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."
The sheet she gave to everyone also had GinaBug's original blog, which had caused Sandra's musings:
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:
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:
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!
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")
A couple days before Els and Tom continued on from Maui to New Zealand.
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
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)
About Marilyn Nelson:
Friday, February 12, 2010
Life is nothing more, nothing less, so I'm trying to use 'em well, 'cause that's all I've got!
This film is poignant in places and shocking in others...just like life.
Check it out:
Monday, February 08, 2010
This morning, as I move into this day, I'm right on the edge of being seriously discouraged by my recent lack of care of this body for which I'm the steward. It's so easy for me to just go into "I give up!" "I'm not worthy!" "I'm such a slug!" etc., etc., ad naseum. But that's SUCH an old tune...and so unworthy of me.
Then I opened today's "The Golden Present: Daily Readings by Sri Swami Satchidananda" and BAM! there it is...so timely...so RIGHT. simple wisdom, nothing new, but obviously something I needed to hear YET AGAIN in this very moment...just get up, dust myself off, and trudge on ahead, doing my best today to make better choices.
I must admit I was a little ashamed as I read about not making the same mistake over-and-over...but ultimately encouraged that, yes, I can and will learn even from IT! The big lesson for me of loving self-care is that it is a life-time undertaking...I've come a long ways and, though I have a long ways to go, I'll continue the journey with you ALL, holding hands, baby-step by baby-step, since it's the journey we're on together, to optimal health and self-care!
YOU LEARN EVEN FASTER
If you make mistakes it doesn't matter. Make mistakes and learn. The best teachers are your own mistakes. You learn even faster by your mistakes. Once I was at a conference with the great modern scientist Buckminster Fuller. He stood up and said, "Friends, forget about all the `Do this. Don't do that' business. Commit as many mistakes as possible, as soon as possible. You'll become great!"
It's true. Every failure is a stepping stone. Remember, though, that you can't use the same stone for each step. Every step should be on a new stone. That means you shouldn't keep on making the same mistakes. Learn well from each one. The problem with many people is that they commit the same mistake over and over. Even so, they will eventually learn from that mistake and move on. Experience is the best teacher.
Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi
Sri Swami Satchidananda
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