Wednesday, June 30, 2010

judgmental. just mental.

how fortunate am i to have such sublime, super-fun fellow yogis? let me count the ways.

we come together regularly. i don't drive. so they make sure i get schlepped around. it always give my heart an extra lift to know i will always be welcomed and received by all these big, open and generous hearts with their warm, beaming smiles. we chant a surpreme vedic hymn, meditate. and then we eat all that superb food that shivaa lovingly and skillfully prepared. as we feed the stomachs we discuss, contemplate, share insights and what we have learned in the context of applying a particular teaching in our day-to-day life. full beyond measure. always lot of laughter.

last evening as i am relishing the rice fuselli that is well coated in a sesame pesto and tossed in a stirfry of mushroom, sugarsnaps and summer squashes i marvel at the palette of bright, bold colors and refreshing flavors and chew on the residual tendencies that i have been working on. unworthiness. fear of getting lost. i say them out loud. i receive no judgments, nor indulgences. they look at them with utter compassion and detachment. in that way i learn to disengage from them a little bit more. the habit of beating myself up for having such thoughts is largely uprooted. whatever remains i am aware of it but it no longer has the power to suck me out of the present moment.

the spiritual dissection is deep. at one point i feel the mind is saying, you are frying me. fortunately shivaa's salad gives a cooling relief. the golden, nectarean, juicy mango shining through the bright greens, sparkling with pomegrantes tones down the fire of resistance in the mind. roasted peanuts pack the right punch to keep the fidgeting mind still. the lemon tarragon dressing only enhances the calming effect further.

we love our spiritual discussion so much that we do some more of it after singing om and meditation. it is then i remember another biggie that's been tugging me for my entire life. i say, hey, here's one that i am still working on hard, judgmental. shivaa, ever witty and spot on, says, yeah, just mental. indeed. it's the thing of the mind to keep making up stuff. mental creations are, at best, like tchotzhkes. cute and taking me out of the present moment.

really, seriously, without a doubt, well fed on all levels.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

i am an inner space traveler

i look at meditation as space travel. i go to the inner space. there i experience this ethereal sweetness and lightness and brightness. restlessness and anguish cease. i see mental activity associated with worry, fear, anger come and go, like meteors passing through the outer cosmos. i am not them. i don't get caught up in them. not for long. not anymore. meditation helps me to shorten the lapses where i identify with them. as soon i catch myself going along with them i make a conscious inner effort to turn attention to the flow of the easy breath and i return to the deep inner space where my own inner self is, where pure and independent joy is, the cosmos of abundance consciousness.

Monday, June 28, 2010

meditating on mental activity is like distracted driving

what do i do when i see thoughts or mental activity appear in meditation? i don't drive, though i do have a driving license. it's sort of like keeping focus on steering the vehicle while being aware of things coming and going on both sides of the road. o, there's the store that i have a gift certificate. i wonder if the item i want to have is on sale now. hey, there's that new movie. i wonder if it's any good since this director's last work was crap. look, there's the dessert place that everybody's raving about. if i drive like this i am a hazard on the road. for me, it's similar in meditation. i see mental activity come. i see mental activity go. i don't look into the contents. no exceptions. i just gently bring attention to the sound and motion of the easy breath. do i lapse? you bet. so i return to it over and over and over. usually i see bright,velvety lights in the vast inner space. that's where i want to be in. it brings me so much peace, so much sweetness, so much lightness. as this habit of watching mental activity come and go it gets easier and easier to stay in the present in day-to-day living. i feel more relaxed about everything. the kick is, i can see more clearly what need to be seen than if i am in this worried, anxious, contracted mode. i do it not because some ancient book says it. i do it because it works.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

fear of getting lost, another leftover tendency

second time in two weeks i have a dream that is all about the fear of getting lost. in a gist they go like this. i have planned out to dots and tees how to get to a certain place by a certain time. now the deadline is just around the corner. i am about to get on the plane or enter a building. i pull out what is supposed to be the plane ticket only to see a sheet of blank paper. i don't know what to do. or i walk through the entrance and see an entirely different layout of rooms and hallways and i don't know where to go. i dig out a cell phone, shout into it frantically and discover that the battery is gone. it's dead as can be.

the specifics of the dreams quickly fade when i awake. only the heart pounding remains. gaspy breaths. that familiar sensation of being gripped in horror. i realize this leftover tendency is no longer in the driver seat of my life. i am no longer the child who had to fend for herself and her little sister, as well as her mother. i have the inner self.

Friday, June 25, 2010

the one place i want to go is where my inner self dwells

we put everything onto our credit card, pay it off every month, get mileage points towards free air tickets.
so far we've already got quite a few. i have a joke that goes, a dental implant will fly you to new york.

i digress.

i say to hwubby, how come you are the one who is using all the free tickets? he chuckles and says, where do you want to go? i think for a moment, pouching the lower lip, and say, nowhere.

actually i do have one place i want to go. where my inner self dwells. and i don't have to get on a plane for that. wherever i am, the inner self is.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

depression is a function of disconnection from the inner self

what is depression? in my simple mind, depression is a function of disconnection from the inner self. actually i dare to go so far as to say that depression is a distorted expression of yearning to connect with the inner self.  a spiritual dis-ease.

i can see now what was happening with me when i was going through clinical depression. i was up to my eyeballs in the beliefs that are not what the inner self is. i'm hopeless, life is hopeless, i'm not enough, life is never enough. and so on and so forth. i had very good therapy. what it did was to help me get some distance between me and those mental pain and anguish. i really needed it. then i heard a thoughtful swami say something like this, psychotherapy can get you cope and manage. however it doesn't get to the root. at best it helps you get to an equilibrium. sort of like balancing on either end of a see-saw. whereas meditation takes you to the center of the seesaw where you can watch the ups and downs on both ends.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

i recognize inner self in everybody

awake i am this morning to this happy feeling. no particular reason. simply happy. i get even happier as i get closer to meditate. dare i say i get excited just thinking about meditation? twenty years ago if someone said, there's a place within you that has so much joy, so much courage, strength, so much good stuff, i would roll my eyes and say, yeah, right, really.

not anymore.

today no sooner than i place the legs into an easy lotus posture i see this uplifting, light feeling streaming and swelling from the lower body up. i get it. this is the sense of freedom. this is priceless. this is what i really am. the inner self. hwubby says, yeah, i just feel the sense that i am god and it's so humbling. indeed. it is from this place that i recognize this inner self in everybody.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

inner self is the one constant through yo-yos

awakened from a dream of gripping anxiety, all about getting lost, can't find my way home. it feels so real that i forget that it's not real.

meditation this morning is bright, clear and a deep sense of security. looking at the dream from this state i realize all those times when i was caught up in worry and fear in their whole range of shapes and sizes i forgot that they were all but dreams. the one who is aware of the dream is the one who is watching this meditation. my own inner self is the one constant through all the yo-yos.

i come out of meditation bursting into my favorite song after torah study meal. 'the entire world is a narrow bridge. the main thing is not to fear at all.' halleluja.

Monday, June 21, 2010

my inner self is my most loyal ally

wherever i am my own inner self is. if i don't remember anything else remember this one. truly speaking if and when i remember this i'll be able to remember what else i need to remember in that moment. there is so much joy, so much courage and strength in my inner self. it's thrilling just to remember that i have all of that. i take my inner self with me wherever i go. it's my most loyal companion, ally. and phenomenally patient too. if i don't hear it when it whispers it shouts. if i don't see it it keeps finding innovative ways to get my attention. case in point. i've been saying to myself, get rid of all expectation, just do whatever necessary at hand. so i've been waiting for a piece of mail. i was told that it went out on 6/2 when i called the company on 6/4. i figured it would take at least three days since it was coming from philadelphia. two and a half weeks later i discovered it at the bottom of a pile of mail. the date stamp was 6/3. i realize i wasn't paying attention because i was expecting it to come not so soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

my inner self is like a crystal vase

my teacher says something to this effect, no matter how much one describes love, one can't fully convey the experience of love. this is how i feel about describing my meditation experience. for a start i can't even say by what means i arrive at this exquisitely quiet place. is it diving? plunging? rising? gliding? how do i explain a place that is dark and bright all at once? on one hand i am aware of the body with all its contours and limits. on another hand i am definitely in a place that has no horizons as far as i can see. the place is wide open. yet it feels full as well as spacious. the silence is sublime. a steady throb subtly reverberates. it's the vibration of strength, the resonance of courage, the wavelength of pure joy, the frequency of supreme fulfillment. and then they blend into a harmonic sound of gratitude. yes. i come out of formal sitting meditation and this thankfulness keeps on bubbling within. how fortunate i am to be able to be with this treasure within. i walk into the kitchen and a surprise wonder. morning lights are choreographing a magnificent dance off the grand crystal vase on the table by the window. my inner self is sort of like a super grand crystal vase emanating these beautiful lights that shine through me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

reflections in the mirror of the mind

hwubby says, i'm having this experience of a peace that is beyond understanding, no words for it.

indeed. that's the thing about being with the inner self, being in the inner self, being the inner self. the experience is so beyond the mind, beyond the experience of the senses. in this morning's meditation, the moment i drape the shawl over my head, the final step in settling the body into the easy lotus posture, my awareness just dives instantaneously into a place within that is so great that i have no words for it. there's a wakefulness and alertness that is fresh and exhilarating. yet it is quiet, exquisitely quiet. for a little while i see the mind in the state of a sparkling mirror. all mental activity are but reflections.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

feelings of unworthiness are expressions of yearning

i have a teacher dream, a teaching dream. it digs out entrenched tendrils of unworthiness.

here's what i remember so far. i'm walking with a few classmates from secondary school, laughing, carefree when i see my meditation teacher coming out of somewhere picking people to study with her. i watch other people being chosen, feel some envy, inadequacy, and then i'm being picked as well. but, instead of being grateful i focus on trying to get a seat at the table as close to the teacher as possible. then i go away, do something, and proceed to return. i find myself being delayed by unseen forces. upon return the study has already begun. the whole table is full except a spot at the end. the teacher turns to me, beams and says something. i can't recall what she says. in the dream i am all worked up about having to sit at the far end of the table. as a matter of fact, the table is not that big, just regular size. i'm not paying attention to the study at all. then comes a pause. a big scene in an ornate bathroom with heavy, carved wooden doors. then i'm walking back. the teacher comes out from around a corner. what unfolds then is a scene where she, i and a couple of girls sitting in a cozy gazebo, hanging out. she leans back, puts her feet up. and mostly, what i am thinking in the dream is, why am i not sitting next to her? after a while, someone passing by notices the teacher, starts talking to her. she gets up in mid-sentence. i wake up.

this morning's meditation i see these long forgotten unworthy feelings in the tween years, teen years, young adult years. i had no name for it back then. i couldn't see it for what it is. i thought it was because i was not enough, not good enough, did not have enough. though now i understand that such feelings are really expressions of my yearning to connect with inner self which is worthiness itself. instead i tried to find something, someone to make me feel worthy. over and over and over.

i am once again reminded that those impressions are not totally wiped out from my consciousness. not yet. so i have to be gentle with myself when they come up. don't beat myself up. don't even ask why. just be aware of it and determinedly direct attention back to the breath. hwubby says, yeah, that's turning away from darkness, towards light.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

i have a place of pure joy within

there is this tendency that i haven't looked at in a while. to embrace condition and circumstance as it is. not as i would like. not as i had planned. once i heard a wise indian lady say, when asked how to live in the world, hold god in your heart and follow the rules of the world. the words passed into my left ear and out through the right. i didn't get it. i wasn't ready.

lately i notice i've been presented with situations where all that i had planned, all that i wished would come to pass in a certain way, flip inside out and twist and turn in unexpected ways. i also notice i've been doing much better than before. by and large i just stay present, take care of thing the way they are in a calm and centered way. hurt feelings? nope. disappointment? nope. resentment? nope. instead i feel i am in this rock solid quiet, happy place. indeed. there is a quiet, happy place within. the joy rising from there is pure, free and self-born. it is not attached to anything, anyone.

here's the kick. seeing everything from this place i connect dots i couldn't before. seemingly intractable situations don't daunt me anymore. i see fresh possibility in stagnancy. i see sparkling cracks in stuckness. i'm ready, willing and able to listen to the guidance from the inner self while following the ever changing situation.

this morning's meditation is just that. bright, quiet, pure joy. shimmering fearlessness.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the body is a garment that the soul wears

two days ago i was taking care of a situation when i suddenly caught myself head under water in sad feelings. the whole thing involved elderly relatives going through physical deterioration. i knew enough by now not to brush it aside, ignore it, nor indulge in it. it took quite a bit of willpower to shift attention to the steady pace and sound in the ocean of the breath. gradually i moved into the stance of being aware of the sadness rather than being it.

in this morning's meditation i see the message from my inner self. there is a place of pure joy within you. go there. indeed it is the truth. the body is a garment. all garments go through wear and tear. on this note my meditation silk pants are so worn out and yet it's just hard to let it go. in a silly way part of me says, you can't meditate as well in other pants. in a sort of similar way i am attached to the body, equating it with existence, with life itself.

my first wake-up moment along this line was when i was dressing the body of my muimui (younger sister) for her funeral. my mind was preoccupied with one thought, this looks like my muimui, her skin is as fair as ever, but where is she? i had no word for it but it was clear that something left her body.

the body is a garment that the soul wears. i have to take care of it. but the essence of me is the inner self. this is the truth. this is the truth. this is the truth.

Monday, June 14, 2010

i have independent happiness

there's another habitual tendency, and, oh, by the way, hwubby's teacher said 'habitual' with her french accent, and it really makes it sound more appealing that it really is. but i digress. this is the tendency of 'taking it personal.' hwubby says, yeah, you think you are the center of the universe and the world revolves around you. well, i am the center of my universe. but i tend to forget that everybody else has their own universe and i am not the center in them. so i may not like what they do, i may not like how things turn out but they really have nothing to do with me, they don't take away nor add to my self worth.

case in point. i arrange the morning's schedule so that i can help a friend. just when i am about to step out the door she calls and cancels it because there is another person that she really wants to see and so-and-so is only available at last minute for a specific time frame. i say, fine, it's fine. later i ask myself, do i really feel fine or simply being nice? i think the on-the-spot response has a whiff of 'being nice.' but as i look deeper i really don't see any resentment, not even a trace. i'm not kidding. i expect to see at least a little bit of it.

a couple of days later. in meditation i see what happened. my only agenda is to offer help in a way that works for me. i don't carry any expectation how it would turn out, what's in it for me and so on. the intention comes from my own inner self which is always full and perfect and free and pure. as a matter of fact i actually feel happy that my friend gets to see somebody that would make her happy. wait a sec. nope. i feel happy because that is the nature of my inner self. i have independent happiness. i don't have to count on something else, somebody else in order to be happy. hoooh. what a relief.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

i'm not the worry

hwubby says, do you ever have the sense that you are one with everything? i say, i don't know, that's kind of vague for me, do you? he says, i have these moments when i don't feel i am not attached to anything, everything is changing, keeps changing, i'm watching.

love it. i would adjust slightly to 'aware' rather than 'watching.' why? because 'watching' implies some sort of engagement. sort of like, i'm inside the house going about my business and it is raining outside. i don't drop what i am doing and watch the rain although that's a lovely thing to do too. i'm referring to the thoughts and feelings, whatever, that ripple in the mind. like, right now, as i am typing i am aware of traces of worry, whatever, pass through the mind. i'm not even interested in saying, don't worry, or, what is it that i'm worrying about? i'm not the worry. period. i'm the inner self.

Friday, June 11, 2010

deadliest residual habitual tendency

a dream. i'm walking by the back door of a hall where my meditation teacher had just given a public program. two of my classmates from secondary school in hong kong are with me. my mind is open, quiet. the door opens wide and my teacher walks out. pure lights stream out from her. sweet, gentle lights. warm, bright lights. sublime lights holding hints of all hues in the rainbow. i pause in my track. in the dream i have no expectation other than enjoying her presence the way it is. out of the blue she turns in my direction, walks a few steps forward, and with a beaming smile asks me directly, is there a bus? i take it seriously and say, yes, it is at...she cuts me off with a delightful chuckle. i realize she is joking around, loosening me up. then she hopskotches away, singsongs, i have two hatha yoga teachers.

i tell hwubby all about it. he says, it sounds like a happy dream. i say, yes. no sooner than i said it i felt a whisper in the far horizons of awareness. no, you can't be that happy.

right away i see it for what it is. the deadliest of all residual habitual tendency. unworthiness with its extended family like inadequacy, not-enough, not good enough, not have enough, etc, etc, etc. i just watch it while holding my attention tight as i can on the flow of the breath. i'm determined not to feed it with any other thought. period.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

i am not the negative thought

hwubby says, i notice something. the excitement in his voice is palpable. i say, what, what? he says, i have this negative thought. i couldn't wait to cut him off. i say, no, you don't have it, you are not it, that's not you, it's just some mental weather, you just see it. he says, okay, okay, i see a negative thought and, at the same time, i notice a constriction in the breath. i say, that's really great. he says, i realize when i have, no, when i see a negative thought, i'm really standing outside the door to my self, i just need to step through the doorway into my self. and then? he says, i shift attention to the breath, it's so soothing and then i don't even remember what that negative thought was all about. indeed. thought comes. thought goes. well, unless i feed into it and go down the slippery slope. a typical way is to say, i shouldn't have this thought. another way is, what a clever girl am i. blah blah blah.

my inner self flows through the breath. the breath is the pathway through which i return into the safe shelter of the inner self. from there i watch the thoughts and feelings come and go while the lights of the inner self shine forth.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

i already have the crown jewel

hwubby says, i'm having these moments being really quiet, easeful, not 'exciting,' buzzing, nothing like that, just easeful, relaxed and a sense that 'nothing's in the way.'

since i'm a one trick pony i take this as an articulation of an experience being connected with the inner
self. well, to be more precise, an experience being the inner self for that's what i truly am. the body and all that habitual tendency are but wardrobe. i may like this garment better than that one. that's fine. but i am not the garment, not even if it's haute couture from prada. my grand-teacher says, i don't need anything but i can have preferences.

i have my fashion magazine moments when i sit on the toilet bowl. then i would say to hwubby, look at this rock from harry winston. he says, do you want it? i say, nope, i look at it and that's enough. the truth of the matter is i already have the crown jewel. my own inner self.

hey, wait a sec. i am the crown jewel. hwubby says, yeah, shining wify.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

slave consciousness and habitual tendency

as the israelites wander through the wilderness again and again they say, to the effect, moshe, why did you take us out of egypt? being slaves is better than this.

in this simple mind this is a classic example of habitual tendency working. rabbi lerner says, you can take a slave out of egypt, aka narrow consciousness, you can't take egypt, aka narrow consciousness, out of a slave. so true. the slave circuitry is still very much ingrained in their consciousness. the new circuitry of being free people is fragile. what about moshe? he was raised as a prince. his mind is not gripped by slave consciousness. he is one-pointedly focused on following through yhvh's command. his faith is unshakable and unwavering. it's a good thing. but the bad news is he doesn't understand the workings of habitual tendency. he honestly believes that once the israelites are no longer slaves in the outer circumstances that's the end of it. oy-vay.

as far as i am concerned, the only way i know how to weaken the grip of habitual tendency on my thoughts, feelings and action in an enduring manner is to cultivate and strengthen the connection to the inner self. with each meditation i chip away at the habitual tendency another little bit. the tendency will come back but i will be in the driver seat.

Monday, June 7, 2010

remembering yhvh

i'm sure there are all kinds of ways and means to help us remember our connection with yhvh, the healing and transformation power that runs through all things and all creatures, including us. given the technology as it is we don't have a lack of outside objects and hardware and software for this purpose. having said that, for me, the thing that works is turning attention to the sound and motion in the breath. i can do it anyway i want. breathe in. yud. breathe out. hay. breathe in. va. breathe out. hay. or the other way round. breathe out. yud. breathe in. hay. breathe out. va. breathe in. hay. the beauty is endless. it costs nothing. it is portable. it is with me 24/7. i can do it anywhere with anyone and nobody knows it. except me. it puts me back in the light of the inner self, free of the veil of anger, anxiety, i don't like this person, fear and so on and so forth. the key thing for me is to remember to bring attention to the breath. there are times when i don't even realize i am already caught up in the turmoil of thoughts and feelings. the good news is, with my meditation practice i am shortening the lapse between one remembrance and the next. i catch myself sooner.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

habitual tendency and bamboo

sometimes i can't help but wish, o, please, i've been working so hard on this habitual tendency, can it go away for good, please?

but, of course, i know i have already made a lot of progress from way back when i would have these yo-yo swings. one moment i am ecstatic and thinking, this anxiety, that fear, such worry are gone forever. unfailingly there would be another moment when i am down and low because i say, i thought i had already got rid of this, why is this coming back to harass me now? what did i do wrong? did i do not enough? blah blah blah.

between then and now i have made a shift in understanding in terms of the nature of habitual tendency. they are sort of like bamboo roots. here's how it works. i think, in fact, i am positive i have removed all of bamboo roots. come next growing season i see a little bamboo shoot coming above ground several feet away from where they used to be. in that moment i feel such a failure. jen, a friend and bamboo nursery owner says, that's the way they are, they keep coming back. i say, man, what should i do? steeped in experience and knowledge, jen says in a clear tone, you nib it when you see it. i say, how long will this go on? she says, could be a while.

that's the way with habitual tendency. when i see it looming in the periphery of awareness i make a conscious inner effort to turn away from it, dive into the sound and motion of the breath, tie my attention to the light of the inner self. in this way i'm not feeding it, i'm nibbing it. meanwhile i hold  the understanding that it will come back. but i'm not worried. it will be smaller and weaker. i will be in the driver seat. not the habitual tendency. case in point. yesterday there was a surprised shake up in a set of circumstances. yet i notice the tendency to get angry and anxious come up in a wimpy way. i barely throw a glance at it before i put my attention back into the present. where the inner self resides.

Friday, June 4, 2010

meditating on anxiety

in this morning's meditation i see an old tendency appear. anxiety. low grade. sort of like a background noise, something like the drone coming from the fridge. just enough to hang around the periphery of awareness. the thought that pops up with it is, what am i anxious about? but here's the thing. i've come to see anxiety for what it is, beyond the outer circumstances. a function of disconnection. so i make a conscious inner effort to guide attention to the sound and motion in the steady breath. soon i begin to see this 'anxiety' as some weather condition. weather change. weather come. weather go. but beyond weather is the clear blue sky. the sky of the my inner self. good weather doesn't make the sky bigger or bluer. bad weather doesn't diminish the sky in any way. and so, just as i would watch the pouring rain from the shelter of the house i watch feelings and thoughts from the shelter of the breath where the inner self flows through. and guess what? i am returning to a clear and calm state. now i can really see how to take care of what needs to be taken care of. so the anxiety turns out to be a reminder that calls my attention to really stay connected with my own self. hwubby says, yeah, you are the light, all else are just outer circumstances.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

looking at depression

i can't say enough how fortunate i am to have such a great group of fellow yogis who are so into examining mental activity, looking at them as they are through the lens of the inner self. case in point. i say, when i was going through clinical depression i was getting psychotherapy and really upset that meditation couldn't take it away. then i heard a swami say 2 things. they go something like this. firstly mediation can remove depression, or any suffering for that matter, unless you hold onto it. secondly psychotherapy is useful when you are caught up in it, depression, whatever. it gives you some distance, helps you to separate from it, so that you are not being it. but the truth of the matter is this. the root cause of depression, once stripped of the specifics, is the longing to become connected, to love and be loved. and that can only be experienced in a meaningful and lasting way through perceiving the light of your own self within.

my fellow yogis listen intently. shivaa says, when i was diagnosed with parkinson's, i went into depression. one day i woke up, realized that this depression is a dark cloud. i have the choice to let it hang over me or turn away from me. this dark cloud is not me. so i turn away from it.

laura, who is not into yapping and yapping and when she says something it's always kind and insightful and sweet, says, yeah, we take this depression thing and claim it, thinking we are it, that's the mind, the ego. yeah. the ego tricking us through the mind.

this morning i awaken and experience this sense of watching suk wah, everything that go with it. i am watching suk wah being suk wah with enthusiasm. it's crystal clear that this 'i am' is what i really am. always watching. always with it. free and joyous. the source of all the great gems, courage, strength and so on and so forth. i am the self. the rest are just what need to be taken care of. no more. no less. love.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

birthday celebration fit for saints

no sooner than i walk into shivaa's house she says, your husband called to remind us that it's your birthday, i said to him, we've been planning this. hwubby has been sprinkling his emails to mutual friends with such a gentle and not so subtle reminder and so in the last couple of days i have been looking at subject lines in the inbox wondering what they are about. here's the kick. usually i hit 'delete' if i couldn't recognize it. yet i feel a prompt from within to open it. so i do. i've been showered by blessings.

i digress.

anyhow i am fortunate up to my eyeballs. such sublime company i have. while navigating through heavy traffic to shivaa's house ruth and i have a spectacular back and forth about how to choose between 'pleasant' and 'beneficial.' really fun. really impactful because how i decide to spend time in the evening pretty much shapes whether i can get up to meditate.

the discussion continues over shivaa's sublime food after chanting vedic hymns and meditation. i have this experience that the sacred syllables are streaming out of me, that they are just part of who and what i am. the feeling of oneness is exquisite.

speaking about exquisite, shivaa's salad is exquisite beyond measure. fresh garbanzo beans. she shells them. each one is like a tender-jade-green bead. it looks alive and tastes alive. i bite into it and i say, after this it is going to be hard to go back to dried garbanzo. tossed with lettuces, fennel, parsley all from shivaa's garden, blood orange, ground brown cardamom and a sesame-orange dressing this is a sublime sumptuous satisfying creation. what about the soft-gold butternut squash soup? blended smooth in a base of shittake broth the full, earthy flavor is given a couple of lifts by fresh lime leaves, bay leaves and lemongrass. then there is shivaa's quac. quac is easy to make but it's not easy to make a really good one. shivaa's quac strikes a fine balance in terms of texture, taste and looks gorgeously green. then we clean the palate with fresh pineapple ripened at its peak.

i make a wheat-free, gluten-free brownie-cake. shivaa completes it with fresh whipped cream and raspberries. the best raspberries i have had in a long while. diana and i, both geminis, blow the candle together, on behalf of two other fellow geminis, neil and norm. we eat cake, laugh some more. i feel totally nourished. there's no place i'd rather be, no people i'd rather be with. except hwubby, of course.

i leave with a satisfied belly, a bag full of gifts and blessings from dear friends who happen to be great beings. my heart overflows with laughter and gratitude. now that i perceive the huge diamond of my inner self i see all these precious gems of great beings around me. lucky me indeed. this is birthday celebration fit for saints.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

hammer the body and mind into gold

here's how the menorah should be made as instructed by yhvh. the lampstand is hammered from gold from base to petal. the seven lamps give light at the front of the stand.

in this simple mind i see the lampstand to be the body and mind, the lights the light of god. god's light shows me the way forward. god's light is the way forward. god's light is the path. the lights are blazing within the lampstand. so is the light of my own self within me. 'hammered' is a keyword. so is 'gold.' i have to work hard to turn the body and mind into pure gold in order to hold the light. for me, meditation is the 'hammer.'