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VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries part a curtain....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible veil of indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other's presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight.

-- Eudora Welty, 1909-2001 (Pulitzer Prize winner for The Optimist's Daughter)

Oh -- such an apt and lovely image for my journey in this world..."parting curtains" ~~

~ of veils of indifference that blind us to the *other's* presence
~ of sadness, that sinks us into a place of isolation and fear
~ of conditioned behavior, which keeps us in the *box* of boring, mundane sameness
~ of the will's weakness, to become a determined and committed spiritual warrior
~ and, with adjusted perceptions, enjoying the Mad Tea Party of this crazy, topsy-turvy life
~ parting the mist, and dissolving into the shining Self within!

Tat Twam Asi! (Thou Are That!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    One of my favorite qigong movements is "parting the curtain"

What lovely insights to meditate on while moving...

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MAHITADEVI 12/22/2008 12:43PM

    This post was YUMMY! YES, YES, YES!

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SAVOY1 12/22/2008 11:27AM

    Yeah...what you said!! Amen.

To copy your signature sign-off...all is indeed love!

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HILFROMTEXAS 12/21/2008 5:06PM


Your words have touched a chord that needed awakening. Thanks so much for sharing. Life is so cluttered, so messy and so scattered. Your words remind to look around, to notice, to observe, to laugh, to be joyful, to rejoice, to proclaim the goodness I see.

We are all united, all created to care, to reach out, to connect. May you enjoy your time today and celebrate the richness of the parting...the revelation...Blessings... emoticon

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CALEEE 12/21/2008 12:39AM

    Maha, this is a beautiful entry. I felt a piercing as I read it. I know that my journey home is a spiritual journey. I have allowed veils to form between the different parts of myself which isolate me both from myself and others. Thank you for putting words here for me to ponder. I'll "sit" with them tonight.


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ANGELBELIEVER 12/20/2008 12:03PM

    Valerie, I love that concept of parting the curtain of invisible indifference. That is something for me to ponder for sure. It is amazing to me when I think about what I have become indifferent to, and I don't like it. I see I have work to do and will ask my God to help me. Indifference turns me into stone after a while...I don't want my feelings to become hardened. I need to always be aware of my emotions and have feelings. After all, feelings mean I am alive.Thank you so much for this insight today.

Comment edited on: 12/20/2008 12:03:51 PM

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Time OUT, Move IN

Friday, December 19, 2008

I've finished the sweater season, adding several thousand miles to the 2001 long bed cargo van that has served me so well since I bought it new at the end of 2000. It has 150,000 miles on it, and I only used it each year for the approximate four months of sweater season.

I'm back in AR at Robert's house, my friend and former partner. I live in the back, have my own entrance and bathroom, sharing only the kitchen with him. The vibes of his lack of balance float in here and affect me, to some extent I suppose because we were partners for 16 years and I continue to care deeply about his well-being. It is clear to me that he exhibits classic bipolar symptoms, as well as the possibility of paranoid schizophrenia. The key for me to be emotionally well and thrive in this environment is to not ENGAGE, to remain DETACHED from him, while helping as I'm able when I'm able and enjoying his company when he is able to socialize appropriately.

This evening we are heading in to Little Rock for a holiday celebration. I hope it all goes well...I can really use some company and celebration! We are going to dine at a great Italian restaurant in the *hippest* part of the city and then take in a female jazz vocalist with her back-up group who have gotten good reviews. The venue is walking distance from the restaurant.

We are spending the night (one room, two beds!) there and then playing on Saturday...brunch, some Whole Foods shopping, an afternoon movie, and then a concert of black gospel music at the Hilton! We'll head home after that, hopefully full of holiday joy and enjoyment!

I have often been *glued* to the computer since getting back, somehow seeking *connection* through this device. Not good. I'm also eating poorly, basically in terms of portion control. I'm off-balance and need to move within, getting back to daily sitting and breathing practices as well as asanas and other movement (aerobic and strength training). I'm definitely feeling stymied and need to make a radical move...and continue in that direction!

May it be so!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COSMIC_ENERGY 12/22/2008 7:33PM

    Thank you my friend for all that you do to keep the Universe a balanced place for us all. I find the "living with (so to speak) the ex intriguing". Have a blessed holiday season and more. Jude emoticon

The virtual addiction is viral!

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PEACEFULONE 12/20/2008 2:59AM

    Looking forward to hearing that you had a wonderful time out on the town. It is not easy to stay focused on health this time of year. We can re-focus in the New Year. Peace and blessings, Elaine

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MAHITADEVI 12/20/2008 1:11AM

    May it Be So! I support you during this time.

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ABURRIS1 12/19/2008 2:19PM

    Blessings on your time of recreation, both "on the town" and on the mat. It is interesting that often it requires a wrenching to get back to the daily practices that feed us so wholly. Just do it. This what I have to tell myself time and again, trying to remember the feelings of connectedness, health and balance they how crucial that is to my entire well-being.
Peace to you in this, my friend.

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/19/2008 1:37PM

    You are a dedicated friend indeed. Hope you enjoy your dinner and the concert and have a wonderful time. Keep us posted. Hope you can find that balance within. It's so important to stay focused and balanced. You can do it.

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Selfless vs. Selfish

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

After 11 years with the project, I finished the last leg of the last shows trip for on December 9. During this period between the first of October and mid-December, I traveled serially with two men who I hired to help with the driving, the set-up and break-down of the booth, and with sales during the shows. We traveled through the heartland, into the south and over to the east coast. Neither are friends perse, although they are known to be upstanding and highly-principled men.

It was purty much a 24/7 level of relationship with these two men. We were thrown together by work, into an "in your face" intimacy. The cooperative paid for separate lodging this year, in contrast to past years when I reserved rooms with two beds and we actually shared rooms as well!

Oh my! the lessons that came to me in equinimity, non-judgment, control issues, releasing my independent spirit of "doing it all," giving without expecting the fruits of the action, and on-and-on! It was intense and, at times, very difficult. But there were occasional spells of real communion and fun as well, thank goddess!

I'm amazed at the profoundity for me in my personal reflections, of the Word for the Day that was in my In-Box this morning, after last night's arrival, finishing the three month tour. And in these reflections, I expand the GOOD vs. EVIL continuum to include:

highest intentions vs. egoically-driven intentions,
holy motivation vs. personal-gain motivation
selfless service vs. selfish service

I am aware that there is always that smear of self-serving in even the seemingly most selfless act. And at times I'm horrified at the judgmental nature of my thoughts and even the slightest hint of a "holier-than-thou" feeling that can taint a good deed. Thich Nhat Hanh said, "My actions are my true belongings. They are the ground on which I stand." Purity in thought, word and deed is my never-ending goal as I move from egoic to selfless behavior, trudging the spiritual path:

"The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. " -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago

Judging MYSELF isn't useful anymore than judging another. I will, though, celebrate the movement, any movement, TOWARD ever-greater purity of thought, word or deed, no matter how slight the change of position.

As I contemplate these Truths, Sri Easwaran's Thought for the Day arrived to my InBox. It is SO pertinent to my reflections, I need to add it, both for remembrance, and to share:

"A good action is never lost; it is a treasure laid up and guarded for the doer’s need (Calderon de la Barca).

"In Hinduism and Buddhism this principle is called the law of karma. The word karma has been much misunderstood, but its literal meaning is simply action, something done. So instead of using exotic language, we might as well refer to the “law of action,” which states that everything we do – even everything we think, since our thoughts condition our behavior – has consequences: not “equal and opposite” as in physics, but equal and alike.

"The comparison with physics is deliberate, for this is not a doctrine of any particular religion. It is a law of life, which no one has stated more clearly than Saint Paul: “Whatsoever we sow, that shall we also reap.” The working of this law, we should bear in mind, is not necessarily negative. If we sow mercy, we shall receive mercy in ample harvest. If we give love, we shall receive love; if we are kind and patient to others, others will be kind and patient to us."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAKELIFE 12/17/2008 10:56AM

    I enjoyed this blog entry! The thought for the day in your IN box reminds me of a line in one of my favorite songs ever -- written by folk singers David Wilcox and Beth Nilsen Chapman, DEEPER STILL - and the line is: "You always have what you gave to love."

Check out the song! I think you'd like it!


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ANGELBELIEVER 12/16/2008 5:13PM

    Once again. your blog is wonderful. Whatever we sow, we shall reap is so true. If we give to another, we will be blessed 10 fold. Another way to say it is"What goes around, comes around." Life is a circle. everything comes back to you. Thanks again for your words of wisdom, my dear friend. emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 12/12/2008 7:04AM

    Deborah, I have continued adding to this blog since the day you commented (even up to today!). Now Solzhenitsyn's text, which you made reference to, is no longer at the end! But isn't it powerful!!!

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DEBORAHWILL 12/10/2008 12:57PM

  Your blog today struck a cord in me today.
I I especially liked your quote at the end.
Today I am noticing when I am short or unkind to my husband.
When I notice what I have done and can forgive myself for my short comings I can find that"bridge of good is retained".
My heart is once again open and accepting of him.
Thank you for posting.

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There is no going back

Friday, December 05, 2008

No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.
More and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
You have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now, and always.
And so you have become a sort of tree
standing over a grave.
Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.

-- Wendell Berry
(Collected Poems)

From :

Berry, a Protestant Christian, was baptized at New Castle Baptist Church; he attends worship with his wife, Tanya, at Port Royal Baptist Church.[5] He has criticized Christian organizations for failing to challenge cultural complacency about environmental degradation.[6] and has shown an openness to other religious traditions.[7] Berry’s long-time publisher, Jack Shoemaker, also publishes many works related to Buddhism, including Taking the Path of Zen, by Robert Baker Aitken, in which Aitken thanks Wendell Berry for reviewing the manuscript and making comments.[8] Berry is a fellow of Britain's Temenos Academy, a learned society devoted to the study of all faiths and spiritual pursuits; Berry publishes frequently in the annual Temenos Academy Review, funded by the Prince of Wales.[9]

His nonfiction serves as an extended conversation about the life he values. According to Berry, the good life includes sustainable agriculture, appropriate technologies, healthy rural communities, connection to place, the pleasures of good food, husbandry, good work, local economics, the miracle of life, fidelity, frugality, reverence, and the interconnectedness of life. The threats Berry finds to this good life include: industrial farming and the industrialization of life, ignorance, hubris, greed, violence against others and against the natural world, the eroding topsoil in the United States, global economics, and environmental destruction.

As a prominent defender of agrarian values, Berry's appreciation for traditional farming techniques, such as those of the Amish, grew in the 1970s, due in part to exchanges with Draft Horse Journal publisher Maurice Telleen. Berry has long been friendly to and supportive of Wes Jackson, believing that Jackson's agricultural research at The Land Institute lives out the promise of "solving for pattern" and using "nature as model."

The concept of "Solving for pattern", coined by Berry in his essay[10] of the same title, is the process of finding solutions that solve multiple problems, while minimizing the creation of new problems. The essay was originally published in the Rodale Press periodical The New Farm. Though Mr. Berry's use of the phrase was in direct reference to agriculture, it has since come to enjoy broader use throughout the design community.[11][12]

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGELBELIEVER 12/6/2008 12:59AM

    Absolutely , there is No turning bacak. Forward we go to a new adventure.

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The Iroquois Thanksgiving Address

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Ohenton Kariwahtekwen"

Greetings to the Natural World

The People
Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.

Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother
We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters
We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish
We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants
Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants
With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs
Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals
We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one

The Trees
We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds
We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds
We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers
Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun
We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon
We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

The Stars
We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers
We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator
Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words..........

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.

(You can hear this in the Cayuga language around 6 am (EST) every morning on )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VELRENO 11/30/2008 3:50PM

    Thanks for sharing this!

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