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VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries

Rising, Falling (& How the Swine Flu Figures)

Monday, April 27, 2009

I know my blogs are often unrelated to wellness issues in the most literal sense. But because of my belief that we are a body-mind-spirit entity and that all parts affect all others, I firmly believe that my sadness about what I see around me impacts my total state of well-being.

The tie-in between factory farming and the swine flu is sad and scary... and makes sense really. The runaway violence of the planet is no better characterized than in our treatment of animals over which we have the power. It says very little about our development as a species, but the karmic retribution for this treatment is unfortunately just in a cause-effect reality.

I'm especially aware today of the world's social, economic and environmental plight. Our inhumanity to one another and to the earth is beyond understanding to me...and my own unloving and unconscious behavior is very disturbing to me. I practice daily to become more conscious, and present, and filled with kindness and compassion.

The world is rapidly spiraling downward and not the least of the critical concerns is the manner in which we treat Mother Earth, Gaia. For some reason the devastation of Gaia has been especially on my mind today. One of my teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh, has written an amazing book about the crisis:

Here is an excerpt that encapsulates where I'm at today:

"The life of a civilization is like the life of a human being. This is birth and there is death. And this civilization of ours will have to end one day. But we have a huge role to play in determining when it ends and how quickly. If the human race continues on its present course, the end of our civilization is coming sooner than we think. The way we drive our cars, the way we consume, and the way we exploit and destroy the planet's natural resources are swpeeding up the end of our civilization. Global warming may be an early symptom of that death. If we continue consuming in the way we have, the majority of the planet's human beings may die and our ecosystem will be damaged to such an extent that it will be difficult to support human life as we know it. The world has known many other civilizations before ours, and many civilizations have already perished. Everything is impermanent."

I feel like I do so little to aid dear ailing Gaia. Today I promise Her that I will continue my efforts to find new lighter ways to *be* on Her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRAGONFLY7149 5/7/2009 4:25PM

    Maha, I can't imagine at all you doing little to aid ailing Gaia, though can relate entirely to the sense of there being an aura of futility surrounding what is happening to the planet and our civilization [is it really *civilized*?]

As we become increasingly conscious of these almost unimaginable challenges, how can we not make efforts to make a difference? That includes continuing to learn, being open to knowing how little we actually know, making informed choices and decisions, supporting wise or wiser choices in a myriad of ways.

These matters have weighed heavily on my mind of late as well. How bittersweet awareness is, and how challenging to see and maintain focus on the sweetness when too often it seems the whole world's gone mad!


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GBOOMER 5/6/2009 1:56PM

    Maha, even if you (or anybody, for that matter) were single-handedly responsible for destroying the environment, YOU ARE 100% COMPLETELY GOOD! And life is still good.

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SUSANLUSAN 5/6/2009 11:09AM

    You and I share ideas and feelings. It is all one with the opportunity for many lessons, joyful and otherwise. Thank you for your connected and expanded blog.

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LIZARDG7 4/30/2009 2:20PM

    Thanks, Maha. I was walking my dog this morning and the woods were filled with garbage bags, tissues, and other dog messes. I cleaned up what I saw and prayed for the woods, that people will see it as a living entity and entitled to respect. By the way, I also saw 5 deer, so God was very good to me. Lizzie

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COSMIC_ENERGY 4/27/2009 8:05PM

    You are a caring soul--Thank you--Jude

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The Will

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I have wrestled with control of the will for as long as I've begun to lead a more conscious life. It is definitely at the crux of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This "Thought for the Day" by Eknath Easwaran is really juicy in the way it gets at the heart of the matter --

Thy desire is thy prayer; and if thy desire is without ceasing, thy prayer will also be without ceasing. . . . The continuance of your longing is the continuance of your prayer.
-– Saint Augustine

I once had a physicist friend who would gladly discuss electric power; but harnessing the power of a passion or a craving – well, that was not dynamics; that was poetry. “Power,” he told me sternly, “is the capacity to do work. Work is the energy required to move a definite mass a definite distance. No movement, no work. No work, no power.”

Day or night I had never seen my friend far from his desk. Then late one evening I came out of a movie theater and saw him striding along like an athlete, several miles from his office. “What got you up from your desk?” I asked. “You’re breaking the habits of a lifetime.”

“Coffee,” he muttered. “I ran out of coffee.”

“Here,” I said, “a very definite mass has been propelled at least three miles, simply by one little desire for a cup of coffee.” He got my point.

Every deep desire is a prayer. Every desire also contains a certain quantum of energy – energy to grasp the desired goal.
-- Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LKOPACK 4/1/2009 9:38PM

    Hi there,
I read "The Will" and you have the ability to bring more insight into my thoughts. Thanks Maha. I hope all is well in your world.
Laura K.

Comment edited on: 4/1/2009 9:40:38 PM

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JUSTDUCKY1405 3/26/2009 3:45PM

    I read this last night, and followed your link and got very lost along the way... lol! Great Blog! Go check out my blog, you will know which one, about my evening last night, and what it has to do with you... lol!

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LIZARDG7 3/26/2009 10:49AM

    I read Easwaran first thing every morning. It's a wonderful way to start the day. Peace, Lizzie

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KUZINKEITH 3/26/2009 8:32AM

    Strange how the lessons can sometimes come in the most ordinary and daily "tasks" -- if we are open to observing.
Some of my desires could use a little more attention. But, gratefully, some fade away as quickly as they appear.

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Follow Your Bliss

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Joseph Campbell had a larger-than-life vision. He also had the consciousness and intelligence and sense of mission to share this vision -- full of grace and beauty -- with the world. This text of his so well encapsulates what this hero of mine taught and emulated...and I so need to hear this's simple and exquisite and right! Thank you Joe for *being* the radiance!
The divine manifestation is ubiquitous,
Only our eyes are not open to it.
Awe is what moves us forward.

Live from your own center.
The divine lives within you.
The separateness apparent in the world is secondary.
Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen,
but experienced, unity and identity in us all.

Today the planet is the only proper "in group."
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.

You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
The return is seeing the radiance is everywhere.
The world is a match for us.
We are a match for the world.
The spirit is the bouquet of nature.

Sanctify the place you are in.
Follow your bliss. . . .

-- Joseph Campbell

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I love Joseph Campbell. I have a picture on my wall that says "Follow Your Bliss and Don't Be Afraid" that I read every day. Love it!

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LIZARDG7 3/25/2009 3:40PM

    Ahh, Joseph Campbell - one of my favorites. It was lucky enough to receive a boxed set of his tapes from my dh many years ago and still watch them every once in a while. It's never too late of "follow your bliss". I'm 67 and think of this often when I put off doing something I really love for no good reason.

I really enjoy your blogs. Lizzie

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DEGAIA 3/25/2009 2:32PM

    Thank you Maha -- I SO needed to hear this just at this moment! The perfect response to a question I was pondering in my journal this morning.
And greetings to you - it's been awhile.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 3/24/2009 8:44PM

    Spirit is the bouquet of nature (the Universe)

Sanctify the place you are in

Be the joy-the love-the peace

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KATHYLM51 3/24/2009 7:43PM

    "Sanctify the Place You Are In"....that's a keeper. Thanks Maha

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GBOOMER 3/24/2009 1:41PM

    Ah! Good 'ol Joseph Campbell. Back in the 80s I practically read the whole "The Power of Myth" in a doctor's waiting room. (Over the course of several visits, of course.) Thanks for sharing this sample of his writing!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 3/24/2009 1:10PM

    Very real!

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ANGELBELIEVER 3/24/2009 1:02PM

    Once again, something to think about and to work towards.

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KUZINKEITH 3/24/2009 12:24PM

    There's a lot to ponder in this "vision".

We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.

Today I will choose to live in joy --- and stop worrying about political things I cannot change.

I will take time to find the bliss inside of me and spread that where I can.


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Monday, March 23, 2009

This amazing poem...that's all:
(After Rilke)

Spring has returned! Everything has returned!
The earth, just like a schoolgirl, memorizes
Poems, so many poems. ... Look, she has learned
So many famous poems, she has earned so many prizes!

Teacher was strict. We delighted in the white
Of the old man's beard, bright like the snow's:
Now we may ask which names are wrong, or right
For "blue," for "apple," for "ripe." She knows, she knows!

Lucky earth, let out of school, now you must play
Hide-and-seek with all the children every day:
You must hide that we may seek you: we will! We will!

The happiest child will hold you. She knows all the things
You taught her: the word for "hope," and for "believe,"
Are still upon her tongue. She sings and sings and sings.

-- Delmore Schwartz
(Last & Lost Poems)

Honoring Mr. Schwartz' gift:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUZINKEITH 3/23/2009 4:22PM


Time to play -- hope is alive -- rejoice in song.

Thank you Maha


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ANGELBELIEVER 3/23/2009 3:48PM

    I enjoy reading these poems you find. Thank you.

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You have not grown old, and it is not too late....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Old? What IS "old?" Is it the aging of the eternal spirit...but how could THAT be? The gradual falling away of this encasement for the spirit is but a shedding to allow new life. Thank you Rainer Mari Rilke for saying it so well....


You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.

So many live on and want nothing
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.

But what you love to see are faces
that so work and feel thirst....

You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
(Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. by Robert Bly)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LKOPACK 3/24/2009 10:31AM

    I love the poem. Old/or age is a state of mind and my soul says it will be forever young and will not budge. Thanks for the beautiful poem to asure my spirit it is correct. Laura K.

Comment edited on: 3/24/2009 10:32:34 AM

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ANGELBELIEVER 3/22/2009 11:38PM

    Love it. My body wears out, but my Spirit lives on forever. I am grateful for that...To know I will have eternal life is wonderful!

Comment edited on: 3/23/2009 3:47:34 PM

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COSMIC_ENERGY 3/20/2009 10:45PM

    When "wanting"--how much is enough? So true-the potent present s all we have. Soak it up--roll in it--Enjoy

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DISCIPLEAD33 3/20/2009 1:43PM

    So well stated! Justifies my ongoing effort to defeat ageism in my own body, by my own efforts. Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem.

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KATHYLM51 3/20/2009 1:06PM

    OLD.......what is that man made term?
We know that there is only "now" an eternal life that just "exists"...."is"....."I am".....that is the beginning and end. I sometimes smile at our creation of calendar, time, watches, clocks, to try to contain what we cannot....eternal now.

ps you are a beautiful spirit that will last forever.

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GBOOMER 3/20/2009 10:39AM

    What an inspiring poem! Now I want to look up the book, see if I can find it in the library. Thank you, Maha.

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