Monday, August 30, 2010

Just a little reminder...

"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction."  ~Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

"Love would never be a promise of a rose garden unless it is showered with light of faith, water of sincerity and air of passion." ~ Author Unknown

"If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus."  ~Emma Goldman, 

"Only when the heart is unencumbered by fear can love flow unconditionally."  ~ Ellen Tadd

"The past is behind us, love is in front and all around us."  ~Terri Guillemets

"You don't have to go looking for love when it's where you come from."  ~Werner Erhard
"Love is not consolation.  It is light."  ~Friedrich Nietzsche 

"Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination."  ~Voltaire

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lakota Prayer

Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,
teach me how to trust
my heart,
my mind,
my intuition,
my inner knowing,
the senses of my body,
the blessings of my spirit.
Teach me to trust these things
so that I may enter my Sacred Space
and love beyond my fear,
and thus Walk in Balance
with the passing of each glorious Sun.

According to the Native People, the Sacred Space is the space between exhalation and inhalation.  To Walk in Balance is to have Heaven (spirituality) and Earth (physicality) in Harmony. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Master's Hand

 (Adapted from a Zen story)
Dr. Mala Sinha 

Ramanand was fed up of his wife’s stinginess. No matter how much money he gave her, she always served him only, watery dal (lentils), boiled potatoes and stale chapattis. When he complained she gave the same answer every time; that things were expensive and they could not afford anything more.
Disgusted he went to his guru and complained about his wife.  The master asked him to bring the wife to him. 

The next day when the wife stood in front of the master, he raised his clenched fist to her face.  She was surprised and said, "What are you doing?"  The master asked, "Suppose my fist was always like this, what would you call it?"  The woman replied, "A deformity."

The master then opened his palm flat in front of her face and asked, "Suppose it was always like this. What then?"  She answered, "Another kind of deformity."

The master smiled and said, "If you understand this much, you are a good wife.  Now go with your husband."

The man did not come back to the master again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Universal Love Prayer

Universal Love Prayer
        from the Metta Sutta

May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The mean and the powerful,
The short and the long,
the subtle and the gross:

May all beings everywhere,
Seen and unseen,
Dwelling far off or nearby,
Being or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.

Let no one deceive another,
Let no one anywhere despise another,
Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering on anyone at all.

Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.

Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.
Namu Amida Buddha.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reflections on a Beautiful Soul

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever." ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

My Nana was an old soul, a kindred spirit, very in tune with the earth and very wise about the world.  She taught me about life by showing me how to embrace nature. Today, would have been her 93rd birthday.  Her body left this world 7 years ago but her soul remains and it has kept watch of me and my family since.

Throughout the years, my Nana and I,  used to pick four leaf clovers.  Honoring her Native American heritage, when she found a feather she would stick it behind her ear. We would sit for hours in the backyard (even when I was a teenager) and pick literally 100’s of four leaf clovers. No one could understand how we always found them let alone so many. These memories I will always cherish.

I went with a friend to Woodstock, NY when I was pregnant with my oldest son, Mikey (Her "angel in a basket") and they were selling necklaces with real four leaf clovers in them. I bought her one and gave it to her and we sat and chatted for hours about them and our special tradition at every visit. After she passed away, I wore the necklace and oddly the four leaf clover started to fade slowly and then disintegrated, yet all the fluids remained in the necklace.  I think she just took it with her.
My Nana is always with me and she has ways of letting me know she is present. Every holiday, whether it is a birthday, anniversary, major holiday or family event; I always find a four leaf clover.  Last year I couldn't find any for a few months and I was becoming really disappointed because I always found them before and I was worried about the underlying message.  Was she still with me?  Did she move on?  Then one day I found 5 in my parents front lawn. I was so excited, there was one for every missed event -- My birthday, one for each of my boys birthdays, my anniversary and mothers day. On my way into the house to wrap them, I lost one. But I wasn't disappointed because I knew she was there for me. 

Another reminder that she is watching over me is an interesting story.  Four years ago, while preparing for Mikey’s birthday party and hanging up decorations in the back yard at my parent’s house; I found a feather. (Remember, she used to wear them in her hair?) I taped it to the chimney and told everyone that my Nana was there. (It hung there for over three years through many storms just held by a tiny piece of scotch tape until my parents replaced the chimney.)  Each year for the boys' birthday parties a new feather had been found below the one hanging on the chimney.  This was the first birthday party since the chimney replacement that no one mentioned the feather nor did anyone find one.  And although I didn't tell my parents, I found the original feather at the party.  Wilted from years of fighting against storms, I found it while bringing up the cakes from down in the basement, hiding slightly out of sight under the stairs where it must have picked up residence.

I share these memories as a way to honor the amazing woman who this world lost 7 years ago.  The woman who was admired and loved by all those she met.  She was a beautiful old soul and she will forever live on in my memory and in the stories we share.

Happy Birthday, Nana.  I love you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It is of Course Possible to Dance a Prayer

 Divine Mother Prayer Dance

O Divine Mother
In the form of Annapurna, the giver of food, we worship Thee.
May we ever be grateful for the nourishment of the teachings...

In the form of Lakshmi, you hold the Lotus of Higher Consciousness, 
which is rooted in the mud of earthy existence.
Bless me...

As Durga, seated on the Lion's throne, 
you courageously slew the buffalo-headed demon of egoism and pride.
Though you are fierce, yet we need not fear you. 
You seek only to liberate us from selfish ignorance...

As the Goddess Saraswati, you play the Veena, 
and inspire us with the heavenly lure of Divine Inspiration.
Goddess of Wisdom, come to me.

O Divine Mother
May all my speech and idle talk be mantra
All actions of my hands be mudra

I place down the Siva Linga, and pick up rose petals for my worship.
I scatter the petals in gratitude for thy Divine Abundance.

Placing down the flower basket, I lift up the sacred lamp.
I shine it in all directions, ever seeking a vision of Thee.

Placing down the lamp I pick up the sacred bell.
May it ring clear and dispel all gloom and negativity.
May I ever hear your call.

Please accept my offerings.

May all eating and drinking be the offering of oblations unto Thee.
All lying down prostrations before Thee.
May all pleasures be as offering my entire self unto Thee,
May everything I do be taken as Thy worship.
O Divine Mother.

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