14
Oct 12

Suffering Evolved

  • That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger
  • Pick up your cross and follow me
  • All life is Dukkha (suffering)
  • Be One with your trials, for they bring you gifts of learning
  • Be One with the brother who causes you strife, for he is your greatest teacher
  • To be born again is to accept the gift of life consciously and with humility
  • Enlightenment is Living as part of a greater whole
  • Grace is those moments when God works through us, in spite of ourselves

The preceding phrases have resonated with me this month, through meditations, daily inspirational readings and prayer.

This moon cycle is the third month of a major translation: From introspection and concentrating on self-healing and growth over the past 7-8 years toward living consciously as a contributor to humanity’s spiritual evolution.

My view of suffering has evolved significantly.

Previously, in therapy to work through prior spirit and life-threatening experiences, I envisioned myself as a Monterrey Pine; one of those real-life bonsai trees, shaped by the salt winds and hard-scrabble existence on the cliffs over the sea. I value these experiences as the forces that have shaped me into a person who embraces life and understands love. Suffering is the clay from which our lives are shaped

In present life, I strive to see daily trials as learning experiences. Each encounter with less-than-perfect situations, people or myself  is one more opportunity to practice being present, to stay centered. Suffering is a Gift of learning

Raised a devout Catholic, I was taught to carry my cross, to bear my burdens. What if our Cross is not our burden, but our Purpose? Should not one’s life purpose be big enough that sometimes we might stumble beneath it? But how much easier it is to carry our cross as Purpose rather than burden! Not suffering, but Purpose

One of my favorite mantras is “Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists” (A Course in Miracles). It reminds me that at our core, we are Light, we cannot be harmed. I envision darkness as encountering that bright light and being transformed. There is nothing so bad, that it cannot be transformed by the Light of Creation. Darkness is transformed by Light

Over the past few years, I have gradually gotten better at living the perspectives above. All of them have been fluttering through my head these past few weeks. I have sometimes experienced Grace; times when I responded to situations from my core of light and not from my small self.

At the end of this cycle, a new perspective made itself briefly apparent. I have trouble putting it into words, as I Knew it only briefly. It has since faded to a shadow of words and memory that do not do justice to Truth: For an instant, I was aware that there is no real suffering, only Oneness. There is no bad, no suffering, for all springs from the same Source. All energy is part of Creation. It is our own small self’s perceptions that cast the energy into shades of dark and light. When we are not afraid to transcend our small selves, we become co-creators.

Grace is God acting through us in spite of ourselves. Amazing Grace is losing ourselves in God.

 


 

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19
May 12

Praying to the Cultured Marble God

The Dark of the Moon coincides with the peak of  my PMS.  As the month's actions and intentions are designed to come to fruition, I frequently am at my most vulnerable, self-critical and drained.  It's as if I use up the entire month's life energy in the first 25 days and am running on empty by the cycle's end.

This month, I recognized that pattern, opening a space for me to step outside myself, observe and ponder.  While still emotionally charged, I wasn't overwhelmed by the usual feelings of inadequacy and irritability. By stepping outside I felt more as if I was merely participating in the periodic shedding of the earth's and mankind's accumulated dukkha/sadness to make way for renewal and rebirth.

I wonder how much more ease I would have in my life if I accepted and planned for this stage of emptiness each month, rather than trying to power through and plow on?  Surely I, (and those around me) would be better off than when I deny the need only to have it come upon us like a rogue wave.  What would it look like to schedule self-care and appropriate mental "quiet time" in acknowledgement of the natural rhythms?

One way I DO indulge myself is with aromatic bubble baths, to soothe mind, body and soul.  Carefully choosing the right essential oils, lighting the tea lights around my deep tub and sinking in to the gentle pulsing of the jacuzzi jets, my mind drifts, body relaxes and my soul finds a resting place.

After getting out of the bath, the sight of the flickering candles around the perimeter of the tub recalled the offering bench at the Catholic church of my childhood.  Like an altar, it called me to kneel in a prayer of gratitude; for the beauty and peace of my big cultured marble tub in the house we so recently finished after 7 years of working and saving on our ranch.  For the husband who understands the breadth of my spirit and emotions and who encourages me to accept, nurture and express myself.  For my children and the gift of the challenges they bring that help me to grow and discover myself along the way.  For ranch life and how it keeps me connected to the natural world and the circle of life.

To be honest, it's been a tough week on a lot of levels, and I'm not sad to see it end.  It is nice, however, to be able to see it as just the turning of the wheel.  And so, I roll on to the beginning  of the next cycle of my life.

Namaste.

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21
Apr 12

The Wheel Turns

New Moon follows the Dark
A thousand twinkles
Reminders
One Source, many reflectors
Light is not extinguished,
Merely changing form
and place
and time

Dark nights precede dawn
Ride the swells
Rise and fall
Follow the tide
Little deaths
rebirths
Shed skin
Grow a summer coat

Reborn again amidst my dying
The Wheel turns

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