Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Friday, May 31, 2013


I believe one of the biggest stumbling blocks to emotional and spiritual freedom is holding grievances against events or people.  In this blog I’ll talk about grievances against parents.
Grievances of past not only harm present familial interactions but invariably do deep damage to one’s self. Holding a grievance is a way of saying what you did has power over me; my choices and behaviors are dictated by that.  In short, I have no free will, my fate has been predetermined by what you did or didn’t do.
My response to this would be, grow up. Let’s assume that most of us try to do the best we can.  Even our parents.  Let’s even go a little further and with grace admit that everyone can only act in the spirit of their own level of consciousness.  Let’s take this even deeper and say if others are not aware of how they have taken on the patterns of past generations then those behaviors likely will show up in how they relate to the world. Inside each of us, for our entire lives, is the archetype of the child. Our parents may have been wounded children as well.  Without the knowledge of archetypes or an understanding of the multileveled aspects of our being they could only act from their own place of knowing. 
Let’s ask a question.  Do I really believe my parents deliberately tried to harm or emotionally scar me? Honestly, no.  I think they were doing the best they could to their abilities and with their social and generational conditionings. None of our children nor us were born with a manual of what our soul’s needs were. Knowing exactly the depth of my love and my good intentions as a mother, I can imagine my parents felt the same. 
What is the remedy for harboring grievances? Forgiveness. Understanding.
I understand my parents made mistakes; I, as a parent made mistakes. Believe me, I am only too well aware of it. I have beat myself up and carried that monkey of guilt on my back for far too many years. I forgave my parents many years ago; it is now time to forgive myself. 

One step further. Can we look beyond the veils of our sense of injustice and admit that maybe we caused our parents emotional harm and grief?   Did we mean to harm them? No. We are here in these meat suits to learn. The soul contract we had with our parents can be seen as a gift rather then a grievance. If we can turn our childhood grievances into gifts of power and strength through adversity then we all win. 
Let’s start today with a clean slate. Let the past be passed. Let this moment be filled with forgiveness, understanding. Love. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Counting Blessings

It is easy to be grateful, to count blessings when life is flowing with ease.  Caught up in a world of dramas and traumas, woe-is-me and he/she/they caused me grief , it is more difficult. Sometimes, even when life is effortless, we take for granted all we have and who we are. The challenge and the practice is to see the goodness in life when our trials and tribulations are front and centre. 
Practice daily, morning and evening, three gratitudes. They don’t have to be as lofty as my 6-year old granddaughter’s, “earth, God and love.” Sometimes just being grateful that I woke up breathing is  a start. Challenge yourself by being thankful for those who give you the most grief. They are a gift, a mirror of lessons you need to learn.
Practicing gratitude is a way of nurturing our interior and at the same time acknowledging that the values we cherish on the inside are those we project externally. All the while knowing that stuff does not guarantee happiness but without the necessities and many comforts life would be a struggle. 
Sometimes we can find gratitude in our haves in relationship to others have nots.  I am grateful I have clean water, fresh air, quality food, a roof over my head and safety. Many of our fellow human beings would consider our basics as luxuries. 
A simple life with gratitude leads to cultivating an appreciation of what is most important, this moment, each other, this planet. When we can be grateful even for our woes we begin to see the preciousness of this existence.  And, it’s fleetingness. 
As my granddaughter reminds me, “everything comes and everything goes.” If we can truly be thankful for every priceless moment as it happens then gratitude permeates our being. Don’t believe me. Try it for yourself. At first, it may take a daily reminder; you may find it difficult to name three gratitudes. Be patient. Be grateful for your patience. Experience for yourself how the complexion of life changes when you are thankful.

In joy. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Pig As Us ~ The Pigasus Project

Today is Victoria Zen Centre's Annual Buddha's Birthday Celebration.  This was the impetus for The Pigasus Project blog. The blog grew from humble beginnings out of a project I was assigned ~ to make the pinata.  I chose to make the pig.  Here are a few pictures from the archives.

Thanks to all of you for the many page views of this blog. 

Nine great bows.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Whole World Is Watching

“The Whole World Is Watching," chanted by antiwar demonstrators outside the Chicago Hilton Hotel during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago*  became an iconic slogan of the time. It was a time when journalists really made a difference.  Truth was paramount. A war, the Vietnam war, MUST be stopped. A friend of mine who demonstrated said that to mock and humiliate protestors they were dumped into garbage trucks full of garbage and taken to jail. This did not stop the protest. We know the outcome, the war did finally end. How the Vietnam vets were treated is a whole other story of disrespect and shame . The difference was that how the protestors responded to inhumane conduct empowered whereas many vets disempowered took on what was really the whole nation’s shame.

Once again, in a different medium, we have the opportunity to connect as a whole world watching, listening and sharing. Social media closes the borders of time and distance and allows us to come together as one. It is our choice to turn and look a lie in the eye. 

We have the power to wake up to and become a wave in the ocean of transformation. It is us who can choose change. Beginning with respect for all things sentient and non-sentient, “all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful.” And yes, all environments, all the shadows and all the light that is life. 

The biggest disrespect we do to one in another is to say you, they or I don’t count. Your voice. Your vote. Your action. Every choice you make or don’t make counts. Every time we turn and look a lie in the eye, we make a difference. We disempower by indifference, by turning a blind eye to injustice, by not voting, by not speaking up. We don’t have to be big to make great changes. 

We make a difference every time we say “No” or “Yes.”We make a difference when we sit in meditation or prayer. We make a difference by what we choose to eat, what we choose to buy, what we choose to wear, how we choose to care for ourselves and others. Every behaviour either affirms or denies this whole existence and how we are all in this together, as one. 

This, my friends, is what being present, waking up is all about.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Human Beans In Pale Green Pants

We humans are strange creatures.  As Caroline Myss says, we are so fearful. Afraid to die. Afraid to live.  So true. Yet, at the same time, these words are an invitation to wake up. A prod for us to examine what is this thing we call fear. What are we really afraid of? Seems to me it is either the unknown or something known that we have allowed our mind to exaggerate bigger then life. 
 Dr Seuss ~ What Was I Scared Of?
We also live in times where leaders of countries and religions manipulate and restrict the freedom of its own people with a media massaged message of terror from beyond its borders or with a prescribed morality. Can we stand up to these contrived or hyped up threats with a response of courage? Show us these boogie monsters.  Prove to us how someone else’s life style or belief system is a threat. Show us our differences. We can show you our commonalities.

Fear feeds our greed, our inhumanity, our disregard or blatant contempt for those we label “other”.  Fear is a shadow that when exposed to the light of consciousness shrivels and dies.

Fear itself is not an enemy, it can help us move wisely where caution is indicated.  Fear of known dangers is also a healthy, life preserving response.  Fear that goes unchallenged, unquestioned is an evolutionary throwback, the instinctive response of flight, fight or freeze. 

However, when fight and fear become companions, when we strike before looking closer, our actions create the fear response in others.  A fear that feeds a vicious never ending loop of no resolve. If we do not investigate our irrational responses to fear it may lead to us as has-beens.  

In Dr Seuss’ story “What Was I Scared Of?” the fear is over a pair of pale green pants with no one inside them. The narrator admits, "I do not fear those pants with nobody inside them." I said, and said, and said those words. I said them but I lied them.”  

Resolve comes when, 

“Then a strange thing happened.
 Why, those pants began to cry!
Those pants began to tremble.
They were just as sacred as I!

I never heard such whimpering
 And I began to see 
That I was just as strange to them
As they were strange to me!” 

It may indeed be that our ways are strange to one another. But strangeness only needs a closer look to lead to understanding, to curiosity, to interest, to awe in our unique expressions of humanness. Let us examine that which we so fear through the heart of compassion, the eyes of wisdom, the knowing that we are not separate. We are one planet. Many human beans; one being. Whole-in-one. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Life Itself

 `Earth is the place where choice & destiny meet.' Caroline Myss

Today’s Angel Cards; willingness and commitment.

Both one word gentle reminders inviting me to participate in life.  Instead of being a spectator, truly engaging in what is present now. Being with.  We are buffeted by the winds of change, by challenges, by indifference, by choice. It is the difference between fate and destiny. 

As Caroline Myss says, “Fate is how your life unfolds when you let fear determine your choices. A path of destiny reveals itself to you, however, when you confront your fear and make conscious choices.”  When we are willing and committed to knowing that we are destined for greater goodness then the paltry ego can think, we can begin to allow the blessings of this existence unfold. 

I am willing to let go of past grievances.  I am willing to retrieve my spirit from where I have so heavily invested it in past sadness, shame, anger and grief.  I am willing to let go of a fairy tale ending and come back to this moment, all ways.

I am committed to shining a light of awareness on my thoughts, behaviour and judgement. I am committed to seeing each moment as an opportunity for practice carefully navigating away from the notion of perfection. 

Willingness and commitment invite grace. I could not word this better then Caroline Myss in “The Gift of Seven Extraordinary Days of Grace (Part 1)” *

“Grace comes in many expressions. It intervenes in raging arguments, calming your anger so that you do not say what you can never take back. Grace whispers thoughts of hope in desperate times, giving you the stamina to hold on through the storms of life. And grace delivers inspiration, awakening creative resources deep within your being. The power of grace is endless, silent, and powerful.”

When I glance back with the eyes of victim, I see that this being has been dealt some very difficult experiences.  Instead of celebrating the resilience of the spirit and the lessons these “gifts of grief” have given, I have wallowed in a pity party. When I truly acknowledge, that I was gifted with each and every difficulty, each one, a chance to grow compassion, expand beyond the sad stuff with choice breath by breath. Sure I have slipped and fallen, found myself in dark holes and scary places but grace has always been there.  Patiently waiting for me to take a hand, make peace, let go of control. 

I do not have a life, I am life itself; we all are.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Found In Notes

First day-night in Mexico at the Marival 1551

Here in opulence   Submerged in an illusion. All is.well. Yes perhaps.  In compounded saccharin sweet niceties with the paper carrot currency. Jump how high. I have my dignity. For god's sake don't give me yours. We all know this illusion is but a dream. And when we wake up I will serve you.

A big helping of self serving sanctity dressed up in sexy. Oh if sanity were as neatly groomed as your hair and fresh pressed uniform with a pretend air of the casual cologne. This agreed separation can only float on a pink cloud of delusion for so long. Then we both dance; share the lead. You my teacher; I your humble servant. Let us not forget our roles. This charade.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Simple Kindness

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”  ~ Dalai Lama XIV
Kindness does not need to be big to create an enormous ripple in this world. Kindness echoes from the giver to the receiver to all those who witness it to all who hear of the story and  to all who share it with others. 

The hallmarks of kind deeds are that they are offered with humility, utmost respect, directly from the heart and  with no expectation of return.   Small kindnesses make a big difference in the world.  It is a simple statement that we are all in this life together. That we value sharing and generosity whether it is a smile to a stranger on the street, a hand up to someone who has fallen down, a hug for a broken heart.  It is the generosity of the world uniting together because one little girl, Rachel, who wanted to offer the gift of water to those who were thirsty  Or a young man, Aaron Collins, who upon his death, had a wish to give a large tip to a waiter or waitress.

From small beginnings, the world responds in kind. The outcome mirrors the largeness of the heart that set it in motion. Such generosity goes far beyond the monetary value of the deed.  It is the generosity of the heart and the spirit.  It is a gift that keeps giving. Kindness is the harmony of souls. It brings us all closer together, to knowing the truth that we are one.  Bob Marley sang his gift to all of us, “One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right.”