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...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Heart Wish for the New Year...

May our hearts always be open
to hear
The Rhythm of Life’s Song.

May we see life through the eyes of wonder and curiosity…
May we dance with life intimately and creatively…
May we inspire each other to remember who we are in the core of our Being…
May we find contentment in just being who we are…
May we give voice to the song in our Hearts authentically…

And may we always
leave Love
in our wake…


This amazing photo was captured after our neighbor’s daughter
pulled away from the curb in front of her house and made a turn in the street -
leaving behind these 2 hearts…

I just *happened* to look out our living room window
and saw them. I grabbed the camera and ran upstairs
to get a better shot – just before they evaporated into the air…

I am grateful for all the traces of love that you all have left here…

Blessings of Love to you all in the New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter Walk - "Hibernating Land..."

Frozen earth bound in time,
waiting for the thaw;
allowing flow and movement
to regain rhythm and rhyme…

Frozen streams of frosted glass,
crystallize the sun;
creating an opaque light

that illuminates the path...

The silence of the hibernating land,
speaks in loud whispers
through the firs,

as life still stirs -
while lying dormant…

Soul callers of the sky
fly in familiar formation,
following their
homing call;
unaffected by the
earth’s quiescent luminescence
of hibernation…

Mystic Meandering
From: “Hibernating Land”
originally written Jan. 1998
Revised Dec. 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"The Ineffable Mystery of Being"

Not much going on here, except a lot of family involvement with errands and doctor appointments this week; and trying to take my “twilight walks” each evening, which I hope to write about at some point. But nothing arises to be written, no inspiration visits. And yet there was the impulse to post this article by Rob Matthews, called, "The Ineffable Mystery of Being," that I read on Non-Duality Highlights more than two weeks ago. I so deeply resonate with what he articulately writes that really all I can say is: “what he said…”

What I have discovered through my spiritual practice is an
increasing self-intimacy...a sense of authenticity and real-ness,
that has become the cornerstone of my daily life. I cannot
imagine how I could have lived without this living presence
and sense of emerging fullness.

Our awareness is incredibly powerful at enabling the unveiling
of ourselves, revealing a fuller picture, illuminating our
experience, but only if we are willing and committed to
knowing the fullness of what we are.

I find as I continue noticing and encountering this awareness in
my life what comes into view is both particular and vast,
discordant yet harmonious, life sustaining yet challenging
and not necessarily easy. This active engagement demands
my courage and honesty, this is no walk in the park.

As I continue, the sense of congruence and authenticity begins to
sprout and this self-intimacy becomes the rule, in time. Although
it is not as though there is one mode of being, that of self-intimacy,
no, it is more like that a dance has begun.

This dance, fueled and enabled by the openness and desire of
wanting to know myself, is both exhilarating and liberating and,
as I develop trust in the unfolding, I soon begin to recognize that
any ideas or desires for Awakening need not concern me....it no
longer is of interest as my life has filled up with a delicious
fragrance of authenticity.

I no longer care for anything other than supporting what has taken
root within me…if the self concept or ego continues I don't care,
the teachers and teachings tell me this and that and I don't care,
life is its usual mix of struggle and strife, joy and love, and I no
longer care...why would I care when I know the golden key is within?

Why search for anything when the very fabric of experience is the
path of unfolding. Everyday experience reveals this once we get a
little more familiar with ourselves and stop trying to awaken, stop
meddling with our experience long enough to notice what is.

At some stage there was a key realization, one among many, when
I realized I can let go of all concepts about the teaching and just
feel comfortable in everyday experience without any framework
or concepts about how it ought to be. Is their a doer? Is there an
ego? Is there an awakening? Are we perfect? None of these
conceptual frames of reference are important. Instead I relax
and notice that all that stuff is just ideas about...
about the ineffable mystery of being.”

I too feel this sense of “self-intimacy, authenticity and realness” stirring, simmering deeply within, calling to me *from* within. And I am committed to listening to and following the call - *living* the call of deeper intimacy with Self – Beingness – “The Beloved” - Life, which I think is part of what my “twilight walks” are all about – allowing myself to experience this ineffable mystery of Being…

Note: I emailed the editor of Non Duality Highlights who posted this particular piece to see if there was a link for Rob Matthews. There was no response. Whoever he is, I thank him for putting into words what I feel in this heart…


I also found what I consider to be one of the simplest and clearest “definitions” of “non-duality.” It was spoken by Joan Ruvinsky in reference to the question “what is a non-dual retreat” – but her answer spoke to me in the broader sense of the word “non-dual”, and thus life itself. She says:

“Ultimately a non-dual retreat is where it is all welcome,
the fragmentation and the wholeness,
the confusion and the clarity.
It is a place where it is no longer necessary
to be spiritually correct…”

“Life has always been a spiritual practice
in its ordinariness – just happening -
just living it.
A simple silence underlies life happening -
the simple silence of the perfection
of things as they are…”

Joan Ruvinsky

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Heart of Christmas...

We are the grace of Love fulfilled,
the shimmer of Sacred Light,
lustrous uniqueness in a field of
mutlitudinal Divine Shimmers
- autonomous, yet in glittering Oneness.

We are the twinkle of liberated luminosity
radiating from the Heart of Love,
within the Stream of Life,
in continuous unfoldment.
We are created, and create, from the glowing embers
of the magical furnace of Love’s Fire…

Receive the molten flow of golden translucence
that forms you in the fire of Divine Love.
Let Love infuse you in every micron of consciousness
- Golden Love turned fluid,
flowing incessantly from the Primordial Heart.

Recognize Love’s Presence, and Love’s presents:
Grace, Freedom, Truth, Wisdom,
Light and Love ~~~~~
Love of Love…
Love experiencing Itself as Love
in every breath,
in every form…

December 21, 2001
Mystic Meandering


Love and Gratitude

to all my blogger friends
who have meandered with me;
and to those readers
whom I have not met yet.
Your Presence and comments
are always appreciated here.


May we all remember the Light
that lives in our Hearts
beyond this Christmas night…

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winter Walks...

I wanted to share these photos from some of my walks at twilight after our first Winter morning snow; plus some taken from out the windows… The words under the photos are excerpts from a poem called Silent Retreat© by Jamie Reaser. They are used here with her permission. You can read the entire poem in context and view her poetry at Talking Waters.


Sometimes you have to go
into the thick quietude

Because no one
can meet the curve
of your words…..

……only the snow knows
the story that is hidden
from the closed eyes
of the world.

This is a silent retreat

Go then, this way…

Far within the bear’s den
where you will
hear your beating heart…

Speak nothing of the Beloved

until the Beloved has

your name

Then you’ll know
is the only possibility.


Winter Blessings to all...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Heart-Light Solstice


The eternal Light that has always been…
Light beyond light,


The unfathomable Light,
with the Luminosity
of innumerable suns,
and the Glow
of countless stars
coursing through you.


Living Light


in the
of your


Remember the Heart-Light
Listen to the Heart-Light

Winter Solstice 2011
Mystic Meandering


“Be a light unto yourself”
is reportedly part of the last words uttered
by Buddha before he died.
The words came to me while meditating
several times this week,
and the poem began to emerge.
I also noticed the candle
was in the shape of a heart.

I attempted to make each stanza of the poem
look like a candle, or candle holder, with a flame,
formed by the words, creating poetry art…
(use your imagination :)


Enjoy the Season of Light…

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What Lies at the Bottom of the Barrel...

I’ve been experiencing more of the “Winter Blues” lately. Have been feeling a bit melancholy, especially at twilight. I thought I hit the bottom of the barrel a week ago, but no, there was more, and it’s been very intense. So I had to look into the bottom of the barrel. There was something unexpected waiting.

Her visit wasn’t convenient; this being the Holiday Season and all where one is not supposed to be melancholy, dark, and sad – but joyous and cheerful. It’s not a switch one can just turn on, or off. Ho-Ho-Ho. I didn’t intend to feel this way. She just showed up unexpected one evening and stayed 5 days.

Sometimes she was felt as heartache – a longing for love; sometimes a wrenching gut feeling of the pain and grief of an undefined loss that felt like a crushing pressure. She was every memory of sadness as a child – that usually occurred at twilight - and losses of loved ones over the years – remembered at twilight. It was as if I was being emptied out of every painful feeling and experience from the past. As uncomfortable as it was, I stayed open to her. I knew deep inside she was a “guide from beyond”, as Rumi calls it, and so I welcomed her in each day, sat with her and listened.

It was revealed that “Melancholy” – this Divine Miss M - was really a deep longing for *living;* for engaging fully with Life!; for connecting with and experiencing love for life, communing with life *in* the living of it, and allowing myself to be *absorbed* by Life living me.

I reflected that life has primarily been a series of events, people, drama, crises that I have reacted to, struggled with, and against, and felt threatened by over the years – consequently missing opportunities to love; withdrawing sometimes instead from the harshness and difficulties of living, thinking there was something “better” in being on a “spiritual path.” But I recognized that I never fully engaged with Life! And now there is this impulse to fully engage – to creatively engage. There is a sense of urgency to *feel* life happening, to pay attention to life – in the waning years of life… The “how” has yet to be revealed.

After these insights, in sitting meditation, I relaxed and dropped into the Silence within, as I usually do. And in a fleeting moment I became inwardly aware of what lies at the bottom of the barrel. It was/ is “love.” I know that sounds trite. It’s not “love” as we have come to know it. It’s not the “in love” kind of love that oscillates and changes; or the sweet ooey-gooey kind of love that is just words that drop from the tongue and onto the floor, missing the heart. It’s “The Beloved’s Love” – a steady, equanimous, sustaining love that is always present, never wavering. This “love” that lies at the bottom of every experience, thought, feeling, emotion, physical function etc., can only be described as a spacious openness in which everything occurs. Love enfolds life within Itself; is in a sense, “in love” with ItSelf – how could it not be. And we are the animation of that Love - loving. It turns out that “melancholy” (as with any feeling) is a portal, a gateway to - Love.

I only touched on this love briefly, fleetingly. In trying to capture it with my mind it escaped from view. But for a brief moment I was aware that Love resides in the depths of living – feelings and all. And what a surprise it was one morning to cut into a tomatoe and find this heart deep inside! The “gift” from beyond. :)

Melancholy stayed 4 more days – emptying me out and opening me up. And Love merely *allowed* melancholy to be here, embracing her - until she melted away into the twilight - the space between the light and the dark…

The twilight keeps calling to me to open to the space where Love abides – to keep recognizing it. Now I go outside and walk at twilight - not with melancholy – but *feeling* life living. And in experiencing life intimately, I experience the spaciousness of Love that lies at the bottom of everything!

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival…

A joy, a depression, a meanness.
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all,
even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.

Still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


“the longing you feel for this love
comes from inside you…”

“Love is the cure.
For your pain will keep giving birth
to more pain
until your eyes constantly exhale love
as effortlessly as you body
yields to its scent.”


“Rumi tells us that the supreme secret of
the inner journey is the path of love.
If we can possess our whole heart
with contemplation of ‘The Beloved’
we will experience the wonders
and beauty of the universe.”

(I don’t remember where I got this :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Twilight Moon...

Stand still.
The trees ahead and bushes beside you
are not lost.
Wherever you are is called Here…

…The forest breathes.
It answers…

I have made this place around you.
If you leave it,
you may come back again,
saying Here…

Stand still.
The forest knows where you are.
You must let it find you…

David Wagoner
Excerpt From: “Lost”
To read the complete poem click here

I walk the maze of moments,
and everywhere I turn to
begins a new beginning
and never finds a finish.

I walk to the horizon,
and there I find another.
It all seems so surprising,
and then I find I know –

Anywhere Is…

Lyrics from: Anywhere Is

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone…

…To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy
of your surroundings.

Surely…you have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence…crowding out your solo voice…

Put down the weight of your aloneness…
The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink,
the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness
and seen the good in you at last.
All birds and creatures of the world
are unutterably themselves.

Everything is waiting for you…

David Whyte
Excerpt From: Everything Is Waiting For You…
To read the complete poem click here

“At some point there has to be a direct apprehension.
It’s about a visceral taste of this living event…

This is what “being in the Now” is all about.
When the focus on thought stories subsides,
the living happening reveals itself.
There’s just a happening happening -
shifting modulations of a great event.

Clear seeing…..simply reveals what is always
already the case.
It soon dawns that whatever is occurring
in whatever state
is nothing other than a modulation of Life’s creative play.”

Radical Tao

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Heart Opener...

These photos are so precious! We recently received them from an online friend, and I was so moved by them that I had to share them with you.

This is the short story that came with these pictures: Lily is a Great Dane that has been blind since a bizarre medical condition required that she have both eyes removed. For the last 5 years, Maddison, another Great Dane, has been her sight. The two are, of course, inseparable.

This was the caption at the bottom of the photos…

"People will forget what you said; People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel."


“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives
the most to us, we often find that it is those who,
instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures,
have chosen rather to share our pain
and touch our wounds
with a gentle hand.

The friend who can be silent with us
in a moment of despair or confusion,
who can stay with us in an hour of grief & bereavement,
who can tolerate not knowing,
not curing,
not healing,
and face with us the reality of our powerlessness,
that is a friend who cares…”

Henri Nouwen


You might also like to view
this wonderful
Heart warming video

click here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winter Blues...

I may have to rethink this “contemplative life” I *thought* I wanted to live. I like the *idea* of “contemplative living.” And yet, being housebound for 5 days with 3 snowfalls and arctic temps (unusual for here this early), left me anything *but* contemplative. The first 2 days were wonderfully restful and peaceful. I read, journaled, conversed with hubby - enjoying the quiet and companionship; and simply sat – in contemplative Silence. But by Saturday night I was restless, agitated, irritable, discombobulated, and down-right cranky. The “new” realizations of the fluidity of Life, from “the edge” last Wednesday, just flitted on through, and I was left empty; as if gutted by the cold. Frozen in this time bound reality again I found it hard to sit in the sacred Silence that used to be so comforting.

I wandered – unmotivated - a vagabond within my own mind – feeling out of place and out of sorts. I used to enjoy this snowy visitor. The older I get, the more I feel its icy edges permeating the “soul”, instead of illuminating it, as it used to do. I don’t recall experiencing the “winter blues” before. It was a different kind of visitor – a darkness from the dungeoned mind. Unable to settle, I searched for a spark of inspiration to light the embers that had cooled so quickly from standing on the edge of glory.

I scanned the book shelves for something inspirational – nothing appealed. I pulled Rilke’s Book of Hours down, reading the preface and introduction again. One line stood out: “Through the empty branches the sky remains.” Yes, I acknowledged - that is true – except it was snowy and dark, therefore I could not see the sky… But the meaning did not elude me – beyond the contraction of my perceptions, the expansiveness of Life is always there – waiting to be experienced.

Each day I took photos from the windows – none of them came out that well. One has to be out *in* life – experiencing it for a clearer view. My vision had become snowed in and frosted over.

Sunday afternoon I finally took the plunge and wandered out into the cold to take more photos… The cold hit my face crisply and felt good, exhilarating. There was my spark of inspiration – immersed in the experience. A simple movement on my part had changed the brain and the patterns of thinking, shifting the entire mental perspective - lightening the color.

“What happens in your mind
changes your brain.
And what happens in your brain
changes your mind…”

Buddha’s Brain

I’m reassessing what it means to be a “contemplative” – not that I need that label. In fact, I think I have romanticized it – imaging myself in monk’s robes – days in solitude – communing with “The Divine.” :) However, it evidently does not mean being cloistered somewhere between walls – especially the canyoned walls of the mind. Living contemplatively, it seems, is simply being immersed in and absorbed by the play of Life.

May Your Heart Fly Unburdened…

Monday, December 5, 2011

Snowy Visitor...

“Put a chair in the middle of a room.
Sit in the chair.
See who comes to visit…”

Ajahn Chah

In order to know Wisdom,
you must sit with Wisdom…

In order to know the Truth,
you must sit with the Truth…

In order to know the Heart,
you must sit with the Heart…

Mystic Meandering

Simply Sit…

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November's Swan Song - Edge of Glory

It seems I’ve been at a loss for words lately, and so I’ve borrowed from others for my posts. Not that I’m in deep contemplative Silence here; not that there aren’t stories still occurring in my life to write about, with family and my own life circumstances. I love stories, yours and mine, especially the ones that have insight and wisdom as a result of the awareness that arises from the stories we find ourselves in. But nothing has arisen that wants to be written – until this morning. And of course I had to go to my mother’s… Such is life these days. The muse shows up and I have to say – wait, please wait, don’t’ go, I’ll be back… :) And this being the last day of November, on the edge of Winter’s arctic arrival tonight with a 40 degree temperature drop and snow, I thought this would be a nice way to say goodbye – to November that is. I’m not going anywhere :)

When I awoke this morning there was the usual dread and anxiety… And then for some unknown reason I asked myself – Who do I want to be today? Why this question, I have no idea. It just rolled off the brain. And I don’t mean that I want to become somebody else. The question itself made no sense. But with the question my solar plexus suddenly opened up, like a giant Sea Anemone, relaxed and became fluid. The constriction of dread and anxiety viscerally released. Another question arose: What does this *Being* that I am want… (You know, our essential Nature, our Being). With this next question my Solar Plexus opened even more, revealing more fluid energies like that of an aurora borealis… There was just a wide open fluid energy where my solar plexus is. It was as if the recognition of, and attention to, what Beingness wanted opened up the space.

As I showered I began to realize (once again) that *everything* is infused with this fluid Life that I was experiencing. Everything *is* this liquid Life (call it God, Buddha Nature, Christ Consciousness, “The Real” – everything is alive with this beautiful fluid Life.) And I began to belt out a few lines from the song “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga. Why that song? - who knows. And as I did so, I laughed and cried uncontrollably. Something deep inside broke open *to* this *presence* of Life inside.

Some “awaken” and laugh uncontrollably when they discover that all is an “illusion.” But for me the opposite happens. When I look around sometimes, I see that *everything* is REAL, is ALIVE. (I’ve had many such “moments.”) And it is seen that “illusion” is just a label, a story. When I *see* this Life, *feel* this Life energy, *experience* the Realness of this LIFE that we are – I become like a madwoman dancing :) – or singing – infused with an unexplainable and unspeakable sense of LIFE – totally and completely free.

When I see life this way – infused with *Life* – I can let life in; in whatever form it takes, or shape it comes in, because I know I am experiencing Life (Being) ItSelf. And Life does not make distinctions about what is Real (ItSelf) and what is “illusion.” It’s all “The Real.” The delusion of “illusion” drops away because our essential Nature is seen as this Aliveness that is living life. IT is experienced. One (The One) cannot separate “illusion”/phenomena from Reality - from ItSelf. *That* is sheer illusion. It’s all One Life. There’s no distinction – no boundary. It’s all fluid, seamless Life - playing – taking on form that we call “phenomena.”

In this realization, on the way home from my mother’s, everything came alive, became more vibrant – the trees, the mountains, the sky, the clouds, the music on the radio – even dead leaves were not seen as “dead” – as “Life-less.” Even my husband – not a non-existent illusion – but Aliveness in form. :) Everything plays, dances and sings with Life – like an aurora borealis – sometimes seen, sometimes not – depending on the “atmospheric conditions.” The “illusion” (depending on the perspective) is seen through to what animates the so-called “illusion.” I know, I sound like a madwoman standing at the edge. :) But I like the View from here…

“I’m on the edge of glory,
…hanging on a moment of Truth.

…I’m on the edge of glory…..with you.”

Lady Gaga
(what can I say :)

Shall we leap?

Northern Lights over Yellow Knife, BC, Canada
Sent to us by an online friend.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Sky 2

“What calls the ear to listen,
or the eye to see
more than the surface fa├žade
that shrouds the essential spirit?

…Bare your heart to the Unknown
and never look back.

What you are stands content,
and everlasting.

…split open into eternal delight.”


“All that remains is
the beaming luminosity
of Life Itself.”

Author unknown

May you awaken
to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity
of your own Presence.
May you have joy and peace
in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement
when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift
and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame,
and anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles
that seek no attention.
May you be consoled
in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift
woven around the heart of wonder.

John O’Donohue

“When you tire of your own constriction
and you open to the flow of life,
you feel a river
moving in you,
a joy…”

“Something bigger and brighter always
calls to break through and shine.”

Elizabeth Lesser
Broken Open

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Morning Has Broken"

“Morning has broken
like the first morning.
Blackbird has spoken,
like the first bird.

Praise for the singing.
Praise for the morning.
Praise for them springing
fresh from the Word….

[Ours] is the sunlight,
[ours] is the morning.
Born of the one Light,
Eden saw play…

Praise with elation.
Praise every morning.
[The] recreation of a new day…”


This little tune was humming through my head last evening,
and thought it was appropriate for today.
It is a few lines from the song:
”Morning has Broken”
by Cat Stevens in 1971.
Some of you may remember him :)
You can view a beautiful video of it on You Tube here
lyrics: Eleanor Farjeon


Photo taken by DH
before morning exercise :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Sky...

“He who can hear Love
can hear Silence.
He who can hear Silence
can hear Love.

All the words of the world bow
and pay homage to Silence’s song."


“Let peace work on you
and enable you to gather your
scattered mind into
the mindfulness of Calm Abiding.”

“Above all, be at ease,
be as natural and spacious as possible.
Slip quietly out of the noose
of your habitual anxious self,
and relax into your true nature.”

Nyashul Khenppo

“Here is where the adventure begins,
the adventure of not knowing…
but simply standing still.
The task turns out to be ceding to stillness,
and in that stillness the recognition of
just this…”

“Stop pretending
you don’t know
the fundamental nature
of your being…”

Joan Ruvinsky
Pathless Yoga

“…over time wonders were revealed,
chief among them the light
of conscious awareness…”

”The light turned out to be
my truest home -
what was most abiding.”

Tracy Cochran
Finding a Path

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Matrix of the Practical - A Plumbing Story

No, these are not my new “prayer flags”, although I probably need to get some and string them around the house. These towels are a sign that I’ve been caught in the matrix of the practical the past 2 weeks. And it wasn’t pretty. :) And you thought I had disappeared into the Forest, living a contemplative life. Needless to say, I have not stepped over that threshold yet…

The story begins with a plumbing back up in the kitchen sink on the afternoon of Nov. 5th, a Saturday. Dear Hubby tried to ream out the pipes to no avail, which meant we were without a functioning sink until the plumber came that Monday. So I washed dishes in the shower. :) The plumber successfully reamed out the kitchen pipe that runs under the basement floor, but it took 4 times – as we stood there with visions of having to dig up the basement. There was a clump of roots attached to the end of his reamer. Oh-oh. THEN, he discovered a leak coming down the basement wall at the site of the kitchen drain pipe. Oh dear. Not being “financially stable” at this point (as the Cricket job ended as quickly as it began because certain crickets couldn’t harmonize with each other – chirp) we opted to not have the plumber fix that, as DH said that *he* could fix that. Wifey :) didn’t believe it, but what can one do but to humor DH, and stay out of the way… So for two days DH tackled the job of finding and repairing the leaky pipe.
The dishwasher stood in the middle of the kitchen floor for two days. DH found a crack in the main kitchen drain pipe, right at floor level. And of course the pipe was not a straight line down to the basement. There was a 3 foot section of pipe that had elbows and turns in it to navigate the foundation. He cut out that section and took it to the local HD store. The handy men there told him to use a certain type of plumber’s “glue” – a thick, black, sticky substance – t0 seal up the crack. It worked! I amazingly maintained equanimity most of the time, with a few moments here and there of – what if you can’t fix it! He assured me he could. Oh me of little faith.

Six days later the sewer drain in the basement backed up at 11pm on Sunday night. Photo not available – you wouldn’t want to see it anyway. During the night the furnace went out and we woke up cold. Great – one more thing. My husband said the two were not related. By now I am turning into Eeyore, the poor-me little donkey in Winnie-the-Pooh, with more oh-dears, oh-no’s and what ifs, and how are going to ppppppaaayyyyy for th-th-this... Brain went into stress mode – biologically. The old neural pathways kicked in and I started functioning on automatic mode, the body contracted into a hard ball of anxiety and numbness. I would have liked to have made a different choice here, but I was unable to turn into the laughing Buddha – to see that it was my mind that was contracting around the event, creating stories. DH reminded me that I had become trapped in “the matrix of the practical” – as he coined it – only focusing on the practical problems and not the bigger picture. I had become trapped by my own mental matrix, and sitting in Silence in “The Forest” was the furthest thing from my mind – because – my mind had become entangled. And somewhere in the mental matrix there is still a belief in a separate sense of self that still feels threatened by life’s happenings – blocking the flow of Life through my “pipes.”

So – to continue - furnace guy and plumber guy arrive late Monday morning – fortunately not together. Furnace guy fixes furnace. Thankfully it is under warranty. Plumber guy, not so lucky. This time he reams out the outside access to the main sewer line to the house and can’t find the problem. So he calls the manager plumber with the special fiberoptic camera that looks into pipes. But *he* could not come until Tues at 11am, which turned into Noon. Meantime – no flushing the toilets and no running the water. Campers we are not. Maybe I need to rethink this sojourn into the Forest.

Tuesday camera guy finds the problem: tree roots in a 25 foot section of the main line in five different places. (We have two huge Cottonwoods, and a Walnut tree just a few feet from the house whose roots have infringed on the line.) So he ordered a “Jetter;” a plumber’s version of the “big guns” – a rooter with a cone shaped tip that shoots out forceful streams of water that cut through the roots. “Jetter” guy arrived an hour and a half late. (As Eeyore woud say – “of course” :) But, within a half an hour we are root free and back in business. Ah – life as it is… Never a dull moment. :)

I’ve always thought the “Forest Life” – the life of a contemplative - would be “easier”. Maybe that’s just my fantasy. I’m sure The Forest has its practical problems as well. You can’t escape the matrix of the practical. It’s just life happening the way it does – she says after the fact. :)

Late in the evening, as I prepared for bed, I noticed how wonderfully silent and peaceful the house was after all the chaos. And then I realized that it wasn’t the house that had been chaotic, it was my mind. And it wasn’t the house that was silent, it was the Silence within me being noticed again. The Silence had been underneath the mental matrix all along. I just couldn’t access it because of my narrow focus on the practical problems… I couldn’t see the Forest for the deeply entangled roots… I think I need a “Jetter.” :)

And that's the end of the plumbing tale - hopefully...


You might find this article in Parabola interesting…

Monday, November 14, 2011

Into The Forest...

For some time know I’ve had the feeling of being at a threshold. In my journal last month I wrote: It is time to enter “The Forest” again, “The Dark Forest” – the Unknown – to go deeper into the Unknown; an indefinable space.

As I meditated on this I heard the still small Voice within unexpectedly say: “How serious are you?” “How willing are you to enter the Unknown?” Whoa…

“The Forest” traditionally is a threshold symbol of entering the unknown, the deeper nature, or the spiritual world. In fairy tales it usually represents a passage through difficulties and an opportunity for “transformation” of some kind. I also see it as a sanctuary, refuge, a place of deepening. This entering the “Dark Forest” happens sometimes when I have lost (intentionally or otherwise) the framework which gives structure to my life, when I must find my own way, and be true to the call of Self. Shamans, poets, holy men and women sought refuge in the forest, as a healing place. Going into The Forest represents a return to the Primordial Self – beyond societal, cultural, conceptual and spiritual frameworks. In a way, it is like returning to the child’s heart of innocence - just following the longings of the Heart once again; trusting that I will emerge from "The Dark Forest" with clarity. As a child I often went into the forest next to our house as a place to just sit, to listen and commune with nature, and write poetry. It was a place of experiencing Awareness directly, although back then I called it “God.”

And, since I don’t have a “Dark Forest” handy, and I am spooked by things that go bump in the night, my Forest will have to be the space of Silent Awareness within – navigating the inner Forest of the Unknown – as well as the unknown practicalities of everyday living… In my imagination it is not a “Dark Forest” however. I see a forest filled with tall, white, straight, pole trees that look like birch or aspens – reaching up through the sky. It is not dark, but light here, and the sense of silence and quiet is palpable. My body begins to relax in this Silent Forest. I can feel its depth, its spaciousness, its welcoming… It’s a beautiful space, this Silent Forest, a vast awareness and aliveness live here. And I am drawn into it…

I am willing, I say inwardly, in answer to the Inner Voice, to enter the Unknown – the Forest – to trust Intuition to take me through. I am ready to step over the threshold and see where the Unknown takes me, while also navigating the matrix of practical realities of every day living… Care to join me :) Are you willing...

“The familiar horizon has been outgrown;
the old concepts, ideals,
and emotional patterns no longer fit.
The time for the passing of a threshold
is at hand.”

Joseph Campbell

“Midway upon the journey of life
I found myself within a forest dark,
for the straightforward pathway
had been lost…”

Dante Alighieri
The Inferno

“Sometimes you have to step into
the void and trust
that the ground will appear.”

author unknown

Bottom Photo: Calendar page from 2004
photographer unknown
copyright 2003


You may want to read The Pathless Path post
for more context