Friday, October 19, 2018

imagine this!

raise your words, not voice..
it is rain that grows flowers, 
not thunder.

imagine this!
it has been 11 years since this blog began..
peace is healthy..
skipped 2 years..hummmm?
2009 and 2010
wonder about those missing 24 months..

to me,
writing is my way
of being
most fully alive.
              ~ ursula le quin

imagine this!
you can subscribe to this blog
by scrolling down to the last post
and simply signing up..
of course, it is somehow more complicated
than that, i have heard..
yet if you keep on keeping on..
you will be set..

the world of letters
is the true world
of bliss.
           ~ abraham abulaya

imagine this!
if you reply to the post that you receive
in your e-mail, i will not receive it..
don't ask me why,
no clue ~
( i have missed many an epistle
because of this!)
SO ~
you are invited to leave a comment
on the actual blog itself
or send a fresh e-mail
directly to my address..

i could
make prayers
or poems
on and on.
         vassar miller

imagine this!
i have recently been asked
if i receive any sort of recompense for my writing...
most certainly !
by you reading it..
thank you ~

writing is the only way
i know how to pray.
                  ~ h.m. viramontes

for those of you who have wanted
to drop a donation in the mendicant bowl
for the missives that nourish you -
the account @ paypal is still active..
i will happily receive and gratefully accept
all and any offerings to underwrite my writings ~

making language is making prayer.
our utterances,
whether silent or voiced,
written or thought,
distinct or vague,
repeated or fleeting,
are always essentially prayer,
even though we seldom realize it.
to speak, to intone,
to form words with our mouth and heart and spirit,
is to reach out and reach in.
what we're always reaching out and into,
even when we don't know that we are,
is the boundless unknowable,
the unnamable.
in the end
prayer is not some specialized religious exercise;
it is just what comes out of our mouths
if we truly pay attention.
debased as it so often is,
language at its core always springs forth
from what is fundamental in the human heart.
                              norman fischer

imagine this!

Friday, October 5, 2018

dia de los muertos ~ sitting with our ancestors

mark your calendars !
thursday, november 1..
11 AM 
in the new CMY studio
kitty-corner from present studio
~ 521  morris street  ~
(will get NEW address soon!)

looks like we'll be christening
the new crescent moon shala
with our 9AM thursday morning yoga class..
hurrah! hurray!

thereafter ~
we will have an opportunity
to sit in stillness with our ancestors..

those who wish to stay will ready the altar
w/ pictures of our loved ones
dead yet alive with presence..
any other altaring holy moly objects..
(bring your sitting accoutrements)
those who wish to leave after class
 will have time to slip away..

we will begin sitting @ 11AM

those not attending class, yet planning to sit..
please arrive a bit early
to take your seat and place your altar offerings..
chairs are available for those who prefer them..
we will have 2 sits.. about 20-25 minutes -
with a walking meditation betwixt
 ~ this is a freeeeeee offering  ~

will be our finish-ish time

bring anything that you'd like to offer to
the silence,
the ancestors,
each other
~ for the altar ~
bring your bright love,
your great care,
your empty vessel,
your letting go,
your opening up,
your easy-breezy..
your devotion,
your crazy wisdom,
your inconceivable nature..

with this tradition of dia de los muertos
we have a splendid opportunity
to honor the dead and awaken remembrance...

in the words of clarissa pinkola estes ~
las almas valientes,  dear brave souls, 
this is our time of dia de los muertos.

this we deeply understand as 'the day of our ancestors' 
whom we love and who love us
and who guide us by example 
and intuitions and sudden insights, 
and often by other means.
who we continue to pray for,  as well as for the living -- 
and to nourish this relationship between two worlds, 
with our familiares, relatives, and ourselves.
this way of life...

far away and yet so near to you, 
we old women 
who still carry the root stock,
our old women who know how to
pray paint off walls, 
who grow and bring 
the fresh flowers, 
the yerba buena
who know how to bless 
the living and dead,
who know how to bless 
and light the sumerio, 
who know how to bring 
the smoke of blessed copal, 
who stand and kneel 
in many conditions, 
who offer and consume
the old foods of the ancestors 
with the heaven of los angelitos
in their hearts 
no matter where they live...

we pray for you, m'hijos y m'hijas,
we pray for you the living,
our sons and our daughters 
that you have tender memories 
of the good of your own ancestors
who have walked onward 
making their transition, 
who have left without ever leaving ...

many of us old women say -
the ancestors visit through 
the fragrance of the copal,  
in the scent of the golden flowers, 
in the earth smell,
of the autumn of dried leaves,
in the swirling sacred smoke,
for those with eyes to see, 
ears to hear
or a heart that longs --

may you all be watched over
by the gentle,  smart,  protective
and perfected souls of your antepasados, 
your own people who have walked onward
and are in many good ways, still here
with you, and for you....

this comes with love for you to find a fragrance 
or a flower or a little bowl of water 
or food of your ancestors, 
an item from your farback people, 
a piece of sweet bread and a fruit like orange, 
and to just sit gently and ask for goodness, 
and then listen through your many senses... 
say what you wish to say, 
ask what you wish to ask, 
bless all.
simple is often most direct.

Friday, September 21, 2018

apple season - yoga practice schedule


 flame apples
         ~ amy lowell
little hot apples of fire,
burst out of the flaming stem
of my heart,
i do not understand how you quickened and grew,
and you amaze me
while I gather you.

i lay you, one by one,
upon a table.
and now you seem beautiful and strange to me,
and I stand before you,


a seasonal treasure..
and a national one!
remembering the fragrance of sauce
burbling on my mama's stove..
day in and day out for days..

now i make my own..
and happily receive a jar or two from
another mama who conjures sauce
day in and day out..
such good fortune..

i await the apple pie
will make for me

i hope it's not like the peach pie..
that sadly never showed up..

dried apples by the bagful..
for travel and munch and gifting

ciders, crisps and tarts..
just plain themselves..
from the rose family,
imagine ~

it's autumn!
the apples are falling ~

here's the equinox yoga schedule..
by the by,
the seasons - spring and fall
are the best seasons to study..
to receive wisdom and training..
these are the seasons of change and growth
and of course, harvest..

all practices continue at
crescent moon yoga
6th and morris streets
laconner WA
~ the schedule is the same!
thursday mornings @ 9 - 10:30 AM the spirit of reciprocity..
5:30 - 6:30 PM
here are the dates to mark your calendars -

this class is by your generous donation
please be thinking where we might 
offer the monies collected..
last year we gifted a hefty sum (over $600)
to community action of skagit county
together susan s. and i will share
in offering this thanks giving practice ~

what does an apple and a yoga practice
have in common, you ask?
one (1)  a day keeps the doctor away 
(for awhile, anyway!)
ha! it will be one year since the titanium
hip has been part of my anatomy...

one last apple poem :

in orchard country
years ago on a dirt road in orchard country,
a farmhouse burned to the cellar-stones.
that night i stood with the other fruit-pickers
watching flames roll and thunder down the walls.

the next day we found near the ruin,
still warm, a tree with baked apples. and so
after a night too close to the fire, a poet
may hold something delicious in a scorched hand.
                        ~ thomas r. smith

may this harvest season bring good will and love
straight into the hearts of all beings..
may apple pies flourish on kitchen counters..
may we, each of us, share the delights we have ingathered..
our love, our mirth, our great acceptance of all that is..


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

practicing ~ compassion

i am a dharma practitioner,
having studied the Way for
many moons now..
my practice began long before
i read the first dharma book (16)
on a very long list i had conjured..
living zen 
     ~ robert linssen

we had moved from chicago to anacortes (10)
from the midwest to the great northwest -
walking was my first physical practice..

the road has two rules:
begin and continue.
          ~ christmas humphreys

above all, do not lose your desire to walk:
everyday i walk myself into a state of well-being
and walk away from illness:
i have walked myself into my best thoughts,
and i know of no thought so burdensome
that one cannot walk away from it...
             ~søren kierkegaarde

those solitary step, step, steps
would settle my zippity-do-dah mind..
thoughts would cool and calm..
quieting the recycled inner chatter -
i could wear my bones and flesh more easily..
soo much energy to balance ~

one must take that plunge into the abyss
of thought to no-thought
~ think no thinking ~
where one finds one self
resting comfortably with a cuppa
in the sitting still of meditation..
(this would arise a whole lot later!)

human thought is awareness in motion;
samadhi is awareness at rest.
             ~ philip kapleau

sitting still was no easy task ~
jumbling and bumbling
running skipping swinging bicycling
walk walk walking..
tree climbing wrestling
skating - ice and roller
tap dancing acrobatics
tumbling turning twisting
swimming skimming..
practice was being in a body
that sizzled zip, zing and pep
to the point of burning up..

what is to give light must endure burning.
              ~ viktor frankl

my mama had quite a time with me..
my sister wisely ignored me..
teachers were fed up with me..
school mates were enamored and confused -
i was roiling..
poetry spoke volumes of deep visions and confiding notions -
dostovevsky opened the dark spaces i crawled in and out..
having realized i was an illegitimate child -
(adopted by loving parents.. sallie and ralph.. at 3 months)
i took that to the mat and wrangled it down
until i was blue in the face..
( and not the  holy enlightened blue 
of krishna or samantabhadra!) 

growing up
one of my wings beat faster,
i couldn't help it -
the one away from the light.

it hurt to be told all the time
how i loved that terrible flame.
            ~   w. stafford

traveling solo on a greyhound bus
at 16 in 1966 grew me out of much
of the angst and selfie selfishness..
though that is a life long practice,
is it not?

in order to practice compassion,
we have to know our own darkness
well enough so that we may sit 
in the dark with others..  
~ brene brown

it seemed i was a good listener
on that bus ride around the united states..
99$ for 99 days!
(though we all know i am full of the blarney
and like nothing more than to hear myself talk...)
my sense to actually place some one else before me
started to seed up and germinate..
this started my sitting stillness ~
one had to be still to listen, eh?
where could i go on a moving greyhound bus?

o my o!
the stories i heard wore a thin patch
on the self-centered sweater of i, me, mineness..
bearing witness to inconceivable trauma and tragedy,
sagas of love and loss,
tribulations and injustices,
high drama and dark nights of the soul -
it was the historic time of martin luther king..
often taking my seat at the back of the bus,
i became aquainted with a brilliant fresh
species of suffering humanoids..
those days the bus was a cheap vehicle
to get low-incomers, scallawags and hobos
from hither to thither..

i loved it..
it soothed and frightened me..
i felt in the midst of real life..

compassion literally means embracing the suffering of others.
to embrace the suffering of others 
is to be liberated and opened by that suffering, 
to the point of finding love.
compassion is impossible if we can't learn 
to bear our own sufferings and difficulties -
if our old habits of denying and running away 
continues to have its way with us.
so the practice of mind training begins with the effort 
to turn toward the difficulty rather than away from it.
when we are no longer daunted by difficulties 
but are willing to engage and make use of them, 
we become truly resilient individuals.

our very difficulties and sufferings, 
if we hold them the right way, 
can be wedges to pry open our smallness.

dealing with others isn't just dealing with others...
dealing with others is dealing with ourselves dealing with others.
               ~ norman fischer


in the interval..
how about a reading list?

training in compassion
norman fischer

the great path of awakening
ken mcleod

enlightened courage
dilgo khyentse rinpoche

buddhism with an attitude:
the tibetan seven-point mind training
b. alan wallace

training the mind 
and cultivating loving-kindness
chögyam trungpa

Saturday, August 18, 2018

stop! look! listen!

i hope whatever you're doing
you've stopped now and then
and not doing it at all.
          ~james fadiman

i want to encourage you to step out of the normal "bounds"
of your life and begin to see yourself differently.
i want to encourage you to live your life at the ... edge of time,
allowing yourself to be born into a new life every minute.
i want to encourage you to allow your life experience
to be lightly dusted with form.
                     ~ barbara brennan

instead of adding time to yourself,
remove time.
the elimination of time
from your consciousness
is the elimination of ego.
it is the only true spiritual practice.
          ~ eckhart tolle
Image result for don't waste your life. zen

tree mountain zen

Saturday, August 11, 2018

it's so fine, it's sunshine

Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It's so fine, it's sunshine
It's the word, love

In the beginning I misunderstood
But now I've got it, the word is good
Spread the word and you'll be free
Spread the word and be like me
Spread the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It's so fine, it's sunshine
It's the word, love

Every where I go I hear it said
In the good and bad books that I have read
Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It's so fine, it's sunshine
It's the word, love

the beatles
the word
rubber soul

give it a listen !

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

gate guardian..nandi.. the bull

it was a day like any other day these days..
hot, hot and more hot..
mila rubie ~ the finest prius in existence ~
and i were traveling up bay view road
heading who knows where..
we reached the crossroads @ farm to market ..
stopped at the sign..
i drew a deep, mindful breath..
onward.. mila invited me..
looking up to turn..

across the road
behind a chain link fence
i catch sight of a mammoth dark figure ambling..
no, limping toward the gate..
what could this massive movement be?
we wondered aloud..

driving forward to the gravel inlet
a bull -
black and lame -
heading straight toward us..

i meet him at the portal..
he is ginormous ..
he is foaming at the mouth
he is covered head to hoof in flies
he is soaking wet
he is seemingly in immense pain

we are face to face
eye to eye
deep in we go
into one another's presence
momentarily transported
beyond form to essence
we wait and watch and see and listen
breathing in..breathing out..
in a spell
a unified field..
the radiant ground of being

behold the one in all things
it is the second that leads you astray.
                          ~ kabir

the flies rise and fall from his angus flesh
breathing with us
in, out..
up, down..

as easily as we fell into one another we fall away..
his left leg is weak and dwarfed in comparison to the right..
he turns away ..
circles a wide berth
hobbling from the entry
from our prayer

witnessing his slow and tortuous path
into a ravine
only his back now
until he finds the road once more
until he is no more

what movie am i in?
what planet am i on?
where am i?
who am i?

the gate - guardian deity of kailasa, 
the abode of shiva. 
a mighty bull who serves 
as the mount to shiva ~

i have met the gate guardian
and he is me..