Thursday, January 01, 2009

Friday, May 16, 2008

spirit first

while i have been absent from my toward consciousness site, i have been posting at Spirit First.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

april 15, 2008

today is a day of celebration, as it is every year on april 15. today i paid my taxes, and i give thanks that i am able to do so.

during the past several years i have found april 15 is not a day to complain about being required to give to the irs something of what i have earned, but rather it is a day to take joy in having had another year of making a living, of working, of receiving in return for my labors. there are many around the world who would envy the position i hold.

and so it is that when i sealed my envelopes today for the department of the treasury and the comptroller of maryland, i breathed a prayer of thanksgiving. i am given many gifts, and being able to pay taxes is one of my gifts.

(a special thanks to my tax lady Diane for helping make it happen…)

photography by permission
cindy lee jones

Sunday, April 13, 2008

thank you, Jon

thank you, Jon, for your gracious response to my apology for my long absence. i have been teaching every day of the week these past many weeks but now am returned to working at home. i am very happy to be here. thank you for your gentleness and acceptance of my inconsistency in writing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

stargazer lilies

every day i am witness to a miracle. every day i am witness to new petals opening up to the Universe in glorious vulnerability, beauty, and faith.

the fragrance of lilies fills my home, wet and earthy and heavy in the air.

i breathe deeply.

i drink it in.

i keep this flower next to me because i love it so, and it has become for me a symbol of my own opening up, my own readiness to receive, my own willingness to trust. every morning i begin my day in silence and in reception. and all day i breathe the fragrance of flowers that remind me.

what a beautiful gift these flowers in my world.

i am sorry for my long absence, and for my many absences.

i have been teaching these past weeks and am doing so seven days a week (this will continue for one more month). life is busy, but good.

thank you for being here, for being part of my path and part of my world. let us continue our struggle together in our efforts to be awake, to be aware, and to be alive.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

thought for today

Life does not accommodate you; it shatters you. Every seed destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition.
~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

photography by permission

Saturday, November 24, 2007

peaceful warrior

the world holds many gifts, gifts that feed us and warm us and entertain us, but sometimes among all those gifts is a jewel that shines more brightly than all the others, a treasure that fills us and guides us. i have found such a treasure in the movie peaceful warrior, the story of dan millman and his teacher socrates. what a beautiful, unexpected gem this film is for me.

i saw this movie today (never even knowing about it until today); i will watch it again and again, adding it to my own library.

one of the lines in the movie reminded me of a discussion in my past several posts. dan comes to socrates with an insight claiming anger, hatred, and violence are only products of fear, and i realized he gets it! anger, hatred, and violence, when distilled, are proven to be merely expressions of fear. (this is not the theme of the movie, simply a single statement.)

i hope you will love the film as much as i do.

Friday, November 16, 2007

guest house

a practice that has had profound influence on helping me reduce fear and anger in my life is the practice to accept and welcome each, not resist it or hate it or deny it. i learned this concept first from a speech by Thich Nhat Hanh, and i have continued its practice. i talk to my fear or anger, acknowledge it and say hello, even thank it for its gifts (for everything has a gift, and even fear carries some kind of protection or help even if it is misplaced and even if it hurts more than it helps). i welcome this voice at the table and give thanks and somehow in the acceptance, the potency and the sting are diminished and then the fear or anger is dissolved.

i like the words of Rumi that seem to speak on this same idea....

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

photography by permission

Thursday, November 15, 2007

fear, continued

a few days ago i started discussing love and fear as possibly our only two states of being, with every emotion emanating from one or the other of these two states. (it is important that we stop and feel whatever we experience to know if it is fear-based or love-based.)

during the unfolding of that writing, i began to sense fear as all coming from one of two: fear of not being good enough and fear of being alone. fear of success, fear of failure, fear of public speaking, fear of losing a job, fear of losing a lover...every kind of fear seemed to me to come from fear of not being good enough or from fear of being alone.

after further pondering, though, i narrowed down fear of not being good enough to being simply fear of not being enough.

fear of being alone then also begged being narrowed down to fear of not being enough (after all, if we learn/know we are enough, how can we be afraid of being alone?). so i began to see all fear being distilled to the fear of not being enough. all fear, every fear, has a foundation of our being afraid of not being enough. or so it seems to me.

but i failed to include a particular class of fears, and that of the fear of physical pain and fear of death. for some, this class of fears is overwhelming and crippling. this kind of fear might not be so connected with the fears that underlie our attitudes and behaviors and interactions, but it is a present fear for many nonetheless.

for me, i am becoming more of who i am meant to be as i explore each of my own emotions and actions as coming from a position of love or of fear. and in realizing those things with a fear base representing a fear of not being enough, i begin to deepen my understanding that i am enough.

it's kind of funny how it works, but it works. and i become ever less fearful. and ever more grounded in love.