Showing posts from 2017

Moving from Doing to Being

I am moving...

Not physically. At least not yet.

But I AM moving and flowing - from doing to being...

It is part of letting go on a bigger scale - of all the things I once thought defined me...

Of all the things that once brought me joy, but no longer do...

On my brisk fall walk this morning, I realized, that I am moving from doing to being... I am letting go of one - and becoming the other. I am moving and flowing from doing INTO being...

I no longer want schedules, or appointments tying me down...

I let go of "shoulds" and "having to" with great abandon, and supplant them instead, with "I want to." This presupposes living in the moment...

I go through my house, and find new homes for articles that will still bring joy and be of use to friends who are educators and at the forefront of shaping a new generation...

I give thoughtful consideration to what I have, and to whom it may still be of use...

Yes, I let go...

Of collections and what I considered prizes...

It is …

Offer and Surrender Your Intentions

Recently, a friend suggested placing my intentions in a special container - a prayer box, or jar, or whatever I might find suitable.

It is a practice that I've turned to time and time again, but it seemed to once more draw me, in this moment, in our world, where there is so much need on so many levels.

I had a prayer jar I have used in the past, but wanted something different, so I re-appropriated a small box with dancing Sufis, or "Rumis," as I like to think of them, which I had gotten in Istanbul.

I wrote my intentions, and put them into this box and lit a candle, and sat down to meditate.

I have done this many times before. But this time, I added the practice of surrendering my intentions. This does not come easily to me.

Yes, like many, I ask for things often. But I also seem to have a roadmap for how things should go - how they should be solved. The notion of asking and surrendering, and trusting that all would be resolved in its own time, in the best possible way - that…

Bless the World With Your Eyes

This time of year is often referred to as the High Holy Days by my Jewish sisters and brothers. Though I am not Jewish, I love many of the traditions and rituals of this season, especially those dealing with atonement, reconciliation, and forgiveness. It reminds me of the Sacrament of Reconciliation which I grew up with in my own tradition.

Recently, I was reminded in a reading, that the Talmud calls for the expression and offering of no less than 100 blessings a day!

So many traditional Jewish prayers are in fact blessings of one sort or another.

To offer 100 prayers in a day may seem daunting. But if we considered blessing everything that we laid our eyes on during the course of our day, it might become easier than we thought possible...

Bless every person you come across in a day.

Take it one step further, and bless every sentient creature and being. Bless the bees for their function and how they contribute to the pollination of our food.

Bless all the material things you use during the …

Wipe the Mirror Clean

I wipe, and wipe, and try to clean mirrors and glass doors, to no avail.

I remember a friend told me to use a razor blade to get the soap scum off of shower doors.

Feeling overwhelmed from being pulled in many directions for a while, I decide I need a task that will provide an outlet for all my frustrations. So I go to Home Depot to buy a really big razor blade designed to scrape tiles and glass doors.

I come home, and settle down to my designated task. and remember a yoga teacher that once taught his students that holding up a mirror will always show us where it is we need to do our work.

So I work at cleaning the very big contractor mirror in my bathroom, that twenty-seven years ago seemed like a good idea. And then I get down on my hands and knees and commence scraping years of build up that I neglected to really see and which has occluded my vision.

Ironically, I have an eye doctor appointment scheduled for tomorrow. It seems my eyesight has dramatically changed for the worse in the la…

Accept What Is

Accept what is. As it is. In this moment. Now!
This is what comes to me on my drive back from my weekly meditation group.

it is an "aha!" moment!

It is an unexpected Eureka experience.

And all of it seems so crystal clear to me - and easy!

Except that it isn't.

But in the moment I held that thought - which came to me uninvited, it did seem so easy. 

I saw myself sitting contently - watching thoughts go by like clouds on a sunny day - thoughts coming and going. I simply observed them for a while, and then thought to myself: 

"All pain, and sadness comes to us  because we do not accept what is.  And really, that is all we have to do,   is simply accept what is.  AS IT IS.  In this moment.  And that moment.  And EVERY moment.  Now!"
Could it really be that simple?

Well, there is only one way to find out! I will just have to try it! 

I will have to commit to letting things go by - and not trying to edit or change them, allowing things to be as they are, accepting them in the moment in w…

May All Beings Be Free From Suffering

We live in perilous times, or so it seems. But if truth be told, we are always in the midst of conflicts somewhere on our planet.

It just seems that everything appears more persistent and in our face constantly.

Like many, I am overwhelmed by the suffering of those in the path of destruction everywhere - certainly those in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey who will spend months if not years trying to recovery from the devastation - but elsewhere as well. The constant struggles in the Middle East and Africa don't always get our attention - such as the cholera epidemic in Yemen, and the endless civil war in Syria, but they are no less deserving of our compassion and assistance.

The truth is, many are suffering everywhere - and we often forget they are our brothers and sisters. They need our positivity, our well wishes - but most especially our lending hands and the sharing of our resources. We must be Good Samaritans.

There is a beautiful meditation practice often referred to as "L…

Keys to Happiness and a Blue Butterfly

Happiness is, more often than not, elusive.

But it really depends on how we define it - or what we think makes us happy.

This morning, I read an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The interviewer had to wait for her to finish a photo shoot with the esteemed Annie Liebovitz, who was very apologetic for keeping Oprah longer than expected. Oprah's response caught me my surprise. She told Liebovitz not to worry. While she was with her, she was fully present to those moments and those experiences. Later she would be with the interviewer, and then she would be fully present in that moment with him, no longer thinking or concerned with the photo shoot. 

This is the first key to happiness I thought, being fully in the moment. Not in the past - and not in the future.

That is not to say that this is an easy task!

Earlier this week, I listened to a webinar where the presenter said something very similar. She noted the past does not exist - it is only a memory we insist on bringing back to life. That m…

Your Life and Work Matters

I rise in the early dawn and go for a walk, in the crisp cool air. 

The sun is rising a little later than it did three weeks ago, and the the coolness of the morning and delayed dawning, serve as a reminder that the fall season is not far behind.

I receive subtle messages with every step I take it seems, but the one that is thrusted upon me most powerfully is simply this:

"Your life matters. Your work matters. Whom you touch - and reach,  all throughout the world, matters."
It's message will not be ignored. Those on the other side seem to be literally yelling it into my ears. And so it comes up again and again in various permutations.

"Everything you do, matters."
Nothing that I - or you do - is without significance. Each one of our actions has an impact. And I believe, if we put all of our actions together in the balance, for most of us, the good deeds outweigh the bad. Really. There are few exceptions. This I believe. Firmly. Strongly...

It is the little things that ma…

I Am Well. It is Well. All is Well.

Re-entries from vacations are always hard. At least for me.

I spent two weeks visiting loved ones, walking several beaches for hours, generally disconnected from the news and media. It was heaven!

I lived in an alternative universe. One where all was well...

I came back to a generally quiet week of doing laundry, catching up with household chores and getting re-acquainted with my previous rhythm. I relished the silence and lack of appointments and commitments to slowly gather my bearings, coming back to a very different plane of existence.

I had a week to re-adjust with a lot of time to walk, reflect, write, and meditate - gratefully living the life of a true contemplative. Luckily, I have one more week of relative quiet, and then I hit the ground running with a flurry of activities as the summer fades and I head into the fall.

I reminded myself almost hourly to breathe. Every day as soon as I awoke, I expressed gratitude for the experiences and connections I was able to make during my tim…

Lessons From a Soul's Journey

I reflect on lessons transmitted to me and hopefully learned, over a two week period of visiting dear ones, but of also journeying more deeply inward.

I walk oceans, grounding my feet - sticking my toes in sand, waves, and foam - and ultimately my soul - deeply breathing in the fresh salt air, which purifies, and bathing in salt water that detoxifies.

I am conscious of the gift of this time, and of all that nature generously offers me.

I share milestones with life long friends, gal pals, and BFF's, and the wisdom garnered from decades of our combined life experiences and ages. I add to these the insights culled from morning walks, and gathered along with shells from the many shorelines I visit.

I marvel at animal visitations, and the messages they leave at my feet, including the gift of numerous feathers.

I culminate the nearly two weeks of my soul's sojourn with Sunday liturgy, and the spiritual nourishment of the Eucharist, ever attentive to the homilist's words, which seemed…

Gifts from the Sea

"Cooperation is key for you at the moment. Let go of ego and work it out." ~ Pelican
I walk the shoreline of the ocean, as often as three times a day. Sometimes more, hungrily trying to make up for my many years of absence.

With each step I bathe and ground my feet in the healing salt waters.

Every time I visit, I receive gifts from the sea - of insight. Of wisdom. And actual physical ones as well.

Sometimes I receive shells. Yesterday an un usual rainbow colored one appeared at my feet on a long walk.

Yesterday I also received a pelican feather. Not once - but twice!

Mind you, I rarely receive feathers, but recently two came to me - one from a cardinal and another from a vulture. I quickly looked up their meaning as totem animals.

I have been treated to a convocation of pelicans, gathering daily in the same general vicinity, so yesterday I looked up the significance of pelicans. Here are some of the insights I come across from several sources:

If Pelican appears to you, it is trying …

You Can't Step into the Same Ocean Thrice

"You cannot step into the same river twice..."

This quote, attributed to Heraclitus, arises in my heart.

I stare in awe, at the broad expanse of the ocean in front of me, having risen to meet a new dawning and say to myself - 

"You cannot step into the same ocean thrice..."

You cannot step into the same day.

You cannot hold on to anything - therefore, you cannot hold on to any of your yesterdays - or the days that are yet to unfold. 

You cannot hold on to what was - or what will be.

You cannot hold on to love - or to your relationships - you cannot hold on to your past - or to any part of your life.

But somehow, we manage to hold on to the things that take away from our magnificence and that make us small - like fear and resentment. And attachment. We will somehow allow those things to consume us, sometimes for a lifetime - keeping us apart from others, and impeding our growth and development.

But these things that we latch on to, do not define us. They are not who we are. …

Gifts of Divine Sight and Sacred Pause

I am halfway through an incredible journey, of visiting life long friends and family, and making many connections. Many moving pieces came together easily and quickly.

A dear one said to me recently, that this trip would be a time of great significance. She was right...

I am so happy to spend days walking the beach, grounding my feet in sand and salt water. It has been years since I've had that opportunity, and this time I will spend time on three beaches and two coasts.

A few days ago, as I walked along the shore and looked at the crashing waves, waiting for the sun to peak through clouds every now and then in the early morning, I was struck by the luminosity and the clarity of the waves - how very silvery and radiant the water looked, how I seemed to be able to capture every little detail in the dancing foam.

Mind you, I cannot see very well.

And yet, in these moments, I was so present, I was able to "see" with a different sight - that went beyond the physical eyes...

I was …

Practice Self Care

These past couple of weeks or so, I have delighted in practicing self care. 

It seems that practically every book I've read recently makes some reference to practicing self care, and most importantly, loving ourselves.

For the first time in years I am actually whittling down a pile of books I have been meaning to read. I tend to read non-fiction, so often I do read inspirational books, and a lot of self-improvement, but this year I am reading a number of historical works as well, and brushing up on the main characters and events of the late 15th century, to the mid to late 16th century, a period I have found fascinating, because of the strong women who lived and ruled then.I am especially interested in what was happening theologically, and the rising movements of the time.

I also decided to brush up on my French, and have been using Duolingo and some old textbooks to do so. I have wanted to do this for years! Every night, I carve out some time to do my lessons.

My daily routine includ…

Love Yourself First

I finished reading three books this week, and in all of them I found this essential message repeated, over and over again, in various permutations: 

Love yourself first, then you can love others.

Appreciate who you are. Do not put yourself down. Do not sell yourself short. The poet Rumi once wrote:

"The whole Universe is inside of you. Ask all from yourself."
You have everything that you need. Right now. In this moment. A dear soul reminded me of that last night. No matter how bleak, or dark things may be - there is a Light that shines within you. Why?

Because you ARE Love - you are a fragment of the Universal Force that binds us all.

But, you have to recognize it. And accept it first.

Then you can shine that Light and Love for others.

But start with yourself.



And every day!

(Photo by Veronica Martinez)

Your Life is Your Practice

"The awakened mind has two attributes.  One is compassion, what some would call love. The other is clarity, what some would call sight. They are not really two things.  Each is a function of the other. When you see, really see, you just love. When you love, really love, you just see. You see things as they are, not as you expect, and in that wide open space is love." ~ Karen Maezen Miller
In the book "Paradise in Plain Sight," the author, Karen Miller, dedicates nearly two decades of her life to restoring a Zen garden to its former glory. This is no small feat. Along the way, she also seeks out a Zen teacher because she deems that her life is lost.

"Your life is your practice."

This is the message he entrusts her with.

How simple is this? How pure? How unique? And yet how challenging?

"Your life is your practice."

Your life is the medium and the message. 

Your life is the vehicle for the manifestation and the embodiment of love.

Your life is the WAY...

We spend o…