Thursday, January 27, 2011


I have been thinking about paradox lately. It seems that all of life is a paradox. There are two sides to everything. There is light and dark. Good and evil. Male and female. Love and fear. According to the Tao, the world is made up of opposites or paradoxes and the world exists because of the tension between the two.

I get it. I see it everywhere. The world is so beautiful, it takes my breath away on many a day. Today is one of those days, we had a heavy snow last night and the vista from my bedroom window is incredibly beautiful.

Is there anything more inspiring than seeing an eagle soar? Or a lion basking in the sun? Yet, they are killers. The kill to survive. I have always struggled with this. I sometimes say that as a planet we will become enlightened and see God on the day that all creatures become vegetarians. Yet, I know that isn't going to happen. What I am beginning to see is that the pull of the polar opposites is necessary to creation. The killer is majestic, just as the lamb is majestic too.

Perhaps the tension is more about surrender. Perhaps it is in the surrender that we know God. Whether it is a surrender to love or to the talons of and eagle. One season surrenders to the next, just as every day we are shown the surrender of day into night and night into day. One can't exist without the other- what would day be if there was no night? Or perhaps it is about being a witness- one side of the paradox watching the other side, as a way of knowing oneself through seeing the opposite.

It is a puzzlement, as the King of Siam used to say in The King and I.

I feel that that one of the biggest elements of the spiritual path is surrender. What does that mean exactly? Father Bede Griffiths, according to Andrew Harvey, died into love. His union with God was complete once he "died into love." It means giving up the false self, letting go those things that bind us to us. I feel that in my life I have let go of so much. I allow God to take the reins often (at least, that's what I think I do, but do I really do that?). 

According to so many people throughout history and today's spiritual community talk about the "Dark Night of the Soul" and the necessity of experiencing it in order to progress along the spiritual path, it is the only way in which to achieve a union with God. Is that so? If there are paradoxes, and polar opposites, then why isn't it possible to achieve a union with God through a "Light filled day of the Soul?" 

These are my questions today. I look out my window and see the glory of God in my backyard, snow deep enough to almost touch my knees. This is God. God is right here right now. My questions are meaningless in the face of the beauty that I see. All is beautiful and all is perfect and that includes me as well. I don't need to strive or flail my body with whips to understand God, all I need do is to allow God to move within me, open my eyes and see the beauty and the horror that is mine to see. 

Easy, right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This and That

There is freezing rain today and the trees are wearing a thin coat of ice. It looks beautiful. It will turn to rain soon, but right now I am enjoying the glistening branches. With my daughter, I am taking my granddaughter to the dance school this afternoon and signing her up for ballet, jazz and gymnastics class today. How do they get all that in just an hour lesson? I think she will love it and it will channel her exuberant energy in a useful direction. Izzy loves music and loves to move, so it should be a good combination.

I look at Izzy and I am instantly filled with joy. I think granddaughters are the greatest thing ever invented. She delights me in every way. She is hilarious, she is incredibly deep, she is a goof, she bounces off of the walls with all of her energy, she is very loving, she is very sweet, and very girlie, she loves music and sings raucous songs, she shakes her butt when she is delighted by music and she does a cheesecake pose sticking out her butt. Words really can't describe how special she is. And yet I know she is no more special than any other three year old, they are all special and all the same. However, to me she is the most wonderful child in the entire world and I love her very much.

Looking back over the last three and almost a half years, I am struck by how much joy I have in my life and almost all of it is because of Iz. I saw her when she was just 15 minutes old. I took her tiny hand and held it and my heart was broken opened. Over the next months she grew and thrived, she had an ear infections that went undetected for a bit and we all thought she was a crier, but once the pediatrician discovered the infection and treated it she has been a delight. Her natural response is laughter. The kid is fearless in her pursuit of fun. When she was about five months old she felt her first piece of paper, it was love at first sight. She made such a funny little face, puckering up her lips as she touched the paper. She crinkled it and ripped, all the while concentrating very hard making this little mouth. She played with the paper for a good hour, never tiring of it. Today if she finds something new and unusual that she is exploring she still makes the same mouth.

Izzy has discovered curse words and we have great fun being bad and saying them. She laughs and laughs. Sometimes she makes up her own. "Oh, you're a dope and a shit noogie and you smell like dog butts." After she says it she always says something that sounds and awful like Homer Simpson's "Doh!" And then laughs and laughs. "Damn it! - Doh!" "Bitch - Doh!"

I love that kid!

This is how life is meant to be lived, watching your children grow and then playing with their children. All it is is simple joy. Life really is good.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Deep Meditation - Deep Peace

Today I went to the Center For Conscious Living for services. I had checked their website the other day for another reason and I saw that one of my classmates was singing in the service. So, I made up my mind I was going and I did. It was a lovely service and Rhetta did a fabulous job. She has an amazing voice that comes directly from spirit. I enjoyed the service very much and I will definitely go again.

During the service the minister did a guided meditation that took me very deep. I love when I am able to go so deep and feel nothing but the spirit within. I was at peace. It just a shame that it can't last beyond the meditation.

Life is beautiful. Meditation is a joy. Life is truly holy. I am at peace. So, maybe the meditation actually did last beyond the service.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Day, A New Year

Today is 1/1/11 and it's a new year. To ring in the new year last night, Jon and I ordered in Indian food and and we went to bed at around 10:00. We both slept through the night... for a change. We woke early and watched the sunrise, then we went to Starbucks and waited for it to open at 8:00. We were one of the first customers in the store so we got the comfy seats. As we sipped our coffees, Jon read the paper and I read The Times on my iPad. It was such a delight and so relaxing to just sit there with each other. Afterwards we ran into the grocery store for some breakfast food to bring home and cook. Later on we went for a ride in the country.

This is a good start to the year. A propitious start.

Life is such a precious thing. My life has truly been a thing of joy. It wasn't always like that, but I was being led. I am sure of this. My spirit or God was leading me to find the joy within me. Jon and I went through some really lousy times. Our marriage was in trouble. We had absolutely awful money problems. Neither one of us had healthy self-images. We were co-dependent. We were utterly clueless.

But somehow, perhaps through my meditation practice, spirit was able to to find a foot hole and all things changed. Slowly at first, but then little by little I found my way. Jon was doing his own work too. And here we are. Life is precious and totally beautiful. We still don't have tons of money, but we have enough and that's a good thing.

It didn't happen over night. It was a step by step process, it took practice and a lot of self reflection. I feel that I know myself pretty well today. I forgive myself. I love myself. All of this adds up to have a been pretty blessed. And I am grateful. I am so grateful.

So, as I start this new year full of hope, I say thank you, dear God, for all of my blessings. Thank you for my husband. Thank you for my beautiful and healthy daughter. Thank you for my amazing granddaughter, may she always be happy and healthy, living life abundantly and enfolded in your loving presence. I am grateful for my home, it shelters us and provides us with warmth and comfort. Thank you for my job, I am so very blessed to be doing this work. Thank you for One Spirit and my place there, may it grow and reach more people and may my role expand. Thank you for my dog and cat, I love them both very much. I am grateful for my car, which takes me where I want to go. Thank you for the abundance in my life. Thank for my friends. Thank you for it all. I am so blessed.

Happy New Year.