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...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow Confections...


For me Snow is a sweet medicine for the soul.  I know some of you in Canada, the Northeast, and the MidWest are tired of seeing so much snow this year, but we have been in severe drought conditions here in Colorado, so to get 8-10 inches in one storm is sweet medicine.  And even sweeter was this beautiful imprint of a bird in the snow (above photo) which I just happened to see as I looked nearly straight down from our eating nook window this morning.  The dark shadow is where its body left a hole, with the imprint of its wing feathers surrounding it.  With the play of light it looks like an actual white bird sitting there with wings outspread.  This is the magic of snow, of life really, if we only look for it, if we are open to seeing; something that I need to be more aware of.  Three hours later the image was nearly gone from the heat of the sun – melted back into the snow, evaporated into thin air.  Another metaphor of the impermanence of everything, the illusion of everything we take to be real; that things aren't always what they seem.   That which is on the surface of life dissipates and we must look deeper into the True Nature of things, to find the Essence of Life and Being…

In the meantime, while we ponder those existential questions of life J here are few more delectable snow confections for you to enjoy with your cup-o-life :)


 Muffin anyone?




 Or a Cupcake?
With dragonfly swizzel.
You can see I’ve been nibbling already
J


 Some snow-capped yarrow gumdrops maybe?
(although they don’t look too delectable do they :)



 Or how about some Powdered Sugar Icing! J





Alegria!

Enjoy the sweetness of Life…



Friday, February 22, 2013

Unconfined...


"We have not come here to take prisoners
but to surrender evere more deeply
to freedom and joy…
 


We have not come into this exquisite world
to hold ourselves hostage from love.
  

Run, my dear, from anything
that may not strengthen
your precious budding wings.
  

 Run like hell, my dear,
from anyone likely to put a sharp knife
into the sacred, tender vision
of your beautiful heart.


We have a duty to befriend
those aspects…..
that stand outside of our house
and shout to our reason,
”oh please, oh please,
come out to play.”
  

 For we have not come here to take prisoners,
or to confine our wondrous spirits,
but to experience ever and ever more deeply
our divine courage, freedom and Light!"
  


Hafiz

Hafiz poem from Love Is A Place




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Strange Phenomenon...


I did this funky looking stone balance this past Sunday, but it is not the “strange phenomenon.”  (Or maybe it is!)  I spent nearly two hours trying to get different stones to balance, and it just wasn’t happening.  (Am learning a lot about stones, balance, and inner balance – kind of a Zen thing… J).  Just before I gave up, this one came into being, which was not the original version, nor the original stones.  Within 20 mins the top pentagon piece had toppled; pointing out the impermanence of it all.  You can see why in this shot.


It was precariously perched.  And the bottom “see-saw” pieces also toppled.  What remained looked like a little altar of sorts.

And then Monday morning this was my view out the window. The stones completely crumbled.
Something or someone toppled the remaining stones and left this flower pot bottom right next to the pile of rubbled rocks.

 The plastic terracotta bottom piece had been some 30 feet away from the rocks, lying next to the foundation of the house.  We have no idea how it got over here, or how the rest of the rocks fell over.  So we set up the video camera for two nights to see if we could see what might be playing games with my stones J  Do we have a “spirit”, or is this an intelligent raccoon that dragged it to the rocks.  And if so, why – maybe because he/she wanted to be a stone balancer too!  (not stoned balancer, mind you.) :) lol   However, it gave me this clever idea to carry the rocks around in this pot bottom.  Now how come *I* didn’t figure that out before! lol  I’m evidently not smarter than your average raccoon!

Here are a few links to stone balancing websites. They are fascinating stone “sculptures.”   The first is by Adrian Gray from England. He does his incredible stone balances on the seashore.  The second is Peter Juhl who does his exquisite stone balances on the shores of Lake Superior, and Lake Harriett (in Minneapolis, MN).  And of course, Michael Grab at Gravity Glue who got me started. :)  He does his stone balancing  *in* Boulder Creek, Boulder, Colorado...  Also see my other post on Stone Balance...


“All things are living,
even stones.
It has to be that way;
energy pulsates from their bodies,
since all are part of
the Omnipresent Living Being…”

Hafiz


“This is the realm of the passing away.
All that exists does not for long.
Whatever comes into this world
never stops sliding toward
the edge of eternity…”

Stephen Levine
From Breaking the Drought:
Visions of Grace



Monday, February 18, 2013

Embracing Wholeness...


“The realization of wholeness, or non-separation,
is simply recognizing that wholeness is
the essential state of reality,
regardless  of whether it is being experienced
that way.

The experience of wholeness is temporary
and fleeting,
as is all experience.

But wholeness remains
even though the experience passes.
One retains awareness of the truth of it
even when it is not being experienced…”





Everything is embraced/held by Pure Consciousness,
including what we experience as “darkness.”

Nothing is excluded,
even the “darkness”
however that manifests
in our minds.

You have to be willing to dance
with the darkness,
which only means that
you are willing to meet it,
to be with it,
and not try to push it away;
not resist it as something
absent of Light,
but seeing that the
darkness
is not the opposite
of Light.

Just dance with whatever
shows up…

The darkness is also
part of the dance.

Nothing is excluded.

Everything is embraced.

It is Love dancing with ItSelf…


Unknown author



Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Hard Kind of Love...



“Love never dies a natural death.
It dies because we don’t know how
to replenish its source.

It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals.
It dies of illness and wounds;
it dies of weariness,
or witherings,
or tarnishings.”

Anais Nin
 

This may seem like an odd quote to post on the global day for celebrating “love.”  But when I read it a week or so ago on Love Is A Place it struck me as being true in so many ways – not just about romantic love, but in our day to day relationships with lovers, spouses, partners and companions; our dysfunctional families who are hard to love, friendships that die because of betrayal or wounds; or when the love for life within dies when we grow tired of the pain of life and living; when despair comes to visit and platitudes of love no longer “work” to soothe the weary heart.  We need to find a way to nourish Love – not being quick to correct and criticize, but eager to empathize and encourage – to hold the Heart open – as hard as that is.  We need to find Love’s Source and bathe in it to know the enduring kind of love that sustains – that understands the weariness, the witherings and tarnishings of love over time, embracing them.  It’s a hard kind of love that willingly leans into life when it doesn’t turn out as we planned, that willingly lets go of betrayals, and errors, and wounds; that willingly stands in the face of hatred - unmoved.  I am not good at this kind of love…   It’s the hard kind of love that no one tells you that you will need for the journey of Love.  It must be discovered, and rediscovered, as it calls us to open our hearts again and again and again – to Love…


Photo: a heart shaped stone
laid in an old weathered wound of a tree…
Do you see that incredible weathered face there?




Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stone Balance...


“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile
the moment a single man (woman) contemplates it,
bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery


On Friday afternoon I decided to try this "rock balancing" experiment inspired by the work of Michael Grab, as I mentioned in my previous post on Focus as a Gateway.  The first one was fairly easy, taking about 20 mins, and obviously a fairly simple stack, much less precarious than the ones that Michael builds (see this wonderful YouTube video of him working). 


The second one was more challenging, taking about 30 minutes, but I managed the balance, after several fall-outs.  And 2 days later they are still standing, even after a dusting of snow, that I was sure was going to change the balance and topple it over. I built it in one of my flower tubs.  I have 6 more tubs!   I think I have a rock garden starting... :)

And here’s another angle…


I am sufficiently hooked that I want to keep building them J  I just need to find more rocks! So now I will go on rock expeditions.  I may need a little red wagon. J

It is true what Michael says about rock balancing:  “It becomes a therapeutic ritual, a poetic dance of form and energy.”  See his full explanation of why he does this and the affect it has on him here.  It shifted my mind state and frame of reference.  Later in the day, basking in the internal shift, I found myself feeling a little stoked realizing that when one is attuned, when one is internally connected, and deeply *aware*, there *is* a click, you feel the alignment of the stones taking place, as well as within yourself, you feel the gravity kick in, you feel the stones settling in, finding their place with each other, aligning the “gravity threads” as Michael calls it.   It’s truly amazing.  And I imagine this feeling is true for artists as well as “rock balancers” and “cathedral makers” J – there *is* something meditative about the creative process that brings a deeper sense of awareness *to* life, and living, and awakens an Aliveness within that can’t be explained… 



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Focus as a Gateway...


Still feeling a little foggy – functioning from a conflicted mind – consistently sending me into emotional tail spins.  So, I have been asking to be shown the way through to an undivided mind, to stillness and peace.  Yesterday I received 2 emails that seemed to show me “the way” through this latest dip into darkness.  We all have to find our own unique way that resonates for us, the “medicine” that restores us to clarity, and a sense of congruency of Being, so this probably pertains to my specific needs at the moment.  But it resonated so deeply that I wanted to share it.

The first was a video of a guy by the name of Michael Grab who balances rocks in a creek in Boulder, Colorado, which requires an enormous amount of focus.  He calls it “nurturing meditative presence” and “contemplation in non-attachment.”  It was fascinating to watch this guy balance these rocks in the midst of a flowing stream, to see him focus his full attention on what he was doing in the moment.   And I noticed that as I watched, my body-mind completely relaxed and I became peaceful – because my *mind* became undivided, completely focused on him balancing rocks, creating a pause, which then allowed my mind to experience stillness.   Ahhh – my first hint…  You can watch the video here.

The second was an email newsletter from Joan Ruvinsky about taking time out from meditative practice to play in the beauty of nature.  She had been conducting a month-long intensive retreat in the wilderness, mostly in study, contemplation, meditating, Yoga and chanting…  And then it snowed and she and her retreatants went for a day-long hike through a winter wonderland – absorbed by its beauty.  In her newsletter she quoted from the Vijnani Bhaivava: The Manual of Self Realization, a piece of literature written in the 7th century from the Kashmir Shaivism tradition of Hinduism.  It says: “Wherever your mind becomes peaceful, put your mind there.  If your mind is situated peacefully working in the garden, put your mind there; do not go into the prayer room for prayer…..at that moment….as working in the garden is the right way for you.  Wherever your mind is appeased, in peace, there and then ananda (peace, joy, bliss) will appear to you.”  In this I heard that it was important to listen to the mind, as well as the intuition, and my mind and intuition have been telling me lately that my mind needs “focus.”  And apparently it is the focus on what we are experiencing in the moment that gives peace of mind – whether it be gardening, some art form, or nature itself.  Obviously there are many gateways into the realm of meditative Silence – without dismissing the mind as an obstacle, or getting *lost* in the mind, but focusing the mind…  So I am paying attention to these little messages that appeared seemingly pointing the way… 

Which led me to sign up to take a free on-line course to learn how to create and paint the Seed of Life Mandala over at Guada’s Circle, to give me a sense of focus and structure, as well as creativity, hopefully bringing the mind to a place of inner stillness.  You can watch a video of Guada creating a Seed of Life Mandala here.  Stacy Wills also creates some wonderful mandalas on her blog – A Magic Mom and Her Mandalas

Apparently “focus” can be a gateway into relaxed Presence, into peace, stilling the mind and finding a sense of connection with the Divine again…    Most of us on a “spiritual path” of “awakening” or “enlightenment” try to depose the mind, or bypass it in order to enter a state of pure Being through a meditative practice.  But it seems that *allowing* the mind to do what it does best, to creatively focus, is yet another way of losing one’s self and finding inner Peace…   We shall see J



Photo: Reflection of chair in window




Sunday, February 3, 2013

Shifted View...


Have you ever been in a place emotionally and didn’t realize till *after* you left that place that you had even been there?  Well, that’s where I’ve been. 

It wasn’t till Friday evening that I experienced a “shift” that I realized I had been experiencing a kind of underground depression – which is not new to me.  She visits often, but this time was more subtle.   Hidden, it becomes what feels like a natural way of seeing reality.  I don’t know why the shift happened, as I wasn’t trying to *do* anything about where I was because I didn’t realize I was there.  She had numbed me.  Oh I felt a certain sadness and tiredness of life, a melancholy, a dullness, but really didn’t think of it as “depression” – until the shift, when my view of reality changed dramatically. 

Today was one of those brown, overcast winter days – kinda like I’ve been feeling for weeks until yesterday. J  DH and I went out for a walk, and I snapped a couple of photos along the way.  I thought it would be fun to post the shots as they actually were – with a quote/poem underneath - and then the photo that I “shifted” with the Invert function on Adobe Fireworks, giving an almost magical view of “reality ” – to me anyway - like a magical forest… J   Representing a change of perspective…

 “Life is a huge, urgent invitation.

It is so easy to lose your way -
to end up respectable,
trusted and admirably
fulfilling your role.

Yet the whole time you could be suffocating inside
and no one sees it.

Stagnation is the status quo.
All things seem blurred in this half-sleep.
The air is poor in limbo:
grey is the one color there.
Boredom and indifference conspire to keep
the anxiety buried.

Perhaps it is time to leave limbo.
To awaken;
to really come alive…”

John O’Donohue
Christian Theologian



***

 “Despite illness of body or mind,
in spite of blinding despair
or habitual belief,
who you are is whole.

Let nothing separate you from the Truth.
The soul, illumined from within,
longs to be known…

Undying, untouched by fire,
or the storms of life,
there is a place inside
where stillness and abiding peace reside.
You can ride the breath to go there.

Despite doubt or hopeless turns of mind,
you are not broken.
Spirit surrounds,
embraces,
fills you from the inside out.

Release everything
that isn’t your true nature.
What’s left?
the fullness of light…”

Danna Faulds
Yoga Practitioner