Blindness. Walking in confidence

Spiritual blindness clouds my vision at times. I keep returning to the programmed scripts of scarcity, competition, victimhood and this flat paper doll world construct where in we are standing in our underwear waiting for some outside source to dress us up. The giant hand will cover the shame of who we are without acceptable stylish cover. The controlling hand will give us the fabric of status. We will be anointed by validation. We will be absolved of our denuded humanity by the powerful outside authority.

The distance between where we believe we can go and where we can get to belief is always something I am aware of. Like someone walking in a mirage desert projecting in a landscape of oasis, my programmed reality is at odds with that which my spirit knows to be true.

The big work for me is to release the struggle. How do I go from what I am now to what I know myself capable of being? Where is the map? What are the instructions? Am I supposed to read it by the full of the moon or with a candle held behind it so I can see the tracings of the journey?

Like some lost, skitterish animal, meditation finds me stuck in a gully, or trapped under loose scree. Meditation brings me back to the container of now, of breath, of body, of allowing all of the fear-pain-anger to just exist in now.

we live in a grid

What my practice has done for me is to allow me to push the “Start Over” button. I have also found that sitting silence or chanting until my tears fall without check allows me to be loving to myself. I return to my intention to stay in the experience of growth.

In the past, I was in a self created classroom not unlike the one my mother described in the 1930’s. When she made a mistake, the ruler marks raised welts on her hands. When she did not learn at a rate or at a predetermined level of performance, she had to sit on a tall stool wearing a tall hat.

In the past, I was in the classroom of perfectionism and I was brutal and unforgiving of myself.

Meditation allows me to push the re-set intention button. I start again. I view myself with loving kindness. Because I have come to understand that being human is basically a bitch, I know to be kind. Because I have come to appreciate that being born into a body IS the hell we all fear mistakenly fear in the afterlife, I have come to be more compassionate to all of us.

William James knew

One time when I was in Floatspace, I saw the souls as lights. They were in the waiting room between lives and each one chose to come down the shoot of energy into his or her mother. Each one made the commitment to come to earth and agree to be born. As I floated in the salt water, I saw a hundred thousand lights travelling to earth to agree to enter a body. They agreed to suffer pain, face death, walk in the mass delusion of whatever their culture had constructed because they wanted to learn.

We see what we believe

It takes my breath away, the bravery of souls. We are here to learn. I am here to learn. And it is through meditation that I can keep my focus and like an adventurer ask the question: What is the real map?

I get lost. I stumble. I forget to be grateful. But I know that this life is where it all happens. It is where we truly learn to love.

Learning the Interior Map

It was fascinating for me to observe myself this past week. With all of the progress I have made in self-discovery, with meditative practice and setting intention, I fell off of the wagon.
For two days I felt sad, depressed and while I was working full- out on those things that needed to be completed, I was crying. What is it that is said, “Crying for all my lost days.” The sense of heaviness in my heart was so great that I actually saw a vision of my heart as a large, black boulder. The list was being dissolved. I was moving through doing that which I intended to do. However, I was dragging my spirit along behind me forcefully.

Om Mani Padme Hum

On the third day, the pain in my wrists, head and back manifested. Was this because I was depressed and ,therefore, more open to viruses? I don’t know. However, I immediately went into coping mode. I headed out to buy sugary drinks and a giant cookie. I rented videos to distract me. I holed up in the dark living room.
Leaving behind meditation practice, working out and connecting to friends, left me deep into the coping mechanisms that had worked out…. not at all… in the past. After a day of couch- floating, the pain grew more and more intense. I suddenly got the message. My son had visited me five days previously and he was getting sick. I was sick. Fever for two nights, racking back pain and sick to my stomach.
So now what most interests me is the question:Did I get sick because my defenses were down due to a negative mind-set or did I take the on- slaught of virus and interpret it as depression?

Was the pattern of old mind, of disaster mind so ingrained in me that because I was sluggish, unwell and fighting off a virus, I immediately attributed that to emotional pain.
Well that is fascinating!!! If my meditation practice were to do something for me, I understand that I should have not avoided sitting. It was a time to sit and experience all that was going on in my body and to release the emotional turmoil around it. “You feel like shit. Oh yes you do.”However, just let that be and experience it.

eye of the storm

Also, running toward sugar and movies. That will fix everything. Just a hit of this and a hit of that. What about going for a walk or calling my daughter? No can’t do that!
So the ego waits to find situations whereby it can act out. Things are so bad you “need” this. The world sucks so you “deserve” that.
In addition, I am wondering if watching all of the videos of the Tsunami and world upheaval has not affected a change in my energy. I like to be informed. But, I am a sensitive. After enough years on this planet, I know this to be true.
I am not just sympathetic, I am empathetic. Once when my brother fell out of the car and broke his collar bone, we took him to the hospital. While he was in being examined, I cried and cried. My parents asked what was wrong. I told them I hurt. My shoulder hurt where he was injured and it was intense. It was not sympathy. I was experiencing his pain.
So what are the lessons… oh for Pete sake… again. Take care of the body. Sit meditation to connect to the body. Seek ways to be joyous that are healthy. Stay close to loving friends. And, lastly, allow yourself to make mistakes without judging or condemning yourself. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. Buddha tells us that we have many life times for this work. And that is a good thing.
May your day be full of love


Setting Intention

I am bathing my brain cells in CD’s, DVD’s, on line radio broadcasts, web sites that are all to one end. This time in my life is so clearly a falling away of the past and a moving into a new way of existing in the world. Much of what I have read or experienced in the past provides me with direction. It is easier to read the map now that delusions have fallen away.

piece I sold at Under 8 Sopa Gallery

Each day begins with meditation. I sit in the wonderful, turquoise green chair that was discovered¬† on a walk when I was still “married” and my husband brought it home. I light candles and incense and sit quietly. Sometimes I concentrate on my breath, sometimes I concentrate on concentrating on my breath, sometimes I watch my thoughts. What I have learned after over a year of daily practice is to not attach to non-attachment. That sly ogre under the bridge , the ego- troll waits. The grading or judging of the efficacy of the meditation is just the troll. It was good. It was bad. My mind was busy. All of these thoughts are unimportant. It is the sitting itself that is important.

What have I learned in the year:

I have learned not to judge my judging.

I have learned to have empathy and compassion for the pain I feel.

I have learned that my mind seeks narrative. (The seduction of a story draws me. I will…. story begins. I did…. story begins.)

I have learned that my childhood has left me with a deep seated feeling of emptiness that I crave to fill with thoughts and work.

I have learned that I can teach myself new skills by NOT moving.

I have learned that my tenacity and rigidity is a gift because once I teach myself, I will commit to a new pattern.

I have learned that tears will come when I think of those I have lost no matter how good or how damaged our relationship was, I still feel the loss.

I have learned that I can create a sense of safety and love by relaxing into the moment.

I have learned that by sitting still the day becomes calmer and I become capable of loving others.

My rituals also include writing five things for which I am grateful each day. I am surrounded by loving friends who have become more a family to me than my family ever was. My sisters call me on my delusions, applaud my victories which they fully understand are acts of courage, come to my side when I need one of them, answer my phone calls even when they are busy, check in with me every day, dream about me and most of all want the best for me. This is the gift that I have been given.

My children have been honest and kind to me through this tearing transition. I don’t know how many times I was raging with heart break and crying into the phone as my daughter held her crying baby and talked with her two toddlers. She never said, “Mom, I can’t talk.” She held me in her heart and listened even as she cared for her three children. After I became stronger, I laughingly said she had four whining babies to deal with all at once.

My son has given me his brusque, no holds barred opinion of how my last several years look to him. It is good to be moving into a place where we can be honest with one another as equals.

After I complete my gratitude journal which is a red linen book with the Chinese symbol for Happiness embroidered on the cover, I read affirmations. A few moments of reading the Tao of Pooh, the Tao, Walt Whitman or some other literary form deepens my practice before I step out to the day.

Lately, I have been feeling much stronger. I have a show up at the Unitarian Church that someone told me was “elegant”. I like that. April 1st I will hang a show at the Kelowna Blood Bank. Tomorrow I take three pieces to the Myths and Legends show downtown Kelowna. A Vernon art gallery will be hosting a Digital Artist’s show and I want to have three pieces up in that. Also in April, I have three pieces up for the Under 8 Show at Sopa.

Currently, I have completed an ebook called FACING IT; POEMS POSTED ON FACEBOOK 2010 to 2011. As soon as the ISBN arrives, I will load it into LULU and mash my way through getting a paypal button on this web site so that people can download it from here as well. Today I finished a book cover design for a poet named David Brydges. I have now done four book jackets for him, a web site and business cards. In addition, I completed several sketches for former students who purchased a really beautiful piece in my Canadian Beige series.

CAnadian Beige Circle 22 by 24 Mixed Media

I still have a couple of monologues to write for a theatre company in Sacramento. And the body…

My intention is to get my body very strong. Why? Because. I. Want. To. So I am doing 150 crunches a day, lunges, squats, weights for arms and shoulders and (with great resistance) gone for two hour long walks this week. Patterns, breaking patterns. I have to tell myself…. I know you don’t want to go outside. I know you want to keep working but you can’t change if you don’t make changes. And when I talk to myself very, very gently I listen.

crunches can be worth it

Because I am a workaholic, I frequently have to pull myself back. Whoa Nellie. Step by step. The adrenal glands don’t need to be flooded. Doing without doing. Training. Being aware. Watching. What a journey I am on. And I know I am about to step into a new land very, very soon.

Prayer to Cod Liver Oil

Lift me up from the seduction of despair,
the long nights of gray memories
like fog settling into my brain house.
I reach for sugar or buy another piece of red
to act as fire for my low burning embers.
Oh spoon full of light
coat the dry places in my body/soul
sliding down
to bring me sun
to my skin
inside out me
from the season of loss.

arioso strong woman dances in the air

Christmas Clarity

The air is crisp and cool. The season is settling in throughout the continent. I saw a video of the opening of a new outdoor ice arena in Mexico.
In the Eastern section of Canada there was a meter and 1/2 of snow last night. The romantic image of snow on trees, two wet mitten covered hands linking a couple strolling through the diamond studded snow scape comes to mind. People digging out their dog houses and cars is not usually featured in this dream land.
The interesting work of being in the present means embracing what is and saying this is a season, this is a day. To look at the tree out my window and remember the fullness of green is to reject the beautiful lines of the black branches against the gray, winter sky. There are things to appreciate in even the harshness of the view.
Not being able to be happy in the now, is a practice. Living into the future is a practice. I am starting to “get” that only by being able to enjoy the moment can I get better at accepting the now.

the golden moment of now, a gift from the universe

May you live in joy this day.