Thursday, June 11, 2009
In the Taoist perspective the universe was not "made" but "just is". The process which is the universe is not deliberately manufactured but of organic growth. Everything that ever existed or ever will came into being when Mother Tao was "mysteriously brought into existence". Everything is grown out of this one source. "Heaven and Earth were born at the same time I was, and the ten thousand things are one with me." No thing has caused other things to be, all things have mutually arisen and therefore mutually create and sustain one another.
The theory of the big bang suggests that the entire universe began with a single giant explosion. From silent and shapeless stuff (gases), the entire universe was born. We can be seen as having been latent in the primordial gasses that produced the big bang. The scientific consensus is the view that the universe has been continually expanding since the big bang. More recently, it has been theorized that it may eventually begin to shrink and collapse upon itself. If this hypothesis should prove out, this to would fit the Taoist cosmology. If the Universe eventually collapses back into itself, it may well be that this pattern of expansion and contraction is an endlessly repeating cycle that has been going on for incalculable eons.
this expansion and contraction of the universe could be conceived as the in-breath and out-breath of Mother Tao. Tao is the emptiness out of which all things arose and into which they will again return and arise again...and again...and so on.
This cycle applies not only to the universe but more immediately to the life cycle of the individual - all that transpires between the in-breath at birth and the out-breath on dying.
We either embrace life in its totality or we split it into an endless number of likes and dislikes. As Shakespeare put it; "To be or not to be" is the question. Fragmented, we can never find peace. Embrace the process of life and you embrace all aspects of it.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I care deeply for others. I believe in deep respect for ALL living things. It makes my heart burn to think of suffering and injustice, not only in my own country, but for the suffering of others anywhere on the planet. And that includes all of the inhabitants of Earth and of the Earth herself.
I feel it as a sign of maturity. I don't see it as something that anyone should be labeled and I hope that everyone has at least just a little bit of it!!
Friday, April 3, 2009
Karma is an expression of divine love.Everything that comes to us is made especially for us by God—to free us from all limitation.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Trying not to think about him doesn't help. I thought it would. Why does the hurt keep coming back? How long does it take to get over it? Would it be better if he talked to me and told me why and broke my heart, snapping it cleanly in two or is it better to let it fade away? Better, maybe...for him, to let it fade away, I'm sure it's much better for him.
Do men not have guilty consciences? Maybe just not this one.
What do I know? Little of men, that's for sure.
I wanted so badly to stay innocent. I thought that way I could have this beautiful dream of happiness in the arms of a lover. What if I'm tramatized and can't bring myself to trust another? I thought for sure he was different. I thought for sure that he was everything he promised me he was.
No I didn't. I lie. I wanted him to be everything he said he was. I knew he was only human but wanted to give him every single benefit of a doubt, and then some. I wanted him to see in me what I have glimpsed in myself. I am discovering that there is more to me than I ever thought possible and I hoped that if he could touch me and be with me in a way that was closer than anyone had ever been with me before, than he would confirm that I was this wonderful person just waiting to get out. When he didn't see it, I doubted that there was any depth to me at all.
I thought that if I overlooked the not so noble things in him than he would also overlook the not so interesting things in me. I wanted to be for him everything I also wanted him to be for me. Somehow I thought it could work like a mirror.
This is my test, isn't it? To not let this suck me down. To come out on top and feel better about myself than ever before. To trust that it's NOT me and that it is him. He is the one that has never had a long term relationship in his whole life. I'm nothing but long term relationships, commitments and...letting go . Maybe he had already gone well beyond his saturation point. Maybe he had already tried and tried again and is tired of trying. I loved it so much when he tried. I was in heaven when he was trying. I heard it in his voice, I saw it in his eyes, I felt it in his touch, there were times when he felt it. He knew there was something there, we both felt something that we admitted we had never felt before. Only he didn't seem to know how to hold on to it, or trust it, or believe in it, i'll never know which. Now I have to practice letting go, once again.
What is the Buddhist saying about being human is about suffering? We suffer because we grasp. We want things so badly that our every focus is on grasping, having and holding onto. As long as we want we will suffer. To ease suffering we must let loose our attachments. I've let loose of so many attachments already. More seem to grow back in their place, but I'll continue to practice letting go.
Letting go and trusting that my heart can take it. Drift off into the dark area of the unknown. I've come through it safetly before, why should I think I can't do it again?
Full of, so many questions.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Good blocks of oak it was I split, As large around as the chopping block; And every piece I squarely hit Fell splinterless as a cloven rock. The blows that a life of self-control Spares to strike for the common good, That day, giving a loose my soul, I spent on the unimportant wood.
The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day When the sun is out and the wind is still, You're one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare to speak, A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, A wind comes off a frozen peak, And you're two months back in the middle of March.
The water for which we may have to look In summertime with a witching wand, In every wheelrut's now a brook, In every print of a hoof a pond. Be glad of water, but don't forget The lurking frost in the earth beneath That will steal forth after the sun is set And show on the water its crystal teeth.
The time when most I loved my task The two must make me love it more By coming with what they came to ask. You'd think I never had felt before The weight of an ax-head poised aloft, The grip of earth on outspread feet, The life of muscles rocking soft And smooth and moist in vernal heat.
Out of the wood two hulking tramps (From sleeping God knows where last night, But not long since in the lumber camps). They thought all chopping was theirs of right. Men of the woods and lumberjacks, The judged me by their appropriate tool. Except as a fellow handled an ax They had no way of knowing a fool.
Nothing on either side was said. They knew they had but to stay their stay And all their logic would fill my head: As that I had no right to play With what was another man's work for gain. My right might be love but theirs was need. And where the two exist in twain Theirs was the better right--agreed.
But yield who will to their separation, My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are one, And the work is play for mortal stakes, Is the deed ever really done For Heaven and the future's sakes.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
In the end it doesn’t matter what I want. I’m here and I have to deal with what’s in front of me. If I don’t, the same things, only in a different color, are just going to keep coming back, haunting me, taunting me, with so many lessons. I’m a teacher, aren’t I? That’s what teachers do, we learn, and I learn best hands on.
It’s ok to dream of carefree sunny summer days, right? There are days like that out there again waiting for me. I have to believe in that. I don’t think I’m only teasing myself when I dream my little dreams. I’m opening to the universe what I really want. In some round about whacky way I’m going to get it!
This is just a set back. Another chance to regroup, learn and forge forth upon some predestined, intended, curvy, dusty old path. I don’t mind so much my feet getting dirty, I’ll appreciate so much more when I can get to a place and once again gently clean my feet off. Heal the wounds.
As I dream of sitting in the glittering hot sun, amongst tall dry grass and large boulders, with huge oaks nearby to cast dappling shadows of coolness in the light breeze. I’m just close enough to the edge of a clean cool stream that my feet are submerged and my toes sift through the sand and stones. As my feet become cool, soft and regenerated, so do I.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I am still riddled with guilt trying to figure this out.
I have this deep seated fear that I’m going about this life all wrong. That maybe something in my brain just doesn’t think things through in a correct way and then I wonder who is it that judges what correct thinking is besides me? How do I shape morals and values that should have been instilled in me as a child but I have to figure out as an adult? Having children has forced me to self examine things about myself so that I might instill in them a foundation for a happy life. And because I know I have to do this I wonder if I’m leaving out some vital information or I’m misconstruing some vital ethical issue that is making it difficult for me and my children to go forth into society and become productive well adjusted adults. This is a heavy burden!
Finding out that one of my children just doesn’t fit inside the same complex box that other children fit into has been this slow heartbreaking experience and at the same time he is joy to discover. He thinks in a different way than I can understand. Sometimes he does things that are irrational, scary and out of control. He has problems that I just can’t manage by discipline, rationalizing, or force. That makes me feel irrational, scary and out of control. It’s like we are feeding off of one another but I’m the one that must come to my senses first and the only thing I can do is set by example of my own behavior; Apologize, acknowledge feelings, and admit my own defeat. I want to help and feel so woefully inept.
Lately it’s all about holding in there until that frightening ‘fight or flight’ phase is worked through. I’m always afraid of moving too fast and doing some irreversible damage and in the process I sometimes miss out on opportunities.
There is a conflict between opening to the sympathy of others, asking for help and revealing my vulnerability, which I wear on my sleeve. I wish there was an easier way to get around that. After the first time it does get easier. There have been men in my life that I hoped to lean on but have only failed in my attempts with them. I wallow in self pity that I haven’t been able to make that connection. Even the children’s own father has never shown the interest or emotional support that I have felt a father should towards his own children. He is uncommunicative, uncooperative and resentful of me which I still can’t understand. Well, I sort of can, I just can’t understand why he won’t let it go.
The school system feels like this gamble of access to the right people at the right time. It doesn’t matter how well the system works it is more about how well the people involved work within the system. It is made up of all these ever changing components that try to adjust to what works best at the moment. When I get angry it is self gratifying to lay the blame ‘out there’ but when I calm down I need to work the most proactively with who ever I have to work with. It’s hard to take well meaning advice and apply it when it’s not really understood what the advice is supposed to do for me. I fear these well meaning ‘professionals’ are judging me. I fear they are going to cause me undue grief because of their own misconceptions of my life. They may have to push me for their desired response but I have to push back for my own self preservation and to keep the situation somewhat balanced. I just don’t feel that I’m very good at pushing. I’m up against people with very strong egos. This is where I rely on my back up resources, my friends.
I feel I have learned more from the friends I’ve met in just the last few years than I’ve ever learned before. It’s mostly because I discovered how to crack open this shell and feel a bit safer in my own skin. I’m forever grateful to all my friends with all their many aspects so that I may not feel so alone, warts and all!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Everyone we see in the world is a reflection of ourselves, and the traits we see most clearly in others are the ones that are strongest in ourselves. This is called the mirror of relationship and it is a powerful tool for emotional freedom.
When we have a negative reaction to someone, they're reflecting traits that we also possess but have been unwilling to embrace. For the same reason, we are attracted to certain people because they have the same traits that we have, only more so.
This exercise will help you embrace the coexistence of opposites within yourself:
Step One: Think about someone you find attractive. On the left side of a piece of paper, list ten or more qualities that you love in that person. Write quickly. The secret is to not give your conscious mind time to edit your thoughts. You can put down as many qualities as you wish, but don't stop until you have at least ten.
Step Two: Now focus on somebody who totally irritates you, annoys you, or makes you uncomfortable in some way. Why does this person infuriate you so much? On the right side of the paper, list ten or more of their undesirable qualities.
Step Three: Look at your list for the person you find attractive and circle the three qualities that you find most appealing about him or her. Then look at the list on the right side of the paper and circle the three qualities you find most repulsive.
Now read the six words you circled out loud. You are all of these qualities.
Once you see yourself in others, you will find it much easier to connect with them and maintain emotional wellbeing.
The Chopra Center Emotional Freedom
Organic food: Is it worth the extra money?
The "Dirty Dozen": Must-buy organic foods
Grapes, imported (Chili)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the "dirty dozen" fruits and vegetables, above, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. They cost about 50 percent more — but are well worth the money.
Other organic foods worth considering:
Reduce the risk of exposure to the agent believed to cause mad cow disease and minimize exposure to other potential toxins in non-organic feed. These foods contain no hormones, and antibiotics — which have been linked to increased antibacterial resistance in humans — have not been added to the food. They often cost 100 percent more than conventional products.
No need to go organic with these foods:
These products generally do not contain pesticide residue.
Wild or farmed fish can be labeled organic, despite the presence of contaminants such as mercury and PCBs. No USDA organic certification standards for seafood — producers are allowed to make their own organic claims.
Having "organic" or "natural" in its name doesn't necessarily mean it's safer. Only 11 percent of ingredients found in personal-care products, organic or not, have ever been screened for safety.
Managing the high cost of organic foods:
Why does organic cost more?
Growing the food is more labor-intensive. And even though organic food is a growing industry, it doesn't have the economies of scale or government subsidies available to conventional growers.
How to save money buying organic food:
Comparison shop in local grocery stores.
Take advantage of local farmers' markets: Many farmers do not charge a premium.
Order by mail: Products such as organic beef can be shipped nationally.
How to protect yourself from "non-organic" pesticides:
~Buy fresh vegetables and fruits in season. When long storage and long-distance shipping are not required, fewer pesticides are used.
~Trim tops and the very outer portions of celery, lettuce, cabbages, and other leafy vegetables that may contain the bulk of pesticide residues.
~Peel and cook when appropriate, even though some nutrients and fiber are lost in the process.
~Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This would limit exposure to any one type of pesticide residue.
~Purchase only fruits and vegetables that are subject to USDA regulations. Produce imported from other countries is not grown under the same regulations as enforced by the USDA. Examples are strawberries and cantaloupes from ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Mexico.
~Wait until just before preparation to wash or immerse your produce in clean water. When appropriate, scrub with a brush. Experts at the University of California-Berkeley report that this removes nearly all insects and dirt, as well as bacteria and some pesticide residues.
~Special soaps or washes are not needed and could be harmful to you, depending on their ingredients. Read the label! Cold water is perfectly fine.
Trim the fat from meat, and fat and skin from poultry and fish. Residues of some pesticides concentrate in animal fat.
For more information on healthy eating, visit Joy Bauer's Web site.
A Spiritual Discipline
Intention One: I will bring my entire creative genius to the work of mindful parenting.
Intention Two: I will see parenting as a spiritual discipline, meaning that it provides me with every necessary opportunity to cultivate wisdom and openheartedness in myself, so that I may come to know and express my true nature and share what is best in me with my children and with the world.
Intention Three: I will cultivate mindfulness and discernment in my daily life, especially with my children, using an awareness of my breathing to ground me in the present moment.
Intention Four: I will make every effort to see who my children actually are, and to remember to accept them for who they are at every age, rather than be blinded by my own expectations and fears. By making a commitment to live my own life fully and to work at seeing and accepting myself as I am, I will be better able to accord a similar acceptance to my children. In this way I can help them to grow and to realize their full potential as unique beings.
Intention Five: I will make every effort to see things from each child's point of view and understand what my children's needs are, and to meet them as best I can.
Intention Six: I will use whatever comes up in my own life and in the lives of my children, including the darkest and most difficult times, as "grist for the mill", to grow as a human being so that I am better able to understand my children, their soul needs, and what is required of me as a parent.
Intention Seven: I will fold these intentions into my heart, and commit myself to putting them into practice as best I can, every day, and in appropriate ways that feel right to me and that honor my children's sovereignty, and my own.
For Mindful Parenting
- Try to imagine the world from your child's point of view, purposefully letting go of your own. Do this every day for at least a few moments to remind you of who this child is and what he or she faces in the world.
- Imagine how you appear and sound from your child's point of view, i.e., having you as a parent today, in this moment. How might this modify how you carry yourself in your body and in space, how you speak, what you say? How do you want to relate to your child in this moment?
- Practice seeing your children as perfect just the way they are. See if you can stay mindful of their sovereignty from moment to moment, and work at accepting them as they are when it is hardest for you to do so.
- Be mindful of your expectations of your children and consider whether they are truly in your child's best interest. Also, be aware of how you communicate those expectations and how they affect your children.
- Practice altruism, putting the needs of your children above your own whenever possible. Then see if there isn't some common ground, where your true needs can also be met. You may be surprised at how much overlap is possible, especially if you are patient, and strive for balance.
- When you feel lost, or at a loss, remember to stand still, as in David Wagoner's poem: "The forest breathes…" Listen to what it is saying; "The forest knows/Where you are. You must let it find you…" Meditate on the whole, by bringing your full attention to the situation, to your child, to yourself, to the family. In doing so, you may go beyond thinking, even good thinking, and perceive intuitively, with the whole of your being (your feelings, intuition, body, mind, and soul) what really needs to be done. If that is not clear in any moment, maybe the best thing is to not do anything until it becomes clearer. Sometimes it is good to remain silent.
- Try embodying silent presence. This will grow out of both formal and informal mindfulness practice over time, if you attend to how you carry yourself and what you project in body, mind, and speech. Listen carefully.
- Learn to live with tension without losing your own balance. In Zen and the Art of Archer, Herrigel describes how he was taught to stand at the point of highest tension effortlessly without shooting the arrow. At the right moment, the arrow mysteriously shoots itself. Do this by practicing moving into any moment, however difficult, without trying to change anything and without having to have a particular outcome occur. Simply bring your full awareness and presence to this movement. Practice seeing that whatever comes up is "workable," if you are willing to stand in this way in the present, trusting your intuition and best instincts. Your child, especially when young, needs you to be a center of balance and trustworthiness, a reliable landmark by which he or she can take a bearing within his or her own landscape. Arrow and target need each other. Forcing doesn't help. They will find each other better through wise attention and patience.
- Apologize to your child when you have betrayed a trust in even a little way. Apologies are healing. An apology demonstrates that you have thought about a situation and have come to see it more clearly, or perhaps more from your child's point of view. But we have to be mindful of being "sorry" too often. It loses its meaning if we are always saying it, or make regret into a habit. Then it can become a way for us not to take responsibility for our actions. Be aware of this. Cooking in remorse on occasion is a good meditation. Don't shut off the stove until the meal is ready.
- Every child is special, and every child has special needs. Each sees in an entirely unique way. Hold an image of each child in your heart. Drink in their being, wishing them well.
There are very important times when we need to practice being clear and strong and unequivocal with our children. Let this come as much as possible out of awareness and generosity and discernment, rather than out of fear, self-righteousness, or the desire to control. Mindful parenting does not mean being overindulgent, neglectful, or weak; now does it mean being rigid, domineering, and controlling.
- The greatest gift you can give your child is your self. This means that part of your work as a parent is to keep growing in self-knowledge and in awareness. We have to be grounded in the present moment to share what is deepest and bet in ourselves. This is ongoing work, but it can be furthered by making a time for quiet contemplation in whatever ways feel comfortable to us. We only have right now. Let us use it to its best advantage, for our children's sake, and for our own.
Not written by a terminally ill little girl like the chain letters would have you believe AND....NO, YOU DON"T GET MONEY FOR FORWARDNING ANY EMAIL!
I just went through my pictures in my graphics folders and put the words to pictures....
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Damnit, damnit, damnit, I’ve gotten myself into this mess. I’m the one that called HIM after our last breakup. My addiction riddled body was in agony! I agreed to see him “as friends” *cringing* as I was thinking I could wean myself off of him. Only to fall back into the lust and not knowing how there could be this much animal attraction and easy going friendship and NOT develop into a lasting committed relationship.
How he played my body. How he knew just how to read every breath, every moan, moving with my body and touching me right where I wanted to be touched, murmering those nasty things he was doing to my body into my ear, withholding just enough to drive me crazy and then going in for the kill. Waking my body with the inner implosions that sucked in the whole universe while at the same time softly killing me as my life squirted out and left me in puddle of my former existence. Over and over again, I never did find out if there was an end to how many times my body could produce this reaction. Maybe I would be left as dried up as a raisin. If he could do this causing my ten orgasms to his one, does that mean that I end up loving him ten times more than he loved me?
I’d never experienced this before in my whole entire life. I still don’t understand how something so sensual that connects with my body as the most spiritual encounter I’ve ever had, can at the same time be the cause the most harmful and irrational thing to happen to my brain and my life.
He is smarter than me. His body not so traitorous, he must sense a fast approaching tipping point where he is going to feel obligated to make a decision that he doesn’t want to make, therefore he withdrawals. Slowly. Calculating. Never letting on. He’s depressed. He’s tired. He’s stressed at work. He doesn’t call as much anymore. He doesn’t call when he says he will. He doesn’t hear me when I speak. He is closed to me. There is no more time for me. No chance for me utter the words of how I’m feeling, what I want, what I need, those things he’s not prepared to part with, maybe for no woman ever again.
This time I think I’ll make it. This time I’m not cut off cold turkey. This time it’s been coming on slowly. I’d like to think I’m smarter. I’d like to think I’m stronger. I’d like to think a lot of things.