to not letting the unconsciousness of others determine his direction. (All the things I’ve been learning with my sister as well.) The freaky part – they took our garage door opener. They know where we live. That triggered my unconscious stuff about feeling vulnerable, unsafe and needing to be vigilant – which is not a bad thing really, as long as I don’t take it into hyper-vigilance and allow the anxiety to create more drama and trigger the unconscious need to control. (Although I have to admit – my pattern is that when there is a crisis I usually go into control mode.) Both these experiences have certainly given me an opportunity, an invitation really, to practice awareness, to be present and to *live* from a place of Presence - not fear; to not let the unconscious – mine and others - determine how I move through life. And, to act on my own behalf when needed.

In this Sea of Unconsciousness experience I’ve been noticing where I am still sleepwalking through life, where I don’t want to look, to wake up. Through this experience it has become clear that I want to accept the invitation to see those places within myself that want to stay asleep, that want to hide in the shadows of my psyche. I want to accept the challenge to not engage in the drama of the unconscious – mine or others. Not an easy task. There are many undertows and riptides to pull me back in. The gravitational pull of the unconscious is very strong…

But so is this urge to “be fully awake” - to *live* fully awake…


Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Face of the 'Self'

What is this “I” – this *sense* of me,
that rises up with thought and emotion?

What is this “I” – this *sense* of me,
that engages in the surface chaos,
with the suffering, and gets entangled?

What is this”I” – this *sense* of me
that will not rest…

What is this “I” – this *sense* of me
that resists recognizing its own
Beingness, its Presence,
its own reflection…

When will this “I” – this sense of me
no longer arise as a separate sense of me,
imagined to be real…

Thought comes back in and
creates the idea of this sense of me…
Contraction occurs.
And a sense of “me” emerges…


What is this “I” – this sense of “me”?


It is Consciousness itSelf…
It is Being itSelf...
manifested as the “me,”
playing *as* the “me.”

”I” (me) is also IT (Consciousness)
having a thought, a dream
that is called “me.”

Being/Consciousness *appears* as “me”
being “me”
being itSelf…

The “self” is the face of the ‘Self ‘-
interfacing with life…

We *are* the ‘Self’ being the “self” –
simultaneously itSelf…

Like the Ocean rising up
and curling back on itSelf - seeing itSelf.

We are ripples of the water of Existence.

We are Existence itSelf.


*Knowing* this is ~ Sweet Serenity…




excerpts from my journals
2008-2010

photo – Christine

Can you see the shadow faces?!



Friday, April 9, 2010

Enamored with The Buddha

I suddenly have become enamored with The Buddha… Like a poet finding their beloved…

Yesterday while meditating “The Buddha” showed up. I know this may sound a little woo-woo, but I’m just reporting on form here… Well, he didn’t show up “literally” of course. There was no vision, no image, but there was definitely a sense of “Buddha energy” in the room, and in me.

It’s been a while since I’ve had really “good” sitting meditation. And being a “mystic” on a meandering path I never really know who to “pray” to. Sometimes it’s “Spirit,” sometimes the “Divine Mother” (no, not the Christian version, more like the Goddess – the Mother Energy of all creation), sometimes it’s just “the Universe,” and sometimes it’s my sense of “Spacious Awareness” that just Is, or “Being-Self.” It’s usually something universal. But yesterday it became clear that I was sitting with “the Buddha.” Wow… It blew me away actually. And now I can’t get enough. I want more of The Buddha. I want all things Buddha. Is this a natural reaction… :) (I *still* feel “the presence” even today as I tend to my daily requirements, and assisting my sister.)

There was a *tangible* feeling of peace and equanimity in this presence! A sense of Divine Love – and Trust! It was as if his meditating face was right inside of mine, as if “I” had become the face of The Buddha – if that’s at all possible…. (I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant.) The sense was that I was *naturally* The Buddha… Isn’t that the essential teaching of Buddhism? I’m not a “Buddhist” so I’m really not sure. It was the sense of *naturally being* the Buddha – not as in the person, but in the universal energy that the Buddha represents – the Buddha Nature. It was like getting a feel for the True Heart: sweet, gentle, kind – as if embraced by an all encompassing Love – as if I was *abiding in* The Buddha. And so I surrendered into the Heart of “The Buddha…”

Now this doesn’t mean I’m going to run out and *become* a “Buddhist” – in the religious sense. I have no desire to do that. I have no desire for religious containers. (Been there, done that…) I simply want to sit – simply sit, in my own simple way and wait – open to this Divine Presence – however it’s named.

I have not spent years meditating and practicing in order to attain “Buddhahood” (not that I have with this experience either). I have not spent years “purifying” myself in order to be worthy. It was just “me” – sitting – and I was gifted with a Divine presence that *felt* like the Buddha. Maybe you have experienced this too … You sense an energy that feels deeply abiding, that knows your Heart – and you give it a name… And how would I have recognized this Buddha energy anyway, I wonder… Something inherent recognized it, something inherent in me knew it. Maybe it’s a Divine Knowing that just knows - Itself….

I spent the rest of the afternoon with a sense of delightful, giggly joy in my heart – as if I had finally found my beloved… There is a very deep love for The Buddha here that I really can’t explain, but I thought it would be interesting to share my experience… I humbly welcome your feedback!

“The Buddha is the jewel -
the light that shines in the Heart of everyone…
the light that shines in the Heart of the world…”



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Squirrel Energy

There is a new portal of awareness opening up here with the experience of assisting my sister after her accident in March. Well, there are many “new awarenesses” actually but the one I want to tell about is “squirrel energy”, as I thought it would offer a moment of amusement…

It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that I have squirrel energy. If you’ve ever watched a squirrel you know what I mean. They’re a bit neurotic actually, a bit antsy and very vigilant – constantly looking for something – maybe the supposed nuts that they evidently believe they have buried in things – like the lawn, pots of dirt, under a tree – anywhere – they just evidently can’t seem to remember where, and evidently it drives them nuts! They jump from spot to spot on the lawn feverishly focused on the ground, looking, digging, doing, busy, busy, busy – gotta find those nuts! And then, being so preoccupied with what they’re fervently focused on, they suddenly jump and twirl in the air, like a whirling dervish, as if some ghost has bit them in the butt. And then just as frantically scurry up the tree for safety, and then get caught in pursuit of some distraction. Ah yes – squirrel energy – I know it well…

I have come to accept that life for me the last few weeks is just this way – squirrelly.

I enter my sister’s apartment fervently focused on helping and doing, checking this, checking that, doing what comes into my field of awareness in the moment: dishes, sweeping, cat box, refill the cat’s watering holes, trash out, vacuuming, change the sheets, general pickup, grocery, and “helping” my sister shower… Basically hovering while she showers, like a vigilant, antsy squirrel – hoping she doesn’t fall off her shower seat – like that could really happen...

I was worried that I wasn’t being “present” in this squirrel energy; that I’ve just been on automatic, being an automaton – only focused on what’s in front of me. But I realized that even in my squirrel energy I show up *in* the present moment - sharing the present moment *with* her. I *am* always present *with* her, not wishing it were different, but just doing what life asks of me in the moment… It was only afterwards that I would start to think that I wasn’t being present, or that my “squirrel energy” meant I was not being “present”; that somehow it had a detrimental effect on my sister, because it wasn’t necessarily calm – contained – but not calm. So I raised the issue with her about my squirrel energy and how I was concerned that it was not good for her. She surprised me with her humorous answer: “Not at all! I just sit back and watch you – amused and entertained” – she said laughing… Maybe squirrel energy *was* what was needed in the moment – not pious Christine trying to be “present” offering platitudes or prescriptions (which I have done btw) – but an amusing diversion in an otherwise difficult situation. It’s kind of like watching the squirrels out your window. They don’t change your reality, but they offer an amusing diversion.

My other discovery in all this: When you’re *in* the moment you don’t *think* about being *in* the moment - you’re just there – however you show up. You just do what has to be done. It seems to me that this is Presence too – even squirrelly Presence doing what it does…

I think I thought that practicing being in the “present moment” – aka: Presence - would feel more “spiritual,” but it’s really just being who you are with what is - with no “spiritual” overtones. Just Presence doing what is needed – whether it’s cleaning the bathroom, feeding the cat, emptying the trash, sweeping the floor. Presence is there exactly in that moment, doing what is called for, whether the “me” is actually *aware* of that or not – whether I’m feeling particularly “spiritual” about it or not…

My experience has also been that there’s no room for thought in *being* in the present moment. Every moment is the present moment. Life is a series of present moments. Life, as it is, is being lived in each moment - everything being just as it is… even the squirrels… They don’t *think* about being present to the moment – they just are!

I’m still steeping on this - the seeing and the *acceptance* of my squirrel energy as Presence itself – of being present in the moment… Of course I’d rather it was soft, cuddly Bunny energy, or strong, courageous Lion energy, but no – it’s just squirrel energy doing what it naturally does…

Now on to the next present moment :)



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Awareness Moments

Every new experience becomes a new awareness moment,
and every awareness moment opens a portal to a new level of awareness…

Like walking through a field of tall grass, having to part the grass
as you go, to make your way - with each step
the path is made evident by the awareness.
When you part the grass, you open up the path to
a new experience - a new awareness.

Each parting of the grass, each step through life,
*is* the present moment.
Each new experience *is* the present moment.

You have to be receptive to what is revealed
in the parting of the grass,
what the new portal of awareness offers…

You can’t control what’s there.
You can’t control what is revealed.
But you can be receptive to what the moment offers…

Every moment is the present moment.
Every step *through* life is an opening
to the present moment.
It’s a chain of awarenesses that allows greater awareness
of the whole…



Wisdom from my husband in conversation today…

Photo – Christine
view through skylight



Friday, April 2, 2010

"Broken"

“I” am “broken” – like the innards of a clock
that have worn down with time & ticking…

”I” am “broken” – the body/mind worn thin,
like thread-bare clothes – almost transparent…

”I” am “broken” – not fractured or fragmented,
the defenses merely decaying from too much use…

”I” am “broken” – scattered to the wind,
like the sand from a mandala – as if it were never there…

”I” am “broken” – like a shadow that is pierced by the light,
melting its darkness…

”I” am “broken” – beyond “fixing” – nothing to fix really,
being emptied…

”I” am “broken” – being broken – ongoing,
seeing beyond the “I” to what is really here…

Broken open…


Christine
March 31, 2010

Photo - Christine


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wakefulness

This morning I awoke to a cool, clean Spring breeze wafting through the window (pictured above) and the sound of a bird chirping. It brought me to my senses :) - that is the sense of awareness, of Life being lived beyond my immediate concerns, beyond my anxieties and fears, beyond my mental projections, and to the sense of wakefulness to that Life being lived outside my window – like a whole other world that I had forgotten about in the life experiences of the last few weeks. And yet, I also know that it is not “outside” – it is here. It is Life Itself – living everything - everywhere - at all times - in all places. I know this, and yet something has apparently “gone back to sleep” – become “unaware” of the greater context of The Mystery being lived here, and was awakened again this morning in the breeze.

I have been reading Zen Heart by Ezra Bayda in bits and pieces since last Sunday. These are the bits and pieces that spoke to me: “When the veil of separation rises (we see that) Life simply unfolds as it will… We are no longer caught in the self-centered dream.” We must “turn away from our mechanicalness of waking sleep and be more awake to the texture of life… be open to the willingness to just experience life exactly as it is… Waking up is about awareness. Waking up is about saying yes to everything. Awareness is about *residing* in what is, exactly as it is. Awareness is what heals.” Awareness, he says, *is* “the practice.”

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell…
Don’t go back to sleep.

Rumi