Sunday, September 23, 2012

Off to Italy...

Off to Italy tomorrow for ten days...  I am staying in a hotel just behind the left smaller dome.  My ticket to view the Basilica is for Wednesday morning. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Taking my spirituality body to the gym...

Taking my spiritual body to the gym...

"We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a  physical experience."  Teilhard de Chardin, a paraphase 

Yesterday I discovered I have two bodies. The physical one gets all the attention. I feed it, clean it, and pause it to sleep. I take it to the gym, ride bike, jog, and I'd even walk the dog if I had one. However, my spiritual body gets short shift. How do I walk it, feed it? What exercises make it robust and strong?  

Observing the spiritual body as separate, I see how much it gets neglected. I know the feel of the skin beneath my dress or jeans but "do I know the feel of the Being beneath the skin."* That indeed is my Cinderella child, too often sitting in the cinders out back -- if I see her at all.

* (quote from Nepo)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Were the trees crying?


Were the trees crying?

Walking the wooded path, enjoying the fragrance from the new spring growth of the trees, I passed a small lake. As I came to a bend in the path, I felt a sadness and was almost stopped by a different smell, an odor.  I looked up to the left and just beyond the little lake there was a hill newly denuded of trees, felled with ragged ends, thrown this way and that. 

A thought came to me or was it a communication?  Were they calling out in pain, seeking help? Were the trees crying, lying twisted, broken, ragged? 

I walk softly, carefully, holy by knowing -- their springs are gone.

Photo source:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Holding the space...why don't I feel lonely?

Holding the Space...

Sitting here alone on my deck I am in ecstasy? It's ninety degrees plus. The car died last week, the fridge yesterday. I suspect a scorpion bit my heel a day ago which benched me, instantly. Yet velvet caring holds me.   

Why don't I feel lonely? I have in the past. Family and close friends are four thousand miles away and have been for two months.  I should be lonely. However,  their presence and love are palpable in this warm evening breeze. 

The Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh takes a few monks with him as he travels to speaking occasions. When asked why, he explains, "in order to hold the space."  Sacred space. My few monks -- family and friends -- with their invisible presence holds mine. 

Does my cousin know she is a sacred space holder, does my grandchild, does the difficult neighbor? Do I hold this space for others? The coyotes are beginning their night song from the river. The evening is cooling as the sun slips behind the mesquite tree. The car, the fridge will be fixed, the scorpion bite healed. Next time on the deck, maybe I whisper, "Thank you."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Isn't it lovely."

The Saguaro and the Kachina

Isn't It Lovely

My art student, hunched over her walker, seemed to have melted to mere skin, bones, and dents. She informed me she is too weak now to come to class. I am saddened. Several years back, this vibrant, talented woman, whom I assumed was in her early seventies, shocked me by volunteering. "I am ninety-two." 

After class, still somewhat shaken,  I relate the encounter to a friend.  "Isn't it lovely." she replied, thoughtfully.  Angry, I wanted to shout, "No, she is dying." Then a memory stopped me. One afternoon walking in the desert, surrounded by what I thought in one moment were dead saguaro cacti, in the next moment were more alive, were more intriguingly gorgeous in  their variety of rich brown, yellows, purples, and greys.  No longer green and full, they now stood amazingly undulating, in crisp, curled forms dancing in the intense desert heat. All wrinkles, dents and boneless flesh, they had made their transition.

My logic said, "No" to this dance, but something else whispered, "Be careful Augusta, do not dismiss it. Allow your heart, your invisible being to expand until you catch the aliveness, the beauty of those dancing forms."

Here in the southwest certain groups of  Native Americans put on the mask of the kachina and dance the dance, not of the “live saguaro” but of it’s transformed energy. My art student-friend is in the process of her transitional dance.  I think she knows, walking away from me; dignified, dented, crisp, and faltering that indeed, her possibilities are lovely.