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Showing posts from June, 2010

Losing My Religion(s)

In our high school musical I played Chavaleh in Fiddler on the Roof, the spitfire redhead who dreamily sings "Matchmaker" with her sisters, and in the end blatantly defies her Jewish tradition to elope with a Russian Gentile. She is disowned by her father and outcast from her family and community. Through the entire show there is the repeated refrain, "Tradition! Tradition! Tradition!" In fact this word makes up the entire chorus of a song.

I remember how powerfully I could identify with the storyline of Fiddler on the Roof, as if it was all just stored memory, and with Chavaleh; how perfectly natural it felt for this woman to follow her heart, rather than to shut it down, even if in the end she might be wrong.

At the time I had no idea how significant to my experience this musical would become, as I too would marry for love, outside of my faith, (in my case, at the time, Mormon) very much defying my own tradition. There are two very important rites that must be comp…

Path to Peace

You have taken on one of the most difficult jobs in the Createdness, which is to be able to feel the lightest, most ephemeral energy vortex that you call God on a planet that is one of the densest in the universe. I call that courageous. --Bartholomew

Walking in the woods, my thoughts feel dense and real--just as dense and real as the dusty gravel path sending its jaggedness into the bottom of my feet.

The heaviness and pervasiveness of my thoughts attest to the fact that they do indeed exist in physical form, their movement no different than that of my own living, breathing, human body walking along, responding to the elements--the wind though my hair, the sun burning my back.

I can almost just touch my thoughts, feel their texture like the trunks of trees, thick and weighty, stubbornly stuck in one place, feeling some sense of nobility, with perhaps a dash of martyrdom thrown in, at holding up their heavy, gnarled branches and leaves.

I stop to watch the cows behind their barbed wire. I…

Invictus

Recently watched the film Invictus--found the film and this poem that inspired a nation deeply moving...

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley (1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Steadfast Tin Soldier

From Fantasia 2000 - Dimitri ShostakovichPiano Concerto No. 2 Op. 102 Allegro

In the mood for something lighter today! This was one of my favorite piano concertos to play. I just love what Disney did with it. You'd swear the music was written for this sweet little story. My favorite part of the piece to play is when he falls down the waterfall. What a rush --all those amazing arpeggiated chords! Enjoy!

(If you get a chance check out the second movement! It is beautiful!)

Parts to Keep

My heart's desire is to know who I am without my story, who I am in the present moment without all of the heavy conditioning, but within that desire, I am gaining a respect for allowing our stories to stay with us until they are ready to naturally fall away on their own.

I am beginning to understand that our stories are a multi-dimensional map of who we are, and of our unique perception of the world. They show us roads traveled, crests and valleys of our contrasting experiences, bodies of thought and rivers of understanding. They show us our well-worn paths, and our newly blazed trails. They show us where we congregate in comfort and seek excitement in the cities, and where we find quiet and a sense of solace in the back country. If we are lucky, stories show us our many strata, accumulated and layered with time. Here we might find that conditions have created beautiful gems, diamonds even, or we might find hidden cracks that reveal volcanic activity.

I am realizing that when a stor…

Forcing Peace

I've been trying to force peace upon myself.

It isn't working so well.

I hesitate to write, and expose my vulnerability, yet again.

However, I began this blog as a way of getting real, because whenever I've had the courage to tell the truth and delve beneath the surface with other human beings, I've seen how it has comforted us, how it has opened a space where we can connect on a level that validates our experiences, inspires movement and change, and inch by inch, frees us from our stories and our beliefs that no longer serve us. Together we find our loads lightened, and the ability to move through situations with more trust and less efforting.

If you haven't noticed, this blog contains parts of my inner world broadcast. It is messy. It is repetitive. It is self-indulgent at times. It is short-sighted and broad-sighted. At the very least it has been an important tool for me in seeing myself more objectively, in seeing others more objectively, in seeing the beauty befor…

Wounded

Tonight when I thought about going to my regular yoga class, I felt slight trepidation, because of a recent injury that took over the left side of my back. I'm not sure how it happened, and even the location of the injury is vague, originating somewhere between my lower back and neck, but causing pain to radiate down the left side of my back. The pain has been arresting, especially when I try to take a deep breath.

I decided to go to yoga anyway, knowing that even if I didn't participate in any poses, just showing up in the space would be healing. I knew that I would find a familiar quiet and soft energy that would help me to turn inward, to bring me to my center, and a pace that would restore a sense of balance and well-being.

When the class began, I felt myself calm down much more quickly than usual. I felt myself surrender, as something in me silently dedicated the practice to other wounded beings.

Because of the pain that was very constant, I felt myself moving more quickly i…

Apprentice of Love

Photo Credit J. Scott Bovitz

A mentor recently told me that a love that knows no bounds can be a force to be reckoned with. We may not be ready for it. This really spoke to me, which was interesting, because it is relatively easy for me to love anyway.

It got me thinking. Do I have beliefs about love? Do I believe in limits to the possibilities in which it can appear? What are my underlying beliefs with regard to expansive love?

I was surprised to discover that I do have a fundamental belief system about love that I haven't been conscious of until now. This is what I found I believe on some level: expansive love comes in complicated form. Those who can give or experience it must be only briefly with us in the physical. The world as it is does not support this kind of love. Expansive love is just another form of separation and ends eventually, or becomes tainted with conflict. There isn't enough room for it, and it doesn't fit in with the way that we do things in this world. T…

A Course in Miracles quote for you

All sickness comes from separation. When the separation is denied, it goes. For it is gone as soon as the idea that brought it has been healed, and been replaced by sanity. Sickness and sin are seen as consequence and cause, in a relationship kept hidden from awareness that it may be carefully preserved from reason's light.

Guilt asks for punishment, and its request is granted. Not in truth, but in the world of shadows and illusions built on sin. Perception changes, made to take the place of changeless knowledge. Yet is truth unchanged. It cannot be perceived, but only known. What is perceived takes many forms, but none has meaning. Brought to truth, its senselessness is quite apparent. Kept apart from truth it seems to have meaning and be real.

Working on seeing all the beauty today, even though feeling a little separate. Decided that I was missing a lot. My daughter playing with the kitty: "Our kitty was the best kitty in the whole hotel thing." (speaking of the pound;) …

Author: Elizabeth Cunningham

There are those sacred moments in the illusion of time when you have no doubt that you've encountered someone in your life that feels beyond the scope of the ordinary, that through contact with them or their creations, you find yourself shifting in a profound way. You know on some level you can never be the same. They show you a whole new world that you couldn't have conceived of before, and it warms you, moves you.

Encountering Elizabeth Cunningham, the author of three (and more to come) novels in The Maeve Chronicles: Magdalen Rising, The Passion of Mary Magdalen, and Bright Dark Madonna, felt like a sacred first for me; a moment when the entire universe conspired for me, to give me sustenance through the written word.

Opening her books I began to find pieces of my soul scattered about in her creations, gifted freely, so that I might gather them back to me.

I'll never forget how I came upon The Passion of Mary Magdalen. I rarely if ever browse through the aisles of the libr…

A little addition to the last post...

Painting Growing New Rootsby Julia Fehrenbacher

On further contemplation of the last post More Fences, I recalled how on that same walk, nature had its very own barrier, the thickest and most abundant crop of poison oak I've ever seen. It definitely kept me from trekking off the path and into the backwoods. I saw yet again the human world reflected in the natural world.

The more I think about barriers and fences, the more I realize that on a deeper level, I am trying to come to terms with them; to know when to let them stay in place, and when to move through them; to be able to be up against them and still feel free. It is tied up with my own inability to accept what is, and my inability to see that it is all good--to trust and to be in the present moment, without all the stories that cripple.

On a brighter note, this practice of cultivating acceptance is what fuels creativity, learning, connecting, and gives much meaning.

There is no solution-- no fences that I can tear down indefin…

More Fences

I went on a beautiful hike this weekend, down a long country road. On each side trailing the road were ominous barbed wire fences. Intermittently, there were signs that signaled no trespassing, sometimes several of them in the same space. There before me was the insane juxtaposition of the beautiful natural world, and man's fear, that the beauty he'd stuck a flag in and called his own, might get trampled. This is mine, keep out!

I recognize the damage that can be caused by trespassers, but what kind of damage do fences cause?

How many of us used to be able to run free on the land, once upon a time? How many of us let our kids venture very far anymore? How recent was it that the boogieman was always out to get you, and even in broad daylight? The spawning of the TV generation?

We are so afraid of one another, of opening our wounds to people, of asking for help and healing--of telling our stories for fear of judgement, for fear of our hearts being trampled. We seek help from profe…

Wanting

Photo Credit J. Scott Bovitz

I find myself wanting. This is an unfamiliar place for me as of late. It is something I know I need to work through to find inner peace, because the wanting hurts, and because I understand that with the wanting, a monstrous iron gate comes crashing down onto the myriad of possibilities, that if left to take on a life of their own, would create their own heaven on earth. Rather they become limited and lifeless by the interference of fear.

With wanting comes a desire to have it all now, to act recklessly, to vie for control of situations, to push and shove out of the way, to cause harm.

So, I struggle with the desire to let go and trust the process, and the desire to control and get what I want now. Torn apart by the knowing that it is actually inner peace that brings all that you desire, but that it takes a sweet surrendering, hard to find when you are feeling impatient.

I can't suppress what I am feeling. I know that much. I must honor my desires as helpin…

My dear darling brethren,

Photo credit J.Scott Bovitz

From the calm heart gifted to me this morning, I send you today the feeling of being held, quieted, loved.

If I do nothing else in this life, it will be my mission to show you the depths of your precious selves.

It isn't selfless, of course. There is never sacrifice in wholeness. Anything else is old school. It is all for me, and for you, always, all ways. Let yourself open to this and see if for what it is: in showing you your preciousness, I find mine again and again.

I send you well-being. I send you the littlest bit of faith in all possibilities, faith that inner peace is possible no matter what your circumstances; knowing that only the littlest bit of faith is needed, and the force of life does the rest.

I send you clarity--a knowing that whatever has been done to you, anything you hold onto and carry with you as pain, confusion, heartache, was never personal. May you see those who have tread upon you, as having done the best they could. May you find h…

I am with you...I am you

Photo credit J. Scott Bovitz

Outside of time we are all one.

In the illusion of time we are forced to watch the pattern of separation that exists on every level of form: edges and outlines; boundaries, barriers, and bodies; shapes and infrastructures with a lot of walls and dividers; mathematics, language, aesthetics, perception, science, and all of the theories that come with these, etc. etc.; and the biggy--relationships with each other and ourselves.

And within all this form the very comical: all of it configured to join with aspects of itself, to give the illusion of oneness. We are forced to watch form try and assemble itself into oneness all the time, but with no apparent success, at least for very long. There is always the act of moving into oneness, and then separation. Yes, this includes one-night stands. All roads end in paradox.

What if I could assert here that we are one, and that all our Minds are joined, even if our bodies aren't? What happens to you, happens to me. Wha…