VALERIEMAHA   49,608
SparkPoints
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints
 
 
VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries

This Precious Human Life....

Friday, February 26, 2010



As I *come up for air* after a 2-1/2 week intense academic push, the image above describes the kind of physic space I would love to create for myself. I did manage to take a time-out last Sunday for an exquisite and deeply needed celebration with friends (the "Antipenultimo" blog). Other than the care of my spirit the Sunday gathering afforded me, I have been very neglectful during this period in the care of this amazing temple that takes such good care of me.

A new SparkFriend, THE_SILVER_OWL has been blogging her way through the alphabet. Each piece has spoken to me, some very deeply. As I move back into the sphere of loving self-care, her blog this morning, M is for Mirror, which speaks about things on my mind today, REALLY hit home:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal.asp?id=THE_SILVER_OWL


I am resolving to make baby steps back into balance, little-by-little, clearing psychic, spiritual and material space to enable me to move forward. My Spark (and 3-D) Friend Sandra, also back in school, has been encouraging me over the last few days, sharing juicy wisdom and giving me practical points of departure, that I've been making good use of and will continue to today.

My spiritual journey is the largest circle around which all this other activity revolves. I came upon some important Teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche, a Dharma Teacher I have deep esteem for which rocked me to my soul. (He is the teacher of SparkFriends SNOGUM and CLAIR-A-T.) In completing this with his words, I dedicate them to all of my wonderful friends here, with gratitude for all you offer in this journey to our optimal wellness of body-mind-spirit that we're on together:



Every spiritual tradition has stressed that this human life is unique and has a potential that ordinarily we don't even begin to imagine. If we miss the opportunity this life offers us for transforming ourselves, they say, it may well be an extremely long time before we have another.

Imagine a blind turtle roaming the depths of an ocean the size of the universe. Up above floats a wooden ring, tossed to and fro on the waves. Every hundred years, the turtle comes, once, to the surface. To be born a human being is said by Buddhists to be more difficult than for that turtle to surface accidentally with its head poking through the wooden ring.

And even among those who have a human birth, it is said, those who have the great good fortune to make a connection with the teachings are rare, and those who really take them to heart and embody them in their actions even rarer -- as rare, in fact, "as stars in broad daylight."

The quality of life in the realm of the gods may look superior to our own, yet the masters tell us that human life is infinitely more valuable. Why? Because of the very fact that we have the awareness and intelligence that are the raw materials for enlightenment, and because the very suffering that pervades this human realm is itself the spur to spiritual transformation.

Pain, grief, loss, and ceaseless frustration of every kind are there for a very real and dramatic purpose: to wake us up, to enable, almost to force us to break out of the cycle of samsara and so release our imprisoned splendor.
-- Sogyal Rinpoche

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOKEYOKEY 2/28/2010 12:39AM

    Well that's a kick in the old tushy! emoticon

Kathleen

Report Inappropriate Comment
KARBIE18 2/27/2010 8:50AM

    Love the picture, and the words of wisdom, Maha. It couldn't have come at a better time for me, as I recently lost a beloved friend. I have decided that in his passing was a lesson, and this just reinforces that belief.



Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSTDUCKY1405 2/27/2010 2:17AM

    Beautiful... emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANTANDERE 2/26/2010 9:05PM

    Thank-you, Gracias, Merci...

Maha,
Gracias, por compartir tanto de ti en una forma tan linda.

emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/26/2010 9:06:36 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAZZYR 2/26/2010 5:49PM

    Thank you.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCESCANAZ 2/26/2010 5:01PM

    Gracias.

Report Inappropriate Comment
THE_SILVER_OWL 2/26/2010 4:07PM

    Maha,

I am so honored that you have chosen to share my blog. Thank you.

My belief is that your "turtle" will reach the surface, "in time, on time, every time".

Hugs,
~JJ~



emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
STLRZGRRL 2/26/2010 11:46AM

    Holy cow. Thx a LOT, Maha! No pressure or anything!!!

The cold hard facts are that you are nothing but right... and the blessing of this body, this life, this day, THIS INSTANT... is SO precious... using ANY of it for ANYTHING but good is just... criminal, really...

(Unless we learn from the transgression, I s'pose... or someone ELSE does...)

Ok, ok... really and TRULY thank you...

May you always be my wonderful loving noodge...

HUGS! Thouands of them!
Trace
emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon , Etc., Etc., Etc...

Comment edited on: 2/26/2010 11:47:45 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRIGHTSPARK7 2/26/2010 10:14AM

    It is a great blessing to connect with the Teachings to improve our lives. You are a priceless treasure, Mahalakshmi. Take wonderful care of your temple.
emoticon
Usha

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECOMINGONE 2/26/2010 9:44AM

    In the end it's all a spiritual journey, isn't it? It's the spiritual that provides the warp and woof for the rest ... kind of like Ellen's felted shawls. Thank you for sharing of yourself! I like that!

Sandra

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEACEFULONE 2/26/2010 9:42AM

    Thank you again, dear Maha, for lighting the torch and leading the way!

May your weekend be filled with peace, joy, health and happiness!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


O!M!G!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This is too beautiful NOT to share -- Mary Oliver's gift is exquisite...and that she chose to share it with us is our profound good fortune.



THE CRICKET AND THE ROSE

In fall
the cricket
beneath the rose bush
watches

as the roses fall
to the very ground
that is his kingdom also.
So they're neighbors,

one full of fragrance,
the other
the harper
of a single dry song.

We call this time of the year
the beginning of the end
of another circle,
a convenience

and nothing more.
For the cricket's song
is surely a prayer,
and a prayer, when it is given,

is given forever.
This is a truth
I'm sure of,
for I'm older than I used to be,

and therefore I understand things
nobody would think of
who's young and in a hurry.
The snow is very beautiful.

Under it are the lingering
petals of fragrance,
and the timeless body
of prayer.

~ Mary Oliver ~
www.panhala.net/Archive/The_Cricket_
and_the_Rose.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_SILVER_OWL 2/26/2010 3:54PM

    Truth when spoken as a whisper or a poem, shouts loudest of all.

Thank you!
~JJ~

Report Inappropriate Comment
ABQUEST 2/25/2010 10:26PM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 2/24/2010 2:08PM

    She is most definitely a keeper when it comes to beautiful poetry. And YOU are a keeper when it comes to sharing amazing findings with us ... xoxoxo

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUESLALA 2/24/2010 11:56AM

    WOW emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SOULCOLLAGESUE 2/24/2010 11:27AM

    Mary Oliver's poetry never ceases to transport me into a state of Universal mind. This one is new to me; thank you for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSTDUCKY1405 2/24/2010 10:35AM

    Amen!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANSERENE 2/24/2010 10:31AM

    This is so beautiful! Bless you for sharing with us!

I am so grateful for the joy you share with us.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRANDMAAMIE 2/24/2010 10:28AM

    (`.) . BEAUTIFUL
``.. ♥~*-::-*♥~.*♥
~*-::-
*♥~.* THANK YOU!
(`v) ♥`.
.`.. ♥ AMIE
..) .*)
(. (. . .`.♥



Report Inappropriate Comment
SUCHAHOOT 2/24/2010 10:09AM

    'a prayer, when it is given,

is given forever.
This is a truth
I'm sure of,
for I'm older than I used to be, '

Beautiful words...the whole of it, but these touch me especially. Thank you, friend.


Report Inappropriate Comment
GINABUG 2/24/2010 9:42AM

    Ah...love that Joe Riley -- thanks so much for sharing this with me: the poem and the daily poetry celebration! Love to you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIVIN-N-LEARNIN 2/24/2010 9:31AM

    so beautiful, love it!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DLDROST 2/24/2010 9:29AM

  Love it thanks for sharing...

Report Inappropriate Comment
RTLISA 2/24/2010 9:21AM

    That is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Antipenultimo...

Monday, February 22, 2010

The linguistics class is haunting me: I'm seemingly locked into this conceptual linguistics loop of before-before...or, in this case the night-before-my-birthday-eve --

It was such a beautiful gathering of Anam Cara, soul friends, that heart-to-heart connection. There was so much love spewed about during the evening that my heart continues to overflow from the fullness.



The food was abundant, whole and healthy! Oh...uh, and then there were the desserts!!!

CAMILLE, with me in this happy shot, owns (she would say "caretakes") the property where the Sisters of the New Moon meet. We're building a labyrinth in the woods and we celebrate life around a wonderful bonfire as a climax to each monthly coming-together.



Above, my friend ELS (left) -- we "accidentally" ran into each other last year on a backwoods country road in upcountry Maui as she was beginning a 6-month around-the-world trip/trek with Tom, her lovely spouse! (See P.S.)

MARILYN, seated beside Els, is a geologist and created and gifted me with a stunningly beautiful mobile/chimes, made with beaver wood, glass pieces, and crystals. I'm sorry I don't have a photo of her beautiful art to share.

NELDA, far right, and I have participated together in the study of the work of Connie Kaplan, The Invisible Garment, where we've gathered around a circle-of-love for over five years.

SparkPeople got lots of plugs from me and SANDRA. Here she's hanging out with vino-in-hand between Marilyn and Nelda, ready to share her SparkPeople blogs on "Space."

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2865212

and
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2868634


The sheet she gave to everyone also had GinaBug's original blog, which had caused Sandra's musings:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2863340




Above Sandra has the rapt attention of Gail, Jean, Pam, Siaw-Khian and all but Fritzie's nose!



Camille relaxed in the rocker chatting with ANNE, a gifted Iyengar Yoga teacher who I've been studying with off-and-on since 1997! Anne led us in some pranayama (breathing) techniques.

My dear friend FRITZIE, the hostess-with-the-mostest, is smiling at my antics and Siaw-Khian is talking to Pam, out-of-sight.



Ahhh...a partial group smile...from the left Ellen, Nelda, me, Camille, Siaw-Khian. Back row Els, Marilyn, and shortie Amy.

I study tai chi and qi gong with SIAW-KHIAN, a skilled teacher, and she graciously agreed to introduce us to some qi gong techniques. It was wonderful.

I wish I had a photo of the exquisite wrap that ELLEN gifted me (she has another one on, but you can't see the beautiful detail). She works in Nepal (she's leaving again for Nepal on March 10) with talented women who use a Nuno felting process with wool and colorful silk saris -- oh my!!! I don't know if you can access this if you're not on FaceBook, but here's the link:

www.facebook.com/pages/Pomegranate-M
oon/266474692328




Above is GAIL's lovely profile. She and I share a lot of quality sister time. We also do the prison gatherings together along with Camille, our fearless leader.

Then comes Janice-in-yellow, Amy, Ellen, and JOHNYE (Janice's mom) -- English Literature Professor Emerita and published haiku poet:
www.simplyhaiku.com/SHpages/johnye_s
trickland.html

and
tobaccoroadpoet.blogspot.com/2008/12
/johnye-strickland-recites-haiku.html




Above Fritzie, Siaw-Khian, silly Pam, and Jean.

I first met FRITZIE and SANDRA at a Buddhist retreat. Then I got invited to Sandra's birthday party at Fritzie's beautiful home, and the rest is history! Fritize is hard to catch up with, because she's a very busy barrister, but I vie for her attention, because I treasure time with her. We also share the "Spanish connection," and she has worked to assist Hispanics via immigrant law.

PAM, AMY and I have become friends as New Moon Sisters. Pam adds "intelligent levity" and Amy, an artist, brings us beauty in space and form.

JEAN is a new New Moon Sister. She is a warrior...a blind woman who has traveled internationally, holds a graduate degree and many amazing life experiences...no half-empty cup for her!



A *mood effect* of JANICE playing and singing one of her compositions, dedicated to me, because it's my fav, about the preciousness of the present moment.

She also did a group Tarot reading of Past (at 79, Johnye is the oldest reveler, and she drew this card), Present (as the birthday girl I drew this card), Future (Siaw-Khian, as the youngest, drew this one) using a deck of her own fabulous design.

JANICE and I were housemates for around three years, firmly and exquisitely establishing our Sisterhood during that time.

The sisters went on...and on, enjoying the fullness of one another's blessings for almost FIVE hours!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

A FRIENDSHIP BLESSING

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.

May you be able to journey to that place in your soul
where there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.

May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.

May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
May they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth, and light that you need for your journey.

May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara.

-- John O'Donohue, from Anam Cara
(Anam cara is Gaelic for "soul friend")

P.S.


A couple days before Els and Tom continued on from Maui to New Zealand.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 2/26/2010 10:05AM

    Brings to mind the Beatles song "I'll get by with a little help from my friends". You are truly blessed!!! Thank you for sharing.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/26/2010 10:11:09 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYAN45 2/23/2010 10:21PM

    Friends are everything! I just copied the Friendship Blessing - and plan to send it to a very dear friend of mine. Thanks for sharing that.
In the company of friends is the best way to celebrate a birthday. They are celebrating you and your existence in -- especially in their lives. We, your friends here on SP, are happy to have you in our lives too. Thanks for sharing your celebration, and thanks for always sharing so much of yourself.



emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALATHIA 2/23/2010 8:35AM

    What a wonderful group of sisters! A spectacular celebration! You are truly blessed!

I love the Friendship Blessing. I hope you don't mind if I share it with some of my friends.

Have a wonderful day!

Comment edited on: 2/23/2010 8:36:39 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNANN43 2/23/2010 1:04AM

    I feel like I was there! You have no idea how much I would love to meet those amazing people!

You are one of the most blessed individuals that I have ever had the honor to meet.

Thanks so much for sharing:D

Report Inappropriate Comment
NORLANA 2/23/2010 12:19AM

    Oh Maha ... such beautiful friends and tributes. I am so happy you are surrounded by such lovelies! Enjoy!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GINABUG 2/22/2010 9:49PM

    Maha -- thanks so much for sharing the words, images and imaginings of this gathering. I almost feel as if I were there! What a blessed event for a blessed soul! Happy Birthday Eve, dear friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 2/22/2010 9:24PM

    Friends: at the heart of what matters! And you have such interesting ones!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STLRZGRRL 2/22/2010 8:52PM

    How cool for us to be able to be with you... NOW!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

But, but... WHAT were the cards you each drew?

I. MUST. KNOW!!! (Iz not sek-rit, iz it?)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 2/22/2010 2:31PM

    I am so happy to put so many faces with the names I hear you speak of often. What an amazing gathering of dear friends. I am SO DELIGHTED that you ALL enjoyed it so much. Now, I have also enjoyed much of it, albeit still at a distance!!!

Happy birthday eve, Maha!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 2/22/2010 1:05PM

    Your birthday celebration has given you - and us - some wonderful memories to share and a reminder of the joy that friendship brings. I hope that the happiness lingers to sustain you for a long time.

Thank you for sharing the beautiful poem too.

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYIRIS313 2/22/2010 12:56PM

    You are blessed with riches -- the kind that only good friends can offer. Happiest of birthdays to you Maha.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUCHAHOOT 2/22/2010 11:55AM

    My, what a wonderful gift. Such a treasure to be sure. Thank you so much for sharing your evening with us!

Edit: And thanks for taking the time to share the poem. What more could one ask for?
emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/22/2010 11:56:37 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECOMINGONE 2/22/2010 11:41AM

    Having been there, I can attest it was one of those magical evenings -- when the life energy is flowing and all are connected in a web of friendship and love. Thanks to Maha for bringing us all together.

Sandra

Report Inappropriate Comment
YOOVIE 2/22/2010 10:36AM

    this is so wonderful and so full of love. thank you for taking pictures for us!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAT573 2/22/2010 10:18AM

    what an honor to have all your friends about you!
Happy Birthday, Maha.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AZIMAT 2/22/2010 10:17AM

    How sweet. Happy birthday dear friend. I'm sending you a blast of high flying energy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAZZYR 2/22/2010 10:15AM

    emoticonBig Happy Day hug, just for you, dear Maha!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISANANCY 2/22/2010 10:09AM

    Wow, what a wonderful time emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 2/22/2010 9:52AM

    What great fun, what a great group of women all together to celebrate the new beginning. Happy Birthday again Maha..Super pictures.

Report Inappropriate Comment


The Gift...the Present!

Sunday, February 21, 2010



The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
-- The Buddha



When the mind is at rest, we are lifted out of time into the eternal present. The body, of course, is still subject to the passage of time. But in a sense, the flickering of the mind is our internal clock. When the mind does not flicker, what is there to measure change? It's as if time simply comes to a stop for us, as we live completely in the present moment. Past and future, after all, exist only in the mind. When the mind is at rest, there is no past or future. We cannot be resentful, we cannot be guilt-ridden, we cannot build future hopes and desires; no energy flows to past or future at all.

Past and future are both contained in every present moment. Whatever we are today is the result of what we have thought, spoken, and done in all the present moments before now -- just as what we shall be tomorrow is the result of what we think, say, and do today. The responsibility for both present and future is in our own hands. If we live right today, then tomorrow has to be right.
-- Sri Eknath Easwaran
www.easwaran.org/Thoughts

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVIN-N-LEARNIN 2/22/2010 9:27AM

    I so needed to read this...i was just telling a good friend of mine yesterday that sometimes I feel i missed out on things, this quote I know is going to help me live with no regrets!!

Thank you MAHA!!

And happy belated birthday!!!! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUDLECRAZY 2/22/2010 5:35AM

    The reminder I need on a regular basis. Thank you for this post. I love the photos you included, as well.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEDDYPEDDY 2/22/2010 12:29AM

    Hmm - I get stuck with the depressive knowledge that today is the result of yesterday...

Report Inappropriate Comment
STARRY-EYEDGIRL 2/21/2010 9:19PM

    I could meditate looking into the eyes of Sri Eknath Easwaran - so soft but strong, wise, beautiful and all knowing.

I am reading your Blog after yoga practice and meditation and am feeling pretty good in this moment, having already paved the way for the moments to come.

Also, I have subscribed to the inspirational quotes and commentary of Thought for the Day via email.

emoticonMahalakshmi, I appreciate this precious gift.

Comment edited on: 2/21/2010 9:25:38 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 2/21/2010 6:34PM

    PREEEEESENT . . . ARMS!

I often re think this military injunction subversively as "embrace right now"!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 2/21/2010 5:48PM

    Beautiful.

Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSTDUCKY1405 2/21/2010 5:30PM

    Amen!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEODAWG 2/21/2010 2:52PM

    How true! Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUCHAHOOT 2/21/2010 1:33PM

    So, you're saying I should stop being angry with my husband about yesterday? AND stop worrying about the future? AND be happy in the present moment? OK, for you...and for me I will give it my best.

Thank you for your beautiful reminder and your gentle nature.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNANN43 2/21/2010 1:22PM

    I am going to post this quote as my status update, send it to facebook and then copy it down to make a beautiful sign in "My" room with this quote:D

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAHA!!!!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SATYAGRAHA 2/21/2010 1:06PM

    I need constant reminders of this. THANK YOU!

Report Inappropriate Comment
THE_SILVER_OWL 2/21/2010 12:55PM

    Maha, What lovely and wise quotes you have brought to us today. Thank you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISANANCY 2/21/2010 12:21PM

    Today is tomorrow past. We can change our past by living today. We need to remember this, Good going my dear sparkfriend emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECOMINGONE 2/21/2010 12:19PM

    See you this afternoon!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYAN45 2/21/2010 12:03PM

    The gift of the present! It is the everything and the only thing that we ever have, isn't it?

Thank you for focusing my mind on the present this beautiful Sunday morning.

emoticon



Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 2/21/2010 11:21AM

    Ahhhhhhh ... nice, long, slow deep breath as I read your words ... such a wise and warm welcome to my day. Enjoy your celebration, my dear friend. I am with you in spirit. AND I hope to be able to talk in real time on 2/23. xoxoxo

Report Inappropriate Comment
WILDHONEYPIE1 2/21/2010 11:18AM

    I particularly enjoyed the line "If we live right today, then tomorrow has to be right." Maybe not the way we pictured it, maybe not how we want it, but right all the same.

I knew your birthday had to be coming up any minute (February Pisces) so thanks to MAZZYR for letting me know the exact day to be thankful for! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MENT2BE 2/21/2010 11:13AM

    Divine Order!! Just what I needed to hear today! Bless you!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
STLRZGRRL 2/21/2010 11:06AM

    I am so grateful to have you with me in this moment... now.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAHA... in every moment of every NOW.

Birthday kisses!!!
MWAH! MWAH! MWAH!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAZZYR 2/21/2010 10:34AM

    Ditto, I'm grateful for knowing you too, dear Maha.

Dear Maha, thank you for the GIFT of YOU and this blog. I really needed to read these words today.

BTW, I'm counting the days till your B-Day and would like to come to your virtual party. February 23rd... I can't wait.

Hugs,
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GINABUG 2/21/2010 8:58AM

    Maha! This present moment I am grateful for knowing you! Thank you for the gift of YOU and all the wise words and wisdom you share! Blessings and celebration to you, my dear friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment


The Tao of the Trial -- for Black History Month

Friday, February 19, 2010

The photograph is of Rosa Parks riding that famous bus in Memphis.



From the trial transcript:
Miss Crandall's Boarding School for Young Ladies of Color
Canterbury, CT, 1833-34

THE TAO OF THE TRIAL

Miss Crandall, you stand accused of knowingly
teaching colored persons not resident of the state,
without prior consent. What is your plea?

*The Teacher does not instruct. The Teacher waits.*

Girl, has anyone been teaching anything to you and your friends?

Who taught you how to plead the Fifth Amendment?

Your honor, I submit as evidence
of the alleged teachings of alleged students
this colored girl here, who openly reads books
and gazes skyward, who has been overheard
conversing animatedly in polysyllabic words
and referring off-handedly to the Ancient Greeks.

*The Teacher teaches, without words and without action,
simplicity, patience, and compassion.*

-- Marilyn Nelson
(Poetry, September 2005)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Tao_of_the_T
rial.html


About Marilyn Nelson:
www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/97

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTDUCKY1405 2/21/2010 5:28PM

    Okay! I've got it!

I am the messenger, GOD is the teacher!

God or stillness or Budha, or anything that brings you outside of yourself and into the present still moment!

Comment edited on: 2/21/2010 5:28:59 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
THE_SILVER_OWL 2/21/2010 1:08PM

    "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" - and are we not all teachers simply waiting for our students?

And are we not also all students in the presence of our teachers.

Hugs,
~JJ~

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSTDUCKY1405 2/20/2010 6:50PM

    I have to add... lol... like I haven't said enough already... that I don't 'always' intentionally set out to teach! And often find more often then not, that when I am out doing things for me... without trying, what I do naturally helps others!

But... that still takes action and words to convey my message, even if it's just for me!

Do do do... walking away... lol!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSTDUCKY1405 2/20/2010 6:43PM

    Hmmm... I have been contemplating this since you originally posted it! I am having a hard time truly absorbing it's message! It almost seems contradictory to quite a few of my agreements... which makes me doubt myself and what I know! Which is okay... I am totally okay with being challenged, I just haven't been quite able to figure out why this challenges me. So, I have decided to come ramble in your comments section in response to your blog, in hopes to learn!

I get the racist aspect of this message, but know there is more! The more is where I seem to be having troubles with!

"The Teacher does not instruct. The Teacher waits."

This contradicts my agreements to encourage, share, and to help others. I know that we all learn our lessons in life in our own journey, connecting, bonding, and sharing is one way of becoming a more enlightened and better me!

So, the lesson to learn from this then is, I should just go about doing what I am doing, as long as I am doing it for me? If what I have to offer helps another, great! But it should not be my daily intentions to teach, but to do what I aspire and find passionate, I just simply be that aspiration and passion!

Okay... so perhaps that is the instruct part of the quotation, but what about the waiting!

Is the waiting representative of living life in the now, because if you wait... and aren't focused on what the future might bring, or what the past had brought, you are present, therefore. living life, and in return truly waiting for nothing!

I suppose, the student comes to you is representative of this!

And then, is the latter part of the second quote an answer to the unwritten question? Yes... yes it is! Aha! So silly... I couldn't see that until I truly took the time to question it and see it!

So... another words... "The Teacher teaches simplicity, patience, and compassion, and does this without words and without action!" A twist on words, and I am okay... or am I?

So then... how do you teach with out words or action, which ultimately is silence, but then, how do you spread the word, if not through your words and actions if you remain silent and don't share what you have learnt, witnessed, experienced and so on?

There... my clashing agreements on your blog!

Comment edited on: 2/20/2010 6:46:31 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LV4TAY 2/20/2010 5:33PM

    Teaching (at least teaching well) is and has always been a subversive activity.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUCHAHOOT 2/19/2010 6:29PM

    Wow. Life/evolution of Spirit on this planet is simply amazing. Feels painfully slow sometimes though. Thanks for sharing.


Report Inappropriate Comment
GEODAWG 2/19/2010 6:10PM

    Awesome. It is amazing that we human beings can be so blind and then it is amazing that we can also be so "seeing".

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 2/19/2010 4:26PM

    A powerful reminder. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 2/19/2010 2:19PM

    Yes, it is a sad commentary on the human condition that slavery still exists on the planet, Valerie. But on a happier note....

I went to see Soledad O'Brien last night. She was talking about "outside the box" thinking. She spoke of an African country where girls weren't allowed to go to school after age 9. Then a director of one of the world food programs had an idea -- not only was food provided IN the school for the students...they were also given food to take home for the family after school. Suddenly attendance of the girls in school began to be "valued." Many of them have now finished both grammar and high school and are trained community health educators in their villages.
emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 2/19/2010 12:29PM

    Unfortunately slavery still exists, even in our rich countries, even it is not named as it is... It's us who should need some teachings to open our eyes.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WILDHONEYPIE1 2/19/2010 11:44AM

    A wonderful tribute to the history of us all. Thank you.


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."- George Santayana

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYAN45 2/19/2010 10:54AM

    Difficult to think that teaching could be considered a crime.

But... once it was a crime to teach slaves how to read. (That would only empower them and make them more dangerous.)

I cannot help but make the connection with some countries today
where they don't want females to go to school and learn.



I love the poem's "simplicity, patience, and compassion."

Beautiful
R>


emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/19/2010 10:56:45 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISANANCY 2/19/2010 10:45AM

    Hard to believe that this was not that long ago emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WI11IAMSONA 2/19/2010 10:27AM

  I am so grateful and respect so much, those individuals that endeavored to make things easier and fairer for all of us.

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 Last Page