The Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva – Reach Up from the Mud of Samsara – The Deeper in the Mud, the More Beautiful the Lotus Blooms

The Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva – Another Attempt to Reach Up from the Mud of Samsara

Can we really do this?

The more deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms.  How deep in the mud are you?
The more deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms. How deep in the mud are you?

Something is being encouraged on deeper levels and something wants to reach up out of the mud of samsara (life/earth living/the illusion of the suffering of this dimension) and is growing and reaching toward the Sun like the Lotus (the flower associated with Buddhism).

The Universe, the Light of Divine Intelligence, the Harmony of Helios or however you want to name it, but some energy encourages this, as it always does and I even carried that encouragement around in my purse/handbag for nearly 5 weeks without realizing it!

And yesterday!  Yesterday I received a reply email communication from a Tibetan Lama (the real Lama, not a secretary!)—my ego is impressed—in which the parting line was, “May all beings benefit from your practice of the dharma!”  And my mind and body froze as if they were my marching orders from the head spiritual warrior!—or something like that.  I felt the directive, the dictate, the command, the instruction, and the order deep within my heart, mind and soul.

“Deny samsara and help others do the same!”–  Aye aye Captain!  I was being given my marching papers or assigned my official mission from a Lama!  Ha!  And the Lama was probably simply just using a phrase to close the email with a customary, “May all beings benefit from your practice of the dharma!”  Sounds like a simple wish to end an email with like “sincerely” or “may you have a nice day”– but for me it stopped my breath and my world for a moment as I swallowed hard and felt like, “Okay, this is IT.” And it’s time to get dead serious about it too!  Especially since each day we get closer by-the-day to those final marching orders too.

Anyway, “dharma” is a word used to describe the teachings—practicing the dharma is doing the spiritual practices, following the teachings of Buddha who—and this is the part I love—said firstly that transformation of the mind is what is needed to alleviate suffering but most importantly he recommends examining the teachings carefully and objectively in order to know if it is something we can work with or live by or adopt.  And secondly, if we do accept the teaching it is because we have done the (here comes my favorite phrase)… we have done the observation and correlation of the teaching.  We apply it and see if there’s any truth to it through our own objective life experience and then if it turns out to be helpful and works for us, then (and only then) do we accept it as part of our own truth.  Then, thirdly, we have the responsibility to put it into practice—to live the teaching.

When we do this, we create “bodhichitta” which is the mind of awakening or the enlightened mind that strives toward compassion for the benefit of all sentient (living) beings. It is a sudden and lasting compassion for all beings, accompanied by a falling away of the attachment to the illusion of an inherently-existing self.  That last part is a kicker and I’ve been working on that one for some good long time now but since the purse-thing, finding that I’ve been carrying around the help for weeks now, is another strong synchronizing “hint” of encouragement.

One day shortly after I broke my toe (don’t ask) and while accompanying my daughter on some errands found myself at our local Goodwill store looking at the dusty old book section (no surprise, right?)  Lo and behold I found a little book with a picture of the Dalai Lama on the front and the book was entitled “Essential Teachings”.  Next thing you know my daughter calls out, “C’mon Mom we’re ready to go, are you ready?”  Making my way to the checkout I pay something like 50 cents for the book, slide it into my purse/handbag and forgot about it.

In the meanwhile, 6 weeks later here, I’m watching a DVD of a Buddhist Lama teaching the Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva and although it wasn’t the first time I viewed it, and even though I have a good number of Buddhist books on the shelf in my apartment (and have read every one!), this time something really caught hold of me.  That Lama seemed to explain it so well this time when I listened–and it was the very same Lama who gave me my mission via the email signature!

I’ve read the translations of The Middle Way:  Nargajuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika and a number of books like it including quite few on Mahamudra.  We also have ‘A Guide to the Boddhisattva Way of Life” by Shantideva to name a few.  And I’ve spent hour upon hour viewing of teachings on DVD of the Dalai Lama on these very topics and teachings.  This is conveyed, least you think that the path is very new–I’ve been traveling this way for a while and integrating Buddhism gradually.  Anyway, so much for history…

His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet
His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet

A few days ago, I thought to blog about the Thirty Seven Practices (dharma teachings) to help myself and others—although I should have phrase that the other way around I suppose; but you get the idea.  And from that thought, I began to wish to have these practices written down in a simple form just the way the Lama spoke about them. Well, I thought, why not look to see what’s out there from the Lama of Lamas:  His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet!  He says things so simply and he makes everything so easy to understand!

I could not find anything online and then had to stop my search anyway to go pick up my niece from her High School Driver’s Education Class.  I didn’t want to be late.  Once I got there,  putting the car in park, and taking a breath, then found myself wishing I had a book along with me to read while I waited for my niece.

Then (light bulb turns on in the mind!) remembering that I had that old book from the Goodwill Store—the one I’d paid 50 cents for so many weeks ago—I smiled and pulled it out.  I looked at the chapter headings and felt so moved and smiled  from my heart seeing how this book by the Dalai Lama contains 37 chapters–each chapter being one of the 37 practices explained in his own simple words!  There it was, just exactly what I was looking for and I had it with me all along.  When the student is ready, the teacher… well, you know.

So I will be working with these now and blogging about them.   Time’s up for now.  If you follow along with future blogs, maybe (just maybe) we can do more to further create a ‘mind of awakening’ as we practice the dharma here.

“May all beings benefit from my practice of the dharma”–just like the Lama says!

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When Life Sux, is it ULTIMATELY Real? Taking Refuge in The Three Jewels

take refuge
Taking Refuge in the Heart Sutra and Also in the Three Jewels

I went back to my last post to read it over.  I was looking for a quote.  After reading it over I thought, wow, sounds like she’s depressed–if I didn’t already know she wasn’t, I’d think she was!  I’m not, I just go deep to find answers–right down to the moment of death and gloriously beyond if need be.  People in the West and mostly young people think somebody is depressed if they talk about death.  I didn’t want to ‘go there’ either back in the day when I was in denial about that particular fact of life–some things people just avoid thinking about. If we ‘really’ thought about some things, we’d never do them at all. Take flying in a plane or driving a car—if we fully contemplated the complete possibilities of what could go wrong and were honest about it, we’d never do those things.  It helps to go into denial about those things–the dangers at least.  And another thing that helps is that somewhere at the back of  our mind we know this is all just a dream that we’re supposed to row our boat merrily along!  And because we know that we say things like, “Oh well, when it’s my time, it’s my time.”  I think part of the reason we say that is we know on some deep unconscious level that this life ‘is’ an illusion…a dream.

I know this stuff–or do I?  I mean the study of the mind and so-called ‘reality’ has been my focus for years–but maybe I expect too much of my own intellectual understandings.
There’s reality that is conventional and there’s reality that is ultimately simply energy and a dream illusory state–both true at the same time.  But darn if conventional reality can’t be a real heavy duty battery sometimes!  I have no idea why I said it that way….battery just seemed to want to come after the words ‘heavy duty’.  Some old commercial that stuck in my mind just came up probably.  But maybe that’s an important observation–mind is everything and excludes nothing.  THAT really does blow your mind–to use some hippy slang from the good ole’ days!

A friend/client of mine was just in a horrific car accident–horrific.  Yeah, I know I said that, but  the word horrific fully deserves the repetition if you could see what was left of her car.  Now you think I have trouble convincing myself that my irritating Indian downstairs neighbors are simply a dream that I should row my boat gently around–somebody who had to undergo numerous operations with pins and plates and screws in her arms, hips and leg… try telling her that at 2 AM when everything’s throbbing and she can hardly move.  She’d probably throw something at me ( and I wouldn’t blame her ) if I suggested such a thing to her!

Life–illusion or not, dream or nay–can get intense sometimes!  Fact:  my mind is irritated by the neighbors.  Fact:  I must do what soothes my mind.  Big revelation that came to me in meditation.  I can’t begin to work through this until I do that first.  I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the’ in-your-faceness’ of it like I’m sure my friend is too with her circumstances (much worse than my own of course)–yeah, it’s an illusion but the illusion hurts and sometimes life really sux.

Strange how it goes though. For people in pain they try to get them to go to the level of getting them to stop identifying with it, separate out from it.  The therapist say give your pain a name and give it a color and mentally do all this stuff step-by-step to control the pain in order to it and see it as the illusion it is–in those ways. That’s got to be tough to do–makes the challenge of my situation barely worth mentioning in comparison.  I suppose it’s all relative as they say dependent upon how real you make it all.  So anyway working with the mind comes into play in all of these cases somehow, eventually.

Yeah, we can try to escape and I’d say she probably wants out her badly damaged body at times the way I want out this apartment situation with my loud neighbors.  It is aggravating and frustrating –my friend’s situation is admittedly 1,000 (or more) times more serious and intense than my own.   But in both of our cases, we deal with it via the mind because the mind makes it real and the mind can also detach from that reality.    At least as a coping mechanism until something changes it can.  The neighbors will move and my friend’s body will heal.  That’s the nature of life–impermanence!  It was change an impermanence that got us into these situations and it will get us out too; meanwhile we have to do what we can to take care of ourselves.

I just flashed on a scene from the movie THE MATRIX.  Neo comes out of  the Matrix after just having just fallen, landing onto the pavement and his mouth is bleeding.  He says, “I thought you said the Matrix wasn’t real?”  Morpheus replies, “Your mind makes it real.”  –a great scene!

But, just how I am in my own mere situation , if I have to suffer it (and apparently I do until further notice)… how do I, despite that mental suffering, let it be for a good purpose?  And if it isn’t something obviously purposeful–trust me, I will find one and assign it!

It simply occurs to me that… well… Is it a co-incidence that at this same time I find myself the Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying? (again)  Anyway, it brings to mind that when it’s time to go—oh, hush, we all have to go eventually, so you may as well face up to it when you’ve got the courage–anyway, when it’s time to go I can look back and realize that I used some of this irritating, frustrating B.S.mental  stuff as prep work for THAT in-your-face experience (death)!  Now that’s an experience that I can’t get out of our face. No way around that one.

So, look. Sorry,  but if you are looking for a blog that gives you fluff and lace and soft pillows, maybe keep looking because you can probably see by now that I use this blog to work stuff out….and in doing so, I assign a purpose to the effort that goes beyond just this self here. I hope the effort helps someone else.  YOU possibly if you’ve read this far–who knows?

Yeah, so what’s the conclusion? (me asking Self) Well, mind gets irritated especially when you make the irritation too “real” so what cha’ gotta’ do to take care of that?  And then I remember the lines that I posted on Facebook today:

Wisdom Teacher’s say: Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion What others do will not matter so much when you see life as a dream. Do all you can to keep positive intentions during the dream.

I’ve got to get back to reciting The Heart Sutra again — and also got to go back to the chant, “I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!”

There will probably be more about this–I feel that there’s still more insight and wisdom, but it’s nearing 2 am and I have to be up at 6!
But then again if I can get back on my path with all this and not let the delusions below me distract me further (am asking the Angels for help!), then I may not ever have to write about these downstairs neighbors again!@  I’m getting rather weary of it.

Humor helps in dealing with stresses

airplane taxiHumor helps in dealing with stresses

Funny how certain things in life we simply don’t seem to hear, isn’t it?  I used to live on a fairly busy highway.  Even though people suggested to me before I moved-in that the sound of the traffic would be noisy or busy or a bother, I didn’t care.  I liked the house and actually enjoyed the moving traffic passing by.   Yet, if I hear a chain saw or anything that sounds like it or a human voice–it’s a totally different story.  It just is.  I’d rather hear a pack of dogs bark all night long that this loud Indian couple bantering and fussing for hours on end!  No really—they talk and talk and talk and then talk some more, non-stop hour after hour and on and on.  How about reading a book or SOMETHING? Anything!  (My current working theory is that it was a forced marriage and they are still hashing out whose fault it is–its just that the mind really wonders what they could go on about for so long and with such ….. well, lets leave it at that.)

I’m employing all types of tools and methods to deal with the stresses of certain sounds and noises these days.  Take for instance the other night.  Humor works and sometimes I can “crack myself up” as the saying goes!

The downstairs neighbors (a loud mouthed couple from India–pardon how I said that but it’s true) were getting louder as I was about to get into bed.  Great!  Here we go again!  My tried-and-true method to muffle into silence their Mumbai-mumbling-mouths involves turning up the fan on the central air unit, then putting the floor fan on high, AND the air purifier too for the benefit of THAT white noise as well.  All that, as sometimes happens, didn’t do it! I could still hear their very loud voices.   The task of drowning out the sound of their mouths completely was going to require the calling forth of the duty of the dishwasher!

Once it’s all going at the same time, the place is really rocking with white noise.   In fact, so much so that my apartment sounds like a jet engine!  Rolling off on that thought, as I kicked off my slippers, turned back the covers on my bed, switched off the light announcing, “Ladies and gentleman this is your captain speaking, welcome to cosmic airlines, we’ve been cleared for take off,  please fasten your seat belts, and enjoy your flight…”  I felt asleep laughing.  Humor helps dealing with stress.

(So does the fact that their VISA will run out soon and they will have to go back to India!  Hasta la vista baby!  Can’t happen too soon for me!  Meanwhile… humor!)  I know it’s NASCAR country here too and that Jimmy Johnson just won the Daytona 500, but I’ve developed a huge dis-taste for Lowe’s (employer of the Indians in this town).  I am personally boycotting Lowe’s as a way to make myself feel better about the noise, not that I really ever shopped there anyway…but still.  Opps… suddenly seem to have lost my sense of humor again! LOL  Change!  Grrrrrrrrr!!  Or as my Buddhist friend has said, “Om Dammit OM!”  (This blog is another tool in dealing with my stress as well.  And yeah, yeah, I know it’s all illusion or mental projection or just life as it is in the big city.  Still, I also know that a girl’s gotta’ do what a girl’s gotta’ do!)

PS — if some big exec at Lowe’s Headquarters reads my blog   and wants to buy me out of my lease, you can contact me through my website. What are the chances?  ha ha

Paranoia or Psychic Perception – Maybe Both

Contemplation Image
Contemplation

Paranoia or Psychic Perception – Maybe Both.  Here’s the contemplation…

Alright, I’ll admit.  Today wants to end on a sour note, but I won’t let it!  All was going well until late in the day, my granddaughter came home from school in a snit (she’s only 9 after all, has a head-cold and should probably be given benefit of the doubt) followed momentarily by the downstairs  couple who forgot they weren’t out in the middle of the field in India as they came in from work.  Indoor voices people!  Geesh!  And while reading this stuff might be having the superior, significantly-spiritual type clucking the tongue away and shaking their head, maybe even with a sly smile on their face—let’s not rush to judgment about these things.

Is it my paranoia or true psychic perceptions that cringe when realizing some folks have taken that smile that starts to form at the side of their mouth when they hear these challenges that the mountain yogi me dealing with this daily distraction stuff!  Ha! One person said, “Easy to do it when you’re up in the mountains in seclusion but not so easy NOW, is it?” As if I’m now experiencing life for the very first time!

Wasn’t born yesterday my friends and I’ve been there, done that—after all, I raised three teen-age daughters on my own.

I come back into it now, however, realizing exactly what it all is—as before—but on much deeper levels.  Now I see it as mind being irritated, mind being restless, mind being frustrated (no me) and what a view of it all I have!  Can’t get this kind of stuff in a monastery you know!

For it’s the mind that is irritated—not me!  And I’d have not come this far without my granddaughter and the noisy couple from India.  Never would I have had this kind of ‘in your face’ stuff at these levels and in the perfect timing for me to reach these understandings with it all.  Beautiful actually—just beautiful.

All kinds of things happen—the just do.  Do I necessarily cause them to happen?  Life.  It just happens.  We choose our reaction—the Buddha taught all that jazz.

Oh, I can hear the spiritually significant tongue-clucker now—influenced by all the new age book mumbo-jumbo.  “You attracted your circumstances; it’s your karma!”  Well, partially true if we consider our desire to evolve perhaps; but even if we don’t.  Life unfolds as a matter of circumstances that we simply are privy to witness and we can only change our attitude about it.  (Unless we want to be arrested for assault and battery—a bit of humor.)

What matters is the attitude and not the events—the world is full of desires and fears and pain and suffering and people generally reacting to it all the time.  Today, my granddaughter and more times in the past few months than I can count, my downstairs neighbors are perfect examples.

And me too.  My desire is for quiet and like the Rolling Stones as well as the Buddha have said, “Can’t get no — satisfaction.”  Not from the outer world.

So where is it—it is beyond the world, even beyond the inner world—beyond mind.

Oh, you could say I’ve gone out of my mind and you’d be totally correct on some levels.  I’ve realized that place that is beyond mind and all from humans pushing me there in so many ways so-to-speak.

me comicI’ve also gotten hold of memory—the meaning.  We mistake that we are this group of memories that we have created an ego structure out of.  I’ve given this a good deal of thought since the Indians below me triggered a number of childhood memories and stimulated a fair number of unpleasant dreams, a few out-and-out nightmares.  This causes one to question the nature of memory and dreams; but mostly memory in this case since hold a few and identify ourselves thus creating structure out of those aspects of mind and then say, “This is me; who I am”.

If our memories were our true identity then you’d think we’d remember more than we do—such as what you had for dinner last week or what you did on the 4th of last June.  Unless something memorable, you don’t remember.  What IS memorable, we structure an identity out it and call it “me”.  It’s okay for getting by here but we have to remember it is illusion—and the ego’s reading this are screaming in your heads, “Not me!  I AM REAL.”  That’s okay; I wasn’t always ready for this understanding either.

Maybe it’s all about me getting ready for the inevitable event that we all face someday—death.  It’s going to be easier to let go of this identity structure if we’ve realized all along it wasn’t real in the first place.

Here’s something C said in reply to a question about wanting to live, “To live, to die—what meaningless words are these!  When you see me alive, I’m dead.  When you see me dead, I’m alive.  How muddied up you are!” 

Enough about death—before I loose subscribers!  People don’t like this subject.  About memory, I like this quote:  Use memory, don’t let memory use you!  I should put that one on Facebook.  Anyway, family stuff being triggered is all for the purpose of realizing its memory that I’m overly identified with—it’s all been very good spiritual fodder or grist for the mill as the saying goes.  We need that grist to keep ourselves in true awareness—so tongue-cluckers who think you’ve got it made in the shade because you’ve read all the books and had a few evolutionary experiences and intellectually think you’ve GOT  IT, maybe not so much or there’s always deeper layers and this has been a good one, still is.

The bottom line is we do not need to be set free—we already are.   It is our identification with our body and the structure we created from memory that we over-identify as “me” and our desires that keep us going round and round again, lifetime-to-lifetime, which keeps us from the clarity that we were never born and never die.

All I can say to spiritually significant elite-ist tongue-cluckers is that understanding this intellectually is one thing and living it in the face of human intensity and applying it—well, how deep down the rabbit hole do we go?  With each intense experience, I have deeper realizations that do not come from a book but from my own experience, my own mind but not even there… from a place where I am totally out of my mind.  Hard to describe unless you’ve been there, done that.

I’m grateful when I can be in the right place with it all and when not, I realize I will be—eventually, all in good time.  Patience and perseverance, virtues!

By the way, I am celebrating walking normally this week!  I can wear a regular shoe and barely limp at all; as the illusionary body heals and repairs my broken foot illusion here!  Have a great week dear friends of Light!

(Excuse me now while i light illusionary candles to absorb the illusionary cooking smells from the illusionary neighbors!  laughing as I go… one more desire released… no longer desire to visit India!  See, everything has a great purpose!  ha ha)

Daily Divination 9-27-11 Michael Jackson’s EARTH SONG – THIS IS IT; I-CHING Kua 60 Limitation and Cultivating Patience

 I believe that I spent time with MJ last night as I woke up this morning with THE EARTH SONG and the scene with the bulldozer at the end on my mind, clearly connected. I am happy to say that despite the carnage and destruction from the earth movers across the street, the last 2 trees are still standing alongside the road. The destruction maker and his equipment work down at about 60 to 100 feet and these particular trees are growing up too high for his equipment to reach them and maybe that is why they are still standing; whatever the reason, at least two are left.  Thank you for helping me protect them.

I and earth mother herself are trying now to heal. The animals have gone away higher into the mountainsides, a neighboring farmer said with glee that because of the neighbor who is destroying the forest that he’s only seen a few deer—he was very happy about that and I really had to turn away or he would see my near-tear expression. I do wonder though, this particular neighbor was drunk as he could be when I stopped to speak with him; his property adjoins the nature destroyer muggle’s land. Maybe he was trying to find something positive to say—the deer are not eating his garden now. But later I thought how he, too,  must be affected by the noise and destruction, but perhaps not fully conscious of it.  He was certainly drunk enough not to be feeling any pain; perhaps he was trying to bury it without knowing where it came from. One can speculate (without projection) and through empathy reach that conclusion.

It is quiet out there today—the machines are not moving. I’m grateful. I am going to do an I-CHING toss in a moment to ask for guidance about all this. Meanwhile, knowing that there are some readers who will stumble upon this blog or the others who are regular email subscribers to it, I wanted to share something today. I know there are still some who believe that Michael Jackson was a drug using child molester—not true! The trial starts today for MJ’s physician and there will be more lies about Michael Jackson, but I wanted say that he was a very sensitive soul who loved nature as I do. Here are a few of his words and a clip of a rehearsal for the concert called THIS IS IT. This is the clip of EARTH SONG followed by a meeting/gathering with the members of the team for the tour. Below that, a picture of Michael; he said that he used to write his music while sitting up in a tree.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eigNnzAM3L8&feature=player_embedded

Michael Jackson’s words…spoken in his soft voice,

“I RESPECT THE SECRETS AND MAGIC OF NATURE. THAT’S WHY IT MAKES ME SO ANGRY WHEN I SEE THESE THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING. THAT EVERY SECOND, I HEAR, THE SIZE OF A FOOTBALL FIELD IS TORN DOWN IN THE AMAZON. I MEAN THAT KIND OF STUFF REALLY BOTHERS ME. THAT’S WHY I WRITE THESE KINDS OF SONGS, YOU KNOW. IT GIVES SOME SENSE OF AWARENESS AND AWAKENING AND HOPE TO PEOPLE. I LOVE, I LOVE, THE PLANET. ♥I LOVE TREES♥. I HAVE A THING FOR TREES AND THE COLORS AND THE CHANGING OF THE LEAVES. I LOVE IT. AND I RESPECT THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.”

So now back to the regularly scheduled program which is the I-CHING coin toss to bring forth the cosmic communiqué for the day.

Limitation! Kua 60 and what I get from this right away is about cultivating patience.

Wow, and the moment I write this, I am recalling a channeling that I did many, many Moons ago.

It was about the Earth and how many times it has been destroyed—but it wasn’t a message of sorrow or sadness but one that felt like “Don’t worry about it.”  No, let me explain.  Don’t worry about it does not mean to mistreat the earth, it was a feeling much vaster than words.  It was like the cosmic feeling of the death of a star and the birth of a star happening over and over throughout eternity.  Like that.  Much different from what it may sound like or seem at first–these things are not easy to put into 3rd dimensional words.  Anyway…

Yes, so this can help with patience cultivation. It hints to the illusionary world of form which is Earth… matter, form… just as we are. We too have left our bodies and been reborn and the spirit of the Earth is the same. I know how “out there” this may sound to some readers, but maybe the vibration coming through the words on the screen will hit your soul and some level of consciousness will understand… remember.

So, this is comforting to me today.

Let us see what else we can pull from this Kua 60 for readers….

 Meanwhile, I have the movie DVD of THIS IS IT playing softly on the living room TV as I listen from the den. I like the word den as it makes me think of a hibernating bear den—cozy, comfy and in winter, warm. (I have a fireplace in my den here.)

Sorry about that—seem to have drifted off there. Back to Kua 60, Limitation.

I suppose if we think about life being in any way limited it will cause pain and we should remember that we live in an unlimited universe! How’s that for a soothing message?

Ma Deva Padma says (about this Kua) that nature imposes limits on all things, causing energy to build up from within. In fact, without limitations it is impossible to maximize our potential. So here we could see, going deeper, the illusion of the whole system. Yet the illusion is motivating or energy moving or creative in many ways. (Example:  Because of the trauma with Earth Mother this past week, I am now thinking deeply about writing a story, a book, about the issues which I’ve been blogging the past several days.  Another example is that I love Earth Lover’s a lot more and am even more grateful for National Parks and the acres of forest that has NOT been mutilated. So, you get the idea, right?)

Limitations, although an illusion, can feel frustrating but they do help us grow and become productive, creative, and even strengthen us, our resolve, our love. So, in that way, like I said, motivating. We really should try to see the whole picture in these ways.

So let’s say that in some way in your life you are feeling frustrated about something. We should not allow it to become immobilizing; we can, instead, use the frustration and actually be creative with it or allow new appreciations. That’s the point, you see?

We just have to remember that reality is not real—sounds like a contradiction, I know. But even death isn’t real; almost all of my readers know that, accept it. Energy just changes form but nothing ever actually “dies”. Not people, not trees, not animals, not flowers…. Consciousness will re-create! And consciousness never dies.

An alternative message of today’s Kua is that practice makes perfect—never give up.

And of course, always cultivate patience in the process. Oh, and here I am thinking of MJ again who seemed to often say the words “with L.O.V.E.” (spelling out the words) at the end of his sentence when he spoke.

The message also is about moderation—as in, instead of killing every tree on your property, do selective cutting! In order to achieve this level of consciousness, one must have ideals and ethics rooted in respect for nature which guide the boundaries of behavior. That’s all I’m sayen’.

My Spiritual Challenge! Issues or Illusions? And Patterns! Clarifying Yesterday’s Repello Muggletum Blog Post?

Spiritual Issues or Illusions?  And Patterns!  I posted something yesterday — the muggle protection charm.  This blog post is an email that I wrote to a friend.  Part way through it I decided to make this a blog post… for whatever it’s worth to those who also struggle with questions around spiritual issues and illusions.

This is part of my spiritual challenge or how would you say it?–just one of those lingering issues that I still have an issue with–Ha! I have “an issue with an issue”;  and both issues are an illusion–so, really there are no issues, except for within my own mind.
And I have a feeling that one or the other will work its way into the blog or newsletter this week.

It’s like this issue is everywhere I go, it’s a pattern.  You remember, right?  I moved from the last place I rented because they cut down all the trees on the property next door–you know how disturbed I was about it.  Remember?  The family of deer lost their home too (they covered a pit wherein the deer lived under the berry bushes) while they massacred each and every single tree along with the berry bushes simply to put in a stupid trailer and a few horses.

When I first started to awaken or attempt to be conscious or to be aware there was an awareness, it was somewhere in the 80’s… No, wait, it goes farther back than that even. I just had a

flash of a similar troubling “issue with my issue”when I was a child. It was forgotten until this very moment. I do recall that it troubled me a good while but like these other issues there

Hey Brother if you are reading this... remember those trees when we were kids?

was nothing whatsoever I could do about it–hand’s tied; out of my jurisdiction; not my area as John Travolta would say in his movie role, playing Archangel Michael.

Trees, always trees and animals; the cruel and thoughtless death of either disturbs my spirit deep, deep, deeply. We were kids, you see? Oh, around 7 or 8 up until around 12. There was this huge tree at the entrance area to the housing section–there were two actually… Ficus trees, one on either side of the entrance to that neighborhood of houses–in the middle of a plot of land, smack in the middle and then on the edge of the land on either side of the road a half-high brick wall with the letters of the name of the area proudly displayed. It was a middle class area actually and eventually turning to lower class long after we moved. Not that this last sentence has anything to do with the story of the trees. They grew as we did and it was “THE” play area and gathering spot of all of us as we grew up, you see? We’d walk along the half wall and climb the Ficus trees as they grew–larger and larger they did as we were growing as well. Until finally, they were large enough to climb and climb we did! These trees became massive, their trunks nearly a car length wide with lots of branches and places to camouflage and hide.  We played as many childhood games as we could imagine there beneath and inside those trees. Those two trees were “IT” for us kids, you know?

And as I recall at times there’d be up to two-dozen of us gathering there to play with not a swing-set or sliding board in sight. No matter, the trees were “IT”and our minds imaginations made up the rest of it—it, the games.

One day one of the trees was gone, missing, out of there, nothing but a hole left and stretching my mind to the memory of it now, the recollection comes. We were told it was diseased and had to be removed.  I knew it was a lie.   And next thing you know a house starts to be built right upon the very spot that our old friend’s large trunk once sprung out of Mother Earth.

And then, years later, the same thing happened to our other friend, the other Ficus tree on the other side of the road. I was older by that time as I recall, perhaps ready for middle school or even high school–that part is a bit blurry. The half-walls were taken down and the tree gone suddenly. And that plot of land, too–our old gathering spot, taken over by house construction right in the middle, over the top of the roots of our friend, the Ficus tree. Ha! One can almost imagine the owners of the home being haunted by children’s gleeful, playful voices in the middle of the night. Of course, that brings up a whole other area of speculation, doesn’t it?

Cherokee mounds are usually located (I am told) inside the forks of 2 or 3 creeks and up as high as possible.

What once stood or was on the land where you live? Around here it was all once Cherokee as most of the ‘born and raised’ locals inherited land that was stolen from those Native Americans.  That’s not prejudice, it’s fact–even the “local born” teacher at the college who teaches a course in Appalachian Culture will tell you that–I took the course and used my intuition to discern truth versus lies.  But on that point, even she did not differ.

On THIS property where I now rent, on the ridge right above me and to the left, I’m told (by the property owner who used to live here as a child) that on that ridge above the house is an Indian “Mound”–a burying-place for the Native American ancestors.  I’ve never gone up there to look but next time my grandson comes, I’m going to ask him go up there with me to see.   He’s always wanted to go back behind the major tree line and I wouldn’t let him go without me.  Now, for some reason, I feel called to go and try to find it.  We will take an offering.

Usually, so I’ve been told, mounds can be found nearby where 2 or 3 creeks come close to each other or perferrably meet up.  They are considered power spots.  I’m just realizing that I live near a power spot! Here where I live there is a creek across the way and also behind me to the left.  I remember now.  This actually would be the right place for a mound here where the creeks fork and where it is highest elevation on that ridge out back.

I rent from the lords of the land around here.

In the last place I lived there was a church that I was behind and I was concerned that the old house that I rented was on top of a grave yard (they are almost always behind churches here). Then I saw the graveyard up on the side of a nearby mountain and was relieved. Baptists as well as Cherokee like to bury their dead where there is a beautiful view, usually up high. In fact, the house I was renting before was an old school-house which actually made me pretty happy as far a vibes go. I’ll take living where an old school-house was over living over a graveyard most any day of the week!

So I was remembering this morning — and this came by way of me just trying to get a handle on this mystery, the sadness, the whole business of trees and so forth — the lack of reverence for the sacredness of nature from humans, etc.  And the memory was about how devastated and heartsick I felt when… Well, let’s start with the yellow brick road that I was walking down (ha ha) and when looking for a job (physical therapy), I chose a facility that was located in a wooded area; yet it was still in a city.

There happened to be trees all around the place and this is where I thought it would be great to work — because of the trees you could see looking out any window there. So I’m working there a year or so when right outside the window in the therapy office where we’d write our notes in the charts–and the window was nearly ceiling to floor and our desktop faced the window, anchored to the wall. So it was like you could not avoid looking out and on that side of the property just after the little parking area there.  And it was that we were forced to watch them massacre the trees and there they lay one atop the other–just a field of dead bodies and day after day more fell and it was horrible and affected me deeply. No one else seemed to care or notice but I became sick over it.  That was Florida where they love concrete jungles.

Most all the places I’ve rented here in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina have had graveyards nearby–this house is the first without a graveyard within a stone’s throw. When I lived and worked south of here by a few hours (but still in the mountains), where I worked (I found out much later) was the actual place where they gathered the Cherokee — the outdoor prison — where they held them before they began to march them away on the famous journey known as the Trail of Tears. Imagine that!

Cherokee Native Americans used to gather for their tribal games

And about 5 miles from where I worked was once the area that the Cherokee gathered once a year for their “games” like the Olympics. I found all this out  later after I moved.  The vibes in those areas absolutely correlated!  And on a past life level it made perfect sense that I ended up in those places and even where I am right now.

Since those things and others that make me certain that I have reconnected with a Cherokee past life here, I googled the trail of tears and most information gives 1830 – 1850’s.   A shiver!

Gosh, I’m laughing a little bit thinking that maybe an old body of mine is buried up on the mound behind me and I am here returning to the place I once lived and died actually. LOL

I wouldn't be surprised if an old Cherokee body of my own is buried in the mound on the property where I rent the home where I currently reside. I seem to have lived in places connected with Cherokee history and do remember those lifetimes and am remembering one right now! Deja Vu! 🙂

Oh, so who knows…?  Maybe this is why I am so disturbed to the depth of my soul about the trees being cut down across the street. One tries to figure these things out you know? Something so deeply disturbing can seem mysterious especially as it happens or recurs… persists–this trauma I always go through at the thoughtless death of trees and killing of animals.

You as my friend remember the weeks–nearly a month or more–it took for me to get over the time I stumbled upon the group of hunters who had killed a beautiful black bear! And of course, I know you remember the time that I stood with my own body between a deer and a hunter up here in these mountains.  That was one deer that did not get shot (least the hunter shoot me too) at that moment in time!   You know how I feel, the deer  and bear are my brothers (and sisters) and I must stop writing now or I will allow the tear that is forming in the corner of my eye.

Later…

I will just add that there are many past life memories from around here and I know that I made a vision quest atop of Grandfather Mountain which is always why I call that mountain ‘my grandfather’ and why the first time (in this current lifetime) that I went there, I felt I was home and did not want to leave–ever!

Grandfather Mountain Profile

I was very sad yesterday and nearly ill in my stomach and had to leave here for most of the afternoon so that I could not see the destruction of the earth across the street which once was so beautiful and now it is awful.   I had to get away for the day.  I have asked for help from higher mind–an insight to help me understand the patterns… I have experienced these devastating feelings numerous times in the past.  Pattern!

I did blog post quite a number of Moons ago about a tree friend of mine who had to leave to make way for a highway bridge… (link below).

As a matter of fact dear friend, I may go ahead and cut and paste these words into a blog post.

And since I’ve just decided that I’m doing so, I have a line or two to add then… additions below….

Here goes:

Long time karmic history can take years and lifetimes to overcome and the process of surrender is to the emotionalism and in my case the intense sadness in these cases with the bear, and the trail of tears and the land and the trees and all such other issues in the psyche. The physical body is transitory and all worldly phenomena (the world of matter, of form) and eventually even the illusion of the witness and the observer is because it will also dissolve and return to pure awareness or pure consciousness Itself. And the illusion of time also dissolves into the Allness of Divine Oneness or Concordance. And so at the time of ‘release of form’ (death) of any kind whatsoever–death of trees or bears or deer or our own self, the Presence of the Allness of Creation as Divinity radiates and all is joined together again. So now then, what is the point of lamenting the loss of a tree or a bear or even the self–our own or others or the many–since all form eventually returns to Source. 

Sitting atop Grandfather Mountain ~ Me in Center back with grandson in front of me ~ very windy up there! 🙂 My sister in the red shirt and my niece to the right of me.

And these are the few Tao-like  thoughts today  via an ego  that is doing its best to allow the higher self to have free reign of the consciousness, thoughts and the keyboard in order to help me realize the possible source of my emotional patterns with these issues of illusion.

Ha!  and a final thing.  I mowed the lawn a week ago and as the locals here do all the time, trash was up on the lawn–they throw things out of the car windows without thought as their usual way of doing.

So as I bent down to retrieve the paper,  and in doing so saw it was a candy bar wrapper and the name was MOUNDS; and right away I thought that this was some sort of message for me and didn’t know a connection except one.

My mother told a story of when she took her mother-in-law to the funeral home.  My mother’s father-in-law had recently crossed over and on the drive home my mother stopped for gas and asked her mother-in-law  if she wanted a snack and replied that a candy bar would be fine.

So my mother chose that kind (a Mounds bar) and the old lady went berserk accusing my mother of rubbing it in her face associating the Mounds bar with the death of her husband! She was going a little loco at the time.

I remembered that as I was picking up the candy bar wrapper and disposing of it properly.

And now I find here that a week later I am writing a blog post which contains references to “mounds”–the native american burying-grounds.  Interesting, no? 

Your Friend,  Joy

PS– Here is the blog post about that other tree friend of mine and a few others…  I hope you will like to read it and if so, just  CLICK HERE

Discerning Ego Consciousness ~ Saturn Uranus Opposition

The Tower ~ Uranus

  

 Discerning Ego Consciousness on the Psychic Path

 

Current Aspect: Saturn-Uranus Opposition  exact on 4/26/10, affecting us for the weeks ahead

For clarity purposes:  This aspect is affecting us all no matter what your birth data… these two transiting planets are aspecting each other in everyone’s chart.  And they have been, meaning we’ve dealt with this opposition in late 2008 (Saturn was opposing Uranus on Nov. 4, Presidential Election Day).  Think back, what else were you dealing with around that time?  We also dealt with this opposition twice in 2009–on Feb. 5th and Sept. 15th.  So here we are again; same energy playing out a familiar theme.  We will face this energy once more this year–in July, on the 26th. That will give you a few hints.  Inner world changes of consciousness play out, many times, in outer world events and circumstances when necessary.  That is, if we don’t deal with the changes internally, the outer world demonstrates the needed change.  What follows are a few additional thoughts about this energy; specifically,  how it could play out in certain areas.  

Sometimes the gates to the underworld or what we could call the subconscious open and a radical change in our thinking and/or our outer world experience occurs.   (All of our outer world experiences are due to our ‘inner world order’.)   When our subconscious breaks through, a collapse occurs so that we can suddenly realize how wrong our previous ideas about our reality have been. Shadows become released.  We might even say to ourselves something like, “How could I have ever thought that?”  Suddenly we know better!
 
With the current opposition of Saturn to Uranus, we’re positioned in consciousness for these kinds of potential breakthroughs.  But, if we cannot let go of our old reality long enough to let them come through or if we cannot relax our grip on illusion, often times something shattering happens to help us see through that illusion.
 
EGO
 
The breaking down of false or outdated images that we’ve had of ourselves does happen periodically. Self images or illusionary reality structures that we’ve held for a long time suddenly become outdated and obsolete.  They need to be destroyed so that progress and soul growth can occur and so that our mind can be opened. The current Saturn/Uranus opposition (exact on 4/26/10) is just such a time.  
 
The ego draws boundaries within which it can feel secure.  And feeling secure often involves a certain amount of self-denial.   Of course, anything that we deny in ourselves, we project outwardly onto others.  These are both good qualities and the opposite–but either way, life periodically forces us to let go of a falsely created reality and take back those projections.  In other words, over inflation or under inflation gets adjusted, like the tires on your car.  At least the potential is there for that to happen and if we resist, the tire could blow.  Hopefully that doesn’t happen in a way that’s embarrassing–ego’s blow, tire’s blow and that’s the way life is.  I’m sure you’ve noticed… pardon the tongue and cheek there.
 
Anyway, I’m talking about mental images or pictures that we can make in consciousness and label our reality which are… well, they’re unreal.  Sometimes we love the illusory pictures that we make of our reality so much more than reality itself.  This is called illusion.  
 
Sticking with the subject of “foregone conclusions” that we make about reality, it is known that our thoughts create these realities.  I heard Byron Katie once say that the brain’s job is to collect data to back up what we declare our truth is.  In other words, we create a reality out of thought, then back it up by gathering memories, wishes, fears and anything else that resembles the illusion that we’re trying to protect.   Then we point to it and say, “See?  There’s the proof that this reality is valid.” These realities can be positive or negative in nature ranging from ideas like “I’m the best” to “I’m a failure”. 
 
These ideas actually keep us away from the truth.  Our egoic intellect is not all that interested in perceiving objective reality (that which we could camera or video check).  Instead, we’d rather cling to what serves the ego or gives us a perceived advantage over life.  And always it is Saturnian–meaning old, comfortable and very familiar.  Uranus comes along to shatter that ego-consciousness.
 
Many times we know that we are deceiving ourselves about our life. We can feel it; we know something is wrong or that life needs changing, but we persuade ourselves (using thought) that everything is either wonderful or horrible.   Wonderful or horrible becomes routine, a habit.   Change brings with it feelings of insecurity and who wants to feel insecure?   We shore up our ivory tower and stay comfortably inside our illusion. Whether it’s good or bad fiction doesn’t matter.  We stay there to keep from looking at the shadows.  We’d rather project those outward and stay safe in our illusion.
 
But life insists on change and growth.  The reality that our ego has made itself so comfortable within, if it is false, collapses.  Something happens.  And we suddenly find that we can no longer defend our old reality without looking like a complete fraud to ourselves.  Again, that old reality doesn’t even have to be anything that makes us happy; many people create a suffering-type of reality making negative obsessions and clinging to them as much as an inflated illusion of the opposite type. 
 
An intense and surprising experience (Uranus) is often required to get us to see life in a different way and to let go of that patterned structure (Saturn). 
 
Carl Jung says that the more condescending or pompous people are, the more dramatic the Uranian experience will be.  He wrote:  “An inflated consciousness is ‘hypnotized by itself’ and can, therefore, not be argued with.  It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.” 
 
LIBERATION
 
Bursting through boundaries that are too narrow and breaking out of outdated and encrusted structures of thinking can be liberating. We may have created a reality that is too black and white–so then color emerges, creating insecurity and upheaval.  The picture changes and it’s confusing and uncomfortable to say the least.  But following these breakouts of color there is liberation and inspiration.  Divine justice eventually destroys what is out of balance and illusionary so that we can “get real” enough to take the next step in life.
  

PSYCHIC DEVELOPMENT – PERSONAL REFLECTION
 
I’ve learned that to have no rules (Saturn) with regard to my psychic development is the best way for me.  There are a few things that seem to be true not only in my career as a psychic but also in my life generally.  As I observe and correlate consciousness and experience, it has become apparent to me that in any moment in which I’ve decided that I have “the key” or “THE Truth” with a Capital T, something happens to blow my theory completely out of the water.  I’m age 62 now; maybe I have a little wisdom to share here. Here’s a little of it.  While we need ego and structure in life (Saturn), we must work with the flow of life gently so that we do not become too attached to our ideas about reality. 
 
I’ve seen this play out in my own life and also in the lives of others; you probably have too.  It seems that the moment we think we’ve got life figured out, it makes a fool out of us. So what do we do?  If we keep our path (our truth) very wide, meaning our thinking very open, we suffer a lot less.  Constricted paths are always a bit harder to travel.  Narrow thinking always means that we always have to be putting on our ego-armor to defend it, for it will certainly always be challenged.  If we keep our boundaries soft and our path wide, keep our consciousness open by realizing that we don’t ‘know-it-all’, there’s less of a necessity to break down the ego-structured illusionary reality.  Besides, then we have space for more knowledge, insight and inspiration to travel along with us.
 
 
Until next time…  Namaste!