A Few Lines

In solitary confinement,

although I’m blessed with the company of my partner,

my cat,

and Tico, my dog.

Overeating has overtaken me.

Too much, too often.

A morning jaunt through the neighborhood replaces gym time.

Regular doggie walks keep me buoyant in spirt.

Writing anything beyond a couple short paragraphs staggers me.

Thought I’d try sketching.

Here’s today’s effort, which took less than five minutes.

Imagine what I could accomplish with more time.

 

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Be Still

woods

The peace of God is shining in me now. I will be still, and let the earth be still along with me. And in that stillness we will find the peace of God.” ACIM

With daily practice, I touch that place of inner stillness.

That conscious and deliberately chosen space of calm.

I’ve begun to recognizd and give less attention to the internal chatter–the shoulds and should nots–the what ifs and whys.

I observe my tendancy to look outward and blame and instead yield to a gentle forgiveness. More often. The way to World Peace.

 

“I will be still and let the earth be still along with me.”

Unhappy Little Me Thoughts

Thanks to Eckhart, labeling ego the “Unhappy-Little-Me” makes it easier for to accept that my unhappiness originates inside my head. The term “Ego” seems more vicious. Impossible to overcome or deal with.  It’s easier for me to recognize unhappy-little-me as it prattles on about my unfair life and messed up world, reminding me that the outer mess is a  result of my inner gloom ‘n doom thinking.

My gratitude also to David Hoffmeister in This Moment is Your Miracle: 

 “Things that have been difficult to deal with keep coming back at us until we realize that the people in our lives were just acting out our beliefs. So if we seem to be victimized or mistreated or we didn’t get the treatment that we felt we deserved they were simply acting out our unconscious guilt–everything that we have repressed and denied.”

February

 

This morning’s world is buried in snow. Five inches smother the flower pots, deck furniture, trees, bushes, and landscape beyond my window.

Trapping me inside.                                                                                                                      Forcing introspection.

Wind shakes the branches, loosening a flurry of powdery white. Two hummingbirds fight over the feeder hanging from the underside of the deck. A tiny Finch flits about the ice-covered deck, pecking at snowflakes.

The chill deepens.                                                                                                                                  I burrow further into my quilt.

 

 

The Light has Come

“The light has come. I have forgiven the world.” My Course in Miracles  lesson for today– as well as over the past several days—even weeks. My corresponding phone app reminds me every half hour. Maybe I’ll eventually overcome my habit of letting these judgmental, and fearful thougbts.

She’s wrong.

I’m right.

They’re not good.

I’m not good enough.

You should. . . 

I shouldn’t. . . 

Meanwhile, even in the imagined world outside my window, the sun momentarily overcomes the sodden, slate-colored sky and brightens the field of grass. I am reminded to believe that I need simply ask and give over my fears.

That once I have asked, Spirit takes over the letting go of lifelong habits of worrying, blaming, and imagining the worst.

I trust.

“The light has come.”

 

One Breath at a Time

 

“It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up the space. By waiting we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness.”  Pema Chodron

There comes a vastness–and empty expansiveness when I am conscious enough to pause between breaths.

A calming sense of connection with the soup of all being.

A bleeding of bundled energy from within me out into the eternal void.

I taste peace. Enough to put my pieces together again and proceed with

—my endless holiday to-do list: baking, planning, carding, buying, feasting, decorating and more. Always more.

I fight the impulse to hide. Disappear. Yet even within the madness of my own chaotic thoughts, I am learning to awaken. To accept the swirl and even to let go.

This season, I choose to navigate the holidays one breath at a time. To linger for a blissful moment on the pause between.

Then let go.

Compassion

 

“In order to feel compassion for other people, we have to feel compassion for ourselves. In particular to care about people who are fearful, angry, jealous, overpowered by addictions of all kinds, arrogant, proud, miserly, selfish, mean, you name it—to have compassion and to care for these people means not to run from the pain of finding these things in ourselves.”

Pema Chodron

 

Self-compassion is not self-pity. Rather, it more fully enables one to embrace the suffering of all beings as one’s own. Acknowledging and gently accepting our own misery and unhappiness—without running from it—begins to open us. Un-cage the soul. Melt our protective shield.

It has helped me begin to view differently what I have mistakenly regarded as happening to others or to anyone outside  myself.

Buddhism encourages the acceptance of one’s own pain and ugliness along with being understanding and forgiving of others. To realize that others are merely an extension of ourselves. Mirrors. Opportunities to soften our own hearts rather than harshly blame, project, and judge. How we view others is how we view our own pain. A heart-led alternative to care for, care about, and embrace.

Having temporarily tasted my share of spiritual awakenings—the temporary ah-ha’s; the brief glimpses of otherworldly light; the brief steps beyond the door to alternative realms, I sometimes wonder then, why again and again I become stuck.

In my own conditioned mind.

My patterned way of thinking.

My rusted thoughts.

Easy Judgments–about what’s good or bad about me, others, the world.

Time to overcome these  Oh-Lord-I am-not-worthies etched too deeply within my Catholic brain. Time to open my ears and heart and lovingly embrace this  wonderfully human, yet totally divine Being called me.

Compassion begins with me. It’s that simple–it’s what the road to enlightenment is all about