Monday, December 23, 2019

The little light that spreads beyond...

Christmas is a time of lights, be it a tree light, candlelight, friend-light, family-light -- all capture the divine light. Looking at the Christmas tree the other night, one little bulb attracted my attention. Spraying out from it was a wider circle of radiating, golden, white-ish glow which was four or five times larger than when the tiny, dull-ish bulb was not plugged in. Now, being connected, the little tree light was transformed into dancing, sparkling, prism colors -- it felt and looked alive.

Then a thought, are we not like that little bulb that needs to be plugged in? To be light in the world requires intention. I have to do something. This fall I re-read Sanaya Roman's book Spiritual Growth. Her invitation is to build a larger, light body. After several instances lately, I concluded I definitely needed it -- a light that spreads out beyond me where love, hope, kindness, understanding reside, and where it is felt, heals and inspires inside and out.  Light is a living presence and does come when called, is drawn to us by our thoughts. I want its warmth, its healing properties, and its heart sweetening light. I want to be plugged in, switched on, shine out, and build a light body, at least, five times my skin container.

Yet, how do I charge this body of clay? Roman encourages us to actually image seeing light like a luminous liquid filling up the spine. Initially conjure the feel of it if you have to as imagination holds power. Then wait for it, watch the spine fill gradually, then feel light as substance spread out like little rivers to all parts of the body, the heart, mind, toes, and to the parts that hurt (inner and outer). Then release this luminous light out beyond the body, expanding its magic like starlight which does the same dance as it too radiates well beyond its shape and form.

This morning I woke with a shoulder too sore to move without pain. I had a full day so somewhat in desperation and using my imagination,  I put the image of the little candle I use when praying with its spray of dancing, light particles right in the middle of my shoulder and kept it there seeing it doing its healing all day. Whenever I went into the living room, the lights from the tree landed there as well. Did it work? Yes, in some mysterious way and not so mysterious way, it always works.

If I want lights on the tree or in me I do have to flip the switch, be it on the wall or in myself in order to become consciously aware of the divinity within. Here is the glow, here one sees with eyes of love, compassion, and beauty even in the darkness. Like the wise ones who followed the star in the desert to the child of light, one discovers en route that our hearts are the star.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Are you in the wind?

My Ex made his crossing Sunday gently and normally. One minute he was breathing and the next he was not. His wife was with him and then our children, myself, and hers arrived minutes after. We had held the watch and his younger sister took the nights for his last few days. He was never left alone.

Sitting at his bedside I thought, "Your presence, your love, and your wit were stronger and met us at every turn in spite of a label called dementia. You've been with us through it all. And now leaving your body, it is time or almost past time, almost."

Love seemed to saturate the room, yet I found myself thinking, "But you are so obviously not here." I kept feeling myself out. Yes, at least a million memories, at least. And no matter we were divorced after being joined for decades as life grows its issues but they were not soul issues, or integrity, nor love issues. And, we have been indeed blessed since with decades of caring.

Later in the afternoon, the minister gathered us around the bed for prayer, his wife on one side of his body and me on the other. In joining our hands, I reached for his wife's hand and she for mine. I don't know how it happened but we each took one of his. It was still warm. The circle was joined and we bowed our heads.

Next morning and waiting for one of our sons to arrive at Cora's for a very early breakfast, I step out of the car into the wind, its freshness, its chill. I love the wind, it often speaks to me. Thus, I had to ask, "Are you in the wind, my love?"  As if alive with force and presence, a gust tips me back on my heels. I laugh at the possibilities and feel connected in this simple mystery we call wind.

An ancient friend years ago, when hearing me dismiss the wind as merely wind, reflected quietly with compassion, "Ah, and you think of it only as wind." Now I needed to ask, "How come you are so present here in the parking lot, so here in the wind, more so than when you were alive and living twenty miles down the road? How come I feel elated, but the question is, can I trust it? I feel happy. Can I trust that? I don't understand. This is like walking on thin ice and I don't know when I will go under. I expect to feel hollow lostness, a bleakness but it is just not there. Should I feel guilty? No, it's definitely happiness."

Rabindranath Tagor, who I have mentioned before, wrote a poem in the Gitanjali after his beloved wife, daughter, and best friend had died within months of each other. Mourning his loss, he went up to the mountains for months by himself. From there he wrote, "Light, my light, eye kissing light, heart sweetening light, the dances my darling at the center of my life, the light strikes my darling the chords of my heart, the skies open, the winds run wild, and laughter passes over the earth."  I have wondered for years how could he feel such a heart sweetening light after such loss?

Now, somewhere in my awareness, I must have arrived at a new point. I get it. At least enough to say,  "Maybe you, who left your body yesterday are more in your essence, your greater understanding in your here-ness, now. This has nothing to do with belief, this I am experiencing.

"So, yes my love, I do feel you in the wind. You are as free as the wind in the Bay we brought our children up on. How can I not be happy, you gem of a man?"

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

It doesn't matter...

My Ex has had a type of dementia for a decade. Sometimes he is better than others and some days he isn't. Today was an isn’t. On the good days, he could always remember the past. For years when I would leave, he would come to the door of the unit, I'd unlock it, he would hold it open and wave, knowing he was not supposed to go further.

In spite of this afternoon being an isn't day, I drove back from his complex after a lovely visit of two people caring for each other. I felt it. I have been away in Tucson for the winter, it didn't matter. It didn't matter if I hadn't seen him for a while, it didn't matter if he could remember where he was, or who I might be. And I had no interest in asking.

When I arrived his eyes had just come from sleep and there is -- what to say -- a slightly absent look about them almost as if they are out of focus. It didn't matter that we divorced twenty-five years ago after being joined at the proverbial hip for thirty-four, plus the two years of seeing life differently. No, none of this mattered this afternoon, none of it.

Driving back from the complex he has been in for a few years, I thought, “Oh my land, you do not need head-memory to remember, to feel, to be moved, to laugh, to catch the joke, to find a situation funny, to be wise” And he was always wise in his way. We shared all those things today. He has memory, he can feel someone's love, someone's laugh, and that we did. I told him stories of people he had known well but does not remember, not today at least. However, I knew when he hit meaning, he was moved. The soul heard. I put the ginger snap cookie under his nose for a smell, enticing him to tea, down the hall to the dining room. It didn’t take much. He knew it was a bit funny and he laughed. His eyes twinkled when we caught that look of understanding and care we always had.

I asked him if he wanted to take a little walk around the perimeter of his unit. Indeed, he did. Walking, as we had done countless times, I thought, "We are like two old shoes." We were experiencing that feeling between us, we recognized each other -- all those years and all that love, we had built our own energy body together. Doesn't matter if he has a wife or children he loves dearly as he also has built a unique soul body with them that does not need a mind to be clear crystal or anywhere near it. He merely does not have head-memory, today.

Yet, the heart remembers well, his spirit-self, his soul-self recognizes and responds. No need of mind-memory today as a million, zillion moments of coming together as one big feeling of truth, that needs no words, was lapping each of us like gentle ocean waves.

I was so excited by the time I got home I wanted to tell everyone, you don't need memory to remember, as we are so full of feeling without it, so full of freedom, of joy. All this he gave me today, all this was wrapped in a ginger snap. And if someone asks how was the visit, I’d have to say “Just great.”

*I am now getting ready to go back to Tucson for the winter for a new season. Yesterday, he left his body, turned on his side as if he was sleeping. So he too welcomes a new season as well. I am sure.

Friday, September 27, 2019

When concern adds weight...

How many times have I felt badly for a person? How many times have I entered a hospital room with a heavy heart? How many times do I feel sorry for a person seeing/feeling their lead-weight of loss, illness, or misfortune? I consider myself a caring, concerned, and supportive person. And that is true and sounds good but is it really? What kind of energy might I be imparting?

The words remind me of the old cottage woman's wise caution one afternoon years ago. I had a question about a young man I was counseling. He was under a lot of stress in his home. Relating his circumstance I tell her, "He is only young but he feels tired, is not sleeping or eating well. Is he sick?

She nods, seeming less concerned than myself. "It is as it must be. When you are concerned for him it weighs him and adds to his weariness because you don't see it positive but as sick which adds to the negative force. You must help others change their perspective. Subconsciously, he knows you fear for his health." Imagine our thoughts can be that powerful. This is fascinating. My genuine concern can add emotional weight and negativity to my young friend's spirit. Amazing, it can make his energy heavy and denser. This then applies to everyone I encounter! If I look at them or at the situation negatively, with weighted concern she is telling me, I can add to a person's weariness and heaviness. And he can even be affected by my fearfulness for him.

I never forgot her comment which has me checking since, "What kind of energy do I give people under the guise of support, care, and concern? Was I wrapping them in a heavy, wet blanket of negative undercurrent through my good intention of caring ?

However, in those days of the cottage woman, it was not commonly known that we humans are not solid but essentially 99 percent dancing energy and light particles. We also were not aware then that when two entangled particles are separated by miles and scientists tickled one, the other responds instantly in kind. Plus, I had never considered thought as being a thing with weight, affecting the energy and spirit of others.

The cottage woman’s words still guide me. We are, each and every one of us, hurting about something at this human level. There is a lot to feel bad about. However, there is another place other than weightedness that is not so limiting as my old friend pointed to -- a different space in us, a place bigger than us with a bigger feeling.

Others, indeed, need our care, concern, and support as we need theirs. Yet, I have learned my Light body has more magic and power than that heavy one my old friend was addressing.  And every time I/we connect with Light as a living consciousness, we are building a bridge between ourselves, others and a larger reality that offers much more than weariness, heaviness, and possible fear.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Let the little things explode...

This week a reader was telling me that some big things are coming up that will leave her at times unhappy and emotionally challenged. After sharing her difficulties, she asked, "What can I do for my soul and spirit?"

Reflecting on those seasons for myself, when life feels vacant, unhappy, when the big things seem in disarray, I go for the little things. Through them, light, largeness, spirit, and magic manage to arrive and I am served.

 Yet, I need to stop and look to see larger, even at the commonest object. Let's say this hand typing here. Taken for granted, it didn't even exist in my awareness until I just stopped to notice. Slowly, lifting it off the keyboard, I move it sideways, beginning to feel air, space, and then five fingers. The slower the motion, it comes to me all the work it has done, all the dishes it has washed, all the care it has given in one form or another, all the love it has touched and been touched by.

I begin to feel differently. This appendage I hardly ever notice is not so common. In these few moments of stopping and pondering, a little caring flutters, no matter one finger is crooked and the skin is as wrinkled as a raisin. I also know a courageous young woman that looks down to no hands, no feet which she lost recently. Again I spread my hand before me, move it slowly across in front of me, feeling it, marveling a bit, and actually loving it. This is a different inner space than disarray. This is love, I have a hand. Ah, and here comes gratitude, the route and root of prayer -- soul and spirit food.

We can make an intention to see the world differently, to feel the world differently, to relate differently. Let stopping, let slowing a movement, let feeling the energy field, and let the little things be our teacher.  I experience mystery and magic in the little bee, outside my window. It should not be able to fly because its aerodynamics is against all the laws of aviation. The wings are too small. Yet, flying is how it pollinates much of the world's flowered beauty and food supply.

Last week I swam with the sandpipers, thousands of them in flight. They are feeding up for their non-stop 5000 km flight to South America. They are 23 cm long! I heard the swish of their wings. felt their miraculousness and let the disarray of spirit dissolve in the seeming mundaneness of bird, bee, hand, and heart.

Ah, the power of little things, they strengthen the spirit and fortify the soul. One need only stop in the middle of what one is doing and look, feel, ponder for a minute or two. It's all there. Let the outside become the inside. A wise woman tells me, "You line up your heart and mind. Hold them in this tension. Then it is different, it is only with the heart one sees rightly, the light comes through from the divine, it explodes and a beautiful thing has happened."

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"a very little tea..."

When human beings participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space... Time takes on a different dimension.... (They) become filled with the energy of life, and this energy reaches out and blesses... All is made new, everything becomes sacred.  
                                                                                                       ~ Sun Bear*

In the late afternoon sun, I settle down to do some painting.  A piece of wharf for a backrest and slate rocks for a seat. I have a pristine view of the boats and fish shack. No one is in sight. Perfect for the work I want to accomplish. An hour speeds by.  Then chatter.  I turn my head,  Two men are coming toward me. They spread a rug on the rocks. My view of the fish shack is partially blocked. I am annoyed. With miles of unoccupied shale-rocked coastline, why did they have to choose here?  Yet the scene before me piques my interest.

A black-bowel-like object is placed on the rug.  A teapot is carefully placed.  Two small bowls, a whisk, and several other things are put in their proper place. The men kneel before the arrangement. I begin to realize one view is simply being replaced by another.

The tea is ready. Each movement, reaching for the cup, pouring the tea, using the whisk, bringing the small bowl to the mouth is executed in a slow, graceful motion. I watch closely. My breath deepens.  Passer-byes, walking the wharf behind me, whisper.  A seagull’s perfect shadow makes its languid way across the blue, grey slate rocks, guiding my eyes to pearls of bobbing color -- yellow, red, and white Cape Island fishing boats.  Sea and sky are twined in twilight rose-blue.

 My painting, my annoyance is forgotten. The ordinariness of the late afternoon has been penetrated. I am stilled by this tea ceremony or as Christopher Robin observes, this “very nearly tea”. Yet observing this ritual, this ancient tradition on these slate rocks I enter holy space. “All is (indeed) made new, everything becomes sacred.” And, I am served.

* Sun Bear was a writer of Ojibwe descent. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

What is essential...

"What is essential is invisible to the eye."
                                               Antoine Saint-Exupery

Though the years, when people mentioned angels, I have relegated them to wings and church windows. Yet, the other night I happened to see Lorna Bryne on YouTube while searching for some music. Her looks reminded me of a special friend who had passed away several years ago so I clicked on the link. Bryne was talking about her angel experience with such humility, unassuming innocence, and light that I listened. This woman was born, seeing angels. They helped her and told her early in her childhood that she would be writing books someday, in spite of having severe dyslexia.*

 From childhood, I have also felt well-guided. In crunch times, I asked and help happened. Sometimes this help was so direct, timed, and definitely responsive, I would laugh. Thus, I concluded early, I was guided so the name "guides" was a natural monogram. This help seemed quite down to earth and even had a logical response that my human brain could appreciate. Now, I walk in that presence without question.

However, my experience with guides seemed different. They felt particular, where angels felt a little "airy fairy" from my material perspective. Yet, I hadn't quite counted angels out because of a wise woman I have known for years who sees angels. No fuss is made, she never thinks it's amazing and I just think, knowing her, maybe she does. In fact, not long ago we were eating at an outdoor restaurant. Looking past me and smiling she tells me, "Oh, I was just watching that person over there walk through an angel."

And, at various times I have asked what they are like. She responds matter of factly, "They are light beings and are lovely. You know, like the light coming through the trees in the morning, like eagle wings which I don't always see. They have a poetry and prose loveliness."  Another time, she said, "I am seeing two eight footers, sort of transparent and when we walk through them they have a wonderful healing effect. You know they say ghosts feel cold, but with angels, I feel warmth. There seems to be a hierarchy but it is not that some are better than others, it is that some have attained. It's then a responsibility. It's about foot washing and about simple responsibility for what one has attained."

Indeed, I would say, my wise friend has an interesting angel acquaintance and I have an active guide response. I love asking and being answered. Is there a difference between the two experiences? I don't know. Yet, Antoine Saint-Exupery has it right, "What is essential is invisible to the eye." however, we experience it.

*Bryne's books have now been published in 30 languages and in over 50 countries.