Sunday, December 12, 2010

Inspired From a Place Within

The healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans it receives by listening to Wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend on itself for anything except its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it.

~ A Course in Miracles

Friday, December 10, 2010

Start Close In

If you have an iPod, or are able to listen to this on line, do it! You will not be sorry. Spiritual genius David Whyte talks to Tammy Simon:

And here, one of the poems he mentions during his conversation.

(I reckon I could survive on David Whyte's poetry and air.)

Start Close In

Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
give up on other
people's questions,
don't let them
smother something

To find
another's voice,
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don't follow
someone else's
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don't mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don't take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's for breakfast?

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ * ~

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

~ * ~

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

~ * ~

For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.

~ * ~

You want to cry aloud for your mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn't need any more of that sound.

~ * ~

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

Or who.
Mary Oliver.
Have a wild and precious day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Harvest the Treasure

We live in a world of theophanies. Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb. Life wants to lead you from crumbs to angels, but this can happen only if you are willing to unwrap the ordinary by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure.

~ Macrina Wiederkehr

Friday, November 26, 2010

Growing Quietly

I do only want to advise you to keep growing quietly and seriously throughout your whole development; you cannot disturb it more rudely than by looking outward and expecting from outside replies to questions that only your inmost feeling in your most hushed hour can perhaps answer.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, October 15, 2010


How Sees the Angel of Death

The angel of death has kind eyes,
half-smiling eyes,
eyes reaching for a punch line.
They'd be at ease anywhere, those eyes,
watching Monday night football
or children at play
or fireflies across a field on a July night.
They are of the earth, those eyes,
but then again not.
They glow with fierce purpose,
missing nothing,
losing nothing,
and span a different spectrum...
measuring the readiness of worth
in its time.
And you should ring with ripeness,
when true sweetness
condenses about the seed,
his eyes root you.
And he hands you one of two cards,
given your belief:
"Master of endings," says one.
"Midwife," says the other.
They flare cleanly then, those eyes,
as gateway and blade,
severing body's tie to soul,
soul's tie to body,
so each, free,
expresses in the great ground of being.

~ Michael Bratnick

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Blogette (Short Blog Post).

Or should that be SBP?

Anyway two mentions for a short blog post:

(i) Inspiration (for me).

Amy Palmiero Winters

(ii) A message from The Universe (sometimes it sings to me to get my attention):

Take it easy, take it easy
Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy.
~ The Eagles

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not One Thing or the Other.

Jupiter and Saturn are in opposition tomorrow.

Not being an astrologer (but certainly agreeing with the influencing of these huge bodies on our planet) I don't know much about what this means and, until recently, I didn't understand the nature of 'in opposition' until Eric Francis explained it.

It seems that when planets are in opposition to Earth they are positioned either side of us, Earth sitting in the middle. (In conjunction would therefore mean that we all line up - Earth and the influencing planets.) It boggled my mind to think of Earth sitting between Saturn and Jupiter, affected by the relationship between these two extraordinary rotating masses of energy. And it got me thinking.

Most noticeable in my life right now is the wrestling (and therefore nesting) of opposites, such as optimism and pessimism, depression and happiness and so forth and the awareness of how I, as a human, often do not choose my approach to Life (optimism, happiness), it is instead a given, an inheritance. As I awaken to the empowered nature of being alive I am beginning to see how even 'givens' might be un-choosen. Hmm. Well its 4.30am and as yet my command of the English language is sporadic, but you get my drift.

By this I mean, once I see that I am not just the unwitting victim of an inorganic past, I can change how I relate to the world as I change how I was taught to see the world, and therefore how my brain processes the world. This requires personal work which includes the impersonal influences that are always working with this seemingly personal only being that I call Myself.

Ah-ha... you mean Jupiter and Saturn?

Well not only Jupiter and Saturn but yes, thanks for the segue.

Jupiter whose gravitational influence has helped shape the Solar system, along with the Sun, is also believed to play an important protecting role in using its massive gravity to capture or expel from the solar system many comets and asteroids that would otherwise threaten Earth and the inner planets.

Astrologically, Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity, and good fortune. It is also associated with the urge for freedom and exploration, humanitarian and protecting roles (oh, and with gambling and merrymaking, woohoo!). Described as temperate, benign and the greater benefic, it is regarded as warm and moist in nature, and therefore favorable to life.

Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System after Jupiter. Because of Saturn's large mass and resulting gravitation, the conditions produced on Saturn are extreme. The interior pressures and temperatures are beyond what can be reproduced experimentally on Earth.

Astrologically, Saturn is associated with the principles of limitation, restrictions, boundaries, practicality and reality, crystallizing, and structures. Saturn governs ambition, career, authority and hierarchy, and conforming social structures. Considered sad, morose, and cold, it is the greater malefic and symbolizes processes and things that are dry and cold, and therefore inimical to life. The famous rings of the planet Saturn that enclose and surround it, reflect this principle of man's limitations.

The glyphs for Jupiter and Saturn are similar, the 'crescent above the cross' and the 'crescent below the cross' respectively.

So, are you still with me?

We have moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn, extreme planetary conditions and favorable planetary conditions, protection and adversity, benefic and malefic influences.

We have in my mind at least, the comparable Chesedic and Gevuric associations of Everflow and Boundaries according to the Etz Chaim and study of Kabbalah, (as influenced by Jason Shulman so perhaps not as traditional as Wikipedia lays it out).

And, as I stated in the beginning, we are about to be sitting directly between these two seemingly opposing forces.

My experience of being between opposing forces is that I need to chose one or the other; there is a lineage aspect here and also the truly human aspect of - from the perspective of my egoic self - not being able to tolerate dissonance, wrestling and opposition without the knee jerk reflex of siding one way or the other. (Much the same way as I can't tolerate electric shock treatment without violent muscular spasms. OK, a little dramatic.)

So as I wondered about the coming affects of Monday and my own tendencies towards a more Saturnine attitude to Life, and thus the natural progression in thinking about movement towards 'the other' - that is, that during Monday's opposition I might be cleansed of my pessimistic attitudes and find a more jovial outlook (forever) - it occurred to me that the more important aspect, or lesson, of Monday is about the not choosing one thing to the exclusion of the other. (We can't actually, but yet we believe we can and that life is made up of this or that, you or me, here or there, life or death and so on. It's an illusion and a persistent one.) What we may come to understand is that the affect of Jupiter-Saturn opposition lies in the relationship between Jupiter and Saturn and not their separate influences pulling us this way or that. That in fact the opposition is a 'something else' that occurs when the two planets line up and is comprised of their relationship, including all of what they are and yet different.

And even as we are influenced by this specific unified energy, we are also learning the nature of relating objects and how the world is made up of these 'other things', not this or that or even this and that, but the relationship between this and that. Something else entirely even as it includes the this and the that.

Ultimately it may not be so much about choice in the either/or context, which continues to separate the world up into packages of this and that, but the growing realization that this and that, you and me, yes and no are not real in the separate way we have been taught to see them and therefore we do not have to choose between them. One thing is not one thing only, it's the relationship between what we call this and that and there are no separate only entities anywhere. Not even as a You or a Me.

This is, I believe, an aspect of non-duality in its immanent form.

So, did I make my point. Any point? It feels like a meandering post, one where the punch line was such a long time in coming that most of my audience drifted off to see the bearded lady and other more interesting freak show exhibits. No?

Good. Have a great Monday.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Sock Saga Continues

Apparently hype, marketing and bollocks don't just give you blisters, they make your toenails fall off as well.

Yes, its official, my first running toenail casualty, or is that my first toenail running casualty, or my first toenail casualty from running? Whichever, detachment is imminent.

I know that this sort of thing does happen and remember reading in Born to Run about some guy (Marathon or Ultra runner) who had his toenails surgically removed because 'they are just going to fall off anyway'. But I never expected to lose one of my precious little keratin end-of-soft-toe-skin-protectors myself.

Guh, the whole prospect is more gross in my imagination than bothersome to my foot.


Thanks for reading anyway.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Run For It! (The Rozzers are coming.)

Unless you're a die hard Eddie Izzard fan, that won't make any sense, so just read as far as Run For it!

Today was my bi-weekly long run in the effort to train for the Parks Half Marathon on 12th September. Today was also the day when I learned to eat goo while running and gave my state of the art running socks to my 5 year old son because they are not so state of the art.

Running socks are, I believe, a con. The run test between a 13 dollar pair of running socks and a 99 cent pair of white socks from Value Village shows me that hype, marketing and bollocks are very likely to give you blisters, where unassuming white cotton cheapies work just fine thank you!

Fave running shoes? Second hand Asics with a hole in the left toe (I put it there - they didn't come like that.) Matching holey socks somewhere too, I bought them new over 7 years ago but am endeavoring to run them away.

Gear change.

I love to watch other runners on the trail when I am running. Sometimes, I want to call out encouragement, like, "You've gotta dance when you run or you'll end up hating it!' (Of course I assume they are not enjoying themselves.) I see so many people who don't look like they are enjoying it, I wonder why they do it. So let me tell you a little about running that is not common knowledge amongst non-runners and wanna-be runners, in case you want to get out there but think you need to have a special talent for it.

There is no difference between running and any form of Spiritual practice. The venue may be mobile, there may be more gear involved and certainly more sweat but they are one and the same thing. That is because, I believe, Life and Spiritual practice are one and the same thing, so to think that running is exclusively about weight and fitness is akin to thinking that praying is exclusively about asking for and getting stuff.

Resistance is built into the run. If you think runners, who do so regularly, don't have a hard time getting out of the door, think again. This morning was a classic example - I woke to find a resistance avalanche had occurred overnight and before I could set foot on the trail I had to dig my way out of my house. Most unpleasant. Most enlightening.

Running is as much about what you think you can't do as it is about what you know you can do, and that edge is where long time runners run. I want to know what I can do, I want to know if the voice in my head is speaking the truth. Is this actually my limit? Does my body have a finite power source when out running, or is there an infinite counterpart that I can tap into? (Like the two sides of a coin... can I flip the coin?) Is there a place I can locate that will override all the effort and struggle so that I can enjoy the run more? (Or at all.) And in the more drama filled moments; am I going to keel over and die of heart failure right now? Will my hamstring/quads rip if I take another step? Is a subarachnoid hemorrhage impending?

When I began running it was for cosmetic and emotional reasons, shall we say. But to keep running for this many years, clearly I have had to regularly reassess my motives. Recently when I asked myself why I run, I answered (yeah weird that) 'I run to break free of my story': The Self limiting construct of Reality that I adhere to unquestioningly 99% of the time, which, in the absence of a full on Left Brain Narrative, gets to be debunked. (You gotta love endorphins.)It happens every time.

So why the avalanche of resistance this morning - you got me there. Could have been that I was about to run my longest run ever and I just wanted to put up a fight before hand. Not that I knew I was going to run THAT fact I never know how long it's going to be until I am running and my Left Brain is drugged into submission.

Just short of 20 miles today. I think I've got the Half covered.

Vive le RĂ©sistance!