Thursday, October 31, 2013

Costumes of My Mind

Like a two headed arrow, the deadline sharply approached as my ability to finish flew the other way. The whispered question, “What is my intention?” To get it all done. “What is my intention?” The whisper asked again. To get it done. And yet a third time, “What is my intention?” My hands fell softly into my lap as my breaths slowed and deepened. To love this life with an open heart. To see the miracles, wonder, and love streaming past me each moment. To see all that touches my life as my Teacher.  The whisper smiled. The silence transformed the arrowheads into the sun’s first stream of light. We create our misery. We create our bliss. To let them both go and with love and the mystery of awe, joyfully embrace and learn from what is.

On this day of tricks and treats, may I let go the costumes of my mind.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ready to Play

A friend wrote of a battle to keep her land pristine and free of development. It triggered within the fear that life or forces are much bigger than me. What chance do I have against such powers? But then to think that Life, the Divine, Source IS all. What can be greater than All? To know the joy of trust. Joy! It is not clinging to the life raft or broken piece of the ship as I am tossed among the wreckage. Joy! Not holding on. Not Holding. Joy! Releasing and knowing the waves will be but a different raft to carry me where I am to be. But even in the releasing, to know that I also am gifted arms and legs to steer my course. They match the current of the waves. To know both are one. One without the other will surely sink, or even worse, simply cling to the wreckage. Diving into the ocean of trust with arms and legs readied to direct. Releasing into the Joy of All. Come sweet life…I’m ready to play.

Monday, October 28, 2013


       The grade was posted and read 100 points out of a 100. Couldn’t do any better than that. So why did I continue to groan over the should’ve done this, should’ve read that, and do I really understand what I wrote? And if I hold such criticisms, when good is acknowledged or compliments given, how much more do I hold judgment where perhaps I have not responded so well? 
       Oh the distorted reflections. I smile, and a small giggle. Sweet mercy, if we had learned self-love as deeply as we’ve learned self-doubt, what would the news have to report? What would happen to all the self-help books, addictions, abuse, and the oft sighed phrase, “if only”? I think I shall go and buy packets of little gold stars. Maybe, with a giggle, leave with a tip, hand to another, or even to sprinkle upon the sidewalks as I walk. No, they will have to be BIG gold stars so I can write “REALLY!” upon each one.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mirrored Lake

Reflections. Currents. Colors. Textures. The lake of Life embodying change and stillness. Mirroring my own. May my presence gift all I touch with the same beauty and grace. To all, Namaste.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Imprisoned Not

He made a terrible mistake. Oh no, not a saint.  He is paying the price, a young adult in prison. Surrounded by windowless cement, bars, electric fences, watchful guards with guns, and others filled with rage and despair, he found his heart, forgiveness, and chose to be free.  Years without a mark, unthinkable in such surroundings. He devoured every course offered and desires only to complete the price and then to be a good man, a good father and son. Because of his record he was moved to a less guarded prison. For the first time in years he stepped outside and felt grass beneath his feet. A tree on the grounds gifted her touch. And he stood outside in the night and saw yes, sweet mercy, there is a moon and stars. I am thirty years older and judged by society as the better citizen and person; he is my teacher and guiding North Star. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with responsibilities and mistakes I've made. I see only the walls that keep me from being who I know I could be.  At such times, with grace, I touch the door handle and think of him. I can step outside the prisons I create. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Life's Weather Report

The mind racing as I sat in meditation. From this and that to that and this. I heard my mind, ever so harsh and strong, declare “thinking.” My heart replied “There is no judgment, just a reminder of how you can go about your day, unmindful, scattered about, doing this and that, everywhere but here in this moment. Begin again little one.” And oh the sweet smile I felt upon my face. Just this breath present and aware. So it was…. So it wasn’t. Another delicious and sweet smile welcoming the next breath, releasing to begin again.  Afterwards I checked the weather – “Passing shower.” Sweet mercy, Life does have a sense of humor! My laughter vibrated the pictures on the walls.  A day to savor sweet and delicious smiles.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Love's Cement

What is it about wet cement that makes one want to write or press an image? A bread crumb that I was and am here. And as I sat giggling at my work, the world became a cement mixer in my heart, and Love was scrawled for all beings, forms and life.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scissored Wings

With fondness the image returned of my little marionettes I had as a child. I vividly recalled asking them if they would like me to pull their strings so they could dance. Then the mind shifted to Peter Pan and the magic and awe of childlike wonder...learning I too can fly. Perhaps only a sign of my age to recall such stories. But this morning, this day, old or not, may I find the middle path between the two. To honor myself and not allow either myself or others to create strings and make me jump, like a gunfighter shooting at my feet shouting “Dance!” Nor can I avoid the honoring of myself and others by escaping and leaving my heart’s contracts and service undone. To recall how love and truth released Pinocchio from his strings and Peter Pan's eternal flame of dreams. This day, may I touch myself and all others with Love’s scissored wings and fill the sky with hearts of joy, wonder, compassioned truth and Now.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Real "TO DO"

"You don't go to a restaurant to read the menu"*
As one who has never smelled a fragrance in the almost 60 years I have walked this earth, food has never been enticing. I go to restaurants to enjoy the communion with friends, to laugh with the waitresses and other patrons. It is the presence and awareness of sweet moments shared. And then to remember the wisdom as I set out into the day. To see the ice dancing on the car, and put away the to do list, to pause and savor the moment's dance. This moment IS the path.

*Gil Fronsdal "Issue at Hand"

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Choosing my Cup

A hot cup of coffee is part of my morning ritual accompanying my readings. But the cup never lasts and the coffee chills. This morning I poured the coffee into a larger thermal cup. I missed the warmth of the ceramic cup held in my hands, the steam touching my face, the coffee’s flowing caress against my lips, and the fullness of the sip. The thermal cup did what I asked. It kept the coffee hot and the quantity lasted. It lacked the texture, the warmth and offered its contents through a tiny little hole. I giggle as I now sit holding my ceramic cup of coffee, savoring the textures, watching the swirls dance in the cup. Oh sweet life a grand lesson indeed.  May my discipline and ritual be spontaneous and serendipity the cup from which I drink.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Eyes Have It

A function of the camera's eye. How long the eye is allowed to remain open. How much light is allowed in. How close or distant one chooses to see. This is not where I began my view of autumn's full moon. The second picture is what caught my eye. But when I drew the camera's eye back this is what I saw. It is the same moon. Perhaps a whispered reminder of light and the choices I and eyes have.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bronco Wonder

A rodeo morning riding the bronco of wonder, giggles and simple awe. Have you ever watched pigeons land in a whoosh and then waddle run to a clump of seed? Or a tree shaking like a wet dog spraying leaves all over the ground? Noticed how you awake to one temperature and then as the sun wakes up the temperature drops? Or laughed at a little dog dancing by the cabinet door where the breakfast food awaits? Or watched a squirrel climb the stem of a sunflower plant, fall to the ground as the stem bent and tossed him off? Then to see him stare, ponder, leap and with a chomp grab the bloom and run off with his little mouth filled with a most wonderful and delicious giant pacifier? Or even the bubbles in the sink and the rainbow gifts they offer?  Oh how to tie all these and more images together and hear a single whisper. I cannot. So I will ride the bronco of wonder, giggles, and simple awe and wish to all eyes that read… Good morning! So glad to join you this day of life alive! Sweet mercy....ain't it grand.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Yielded and Strong

I made the decision. I would step into my fear. I would surrender to the path. All the right feelings, good feelings and imagery. Why did it feel like one shoe lace was longer than the other and I could not tie my shoes? One shoe lace was the giving up, the surrender of resistance. The other, waiting, asked where is the strength? The shoe cannot be tied without both ends. I will step into my fear and surrender to the path. I will also stand immoveable in the strength I am and have. Does not the surrender of autumn’s leaves become the very strength the tree’s roots gather in to remain powerful, strong and flexible? Now I can lace my shoes and begin the path-surrendered and yielded to unwavering strength.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Into the Day! La Chaim!

To think the first light snow is now drops of water and the sun is playing peek-a-boo in a drop of snowwater.  One of the drops has foregone the drop shape.  How can one's heart not laugh? How can I refuse nature's invitation to a whimsical magical day? Sweet Life...I'm on my way!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Changing Strokes

A true morning giggle and opened eyes. Is the image a duck or a rabbit? If I see one and then the other, has the image changed? Each stroke the same, not a one moves yet change is what I see. Perhaps Wittgenstein was drawing neither. And if my brain's perception can be so fooled by simple strokes, how does it see others, events, actions, even my body in a mirror, and the cornucopia of Life itself? 

*image retrieved from

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rattling Songs

A walk by the lake to clear my fuzzy brain and weary eyes. The wind swirling and thoughts pondering how perception actually creates what we see. I thought it was a stick. My little dog ran to the end of her leash ready to retrieve. The stick transformed and rattled its tail. Yes, with panic, I reeled my little dog sending her legs flying in the air.

Have pondered that sound I can still hear and how I have always wandered the lake, canyon and mountain paths without concern. An error that could have been quite costly. The rattling sound still dances in my mind but has transformed it into a song. No judgement. No fear. No veil of threat to shroud my walks. I will be mindful - lesson learned. But my heart releases. The rattler was actually quite beautiful and moved on. And so must I. Letting go of all mistakes and seeing their beauty, their rattles are but a song.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gift Surrendered

I had an email from a friend who started with "thank god it's Friday " Made me think of how often we live our lives for the days between the "Fridays" and "Mondays." Giggle. the hobbit is a dork, if you figure a life of 80 years, that's 4,160 weeks or 29,200 days. If I only live healthy, alive, present, happy for those "Fridays" "Saturdays" and "Sundays" that only gives me 12,480 days of "life" for the bodymindsoul. I keep 42% of my gift of bodymindsoul and surrender to work, others, or whatever the other 58% of the gift. And then to think of prayers made for abundance.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Clouds of Dawn

Oh the sky is amazing this morning. The sun's path is changing. It has moved from the hill crest and is hidden behind the trees. But its light has created a halo in the sky. Little wispy clouds are floating across and are in the spotlight. The bottoms of the clouds are glowing yellow and then their color fades into a darker white. Just to the left a slightly larger cloud leads the way. Giggle, a mother elephant followed by the baby. The mother is outside the dome of the halo and stands stark white against the already blue sky of day, no longer sunrise. To watch the little one pass through the dome of light and become simply white upon blue, an amazing sight to see the passing and transition. The dome now stands empty of clouds, waiting for the next one to pass through and be touched. It is even tinier than the first and its whole being is illuminated with the dome's light. I know probably silly, but the imagery takes my breath. The larger cloud sits, untouched by the wind, waiting for the others to pass through and join it against the day's sky blue. And such shall be my day. Touched by brilliant light, stillness and dance, the mystery of transition, my breath creating the shapes and movement of the day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wrong Side Out

Sometimes, because of my size, I feel so small. My quiet voice, presence, and often isolation can make me feel invisible. And then comes the whisper that my eyes are turned wrong side out. Tis not the being seen that fills my heart with wonder, magic, awe, love, and gratitude... it is what I see. My eyes a mirror to all and every thing...blessings and peace, you are seen.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Beauty of Now

At first, to think an autumn leaf, without its tether, clinging to the tree from which it had been released. Then, a quiet approach yielded the sight of a butterfly camouflaged as a leaf. Camouflaged only with its wings raised. What you cannot see are the brilliant orange and red colors, fiery and dazzling in their splendor when opened. On the tree it is a leaf. Nestled among leaves it is a flower. Nature's reminder that simply being in that moment, this moment now shields from all predators and limitations that would define and diminish.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Leaving the Remote Control

Norman Fischer notes the Zen slogan of "Observe everything, no matter the cost" as applying to spiritual practice but more importantly, to daily life. Poets, writers, dancers, singers, the theater, and artists plead, beckon and try to shake us awake and shatter our complacency. Rumi said "don't go back to sleep." Nature with the bright sun, the glistening moon and stars, wind, floods, tornadoes, gentle breezes, ocean waves, and fall colors, like a mother tries to teach us to see, observe, to walk and explore, to leave the floor of crawling and to grow to our potential. To leave our cubes, safe rooms, beliefs, and put down the remote control. "Live your life with your eyes and heart wide-open. No matter what" ~ Norman Fischer.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Beneath the Surface

To always see beneath the surface. To see the light. To see the strength. To see the Rock upon which I sit. Now. This moment sight seen.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Not Shut Down

Confused which way to turn, we paused at the stop sign to get our bearings. A fast approaching driver screeched to a halt behind us, blew his horn, stuck his head out the window and began to shout and curse, clearly heard through our open car windows. Within an hour of such hostility,  I witnessed a young person help an elderly stranger negotiate the path's incline. A stranger touched my arm and sighing as we looked at nature said "Isn't it amazing!" Doors were held for strangers. Strangers knelt and spoke to dogs on leash and children. Shutting down is a choice. An inevitable choice when we see only our agenda, needs, and demands. To open my heart and to see and join the powerful compassion and hearts reaching out. We have not shut down. We have failed to see.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Winged Balance

Company has arrived. Human and dogs. My normal quiet sacred morning rituals upended. Woven into my body, mind, and heart's fabric I feel unbalanced. Oh, I will politely excuse myself later today, when appropriate, for meditation. But for now, my heart smiles and balanced is restored. Meditation has no ruler, judge, time clock or report card.  A reminder itself that nothing in life is fixed, change is constant and not to become attached to things, doing, or how's. I sit in meditation because I walk in this world of change. I am one among all, moving upon wings of love. I opened my eyes this morning with breath and heart filled with love. That is the meditation. That is the sacred ritual. What greater ritual than to simply breathe "Life. Love. Alive."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Beyond the Skin

*"What color is an apple?" The teacher asked. The young students all replied red, green, or yellow. One young boy was adamant they were white despite the teacher's correction which was growing stronger and stronger. "But when you cut it open, the apple is white."

A is for apple. Apples are red. A concept, a way of learning and seeing the world inherited by all from the beginning. Such a thin skin or veneer has defined the greater essence of white. Oh sweet Life, may I cut all I see open and see beyond, to see within the greater whole.

*Story told by Joseph Goldstein, "Insight Meditation" © Sounds True