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...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thresholds - John O'Donohue and Rumi...

“Like Spring secretly at work within the heart of Winter,
below the surface of our lives
huge changes are in fermentation.
We never suspect a thing.
Then when the grip of some
long-enduring winter mentality
begins to loosen,
we find ourselves
vulnerable
to
a
flourish
of
possibility

and we are suddenly negotiating
the challenges
of
a threshold…


At any time you can ask yourself:
At which threshold am I now standing?
At this time in my life, what am I leaving?
Where am I about to enter?


A threshold is not a simple boundary;
it is a frontier
that divides two different territories,
rhythms, and atmospheres.

Indeed, it is a lovely testimony
to the fullness and integrity
of an experience or a stage of life
that it intensifies toward the end
into a real frontier
that cannot be crossed
without
the heart being passionately
engaged
and
woken up.


At this threshold
a great complexity of emotion
comes alive:
confusion,
fear,
excitement,
sadness,
hope.

This is one of the reasons
such vital crossings
were always clothed in ritual.


It is wise in your own life
to be able to recognize and acknowledge
the key thresholds;
to take your time;
to feel all the varieties of presence
that accrue there;
to listen inward
with complete attention
until you hear
the inner voice
calling you
forward:

The time has come
to cross.”


John O’Donohue
Excerpts taken From: To Bless the Space Between Us
and put into prose poem format...




“Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary
is inside you.”

Rumi

~

Whatever “threshold” you find yourself at
in the coming year,
I hope you make a peaceful passage.
May your life journey
be illuminated
from within
bringing
you “home”
to
the
Heart

~♥~

Photos taken by Hubby
Sunrise, Dec. 23, 2013


Notice the “angel wings”
at the top of the top photo
J



Sunday, December 29, 2013

35 Years...


Two Upon the Shore of Life

"Like pebbles side by side
upon the sand,
together we’ve endured
the push and pull
of time’s relentless waves.

Still hand in hand, we stand,
where all is moveable, unmoved.
Unending love has made us one
against the toss and tow
of wind and sea.

Now smoothed and polished
by the rain and sun,
our separate lives
are shaped in unity…

You are still you in ways that
have not changed
since we were brought
together long ago.
I am still I.

And time that rearranged
our features
cannot dim the heart’s
deep glow:

We shine together
in this time and place,
each one the light
upon the other’s face.”

(author unknown)




You are truly my
Divine Embrace…

~

Dec. 29, 1978





Friday, December 27, 2013

Journaling as Meditation...

I want to draw your attention to a guest post I wrote over on Aarathi Selvan’s Weblog.  Aarathi asked if I would write on “The Nature of Contemplative Journaling.”  Aarathi has been one of my dear blog friends for a while now.  She lives in India with two small children under two!  She is also a Psychotherapist, Writer, Mindufulness Guide, and student of Contemplative Art and Photography.  She has recently created a new website where she explores meditation, mindfulness, mental health and spirituality.  Thank you Aarathi for this opportunity to write!


For me “journaling” is not only about bringing mindfulness and awareness to my life, relationships, and spirituality, but is a meditative practice to turn that awareness to the deeper space of inner Silence…  Read more at the link below and then enjoy browsing through Aarathi’s lovely space…



I also want to mention an excellent book on journal writing that was helpful to me some 20 yrs ago.  It is called: Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest by Christina Baldwin.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

On The Threshold of a "New" Journey...


Here we are again, at the turning of yet another wheel! J B started a new job in November - just 3 days before Thanksgiving!  Woo-Hoo!J  We were/are relieved and grateful, with a tinge of tentativeness; despite which I was doing my happy dance.  I *wanted* to share it here immediately, but felt it was too soon to announce it publicly, although I have already told some of you privately.  Of course we know that nothing is permanent, that life is always in flux, ebbing and flowing continually, but – he was hired as a “permanent” employee, not a “contract-to-hire” position.  So we breathe now with a little more “certainty” – knowing that even that is illusive.   And even though it still feels a little “new”, I felt that the Winter Solstice was an excellent time to bring it to Light… J  …the Solstice being symbolic of Light “returning” out of darkness, of new beginnings, and the turning of the wheel once again… 

As B embarks on this new stage in his career with confidence, passion and enthusiasm, we sense that we are on a threshold of a “new” journey…   After only 4 weeks he feels he has found his “dream job”, where he can shine and feel fulfilled.  Good thing at almost 62. J  And so we are settling into his work schedule, and I have been trying to use the last few weeks to find the internal Rhythm with Life once again, and gain some clarity on my life direction.  That is partly why such a deep need for solitude and silence – to get clear, to simplify internally, to become single-minded, although that is not quite working out as I intended, as there are still so many distractions pulling at me. But, I am managing each week to carve out blocks of time in silence and solitude, and beginning to feel The Rhythm of Silence within again, as I have been writing about recently.

I have known for a long time now that there is something innate within that compels me to explore and discover deeper layers of Truth, and Intimacy with the “Divine Nature” within - however one defines that for themselves.  And with that there is a sense of being at a threshold spiritually.  In many ways I feel like I am on the threshold of a “new” Light of Awareness, a “new” way of seeing and being; coming out of the *illusion* of separation *from* this “Infinite Nature” that we are.   These are only words, and they cannot accurately convey what I’m really experiencing.  All I can say is that it is profound.  And sometimes the less said the better - for the time being. J

I feel this new threshold calling me into even more solitude, and deeper layers of Silence, like the Christian “Desert Fathers”, or Buddhist Monks who went to live in the forests, and Hindu Sadhus who went to live in caves.  Except that I would need lots of windows in that cave! Lol…  It is in the metaphorical sense that I use these terms and images.  In reality it is more a turning inward, and entering the cave of the Spiritual Heart, withdrawing the mind from the world’s rhythms – not as an escape, but to become more deeply *Aware* of the Voice of “The Infinite” – that’s what Mystics do. J  I am neither a renunciate nor an ascetic.  I am still very much engaged in the requirements of daily living and family.  I simply want more time to sit in Infinite Silence – listening - finding the intuitive Rhythm of the Heart again – dropping the false veil of separation from the Ultimate Reality that we are.   It’s not really even about seeking “enlightenment” anymore, but a deep recognition that we are already lit from within.  Liberation…

At this new threshold, and after 4 1/2 years of blogging, I have no idea what direction this blog may take, or how often I will be blogging, as that too will be part of the new Flow.  The “blogging” experience has been an ever-evolving process reflecting my own spiritual unfolding.  I have lost some readers along the way, and gained some friends as well; the ebb and flow of relationships, touching each others lives – even momentarily.  For those who are still with me I have enjoyed your loving, supportive, and encouraging company on the road…  And if you are unknown to me out there reading this in cyberspace somewhere J I appreciate your silent Presence as well.  The invitation is always open to come along on this next phase of Life’s journey with me and see where I land.   I enjoy the company of Friends who help light the way… J

~♥~


“A baby pigeon on the edge of the nest hears the call
and begins her flight…
How can the soul/Heart
not fly
when a message arrives saying,
’…come, come back to me!’

What is the secret that opens the door?

The key is the flutter of the hearts wings
and its endless longing.

When the door opens,
walk on the path…
where everything old becomes new,
and never look back…”

Rumi

~

A warm and Light-filled Yuletide Season
to all…

~


Photo: Sunset from B’s building




Friday, December 13, 2013

The Simplicity of Silence...



~


The Rhythm of Silence within is simply found through sitting in meditative silence and listening for the Inner Flow, the Inner Rhythm of Silence, and bringing our awareness to That…  Being in the Rhythm within unwinds “you” – the little me with its stresses and worries and fears.  It unwinds the body, and the thoughts, emotions and feelings that have become our habitual response to life.  It is the medicine that brings us back into the current of Life again – the Inner Life of Spirit…

In the midst of chaos there is always Silence.  In the midst of complexity there is the simplicity of Awareness – if we just notice.  If we just get Quiet and listen…  Each of us has our own way of experiencing this deep Silence within, that brings us to a greater awareness of our “Divine” Nature within.  Simply be open and It will find you…


Reach deeply into the Stillness
within you…
The Primordial Space
of Silence
and thrive there…

In the Stillness is
the congruency of Life…

Be with this Stillness,
with Sacred Silence
and awaken to Its Rhythm…


Mystic Meandering
Meditative Writings
2006

~

Photo of Fall leaves remaining on a branch
 color inverted digitally





Thursday, December 12, 2013

Frenetic Flow...

I’ve been violating my own natural rhythms of life this week, getting caught in the frenetic flow of the crazy Season.  You know, that time of year when human kind reverts to its animal nature competing for the best deals and the best gift, turning “giving” into greed. J  Did you *see* those lines wrapped around the big box stores on Thanskgiving Day, and customers camping out on the sidewalks in order to be the *first* in line, and those images of people beating up on each other to buy an i-pad!? – or whatever the newest technological device is…   It seriously warps my “spiritual” image of humanity each year, as apparently this is what the world is about – for some…  The world at large continues in its craziness, especially at this time of year.  Our conditioning and beliefs run deep.  I remind myself that I don’t have to follow the pack in their frenzie.  I am *so* very aware that I have been allowing my mind to take me on that mythical sleigh ride with those illusive reindeer – “Get-er-done” and “Get it over with” – and of course their leader – Resistance… J  What can I say…  Maybe I require a new consciousness…

I ventured out on a couple of shopping excursions this week.  Consequently I am feeling a little shell-shocked tonight.  My nervous system has been significantly overstimulated by all the noise, people and chaos, as well as the expectations of “The Season.”  I have a sensitive body, and am a Mystic at heart, so I need Silence, Solitude and Sabbatical on a *daily* basis, which I will take tomorrow (Friday) - purposely setting the day aside for Silence, meditation, and rest; becoming aware once again of that silent Rhythm of just Be-ing, finding a fluid flow with Life. 

I am very aware that I easily lose The Rhythm of Silence within – on a daily basis – swimming up stream, tuned to the “world’s rhythm.”  When I don’t get Quiet, I can’t *feel* the Silence within, and can’t follow the inner Flow, and a frenetic way of thinking takes over, (can you tell ? lol:) driving me through the day. I am aware of the need for a change in vision, needing more than just a new lens, but a deep shift within.  Unfortunately spending time in “Silence” seems to find its way to the bottom of my “to-do” list at the end of every day, which means it isn’t getting done.  Not that spending time in “Contemplative Silence” consciously is a “doing” – I realize that it is a way of Being – one which I haven’t evidently entrained with yet, so by the end of the day I have lost that *sense* of Rhythm, and the *awareness* of the Eternal Flow and crave time in Beloved Silence – my sanctuary… 

And then, unexpectedly, I am graced…  As I lay in bed before sleep, I cup my face in the palms of my hands, following the breath, and begin to *feel* the Silent Rhythm of Being again, recognizing its familiar Flow…  It was never completely gone…  I simply had to get Quiet…  When I am in that space the craziness of the world doesn’t matter.  There is only Sweet Peace…


“Our minds have become cluttered with so much programming
that we scarcely feel the intuitive currents of life,
which set the spirit free….
The spirit calls the heart to respond to its desire
 to break free of the imaginary bonds of
belief and fear,
and awaken from the dream of ego,
to new vistas of liberating insight…
opening to flow in new directions and new visions of life…”


Adyashanti



Friday, December 6, 2013

The Deep 'F'...


Winter is definitely upon us.  All the other snowfalls so far this season were only teasing us with their beauty.  We are now in the clutches of winter’s cold fingers - the deep freeze...


We’ve been in the deep freeze since Tuesday night when the temps suddenly dropped 45 degrees escorted by a 4” snowfall.  We’ve been below zero every night.  Day-time highs in the single digits mostly, so nothing is melting. And Mr. Sun has only made a few short-lived appearances.



Anxiety seems to have me in its clutches as well – the deep fear - constantly worried and vigilant.  Will the pipes freeze?  Will the furnace keep running?  And – it’s running constantly!  Ka-ching$, Ka-ching.$  Will the garage door open?  Will the car start?  It’s been an interesting lesson on how easily the mind and surface self with its fears and worries can take over and veil the beauty that is here, getting entangled in hyper-vigilance, as if that would stop something from “going wrong.”  And of course the mind is convinced that something will go wrong…  What a set up that is!   I became aware of how easily the mind and fear can inhabit the moment – the day – the body… And it’s not a pretty picture! The mind needed to be refocused and reoriented to what is ultimately Real.  I told myself: Refocus on the breath, don’t follow the mind, instead, give the mind something to do – journal, write, read, create - and turn your awareness to the deeper space of Silence within – the ultimate reality.  Not happenin.’ J  It surprised me to find that the voice of the Infinite was drowned out by the sirens of fear…

My husband swears I *look* for things to go wrong – maybe so.  I was conditioned well.  They are very old and deep fears, from childhood I think – being given responsibility too soon, needing to be a “grown up” too soon, and now I feel *responsible* for *everything* anticipating what *might* happen, leading to a need to control what cannot be controlled.  I’ve been in denial about all this, although my husband reminds me of it all the time. J  I’m surprised actually at how quickly this old conditioning arose.  To my chagrin, I am apparently still a product of my DNA, both physically and emotionally.  The body easily re-addicted itself to the feeling of fear/anxiety.  It remembers it all too well.  In moments of awareness I thought to myself – well, isn’t this interesting - if you think you’re enlightened spend a week in the deep freeze! – worrying.  I think I’ve given up that illusive “enlightened” self-image!  And realized there’s a child inside who’s still afraid of the big bad wolf that’s huffing and puffing – even though I know it is pure fantasy…  It’s interesting to me that we can be aware of how the mind functions on fear and still follow it down that rabbit hole of delusion.


Maybe the gift of the deep freeze is to see all this about myself, to actually *see* these places within myself where I am still frozen with fear, and where I am still deluded…  It certainly has done its job! J  I’m *aware*!  But awareness is only the beginning of real change…

I managed to lose my-self (and the grip of anxiety), for a few moments, in a few photo shots this week so far.  They say we won’t thaw out til Tuesday when temps go above freezing *in the afternoon* - hopefully a “warming trend” – outside AND within… J LOL



“We are constantly ‘waking up’ in every moment that confronts us,
to remember *what* we really are:
Consciousness before form.
Otherwise our ‘spirituality’ can become just another layer
in our armour.”



Dear Hubby J



Monday, December 2, 2013

The Shifting Shadows of Life...

The self is just a shadow, a mist, a thin layer of the real...

I’ve been noticing the long shadows lately, although it seems early in the season.  These photos are from November.  The shadows call to me for some reason.  They seem longer than usual for this time of year, maybe a sign of my aging… J  They evoke melancholy, but also unexpectedly soothe.  They are enchanting, bringing me into the space of Infinite Isness - just Being.  As I watch, they move and change within minutes, coming and going, eventually dissolving and disappearing - like the shadow self that we think is real - the form and the Formless intersecting.  Somehow I find this strangely comforting - this dance of shadow and light…



“I am a terminal commuter…
The things I once believed in
are no longer there,
no longer exist…”

Author Unknown





Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency…

All is visible and all elusive…

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names…

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself…

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go.
I am a pause.

Octavio Paz





“Your self-identity is a shadow,
the divine is a boundless,
loving presence
that takes you
into
ItSelf…”

Open the Door


Wayne Teasdale
The Mystic Heart