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Though words fail me, poetry embraces....

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's clear I'm at one of the MANY crossroads in my life of traversing the planet for almost 67 years. It's scary and confusing and difficult...and joyful and mysterious and exciting. So many things are in the balance, including my future in Ecuador. My dear friend and kindred spirit Annie is visiting and we are in dialogue about these "passages" in our lives. I recall my friend Patti in Kauai saying, "Just invite!" and I think that this *inviting* in a way stamps out the fear and opens my heart to welcome whatever comes.

An intrepid traveler, poet and mystic, Irishman John O'Donohue has expressed my heart's desire. I invite you to sit with this wisdom. May it herald the arrival of the NEW for us all!

It's All Love,
Maha ~~

FOR A NEW BEGINNING

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

-- John O'Donohue
(To Bless the Space Between Us)
www.panhala.net/Archive/For_a_New_Be
ginning.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAL503 2/19/2009 12:08AM

    Dearest Maha,
I have been away for many moons, and just wanted to thank you for posting such a beautiful and perfect piece. I am going to print it out and hang it on my bathroom mirror for a while. It brought tears to my eyes, and I feel a sense of hope that perhaps one day I will figure out this life and this monkey mind of mine!
Blessings to you, and courage on your path. I admire you so much!
Val

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LKOPACK 2/18/2009 9:18PM

    Hi Valerie,
I just wanted to tell you it is a beautiful poem that speaks to many souls that are willing to be still and listen. I hope you are well and that your heart finds what you are seeking. Laura K.

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ANGELBELIEVER 2/18/2009 1:33AM

    Valerie, How beautiful. I love the idea of awakening my spirit to adventure. Thank you once again for your inspirational blog. emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY 2/16/2009 9:46AM

    Valerie-

I love it and may lift it to post as a note on my facebook! It speaks to being open to whatever's next. I was coaching someone recently and she decided to start allowing the feeling of "allowing" that something she wanted could happen. You are a true inspiration.

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Poetry that speaks to my dilemma...and my soul!

Monday, February 02, 2009

David Whyte is a comrade and kindred spirit on the path to consciousness and SOMETIMES he speaks directly to my heart.

I had some openings during my month on Maui and Kauai...that my increased feelings of lack of self-worth can be remedied and require my concerted and compassionate commitment and action NOW. Part of the continuing downward spiral that I have experienced is because I have continued wallowing in things as they are instead of proactively and intelligently moving away from what's not working and experimenting with new ways of being in the world.

Here I share how Whyte spoke to me deeply in this regard:

SOMETIMES

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest

breathing
like the ones
in the old stories

who could cross
a shimmering bed of dry leaves
without a sound,

you come
to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,

questions
that have patiently
waited for you,

questions
that have no right
to go away.

-- David Whyte
(Everything is Waiting for You)

www.panhala.net/Archive/Sometimes.ht
ml


Here are some things that I've come up with so far:

~ I'm becoming more deeply involved in serving incarcerated women
~ I'm beginning language lab to hone my second language skills
~ I'm going to call a retired priest/social worker friend to make a date to sit and talk about "ways out"
~ I'm going to make sure I have an active unclassified grad student status for the next semester at the local public university (tuition-free for 60 and older)
~ I'm going to get back on my bicycle, back in yoga class and sign up for Curves
~ I'm going to speak to the owner of the local mom-pop health food store about the possibility of working one day per week

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAL503 2/19/2009 12:13AM

    Maha,
I have been on a downward spiral as well, and just wanted to let you know that your words have lifted my spirit. I realize that it is the struggling itself that allows me to sink deeper in my despair, and I thank you for your mindful, searching posts.
I am starting my yoga practice again as well, and I will sit in meditation with gratitude for friends like you.
Namaste,
Val

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DRAGONFLY7149 2/8/2009 2:11AM

    The journey continues, Maha. Thank you for sharing this poem. I have also enjoyed David Whyte's poetry and prose, and your post reminds me it has been some time since I last referenced or came across his work. I know how difficult it can be to make the choices we need to make in order to move forward -- or beyond. It's true that 'everything is waiting'; you are a treasured member of this community and, as Ashley states, many will be here for you.
/Gail

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MADANNIE71 2/4/2009 1:29PM

    Wow, your time was well spent. I love the poem (you have excellent taste in poetry--it always opens my heart) and am so proud of you for laying out a plan. I also admire your energy and willingness to work on so many fronts. And I, as well as all the many friends you have at SP, have your back and will be here for you as you move ahead.
Ashley

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ATRANSFORMATION 2/3/2009 3:21AM

    Welcome "home", my friend.

What a glorious month you had, and what a wonderful, realistic plan you have laid out.

Ah, life...

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ANGELBELIEVER 2/3/2009 12:15AM

    You have a lot of goals and good plans to do what you want to do. I found your post to be very insightful,as always. Thank you!

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COSMIC_ENERGY 2/2/2009 9:32PM

    I tell those ugly requests--Talk to the hand--you are nothing! emoticon
I beckon those questions that lead me higher along the way. The paths are many-the truth is ONE.

Great to see you my friend If you have time please check out my blog and let me know what you think. www.stirringthespiritwithin.blogspo
t.com emoticon

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The last enemy!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's all about priorities! And it's so easy for me to get "off track" in this world of constant distraction, distortion, delusion, delerium, daring, ad infinitum....

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
-– I Corinthians

Most of us find the death of another person or creature deeply unsettling, yet after a time we manage to submerge our feelings and carry on. For someone deeply sensitive to the transitory nature of life, however, an encounter with death can leave scars that last a lifetime. As a teenager Saint Augustine witnessed the untimely death of a bosom friend, and suddenly a trapdoor opened into deeper awareness. He was devastated. “I thought death suddenly capable of devouring all men, because he had taken this loved one.”

The word anxiety is a weak term for expressing this continuing uneasiness, this unsettled sense of being out of place and running out of time. Generally we can only ascribe it to external events, if we succeed in linking it to anything at all. But what is actually happening is that a wisp of memory is rising, whispering to us from deep within that nothing external in life is secure, nothing physical ever lasts.

No matter how hard we may try, in the long run none of us can escape the devastating fact of death. Yet an encounter with death, as in the case of Augustine, can leave us changed decidedly for the better. It can prompt us forward on the long search for something secure in life, something death cannot reach.
-- Eknath Easwaran

www.easwaran.org/page/141

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLEHER27 1/4/2009 10:03PM

    I've acknowledged such anxiety the last week visiting my 90 year old father and watching him become more frail. Likewise, I met with a dear friend's mother. We both shared a hug which communicated how much we missed my friend and her daughter who passed away from cancer... Perhaps when one is willing to feel the feelings one can get through it.

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ZESTYLADY 12/29/2008 9:33AM

    Profound thoughts on this early morning. Touched a cord. Thanks.

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Killing me with delight....

Friday, December 26, 2008

I can choose DELIGHT!

MINDFUL

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for –-
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world --
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab.

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

-- Mary Oliver
www.panhala.net/Archive/Mindful.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADANNIE71 1/9/2009 4:53PM

    Thank you. I love Mary Oliver's poetry; she always surprises me with her imagery and language and then soothes me with her words. I am always glad to run into her by chance. You made that opportunity today, so many thanks.
Ashley

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SHADOWPUP 12/28/2008 10:30PM

    I love your posts! So insightful, and peaceful. Thank you for sharing.

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/27/2008 11:13AM

    That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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PEACEFULONE 12/27/2008 2:59AM

    Dear Maha,
I love this poem! Thank you for posting it! How like TNH to take joy in the common. And I love the description "prayers that are made out of grass". That lends itself to all kinds of interpretations.
Peace and blessings, Elaine

Comment edited on: 12/27/2008 3:01:23 AM

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"Woof Woof, wanna play!?!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

As I continue the ever-unfolding journey from darkness to light, this treatise on where we're at in our collective history and where we may go spoke directly and deeply to me, and screamed to be shared with kindred spirits far-and-near:

SOLSTICE INVOCATION FOR TRICKSTER ALLIES
by Caroline Casey

This is the midnight hour of the year, and of 8,000 years of Empire in which humans ceded authority (Saturn) to socio-pathic dingbats. Until now!

This Solstice poses the question: "What must we die to, within and without, lest we die from."

The I Ching chimes in: 24. The Turning Point -- Winter Solstice

"After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement but it is not brought about by force. Societies of people with a unifying vision are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time."

"From deep stillness comes replenishment and the gathering of strategy and wits. Not striving, but calm and merriment.

"The Winter Solstice has always been celebrated as the resting time of the year. In winter the life energy is still underground. Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be strengthened by rest, so that it will not be dissipated by being used prematurely.

"The return of health after illness, the return of understanding after an estrangement; everything must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return may lead to flowering."

Now more than ever.

All of Creation is holding its breath at this deep time, anticipating the birth, within each human heart, of wonder and a willingness to cooperate with everything. May we kindle the warm glow of Trickster kindness, within us all, transform our emotional default setting to one of "Woof Woof, wanna play!?!" Each moment awaits our imaginative dedication.

So let's toss all that is neither beautiful nor useful into the roiling cauldron of re-birth, that Time is so kindly providing us. Let's compost all past patterns of self-sabotage, personal and collective, for starters.

And let's bow at the threshold of this New Year, to release and redeem all that we do not wish to take with us through the door. Remorse is said to be the highest of the negative states, the closest to clarity --because we see and feel all those times when we didn't respond to life's "woof woof wanna play?!" When we fell for the compelling illusion of separateness, and forgot that we are all in one large, pulsing, shape-shifting-according-to-collaborative-
intent dream.

The Sufi, and we with her, gently pats her heart and whispers "estafirahlah" "forgiveness of self and others." And may "forgive" mean "to give energy for change."

The protoplasm of reality is particularly susceptible to imprint now, by the power of word, language, story and metaphor. Allowing ourselves one true hyperbole: Never before has the power of human story-telling been so essential in determining what dies and what lives.

Let us dedicate ourselves to animating the desirable story. (To do otherwise would be complicitous with the evolutionary dead-end of empire.) We suck the chi of our complicity from that which is dying, and exhale into the blooming of dynamic collaborative kinship. We are here to re-dedicate ourselves to the responsibility of dreaming the desirable world into being.

Saturnalia:(*) Deeper Dedication is the anti-dote to fear, as feeling useful is the anti-dote to depression. There -- that's handled.

So, let's visualize and dedicate, wherever we are around the Solstice time, and journeying on into this powerful Winter, that we are offering our unique and necessary Medicine, into the collective cauldron brew, and ladling ourselves a cup of All-Heal.

Trickster Medicine is really the sine qua non that brings all the other medicines into bubbling accord to produce the elixir of Dynamic Reverent Ingenuity.

www.coyotenetworknews.com/bio.htm
_________

(*)Saturnalia is the feast with which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn, which was on 17 December. Over the years, it expanded to a whole week, to 23 December.

Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals. It was marked by tomfoolery and reversal of social roles, in which slaves and masters ostensibly switched places.
_________


I so loved what I saw on Caroline Casey's "Coyote Network" that I decided to subscribe to the newsletter. Here's the e-note that came upon completing the process:

"Your desire to be on our Coyote Network News e-mail list is hereby confirmed with enthusiastic woof!

"Our aspiration: You will not be barraged or made grumpy, only encouraged and informed, as we forge the necessary alliances of reciprocal blessing during this wild historic ride." LOVE IT!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADANNIE71 1/9/2009 4:57PM

    What a lovely idea of Solstice. Thank you for your blog today.

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MAHITADEVI 12/26/2008 12:30AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/24/2008 11:56PM

    Thank you for sharing those beautiful thoughts. I have learned more about the Winter Solstice then I ever knew before. As A Christian it is a time to be born-anew..for Jesus to enter our heart once more at Christmas as we celebrate His Birth. It is so wonderful that we can share our different beliefs here with such love for one another. May you have a wonderful celebration too. emoticon

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