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St. Francis and the Sow

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

"Everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing...."

My buddies know I'm in the midst of a finals week SparkFast. Notice how I "fast" -- a little munch here, a taste there. (Yep, D for Discipline is my middle name, lol.)

It''s just that this poem is so damned beautiful and poignant. And I had a particularly brutal encounter with my housemate this morning...and then I came to my computer, and in opening today's poetry offering, it smashed right into my soul and begged to be shared with my community, my tribe here.

"Sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness...." And it is, today's love offering to all of you...and to me:

St. Francis and the Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

~ Galway Kinnell ~

(Mortal Acts, Mortal Words)

Galway Kinnell (born February 1, 1927 in Providence, Rhode Island) is one of the most influential American poets of the latter half of the 20th century. An admitted follower of Walt Whitman, Kinnell rejects the idea of seeking fulfillment by escaping into the imaginary world. His best-loved and most anthologized poems, such as "St. Francis and the Sow" and "After Making Love We Hear Footsteps," stand as testaments to the significant possibilities for transcendent realization that can be induced by meticulous excavation of the physical universe.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOMOVER40 12/3/2009 2:17AM

    I love Galway Kinnel's poetry. Thank you so much for sharing this one. Tingly!
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HOKU-ALOHI 12/3/2009 1:00AM

Leia tus palabras
Yo sonriendo
emoticon emoticon
Por abrazos que me da
Yo durmiendo
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Llegado noche
Despues el amanecer
Yo despertando
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARLI_MAE 12/3/2009 12:18AM

    Today must be one of those days for "encounters" ... mine was one of the WTF? realm of the absurd, but it came after I'd already seen and long forgotten about this panhala offering. All I can think regarding the fortunately brief thing was ... "oh, just another one of life's tragedies calling me for no other apparent reason but to tempt me into his own state of hostility & I'm having none of it today." No doubt he went looking for someone else on whom to unload.

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FRACTALMYTH 12/2/2009 10:46PM

    OHH Yes. Thank you for reminding me of that one. It's beautiful! Years ago it inspired me to write a response...

Brother Tree Frog ~
no saintly caress needed
to remind you of your innate glory.
Clad in emerald splendour
you squat in plump contentment,
a closer relationship with
Sister Mosquito.

(http://fracta - second poem down = 'Treefrog' for the photo that goes with it.)

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STRAWBERRY*MOON 12/2/2009 12:06PM

    Wise words, indeed. I know I frequently have to re-learn that with which I thought I was finished, but in revisiting a subject I find my experience changes, because I have changed--and so this old/new lesson enriches my life in a fresh way. How wonderful it is that, if I'm lucky and open, I will learning and changing for the rest of my life. After that, who knows! :-)

Hope your day improves!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 12/2/2009 11:59AM

    emoticon thanks!

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SLASALLE 12/2/2009 11:28AM

    Ah Maha, my friend. I hope your day changes paths ... make it so. Again, thanks for sharing such lovely poetry!!

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DOKEYOKEY 12/2/2009 10:36AM

    How lovely -- and how sad that we should need re-teaching. But perhaps there is some beauty in that -- we are always being called to remember what is good and wonderful.


P.S. I must brag a little bit that Mr. Kinnell lives up the road from me a ways -- and that he was our state poet in Vermont from 1989 to 1993. Thank you for calling my attention to him in a more real way!

P.P.S. I hope that the house-mate situation eases.

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BECOMINGONE 12/2/2009 9:10AM

    A wonderful poem.

I'm home today studying for a test that I have to take before midnight tonight but if you would like to stop by for a few minutes ... I'll be here ...

St. Francis apologized to his body for mistreating it as he lay dying. Don't remember his exact words but it was moving ... so much to learn from the saint.

Thinking about you ...


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NORLANA 12/2/2009 9:10AM

    And we are thankful that you took the time out of your studying to post this ... very poignant, indeed. I hope your day gets better :)

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FRANCESCANAZ 12/2/2009 9:05AM

    Thanks again mi amiga for sharing this beautiful piece of writing. Can you also post "After Making Love we Hear Footsteps" ?? Would love to read that as well. Have a great diciembre. emoticon

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LISANANCY 12/2/2009 8:40AM

    How do you always find something to touch our hearts? Oh, yes, I know, it's your own gentle heart. Thank you for helping me to stay grounded in love. emoticon

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Blame...and the mystery

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm reading Sharon Salzberg's wonderful book, LOVINGKINDNESS: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. It's not my first time either. It's chock-full of useful, everyday wisdom. And today, I'm reading JUST what I needed to hear in order to build a day of presence and mindfulness and purpose, from the chapter, The Gift of Equanimity:

"When the monks approached the Buddha and described (a series of circumstances), the Buddha wisely replied: 'There is always blame in this world. If you say too much, some people will blame you. If you say a little bit, some people will blame you. If you say nothing at all, some people will blame you.'

"This is the very nature of life. No one in this world experiences only pleasure and no pain, and no one experiences only gain and no loss. When we open to these truths, we discover that there is no need to hold on or to push away. Rather than trying to control what can never be controlled, we can find a sense of security in being able to meet what is actually happening. This is allowing for the mystery of things: not judging but rather cultivating a balance of mind that can receive what is happening, whatever it is. This acceptance is the source of our safety and confidence.

"When we feel unhappiness or pain, it is not a sign that things have gone terribly wrong or that we have done something wrong by not being able to control the circumstances. Pain and pleasure are constantly coming and going, and yet we can be happy. When we allow for the mystery, sometimes we discover that right in the heart of a very difficult time, right in the midst of a painful situation, there is freedom. In those moments when we realize how much we cannot control, we can learn to let go.

"As we begin to understand this we move from a mode of struggling to control what comes into our lives into a mode of simply wishing to truly connect with what is. This is a radical shift in worldview....When we become willing to experience everything, the confidence and certainty we once sought by denying change we can find by embracing it. We learn to relate to life fully, including the insecurity."

I used to have a sign with 12" letters above my fireplace in San Francisco:


I think I will post that reminder (smaller this time) somewhere for easy and frequent viewing. Not even self-blame. Especially not self-blame.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/30/2009 2:23PM

    great blog!

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AZIMAT 11/30/2009 10:20AM

    Lovely as always my friend. Thanks.

And thanks for the little pic on the top. My husband an I actually meditated with the Dalai Lama under the Bodhi tree in Bodgaya, of course with many more folks than in your pic. It reminded me of that sweet experience

Comment edited on: 11/30/2009 10:21:32 AM

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BABYFACE26 11/29/2009 9:12PM

    Perfect wisdom. No Blame. And no judgement. For me, that refers to judging myself most of all.

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PEACEFULONE 11/29/2009 7:48PM

    Ahh, more food for thought. You do it so well! Thank you for sharing and being such a light in the world. Peace and love, Elaine

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HOKU-ALOHI 11/28/2009 8:59AM

  Mahalo nui loa Maha for the reminder to be kind to myself. When something happens, I do not blame others; now I must remember each day not to blame myself. My DH is awesome at this...when something happens his attitude is so positive. If something has broken, he just fixes it...there is no blame. That is a great creed Maha - When Life happens, Blame does not exist.

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MAZZYR 11/28/2009 8:32AM

    Oh Maha, I'm a fan of Sharon Salzberg. Thank you for sharing the wisdom of her words.

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 11/28/2009 7:52AM

    Thank you for sharing Valerie!
I, too, have a reminder to myself posted on the refrigerator and at my desk. I simply wrote, "No Blame, only Understanding."
It has helped redirect the tendency in myself to resist change
by wanting to blame someone or something for unwanted results
and led me toward acceptance. It is possible to find gems in the
most painful of circumstances! :) Janet

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LYNNANN43 11/27/2009 4:56PM

    the Buddha wisely replied: 'There is always blame in this world. If you say too much, some people will blame you. If you say a little bit, some people will blame you. If you say nothing at all, some people will blame you.'

If this isn't the truth, I don't know what is!

Thanks for sharing again, MAHA!

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NORLANA 11/27/2009 3:59PM

    I've decided to let go and let the Universe drive ...

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VALERIEMAHA 11/27/2009 3:42PM


You're SO on target that it's a SIN! LOL It's exactly what I am living with day-to-day in this environment.

Thank you for that further elucidation my friend.

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CARLI_MAE 11/27/2009 3:31PM

    "When we open to these truths, we discover that there is no need to hold on or to push away. Rather than trying to control what can never be controlled, we can find a sense of security in being able to meet what is actually happening."

LOL ... when I first read this, I thought "oh yeah, easy enough to say" thinking about my growing habit of avoiding ('pushing away?') those people I have come to experience as always negative, always blaming, never happy. Then I remembered the wise adage (paraphrased) ... go not into the desert in the hopes of finding God, lest you find yourselves surrounded by demons instead...

Which led me to re-think my interpretation of advice such as this. There is a difference between trying to control/pushing away and merely walking away and letting it/them go. I figure that by doing that, I am relinquishing control and the tendency to "battle them," leaving it between them and the universe/spirit to find their own path to sanity, compassion, acceptance, and real love. At the same time I am accepting my own limits regarding who and what I am capable of touching, changing, bringing into harmony, and leaving it to Spirit to work it out. It isn't the occasional or even daily encounter, whether on the street, in the workplace, etc., that is so much of a challenge as it is the persistent, "same thing all the time" types.

What thinks ye? Huh? Am I just splitting hairs, or can you dig it?

Hopelessly Cerebral Carli

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GOODHEALTH4EVER 11/27/2009 3:13PM


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ABURRIS1 11/27/2009 12:57PM

    Dear Maha,
After many months away, I am most welcomed by this gentle reminder. Thank you for the exquisite timing.

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Feliz Dia de Accion de Gracias

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dear friends,

I'm so deeply touched and grateful for the reaching out and loving thoughts from all my beautiful SparkFriends. I'm sure we can all figure out that I'm wishing you Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish!

It's a beautiful day here in central Arkansas. I began the morning with meditation and pranayama. I ate a healthy breakfast.

Four friends have invited me to share the day; I hope to make it by two. I never went to that "woe-is-me place" around spending this day solo, and look what happened!

My life is indeed full...I have myriad blessings...and my life isn't over yet!

I subscribe to silly, joyful "Notes from the Universe" and today *the Universe* said:
Mahalakshmi, I love this job! You know...writing you every day.

Do you know how I got it? No, besides being the Universe and getting whatever I want. Yes! I just started doing it.

And that's all anything takes.

The Universe
P.S. Of course it'll feel funny at first, Mahalakshmi, might even look funny, but how badly do you want what you want?

Such a sweet reminder, eh. It all starts with a thought...and then just "doing it." How badly do I want what I want? Practice makes perfect!


I have been trying to read
the script cut in these hills—
a language carved in the shimmer of stubble
and the solid lines of soil, spoken
in the thud of apples falling
and the rasp of corn stalks finally bare.

The pheasants shout it with a rusty creak
as they gather in the fallen grain,
the blackbirds sing it
over their shoulders in parting,
and gold leaf illuminates the manuscript
where it is written in the trees.

Transcribed onto my human tongue
I believe it might sound like a lullaby,
or the simplest grace at table.
Across the gathering stillness
simply this: "For all that we have received,
dear God, make us truly grateful."

~ Lynn Ungar ~
(Blessing the Bread)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCESCANAZ 11/28/2009 9:32AM

    Gracias amiga. Me gusta mucho. Sigue tu camino adelante!

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GBOOMER 11/27/2009 4:19PM

    What I wrote was "Happy Thanksgiving" in Chinese. But apparently Spark People isn't set up to handle Asian text encoding. I wasn't cursing! haha.


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GBOOMER 11/27/2009 1:45PM

    Maha, 祝你感恩

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COLIBRI930 11/27/2009 12:03PM

    Un blog muy bonito! I hope you have a great Friday! I also subscribe to Panhala for their poems. They are great, and very earth centered.

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MAZZYR 11/27/2009 7:11AM

    Beautiful words, beautiful Maha.

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NORLANA 11/26/2009 8:14PM

    Thank you for all your guidance and encouragement. You are among my gratitudes today ... :)

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HOKU-ALOHI 11/26/2009 5:31PM

  Gracias Maha por tus palabras. Me gusta tus blogs porque siempre me siento las palabras en mi alma y en mi corazon tambien. Espero que tenga un buen dia de accion de gracias porque eres una amiga y una maestra tambien. Abrazos con Aloha ~ Maya

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BABYFACE26 11/26/2009 2:10PM

    Wow, girl. Your essay is beautiful. And I surely can relate to the - not feeling "woe is me" over spending the day alone. I AM alone today, and have been for most Thanksgivings in the past, but I would not be surprised, if next year, that changed! And, I did get one invite to my friend's house in Santa Clara, which is just too much of a schlep today, after I've visited the one kitty I'm feeding today...AND I'll be going to a Cuddle party on Sunday, same place, same I don't feel badly about it. The good part is, less temptation (food wise) neighbor is cooking and has promised me a taste of the vittles, so I won't be deprived, for sure! LOVE this blog.
Blessings to you, Maha.

Oh yeah, and I get those messages from the Universe, too. ..for the past 8 mos. or so...this one is a goodie!

Comment edited on: 11/26/2009 2:11:00 PM

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SIMMSCINDY 11/26/2009 1:27PM

    This was very nice. I am glad to find so many people such as yourself, knowledgable in yoga and it's practice. I am learning from "OSHO" a book that I have been reading.

Your words were so eloquent that I felt so much calmer reading them. Thank You

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DANCINGPENGUIN 11/26/2009 1:09PM

    Wow -- I love your note from the universe today! I could apply that. How did I go from being someone who hates running to a runner? I just started doing it*. How will I get the job I want? I have started doing it. tee hee.

(I used to subscribe to that years and years ago. Might have to start again!).

*So far I'm in the "still learning" stage, so more precisely I'm a run/walker.
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EOSTAR_45 11/26/2009 11:48AM

    Today's message from the "Universe" was a nice reminder. Just start.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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LAPORTE2006 11/26/2009 11:12AM

    Beautiful. The picture says so much as does the poem. Happy Thanksgiving.

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A Map to the Next World (There Is No Exit).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

(Hint: You must make your own map. )


In the last days of the fourth world I wished to make a map
for those who would climb through the hole in the sky.

My only tools were the desires of humans as they emerged from the killing fields,
from the bedrooms and the kitchens.

For the soul is a wanderer with many hands and feet.

The map must be of sand and can't be read by ordinary light.
It must carry fire to the next tribal town, for renewal of spirit.

In the legend are instructions on the language of the land,
how it was we forgot to acknowledge the gift, as if we were not in it or of it.

Take note of the proliferation of supermarkets and malls, the altars of money.
They best describe the detour from grace.

Keep track of the errors of our forgetfulness; a fog steals our children while we sleep.

Flowers of rage spring up in the depression, the monsters are born there of nuclear anger.

Trees of ashes wave good-bye to good-bye and the map appears to disappear.

We no longer know the names of the birds here,
how to speak to them by their personal names.

Once we knew everything in this lush promise.

What I am telling you is real and is printed in a warning on the map.
Our forgetfulness stalks us, walks the earth behind us,
leaving a trail of paper diapers, needles and wasted blood.

An imperfect map will have to do little one.

The place of entry is the sea of your mother's blood,
your father's small death as he longs to know himself in another.

There is no exit.

The map can be interpreted through the wall of the intestine --
a spiral on the road of knowledge.

You will travel through the membrane of death,
smell cooking from the encampment where our relatives make a feast
of fresh deer meat and corn soup, in the Milky Way.

They have never left us; we abandoned them for science.

And when you take your next breath as we enter the fifth world there will be no X,
no guide book with words you can carry.

You will have to navigate by your mother's voice, renew the song she is singing.

Fresh courage glimmers from planets.

And lights the map printed with the blood of history,
a map you will have to know by your intention, by the language of suns.

When you emerge note the tracks of the monster slayers
where they entered the cities of artificial light and killed what was killing us.

You will see red cliffs. They are the heart, contain the ladder.

A white deer will come to greet you when the last human climbs from the destruction.

Remember the hole of our shame marking the act of abandoning our tribal grounds.

We were never perfect.

Yet, the journey we make together is perfect on this earth
who was once a star and made the same mistakes as humans.

We might make them again, she said.

Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.

You must make your own map.

~ Joy Harjo ~
(A Map to the Next World: Poems)

Need a roadmap? Bob Marley is singing the song of freedom to the Next World.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABYFACE26 11/26/2009 2:19PM

    A powerful poem. I haven't listened to the Marley you-tube videos as yet, wondeing how they are related? Thanks so much.
Oh my Goddess, what a stunning picture!

Comment edited on: 11/26/2009 2:20:04 PM

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JNEUBS 11/23/2009 9:57AM

    Love Bob Marley!

Explained to my Hannah (10) his influence on Matisyahu!

May Maha enjoy happiness and the root of happiness!


ChiTown Jeff
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Service, Peace, Love, Equality, Compassion, LOL & Hope!

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CARLI_MAE 11/20/2009 4:32PM

    I dig it ... amazing connection between Harjo's "Map" and Marley's "Redemption Song" ...
I find the imagery and progression in the poem sobering, somber, and hopeful all at one and the same time.
As you say ... "bowing in gratitude" for bringing this all together for us.
Peace, beautiful spirit,

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TEE803 11/19/2009 8:49PM

    Beautiful blog again MAHA! You never let us down on sending peaceful vibes for the soul!

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LISANANCY 11/19/2009 8:42PM

    What pretty music. My spirit thanks you.

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DRAGONFLY7149 11/19/2009 2:54PM

    Lovely, haunting, subliminal reality check!
Hope your day is unfolding in delightful ways...and see you meandered through my photo albumn. Scary stuff this July 2006 - November 2009. Haven't cut (much) or permed my hair in at least that long (my own little statement of rebellion); horrified about this time marching on thing, but the sands they are a shifting. My mantra today? -- "Reality is something you rise above" (Liza Minnelli, believe it or not!)


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CAROLINE1000 11/19/2009 1:53PM

    Lovely thoughts for me to bring into the world today. Thank you.

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SPARKARINO 11/19/2009 12:24PM

    Thank you for sharing this poem, mystical and precious directions to help us in our way-finding.

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PEACEFULONE 11/19/2009 11:49AM

    Thank you once again, dear Maha, for a spiritual interlude in my day and for directing my thoughts away from depressing demands and on toward the brighter light. May your day be blessed as well. In peace and love, Elaine
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LYNNANN43 11/19/2009 11:21AM

    Thank you, once again, MAHA, for a beautiful, thought-provoking blog!

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LAPORTE2006 11/19/2009 10:54AM

    This is a journey more than land or worlds but to your very soul. It is beautiful, yet frightening. How will you find your exit?

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SWDOTB2 11/19/2009 10:50AM

    It was 1976 or there abouts when a good friend returned from Jamaica and played Bob Marley LPs on my turntable in my very first apartment. "No Woman, No Cry..."

And it was just last summer that my ladder dreams returned, may we all find courage. For no mattah how far the detour, there is grace...

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Dare to dance the tide!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I've been up since 5:00am as usual...I've finished my morning brew and made a gallon of green tea for the house. I'm sitting here groovin' to the station I created on, Angelique Kidjo Radio. As a matter of fact, at this moment SHE is singing Bob Marley's anthem, Redemption Song, which actually speaks to the thoughts on my mind -- "emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds."

Here's my morning rant --

I'm tormented in my life by my sloppy discipline and lack of attention and presence. I find myself distracted by the "drop of a hat" and glued to this screen for a great deal more time than the necessities and requirments of my life allow for. So when Brooks' lyrics showed up as my poetry offering this morning, it really "hit home" for me since "tomorrow has become today."

I have managed in my wellness journey to keep a lid on my weight since losing the 80 pounds back-when. When the pounds start packing on, the emotional emergency systems "go off' and I get back into an acceptable range. That's not to say that I'm at my ideal weight...notice my term "acceptable range." I don't seem to have the *huevos* to make that final effort to knock off the last 10 pounds or so. It just hangs there as a way of saying "you just can't quite 'emancipate' yourself, can you; your mind is still being held prisoner by your body."

MOVEMENT, my body's cardio and strength-training (ST) requirements, are an ongoing challenge. During the better weather, much of my cardio needs are met via my trusty Trekmobile, my bicycle. Now that winter will soon be upon us, cardio needs must be met in other ways -- at the regional fitness center (RFC) or via fitness DVDs that I have on-hand. I choose to meet my ST needs that way as well. Hatha yoga is another movement modality that has been a part of my life for almost 30 years, and I've recently added some Pilates to the mix since joining the RFC. But am I consistent in any of this? Do I honor the needs of this body that serves me so well by giving back in this way? When is the last time I did ST? Yoga? I'm getting tired of hearing myself say this! How about you -- are you also tired of hearing me say it?

Since becoming a vegetarian, I have been on a quest of balanced eating, with awareness of the types and amounts of the various nutrients that make up said balanced intake. I have acquired a fund of knowledge and I generally manage to meet these needs...and then some. It's the "then some" that is my challenge...portion sizes and the treats being the major culprits keeping me from being where I really want to be.

Then there's my difficult living situation which, indubitably, impacts body-mind-spirit in searing ways that can result in set-backs at any moment. It is an extremely complex situation and one that I grapple with daily, looking for creative problem-solving. I know there is a way. I simply need to be open to IT. And that's a story in itself.

The FOCUS difficulty rears its ugly head bigtime in my university pursuit. I get seriously anxious and freaked out because of my serious procrastination habit and attention-deficit tendencies. Today is the final day to complete a draft for a paper that I turn in tomorrow...and I haven't so much as begun the draft. The day will be filled with it (of course) and I can't go to the RFC yoga class or cardio there because of this.

Next semester I've registered for nine seriously academic units. Without a different approach, I'm liable to literally make myself sick. So, I'm digging deep into my psyche and spirit to dredge up some more sitting on the shoreline, to paraphrase Garth!

And that's just the TIP of the iceburg ladies and gentlemen! So here's everyone's friend Garth Brooks talkin' to me, tellin' it like it is, offering gritty wisdom, answers that might really work in the context of life lived, "a life interrupted" --

You know a dream is like a river,
ever changing as it flows
And the dreamer's just a vessel that must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
Never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores

Too many times we stand beside
Let the water slip away
Till what we put off till tomorrow
has now become today
so don't you sit upon the shoreline
and say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
Dare to dance the tide

~ Garth Brooks ~
(excerpt from The River -- enlightenment is where you find it)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABYFACE26 11/26/2009 2:36PM

    Oh Maha, Maha, Maha. Deriding herself because she does not meet her perfectionistic standards of being Human. The blame and the judgement do Not work! Foregiveness does. Being there for Yourself does. ..this is not a Spiritual problem. This is a psychological problem. Little child Maha wanting to rebel against what grown-up Maha tells her she has to do! So ironic, because you are such an advanced Soul, and have so much discipline.

Most people are not capable of doing a fraction of what you do, discipline-wise...I am not saying I have the answer for you. I am saying that I have the same problem. One part of the Psyche rebelling against the other side. Do u have enough Playtime? Free time, do Nothing time? Maybe you can make some "deals" with your Child. Do a little bit of this, NOW...and then, you can play. A "little bit" is surely the Key. Because chances are, it feels overwhelming to you, your Task...and that's why you procrastinate doing it!...Hey, I'm helping myself out here, too!

And the Mind, that silly thing that imagines it knows just how "terrible" it will be, to do the put-off task, is usually wrong. How many things have I put off, only to find, they're not so bad!

So, you're not Perfect? What a tragedy! Love yourself a little more. These are the lessons you are meant to be working through.
And the Universe is conspiring to help you learn them, through Loving Yourself.

Big Hugs, sweetheart.
Ellen emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/26/2009 2:37:55 PM

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    OK. Got it...apples and all. Something IS in the air!

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NORLANA 11/18/2009 4:47PM

    MAHA! MAHA! MAHA! That is my chant for you!!! I am so happy you are not sitting on the sidelines watching the river go by. Re-read that last stanza with a new eye .... don't put off ... get in and dance the rapids!!

You have jumped in with both feet (that's what we add-ers do) and are dancing the rapids! There are those that WISH they could do what you do who are sitting in a rocking chair waiting for someone to show up and visit or for the end. That's not you girl and you will continue to create and inspire and lead and jump and teach and worship and generally spread Maha cheer around this world. I am so thankful that you entered my life two years ago and propped me up when I was down and snapped my forehead when I was being a butt-head. I love you!!! Now, go out and rock!!!

Comment edited on: 11/18/2009 4:48:31 PM

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CARLI_MAE 11/18/2009 12:27PM

    What is going on here? I keep reading the same interlinking themes over the past 12 hours from Azimat to Carewren to Laporte to you! I just told Pam to go look at Karen's blog and that this was at least the second time in the last 12 hrs I'd been told I was a lampshade!
But I digress ... so I join with Jeff in his prayer and add my own musical one that just popped into my ancient hippie sponge head ...

'O the Sisters of Mercy, they are not departed or gone.
They were waiting for me when I thought I just can't go on.
& they brought me their flowers and later they brought me their song
O I hope you run into them you, who've been traveling so long.

'Yes, you who must leave everything that you cannot control ...
It begins with your family and later comes round to your soul.
I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how your pinned ...
If you're not feeling holy, your lonliness says that you've sinned.

'They lay down beside me; I gave my confession to them.
They touched both my eyes and I touched the dew on their hem.
If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn,
They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.

'When I left they were sleeping. I hope you run into them soon.
Don't turn on the light, you can read their address by the moon.
And it won't make me jealous if I learn that they've sweetened your life;
We weren't lovers like that, and besides it would still be alright.'

--Leonard Cohen; recorded by Judy Collins
(Video gives a different interp of who the "Sisters" were ... LOL ... but that's the best I could find)

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SACTOKAREN 11/18/2009 12:21PM

    I have that same inability to focus on difficult or less-pleasant tasks... ditto for the motivation in getting them done. I agree with ChiTown Jeff about not tormenting yourself for any preceived shortcomings. Forgive, adjust and move on!

Good luck today with your draft. I procrastinated on papers and think that the pressure of the deadline was the only motivation that truly worked for me.


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VALERIEMAHA 11/18/2009 11:14AM

    Thanks for the reminder, Azimat:


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.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi

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PEACEFULONE 11/18/2009 11:13AM

    Dear Maha, What great inspiration you are for us in your blogs! I thank you with all my being for the great gifts that you so generously share. The poem is perfect. Procrastination is a monster that I would guess afflicts the majority of us. You will, when you sit down to do it, accomplish your assignment and it will be better than fine. With thanks, love, and admiration, Elaine

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GBOOMER 11/18/2009 10:37AM

    You're ok, Maha. Whether or not you do any of those things.

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FRANCESCANAZ 11/18/2009 10:16AM

    I hear you Maha. Oh how I hate to put my TREK away for the winter. I have an indoor bike but you klnow it is not the same at all. I also need to get back to YOGA and strength training. Seems all I do is cardio and I am not seeing results like I used to. Buena suerte mi amiga!

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AZIMAT 11/18/2009 9:57AM

    Oh enlightened one.

I see that you've made a gallon of tea, green no less, for Procrastination, Un-Mastery and Distractedness. For the "guests" in your guest house that seem to have taken up long term residence...... And there they go again, violently sweeping out your furniture again. Hmmm and what gift do they hold?

Dear sister, your guests are so familiar to me. Their relatives are just as tenacious over her in Florida. Arrrghhh! I pray every morning "Send Thy peace, O Lord, that our lives may become a divine vision.....". Yet I'm always stumbling over these trolls. How can my life be a divine vision if my house is full of trolls?

Hmmm. Here's an idea....... The Snow White story comes to me. Lots of little beings (little beings milling around who go out mining for something precious), she eats a "poison" apple (of other worldly knowledge?) offered by a witch (crone, wise woman), falls into a sleep (retreat, peace that passes understanding, samadhi) and is wakened by a kiss from the prince (Jung's animus...the muscleman, to planner, to professor part of a woman's self) and then the two are integrated, presto, happily ever as a divine vision.

Apples anyone?

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JNEUBS 11/18/2009 9:47AM

    A shout out to the Universe to provide Maha with the clarity and focus necessary to enjoy writing her paper within deadline.

Maha....rather than torment yourself...forgive yourself easily!

We all digress at some moment in time as it relates to our emotional "attachments"!

All is good!

May Maha enjoy happiness and the root of happiness!

May Maha be free of suffering and the root of suffering!

May Maha not be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering! (not your

May Maha dwell in the great equanimity free from passion, aggression, and prejudice!



ChiTown Jeff
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Peace, Love, Compassion, Laughter & Hope!

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