The Body Intelligence

The body intelligence is the name of this bit of writing; best that could be for the moment, this day and time.  Anyway . . .

The flu!  The wretched thing!  Seems a few years now since even a head cold entered my bodily private domain.  Yet, it gives time for writing, contemplating and if my energy holds up later maybe even painting (pastel artwork).  Sometimes, however, it can be good to practice death. No, this isn’t me being overly dramatic—just listen a moment.  You can’t turn from it even though you would rather not be anywhere in its shadows, yet inevitably the body will shut down sense organs one after another.  NO wait, don’t stop reading.  Because oh, but what a gift close encounters, even if they are not our very own (family, friend or foe who may be sick or in a phase of transition—but no, let’s say the really scary word, death!) . . . like I was saying, any encounter with the endpoint from any distance offers us a gift if we keep our eyes open!  What gift?  Embracing the opposite of course – Life!  A deeper and more joyful appreciation of good health and the ability to do something, anything, which comes from our ‘creative-will’ our personal expression of ‘life’ – even if that is only a pleasant conversation with another.  Any expression of being alive on any level that is possible can potentially become a truly joyous event.

The local hospital has accepted me as a volunteer and promoted me to be the top person for patient relations.  The job is not as impressive as the title may sound.   Actually,  it only involves offering a smile, a hello and passing out a card from the auxiliary and offering magazines, newspapers, crossword puzzles and the like.

Yesterday here at home, life played out with chills and fever next to a pile of Kleenex feeling as if my throat was on fire was another glimpse, another close encounter – another good practice for the last page in the last chapter of this life as I know it to be now.  And my thoughts wandered to the hospital patients as it does now writing this.

And, of course, as one could expect, with fever back to normal today, am gifted with a deeper appreciation of life and the ability to affect the lives of others and my own in a positive way.  To create, to play, to appreciate, to breathe life into this body deeply and with more gratitude for the vehicle that enables my stay here upon the good earth.

People who know me or follow my posts are familiar with the mention of the history of losing consciousness; yep, I’m one of those “fainters”.  Physical or emotional overwhelm and out I go!  I realize how this is like a mini-death of sorts and one of the last times (in the hospital ER with an acute bladder infection), there was this awesomely peaceful kind of limbo state, vast and not-empty but full somehow.  No words can describe it.  Voices were calling me back into this world and I did not wish to return.  On another occasion, when I lost consciousness due to a gall bladder issue, a “code” was called because I could not be revived after losing consciousness.  That time, however, I didn’t recall the blissful openness and fullness as the time before.  My point here?  Forgive this writer still under the influence of Nyquil cold and flu medicine.  Well, I guess, my purpose in writing this has to do with me being grateful for these moments in which the body and I get to practice our final act.  Meanwhile, there is a turning toward life with eyes of gratitude.

One final thing.  It’s floating around in this woozy head and I’d like to try to grab at it the next time if floats by.  Here we go.  It has to do with the shutting down part.  How to say it?  Like yesterday, the focus was deeply inward – the body seemed very busy focusing on itself – dealing with the invader flu.  I guess in the death process (oh, this is how the Tibetans tell it and in the Book of The Living and The Dead), how the various bodily senses begin to shut down.  The body, I’d assume, is very preoccupied doing this – and there’s not much energy for anything in the external world.

Body intelligence is pretty amazing.  Think about it.  The body knows how to keep its balance, digest food, breathe – oh, so many things – without your or me consciously telling it to!  A good thing too, I’d say!  The body knows how to get a spoonful of food into the mouth straight away without us having to give directions—a little to the left, no down a little—in other words, the food doesn’t go into our eye or nose; the body knows what to do without our conscious mind directing.  Recovering from illness or shutting down to go into transition, it’s the same way.  The body and soul know what to do.

No big summary ending.  There’s only me picturing the self in the act of sorting through my pastel colors and placing them in trays according to color and hue.  So off I go with my box of Kleenex and a project to do, celebrating life all the way through!

Nimitta – progress signs of Samadhi Meditation

I am going to post this on each of my website blogs as well as my newsletter.  Why? Some information that recently crossed my path explained many of my meditation experiences of the past and currently as well.  Many students of the psychic development class and those interested in spiritual and psychic/intuitive development may have had similar ‘signs’ of their spiritual progress or evolution.

Before I go into what those are, it’s probably best to offer the disclaimer that if one looks for these signs or tries to manifest them, they will be blocking their energy and possibly delaying further consciousness expansion in some way.  My teachers have always guided me not to get “hung up” on manifestations and to take with a grain of salt.  It is just the natural process of the mind—don’t be overly concerned, they’d say.

If you have read much on my website (www.psychicjoystar.com), you will see that I’ve mentioned mysterious occurrences that came about as part of my meditative absorption over the years.  Those were a total and complete mystery to me until this past week!

The history of experience for this life has always evolved in a way that much later explanations arrive that validate occurrences and I’ve always been grateful for that as it assures me that there was no conscious influence on my part.

As many readers may know, my tendency is to reach toward eastern philosophy my deeply personal effort to understand life, the mind, and of reality itself.  My studies and meditation time have not been in vain and have helped me to cope with some very difficult life circumstances.  Yet, there were always those mysterious events lingering in the memory of my mind.  Up until now, there were not fully explained in any kind of satisfactory way.

Then this past week there comes the information that does so!  I simply must share it.  It will be a brief outline and I will paraphrase some of it while keeping true to the text.  I will add some personal notes in parenthesis.  I hope this will be of use to others.
The signs of meditative concentration are known as “nimitta” and include the following:

  • For beginners, it is usually grey smoke color appearing in front of them.  When this occurs, the instruction is to concentrate on the natural breath; and gradually then, the breath and nimitta will become one.   In this stage the mind usually stays automatically will become one.  (Personal note:  when I would go hiking and be breathing more heavily, I would see more of this grey smoke in front of me.  By the way, it started out looking like black ink in the atmosphere, as if someone dumped a bucket of black ink in the sky.  I could see around it and through it and then gradually it lightened.)
  • As meditative concentration develops further, the gray smoky nimitta will change in color to white.  (This is exactly what happened to me.)  This is given the name of “the learning sign”.  As one continues to concentrate on the learning sign, the white form nimitta will change to a transparent nimitta and this is called “the counterpart sign”.  (I was in Sedona, Arizona atop a mountain at the time this occurred.  That was sometime in the late 1990’s.  I was still working as a Physical Therapist at the time.)  The instruction in the text is that one should concentrate on the transparent nimitta until a state of full absorption is reached.
  • The text says that unless one sees the counterpart sign, the meditative attentiveness or concentration is superficial.  (Again, I did not have any of this information until a few days ago and therefore did not know of the instruction to concentrate on the transparent nimitta.)
  • (In the eastern philosophy, the word used to describe these stages of meditation is called “jhana”.  I did not know that word until this past month actually.  And there is the discussion on audios that I’ve heard about maintaining states of absorption for 2 and 3 hours at a time without interruption.  This I was able to do when living alone in the mountains many times.  Since I’ve moved from the seclusion of the mountains–for approximately the past 6 years—that is rarely the case.)
  • The text says that once a person’s meditation practice is very clear they will, one day, see small particles, called “kalapas”.  When one see’s kalapas, they have reached the last stage of samatha(serenity/calm/tranquility) and the beginning stage of vipassana (insight/seeing things as they really are).   At this stage, one understands reality as small particles.

I must pause here to explain that this next part totally blew me out of my seat, so-to-speak!  I wrote about this on my website eons ago and this occurred, also, in the late 1990’s just before I moved (from Florida) to the mountains of North Carolina.  Here it is nearly 20 years later and it is only now that I understand what all of these experiences were about!  The book in which this information is contained was published in 2008, ten years ago.  Yet, it has taken me nearly all of the past ten years to adjust to the huge transitions in my life and to release a significant karmic relationship connection.  It hasn’t been until recently that my personal journey has directed me back to seek deeper levels of meditation, reaching for Samadhi again.  Anyway, this light, so white and so bright and it occurred when I was meditating on a star in the sky at twilight one evening.  I felt myself moving toward it and then the white brilliant light sort of frightened me.  It was everywhere I looked and lasted a good chunk of time and it faded finally as I looked at a large pine tree.   I’ve never seen it again all these many years.

  • The text says that there is a visual-like nimitta which is ‘the best one’.  (Again, the word nimitta means sign/mark/appearance.)  It is not seen with the physical eye.  It is purely a mental phenomenon.  It appears as if it is like a headlight in front of you, incredibly brilliant, so much so that you don’t think you can stare at it any longer.  (At the time I thought perhaps I drew the star right down in front of me – I’d been staring at a star during meditation at the time.)  This is not a visual thing at all and even though it is like looking at the sun, it is quite safe, because it is a pure metal image—according to the text.

If one tries to have any such experiences as described, the effort actually blocks the meditator’s tranquil absorption.  Actually, I recall trying to stare at a star again at various times in the past and could not reproduce that event –or any other unusual experiences of my past for that matter.
I wanted to put this out today so that it may be helpful to others.  Maybe I will save someone 20 years of wondering and never really knowing what those signs are really about!

The text that I’ve been referring to is called “The Experience of Samadhi” by Richard Shankman  and the specific information at nimitta were from interviews with Pa Auk Sayadaw, the abbot of a Forest Monastery in Burma and Ajahn Brahmavamso, who studied with Venerable Ajahn Chah and is the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery and Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society in Australia.
I am so personally grateful to them for the information shared in the text which has helped me considerably and renewed my meditative effort.

May it be that this information reaches the right person for the right reasons and be of the highest service.


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Universal Intelligence? Universal Soul? Sati Knowing?

lotus may 2018Let me start with the words “Universal Intelligence” — two words.  Concepts.  Assigned meanings.  What meaning? Well, synchronistic guidance received in meaningful timing that is too unmistakable, too precise to be considered accidental.

Is this the Universal Soul communicating with this soul? or the “Knowing” that I’ve heard called Sati?  But that word, Sati, may not be the right word for this.  Unsure.  Anway…

Applying more than these few words, in order to define this type of magic, isn’t all that useful anyway.  Besides, this type of going-on is likely not to be that unusual really.  It’s probably a stimulated manifestation based on intention.  Yet, in this lifetime, it seems always to be connected to spiritual goals which to me lends it a higher conceptual name.  The precise name is not useful really for a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, as Shakespeare said.

This divine magic has been experienced like being directly guided and supported as if by a master teacher or some overseer of my life who knows exactly what is being learned, and how it applies to my evolution.

Its as if there is some wise being making sure that what is needed is provided in exactly the right timing to apply to the next lesson.  It’s not easy to put into words.  Its happened time and again–too many times to recount.

Yet, here’s the most recent example that stimulated me to write about it in this blog post today . . .

Within days of reading about a particular (somewhat complicated) spiritual teaching and meditation method, the book material was being contemplated.  Next thing, with barely any conscious awareness of how I got to the website, there before me I found myself looking at pages of audio teachings from numerous teachers on a host of varied subjects.

Randomly, I clicked on one of the hundreds of links and found myself listening to the identical teaching that I’d just read about in the book, explaining it further! It was of great benefit to me.  Prior to the random click, there was no hint externally that the audio would further explain the written material.  Yet, it was no accident!

This type of event has occurred often enough for me to release any doubt whatsoever of some divine force guiding the internal and external experiences of my life.

Pallas Athena in Astrology – A Personal Exploration

Pallas Athene – The Warrior Queen

The Goddess Pallas?  Where is she in your birth chart? Where is she transiting currently for you?  I’ve written about CERES and one post about the group of Pallas/Athena, Juno, and Vesta.  Now that I’ve taken a deeper look at CERES in a singular post, the goal is to do the same with Pallas and then Juno as well, as time permits anyway.

Disclaimer:  Probably, it should be mentioned that I suffered a significant blow to my head in a freak event involving wind.  And while it may be wishful thinking that I’m no worse for the wear, this post writing is being used as a distraction from a headache.  Bottom line:  I hope this will make sense to the reader, despite some type of concussion being part of it all.

Pallas Glyph representing a spear

Now.  That said.  One thing here is that Pallas rules Aquarius—or so the greater astrological minds tell us.  My own natal Pallas is located in the sign Aquarius— making my Pallas, that particular part of my psyche, strong for that reason.  She is known to be the protectress and thus the glyph is shaped like a spear. She is said to represent the polarities of courage and its opposite, fear.

In addition to ruling Aquarius (air), she rules Leo (fire)—so she brings together creativity (Leo/fire) and mental qualities (Libra and Aquarius/Air).

She is thought to be the Goddess of Wisdom and Justice in addition to the previously mentioned Protectress.

Rounding out the generalities about Pallas, she is often pictured with an owl and spear as well as shield.

The myth involving Jupiter is that she was born from his head which infuses her with the male/warrior vibe along with the wisdom that she is known for.

Our style of perception and intelligence level can be described in our horoscope by the state of Pallas in our chart; well, at least so sayeth the elder astrological soothsayers.

Inspired vision, intuition, curiosity, genius and exceptional perception and the capacities for same are also to be determined by the state of one’s Pallas in their chart.

Challenges to perception can be determined by so-called stressful aspects to Pallas.  Yet, visualization ability and the capacity to perceive in wholes (seeing whole patterns) and to coordinate informational systems is indicated by aspects to Pallas.

PERSONAL EXPLORATION OF PALLAS

Here comes a personal piece:  My Jupiter (4th house in Scorpio) is square to my Pallas which brings in the right brain/intuition qualities of Jupiter with Pallas and that is what (I believe) helps me in my study of astrology and with my intuitive ability.  Correlating and blending many bits of information to determine the larger picture is especially helpful in seeing the patterns in an astrological chart and in any psychic work.  Pallas/Jupiter aspects are known for blending and correlating information. Therefore, I appreciate my Pallas/Jupiter square especially because of that and also that aspect and the energy in our psyche known as Pallas is understood to govern healing techniques (including self-healing), visualization, meditation, mind control, hypnosis and the like.

Personally, again, my 7th House Pallas is trine Venus (in Libra/3rd) and Pallas is trine Uranus (Retro in Gemini/11th).  Also, Pallas is opposing Saturn (in Leo) in my natal chart.

The elder astrologers tell us that in the mythology of Pallas, she operated as a “woman in a man’s word”, being accepted as a colleague or equal in the world of men.  My own natal Pallas Saturn opposition, I believe, touches on that theme based on my life experiences.

Pallas in Aquarius (such as mine) represents futuristic perceptions and also carries an indication of the revolutionary quality to the psyche.  In this 7th house of (the other/s), it indicates that the soul/psyche of the individual (myself in this example) possesses strong meditating and counseling abilities – or so it says in the books that astrologers have written about Pallas.  This fits, of course, with me in that this is the work that I do and meditation is a strong focus in my life.  I could add that the Saturn opposition to Pallas from the 12th house brings the spiritual (12th house ruled by Neptune) quality into the work that I do—Saturn rules work/career/cosmic job in one’s birth chart. Again, I think of the aspect of opposition as a blending energy rather than the more negative qualities associated with that aspect.

My own Pallas trine Venus aspect seems an important one as Venus is culminating at the 29° degree of Libra in my natal chart,  signaling the culmination of that Venus energy in some way.  The Energy is fully developed in other words—or so the wiser astrologers tell us anyway.  Venus here is in the 3rd house so here we would have to include the 3rd house communication piece in the interpretation.  And as Venus easily works with (trine) Pallas, here we have again harmonious (Venus) communication of a counseling (7th house) nature.  It all fits with the work that I do and I am finding this exploration very validating of my life.

I mentioned earlier about Pallas square Jupiter in my chart.  Jupiter symbolizes the search for truth and meaning.  The square here brings up in my own life the red flag of being ethical and remaining in integrity  (truthful) with my work.  I am highly aware that it is, in some cases, too easy to take advantage of people when doing readings and my inner Pallas/Jupiter energy signals me very strongly to remain ethical in my work.

Pallas is trine to Uranus in my chart, which was also mentioned earlier—another harmonious aspect (trine).  So here we are talking about levels of mind when we talk about Uranus.  My Uranus is especially strong as it is located in my 11th house—the house that it rules, making it significant there.  Uranus is retrograde which makes this part of my psyche finely tuned inwardly.  Telepathic and intuitive abilities are a significant part of this Pallas-Uranus aspect.  As a Uranus trine Pallas aspect with the understanding that Uranus has a strong connection with astrology (per the teachers of the subject), my ability to counsel (7th house Pallas) others and befriend all types of people, creatively assist others using higher channels of intuition as well as astrological counseling . . .  well, this aspect is another that seems to be right on and fit my life experiences perfectly.

I really love astrology for its ability to validate not only my life but the life of my clients.  It’s true that some of the aspects can play out in various ways but when doing astrology, one must always anchor into the natal north and south nodes and their aspects while doing an interpretation.

In my natal chart, Pallas squares the natal nodes at a 4° orb, indicating that this energy has played out in my past lifetimes (South Node) or at least has been pre-wired in my psyche and is meant to be playing out in this current lifetime (North Node).  These nodes are in my 4th  (SN) and 10th (NN) houses, indicating that Pallas is destined to play a role in my cosmic job or career or at the very least in the public eye in some way as the NN / 10th house in Taurus indicates.

PALLAS  IN TRANSIT

Currently, at the time of this writing February 4, 2016,  Pallas is transiting my 9th house with Pallas in Taurus (interestingly enough Pallas conjuncts my natal Goddess Ceres).  My own take on that combination as far as interp or meaning is as follows:  teaching (9th house archetype) about Pallas and the other asteroid goddesses is indicated.  This transit is a pretty clear indication that Pallas wants me to learn and teach about her as part of my North Node Taurus evolutionary goal for this time period (while Pallas is transiting my 9th house merging with her Goddess sister, Ceres who is/was there at that degree at the time of birth).  The Asteroid Goddesses seem very alive in my soul/psyche at this time in my life.

In conclusion, here are just some other general tidbits and key phrases about the Archetype of Pallas:

  • Goddess of Wisdom
  • Goddess of War and Victory
  • Invincible in Battle
  • Is credited for using her wisdom to teach the populace how to settle disputes peacefully
  • Is often depicted as being clad in armor
  • Is often shown in artistry as accompanied by an owl
  • Patroness of the Arts
  • Goddess of health and healing
  • Possessed the gift of prophecy

I hope the reader will not find this post off-setting or confusing to read as, again,  it was written on a physically challenging day following a head concussion. 

It is my wish that the reader will find something validating and useful here.  In adddition, here is that recently written post about Ceres that I mentioned at the start of this blog:  CLICK HERE .

Present Moment Proof – how you know you are there

on the edge

Energy.  That’s right.  You’ll know from the energy feel.  It’s the feel of being alive, vibrating, and we may even say its a feeling of excitement.  Life is taken to a higher level and sometimes only momentarily, longer if you’re lucky.  To understand it, we have to contrast it with the times that we are ‘not’ fully present in the moment.  And that is, for most of us, the majority of the time.  Anytime we are contemplating the past or future — try it out for yourself through simple self-awareness — the energy is dead or flat.  You’ll recognize that dead feel pretty dramatically as you compare it with moments of being fully present.  You know how it goes when you’re being fully in the “now”, right?

Time stops and a surreal feeling will likely come upon you as if you have been lifted up and out and set down somewhere else all of a sudden.  Everything feels different and appears different and maybe the heart quickens and chills happen.  And then you flow with it as if nothing else or no one else exists. 

We’ve all had those feelings.

And there are after effects. I think that it’s feeling in harmony and being in the flow of life that is an indicator that we have just been fully present and the residual of that remains with us and out-pictures as flowing with life for minutes, hours or day (s).

Then, we get shifted out of that flow by something that occurs and then our mind will attach, cling, fear, become angry or experience an aversion.  Then we’re dead in the water again or not functioning effectively,  have been pulled out of the flow and our vibe becomes dead again.  We’re not fully alive anymore.

These are my (blog) thoughts about it anyway.  I was recently reminded of this during a recent visit from my little (soon to be 2-year-old) granddaughter.  The entire time we were together was a peak experience.  She was fully present and brought me with her to that place of excitement.

I’m in that peak place during intense exercise workouts in which I am very focused as well as when I’m engaged in a creative project.  Moments of awakening that shake us out of our mundane, dead, and routine thoughts or activities, if used correctly, are gifts.

Being on the edge of life is being in the present moment and it comes with that feeling of being fully alive.

Personally,  at those times my soul, my psyche goes into a state, which in Zazen, is called shikantaza, a state of heightened concentration, patience, and alertness and this state throws me into a state of flow that lasts for hours or days.  Plans change or don’t enter into mind at all and one just becomes totally spontaneous.  In describing this recently someone replied, “Oh yes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  Yeah, alrighty then.  LOL

I hope this post is found to be, in some way, helpful to the reader.

Winter Solstice December 21, 2017 REFLECTIONS and MEDITATION

‘I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.’

 –Hafiz, Sufi Poet

Light can enter one’s life through working with difficulty but this newsletter isn’t a downer; hopefully, it’s just the opposite. And the intention, as always, is to inspire, inform and involve engagement with Spirit. I wanted to start with this:  One often hears quoted, it is the crack (or break) of the heart through which the light enters.

To sit with the difficulty without causing suffering to self or to others is to honor the dark and the light in one’s life.

These seem to me to be good meditative contemplations for the shortest day and longest night.  I wanted to write about it today as we enter what I like to call “the great stopping of momentum, the great balance of light and dark–the great silence, the big quiet.”

 Sitting with the difficulties of life, even the difficulties of daily meditation can open us to more light entering our consciousness so that we can benefit ourselves, others and the world.  Let me explain what I mean.

I’m talking about not turning away but rather really bearing the pain, whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual, without creating further pain for self or another in any way.   Not running from it, suppressing it or becoming angry or frustrated with darkness.  That’s an example of balancing the light and dark in one’s life.  We can be reminded of this type of yin-yang balance during the time of the Winter Solstice.

It isn’t easy to really be with troubles without adding more suffering.  In The Arrow Sutra, the Buddha teaches about how we embellish the pain or difficulty (shooting the second arrow), instead of observing what is actually present:  which is the arising and passing of feelings. So instead of turning away from emotions, turn towards them and watch them pass just the way they have arisen.  In this way, we allow the light of awareness to enter and wisdom to arise.

Practice in Meditation

A simple meditation today, the Winter Solstice, can help us work with balancing light and dark/ease and difficulty.  Here’s what I mean.  Sometimes, we resist emotions or thoughts or discomfort in the body or sleepiness or restlessness during meditation and in doing so, we shoot a second arrow, so-to-speak, and create a story around even these simple experiences in meditation.

OR we may come to the sitting with already-formed goals, intentions or ideas about how the meditation time is going to be experienced.  “I am going to be in a bliss state the whole time, or go floating into the heaven of the cosmos.”  When in actuality, we may feel sleepy, restless or have thoughts of regret or other emotional difficulties arise.

Meditation is a practice for life.  And life is full of darkness as well as light– full of difficulties as well as it’s opposite, freedom,  peace/ease.  Think of yin-yang.

Our world needs people who can stand in the fire or tolerate the difficulty, keep a cool head, not over-react, deal with harsh and hard situations with clarity and wisdom.  Meditation practice trains us to do this. 

The ideal

We don’t quit or run or try to escape –nor do we control or intend any type of outcome when we meditate.  We may have an intention for our meditation practice which is alright but many times if we just allow, and experience, observe, see the mind working while being interested yet not being too controlling, too tense nor too relaxed but  just allowing ourselves to move through the states without judging ourselves as “bad meditators” and without becoming frustrated … if we can uphold these ideals, I think  we can develop the ability to balance the light and dark in our lives too.   Yeah, I know this is an awkwardly phrased paragraph, but you know what I mean, right?

The Winter Solstice is a reminder of all of this . . .

  • of how the depth of our being which is radiant clear light can open up through staying with difficulties
  • of how our core mind, the primal mind, is radiant and clear in nature
  • of how just like the Tibetan Buddhist tradition speaks, a self-existing lamp of wisdom exists within each of us
  •  of how through the difficulties and darkness of life, we are able to access this kind of light or presence
  • of  how we go into the dark in order to be able to see the light
  • of how we are with the difficult in order that we may be able to have more ease

If in meditation we can embrace the unknowing or just allow rather than always trying to control – the unknowing will open up to knowing. Being with the difficult or darkness opens us to light as well as being regenerative and enabling wisdom.

Here is some poetry that expresses these ideas . . . 

“Some nights stay up till dawn,
as the moon sometimes does for the sun.
Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way
of a well, then lifted out into light.”
–Rumi
*****
Three times my life has opened.
Once, into darkness and rain.
Once, into what the body carries at all times within it and
starts to remember each time it enters the act of love.
Once, into the fire that holds all.
These three were not different.
You will recognize what I am saying or you will not.
But outside my window all day a maple has stepped
from her leaves like a woman in love with winter, dropping
the colored silks.

Neither are we different in what we know.
There is a door. It opens. Then it is closed. But a slip of
light stays, like a scrap of unreadable paper left on the floor,
or the one red leaf the snow releases in March.
–Jane Hirshfield

*****
If each day falls
Inside each night,
There exists a well
Where clarity is imprisoned.
We need to sit on the rim
Of the well of darkness
And fish for fallen light
With patience.
–Pablo Neruda


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New Years Mini-Readings on January 2nd

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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Spirit Guides, Soul Gardens, Soil Gardens ~ Growing from Seed and Transplaning

Nurturing Soil and Soul Gardens and Spirit Guide Co-Gardeners

On Spirit Guides, Soul Gardens, Soil Gardens ~ Growing from Seed and Transplanting

Plants, like people, need to gradually get accustomed to change; otherwise, plants get shocked, just like people do when exposed to sudden change. Hardening plants as they grow from seeds is how to avoid transplant shock–gradually introducing change. Introducing the newly sprouting plant to the new environment stages is the thing… bringing plants from inside to outside in stages. It usually takes time to become established–whether it a plant or a human that we’re talking about.

Good soil is important to survival too and when I relate that to the similarities to a human being, it comes down to spiritual teachings or understanding making the good soil in the human soul.

Plants are fragile when young. And people are fragile when adjusting to change and  having to sprout from new seeds… change in a human’s life is like a seed that is being asked to sprout. Right conditions and tender care and nurturing are important during early growth.  When sprouting and then transplanting–it’s like proper tending to young leafs and root.

It’s important when tending new growth that is just developing an early root system to use great care when first transplanted into larger containers.  People develop early root systems in new environments too whether those environments are emotional or physical, it’s important to not disturb the soil/soul too much or damage the early rooting process.  When it comes to people and my own life in particular, I realize in retrospect how these principals have played out as evidence of divine intelligence/spirit guides co-gardening some of the changes of my life.

It’s also important to not let the roots dry out–this is true with plants and humans alike. Continuing to nurture the roots… not allowing over-exposure to what is not nurturing… like poor soil and over-watering… the right about of water for a plant is important.  And with a human the right amount of whatever is nurturing to the soul is important too.

What nurtures the soil of your soul? 

In my own case, what I find nurturing is a connection to nature and to meditation (preferably meditation in nature if possible) and also an environment of quiet as well as surroundings that I find attractive to the eye… pretty surroundings with plenty of daylight. My apartment has many windows and this is nurturing to my soul.

What one plant or flower finds nurturing may be different than the next–some like more water, some less and that type of thing. Humans also differ in what nurtures their soul and “SOIL”.

Interesting, isn’t it?  The slight difference in the spelling of the words … i and the o in those two words I mean.  Soul and soil– but both have such a similar meaning.

Sometimes plants can regenerate even if injured–people too. I wonder if our spirit guides assist in gardening our souls.

Do we, as humans, become exposed to harsh conditions on purpose and gradually in order to “harden” us to change so we grow better, just like how we humans do with our plants?

We may take the newly grown flower or plant once transplanted into a larger pot outdoors for only a few hours a day and only in shade and then gradually expose it to sun and then gradually to overnight temperatures or warmer daytime temperatures.

Did you know that removing lower leaves and burying things deeper in the soil helps the plant become more resilient and aids in its growth?

Similarities in plant life and human life

I’m learning about plants and flower planting from seeds right now and can really see how that relates to the human life and soul as it applies to growth and change in our human lives. Removing the lower leaves of a plant leads me to think of letting to of old baggage in a human life– releasing our past memories or experiences in order to acclimate successfully to the changes in life.

Do our guides clip those leaves? People sometimes loose a relationship or a job or sometimes both (those lower leaves) when they are growing the seeds of a new life.

How many times in one lifetime do we die and re-seed and become reborn?

I can see this so many times in my life—as if I’ve spawned new seeds a number of times in this one life.

Plants and flowers that are young need proper nutrition to prevent transplant shock and in our life when we have experienced changes we need to give ourselves proper nutrition too–in whatever way we nurture our soul and our body; we need to do that until we become stronger.

A gardener adds nutrients to the soil after transplanting and I think our spirit guides find ways to bring people, information, and circumstances into our lives at the right time, too, in order to nurture our souls so that we can grow stronger after change.

I think many times our spirit guides are the co-gardeners of our soul and that we should try our best to cooperate with the gardeners and through awareness also help garden ourselves. Don’t we talk to our plants and flowers? Many of us do! And I believe and know firsthand that our spirit guides talk to us too.  Why is this difficult to understand? They inspiring us to grow and to adjust and they teach us how to self-talk so that we can receive proper nurturing and nutrition.   Yes; this is how it is. I think so.

Sometimes plant wilt and when plants wilt sometimes they need more water and more shade many times too. (Of course we can over-water plants as well which speaks to proper balance.)  The human soul and spirit wilts sometimes too (and the body does as well through over fatigue sometimes; too much watering!)–and when these things happen, we tire of the struggle.

So what can we do?  When that happens to the plant or flower, the gardener removes it from the environment which is not agreeing with it and gives it more shade and more water or whatever is needed.  Humans can take a vacation or relocate and in that way it’s similar — or if that’s not possible, change the mind in some way.

Until we or our plant grow stronger and more resilient and until there is proper soil and surroundings we try different things.

Some gardeners when planting in the ground (from container to ground) which is done  after gradual acclimation to the outdoors when the plant is stronger… well, they plant flowers or plants in the ground late in the day so that they get accustomed to the overnight temperatures and wake up in their new place in the earth in the morning. Another new beginning.

Some seeds don’t make it of course. Some plants that are transplanted, don’t make it either. Bu the gardener learns through their failures.

Sometimes gardeners will direct-seed into the garden or the earth itself without growing it indoors firs in a greenhouse of some type beforehand. This can avoid transplant shock but the gardener has to know how that seed does in that soil and in that environment first. (Experience and book knowledge help.)

Maybe our spirit guides know us well and which of us can be directly transplanted into the garden or in human terms can just be planted right into the place where we are intended to grow and without needing gradual acclimation from one type environment to the next.

Have you ever been transplanted?

Do you ever feel like you’ve been a seed that sprouted and then dug out of the pod holder and planted into a new environment?  I sort of feel that way about some of my own recent moves in this location since I left the mountains. I’ve moved several times since seeding in this city.  Each apartment I lived in was a temporary container as my seed grew and perhaps I was being “toughened up or hardened” in order to survive in this environment.  Makes perfect sense to me!

We get ‘hardened’ as humans and as plants by growing in an environment that we simply have to deal with day in and day out.

Some plants can be directly sown outside — some are by nature more hardy or tough. Some of us can be direct seeded into the soil of our lives—some of us can just naturally deal with change easily or deal with suddenly moving to a new location or starting a new relationship or a new career without stress.  Some of us need gradual acclimation.  Sometimes we can wilt a little bit,  but can come back with a small amount of TLC.

I had one huge plant that I gave my daughter when I moved from the mountains because I simply had no room for it; it’s in a big pot that sits on the floor and takes up a good deal of space. We call it “grandpa” because I’ve had it for such a long time. Its fairly pot bound but we just don’t want it getting any bigger than it already is — so it needs a lot of water being a water loving plant by nature but because it’s mostly all roots and not much soil to hold moisture. Anyway, grandpa will easily wilt and look almost dead if not watered; YET, as soon as it gets a drink it stand up straight and salutes.  Only in a matter of hours! Some of us are like that plant I think.

Dropping seeds and re-blooming

Some plants will drop seeds and re-bloom again the next year, planting their own seeds so-to-speak. Tomatoes can be like that I hear (have never grown tomatoes so I don’t know firsthand) and Morning Glory flowers will drop their own seeds and come back again the next year too.  Regenerating themselves; that’s pretty cool. It’s like a plant having it’s children from generation to generation, isn’t it?

I have dropped my own seeds and those seeds have grown to drop seeds of their own; children and grandchildren. But those seeds need nurturing too and I’d like to think that I have become that human gardener to human seeds as a parent and grandparent.

Yet, I also know that I have had co-gardeners from higher places helping me.

Educated Gardeners 

We can improve our gardening through education — just as I’m doing today as I learn about growing flowers from seed which inspired me to write this piece.

The human body, mind and soul are no different when speaking of educated gardeners. We can learn how to garden our children and of course our own self through education–through learning what helps us to grow stronger and more resilient and what kind of soil we need as well as how to acquire the proper nutrients.

Some gardens simply grow on their own, reseed themselves every year but still we must keep and eye for predators, pests, etc. Sometimes we have to rid ourselves of certain people or energy that damages our growth–it’s true, don’t you think? Just like we take precautions to protect our garden.

The life in your soil and the life in your soul 

Gardeners say that it’s not just about the soil it’s about the LIFE IN YOUR SOIL.
I can realize how that this translates into the human condition as well. It’s not just about the soil it’s about the LIFE IN YOUR SOUL. What do we do to nurture that ‘soil’ and that ‘soul”–?

How do we unlock the nutrients within the ‘soil’ and in the ‘soul’?

If we are not in the perfect environment we can do things to condition that environment so that we can grow better within it. That’s a lot of what Feng Shui is about–“treating” the environment so that it is balanced so that we can unlock the nutrients of our “soul” like natural fertilizers (compost, etc.) can unlock the nutrients of the “soil”.

If the soil in the backyard of where someone lives is not conducive to what the gardener wants to plant, then the garden is created in an above the ground raised bed. You’ve seen that in gardens, right?  People will create a raised frame with wood or anything that creates a barrier to hold soil thereby creating a raised flower bed or garden area so that the gardener can control the proper soil.

In our lives we can do the same thing if we find we are on ground that isn’t naturally nurturing for us.

With any garden — the garden of our soul/psyche or the garden in our backyard or patio, we learn as we go and we learn as we grow.

I think spirit guides are learning too, right along with us. Can I prove that? No, but it makes sense to me; that’s all.

We are all growing and evolving as above so below, and as below so above too.

We learn as we grow!

Whether it is the earth garden or the garden of our own soul.

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Libra with players Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter – How it plays out

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse (Blood Moon) - April 4, 2015
Full Moon Lunar Eclipse (Blood Moon) – April 4, 2015

Today – It’s a super charged Full Moon (April 4, 2015) in Libra!  What can this mean? Here’s my version…

But is it only today that we may feel (Moon/emotion) the effects?  No; it’s more or less a theme that’s been occurring at least since the last eclipse (Solar a few weeks ago, March 20).

Something shifted around that time, perhaps ended—a change; a new way of BE-ing may have occurred for you.

And now, that’s associated with a new beginning.

Don’t’ get hung up on the exact dates; instead just think about something that may have occurred in the life 2 or 3 weeks ago (or even  a month or so ago) that set you up for the new phase that this eclipse is heralding—new beginning; new way of seeing things; new way of being in the world; new chapter in the life.  (We can experience the effects of an eclipse months before and months after–or so they say and so I’ve personally observed.)  But what are the key factors we can realize now?

Relationship is the key word with this energy and if you’re like me—happy to be in relationship with Self with a capital S (Higher Self) and with Divine Being you may, like me, be seeing life in a whole new light.  That should be a capital L really in the word Life—meaning All That Is and of course all that isn’t and the space in between.

Of course, we’d also have to mention personal one-on-one relationships with family, friends, life partners too which may be taking on a whole new meaning right about now and over the next few months.

This is no ordinary placement.  The Sun is conjunct Uranus and T-squaring Pluto.  What a mixture!   Moon, Uranus in Aries, the Libra Sun and tossed into that we also have the Capricorn Pluto – better not reference tossing Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, anywhere– it’s he who does the tossing.  LOL

Sun in Aries wants freedom and the ability to do it’s own thing regarding its purpose in life and the planet Uranus is empowering that Sun to go for it! As I see it, the planets and luminaries are setting up that theme when the Sun/Uranus opposes Moon and squares Pluto.

To me that configuration indicates  finding freedom in our life in a new way–one which challenges our feelings of security or actually enhances those feelings to create transformational (Pluto, the transformer) attitudes or views regarding how we relate to others and/or to Life Itself.  Pluto is quite psychological and so we could sense here a new psychology in your life–perhaps a highly personal one that creates a new beginning.

Can you see or feel how this can be playing out in your life now?  And how it has been occurring for some time now?

Jupiter plays a part in this attitudinal, emotional energy merger and change of view too. Jupiter, the great benefic, is highly focused via it’s retrograde motion.  It’s moving through Leo now.   And now its making an aspect to the other players, bringing with it a sense of playfulness and joy and mostly FUN.   That’s the energy that influences and balances this new attitude and way of be-ing that is taking shape and changing our lives right now.

May the blessings of Jupiter be yours and may you find the freedom and harmony in your life that brings the new freedom/ liberation of contented happiness with the influence of this eclipse both now and over the next 6 months!