VALERIEMAHA   50,522
SparkPoints
50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
 
 
VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries

Wislawa Szymborska

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wislawa Szymborska is 80 years old, a Polish poet, essayist and translator. She was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. In Poland, her books reach sales rivaling prominent prose authors, although she once remarked in a poem entitled "Some Like Poetry" that no more than two out of a thousand people care for the art.

I have shared her poetry before. I love how she so beautifully and sensitively captures questions and reflections of the human spirit.

Her metaphors and symbolism attract me and help me to lift this journey to health and wholeness to a new level. She is a woman to model and emulate and I honor her.

Enjoy this utterly amazing piece with me:

AMONG THE MULTITUDES

I am who I am.
A coincidence no less unthinkable
than any other.

I could have different
ancestors, after all.
I could have fluttered
from another nest
or crawled bescaled
from another tree.

Nature's wardrobe
holds a fair
supply of costumes:
Spider, seagull, field mouse.
each fits perfectly right off
and is dutifully worn
into shreds.

I didn't get a choice either,
but I can't complain.
I could have been someone
much less separate.
someone from an anthill, shoal, or buzzing swarm,
an inch of landscape ruffled by the wind.

Someone much less fortunate,
bred for my fur
or Christmas dinner,
something swimming under a square of glass.

A tree rooted to the ground
as the fire draws near.

A grass blade trampled by a stampede
of incomprehensible events.

A shady type whose darkness
dazzled some.

What if I'd prompted only fear,
Loathing,
or pity?

If I'd been born
in the wrong tribe
with all roads closed before me?

Fate has been kind
to me thus far.

I might never have been given
the memory of happy moments

My yen for comparison
might have been taken away.

I might have been myself minus amazement,
that is,
someone completely different.

-- Wislawa Szymborska
(Poems New and Collected 1957-1997, trans. by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wis%C5%82awa_S
zymborska

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4DANCINGCATS 9/5/2009 2:59PM

    I am reading backwards through your blogs. Again what a great poem/message to all of us/me!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WHATAGRL42 9/3/2009 12:09AM

    beautifully put... it's the gratitude we all feel, but often cannot express.
Thank you for sharing these picturesque words!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLI_MAE 9/2/2009 3:58PM

    Ah, Maha, you are a wealth of wonderful gems. As I read each verse I thought so many things. I felt as though my mind's eye had been transformed into an assortment of zoom, magnification, and fisheye lenses. From a distance, such as a low flying plane or a mile up into a mountain we do look like ants. And who knows the multitude of secrets science is far from discovering? We think we might be as a twig or a plant if not for our cognition, awareness, and self-awareness (or awareness that we are aware) ... but something inside me always thinks there must be more, and beckons me to delve deeper within. mmmmmmmmmm....

(omg ... I managed to write a completely serious thing without making even one of my usual wise cracks!) Me thinks you is a wizard. Yes, a conspiracy! I think it do be so ... to pull all of Sparkiedom out from itself and into the ... or is it into themselves in order to get out of themselves????

Twisty, I mean Carli

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNANN43 9/2/2009 10:21AM

    emoticon once again for sharing!

emoticon
Lynn

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 9/2/2009 9:22AM

    Maha, my friend -

We can always count on you to enrich our lives with the best of the best!! I've never heard of this woman before. Thanks for sharing (again)! I will have to try and remember to check her out further.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KUZINKEITH 9/2/2009 9:16AM

    I feel real grateful now. This poem moved me on several levels. Her writing is filled with wonderful imagery and emotion.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JNEUBS 9/2/2009 8:58AM

    Beautiful!

May you enjoy happiness and the root of happiness!

Peace!

Chi
Town Jeff
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Underneath All Victories and Defeats

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ahhhh...I REALLY needed this this early morning....

In the midst of some activity, even the activity of reading this now, it is completely possible to allow your mind to open fully, and in that opening to discover the peace and fulfillment of your own spacious awareness.

No place to go, no thing to get, no goal to be realized; no body to change no perfection to be attained. Simply, in this very moment, you can recognize what is always here. Here underneath all the lists and underneath all the victories and defeats.

In meeting yourself, free of all should's and must's and will's, for even a moment, you realize that even if nothing gets fixed or done, simple natural fulfillment is already here.

Of course there is much in our world, our bodies, and our minds that could use fixing. And part of the human evolutionary thrust is to use our mental capacities to discover what is wrong -- outside and inside -- and then to begin the work of correction by removal or augmentation. What a truly awesome power of mind. It is a hallmark of the capacity of the human brain.

The problem arises when this evolving, mistake-searching aspect of mind rules the life form called by your name. And this problem is huge in our culture.

How much of your attention is focused on what is wrong with yourself or others?

When we see how much is wrong or harmful in our thinking and our and others' actions, we can be overwhelmed by the tasks revealed. This overwhelm can result in giving up and reverting to cynicism or in strengthening our resolve to work even harder. To think and do more.

I am actually suggesting that before the overwhelm, or even in the midst of overwhelm, it is possible to stop, if only for a moment, and return to silence. In that moment, there is the recognition that to be internally free and at peace, nothing needs to be done.

Even a moment of true silence allows for true choice, for authentic, appropriate action or non-action to follow.

Some spiritual traditions refer to this silence as no mind. But for me that term is too close to mindless as in ignorant or stupid. I prefer the term open mind. The open mind is spacious and aware. It finds nourishment in itself, intelligent and aware without the need to follow thought.

In truth, all creative and fresh thinking comes out of this nourishment of aware silence. And it is available for you right now.

--Gangaji
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangaji

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4DANCINGCATS 9/5/2009 3:26PM

    I love your readings, poems, and reminders to remain open and present.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STILLPOINT 9/2/2009 9:25AM

    Maha,

Thank you for this wonderful teaching. I love how it discusses stopping, even in mid-overwhelm. Any moment of true silence is beneficial me thinks.

It reminds me of a quote, Beware the bareness of a busy life ~ Socrates.

Blessings - and thanks to all the others who wrote their comments, very inspiring.



emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JNEUBS 9/2/2009 9:00AM

    Thanks Maha!

Peace!

ChiTown Jeff
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLI_MAE 9/1/2009 3:42PM

    Right on ... as always. The noise of this world distracts our attention, and we forget that what we see with the eyes is often blurred by a veil, but then when the veil is brushed away, we see in ourselves and in others the true essence. I know what you mean about referring it as a state of mind - lessness, but mind-fulness isn't right either ... the other night I had a flash (not of the hot kind this time ... LOL) as I was winding up a bunch of SP committments made so as not to leave my remaining co-leaders in the lurch. When I was done, I looked at my feed and noticed it was old stuff, so I went to change it ... Carli is .... what? what? what? I couldn't think ... and it occured to me that I already had the perfect update status right in front of me, so all I added was an exclamation point!

We IS ... (but we tend to forget who the real we IS) ... now if anybody understands anything I just wrote, I'm sure it will be you! :=)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 9/1/2009 1:16PM

    This is an awesome blog - and definitely made me "stop" for a moment. Methinks I will come back and read again at the end of my work day, when I can truly take the time to take it all in.

I often find that "thoughtful" passages need to be read and re-read, and maybe even re-read again.

Hope your homework is going well, my friend. Thanks for all that you share.

With love, Stephanie

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 9/1/2009 11:27AM

    Thank you for your blog. I LOVE GANGAJI. I am still on a break, but when I saw you had a blog (this morning while I pondered all the 'old' emails) I had to dive in and check it out.

Yes, there underneath all that we pile on top of us, we are still there, with nothing added.

Hugs
Vivian
>
Thank you
I have not seen her in person, but have seen her on tv many times over the years. Always refreshing, always powerfull, sometimes a little difficult to understand. It takes time and thought.

Comment edited on: 9/1/2009 3:33:25 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLAYINGDRAGONS 9/1/2009 11:23AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLYN4033 9/1/2009 10:17AM

    I can't absorb all this in one sitting. I will have to keep reading this blog to totally understand it..I guess that is because I know I don't spend enough time in silence and with self..Thank you for opening my mind today...

Love always, Carolyn

P.S. Also on another note, I DO understand what you keep trying to teach me about "why", it is irrevelant and I know that dwelling on "why" makes no sense cause it won't change anything..I guess I just want to always be aware and learn from what unfolds in front of me, for I know there is always a lesson to be learned. Peace to you my friend.



Report Inappropriate Comment
KUZINKEITH 9/1/2009 9:25AM

    "How much of your attention is focused on what is wrong with yourself or others?" WAY TOO MUCH.
Thanks to your blog I realized that I have not meditated for almost a week. No wonder I'm getting restless.
It is time to "open my mind" to allow in something other than that "critic" that dominates my waking hours.

emoticon, MAHA

Comment edited on: 9/1/2009 9:26:13 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
KARBIE18 9/1/2009 7:57AM

    Thanks for sharing this Maha! What a great way to start my morning!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Food for thought....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Eknath Easwaran says the important stuff so simply, yet with such depth. And what he is talking about not only has relevance on the spiritual journey, but certainly the journey toward body and mind wellness also:

When the heart grieves over what it has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has found.
-- Sufi proverb

During the early stages of the spiritual journey, we can feel a certain deprivation when we have to keep saying no to the senses as they clamor for things that will only add to the burden of the journey later on. "Don't eat this. Don't drink that. Don't smoke this. Don't watch that." There is no rapture; there is no ecstasy; only "keep plugging along."

This discriminating restraint of the senses is not asceticism. Its purpose is not to subjugate the body. We need to train the senses to be faithful allies on our journey for two compelling reasons:

first, the body is our vehicle, and we need to keep it healthy, strong, and resilient so that it can carry us steadily and safely to the summit of consciousness;

second, training the senses strengthens the will day by day, enabling us gradually to gain control over the fierce passions that rage beneath the surface of consciousness.

Without a trained will it is not possible to move up out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death which is our physical world. Untrained, the will becomes self-will, our worst enemy; but trained, the will can become our most powerful ally.
-- Eknath Easwaran

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLAYINGDRAGONS 8/30/2009 8:09AM

    If only we would learn to listen more to whatīs deep down inside and let our heartīs catch up with our spirits!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLI_MAE 8/30/2009 3:23AM

    Oh dear ... my fierce passions don't just rage beneath the surface of my consciousness, they pour right out there ... just read the blog I just wrote ... what's more is I kind of like my variety of anger! emoticon
--That Crazy Italian

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHERJACK 8/30/2009 12:24AM

  Well said

Report Inappropriate Comment


7/Summer09: The Journey....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So...here is my Toyota Dolphin 20' camper in all her glory:


A kind soul took my picture at Yellowstone Falls mid-adventure:


Another sweet person captured me sitting by a rock sculpture I created at Colter Bay, Grand Tetons:


Ahhh, yesterday I paused for some tree-hugging during the *last hurrah* (for now!)...on the Yellow Rock Trail, a 3-mile hike at Devil's Den State Park, near Fayetteville, AR:


This has been a Journey of Awakening in many ways. It has shown me that there are many ways to find peace and balance in this chaotic world...and a prime one is to scoot off into nature to restore my inner resources and contact the stillness within.

I left with severe neck and shoulder discomfort and have returned feeling whole and well. If that's not a commentary, I'm at a serious loss for words!

I lost another 1.5 pounds without even thinking about it...I merely ate when I was hungry...ate simple, whole, nutritious foods...enjoyed my food rather than multi-tasking as I ate. I loved finding privately owned or co-op natural foods stores along the way -- the boutiful offerings of Open Harvest Natural Foods Cooperative in Lincoln, NE and Jackson Hole Organic Grocer come to mind.

I have a challening living situation and need to be FULLY PRESENT to behave with kindness while not giving up my personal power. This journey has given me new insights about parameters and ways to BE, while evaluating the workability of my digs.

I begin university classes in two days...this is an exciting new advenure in itself, pursuing a degree in Spanish to hopefully expand my employment options. I'm also looking seriously at a trip to Ecuador in December to further explore the possibilities that exist there for service and work.

All-in-all, I've come back refreshed and ready to move ahead, thrilled at the Labor Day holiday retreat with renowned Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh just ahead which will further arm me with the strength of the timeless Teachings.

Blessed be!
xox
Maha

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4DANCINGCATS 8/29/2009 1:52AM

    Great pictures! You just inspire me to keep doing what I dream of or find a way to get there. Thich Nhat Hanh how fulfilling to see and hear him. I have been thinking of going back to the University to get a PhD.
Jennifer
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LUCKY-13 8/26/2009 9:17PM

    Looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time! Good for you! I really miss traveling now, but when I was a kid and my dad was in the Marines (no brat here!) I really hated moving every nine months. Now, I've been in the same town for ... too many years! LOL I gotta get out of this place!!!

Glad you're back!
Hugs,
Lucky

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEREALLYBIGDOG 8/24/2009 10:59PM

    Maha,
Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip pics and stories.

Glad you are home and refreshed and ready to take on an new chapter.
CYA 'round the boards
Tony

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 8/24/2009 5:16PM

    i AM so lucky to have you as a friend. One that shares the most beautiful pictures ..........You will be able to get away a lot more often now, with your little DOLPHIN. Keep a jacket and a can of soup and some tea handy and you have a trip set to GO. All the rest you can get when you get where you are going, OR NOT.

hugs
THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS


Report Inappropriate Comment
GOODHEALTH4EVER 8/24/2009 4:38AM

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR PICS AND THE WISDOM OF YOUR JOURNEY...LOOKS LIKE LIFE IS TAKING CARE OF ITSELF...LOTS OF POSSIBILITIES FOR NEW ADVENTURES ARE ON THE HORIZON!

emoticon emoticon L.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LKOPACK 8/23/2009 10:07PM

    Hi Maha,
Thank you for taking the time to share all the beautiful pics taken during your road trip. You look happy, relaxed and obviously the trip was exactly what you needed. Great to hear you had such a fabulous time and still lost weight.
Welcome back,
Un abrazo,
Laura K.


emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GBOOMER 8/23/2009 8:20PM

    Nice pics! So YOUR the one leaving all those rock statues around. I saw your work in Maine. Didn't know you'd been there. emoticon

I'll be taking a college class this semester too. Something I have to take to maintain my teaching certification. Good luck from one older student to another.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZORAHGAIL 8/23/2009 2:00PM

    So beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
REBCCA 8/23/2009 10:39AM

    Love seeing you looking so happy and well!
Thanks for sharing. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAZZYR 8/23/2009 8:41AM

    I love the rock sculpture! It's an original... just like you!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLAYINGDRAGONS 8/22/2009 9:54PM

    So nice to see pictures - thank you! Loved the posts as you traveled!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNANN43 8/22/2009 9:41PM

    emoticon SOOOOOOO much for sharing the pics!!!!!

btw... you look FABULOUS!

emoticon
Lynn

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLYN4033 8/22/2009 8:53PM

    My dear Maha,

All I can say is I am so glad you are back safely and that you look like you had a wonderful time....smiles abound! Just to be able to explore and enjoy on your own time, fantastic! And how exciting to meet another sparkler "in the flesh". Simply marvelous darling, just marvelous......

Love, Carolyn


Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 8/22/2009 7:25PM

    I'll be checking back for more pics. You DO look great and it was SO AWESOME to get to see you TWICE!!!!! I have got to make it to that area - the scenery is breathtaking, even in pictures!! xoxoxo

Report Inappropriate Comment
WHATAGRL42 8/22/2009 6:47PM

    The trip looks like it was fabulous and restorative! Santosh and I drove from CA to IL this summer, and wanted to take HWY 90 back in order to go through Yellowstone-- but we didn't have time. Now, looking at your pictures, I wish we'd made the time!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLI_MAE 8/22/2009 5:31PM

    Gorgeous pictures ... and you look great! I wish I looked that good braless ... mine have no "perkiness" left at all ... hate to see them when I lose the rest of this weight ... sigh!
Hope you're not drinking anything while you're reading this ... warning: coffee is hot!
Carli emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAZZYR 8/22/2009 4:32PM

    Looking good... YOU and your new camper!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 8/22/2009 4:29PM

    I have to believe that you are having a FANTASTIC JOURNEY. You are lookin' so good ............I am happy that someone took a picture and shared it with you.
Thanks a bunch

Hugs
thoughts and prayers
Vivian

Report Inappropriate Comment
KUZINKEITH 8/22/2009 4:28PM

    Come pick me up ... let's start a new adventure! The camper looks good & you look GREAT!

Report Inappropriate Comment


6/Summer09: Webster Lake State Park, KS

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


That's a great blue heron taking off in the distance.

This was a wonderful *find,* after asking in a country store, as I cruised through the back roads of sweet, but seemingly interminable Kansas.

Twigs
(excerpt)

And so

it has taken me

all of sixty (seven) years

to understand

that water is the finest drink,

and bread the most delicious food,

and that art is worthless

unless it plants

a measure of splendor in people's hearts.

~ Taha Muhammad Ali ~

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUZINKEITH 8/19/2009 2:11PM

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us dear Maha.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLAYINGDRAGONS 8/19/2009 12:28PM

    I like Kansas! Thatīs where I was born, have tons of relatives, my parents grew up and they have scads of antiques! Enjoy it while you can!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLI_MAE 8/19/2009 10:48AM

    Oh No! Kansas? You mean you didn't travel south from Cheyenne along the Rockies of Colorado, the continental divide, New Mexico??? Did you at least find Dorothy and Aunty Emm? I like "Twigs" ... as usual, you post the best, most thought inspiring stuff!
Hugs,
Carli

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 8/19/2009 10:05AM

    What an awesome trip you are on . The more you share the more wonderful it becomes. Kansas.. never been there, but just checked out this lake on google and it appears to be quite restful with plenty of wildlife to enjoy and photograph.

Hugs my friend
Stay well

Steady as you go


Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Last Page