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.

 

 

Advertisements

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

 

 

Fear

Lone tree

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” Pema Chodron

Then I must be making progress. My fears are constant, though I call myself a spiritual seeker. I harbor anxiety. Financial fears especially. Fear of losing my home due to inflation and/or the deterioration of my living space.

Of  Alzheimer’s–

of endless  daily stuff.

I’m plagued by the “what-ifs”.

Recently, there are hints of a breakthrough, thanks to the beginnings of a blessed AWARENESS of my fears.

Thanks to a gradual, moment by moment awakening.  To a fresh way of looking at the woman in my mirror with loving compassion. To the growing acceptance of who she has become in the moment.

Beyond fear is coming a calm knowing. . . A choice for calm. Joy. Hope.

A letting go of any attempt

to hold anything together.

“Things Fall Apart”, by Pema Chodron, reminds me that the collapse of whatever I most cling to,  is but an opportunity for rebirth and renewal.

.

Evolution of a Treehouse

A cluster of trees across the way regularly intrudes itself into my morning meditation.

Challenges me to capture it in a drawing.

Daunting because I’m an impatient artist and like to do quickies, this one has too much detail.  So far, I’ve come up with three, progressing from the most complicated to the simplest.

Too many lines and too self-conscious. . .

trimmed trees

More comprehensive, but still not there. . .

Trees 2.jpg

Yes!

Tree 3.jpg

Hmmm . . . perhaps a little color. . .

Lines on my Mind

It only took a day at my sister’s place on the coast to fire up my art again. My sketchbook and paints have lain dormant for too long.

We walked the beach, shared dinner with a friend, consulted the Tarot, and chatted into the night. And she showed me her sketchbook.

After I returned home, I got out my own drawing tablet. Ta-DAh!

 

kitchen shelves.jpg