Monday, June 3, 2013
It's time to make time to be still
To be simply, radically, absolutely still
A steady stillness lives beneath layers of relentless motion
Unraveling these layers, treasures are uncovered:
Light & happiness,
Buoyancy & bounty,
Contentment & peace.
We search every elsewhere for truth
while it waits quietly within
waiting for us to finally be silent & ready
Within this transparency, my thoughts show their flimsy nature
And float off like stray red balloons
One after another
Then I effortlessly sink into my heart
Or my heart expands & takes over
And starts whirling and radiating joy
Til my love builds up enough momentum
To overflow & fill the whole world
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Inclusivity is all the rage! It's no longer cool or admirable to be overly-discerning in our opinions and tastes, we now can and should include every single option available! Yes, cynicism, prejudice, and elitism made exclusivity fun for a while, but no longer! The screw has finally turned a bit and our souls are now wide open gates ready to take in everything.
Expectations getting you down? For some reason, we silly humans continually insist on forming concrete, glass shard-studded expectations of what will or should happen. When life happens instead, selfish, sulkish disappointment abounds. Consider this alternative: whatever happens throughout the day, simply include it under the umbrella of what constitutes a good or productive or successful day. Impossible you say? That simply means we need to widen the scope or change perspective and consider more creative possibilities-or that insistence of exclusion can be an important clue about ourselves!
Pondering inclusivity, certain aspects jump out at each of us which we are certain we CANNOT include in our personal, little world. For me, this strong feeling of rigidity and defensiveness is an automatic red flag that there's a belief I'm holding onto that is probably holding me back. Ultimately, everything can be included-EVERYTHING. Even the things and people that don't seem to work together, that seem to be in direct opposition, could end up harmonizing perfectly together. Like a rainbow, the combination, cohesion, and unity of all the colors is immensely more powerful than any of them on their own.
The great way is not difficult
if you just don’t pick and choose. ~Sengcan
Monday, May 13, 2013
We're all inherently invincible-as powerful as super heroes! Yes, my body tends to be prone to weakness, fatigue, and illness, but that's just a body-it's not really me. Additionally, my silly ego is constantly throwing fits about anything that threatens her pole position as the loudest member of my inner glee club, but little does she know: egos were made to be destroyed (or at least quieted & healthily incorporated). Aside from the body and the ego, we're invincible! All these atoms and energy that make up who we are will never be destroyed, simply re-shuffled and re-distributed in the grand scheme of things. In order to firmly touch base with this infinite nature, I offer two super powers to humanity.
Super power 1: See the space inside. I've found a sanctuary within. It's a place that I can find myself in an instant because it feels so much like my home. Within this clear, quiet sanctuary, I see what others do without taking it personally, and my focus becomes understanding and extending love rather than frustration and retaliation. At first, I could only find this place when everything around me was still and silent, but now it's always waiting for my return-my own personal piece of peace. I'm finally figuring out that's the whole reason for meditation: if we can master the mind and learn relaxed focus in the still silence, maybe we can learn to take that fearlessness and control out into the world. Finding this space is both easy and incredibly difficult; simply sit as long as possible and watch the breath, letting go of any thought or feeling that arises. Repeat as necessary. Also walking meditation in a beautiful area can be an especially re-filling way to find the space inside.
Super power 2: See the space outside. Victor Frankl said, "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth & our freedom." Sometimes, response follows the stimulus so quickly that it seems there's no space at all, but it's definitely there, just waiting to be pried wide open! Learn to settle into the moment and gently examine it with the eyes of awareness; there's really no hurry at all, and our responses will improve tremendously. Even if I have had the exact same response to the exact same stimulus my entire life, I'm not stuck with that choice. Every moment we have an opportunity to surprise ourselves and benefit those around us by being more mindful of our responses. Even if nothing changes except my response, I can change everything at once, hopefully for the better.
Accept and enjoy these potent powers, fellow heroes!
This is my life and freedom's my profession
This is my mission throughout all of life's duration
There is a core and it's hardcore
All is hardcore when made with love
Love is a voice of a savage soul
This savage love is
Undestructable! ~Gogol Bordello
Thursday, May 2, 2013
The beauty of imperfection lies within and among the flaws. My favorite drinking glasses, which were thoughtfully given to me by me older brother and his wife, are made from recycled windshields, and even though we have a perfect pair of them, the differences between the two are undeniable. Each of them has different details and a unique sloping shape and curve. I would probably love them just as much if they were identical, but the fact that they are not continues to please me.
We put all this pressure on ourselves to be a particular version of perfect, trying to save ourselves from pain or embarrassment or any sort of discomfort at all. Silly enough, what we currently consider a mistake or a failure will lead us exactly where we need to be-or show us that the fear was worse than the reality. For example, many times on my walks to work, I look up at the birds perched high above me and fear that I could be pooped upon at any moment, and OH, the shame and anguish of such a notion! But I did get pooped on the other day by a bird (granted, it was only on the back of the calf), and the world didn't even stop to notice, let alone end. Now that my fear has literally seen the light of day, it's shown itself to be tiny and manageable.
I'm finally seeing that it's possible to widen my scope to include (what my mind perceives as) mistakes, failures, and set-backs. Timing seems to be everything, so any one of these could simply be helping me perfect the timing of some future, important event. Again, it seems to all come back to faith-faith that I am right where I need to be doing exactly what I need to do. Just as in any complicated process, deviations are used to help correct its progression, so our personal faults and mistakes shouldn't be suppressed or overcome by force, but used to direct the correction. The hardest part is not judging ourselves too harshly, but ultimately as walking works of art, it's the flaws that will most enhance our beauty.
Next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist. ~Stephen Hawking
Thursday, April 25, 2013
This Right Now is finally here
It's fresh and different than any other right now
This Right Now I can choose
Not to be sad living in the past
Not to be anxious living in the future
I can choose instead to sink into This Right Now
To pause, smile, & breathe
This Right Now is full of light which lightens
This Right Now is full of chances to help & learn
So This Right Now I make a vow:
When I can do what needs to be done,
I will feel abundance, warm as the sun!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
With grainy, waking eyes I study my sturdy tea cup. Although it's already broken, this one cup holds the entire universe. It may not be broken in any immediate way, but as I gaze at my cup, enjoying it's simple yet perfect thusness, I realize it's only mine to borrow. Maybe not this week, but someday soon my cup will shatter to pieces or get lost in a move or meet its demise in a million other possible ways. For now, it seems blissful to simply be of service by holding my steeping, steamy tea bag.
Between the time I set the water to boil and the time I'll sweetly sip, I have the chance to do any dishes in the sink. As warm sudsy water cascades over my hands, I'm always struck by how lucky I am to have a ready, fresh water stream in my own kitchen, both temperature and pressure-controlled by my whims. It's only fitting that I use this amazing power and privilege to maintain and honor my life and love. As I carefully clean each dish or utensil in turn, I'm reminded to trust that I'll always have just as much as I need.
Once the tea is poured, I get a bit lost gazing into the depths of this enclosed, black chai sea, but as I add a touch of agave nectar and a generous splash of milk, all three swirl and dance together to finish as a perfectly satin caramel-colored dream. At last the moment arrives when I can gradually, one sip at a time, become its essential elements: spicy sweetness, warmth, and energy. Once I reach the final swig, I am the tea & the tea is me, and together we are awake & ready to tackle the day!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Let's just sit here and watch what emerges,
Until it fades back into chaotic nothing
In and out, up and down,
Rhythm, frequency, & harmony intertwine
The massive embrace holds all that is or could be,
Her darkness gave birth to all light
In return for our reverence & respect,
We're offered pure potentiality, total freedom
Look around and you'll see your props,
Your setting changes with the moment
Cast yourself as well as possible,
And perform wild acts of heroic kindness
Doing your best ensures help is always on the way,
So colorfully illustrate your love with hard work!