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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:



  1. Thank you Christine for being there to notice …

    Isn't it amazing how by simply attending
    To the immediacy of awareness itself

    We discover the expansive reality
    Beyond our conceptual mind

    And suddenly

    Perfect reality is everywhere …

    And genuine being manifests

    In kindness and compassion

    Empowered by wisdom

    True too! How the Dharma lessons we are given
    Dealing with the 'little me'
    Always seem to be intense …

    Never-the -less .. So it seems

    What awareness illuminates
    Awareness liberates …. ∞

    The video is wonderful
    Thank you

  2. Vereda ~ Thank you for your poetic comments, as always! :) Wonderful reminder of the Truth of awareness as we open to and attend to our immediate experiences of life... Gracias :)

  3. love that sand painting. love byron katie too. i have a CD set of her doing The Work with various people and listen to it often to keep me real or at least shake me up a bit.

    as a onetime worker with the elderly (case manager for Elder Services in Mass) I can only say: get help. do not do this all yourself. tap into the resources in the community for elders and those who are ill. one person alone cannot help an elder and an ill sister. i know, people often hate to admit that they need outside help. but to keep yourself well and whole, you need to seek out resources for your mom and sister. you can be there for support too but you cant do it all.

    hugs, suki

  4. Hi Suki! Thanks for your kindhearted offering. I have some old resources for community help that I need to look into, but need to convince my mother that she needs it :)Although I will say that she is soliciting help from more of her friends. They know I can't be there 24/7. But it's a slippery slope they are dancing together under one roof.
    One day at a time :)

  5. I second Suki's wise comment to for community support! Somehow in this modern age we feel like we have to do it all ourselves. Your health is as important as mom and sister's.

    I love the Byron Katie quote! Reading your post reminds me of that line: 'life is what happens while we're making other plans."

    I was thinking this afternoon as I sat briefly with a book, how much I wish for things to be easy, how much I reject the difficult, so unlike Katie's comment! Therein lies my work and I always need to be reminded of it!

  6. ZDS ~ Thank you. :) Am working on the "support," but like I said to Suki, my mother also has to be ready - so far she's not. :) Also getting better at saying what I can and cannot do, although I feel responsible for "being there."

    Your quote made me grin...I've also heard it: "we make plans and life happens." ;)

    Yes, me too about the "difficult" ... How difficult it is sometimes to accept life as it is, and coming to terms with a body that just can't keep up with life as it is. :) When I asked for an "open heart" I didn't know what it would entail :) And as you know, Katie had to find herself on the floor of a halfway house before she came to this wonderful wisdom that she now imparts :) Hopefully I'll catch on before then. LOL

  7. There is only what is... this all is so profound in so many ways, Christine... including the video! As we age, even more as we age maybe, the realities of life face us so forceably, so often we are unprepared for what we must face. The future is but an idea, isn't it, fantasy. The past could be considered a kind of distant fantasy, since it's behind us. We carry so much with us. I know, often I'd like a lighter, easier load at time. I guess the way is to just shop up and try to love the moment for what it offers us. You are brave taking on all that you do with your family. Yes, perhaps some community support/help would benefit you... ease the load a bit? ;o) Thank you for sharing so much wisdom here. ((HUGS))

  8. Thank you Tracy ~ Without sounding too abstract here - yes, past and future are all fantasies of the ego-mind; even the "present" - as they are all conceptual time constructs. Even the "present moment" dissipates like sand paintings and becomes "the past" - which of course there isn't. There really is only the Awareness of Being in our immediate experience, which changes from moment to moment. Our way of seeing all depends on *how* we are *seeing* it - whether we identify with the "little me" or with Beingness ItSelf... So far I seem to be identifying with the "little me." :)oops...

    Not feeling brave at all - just responsible and obligated. My mother is still quite functionable (is that a word?:) But I am going to look into getting some support for myself through local "caregiver" support groups - which may have other resources we can tap into. Although I'm not really "caregiving" yet - just being available and tending to their needs as much as I can...

    Love and Hugs.... C


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