5 of Pentacles with 2 and 7 of Pentacles – When Life Circumstances Drastically Change

5 of Pentacles Issue with  a 2 and 7 of Pentacle Resolution

5, 2 and 7 Pentacles

Haven’t there been times when we’ve used our pain or life trials as a crutch or to solicit sympathy or attention from others–at least temporarily?  In the card image for the 5 of Pentacles (above) she is sitting on the rock, crutches on her lap and out in the cold, no less.  Note the scarf, gloves and snow upon the ground.  We all get wounded from time–we suffer an eye-opening loss and our initial reaction is  squeeze the eyes closed.  We just don’t want to deal with it.  But eventually, it comes time to open the eyes and take inventory or make a plan of some kind.

Yet we all know that some folks never do; they lay claim to role as victim and do what they can to enhance that role or overly exaggerate their difficulty.  There’s help available and they know it and also know how to reach out for it but (for whatever reason) remaining victim has become a habit that they are getting something from.  The greater difficulty with a person using  using those crutches long-term is that they block the ability to change and loose touch with inner values and their own spirit.

Drastic changes in life circumstances due to external conditions happen to all of us at one time or another.   All three cards chosen today for blog fodder were Pentacles–cards of the earth and of material world and worldly concerns.  In some tarot decks we see the 5 of Pentacles person on crutches, wounded by life, walking past a church or chapel ~ not going in.  You get the feeling that spirituality is being ignored.

There are times that isolating one’s self from the world for a little while is a good thing right after suffering a dramatic change in the circumstances of our life.

I feel pretty qualified to write about the 5 of Pentacles, haven “been there, and done that” as the saying goes.  I isolated myself and shut my eyes and it got pretty cold there eventually and I did take shelter in the spiritual realms.  Reading spiritual books, meditating, seeking out like-minded individuals, finding a soul family for a while and being helped–but I had to seek a solution and leave the crutches behind, and come in from the cold place where I was making material concerns more important than they should have been.

And that brought me to a ‘2 of Pentacles kind of place’ in my mind and heart.  Through my newly established ‘spiritual legs’ (after haven tossed those crutches away), I was able to be more joyful about life.  I opened my eyes, realized the lessons and the blessings in the recent changes and was able to “go with the flow” as the saying goes.

The gift of the drastic change to external conditions enabled me to further develop the ability to feel much deeper compassion for myself and others.  I found ways to take advantage of the shifts of energy.  I raised my sails and let the winds of change move me and did not resist.

Sometimes there was no wind and I found myself in the ‘doldrums’ on those occasions–once in a  while depression or feelings of hopelessness kicked in.  But by then I had already turned my crutches in for a hoe (I’d learned how to use some spiritual tools) and just like the image on the 7 of Pentacles card (above) I had to contemplate how to use those tools; but figured it out.

Perpetual change was the name of the game in certain periods of my life and those changes helped me to learn how to maintain equilibrium.  I learned a lot about my strengths and also my weaknesses during times of rapid fire change.

I learned to trade in any illusions about the outer world being a stable and safe place and realized (each time and on deeper levels) that all stability and safety is to be sought and found within one’s own spiritual self.  In doing so I calmed myself enough (opening my eyes) to be able to see opportunities around me and also the true beauty of the Earth and Life Itself.  (Capitalization intended).  I saw The Divine everywhere I looked once I found The Source within.

We must not be afraid of change.  We need to “un-stick” ourselves from old conditions and release the past in order to benefit fully from all the gifts that Life has to offer.

We are taught by society that our stability in life comes from the work, the career we have within the framework of society.  We may have prepared for a particular job or career only to find that work dissolve before our eyes.

That happened to me. There was health care reform that affected many professional health care providers like myself for a short time.  Physical Therapists (like myself), Occupational Therapists and Respiratory Therapists–many of us found ourselves applying for job loss benefits.  It was very de-stabilizing time.  And  that was around the time that I found  much more satisfying work that I do as a counselor and professional psychic.

We all must do something in some way when we are feeling destabilized.  We cannot remain too long in that stuck and un-focused state.  We must take those tools (that garden hoe shown in the image of 7 of Pentacles above) and plant some seeds.  While we’re waiting form them to sprout and grow, we cannot loose faith and hope.  Instead, we can firm up our inner spiritual fortress while we’re waiting.

In my case, I built a website to do my psychic work and it was about 3 months before I could see the search engines picked it up and people found me.  Meanwhile however, it was a great joy for me to create the many web pages and load images and write articles for the website.  On days when I had no clients, I used the day to create the next web page and then the one after that.

I continue to have failures and also successes and both have served as great teachers for me– it continues that way.   For myself and for all humans who open their eyes and put down the crutches and pick up the spiritual tools, establish a true connection with the Spiritual Source within and plant those seeds while dancing with the movement of life we are able to recognize opportunity.   Then it becomes clear to us that there is nothing to fear and most of all that we are supported by a kind, giving and loving universe.

We get there by looking inward.

Patterns of Thought, Neurons, Psychic Development and Spiritual Evolution

Neurons Gossip
Neurons Gossip

Patterns of Thought, Neurons, Psychic Development and Spiritual Evolution

How do all those things relate?  Patterns that I’m referring to have to do with what sometime’s I’ve heard called “gossipy neurons” or “ground consciousness” — either way, karmic repetition.  I really appreciate how the Dalai Lama of Tibet has joined Buddhists theory with scientific theory to understand the mind and how it works.

So patterns of thought and neurons that react to stimuli (see What the Bleep Do we Know?) — gossipy neurons!  I love that image of neurons gossiping and we could then see how and why the work of Byron Katie has been helpful to so many–i.e. question that thought and who would you be without it?

Neurons gossip — stimulus happens (some life event or experience) and then old dialogue begins accompanied by old pictures.

In my work as a psychic I’ve learned how to listen to observe to create a space for information to come through and I can’t have any neurons gossiping in the background when i do this.   I think meditation and working in those areas with the mind enables one to recognize when ground or karmic consciousness takes over or said another way, when the neurons start gossiping and firing and kicking up those old connections.

When we notice those neurons gossiping we can become aware and break those old patterned connections through intention–creating a new pathway, one that includes compassion and love instead.

I often point out how psychic development (I offer an Online Course) is an aid to our personal spiritual evolution.  This is yet another example!  Awareness rocks!

The Older Spiritual Warrior and Virgo Sun mid-degrees intensifies character formation to refine identity and dealing with obnoxious people

The Older Spiritual Warrior and Virgo Sun mid-degrees intensifies character formation to refine identity

–AND– dealing with obnoxious people

–ALSO– Inner Patterns and Emotional Work Redefining Character and Re-evaluating Spiritual Warrior Energy

Stay!  In reading a book by a Buddhist monk recently therein  was a reference to the energy of frustration, aversion and yes that other uncomfortable “a” word, anger, relating to a dog that you tell to “Stay!”

Being in the center of the fire–the flame–is also used as an example.  We want to strike back, react, seek safety and security in either fight or flight types of reactions.

I’ll tell you what helps with this—being an old warrior (such as me).  The temptation to fight and react is there but one finds the opponent or that which incited the emotion to be totally not worthy and many times that adversary (the source of the anxiety, aversion or anger) is actually downright laughable.

It’s just that one remembers the foes and enemies that were fought and conquered in the past and suddenly one can tell the inner dog whose lips are drawn back, teeth showing poised to attack to “sit!” and to “stay!”

Self-discipline and inner-mastery cannot be achieved by shelling out dollars to have someone do it for you—obviously this type of discipline and mastery is achieved only through one’s own personal efforts.

And what comes to mind is that line from whatever movie that was:  “Are YOU talking to me?”  Let me save my breath for my creative endeavors, pursuits and the enjoyment of the life that remains.

I’ve learned to step away from obnoxious humans and move toward the gentle, peaceful side of life as often as possible—it takes focus to deal with obnoxious humans.  I’d rather use my efforts engaging in creative and enjoyable activities.  Who needs to or better yet wants to be telling the energy within to “stay!”—there’s no longer a need or desire to prove warrior energy or self-mastery once a certain level is reached.  

It’s a fairly mild day here today with the clouds covering the sunshine presently.  There are a number of activities that I have in mind for my afternoon.  The Sun is at the mid-point of Virgo now while Mercury is reaching its final degrees through Virgo.

Blain Bovee, in his Sabian Sage Forecast, wrote that the major themes of this degree of  the Virgo Sun illumines character formation and themes of doing deep inner work on emotional patterns to refine identity occur.  I totally feel the truth to that.

I was having a lunar return around the time that my downstairs neighbors began to heave their hearty voices and slam the walls after midnight last night.  I had all the white noise going too!  Honestly!   I told the dog to “stay”–we were both too tired–and I pulled the pillows closer to my ears and turned over.   Again they were at it this morning with the yelling and banging and then I laugh with the Universe remembering all the important battles that I’ve fought and won and how unworthy it would be to give this notice. Again, I say, “Stay!”

Obnoxious, nasty humans getting you down?  Tell the emotions this way:  “Stay!”  (And then take the resulting inner power and “walk away” from those obnoxious people however and whenever possible.)  If you can’t do that, turn on the music (mp3 players and ear buds help!) or squeeze the pillows tighter to your ears, find the tunnel of light and let yourself drift in and sleep!

There are so many helpful phrases from the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva AND various Lojong Training Phrases that could be called upon here with this post –once one’s had that training, sometimes just one word and in this case for me lately, keeping it real and simple,  the word “stay!” says it all.

Ahhh, Life!   I love you!  Feeling Groovey!

Wednesday September 4, 2013 Daily Divination, Divine Timing, Escape and Self-Acceptance in Meditation

Hello from Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

divine_timingA touch of fall is back in the air along with the bee-in-your-bonnet vocalizations and wall-banging sounds of my downstairs’ neighbors—yeah, they’re back.     Well, that’s life isn’t it?  I’m forced once again to stay present with what arises fighting the internal temptations to “do something” when nothing really can be done—our end of the building is constructed like a tent.  Experiencing emotional distress is something that people try to escape through drugs, alcohol and yes, even meditation.  Pema Chodron says that even long time meditation practitioners use meditation as a means of escaping difficult emotions. People even create a chronic disease to cover up their negativity.  Let’s face it—it can be difficult to stay present with whatever arises.  It’s not easy to stay with emotional distress despite the cause and be with the energy without judgment or self-punishment in order to go beneath it and find the deeper self.  It’s not easy to fully experience the intense emotions and stay with them neither acting out nor repressing them.  Well, that’s life in the big city—there’s always something as grist for the spiritual mill.

There was a brief moment late yesterday when I was walking toward my apartment.  Yet another Indian couple moved into the building in the front apartment. I could hear him inside of my car with my windows up as soon as I shut off the engine.  At first I didn’t know where the voice (s) were coming from but then I saw him lying on the floor (most Indians have no furniture), cell phone to his hear shouting into it and a female voice (although I did not see her) shouting over his.  Charming!

It was a wonderful swim yesterday and I promise that I really do have to fight myself to get out of the pool once I’m in!  And one hour and 15 minutes is a long swim but I do wish I could grow a set if gills and could remain in water—it’s so quiet under water but then there I go looking for an escape again.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people use spirituality and meditation as an escape, but I’m also thinking about my daughter’s wedding—the time is fast approaching.  Better get going so that I can work some more on the gift project I’m making and then back to the pool for another workout.  But another thought on escape–more like reprieve actually.  When a client calls for a reading, I’m totally not here in this apartment when I’m working on those levels; even if the lawn maintenance people are outside with a mower or leaf blower,  barely hear it.  In that sense my work doing psychic readings by phone is wonderful temporary relief–more than that.  A gift!  Now that I put it in those terms, how many people think of their work that way?  I’m grateful.

Thinking of that project again… I’m learning to accept myself on yet another level; I’m not the artistic type with paint and brush and such.  One does one’s best and one hopes that it’s the thought that counts after all is said and done.

Nice breezes and around 70 degrees and sunny and as I look out,  the trees dancing in the wind seem to be calling me into the open air.  As I look around the living room /slash/ den area here I’m pleased with my recent furniture arrangement and it reminds me of the nice weekend it was with my neighbors gone.

Of all people, I came out of the place where I’m working on my daughter’s wedding gift only to find her call out to me!  Talk about energy merging!  She was having lunch right next door with one of her brides maids—“I thought that was your car mom!”

I have placed my Happy Buddha wood carving at the top of my stairs on a little table stand and as I look up coming up the stairs I see him, reminding me that this apartment should be a happy place, not a place of suffering.  This seems so much easier to accept when the neighbors are gone.  And speaking of gone, it’s time for me to go while wishing you a wonderful Wednesday September 4th—seventeen more days to the wedding.

Daily Divination September 4, 2013 ~ Angel Card drawn:  Divine Timing

This card reminds me of the blog post from the other day about making plans and about astrology and exactly that:  Divine Timing.  I love that astrology gives us more than a hint of divine timing.  For example, take my daughter’s upcoming wedding this month—her PROGRESSED NEW MOON is in her 7TH HOUSE OF RELATIONSHIPS right when she’s getting married!  yeah, new beginning in relationships is what astrology would predict and there she is getting married—after a long engagement! 🙂  “To every thing there is a season, turn, turn, turn; And a time for every purpose under heaven” — if your not too young to remember that song.   And that’s Divine Timing—apply this insight to whatever troubles you right now, and if it’s nothing–there ‘s divine timing for that too, so smile. 🙂

Tuesday September 3, 2013 Reality, Karma, Spiritual Strength

FlowerAll is very quiet again this day, Tuesday the 3rd and gratitude swells in my chest and pulses out to toward the Sun which has already warmed us up to 80 degrees in the shade. The desire to go out anywhere yesterday was null as I wanted to employ the peace and quiet as long as possible while the neighbors were away. And so in in celebration I switched around the loveseat and chair and put up a large cloth wall hanging of the Sun and Moon.

Coffee this morning is especially good again and now that I moved the large Sathya Sai Baba picture which is a large—doubled a poster size–he looks directly at me when I glance up from my computer to have a sip of espresso.

It will be a full day today and the bright pink impatience flowers blooming in a pot out back remind me of an art project which I’m making as a gift that needs attention today and a secret smile dons as I think of swimming my laps first.

The transiting lunar North Node of the Moon is quite close to my 3rd House Saturn.  When we think of nodes we think of karma and evolutionary purpose and in that the node is applying intensely now and will cross over Saturn in two weeks, I’m hoping that this is a sign that my neighbor karma is about to end or is ending.

Well, there are clients on the schedule here so this will do for now, but in ending….  I came across a quote from a Zen Buddhist Monk that really spoke to me last night regarding spiritual practice and it is still sticking with me.  Suzuki Roshi said that the way to acquire spiritual strength is by practicing through a continual succession of agreeable and disagreeable situations.

Then I came upon this other quote:  “To change reality, let reality change you.”

Hope your Tuesday reality will be very, very agreeable! 🙂

No Mud? No Lotus! Downstairs Neightbors and Spiritual Awareness

 Lotus Flower

No Mud? No Lotus! 

That quote came over my Facebook Timeline recently attributed to the often quoted and well-respected spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monk).

That’s put so simply that it startles one—or it did me.  I collect images of the lotus flower and really love that symbol related to spirituality.  Then I had to break out laughing thinking how my downstairs neighbors from India are like my mud and tonight when their voices trailed up alongside me at my computer desk… the quick, choppy straining human voice sounds began to distract while I was writing.  No mud, no lotus I thought.  Likely, I’m their mud too in reverse.  We hear each other mostly because they do not put on their air conditioning to muffle the sound and have no furniture to absorb sound and the floor has no sound proofing!

I had a message for a client this evening and there was a reference to using others in relationships in order to process mental energy.  Suddenly, I wondered if this is like the two Indians beneath me—maybe they have to ‘talk it out’ all the time in order to process busy intellects.  Sounds like venting; releasing — lovely.

It’s neither their fault nor my own that there is no insulation and that we are living in essentially a mocked up tent and that they love the heat (apparently) and don’t run air conditioning.  The maintenance guys tell me that Indian apartments are stifling.  I sometimes resent that I run my unit to keep their noise down and they don’t and their heat rises to my upstairs apartment—no mud, no lotus.

I’ve essentially been dealing with the neighbor issues much better—although no one would know it but me; it’s all an inside thing.  Tonight was a mild setback—their incessant talking got to me.  But Nhat Hanh says that dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to “mindfulness”—the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality.  Same for the boisterous and talkative downstairs Indian couple—when they go at it, it brings me to the present reality too.

Should be this way since I have Saturn transiting my 3rd house in Scorpio now; well, maybe not ‘should be’ but the location of the planet of lessons in the house that represents neighbors does explain a few things.

I’m going to turn to Nhat Hanh for more spiritual teachings because I do like that one–its simple, direct and profound:

No mud.  No Lotus.

No challenges.  No spiritual evolution.

Okay, I still wish they would go away…  meanwhile, mindfulness of the present reality is what it is.

PS–I must be growing lots of lotuses by now!

Divination: Ace of Pentacles and Doubt

Divination!  Let’s do some!  Got a question, a problem, an “issue”?  I do–who doesn’t really?!  Let’s be honest.  Even high spiritual teachers have them.  Lately, I’ve ripped off my mask but am thinking that it might be better to put it back on–people rather like the mask and let’s face it, nobody REALLY wants to know “what lies in the deep” or beheath it@!  Love that phrase, “lies in the deep”-but that’s the scorpio in me I suppose.  Anyway, it’s a line from Lord of the Rings–I really LOVE the music from that movie, especially the Return of the King CD.  But let me pull this all together here and get back to the diviniation question.

Got one in mind?  Like I said, I do.  You focus on yours and I’ll focus upon mine–let’s form this question carefully. Perhaps even write it down.  No paper and pen handy?  Open a document and write it down there.  Got it? 

Okay,  mine has to do with doubt–what’s yours have to do with?  Let’s see what the oracle tells us.  I will use the tarot today.  Now that I think about it, doubt is a common human issue. 

ace_pentacles4-21

I’ve drawn the Ace of Pentacles.  I can’t help but be drawn to the blue mountains in the background–it seems everything reminds me of the moutains lately.  But let’s stick to the question, what does our issue about doubt have to do with the Ace of Pentacles?  Well, the answer here is that there is an opportunity, something material and earthly (like money) that comes as a result of the issue at hand that we’re asking about.

New Beginning, opportunity, door opens (represented by the archway in the picture on the card).  Something material or earthly will happen to help overcome the doubt that exists around the question. 

This is beginning to make sense to my own inner question– is it for you as well?  It is encouraging.   I’ve always loved this card with the hand of spirit holding the coin over the path!  That’s probably because there’s still a tendency within me to struggle with money or poverty issues.

The bottom line here is that there’s no reason for doubt–there are heavinly forces that help us in material ways to stay on the path!

Enlightenment Practice #32 of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva Including Divination

My first thought when I drew the paper with number 32 out of the basket today and read the words associated with this practice was to recoil and to think, “Wait, I don’t do that!”  Following which I knew this must be a “biggie” if I had such a strong adverse reaction.  “You’d better look closer at this one Joy!” was the next thought.

I turned to the commentary by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche to help with this.  I think my problem was that I interpreted the wording of the original root text that read, “…if you point out the faults of another Bodhisattva…” That brought to mind the Dalai Lama or Kwan Yin or even someone like the 17th Karmapa or any of the Rinpoche’s or Lamas or even Buddhist nuns—take Pema Chodron and the like.  I revere, admire and venerate teachers of this nature; I can’t imagine ever criticizing any of them.  I honestly sat stupefied and then solemn for a moment and deeply inquired if I’ve criticized other Bodhisattvas.

Well, maybe Christians who still tend to irk the jesus out of me, pardon the pun.  I admit that I’m still healing the wound from prior life religious persecutions—but of course it is just mind latching onto an identity as one who was supposedly persecuted.  I get that intellectually and sometimes emotionally but not when the wound takes a direct hit.  Okay, okay—let’s say I’m working on that.  It’s a little bit difficult for me to see a Christian practitioner as a Bodhisattva but maybe I need to reconsider that.

Meanwhile, back to  what Khenpo Tsultrim  says about practice 32… he links this to The Seven Points of Mind Training.  The Buddhist seem to have a lot of numbers associated with their teachings:  the 3 this, the 4 that, the 6 this and the 7 that.  Probably a good way to memorize teachings!

Anyway, Khenpo Tsultrim says that one stanza in The Seven Points of Mind Training directs the reader to think that all positive qualities belong to other sentient beings and that all faults are one’s own. This is the correct attitude. [that will develop humility for sure!] Generally, most people think just the opposite: someone else is always wrong, while they are always right. This attitude is to be given up.  Patrul Rinpoche advises students to acknowledge their own deficiency first; and then, when they recognize it in someone else, to pray that the guru grants blessings to them both. It is always beneficial to see that the perceived fault in yourself is greater than it is in the other. Then you know that person is no different from you. [I highlighted what I felt where the most important points there.]

Oh Lordie, I do see how I worry/am concerned about one of my family members and their relationship to money and that this fault is greater in myself.  

The Dalai Lama spoke on each of the 37 practices of a bodhisattva and he wrote one line very succinctly which says it all, “We must try to conquer our own illusions rather than those we ‘think’ we see in others.”—pg 101, Essential Teachings

Most of what I come up with while investigating the meaning of practice 32 relates to infighting amongst various schools of Buddhism criticizing each other or student’s critiquing other students or teachers.

divider3-15-13

DIVINATION ~ MESSAGE

Through examining this practice as it applies to my own life experience I can see how I am repulsed and disgusted with Christians to are always quoting scriptures.  Yet, am I not right here and now quoting Buddhist scriptures in the same way?

Buddhist teachings are helping me a good deal but I must remember that Christian teachings are in the same way helping those humans who, like me, are only hoping to be better humans and grow and evolve and become a better compassionate and loving soul—a bodhisattva!

Oh, and on that relationship to money thing… better go look at the bills I’ve been avoiding looking at and work on ‘my own’ illusion!