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The Core

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yesterday I attended a Pilates class, a form of exercise known for working with the core -- the solar plexus. As I conditioned the body's core, I reflected on the more esoteric meanings of working with *the Core:*

In Yogic Cosmology the third energy center, located in the solar plexus, is known as the Manipura Chakra -- identified with the Fire Element, Ego identity, oriented to self-definition. This chakra is known as the power chakra. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power. WOW!

It's so relevant that I look at this because I am dealing with these very issues at a very basic level right now --

~ make sure the metabolism, the "fire" of digestion, ignites, allowing nourishing food to properly digest, assimilate and fuel this organism so that my spirit is fueled. Certain yoga asanas and pilates directly impact this "fire" of the solar plexus.

~ domination of will -- so that conscious healthy eating becomes an everyday habit in spite of emotional ups-and-downs and so that meditation becomes as second-nature as conscious eating. Yesterday I decided to take a "fast" from recreational computer use, a statement of who's the boss here.

~ personal power -- to disengage and co-exist in a personally happy, healthy manner with my wounded, ill housemate, who I believe has PTSD with bipolar disorder. This is a delicate balancing act and a situation requiring continuous awareness to be sure my core needs are being honored and my spirit exudes joy.

~ self-definition and autonomy -- to fuel joy and fend off anger and hostility; to effectively determine my future without engaging in co-dependent behavior based upon the fluxuating behavior of my housemate.

I just completed an update on my SparkPage which I'm placing here because of the realization that BODY-MIND-SPIRIT is served best by the Core values of "energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power:"

BODY
As of March 1, I qualified through Medicare to join a regional well-equipped fitness center with a great pool and many classes of all types (various aerobic, strength training, yoga, pilates, core strengthening, etc.). So far I have been taking classes...I will begin expanding my exploration soon.

With my housemate's approval, I just remodeled the kitchen I share to make it a more user-friendly environment. I am $375 poorer, but I have been creating tasty meals with whole, organic foods for about two weeks now. YAY!

Both the university and the fitness center are less than 5 miles from my place of residence, an easy ride on my trusty Trek, and further motivation to make use of my bicycle in yet another circumstance of life.

MIND
I have also decided to complete a second undergraduate degree, in Spanish, since I can attend any AR state university under a seniors "tuition waiver" program. This decision feels right for various reasons -- it will eliminate my sense of social isolation, it will challenge me intellectually, it may even result in some interesting income-making possibilities, and it gives me a sense of mundane purpose for a time-limited period (it should be over before I get bored!).

I am working with my level of computer use and how it can be a "cop out" when there are other, more pressing things on my plate. It is one of the ways I compensate for the challenging living situation I'm dealing with with as well as my sense of social isolation. Staring at the monitor too much zaps my motivation for other tasks. I have declared a "fast" from recreational computer use for a period of time as one means to free up real time and psychic space for these myriad tasks. It's tricky, because limited use is beneficial and I'm so good at sabotaging myself. But I'm *on it* daily -- assessing my behavior -- celebrating my successes and pondering my failures. I'm experimenting with creative ways to become more pro-active in finding healthy, joyful solutions to my dilemmas.

SPIRIT
I have been struggling with consistency my sitting practice and decided to use Lent as a tool to set an intention of 40 days of daily meditation practice. I'm participating loosely with the Awakening Team in this 40-Day Challenge.

I want to be fully present for all that the Divine has to offer me in the continuing adventure, in the subtle and not-so-subtle twists and turns of my anything-but-*normal* daily life. Enhanced BODY-MIND-SPIRIT health will help attune me to that "still small voice" within that is signaling the way to the next signpost on the Path.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUZINKEITH 3/17/2009 10:42AM

    AHHH - to be fully present --- that's quite a goal. I too have fallen slack on my meditation time, I've rarely been consistent with it. I try to convince myself that spending time on spark is meditation-like ----- Denial is a strange place to reside!
Best wishes on your new "intentions" and the road that lies ahead.

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ATRANSFORMATION 3/17/2009 4:28AM

    xxoo

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VAL503 3/12/2009 11:32AM

    Ah, Maha..
Your powerful intuitions and intentions are joining!
Such wonderful experiences are coming your way.
Wishing you joy, light and peace on your continuing journey.
Namaste,
Val

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DRAGONFLY7149 3/12/2009 1:03AM

    Powerful intentions, Maha, and I'm so happy for you finding circumstances that enable action. I can so relate to much of what you speak of! Yesterday I came upon a site in my own online meanderings that offers a challenge (in the Sufi tradition) with Remembrance and Jewel exercises you may find of interest and perhaps helpful.

http://www.heartofbusiness.com<
BR>
/gem



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COSMIC_ENERGY 3/11/2009 9:11PM

    Blessings abound in your journey Maha! I will feel you in the wind!

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CHANGE!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

SONNETS TO ORPHEUS: II, 12 (stanza 1)

Desire change. Be enthusiastic for that flame
in which a thing escapes your grasp
while it makes a glorious display of transformation.
That designing Spirit, the master mind of all things on earth
loves nothing so much in the sweeping movement of the dance
as the turning point.
-- Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Br. David Steindl-Rast

Wanted to get this poem posted before losing it. I'll comment it on it later...right now, I'm going to lay this body down, hoping to fight that bug that's trying hard to invade this organism!

To be continued!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAL503 3/5/2009 10:14PM

    Maha,
Hope you are feeling better!
I made soup today, and would give you some if we were in closer proximity (minus the chicken, of course!).
Sending healing thoughts your way..
Val

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COSMIC_ENERGY 3/5/2009 6:57PM

    Lots of pure white light coming your way--feel better soon.

Comment edited on: 3/5/2009 6:57:28 PM

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You will come to see that all evolves us.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Light that shines through Jalaluddin Rumi's words is absolutely astounding to me.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi

"(Your hands) will come to find they hold everything you want." The Divine offers me this gift. I have only to accept.

"(Your hands) would no longer lift anything to your mouth that might wound...." Oh my, yet another reminder of the importance of the control of the palate.

"The power that made the universe will enter your sinew" tells me of the power available to me if I just BELIEVE.

"Exuberant is existence...love goes mad with the blessings." I'm speechless with the image and reality of this.

"The torture's rack of the past and the future" indeed!

"Forget any sounds or touch you know that did not help you dance. " What a perfect philosophy and Way of Life!!!

Thank you for gracing our souls with the truth that it's ALL Love:

THAT LIVES IN US

If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.

If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land –
that sacred earth that is your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.

Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.

Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and the future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.

Be kind to yourself, dear – to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.

-- Rumi
(Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by Daniel Ladinsky)

www.panhala.net/Archive/That_Lives_in_Us.h
tml

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LKOPACK 2/26/2009 1:33PM

    I love reading the poems you post. Laura K.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 2/24/2009 10:38PM

    Great stuff--Evolving!

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KATHYLM51 2/24/2009 8:52PM

    thank you for sharing that Maha, much truth and peace here. k

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ANGELBELIEVER 2/24/2009 3:45PM

    Beautiful, as always. Hope you ad a great birthday.

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Happy birthday to me!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I awakened on this quiet late winter morning, beginning this day sitting and doing some pranayama. I promised myself yesterday that I would be gentle and kind to myself today as my special offering to me.

Two special gifts I'm offering myself today are ~~

~ Speak with the Research Department of the AR Legislative Council about allocating a portion of the lottery bill revenue (100% designated for education) to prisoner education

~ Begin the advanced Spanish program at the university language lab

I'm deeply grateful for so much -- the gifts of spiritual teachers who point the way, vibrant health, friends (cyber and 3-D all over the world) to share the journey, MORE than enough resources to live comfortably and then some, numerous options on how to live it out, second language skill which gives me the opportunity to communite with over 4 million Spanish-speaking souls on the planet, the joy of service...and SO MUCH MORE.

I often find myself sad and anxious, surveying the local and global world about me with all the violence, chaos, greed and suffering and so I especially appreciate the reminder of friend Cynthia's birthday poem (which I have posted on my computer desk!), penned by e e cummings:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Blessed be!
xox
Maha

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADDY_AVENA 2/28/2009 2:18PM

    (Belated) Blessed Birthday, beautiful Creature! I'm so glad you're on the planet! *Mwah*!! May this new year of your life bring you joy, good health, success and the fulfillment of the dreams that you are ready to receive.
love,
Maddy

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MADANNIE71 2/24/2009 9:32AM

    To you, a lovely birthday and an extra special thanks for sharing ee cummings happysong. Hope you have a special week.
Ashley

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ANGELBELIEVER 2/24/2009 12:48AM

    Happy Birthday to a beautiful lady. Thank you for sharing that beautiful poem. May all your dreams come true.

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NORLANA 2/23/2009 11:38PM

    Oh happy, happy, day!! Thank you for being an inspiration to me every day :)

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COSMIC_ENERGY 2/23/2009 7:49PM

    Sending you buckets of pure white love to wrap yourself in like a blanket.

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KARBIE18 2/23/2009 7:02PM

    Hope you are having a wonderful birthday. Those sound like wonderful gifts, and I love the poem! Thanks for sharing.

Karen

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VAL503 2/23/2009 2:58PM

    Dearest Maha,
Birthday blessings to you, my friend! I hope you deeply feel that joy and spark today, and that you truly realize what a gift you are to this earth. You are an inspiration to me :-)
Namaste,
Val

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...improbably beautiful & afraid of nothing....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Starlings in Winter

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbably beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGELBELIEVER 2/21/2009 1:15AM

    Dear Valerie, How beautiful. I love watching and listening to the birds sing their joyous song. I love waking up to the birds and their chirping and singing. It starts my day off so full of joy. Thank you for reminding me how special the birds are in our lives and how beautifully made they are. Truly the creation of a Higher Power whom I choose to call God. emoticon

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VAL503 2/20/2009 8:24PM

    I just got back from a walk in the forest, and all the birds were chirping and the trees were budding out. To come in and read this just makes me smile on the inside and the outside!
As always, thanks for your delightful additions.
Peace,
Val

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MADANNIE71 2/20/2009 7:09PM

    What a beautiful description and metaphor. I have to remember to breathe when I read it, because it takes my breath away.
Ashley

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ABURRIS1 2/20/2009 1:06PM

    Thanks for sharing one of my favorites! The last two stanzas make my heart flutter every time. You made my day. Peace to you ~ann

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