Monday, June 30, 2008

Essential Love

" Beloved, you are my sister, you are my daughter, you are my face; you are me." ~Toni Morrison

My adorable friend, Herr Guido (pronounced "ghee-dough"), the talented portrait photographer, was showing me some more of his work. As often happens when I am hit by something of a profound personal nature, I immediately gravitated to one image in particular. Guido had taken a picture of a mother and daughter. Of course, the first thing I thought of was how much I missed my Mom. Then, I smiled, breathed deeply, and took in the beauty of the portrait of two generations of women, mother and daughter. With their heads together, one can see the seamless continuum between the two, a fiercely powerful bond. I know from my healing work, and from the connection with my mother, that that bond never gets broken. While we may feel disconnected at times, that is merely a temporal reaction, because that bond is a constant. The bond is comprised of unconditional love, joy, and compassion. One of the laws of energy is the mother/child bond, which is one of the purest energies, and one that gets passed on from generation to generation. It doesn't take a psychic to see the palpable joy, love and compassion dancing between these two souls. Thank you for letting me post this precious portrait of the two of you, and for sharing your love.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thought for a lazy, hot Sunday

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peace is Every Step

My dear friend and hiking partner, Reverend Martha, lent me Thich Nhat Hanh's book - Peace is Every Step - The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. As a monk and spiritual leader, Nhat Hanh's writing is simple and powerful. His message is about taking time to breathe and to not lose touch with being in the moment. When we get in touch with ourselves and our ability to breathe in joy, we find peace, whether in a crowd, or in solitude. Not wanting to reinvent the prayer wheel, here is the eloquent foreword for this lovely morsel of a book, by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. I hope he doesn't mind!

"Although attempting to bring about world peace through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way. Wherever I go, I express this, and I am encouraged that people from many different walks of life receive it well. Peace must first be developed within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world.

Peace is Every Step is a guidebook for a journey in exactly this direction. Thich Nhat Hanh begins by teaching mindfulness of breathing and awareness of the small acts of our daily lives, then shows us how to use the benefits of mindfulness and concentration to transform and heal difficult psychological states. Finally he shows us the connection between personal, inner peace and peace on Earth. This is a very worthwhile book. It can change individual lives and the life of our society."

Speaking of an atmosphere of peace and harmony, this is a photo of yesterday's hike. As Martha said, walking among such beauty, is truly an "edenic" experience. She was spot on...

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Solstice has arrived...

...and Mercury starts its direct path. With their foliage in full bloom, the trees in our neighborhood are looking gorgeous. This picture is Solace's tree in her grandparent's backyard. If you allow yourself to be in the right state of openness, you can see a loving face in every tree. This one is just a little more apparent for those who are just starting out and realizing how much we learn and are loved from trees. Some say the origin of the word, wisdom, is derived from wood. Odin, the Norse King, sacrificed one of his eyes to learn the knowledge from the Tree of Life. Buddha found enlightenment while sitting under the Bodhi tree. Take time today to notice the trees around you. Breathe in their loveliness and smile to yourself, knowing your day will be blessed.

"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."
~ Joyce Kilmer, "Trees," 1914 ~

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Awakenings

Tomorrow Mercury finally goes direct. It seems as if this has been a long three weeks for this particular retrograde. Retrograde cycles occur three times throughout the year (varying times every year), and are a great time to go within and do some good introspective work. Mercury helps "facilitate" that downtime by messing with all things that have to do with communication. Given that this cycle also happens to fall during the sign of Gemini (May 21st thru June 21st), which happens to be ruled by Mercury, all things dealing with communication are affected that much more acutely. This includes occurrences such as computers blowing up, cell phones being dropped in toilets, flights being canceled, or conversations that don't quite connect, resulting in confusion and misunderstandings. Given this hubbub, Sadie decided to take this time to catch up on sleeping. Smart dog.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Two Souls, One Heart

Today is Father's Day. This is the first time I won't be able to call my Dad, well, at least on the phone. He and my mom had fifty three years together. They were soul mates, and a very sweet and gracious couple. I think all soul mate combinations have the potential to make for sweet couples. When one has found his or her soul mate, by the very nature of the laws of attraction and energy, the dynamic is such that both feed from, and into, the same heart. Two souls beating as one. This is why one hears two distinct sounds with each heartbeat. Each brings his or her own fullest sound that he or she can possibly emanate. Each is only as powerful as the other partner, and each needs to tend the other, as one would a garden. Thus, it behooves a person to give his or her partner as much love and respect so that each may bloom as powerfully, capably, and joyfully as possible. Anything less then fully recognizing the genuine self of the other keeps both down. I took this picture today, as it looks like two joyful souls coming together and sharing the same heart. Curly bamboo is magical. It grows slowly, yet gets more beautiful over time, with each curl representing life lived in a seamlessly choreographed duet. Happy Father's Day Lenny. I know, on a timeless dimension, you and Mom are working on the New York Times crossword puzzle and circling the TV schedule to decide what you are going to watch tonight after "Sixty Minutes."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

As Above, So Below...So Above, As Below

I had been using the excuse that Mercury has been retrograde (May 26th until June 19th), so I didn't have to post a new blog during this time. Of course, I realize I was just being a slug (thank you, Cindy and Jane!). But, as a Gemini, with Virgo rising, I do have the right to say that I am extremely affected (or is it "effected"?, I have a tough time with those two) by the retrograde periods. Therefore, it was nice to be inspired by a visit by my friend, Guido Rottmann, a marvelous photographer from Berlin. This is his first time in America. He went last week to New York, and Chicago, and, like an excited kid in a candy shop, he took pictures nonstop. I was taken by this magical photo of his of Niagara Falls, complete with a double rainbow. I have never been there, but my parents honeymooned there, so it has an emotional connection for me. Even without that connection, the image is breathtaking. Mother Earth's creations never cease to amaze.