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, September 28, 2011

Squirrel Joy



We are often entertained in the morning at breakfast by this squirrel. The other day I managed to capture him/her on video and my husband put it together with music to create this really short piece (less than a minute) of Squirrel Joy. :) A total frolic. Thought we could all use a little grin, heart smile, or maybe even a chuckle… The Joy of True Nature… The Joy of simply Being...

Enjoy Your Day!

Music: Hampster Dance



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall is Coming... Or is "The Fall" Coming...?

There are tell-tale signs in the air that Fall is coming. The date on the calendar no longer seems to coincide with what’s happening outside. There are a few leaves turning, and there is the smoky, woodsy-earthy smell of Fall in the evening air. Crickets are chirping less. The clouds are looking more like Fall clouds – that winter gray - as if readying themselves for the snows to come. But it’s still Summer here. Temps will reach into the high 80’s this coming week – actually nearing 90 they say. Summer is hanging on. The first week in October, according to the weatherman, the highs for the day will be 70 degrees across the board. Ahhhh – that’s what I’m waiting for – the chilly days of Fall, especially chilly, rainy, damp days… But so far, no rain in sight.

Internally Fall hasn’t arrived yet either – and I eagerly await its coming. Usually there is a feeling of inspiration, and a sense of clarity, of being energized from within. That hasn’t happened, as this body appears to be waning under the load of “family tending.” I no longer refer to it as “care giving” – but just tending what needs to be tended to. Friday I spent 7+ hours in the ER with my sister who was severely dehydrated. Her kidneys were failing. All because she had decided not to eat or drink for nearly 2 weeks – she *says* because of the severity of her back pain and the pain medication she was on that took her appetite away. And then she admitted to me, that it was also because the more that we encouraged her to eat, or asked about food, the more she shut down in order to gain control, until she finally put herself in such a weakened state that her poor body could not function. And I wonder, why one would want control so badly that they are willing to starve themselves for it – but obviously they do – they have medical names for it. Obviously there is a deeply unconscious mind at work here. And sometimes I feel like I am at the end of its emotional leash – and my rope, physically.

Fall reminds me of a threshold time, an in between place, a place of transitions, of liminal light, where the mantle of The Mystery wraps ItSelf closer around us – so IT can be felt, so we can notice its Presence. But the unconscious family dynamic here seems to muffle the awareness, dull the senses, and dampen the inspiration. The pull of the unconscious, and deeply latent emotional baggage, seems stronger than the pull to more quiet, sacred, untouched places within where inspiration of The Mystery lives.

I am certainly learning to surrender to “what is” – in ways I hadn’t anticipated. What else is there to do but surrender – to let go of my own unconscious need for control... I am learning a lot about choice, control and consequences of those choices. And yes, I do believe now that there are choices that have serious consequences being made by unconscious choosers. This does not mean that this “unconscious chooser” is in any way “separate” from The Mystery. It just hasn’t been noticed yet by the unconscious. But that’s another post. I’m supposed to be talking about the Fall that is coming :) – in terms of weather that is.

When one must be preoccupied with “family tending” somehow the seasons just meld into one another, awareness of what is Aware seems clouded, noticing the change of seasons with delight is less colorful, because the pull is towards the magnetism of the unconscious family dynamic. The ones who are most unconscious seem to have the most pull: the ones who do not act on their own behalf, who feel victimized and wronged by life, who reject any form of assistance, suggestion, or encouragement because it is seen as control. And control, for the unconscious mind, must be maintained at all costs, even by trying to kill the body – unconsciously of course. And "we" (the supposed enemy of the unconscious one) suffer the consequences of the unconscious right along with them – and maybe that’s part of the manipulation – to get us to pay for their self-imposed suffering. This may seem like a lot of drama – it is – but it is also life as it is – unfolding as it does. And I write about it because this *is* the reality at the moment. Life is not always “held together” by “spiritual glue.” Life falls apart and comes back together again all on its own, and you just learn to ride the waves…


So here we are in the sea of unconsciousness again – where the suffering of the unconscious takes place – waiting for “The Fall” of the unconscious; the demise of this bastioned inner sanctum of lost luggage. And it is seen that there is no intention or interest to claim its luggage by those who remain unconscious.

I truly look forward to the cool, clean, crisp air of clarity. It may be a long time coming…

Here are a few pictures reminding me that Fall is coming…




Oak Leaf and Acorns
collected on a walk...

~

I happened to step out our back door
one evening recently to this
beautiful sight of Fall clouds -
noticing the Fall air that
settles around everything
in the quiet of the night that
settles over the land..

Monday, September 19, 2011

Life is a Sand Fantasy...


For a woman, me, who is learning to surrender daily to “life as it is” – to face reality as it is – just this – just Now, I found this particular video fascinating and unexpectedly profound on many levels. Although probably not intended, there is a lot of Dharma in it about impermanence, change, facing reality, and living life as it is; obviously just what I needed. The Truth often comes through unexpected vehicles!

The video is of a woman named Ilana Yahav creating sand art. She calls it “Fantasy Sand Art.” The video is called “One Man’s Dream.” (It’s about 5 mins long, and you’ll need to close the pop-up boxes). He is dreaming of other realities, other places he’d rather be than the one he is in (only you don’t know this until the end). I find myself doing the same thing lately.

I am coming face to face with “life as it is” vs. my ideal of what I thought my life would be like at this stage of life, and am having a hard time adjusting to the reality of it – the reality of needing to be more involved and engaged with my elderly mother showing signs of dementia, who is trying to take care of my sister who has been bedridden the last two weeks with back and hip pain; possibly requiring more surgery. I see the writing on the wall here, and wonder how I will be able to keep pace physically – and emotionally, tending to their needs, as well as my own long term physical issues. We are all contending with the reality of our own situations, and each others. At this point the future seems daunting. But “the future” is sand fantasy too.

The challenge for me (besides the physical) is to not get caught in the re-play of family dysfunction and story - but to remember the Essence of Life that we all are. I can’t say that I’ve succeeded.

I show up and do what needs to be done in practical ways, while attempting to throw the sand around to create different realities *for them* - as if that were possible. Sand fantasy.

I experienced a rather intense melt down on Saturday (in private), coming to terms with life as it is, and my futile attempts to control it – allowing the anger, frustration and resentment to flow – which ultimately was a death knell for the "little me" who didn’t want to give up its false sense of control over “what is.” But the “me” with its need to control is sand fantasy too.

Byron Katie writes: “…when I listened within myself, I saw that the world is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. There is only what is, just the way it is, right now. Reality is what is true, whatever is in front of you, whatever is really happening, whether you like it or not…”

So this is my reality – just showing up for life and living it – the way it is.

Life is a sand fantasy – reality changes from moment to moment.


Enjoy the video!


For more cool sand art videos see Ilana Yahav's website:

http://sandfantasy.com



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Open the Moon Window...


“At night, I open the window
and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine…

Breathe into me…

Close the language-door
and open the love-window.

The moon won’t use the door,
only the window.”

Rumi

~


And what if the moon
whispered:


“…I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of
meeting your heart’s longing…”


“…show me how you reach
inward and open outward
to feel the kiss of
the Mystery…”


“What if your task is simply to unfold,
to become who you already are
in your essential nature -
gentle, compassionate,
and capable of living fully…”


“What if the essence of who you are
and always have been
is enough…”


“…remember…
you belong to the sacred life force;
you are an embodiment of
the sacred Mystery,
surrounded and held
by The Beloved…”


“…dance with me in the infinite pause
before the next great inhale
of breath that is breathing
us all into being…”


Oriah

~

I took the creative liberty of combining the above lines from
two different poems by Canadian author and poet Oriah,
as if combining quotes,
maintaining the essence of her writings.

The first stanza is a quote from her poem:
The Invitation
copyright 1999

The other stanzas are taken from
her poem and quotes from her book:
The Dance
copyright 2001

You can read the full poems on
her website:

http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/


~

Photo ~ taken with my little Kodak Easy Share
two nights before
the Full Moon, Sept. 2011



Monday, September 12, 2011

The Joy of Spontaneity

Last Friday I was surprised by unexpected joy – aliveness – an inner dance of Light and lightheartedness. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to write about it until Now :). I felt an inner excitement that I know all too well comes and goes, just like the sad feelings, or any other for that matter – but I was delighted and amused by this feeling of spontaneous joy rising. Honestly, sad to say, it doesn’t happen that often. I do not have what might be considered a “joyful” outlook on life. :) In fact my mother called me “the dark cloud” most of my childhood. So an effusion of “joy” is not normally expressed here – we were not a band of “joyful souls.” There was a darker cloud that loomed over us, and it wasn’t mine. But I’ll spare you that story. Suffice it to say, there wasn’t an environment that nurtured joy. So when it arose within me I *knew* it had to come from a place of pure Being deep within.

It seemed to me that by honoring and giving space for the sadness to express the day before, it freed the space up for joy to spontaneously arise. I think the same is true with all our shadow aspects – our “darker” feelings. When they are acknowledged and recognized, it frees them, releases their hold on us, and opens the door for the heart to play - spontaneously…

Everything became spontaneous; every action, every idea, thought, movement – eliciting a sense of joy. I spontaneously went for a 2 hour walk at 12 noon, which I never do; didn’t think about it, just did it, and rediscovered a new place to walk and take pictures. I had driven over to my “regular” walking path, but there were two huge dump trucks blocking the road to the parking area, and many cars were already trapped there, waiting for the trucks to move, so I decided not to chance it. Feeling a little bummed that my moment of joy was about to wane, I spontaneously remembered there was a little park right near our house. So I went there, with anticipation and curiosity.

This inner joy thrived in my new surroundings as I walked down winding concrete walking paths through a small, tree-filled park with a small pond, manicured gardens still in bloom. As I strolled along with my new friend, Joy, taking it in, I spotted a big yellow and black butterfly fluttering around one of the round gardens that happened to be quite fragrant. I have no idea what those little pink flowers are, but they were potent. I tried to get a picture, but the butterfly’s wings just kept fluttering and “he/she” wouldn’t sit still – of course. She was just doing what a butterfly does – thoroughly enjoying herself. She moved from flower to flower and I’d chase after it trying to capture “the moment”, leaning into the flowers as far as I could, camera extended, to get the right shot, and she’d move on to the next blossom, and me with her - trying to keep up with her joyful dance. I was in the moment *with* her – completely focused, although having trouble keeping the camera focused on her. Somehow magically I managed a couple of fairly good shots! The dragonfly was more cooperative, as I caught him resting on a stem.

I thought of how contemplative photographers must be soooo patient, so mindful, so still, just waiting for just the right moment to snap the shutter; skills I have yet to learn – particularly patience and contemplative photography. I was having too much fun playing with Joy to be patient! I completely lost myself in the experience, in the fun of it, in the presence of nature’s joy. Life should be like this everyday – a nurtured sense of natural Joy! For some I know it is… It is our natural state of Being after all… But it seems to come more naturally for some…

Even in this new Now today - new day, new feelings - I remember how I *in*-joyed the experience whole-heartedly – spontaneously. Spontaneously knew when it was time to leave, and spontaneously went about the rest of my day – in an uncontrived, natural state of joy... I could say my entire being was purely joy-ing that day. :) Yes, I know, it’s called enjoying… I did that too…

Remember Joy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fracture


The desolate place of woundings
is like a stark canyon of deeply creviced walls
and fractured fissures;
a fracture of the heart almost unbearable.

But within the fragmentation is Life.
Hidden deep within these canyoned walls
is an eternal
Light
glowing, throbbing, pulsating -
nestled and protected in a stony enclave,
formed from ages and ages of exposure to the
”elements” of separation…

But the enclave cracks open,
and the Heart Light is exposed
through the quaking of intense pain.
The tremors of trauma loosen and unwall
the hidden
Life
within
revealing a pureness
of innocent vulnerability…

Like the awakening of first light,
gentle, full and graceful,
this shimmering brilliance emerges from
the fissure of fragmentation,
releasing its full expression,
pulsing the message of Love:

“Embrace it all.”


~~

Mystic Meandering
copyright
June 17, 2001

~

The Light finds an opening for ItSelf
*through* our shadows,
our fractures,
our woundings,
which allows us
to experience Its Fullness,
Its Grace…

May all who have felt fractured
by life’s woundings come to a
place of embrace
and rest…



Friday, September 9, 2011

Simply Sad-ing...

There is a sense that “the path” is changing once again – opening up – carrying me like a river to “places” unknown. And I don’t mean physical places, but those internal places of Spirit/Soul/Being ~ Heart. I’ve had these feelings before. Maybe it’s just that melancholy feeling I get when Fall comes round again – although it is my favorite season. Or maybe it’s a culmination of things coming together – and “falling” apart – the normal cycles of time, season, life - allowing the things that need to die in me to die.

Whatever it is, there is a deep sadness that sings in my heart these days – reasons not necessary. It emerges, subsides and re-emerges – like the seasons. So I listen to its song. She is really the Heart’s whispers disguised in the language of “sadness.” She has been waiting for me to open this window and listen – without agenda - not needing to *define* it in any particular way – only listening and letting her sing her song in my heart - calling me "Home." She is simply another pathway *in* to the Heart of Being.

There is a rawness and vulnerability in being open to sadness that feels like I’m letting go of everything that is familiar, and heading out into the open sea. And maybe that is the gift of sadness – allowing myself to be open to life, penetrable by life, experiencing the rawness of life with its feelings – not trying to be strong, to find cause, to fix it, or cover it over… Instead, I let sadness take me where *it* needs to go on its way to the Heart - as a natural part of life’s unfolding…

This does not mean that I am always sad, or wallowing in sadness here. I’m just experiencing how she dances in and out of being. It’s simply sadness – a feeling. Or one could say – simply “sading” - a verb, not an identity. Feelings are just different colors, different shades of Life living Itself, dancing to different tunes.

What color are you dancing to today?



Art: Gray Swirls
Craypas Oil Sticks




Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Open Path...


It may be that when we no longer
know what to do
we have come to our real work…

And when we no longer know
which way to go
we have come to our real journey…

Wendell Berry

~

We’re all just walking each other home.

Ram Dass

~

If you don’t write the things
deep inside your own heart
what’s the use of churning
out so many words…?

Ryokin

~

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me,
so that what [I have not] dared …
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing to you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Rilke’s Book of Hours



Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Cry for Sirens...

This morning, as I was driving to my mother’s to take her to the eye doctor, I passed an ambulance speeding down the fast lane coming from the opposite direction across the medium; lights flashing, sirens blaring, horn frantically honking to get the traffic ahead of it out of the way. I immediately started to cry. I had forgotten that since childhood the sound of ambulance sirens makes me cry… It’s as if my heart leaps out of my chest, knowing that whoever is in that ambulance is in trouble and needs help. I can hear it in the sirens – of course – that’s what they’re for.

This morning I recognized this strange phenomenon as the heart of compassion. I felt the heart of compassion that actually lives here wake up again. I had never thought of it that way before. I’ve always tried to hide this little quirk of crying at sirens; to stuff those feelings, to hide the love that wants to express itself, to stop myself from crying. I thought there was something emotionally wrong with me. Or maybe that it had something to do with being hospitalized many times as a child after birth. I have rationalized that because I had been hospitalized so many times that maybe I had *heard* sirens a lot, and that’s why they made me cry.

Today I recognized the tender heart of compassion – crying *for* someone in trouble, in danger, maybe dying, or in pain and possibly suffering. It has always been here, since childhood – this little heart of compassion. It has been covered over with layers and layers of fear; not allowing myself to overtly *feel* and express the compassion that is there. I also hid it behind a mask of adulthood, and a mask of “spirituality.” That’s easy to do in some “spiritual circles,” you know – to not feel, to hide what you feel behind a mask of ideology, belief, ritual or religiosity. “Spirituality” becomes clinical, intellectual, philosophical, detached.

I learned to wear the “spiritual mask” early in life, and later in life to talk myself into lofty, wordified “spiritual” places. Please slap me if I do it again. :) I learned on “the spiritual path” that there is no “me”, and therefore no “other” because there is only Beingness. The danger of misinterpreting that is that another’s pain then somehow becomes invisible – instead of recognizing that our pain is all the same. How ironic. We separate ourselves from one another's heartache – dismissing it as just a story of a “me” that doesn’t exist - because feeling another’s pain leaves us too vulnerable, too engaged; and because we’d have to face our own – Heart that is. I know this is not true for all of us. I hid my Heart. But - the Heart remembers – and Love *sees*, hears, notices, *feels*, and *cares* - with deep compassion…

Today the rawness of an unprotected loving Heart exploded in my chest. And I remembered how that *feels*… And I rather liked it. I hope I never lose it; never stop *feeling*, whether it’s sadness, grief, or love and joy. I’m sure there will be more opportunities as Life opens this Heart more and more :) I not only cried, I smiled, because I knew it meant that the Heart that lives here is *Alive* – feeling – caring – loving…