Ruminating On Rumi

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

~ M. Rumi

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Seasonal Foolosophy

Gratefully borrowed from
And what is this within me that requires tending, the weeding of the gardening,
the pot of soup that needs stirring?
The recurring thought, "I need mending."
What is this unrequited love, 
this lonely sorrow so deep that if 
I were ever to step to the edge
of its steep blackness and peer down
I fear I would teeter and fall forever?

And yet, yet there is this yearning, this curiosity that dares the leap of faith,
the great jump into the unknown knowing, somehow knowing without understanding, that wings will lift me up to fuller heights.

That the loft of a divine breath will send me soaring.

And perhaps not, perhaps this is all the stuff of childhood fairy tales, of happily ever afters, of great expectations, flights of fantasy, Christmas Eve anticipations.
It takes year after fear, recurrent let downs, frequent set backs, sensing, experiencing that none of it matters, that only these things are none such, non-sense.

Because really what it all comes down to is this, exactly this,
this breath,
this moment,
this this with only the utmost respect for exactly what it,
in all its infinite myriad of beingness,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

One For The Boomers!!

Okay, let's give credit where credit is due.  Perhaps, one of the greatest retro fashion statements from the boomers is the "stretchy jean".  Oh how self serving is this perfect garment that fits round bodies that were once not. Or, in my case, the ever-round body.  

Image shamelessly borrowed from
I remember the torture of watching my friends squeeze their lithe bodies into freshly washed Levis. Jeans which somehow shrunk a whole size or two smaller in the dryer. We were clever back then though, either put the jeans on slightly damp or once you have the jeans up over your thighs and butt, lay down on the bed, hold your breath and wrestle the zipper shut.  A few deep knee bends and you're ready to rock and roll. Mind you, squatting too frequently could cause baggy knees. Another requirement of the cooly groovy attired was to peek over your shoulder and check the length of the pants, flood pants could completely outcast. And always the big question, "Do these jeans make my butt look big?" 

I don't know if as a teenager in my $5 a pair Levis and my $5 a pair North Star running shoes would I ever consider wearing a stretchy jean.  I'm sure it would've been so square. Now a jean with a little elastic in it makes me smile. Enough elastic to hold in the bulgy bits and still let me breath with ease. 

And that is a great advancement fellow boomers!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Pondering

How many times does it take bumping up against that same old thing?  Skinning a knee on a past trip up or bruising a shin on an old memory.  How often do we settle into habit patterns that wound self and other?  What does it take to shake off this same-old-same and wake up with a different response, a different perspective of the world and each other?  

Perhaps, it begins with first admitting that, "I have been disillusioned." Through conditioning and learnings familial, social and cultural I have been treading the path of familiarity even if this path is one of suffering and struggle. Maybe I need to move away from the mores of tribe and see what's before my very eyes. 

Shining of the light of awareness on what has been so long accepted as the way it is without questioning, without a closer look can herald a fresh beginning. Neither wrong nor right, it is simply noticing that what may once have worked no longer serves. 

Then willingness may step in. I am willing to see I may have not been seeing clearly. I am willing to, at the very least, look through beginner's eyes. Willingly, I can offer patience, kindness and compassion to self and others. This journey is the learning. Each step, each breath the opportunity for a fresh beginning.  

"Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning," so said Desmond Tutu. With forgiveness we give ourselves and others the permission to let grievances melt and the heart to soften. There is none among us who has not made a mistake. The salve of forgiveness heals while bitterness only hardens the heart.  

Can we look at all this through the eyes of gratitude?  All this, everything has brought me to this point in time. Every bit, the tough and the tender, is fertilizer to grow and nurture a life well lived and well loved. 

These thoughts/steps are not a prescription for curing all that ails. I don't even ask that you believe what I've offered here.  I put them out as a possible new view approach for when unhappiness, discontent, sadness, anxiety, depression are more prevalent in life then the simple joy of being alive and meeting all of life's ups and downs with an open heart and a fresh eye. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thanks For All This

".... happiness is an inside job," a nice, oft-quoted, aphorism, a pointer if you will. I remind myself that every pointer has two ends. Maybe not two pointy ends and maybe not so clearly delineated in direction, inner or outer, self or other.  What comes with seeking happiness inwardly is that there most assuredly will be a bumping up against that which, in a dualistic way of thinking, would be called not-happiness. We may have discovered that striving for happiness outside self may manifest as an addiction to approval, praise, drugs (add your own) or getting bigger, better faster stuff.  But alas, still none of this provides ever-lasting happiness. 

In walking the middle way, we begin to become friendly with the nature of impermanence. Realizing that everything comes and everything goes, we experience no thing is permanent. When we open our eyes to what is,  tangible and experiential evidence presents every day in every way. Outwardly, we see and feel how our bodies change, inwardly we know how happiness 24/7 is just not the truth. Yet, and this is a big yet, at any given time there exists the possibility for any truth absolute and relative to co-exist. 

Perhaps in co-existing with both shadow and light we can cultivate a practice that supports "the investigation of the fundamental activity of self." And then we can heartily and honestly proclaim gratitude and exclaim.  "Thanks for all this."

A short story: 

One day I was walking in downtown Prince Rupert. Ahead of me was a child of young age, say 4 or 5, with her Mom.  I don't know what they were talking about or what prompted the child's reaching her arms skyward with a jubilant exclamation, "Look at me God, I'm alive."