Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nothing's Changed

This video is so apropos, how could I not choose it?  Okay.  So my knee hurts which hardly feels like walking on broken glass but pain is pain and this has John Malkovich and Hugh Laurie in the same video.  So apropos or merely borderline, it's still cool.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 24

Goddesses in Older Women

Wisdom realizes that tit-for-tat invites escalation. Even worse at a soul level, when you ‘do unto them’ as was done unto you, you risk becoming just like them. (91)

When we listen empathetically, we take what we hear into our imagination, heart, body, and soul. When what we hear from another is beyond our own experience and even our comprehension, the task and opportunity is to become ‘bigger’ and be able to hold what we are hearing and feeling. (114)

Isn't this lovely?  How being present and listening can expand and hold, not respond or fix but simply hold.  Sometimes being a parent is hardest when all we can do is hold.  And that is all it becomes the older they grow, endlessly listening and holding (and hoping and praying).

Women’s sexual independence is threatening to individual men and to the patriarchy, with the strongest epithets and punishments directed toward unsanctioned sex. Even in a cultural climate such as ours, a single woman who enjoys her sexuality with more than one person knows to keep it hidden in order to avoid condemnation and jealousy. (172)
Hestia Visualization  
Imagine that your body is a temple. The center of the temple is inside your chest, and in the center of this space, there is a glowing fire upon a round hearth. Sense the light and warmth that emanates from this glow raditating out to fill your wole body with warm inner light. Place your hands over this place. Then, with each intake of breath, breathe in peace. Hold your breath fora moment and be still. And then slowly exhale. Breathe in peace, and hold, breathe out peace. And in the Stillness, Hestia is present. (63)
I thought this sounded like a lovely meditation. I have a hard time with guided meditations when I cannot listen to them. This one is short enough that I think I could enjoy the experience in spite of my easily distracted state of mind.

The Places That Scare You

 The ordinariness of our good fortune can make it hard to catch. (62)

 Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. (63)

Whenever someone asked a certain Zen master how he was, he would always answer, ‘I’m okay.’ Finally one of his students said ‘Roshi, how can you always be okay? Don’t you ever have a bad day?’ The Zen master answered, ‘Sure I do. On bad days, I’m okay. On good days, I’m okay.’ (69)

Whenever anyone asks me or my mother, "How are you?" our immediate (knee-jerk) reaction is, "I'm fine."  And this is true.  On some level we are "fine."  Larry calls it the "Cima Fine" meaning that we are not really fine and if you want to know how we really are, you have to dig.  I honestly believe that the fine is the deeper level and when you "probe" you'r merely getting the surface complaints, the circumstances that are here today and may be gone tomorrow.  At our core, we're fine, more than fine.

 Forgiveness . . . cannot be forced. When we are brave enough to open our hearts to ourselves, however, forgiveness will emerge. (82)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Any day now . . .

I have to believe that one of these days I'll be able to get up and do my morning yoga, and sit at my desk without my knee throbbing.  In the meantime, here's another video to keep you distracted.  Rob and I heard this in the car the other day and I said, "Oh yeah.  I should find the video for this and share it.  Of course, that won't be necessary because my knee will be better soon.  Very soon."

As I said, that was the other day and soon was a couple days ago so I guess soon is not soon enough for me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Commit to Sit Challenge

I've written about this before, the Commit to Sit Challenge that first appeared in Tricycle magazine in 2007.  You can find the full article online and I have a pdf file of it.

But I am thinking about it a little differently.  My mother has been trying to be more mindful and has struggled with it, mostly because she's trying to do it all day long rather than building up to it gradually.  (There are other reasons which I could explain but I'm supposed to be sitting with my leg elevated so I'm trying to be succinct.)

How would you personalize the Commit to Sit Challenge?

  • Would you repeat the Jesus prayer or memorize a psalm?  Or repeat a rosary?
  • Would you read aloud from the Qur'an, which is how it was first shared?
  • Would you spend time in silent yoga practice or pranayama practice (not necessarily silent)?
  • Would you do what the article prescribes and sit in silent meditation?
  • Would you do what my mother will be doing and do a mindfulness practice?
  • What about writing in a journal or giving yourself Reiki (or some other self-healing)?

I've suggested this to my mother, that we read again this wonderful article and put it into practice in the way it most meets our unique needs at this time in our lives.

I am inviting you to join us.  Beginning July 1st I will be embracing this challenge in a way that best fits my needs. I won't reveal in what form this will take.  I want to meditate on it some more.  Yes, there is some irony in this but I am not being intentionally ironic.

If you will be joining me, I'd love the accountability, someone (or even a few someones) with whom to share the experience, including the frustrations and surprises.  Yes, I realize my mother is already going to do this with me as she did the first time but, just between the two of us, she apparently only read part of the article and only did some of what it suggested.  This amused me at the time and it amuses me now.  (I have a smile on my face at the moment even thinking of it.)  This time, however, I thought it might be fun to have a group of like-minded people who are open to doing this in a way that suits them.  I think it would be lovely to have several people doing it in different ways but with similar intentions.

Apparently there is now a book available as well.  I haven't read it but I'm sure it expands beautifully on the original premise.  And you can, of course, purchase a back issue of the magazine in which the challenge originally appeared.  Or just follow the link to read the article online.  Whatever works best for you.

Leave a comment if you plan to join me.  Or email me.