Aspiring to the goal of Spiritual Happiness and Wisdom

This picture inspired the words in this blog post!
This picture inspired the words in this blog post!

Some of us aspire to this.  We understand this as the goal, the intention.  And that is the absence of the goal or intention.  Sounds like a Zen riddle.  Pretty much is I suppose. Seeking NO fulfillment!

Recognizing the vain irrelevancy involved in seeking fulfillment, yet finding it everywhere as we giving up endeavors to acquire it.

Un-petrified, un-paralyzed, un-phased and un-dazed–more than comfortable to stand alone and become eccentric in a spiritual and otherworldly way.  

Knowing fully that it is the path itself and not fulfillment of outer world desire that makes the magic.  

Understanding reality for its nature and finding spiritual happiness–some of us value this.

As this value is perceived, adversity faced in the outer world holds less meaning than in the past.

 Friends  disappear but those that remain are high quality spiritual brethren.  (non-religious) 

Both traveling and staying at home are one and the same–aspiring to live this particular wisdom leading to spiritual happiness!

Some of us yearn for this if we do yearn at all, but we do not seek it.

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Disengage Stress, Fear, Anxiety by Knowing the Nature of Reality and other Spiritual Tools

LotusHow do you feel when you think that thought?  Then why think it?  Or is it thinking you?  Even Byron Katie (the great truth teller who essentially teaches Buddhism or  the study of the nature of reality– i.e. “all is thought and attachment”) talks about thoughts thinking themselves.

I love the “meeting them halfway” with understanding quote attributed to Katie who said,

“I don’t let go of my thoughts—I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.”    I really appreciate her teachings and discussions called THE WORK. 

One way to meet them with understanding is to nurture the self that is harmed by them and another is to (as Katie says) question them because in that you question the nature of reality, and just the questioning loosens the grip we have on “the story” as she calls it.

The link below will take you to an interview that I did a few weeks ago where we (Stevie- Sparks Press and I)  discussed some of these very things:

http://www.joystarpsychicastro.com/audio-interview/

You are not alone, neither am I; we all go through these up’s and down’s; forgetting momentarily and remembering.  There’s THE WORK and then various other spiritual tools that we discuss one audio (link above).

Here’s another little blurb that just came into my inbox today; this (quote below) links to these same themes about the nature of reality.  In fact, in the blog post below this one as I discuss my fears (let’s be real, we all have them.  Like Katie says,

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.”  And that’s Buddhism 101.

And another way to express it all is like this little line that arrived in my inbox from tut.com, who writes a message from “THE Universe”,

” The next time you feel really hurt, really angry, or really, really upset, and you’re sure that even I have been violated, shaken, and humbled, quick, check and see if the sky is any less blue, the sun any less radiant, the birds have stopped singing, or the flowers have lost their scent.” 

Try the link above to the interview for practical earthy tools to use when we “think that thought” and begin to believe it or it infiltrates us without our knowing causing that panic, anxiety and mental crisis.  We talk a wee bit about astrology on the above audio too.

Do the gods smile down on us on certain days? Or is it just energy striving for balance? Taking refuge in devotionals to deities

gods smiling down2

I had to blog this!  It’s not about astrology or divination or the psychic–actually, today’s post is not my usual fare.

It’s just that I may have broken out of Dante’s inferno.  I had to laugh at the sign at the entrance of this apartment building which reads, “relax now, your home”–but most comical is that the image that accompanies those words is a tropical drink glass.   Alcohol and drugs could help numb the experience of some types apartment living–I do neither. My experience since the current downstairs neighbors moved in has been one in which the sign should read, “Abandon hope ye who enter here”–  which Dante says is written above the gates of hell.

I know,  I know!  Yeah, look–we make our own heaven or hell–don’t preach to the choir.  But sometimes we have a little help one way or the other.  Yesterday the help I received was… well, I wanted to write about it and add that I have also recently retreated into deep devotionals to my most cherished deities.

Wonderful day yesterday!  Was that ‘Life Itself’ balancing out the day-of-frustration from the day before?  No matter; but the gods did seem to smile down up on me in these ways:

started the cool~ish morn with a one hour walk getting out the door early before Lady India downstairs began her usual morning tirade and on my last lap around the ‘complex-ed complex’ noticed not one single body was at the pool.  Really?  So I took advantage by sitting in a poolside lounge chair, shutting down the music playing in my ear (sorry M.J.) and wow, listened to the birds and let the morning breezes whirl around me.

Close to heaven; yet,  the silence could be broken at any moment by the vocal cords of other humans.  It wasn’t–should I grab my suit?

I had just walked an hour and a little swim could be nice as long as it’s quiet…. got home and India was ‘up and at ’em’ –voice boxes fully engaged.  Ahhhh, and that’s Life in the Land of men with wide horizontal striped polo shirts, madras checkered colored shorts and flip-flop zories shoes where the women are women and the men are too!

No matter; I stripped down and grabbed a suit and changed,  and gathered a few things and drove down… yeah, I could walk but every second counts.  Checked the water and the PH and Chlorine levels were rarely perfect but it gets even better!

I swam laps for 27 minutes right down the center of the pool and nearly started to pretend that it was my own private lagoon!  I love imagination!

After the first half hour having the pool to myself I began to fantasize while I swam—maybe all the humans went to another planet? But it was more likely that since school starts tomorrow they’re all busy with those kinds of activities—after all, they’ve had the pool with their screams and cannonballs all summer long!

I began to tire from the 30 minutes of laps so I interspersed arm and leg water resistance exercises between laps–and still had the pool to myself!  I even had time to practice flip turns which is something you really don’t want to do in public if you can help it!

Wow, the gods were really smiling down upon me today!  I then sat in the sun resting from all my exercise—I’d walked an hour and swam for an hour; what more could a girl ask for? Sitting in the sun all alone!  Listening to the birds and the breezes looking at the sky with so much gratitude!

I looked up at the sky and smiled as I saw a cloud that looked like someone running; awesome.  I saw other patterns in the clouds and enjoyed my speculations forgetting all my cares and remembering how cool it was to see the angel at the bottom of the pool!   How’s that?  Well, …

Snow Angel type reflection cast from sun creating shadows while swimming breast stroke
Snow Angel type reflection cast from sun creating shadows while swimming breast stroke

As I swam the breast stroke interspersed with freestyle, and while the sun shone upon the whole affair, I noticed that the movement of the arms in the water and the movement of  the water itself cast a shadow  at the bottom of the pool which looked sort of like those snow angels you make when you lay down in the snow and slide your arms up and down.

Anyway, it was my own private, magical moment and I felt happy and enchanted. 

The rest of my day was peaceful–quiet.  Thank you to the gods who smiled down and all friends of the Light!

PS  yesterday was a rare gift, perhaps from Venus whose gift I’ve had an eye out for as she exited my 1st house to the 2nd.  One awesome gift as she moved through my first house was a 20 pound weight loss; but maybe the final departing gift was one of peace and solitude which I do value so highly.

I’m also hoping my 3rd house transiting Saturn in Scorpio neighbor karma has finally exhausted itself and has completely played out!  It had to be karmic–anything as intense as this neighbor situation has to be karmic!  Their lease is up in January I’m told–everything  must eventually come to an end.

Dealing with Neighbor Karma – Mindrolling Rinpoche Helps with Loud Indian Neighbors

 WARNING: this is a vent; read at your own risk.  Awakening at 3:30 AM

So anyway. Okay. That’s probably IT. Neighbor karma! And they say if you don’t fight against the karmic consequences; that is if you accept without resistance, this releases the karma.

Are they butchering their own meat for dinner with a chain saw? Or grinding up ice cubes in a blender to make frozen margaritas to get drunk on? Or shoving what they can shove down the electric garbage disposal? You have to love the way they yell right over the top of the noise—even when the grinding sound isn’t happening and they are within two feet of one another—yelling at the top of their lungs! What’s that about, huh? Say, What!?!!?? If you are Indian (from the country of India – not to be confused with Native Americans), please ask yourself why you scream at the top of your lungs when it isn’t necessary?

Mindrolling Monastery in Dehra Dun North India
Mindrolling Monastery in Dehra Dun North India

Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? This ain’t no monastery and (that’s not all!). Besides that…

I can’t get no… I can’t get no…. I can’t get no… SATISFACTION! (Rolling Stones)

Remember back in the mountains when the new neighbor massacred an acre of perfectly healthy and happy trees displacing numerous trees and deer and birds, et al –? (I’m talking to long time followers of my blog.) There was a disturbance in the force – a horrid ripping up of the pre-peaceful energy field – it felt terrible. Awoke to that same feeling at 3:19 AM! Voices shouting—a woman’s voice! NO, don’t tell me they’re at each other again downstairs.

Lovely! The young people in the next building were on their patio whooping, hooting and hollering to the silence of the night. Humans around here are just blowing off steam, releasing their stresses is the guess. Why oh why does this particular kingdom of beings (human kingdom) who have the most advanced brain potential on the planet act like dogs? No, dogs are much more intelligent; they bark for a reason; at least most of the time. Unfortunately, this same level of intelligence is not able to be attributed (at least by me) to the downstairs Indian neighbors and the young “drunk-at-3:30 AM-hooting-into-the-trees-neighbors”  who live in the next building a mere 30 feet from the one we’re in. Watch out!  There’s competition for  the human idiot of the weekend prize around here—the Indian couple below me now has competition.

Come to think of it, I’ve always had neighbor issues (karma?) even back into my late teenage years. The man in the house next door used to stand on is porch (only feet from bedroom window) and call his little black dog named “sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooH-TEEeeeeeeee”, correctly spelled “sooty” until I wanted to pull my hair out! Then years later there was the neighbor who would send her son to my house to play soon as she got home from work so she could entertain her latest boyfriend. And then we had the old couple who… well, never mind. Yeah, neighbor karma.

Maybe they (downstairs Indian couple)  got some message yesterday—who knows? Loud Indian People, I’ll say it again–Loud Indian People!   Well, let’s start with Friday night; they always come back from Monsters, Inc. (Lowe’s Headquarters) on Friday nights really geeked up and louder than any of the other days of the week. I was into my writing when they blasted in downstairs, their voices escalating as the night wore on. I tried to be tolerant—obviously another bad day or week for them and they’re fighting about it again. I put my headset on and piped into my ears via my headset the meditation and relaxation music that I’d spent hours ripping off CD’s last week. I was prepared!

Go ahead freakazoid Indian peeps! I’m prepared. Can you believe that over certain music –which I had playing full blast as loud as it the volume will go—that I could still hear them at certain times?

I was writing the lesson on astrological elements and modalities—earth, air, water, fire and cardinal, fixed and mutable signs. The lesson I was writing was a bit complicated to explain so to keep my focus, keep myself sane and to keep my sense of humor, when they’d yell out below me, I’d yell back that the male part of the couple has won the biggest mouth of the week award and I congratulated him duly and properly in my own language to match their voice volume (loud) while they barely took a breath, not listening to a word! Not that they could hear a thing over their non-stop vocal drama. She would wail out in a long vocal diatribe on occasion and at the same volume, I’d hoot and holler back in response that unfortunately, try as she might, she wasn’t nearly as obnoxious as her male counterpart although at times it was rather close. Then I’d wish her better luck for next week and go back to my typing certain they did not hear a word over their own vocalizations. Did you ever hear pig calling? No. Really. It’s a sport in certain parts of the American’s—they have pig calling contests. I really think this Indian couple should enter; they’d win@! — hey, don’t judge me; this blog and that are my ways of DEALING. 

I can’t imagine what the heck they’re grinding down there but from the shouting, it’s getting pretty exciting for them right now.

Mindrolling Jetsun Rinposhe
Mindrolling Jetsun Rinposhe

Yesterday morning I played an hour of Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche for their listening pleasure (and mine). She may have (who can know for sure?) out talked them putting them into a more quiet trance for the rest of the day. Who knows really since I made it a point to be out most of the day with the family—it was my grandson’s birthday. But before I left, their voices were subdued. Thank you Rinpoche!

There’s the Mindrolling Monastery in India. Do theses Monkey Mumbai’s (as I lovingly call them) know about it I wonder? It’s located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Dehra Dun in North India. Well, if they can calm down downstairs, I’d like to contemplate further the Yanas! The first step to this is to accept my neighbor karma with love, compassion, toleration and did I say acceptance, yeah, several times now.

May I accept what I cannot change! I am no longer in the peaceful serene mountains. I am not in living in a monastery. I am in the middle of slumdogs, making the best of it, accepting my karma, learning toleration, but to love this is a bit of a stretch; I’m tolerating until I get to go home. Let there be peace on Earth (the kind that doesn’t come from alcoholic overdose or scream fighting with others until exhausted – the real kind).

Well, the grinding stopped downstairs, so maybe I can get some work done now. Yeah, it’s Sunday but parts of me don’t know that—an old throwback habit from my peaceful, serene days in the mountains. Many times I did not know what day or time it was.

Oh, to finish on a positive note—the celebration of my grandson’s birthday was such a contrast! We had a lovely dinner together at Olive Garden Restaurant (his choice) and came back to a little party at home wherein we played a few rounds of Catch Phrase, and then his mother read to him a list of memories about him that we all submitted to her beforehand at her request. His task was to guess whose memory it was. Then we each read 15 things we love about him (since it was his 15th birthday, 15 attributes or virtues, etc.). Again we had these prepared ahead of time to read. It was very beautiful actually.

His aunts gave him a savings account in their name that they opened for him and a booklet of the account and deposit slips – the account being for saving for his first car. We supported this with our own monetary gifts and he received a few video games and his mother’s big gift to encourage his music and this he was so thrilled with it—a violin! We all then enjoyed a totally awesome ice cream cake which was especially good since we’ve all been dieting. A warm, beautiful family evening!

Later I came home to bathe, sleep and be awakened at 3:30 AM to the party of drunks hooting at the trees on the balcony next door. Such is life, the acceptance of my neighbor karma, and now we’ve come full circle.

Judging from the voices below, I feel another teaching from Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche in my immediate future!

PS—why do people SLAM cupboard doors? Answer?: because they can (I suppose?) Accepting my neighbor karma—trying to send love; help me Buddha!

….and as I end this diatribe they are screaming at each other below me. Meditate? Ha! Perhaps a charnel ground meditation for me today? Chad– Perhaps and if  I must.

New Years Eve 2013 Meditation and Loud Downstairs Neighbors

I really miss the High Country and can't wait to get back!  Civilization and city livine sux!
I really miss the High Country and can’t wait to get back! Civilization and city living sux!  This time I shall not forget this!

My bedroom looked like a church–an interjection from my catholic heritage (i’m an X) but for the blessed mother who has merged with Isis, Kwan Yin, Laxmi, Tara and other mother-goddesses in my mind.  Yet, the chant of the rosary is still very peaceful, very calming, stilling, quieting… and using the name of every higher being in my memory,  they were all called in last night.  Please, please dear heavens, let me have a quiet new years eve!  Let the downstairs couple shush a while, Amen.

Their voices were escalating as usual around up until 9:30 but after that… nothing.  Maybe it was my music.  It wasn’t loud but there are a great set of Dolby speakers on my old desktop in my room!  And I used them, called up Pandora on the Internet and played Heart Meditation music.  Then I lit my candles, placed a barrier of light all around my and between the floor and the chaos below.  I could hear nothing but the music and my own thoughts–!!  Amen!

Tomorrow Monsters Inc. will be open again (Lowes Hardware Store Headquarters) where the Indian people work; on a regular work day they should be barking somewhere else than beneath my feet!  Can I get another Amen Brothers and Sisters?  Amen!

It was lovely… last night.  Reciting my most favorite prayers and chants just barely over the sound of my breath with eyes slightly open to taken in the candles in front of my Buddha statue on one side of my room and the candles in front of the Blessed Mother statue on the other side and the heart meditation music on not too loud and not too softly… perfect.  After my chants I quieted for a good while hearing only my music–maybe the angels put the loudmouth Indian couple into a trance!  Who knows, who cares?  I felt completely alone like I hadn’t for days!  Beautiful.

After a good while, perhaps an hour or so, there were predictions for the year and in that state with only candle light, I did my best to scribble down some things that were coming in for the New Year.  Then back to my music and my peaceful mind and heart.

New Years Eve is a favorite time of mine for meditation.  One of the candles that I lit was from our solstice gathering — it was loaded with intentions for the new year.  I thought of people who might be suffering for various reasons and did the Buddhist Metta Meditation for a while with tears streaming down my face.  I promised to be a better person and felt truly sorry for times in 2012 when I wasn’t and then forgave myself and forgave others.  I asked for blessings for each of my family members by name with my heart and mind infused their highest and best intentions for 2013 (something we worked on at our solstice gathering).

Earlier in the day somehow my intentions were fulfilled to have quiet for my writing (the astrology class) and through this miracle hours of writing took place which left me with great satisfaction.  Then I did my indoor exercises followed by a night-time walk at the jogging park a bit of a distance away from here.  It was dark and breezy, temperature in the 40’s but walking on the gravel reminded me of  the crunch of snow under my feet the way it was walking in the mountains.  My music was loud on the mp3 player, and I was there alone and the cold air on my face was exhilarating.  There were plenty of street lights and parking lot lights surrounding this place that I had all to myself–reminiscent somewhat of my hikes in the mountains.

I came home to Lord and Lady mouth downstairs and let me tell you ‘he ain’t no Deepak Chopra‘!  And she?  her sounds are very irritating to anyone’s ears no doubt.  It is nearly comical actually thinking of how they could stand to listen to each other’s sounds all day and all night the way they go on!  How much could one person have to say to another?  Since before Christmas–on and on and on day after day and trust me they are not always happy sounds!  Sometimes they fight horribly.  I’ve begun to notice the sound of banging on the  wall which must be from other neighbors in the building when they get loud.  Ah-ha and that is somewhat comforting that it is not me alone who is sending them signals.

One night I just tapped gently on the wall by my bed to let them know they could be heard.  That quieted them for only about 10 minutes!  They yesterday I did loose it after being awakened by their loud arguing mouthings.  I didn’t mean to… it was probably a response to being awoken in the morning to arguing human voices that caused enough irritation that I slammed the wall with my fist so hard that I startled myself–it was reactive and not premeditated.  Wow, where did that come from, eh?  That got me a few hours of peace afterward but I felt bad all day long for losing control.

I need to go back to writing my astrology class now… enough energizing the downstairs neighbor issue!  Yet, I do believe in the power of intention and others energizing an intention.  Like I said, Monsters Inc. can’t resume business calling the Indian computer geeks back to work soon enough as far as I’m concerned! (apologies to my Indian friends and clients — i know these two birds below me must be rare and not like you at all)

In the meanwhile, maybe others reading this (no matter what day you stumble across it) could help energize my intention to have a quiet peaceful place to live and work–yes?  Could you think that thought for me for a second now?  Thank you.

One last thing–as I told my daughter, since they’ve moved in dreams have been very strange!  And then last night there is the realization why.  After my very nice New Years meditation –which by the way is fun to do with eyes closed and no clock in view anyway  because you can feel the energy build from all over the time zone you’re in and then it starts to peak and you FEEL exactly when new years is!  Lord and Lady Mouth must have passed out since not a whimper could be heart over my soft music and there was no external sounds at all until well after midnight when somewhere there were fireworks off in the distance.

And in the mountains in the past 15 years it is very quiet too–so the point is that it is that on New Years Eve, by the energy build up you feel in your own body which permeates the whole North Eastern part of the United States here,  that indicates when it is 12 midnight New Years Eve!  And before that time–yes some lower life forms are getting drunk  LOL–but many others are also meditating and to be tapped into that energy is very close to total bliss.

Again, I thank the powers that be for Lord and Lady mouth’s silence last night.  Amen and thank you again!

I can actually, as I listen to his muffled voice going on non-stop right this very minute now as I type and as  it has for hours with her high-pitched inflections inserted… I can actually feel so grateful for what freedom i have from that in that I’d not be able to be her.   To have to be in her shoes would be a very special kind of hell for me–to have a man lecture and scold me for hours on end in that way while imprisoned with no escape from him, no car and today it is raining.  Oh, how awful that would be for me although she laughs and carries on to the point where I don’t think she minds it much.  It just amazes me that two people could talk so non-stop, amazing!

Well, the dreams I understand why I’ve had strange dreams after last night.  I fell into a peaceful slumber around 1 am after my new year meditation and next thing I was trying to help a very weak man who was in a wheel chair and had fallen and he was no more than skin and bone.  I could not reach him…  there were metal bars and things between he and I and the next thing my eyes open and the realization is that the couple downstairs are yelling at each other in their bedroom directly beneath my own!

It was quite loud.  Spontaneously I jumped out of bed half asleep and yelled, “Hey-hey-hey-hey-hey-hey….” as I stumbled to the bathroom, glancing at the clock… it was 2:45 am and on my way back to bed, turned on the fan for some white noise and somehow fell back asleep while thinking Oh my gosh, no wonder I’ve been having strange dreams since they moved in! They talk and fight in the middle of the freaken’ night too!? omg!  Yeah, they were totally YELLING at each other at 2:45 AM.

Well, now I’ve  used this time to type another diatribe –instead I could have totally written about the next planet for my astrology class.  Sigh!

There was a maintenance man here yesterday asking to check in the water heater area to see if any patching of the drywall needed doing–he had the wet plaster in his hand.  I mentioned the couple downstairs and he said he’d speak to them since he was going there next.  Didn’t do much good apparently! sigh again!

Okay I’m going to grab the TV controls and put on Pandora and try to drown them out with my music.  I’d prefer total silence when I write but…. that is what I continue to prefer.  Now where is the remote?

This too shall pass as my mother used to say… it will.

Monsters Inc. will want them back to work soon!  and someday their Visa will run out!  And they will board the plane back to their Mother Country…. buh-bye.

No worries; I can outlast anything; I’m tough!  I will survive.  (I have to until my lease is up at least and until i have the $$ to move!!)

Oh, and Happy New Year!  I will post the predictions for the New Year next blog.

I really miss the High Country–I’m moving back to the mountains as soon as I can save enough money! 

My family will be fine without me.  My sister is here now for them…. besides civilization sux!

I WILL TRY TO HEAR AND SEE MY NEIGHBORS WITH THE EARS AND EYES OF COMPASSION!  THEY ARE LIVING SOULS DOING THEIR BEST TO NEGOTIATE THIS WORLD JUST LIKE ME.  THEY SUFFER AND CELEBRATE JUST LIKE ME.  I WILL DO BETTER AT SEEING MY NEIGHBORS WITH EYES AND EARS OF COMPASSION… THEY ARE AFTER ALL,  LIKE ALL HUMANS, ONLY DOING WHAT THEY BELIEVE WILL BRING THEM PLEASURE AND THE AVOIDANCE OF PAIN.  

MEANWHILE, DEAR DIVINE INTELLIGENCE, GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT WHAT I CANNOT CHANGE…. PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE, ANIMALS ARE ANIMALS, FLOWERS ARE FLOWERS AND LORD AND LADY MOUTH SIMPLY ARE… AS I AM AS I AM

A Little Winter Solstice Amongst the X-mas Madness

Winter Solstice in X-Mas Craziness
Winter Solstice during X-Mas Craziness

I’m more plugged into nature (such as it is in this concrete jungle) since opting out of the madness of X-mas while focusing more on solstice. I’m very grateful for the line of trees outside of my balcony and for the birds that come to the bird-feeder!  Life would may be unbearable without the local trees there and the birds.  There are many birds there because I’m sure many homes were lost to building the interstate and the malls.  Anyway, I think I’ve always recognized and in my heart held it within my own inner awareness on New Year’s, December 31st.  I usually spend that day very quietly and in meditation.  X-mas had to be with family—I’d come down from the mountains for the holiday clamor and clatter. This year, however, missing the solitude of the mountains, I’ve turned to the ‘solace of solstice’ if you don’t mind a play on words.  The word solstice means “sun stands still” from the old Celtic. Anyway, polarities now are so interesting.  As I watch the hustle bustle of the holiday shopping frenzies existing all around me in this city here versus what is happening in nature—quite contrary.  At a time when it seems natural to slow down and turn inward, the commercialism gods have people running in circles to meet a deadline, turning up the angst and turning away from nature.

I was just on dictionary.com a while ago and a hyper female voice came out from beyond my opened pages on my laptop screaming about saving 60 to 70% on something or other for X-mas.  You can’t get away from the vendors screaming at you to buy something even when you go to look up a word in an online dictionary!

Is it designed this way by some negative force that… well, best not to go into paranoia or conspiracy theories.  It’s just that I’m more focused on the trees, the wind, and all aspects of nature these past few weeks.  And everything in nature seems to be saying, “It’s time to go within; to slow down; to notice the changes.”  Instead, people are focused on a materialism ritual to which they seem to have totally lost the connection to any meaning. Yeah, I know; it’s great for the economy and all that, but….

In order to counterbalance all of that in my family this year (since I’m here and not home in the mountains), I plan to introduce them to solstice.  We will go to the woods and hang up birdseed loaded onto pine cones and other gifts for the birds and animals.  I don’t think myself masterful enough to entice them to meditate as they are always competing for who is going to talk next and we’ve got a family member who wants to direct everything everyone to distraction; but at least there will be no super stores on Friday.  Only a nature hike and then we will sit at home in a candle lit room and do a few other things to mark the change.  Wish me luck turning them away from the malls and madness.  If nothing else, the birds and squirrels will be given some treats, we’ll all get some exercise and maybe I can get them to notice the trees and naturally growing holly.  I’ve a number of little nature rituals planned if I can get them to clamber down enough.

I’ve no doubt the younger ones will get into it; it’s the others, so we’ll see.  For the time being, my granddaughter and I are enjoying the various preparations.

The Winter Solstice is December 21st (2012).

Human Dramas and Family Theater Versus Peaceful Nature and Serenity Within

Nature Scene
It’s heaven….this pic is… Look! Not one human in sight! Yet, this type of scene and others just like it and the peace and the quiet that accompanies scenes like this lives inside / within each of us. And no matter how many humans with their dramas are around, we can go there, live there, love there! I’m there!

People. Wow.  Family people. BIGGER WOW.  My recent move has taken my trip here on Earth to another level.  Let me just use the words “other level” rather than put any other descriptive adjective onto it. 

As they say, it is one thing to meditate up on the mountain in a cave quite alone and totally another to bring your soul into the village and practice there! I can see I’m going to get some good practice! 

Yet, I’ve brought the mountain with me—it’s in my heart and in my mind and yes, the mountain is in my soul.  The mountain and my soul are one—and like the American Indian would say, “I am one with the Earth”.  In fact, I have a t-shirt that says that on the front.

I’ve had more human activity and family activity (call it human drama—that’s more the truth) than I’ve been accustomed to in the past.  I’m still making the adjustment and truthfully have longed for the solitude from which I’ve come and have had moments wherein I’ve had to consciously remind my ego-self that all that I seek exists within.

Change takes some getting used to–I’m living that truth fer’ sh’ure!

It was therapy–I just came back from a 2 mile hike in a nearby state park area; very nice.  I still want to call on the I-ching oracle for a word or two about this whole topic of human dramas and dealing with that type of energy scenario.  You might be having the same type of issue because after all the Sun in still in the family sign, Cancer.  And it’s still within striking distance of a wide opposition to Pluto.

The question has to do with dealing with those dramas–what should we keep in mind around the human theatre arenas?  The information below is general and not necessarily specific to my situation–it’s just some I-ching wisdom to apply to human theater generally.

Well, we’ve received several things here.  One is to remember that in the heat of the drama or in the midst of the battle, it is best to not charge up the hill when both sides are firing at one another, least you become the unwitting recipient of a bullet or two.  Or you could become shouted at when one of the guys from the opposing side mistakes you for the enemy.  Making one’s self a small target at those times is wise–once the heart stops pounding and you catch your breath, the circumstances may change by then. 

The other bit of guidance is if you do make a preemptive strike, trust that your intuition was guiding you to do so and do not defend your actions or entertain any type of rationalization. 

Aside from that, be willing to “roll with the punches” as the sayings go while increasing your strength and capacity to endure difficulties in the face of change.  If recent change is part of the scenario, its normal to feel vulnerable and shaky at times.  It’s also normal to doubt and question yourself in areas where there was previous unshakable certainty!  All that is “par for the course” to use another saying.

Keep a steady pace and stay in touch with the real needs of the moment rather than bringing in past of future scenario thinking. 

Remember, that we can’t always make sense of things or other people when it comes to human ego-dramas or family-theatre. 

Breathe deeply and tune into the inner guide, the voice of truth that speaks from your intuition.

Most of all, have patience with yourself and this will help you to have patience with others–yet, don’t allow yourself to be a doormat either!  If YOU don’t respect you, who will?

If you weren’t ready for the human drama and family theatre productions that certain changes can provide, remember that the Tao would not have provided the current opportunity. 

That’s how to see it all — as one big opportunity to expand your Earthly trip! 

 And yeah, that other opportunity… to take a drive to the nearest state park and go for a hike by the lake!  Amen.

Tarot Oracle Helps Solve Toad in Cellar Issue – Strange But True Story

5 of Wands
5 of Wands

I have something on my mind… an inner question.  Maybe it’s a silly one.  I have been dealing with issues in the cellar—a long story that I won’t bore you with involving a dehumidifier and a damp, leaky and unfinished half-basement. 

There’ve been salamanders down there—I’ve caught a glimpse of them once or twice in all the years that I’ve been here.  So that is what it is—really a non-issue.  I just go down there to throw in the wet clothes into the dryer and then rush back up.  I have seen this toad though fairly consistently over the past year.  Oh, he’s small really and brown and he’s slow and seems old—doesn’t jump around much and isn’t afraid of people.  He holds his ground.  When the landlord is here or the Exterminator for the mice [which are no longer an issue, thank you] comes, I always ask what they see down there and every answer is the same:  just a little frog. 

Yeah, I think frogs are green and toads are brown but I don’t know for sure—this guy seems like a toad since he’s brown but we’re seeing the same little critter.  I used to stare at him and he at me while I put clothes in and out of the dryer, the whole while saying, “Okay don’t you jump–just stay where you are we’ll be fine—you leave me alone and I’ll do the same”.   

Now that I’ve been going down there to deal with a dehumidifier issue–sometimes several times or more a day I’ve been down there lately.   And of course, each time I see Samuel.  Yeah, I name things and so I call out to him when I’m there, “Hey Sammy where are you?”  Or “Sam, what-z up dude?”   Now, I don’t know why I think this little brown toad is an old male, but that’s my delusion maybe.

I’ve been thinking about him lately and wondering if he is in a hell-realm there and if I should find a way to scoop him up somehow and take him outside.  What’s he eating down there?  Maybe crickets or spiders or something and of course the leaky basement provides some water for him when it rains.  But now with a dehumidifier down there, maybe I’m messing with his ecosystem?

How would he do outside?  He’s been in that hell-of-a-realm for a good while and he’s slow and maybe sick… could the outdoors be worse for him?  After all, who am I to interfere with Sam’s karma?  

I think of a Buddhist teaching about how our ego/personality mind will create problems where none exist or will worry just to give itself a job to do if you don’t give it something better to do. 

And I do have better things to do.  I need to get a life, right?  I have a lot of home and yard projects and my psychic work and other things that I’d like to call “a life”.  I want to get this issue with Sammy the toad out of my mind!  I’m going to turn to the tarot cards—believe it or not—to ask what to do about Sammy.  Should I leave him alone or try to get him out of the hell-of-a-realm, scooping up and escorting him outside?  Maybe ole’ Sam has lived down there longer than I have –maybe he was born down there and maybe didn’t just somehow hop in around a weak cellar window by mistake.  Who knows?

The bottom line question:  With all things considered, is it best if I leave this toad alone?  What should I consider about that?  Okay, so I am going to grab my cards because I just want this to be resolved in my mind and I’ve decided that I will go by whatever the oracle says here!  So, let’s shuffle….

O boy!  5 of Wands [image above].  A guy in a boat, surrounded by stormy water.  My first thought is that this toad got washed into the cellar somehow during a storm.  Actually, I am thinking of that year when we had the remnants of Hurricane Irene… there was a lot of water.  So, apparently, he’s been down there for years.  I was only renting here for about a year or so when the rainy leftover’s of hurricane Irene came through here.

Listen, hold on a second… I have to put some seed in the bird feeder outside.  I put a day’s worth in during the morning hours because otherwise, this raccoon that looks like a big dog (I swear he looks like a German shepherd dog size-wise) comes by at night and eats it all. I’ve caught him red handed.  I tap on the window when I see him and he sheepishly walks away!  Anyway, the birds are calling…be right back.

Aside from the 5 of Wands being about unnecessary hassles, petty annoyances and trivial issues, I still don’t know what to do.  However, I do feel the card guided me to an understanding of how the toad got there to start with.   It seems that this card is telling me not to worry about it… that it’s a trivial issue. 

Actually, I already know that.  I just want to know if the toad is suffering I guess.  Let me shuffle again.  It doesn’t seem like a healthy environment down there… not much light coming in.  Don’t toads need sunlight?  Maybe I should google toad information but that is going to get my mind in even a worse tangle I’m sure!

I’m going to a yes/no format with my cards now… aces are indicators of a yes.  Is the little guy suffering by being in the cellar environment?  Yes or No?  (I added the words “by being in the cellar environment” at the end because while he may be suffering because all sentient beings do, my question is made more specific by adding the words in quotations to make the question more specific.)   Or we could ask:   Is the suffering of this sentient being increased by being in the cellar I like that wording better.

YES Answer; Ace in 3rd Pile is YES indicator
YES Answer; Ace in 3rd Pile is YES indicator

Oh, shoot!  Darn.  I got a YES answer to that question—Ace in the 3rd stack.  And in the other two stacks of 13 cards, the top cards [which can also be ‘read’] are ‘The World’ and ‘4 of Wands’.  Gee, the 4 of Wands is about being outside of the home and happy.  And ‘The World’ is about ending/completion.  I’m starting to get the feeling that I should find a way to scoop up the toad and get him outside.  Maybe I will wait until my grandson comes to help me with that drama/trauma.  I don’t want to hurt Sammy, you know? 

Well, let me ask another Yes or No Question.  If this toad’s suffering is increased by being down in the hell-of-a-realm basement, shall I then scoop him up and take him outside?  Maybe he’s used to it down there and to take him outside would increase his suffering or a predator could get him; after all, he doesn’t hop much.  Geesh.  What a can of worms my mind opened up here! 

Okay, so shall I scoop him up and out?  Yes or No?  Well.  I get a NO to that one with a very weak, well yeah maybe indicator—an Ace [of Swords] in the 2nd pile.   The Ace in the 2nd pile is saying, “Well, you could but really no you shouldn’t.”   That’s the way this Yes/No spread works-the rules.

NO Indicator:  No Ace in 3rd Pile
NO Indicator: No Ace in 3rd Pile

You know I think that this frog’s fate [or this toad trouble]  is a doomed destiny either way and maybe we should let him die a natural death where he’s used to his surroundings and where he won’t be beat up worse [9 of Wands].  He seems to be coping down there.  The landlord may be sending some workers to clean up some building materials that were down there since I moved in.  I will tell them to be careful of the toad if they see him; hopefully he will go hide away from the workers.  The other 2 cards I received were 9 of Wands and 5 of Pentacles [Coins].  Yeah, you can see the contemplation that I’m doing about this reflected in the 5 of Pentacles and the 9 of Wands is probably a reflection of the beat up toad [I’m not sure but he may be missing a leg; thus the hopping problem] and also it is me beating myself up over this issue.  LOL 

I send him love and healing now and am not afraid of him hopping toward me like I used to be.  He may have lost a leg when he traveled via the gutter system during the storm.  Bless his heart.  I’d forgotten that — I had that thought last night when I saw him hop while I was down there; it was a strange hop and he sits tilted.  I think one of his legs is gone. 😦

I would like to bring him sunlight as a gift and a green lawn.  Last night I did leave a light on down there… I mean what the heck, light is light even if it is artificial.  Like I said, bless his heart. 

Maybe you will send him a little love.  Yeah, I know, he’s only a little brown toad with only one leg but all sentient beings deserve to be free from suffering. 

Now, I have settled this issue.  The cellar increases his suffering, yet I should not try to scoop him up to take him outside—we should let him remain in his familiar environment because either way, his journey on Earth is about over.  There are several indicators — the 9 in the of Wands; 9 indicate endings. And the other indicator of the end of the line for this toad is the card of  The World–the last card of the major arcana; the card indicating a completed cycle. 

It is more humane not to traumatized him further through my act of scooping him up and putting him outside; he’s used to [accustomed to] his present environment and is probably coping the best as he can–just the same as we all are. 

May he, and all sentient beings, be free of suffering!