Saturday, April 11, 2020

Moment of enlightenment

I got a bit disheartened today. People wanting to talk about how they could push the guidance to stay home and stay safe. Why not, if its not "illegal ".
Why am I so happy and safe, when there is so much suffering.
Moment of enlightenment-code word moment- my ability to be happy, is not just for me. 
It is to be shared with anyone who can't find it for themselves right now.
Practicing love, compassion, kindness, joy and equanimity, when it is easy, is to make it so, when it is hard.
As the busyness and outward layers are taken way, I see what is really important to me remains. 
Love, compassion, kindness, joy, and being that, to and for myself and others. 
As if there even is an other- there is no other- only us.
Which brings me to the gratitude of the day.
I am still teachable!!!
My spiritual director, when I whine about being unpartnered, says, 
"living alone is a gift". 
I say "I want to return it" And now I know it was practice for these times. 
Hugs do not exist in linear time. 
Every hug I've ever shared is still here for me when I need it.
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
How remarkable that i have everything I need and more, I am able to be myself, and do what I can- which is enough, no matter what is going on out there.
This is the privilege I bear and carry and share for the benefit of all beings.
I thought about Jesus losing it in the garden- Father, please take this cup from me.
On the cross- why have you forsaken me.
Faith can falter- no judgment, and someone who's faith has not, will be there to carry me through.
That's the other thing my SD says.
"Look at the history"
I got disheartened, angry, and I took a moment to go behind those emotions to the energy behind them, and had a good heart to heart with some trees.
All we really need, they reminded me, is love, and light, clean water and air, and love in our family.
There are lots of ancestors and descendants out there wanting to help and guide us.

The world I see is me- pushed out! and I can dream the world I want into being.

My prayer:
Do good
Avoid evil
Embrace my own lunacy
Pray for help.

Please join me.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Permission/persistence. Resilience/Retreat. Love/Faith

I take on a lot, and each night , I give thanks for the skills and faith given to me, I give thanks for all the merit of this day serving all beings.
I say prayers for loving kindness, forgiveness, strength, intersession for all kinds of things.
And I pray to let go of it all, as it is time for me to sleep, sleep well, as tomorrow is another day.
I want to say, I did all I can do, now it's your's god.

This is my Faith. Knowing, fully knowing and believing in the goodness, love, kindness and compassion that is unseen, unmeasurable, exalted, and  abundant.
I'm dependent on building resilience for this.

Outward signs are not so good. Cultural  norms are oppressive, abusive and worse.
The practice is to remain fully present to what is, even as evil is cast around me, and address what is, with love, kindness and compassion - to myself and others- no matter what..

I've been though a  5 year period of good times and bad, since my last extended silent retreat, and through grace, practice and prayer I have built up my resilient zone to take on almost anything- for myself and others- abuse, abandonment, neglect, violence of all kinds, and still function fully, sustainablely, and with love and compassion for all.
The combination of resilience and faith has enabled me to do more than I ever thought possible, for myself and others.

The past few months I have had to be honest with myself that this is no longer the case.
My resilient zone is shrinking.
I am tired, burnt out, angry.
Time for retreat.

My change platitude:
Change can come about by falling in love, or chaos. I find falling in love preferable.
And right now, love is not enough for me without faith.
Faith can encompass love, hate, disbelief, darkness, evil, terror, isolation and lead you to a place where you can lead in love, and at least hold the space for that to happen.

Time for retreat.
Time to hang out- just me and god, until I feel ready to go back into the world with the same ease that  I feel when I am in prayer and meditation.

Persistence with shrinking resilience will lead to resistance which will lead to suffering.
I give myself permission to persist into retreat, to relax, renew, be open to the possibility of renaming my relationship in oneness with all beings, myself and the earth.

My five years of advocacy and accompaniment of women and children experiencing violence, abuse, abandonment and neglect, I  see the toll this takes on the soul, self worth and esteem.
Abuse can progress to where those experiencing abuse need permission to exist.
People can need the welcome that can enlarge their world beyond the visible outer circumstances.
They need the welcome that can widen the walls around their suffering and lead them to paths of safety and wholeness.
They need physically and spiritually to be saved from suffocation.
I have been and want to continue to be a part of this welcome, and right now I cannot.

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel to be able to arrange this for myself before I am harmed or harm someone else, from my own, fear, attachments and aversion.

Time for retreat.
I will take these vows;
I will observe noble silence.
I will do nothing that clouds the mind.
I will take only what is freely given.

My intention for the retreat is to be fully present.

I'm smiling as I type as my spiritual director reminds me
"Once you have planning the retreat, the retreat has begun."
I have a week or so of tidying up affairs, letting folks know I will not be responding to emails, texts phone, etc, and a brief time of relaxation just for fun.

Please hold me in the Light.

Comments and Questions Welcomed








Sunday, September 15, 2019

Spirit, resilience, remembering and refuge

Spent a long day practicing resilience within a  faith community I belong to.
I felt and noticed emotions all over the map.
For ecological sensitivity I put myself in a car with 3 others I thought I didn't want to be with, with wise council from my spiritual friend who advised- just take a nap.

The Mountains were too lovely for that-and what happened was they sent me right back to school.
I don't or won't remember much, as I was so unhappy in school-a caged bird.
Most vividly I remember sitting as still as I could- not as still as they wanted me to, and staring alternately  out the window and at the hands of the clock ticking the minutes away.
My day dreams were so deep, when they called me I not only didn't know what the answer to the question was, I wasn't even sure where I was.
For these few house, I was taught by the trees. The lessons of the forest.

I did not feel called to be with the small group normalizing abusive behaviors and bullshit in the name of various isms.
 I am grateful to have been of service to The Spirit and the small group doing spirit led work, affirming how the spirit twas working among us, with us, using our skills to create movement in all directions for our community.
This time was easy, joyful and fruitful. The agenda was long and it went quickly. We held each other and were held.

Being called into the other room, after about 30 words, I went to find refuge in what I knew to be true.
The Holy spirit, the Great Mother, that which is whole and Holy one.
 My spiritual friend had sent me a text I looked at frequently.
"Stay close to the Holy spirit as if your life depended on it🔥"

People were demanding, people were talking a lot, people were saying they were experts and professionals.

Again I found my self back in school. I can't remember their names, and I was seeing some faces-faces with looks of disappointment in me, that I didn't or wouldn't do the work they wanted me to do, and also encouragement that I was capable of it, and even beyond.
Even tho I didn't do what they were required to demand of me, some of those teachers didn't give up on me. Never gave me a failing grade.

I went to this gathering thinking(code word) it would help me make a decision if I should leave it or stay. It has appeared that is not the question.

I bless my intellect and give thanks for all the insights it provides and I am fine with the limits of intellectual understanding.

All that is good, all that is fair, all that is equitable comes form spiritual discernment.
Part of prayer is letting God be God in me.
Awaiting
Allowing
Attending the wisdom that comes and trusting and accepting that wisdom.

I'm not entering the suffering's Olympics!

I'm gonna keep on hanging out with the spirit, practicing and enlarging my resilient zone, remembering and making peace with that, knowing refuge is there whenever I need it
and doing what I am called to do when I am called to do.

I am going to be a true radical- from the roots- and in full knowledge of what is, I am going to be happy.

Who is going with me? I'll keep curious  and open about that.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Voting, Outcomes and Rest

To all my friends working so hard:

Yes, voting is important tomorrow. Community must be visible to itself and responsible to itself.
You did your best , all you could do, working for the outcome you desire.

And, Tomorrow is another working day.
We vote everyday with our being and our voices.
We can do no other as we see what is, and know what we want to be.
That we are bound together with the desire to see the world become a place in which our children can run free and strong.

We all want to be Happy, Peaceful, Safe, Well and Free.
We crave equanimity and fun.

Attachment to outcomes leads to suffering.
What ever happens, take a rest, and be ready.

No one event changes everything.
Nothing is ever quite finished, and there is always the next thing.

My prayer is the work of our head, hands, and heart leads us, to be  the people, who create the community we want to live in, for ourselves, all beings and our universe.

I thank you all.
No matter the outcome.
Tomorrow and the day after, we still need to be strong, to speak out and up, to accompany, to support, to educate, to advocate, to learn, to play,

and Rest.
We need to rest.
and Laugh Out Loud.

Be ready.

You have done enough for today.

Let go, rest and greet tomorrow's outcomes with curiosity and joy, that we have another day to create and play with each other.
And go out and love some more!

"The real radical is a person who has a vision and is willing to do those things that will bring reality closer to that vision" Bayard Rustin


"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed unless it is faced"
 James Baldwin

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Forgiveness/Conflict Resolution- RKJ version

Matthew 18:15-17 King James Version (KJV)
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Matthew 18:15-17 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
RKJ version
If we have a problem between us- let us listen to each other and open our hearts to each other that we may be friends.
If we cannot hear each other- lets us ask friends who can help us to do so, that we may know we are among friends and  are not alone in our concerns for one another.
If we as a community cannot hear each other- let us seek help of the elders to guide us into unity.
May no one, in any circumstance feel alone, or be cast out without a friend.
As I was taught forgiveness, it is not just a moral guideline, it is a practically of life. 
I weigh myself down when I insist on holding on to anger, judgement and blame.
When I choose to forgive, I can walk lighter and more cheerfully and kindly in the world.
There may be little I can do about other's choices and I still have the opportunity every minute to feel lighter and more loving as I forgive.
There are times, when inspite of my doing my best to listen, and forgive,  I do have to cast a person out of my life, in the present moment. I can still pray that that will change. I can still forgive. 
When I hold no enmity in my heart, I can have no enemies.

May all beings be happy
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be safe
May all beings be well in body mind an spirt.
May all beings be free.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Community and Growth/Power and Outcome

I admin a FB community group, Black Mountain Exchange.
We are practicing digital community in a counter cultural way.
All members agree to kindness and respect in all words typed in the group.
No random links to outside sources to prove your point. No GIFs. No sarcasm. No bullying. No name calling. No demonizing others because you are right and  they are wrong.
I am learning that some assumptions I have held most of my life are inaccurate.
I am learning there are people who have never experienced kindness- giving and/or recieving.
There are people who honestly believe you get power by taking power away from others.
There are people who given choices will chose to harm themselves and others.

So this is a practice and I cannot do it alone. I need you- you who hate me, who fear me, who wish to do me harm, to practice with me.

In our group, I am inviting us to listen and learn from each other, not type at each other.

It is a practice.

I recently wrote the following:

Thinking about events of the past view days...
I think our power comes in being together, not in changing the outcome.
The Board may appoint another member that won't represent me.
A company willing to lie and disregard local ordinances may continue to work in my Town and endanger my safety.
There may continue, in fact there will continue to be men in this Town, who in my weak moments I fear, and in my strong moments I fear and am not afraid.
And, when folks are engaging with me on these issues, agree or not; When folks are calling me and messaging me and thinking about things I am thinking about ;
And when folks show up at Meetings,just showing up so i have someone to shake my head with.
This gives me a feeling of power. A feeling of shift. A feeling of integrity, that Truth and justice will out.
If everyone who comments here came to Meetings- not just when they had a gripe, came to Meetings to witness what is happening and to stand together as a community; If our meetings were Town meetings, not just Board Meetings- the possibilities could be endless.
We can listen and learn from each other. I see it everyday.
I have a vision of a world where we don't need guards and walls.
I have a vision of a world where all children run free and strong and well fed and healthy.
I don't live in this world alone.
It takes a village and a vision. I need you. You need me.
We're all a part of one body of humanity.
I invite  you to think about spending less time attempting to create the outcome and more time creating community.
Thank you all for being a part of Black Mountain, and this group.


I extend that thanks to all of my digital community, joining me here in Still Waters, where the merit of our time here is for the highest good of all beings.
That all beings may be happy.
That all beings may be peaceful
That all beings may be well, in body mind and Spirit.
That all beings may be safe.
That all beings may be free.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Forgiveness

Forgiveness opens my heart.
Forgiveness is a powerful expression of love.
When I hold no resentment in my heart, no enmity, I can have no enemies.

Forgiveness does not condone or forget harmful behaviors.
Forgiveness can free me from negative feelings and from living my life in a state of blame.

I am the one set free by forgiveness.
Forgiveness frees me from the need to justify my rationale for holding another  liable for my pain.

I practice forgiveness  meditation daily.

There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed others,
have betrayed or abandoned them, 
caused them suffering, knowingly or unknowingly, 
out of my own pain, fear, anger and confusion.

I ask any who I have harmed to come to me, in the present moment and ask to be forgiven.


I can remember and visualize the ways I have hurt others.

See and feel the pain I have caused out of my own fear and confusion.
Feel my own sorrow and regret. 
ask for forgiveness.
And then to each person in my mind: I ask for your forgiveness, Please forgive me.


There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed myself.
 I have betrayed or abandoned myself many times through thought, word, or deed, knowingly or unknowingly.
I feel the sorrow I carry from this and to the best of my ability, in the present moment I let that go.
For the ways I have hurt myself through action or inaction, out of fear, pain and confusion, I ask to be forgiven. 
I forgive myself.

 There are many ways that I have been harmed by others
abused or abandoned, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed. 
I can  picture and remember these hurts, feel the sorrow I have carried from this past. 
I can call, all who have harmed me, real or imagined, known or unknown to me now, and extend forgiveness to the best of my ability, to the extent that I am able, in the present moment. 

I have carried this pain in my heart too long. 

To the extent that I am ready, I offer forgiveness. 
To those who have caused me harm, I offer my forgiveness, I forgive you.

It's a practice.

Please join me.

Comments, questions and prayer requests welcome.