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Dancing with life has kept me from words

Dancing with life has kept me from words these past weeks, it could be a month or more. 

Setting out on the blogging path again this year, I was so determined not to waver.  This time I would be consistent. This time I would write each week.  This time I would be present and fearless.  But yet again, I disappeared into a life without words.  I stopped writing, stopped visiting my favourite blogs. The magic drained away as I was consumed by other things – work, especially.

Returning to my WordPress friends’ blogs today I’ve found so much to renew me and remind me to keep going. And I’m also reminded of the similarities between maintaining a writing practice and a meditation practice…that I simply need to keep returning to these practices no matter how many times I ‘fail’.  The returning itself, with courage and persistence, becomes the practice itself. 

With gratitude for writers and readers everywhere, today I begin again. Blessed be.

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A Spiritual Practice For the New Year

Thank you Rita for sharing the grace of this reminder about forgiveness!

Spirituality Without Borders: Reflections on Spiritual Practice

forgiveness for ourselves

I have grown up with Pat Conroy, living through the horrors of his family life in The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, The Lords of Discipline, and Beach Music. Copious tears have accompanied the reading of each saga of abuse and dysfunction in the Conroy family.  In the spaces between the words I knew that it was not really fiction.  Now that I am reading this year’s publication of Conroy’s autobiography, The Death of Santini, I know not only that the sagas are true, but that they are only half the story.  This is a story of reconciliation.  Pat forgave his father, and himself.  This, I am in awe of.

So, forgiveness is on my mind today.  My meditation led me into those realms of forgiveness and I share the practice that came from it.  My intention is to slowly review my life in stages and let the…

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Photos

A place of longing and regret

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As I wandered around yesterday, aimless and free…I chanced upon this window. It holds many meanings for me and I find my anxieties and longings being activated when I look at this image.

On the one hand, it is a symbol of the irrepressible wild – that which reclaims all we try to bind, repress or control.

On the other hand, there is a sadness and constriction – the bars over the window prevent escape. Uneasy tension between seeing and simply closing one’s eyes in defeat.

Today, may I retain my awareness. May I not give up. May I remain most fully alive, seeing all and being carried from moment to moment in mindfulness of the breath. May the wild love within me prevail.

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Blessings

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Blessings

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Return of the mountain tiger

The practice of pain is a lonely one.  Mentally dealing with physical pain and emotional anguish is most often a solitary endeavour. It takes so much energy; and when in extreme pain, it can be difficult to physically speak.  Then, when the pain subsides, there may be no words to describe the suffering that has been experienced on every level of your being.

At some point, the separation between physical and emotional pain can be lost and their colours run together so that emotional pain is felt physically. 

I’ve found that pain can become a mental habit, too.  Expecting life to be painful, one reacts to it as if everything will hurt, regardless of what is actually happening. It’s pretty disempowering. So I’m trying to relate differently to life. It’s a practice of many steps, starting with the present moment – again and again.

I read something recently which resonated very deeply.  Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book True Love, writes about what happens when meditators leave their community.  He likens it to what happens when a tiger descends from a mountainous jungle, in order to wander the plains.

“A practitioner who leaves the sangha is like a tiger who has left the mountains and gone down to the plains.  If the animal does that, he will be killed by humans; and if the practitioner of meditation does not take refuge in a community, in a sangha, he will abandon his practice after a few months. Thus a sangha is absolutely necessary for continuing one’s practice.”

Part of what I’m doing at the moment is reconnecting to things which nourish and sustain me.  I’ve realised that I cannot live in isolation anymore.  Even if I have no words to describe my past experiences, I urge myself to remember that each new day offers the chance of renewal. Each new day requires me to make a choice about how to live right now. 

Today I went to a gathering at my faith community.  I felt like a tiger leaving the barren plains, drawn to the mountainous jungle by brilliant flashes of lightening around the summit.

Fed with loving kindness today, may I find the courage to live once more amongst this community on the sacred mountain. May my heart grow in its capacity for trust and love and friendship. If I ever get lost again on the plains, may I always find my way back to this blessed sangha.

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venus at beltane

It is Beltane here in the southern hemisphere and today I lit the sacred fire of gratitude in my heart for all that has been, all that is, and all that is to come.

At the peak of midday’s sun, I stood on my favourite hill and was able to walk through the long shadows of the past without regret. I found bright love among the rubble, and shook it clear of dust. I will wear that love each day now, knowing it cannot be destroyed.

Tonight I shared a long evening with the two people I love most in the world, and only the mosquitos could force us from the lakeside grove.

A day of beauty and grace; this dancer knows she is blessed.

Photos, Reflections

Venus, at Beltane

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