Showing posts from 2015

I am at Peace With All That IS!

"I am at PEACE with ALL that IS!" This mantra arises in my heart, barely just a week ago, after a magical weekend of seasonal and holiday music and a warm visit with a very dear soul friend of the heart... I drive through the countryside, on a magnificent and brilliant afternoon, after stepping out of place and time, inhabiting a place in-between here and the Other Side, for barely 24 hours... I AM at Peace, with ALL that IS! Truly... I am peace with my life, my relationships, my home, my family, my friends - with my limitations, what I did not accomplish - and where I am in my life... I am at peace with whatever the future brings, with what I cannot undo, with what is yet to come... I am at peace with the joys, with the sorrows - and with all that I have gained and lost... I am at peace with everything - for it has made me the woman I am today - and have yet to become... In the twilight of my life, as I journey towards the darkest deep of Night - point

Sanctifying A New Year with Joy and Grace

I usher in my 60th birthday with a number of special practices... On the eve of my birthday, I spend time in a nearby church, praying and setting my intentions, not just for the coming year, but for the remaining days of my life... I awaken with prayers on my lips - of gratitude - impregnated with my with intentions in the early dawn... I make haste to make my way to my yoga space, to begin my practice of sanctifying the coming year... I walk a personal labyrinth, and set my intentions once again in the early morning - which is sunny and brilliant after a grey day of rain... Ten years ago, on my 50th, I visited the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France, overwhelmed by the energy of centuries of fervent prayers poured over those worn stones, illuminated by the most brilliant and exquisite stained glass... And while I was not able to visit France this year, and I am grieved by the terrorist attack on the city of Paris, I join in solidarity with all the souls sending praye

In the Autumn of Life

The leaves are softly falling, each one of them gracefully giving up it's spirit, creating a kaleidoscope of colors... We must die to what we were, to become what we are meant to be... I reflect on turning 60, two weeks from today, and realize I have been filled with trepidation at arriving at this milestone because of all that has been left unsaid, and undone, and all the paths that have not been traversed... Several friends in their 60's, and one on its doorstep tell me that this is the best time of their lives and encourage me to not only open to that which brings me joy but what makes my soul sing. Yes, there is still so much to do... I read a blog entry on the autumn of life and it bids me not to fear the autumn of my years, for on its threshold I must indeed marvel at the treasure of acquired wisdom that I have assembled through many trials and tribulations... It is truly my time to choose how I will spend my time - because I have paid my dues, many times over.

Fullness and Order

I cannot believe it has been almost two months since my last entry here... There have been so many times I have intended to connect here, but as the saying goes - life got in the way! At the beginning of September, I finished my summer project, which was to go through every closet, drawer, and cabinet in the house - generally lightening my load and footprint on the earth. The result is that now I can see where everything is - and have passed on the many things I no longer need. I also embarked on a life-changing course of coming into greater health and wellness, and now, nearly two months later, I am reaping the fruits of my labor and enjoying its sweet harvest. This morning, it was both sunny and cool, and I was moved to take my coffee down to the river, as I began nearly every morning years ago. The river called, and I longed to just go and be by its banks. It was swollen and full and much debris hugged the boat ramp after days of very heavy rains. There I stood, breathing

Turning Over a New Leaf

There are times when we are ready to turn the page... Or, turn a corner. There are simply times when change is inevitable... There are moments in our lives when we are driven to release all that holds us back. it is truly a time when we feel compelled to toss out the old, to make space for the new. There are times when a new life beckons. We hear it whispering in our ear. At first quietly, and then more loudly... This is one of those moments... I have literally finished with a major purge in my home, and I feel a lightness of being and a surge of creativity that has eluded me for a very long time. It is almost hard to keep up with myself and the thoughts that are running through my mind - literally a mile a minute! And so I have also decided to make more healthy choices in my life as well - in terms of what I eat and drink, and this weekend held a "Farewell Party" for a number of items! I arose into a new dawn. I went for a walk, meditated this morning, and th

Reconnections and Transitions

This morning on my walk, I thought about a conversation I had with a dear friend yesterday who had just had surgery. My friend and I spoke of the fragility of life as she has experienced it in her volunteer work in hospice. And late last night, I found out that another friend and former student, herself in hospice, had transitioned. I felt sad I was not able to say goodbye to her.  One of the things my friend noted in our conversation, is that we all prepare for death in different ways. And I suppose, it is not unlike the way we choose to live our lives. In many ways, this year has been transitional for me. It feels like an "in-between" time - somewhere between "what has been" and "what is not yet," whatever that may be. Sometimes the longest and deepest journey is the one we take within. As I stand on the threshold of 60 years, I have been contemplating and reflecting on many things: What I still want to accomplish and experience, what no longer s

Sacred is the Pause

"Sacred is the pause that brings us into stillness." ~Macrina Weiderkehr The summer is flying by quickly. I hardly know where it it going... I have not spent much time writing this year, but it has been a time of transformations none-the-less...  During the last few months many of my friends have lost parents or dealt with their illnesses, and as many of us stare down a 6th decade or find ourselves already residing there - the reality of mortality stares many of us in the face. So, it is a time to pause. To think. To re-evaluate our lives. To take stock of our journey thus far - the direction we have taken - and ultimately, to consider the weight of our possessions. Sacred is the pause, indeed... In these last few months, of change and transformation for many, the very act of deeply simplifying has beckoned... I have roamed room by room - and drawer by drawer - divesting myself of things - sometimes brutally - only to roam in the same environs again and rem

Choose Love

It has been a long time since I have made an entry here... Longer than I ever have in nearly 8 years... So many things have happened, and I wanted to document them them at the time - events occurring in my life - and in the world as well. Some were magical. Some improbable. Some were mystical - and many, just surprising... But solitude, seeking solace, journeying inward, and nurturing my spirit prevailed instead. It was all the Divine order of things... But it doesn't really matter... Throughout all that has happened - and all that has not - I had but one lesson that was presented to me over and over again. I summarize it in this way: "Choose LOVE!" Whatever the question, the answer is always the same: Choose LOVE! Whatever the tasks and the challenges at hand, Choose LOVE! Whatever life presents to you - whatever the slights, or the triumphs, Choose LOVE! Every time we choose love, something changes. Something shifts. Something improve

Choose Joy

"Choose joy." No matter the question or the situation - choose joy... This is the message I received, just a week ago today, when I experienced darshan with Mother Meera for the fourth time in the last few years. The moment I looked into her infinite eyes, it was like gazing deeply into the cosmos and into Eternity. Time stood perfectly still. I sat in my seat and meditated afterwards, feeling her hands still placed on my head, as she continued to purify my soul. Every opportunity I have darshan with Mother, I receive exactly what I need... The first two times, my life was tumultuous and I was in such a state of need, but by the third time I had navigated rough waters and left it behind, and so my experience was lighter, more blissful, and joyous... This time, it was all about joy - feeling joy - embodying joy - becoming joy - and most importantly - I was prompted to share joy... Everything I read or came across during the course of the week was a reminder to exp

Back Into the River

This week, for the first time in almost three years, I went back into the river... Yes, this same river that for several years, beginning in '08, first invited me in, and then beckoned... And so, I obediently responded to its calling, bought a kayak, and without any experience, launched myself off from the shore into a Great Unknown, relinquishing all control over where it would take me - both inwardly and outwardly... For the next few years, in stillness and silence, the River taught me all I needed to know. It yielded up its secrets, as I was companioned by blue herons and the bass fish that occasionally jumped out of the water to give me the once over... I forded into the waters and mists in the fog, performed penitential rituals during the High Holy Days, and chanted mantras in various sacred languages, over and over again. And in my ear the River whispered over and over again - "Let it go. Do not fight the current. Just flow"... and many more such sayings. I

Vernal Equinox New Moon and Eclipse Offerings

A gentle snow falls, on this day of triple plays - of the Vernal Equinox, a New Moon, and a Solar Eclipse. A powerful confluence of energies conspires to shift things within us and catapult us into transformation! I am excited to see the breathtaking beauty of what will perhaps be the last snowflakes until winter dawns once again... I head down to the river and am blessed to have it all to myself. The graying sky for a moment reminds of The Mists of Avalon - and I half expect the mists to be parted, revealing a hidden magical kingdom! Out in the gentle snow fall, with an occasional cardinal hopping from one snow laden branch to the other, and geese flocking in formation, I speak my prayers, my affirmations, and my Lovingkindness recitations - offered up like a Litany of saints... I speak my prayers and intentions out loud in hopes that they will move mountains and shift energy, for indeed it is right and just - and necessary - as proclaimed in the Catholic liturgy. I reflect

And God Laughed!

Have you ever had one of those days that didn't quite go as you had expected? Have you ever allowed your mind to run wild when things don't quite go your way, conjuring up a myriad of reasons why it may be so? And how many times have reality and your thoughts not aligned? I had one of those evenings last night... Through a series of misfirings, miscommunications, assumptions, expectations - call it what you will - I did not connect with a friend at a recital last night. One of the churches that I attend was dedicating it's new organ for the first time, and a master organist had been invited to give a recital that was part worship, part dedication, and part concert. I later reflected on what had happened - what I thought had happened - what I thought the reasons were, and then found myself thinking of a passage in scripture, where Sarah - the wife of Abraham the patriarch - is told that she would bear a son. She was quite past child bearing age - and she laughed in

Divine Repose

I heard two very similar homilies during the first Week of Lent - one by an Episcopal priest - and the other by a Catholic lay deacon.  Both acknowledged that a common question asked during this season is: "What are you giving up for Lent?" To which, both answered, "Nothing." In the first case, the priest is a woman who is presently burdened by many situations - and very much part of the "sandwich generation," and all which that label entails and demands. In the latter case, the person in question is both father and grandfather to several. The first homilist focused on letting go of control during Lent - and letting God take the reigns of her life, which she had tried so hard to steer, to no avail. And of course, we all know, that outcomes don't often yield the results we planned or imagined. The second, spoke of a time for seeding and growing, and fostering new practices and traits to enrich our lives, such as the cultivation of grea

Everything in God: The Journey Begins

I am poised to begin the Lenten journey once again, ready to commence it with a seal of ashes tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. Such an ancient ritual - but for the past few years it has been a time of personal growth and recommitment for me... A few years ago, I gathered my Lenten entries from over the years and forged them into a collection I titled, Everything in God and God in Everything... I repeat those words today, as a mantra... "Everything in God and God in Everything." As in other years, Maha Shivaratri, the Great Night of Shiva, observed by many friends, also coincides with this journey... Years ago, a friend gave me a photo with this quote: "I do not know what it calls me to, but I recognize the Voice." I truly do not know what - or where that Voice calls me to - but I know I must respond and go where I am led. It has become more insistent and persistent over the years... The Voice speaks. It beacons. It invites me to a journey. It will be lon

Why and Where

Recently, a dear friend from my graduate school days, sent me this quote, on a day when things were out of sorts: "Whatever is happening in your life, don't pre-occupy yourself with the question WHY? But rather ponder more on to  WHERE these events will be bringing you. Know you are being led to somewhere beautiful, beyond your present harsh reality. Once you get to the WHERE, then you'll know the WHY." ~ Unknown In a week or two filled with infinite requests for prayers by many in need, and in such dire circumstances, I round out this week by reflecting on these words and the comfort they bring me. I share them with you, in hopes that you may find solace in them as well!

This Too Shall Pass

I slept in a bit this morning, and then quietly donned sweats and bundled up, and headed down to the river with my coffee. I had not been there in months! It was very cold for me - the temperature hovering in the low twenties - and ice clung to the riverbanks, as the rushing river passed on by. I said my prayers, chanted the Reiki precepts and poured out my heart to God... I've felt a little unsettled of late in my life, and after a while, feeling chilled to the bone, I retreated to my car, parked in front of the boat ramp where I launched my kayak regularly for years. I sat, I meditated and I watched the river - the waves briskly moving downstream. And then, I simply heard within me: "This too, shall pass." All of the things that most consume our thoughts - our pain, our sadness, our regrets  and our hurts - our very lives - they will all pass. But only love will remain... I reflected on a number of things weighing deep in my heart - some of which I have

Contemplating the Real Questions

Recently, I came across these questions posited by Henri Nouwen, who was one of my favorite spiritual writers from the seventies, in addition to Thomas Merton, whose centenary happens to be today. Both of these prolific writers, teachers, priests and mystics, exerted a deep influence on my spirituality. I read and reflected on these questions, finding them to be quite powerful and a useful tool, and so I saved them, because they are truly perennial questions - meant to be asked over and over again - scrutinized, masticated, authentically pondered, and even verbalized out loud, until they become so deeply internalized that they become part of the fabric of our minds, our prayers, our hearts, and our spirituality. I can think of no better questions to ask myself at the end of my day as I take time to review  events experienced and encountered, before drifting off to sleep or finishing my night prayers. As I close out the first month of this still, fairly new year, I commit to askin

Have You Been Called?

A week ago, I heard a homily by a deacon of one of the churches that I attend, and I have been thinking about it ever since. It was given in response to the reading from the prophet Samuel, where God calls him in the night, and Samuel responds with one of my favorite prayers and lines: "Speak Lord. Your servant is listening." Perhaps none of us have been called in such a dramatic way. But we are all called in many ways, and some of them can be very simple. For example, you are called: When you are a witness to someone's story, or pain - and touch someone's hand - or wipe away their tear... When you selflessly give of your time and your heart... When you witness an injustice, and decide to correct it, or do something about it - or  seek to educate others about it... When you decide that your work conflicts with your values and you make the decision to move on... When you dedicate your time, your effort, or your resources, to helping those in need...

How Can I Love Enough?

Earlier this week, I wrote an entry entitled, "Did you love enough?" Of course, the question was meant for myself:  "Did I love enough  in those situations I faced  in the past -  and am I loving enough  in these situations I am currently living?" And as I have been reflecting on those questions - and its corollary,  "Have I loved myself enough?"  I have inevitably been led to consider the following questions: "How can I love enough?"  That is to say -  "How can I love more?" And then logically, the next question to follow, is simply:  "How can I love myself more?" Needless to say, these will keep me entertained for quite some time... Though this month has not been as slow as I would have wished, I look forward to some days in the near future - hopefully ones that are not as cold as it has been thus far - where I can sit by the riverbank and explore these questions more deeply. "How c

Did You Love Enough?

"Did you love enough?" This question has been haunting me for nearly a month - ever since a friend brought it up as she reflected on her life and situation. I went home that afternoon, daring to ask myself the same thing: "Did I love enough?" Did I love enough in that situation in the past? Am I loving enough in this situation now? And inevitably that morphed into: "Have I loved myself enough?" No matter the question or its variation - the answer is always the same: NO. We can never love enough - whether it is someone else - or ourselves. Love by its very nature is expansive. There is always more room to grow. In loving others however, the key is to love without attachment, without holding on - without being needy. And in loving ourselves - we may simply just need to set boundaries and allow ourselves the right to practice self-care. We can never love enough - just as we can never meditate deeply enough. We never arrive. There is