2023 : Thoughts, Inspiration, and a Mantra

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

As 2022 winds down, I started to think about what a strange year it was.

For me at least. it seemed like I was enveloped in a mantle of fog. On a fundamental level, I acknowledge the passage of time and seasons, but I’m not exactly sure how January 2022 metamorphosed into where we are now, at the end of another year. Sometimes time moved too swiftly, other times it seems as if the tick of the clock too slowly moved to the next minute.

I’m not smart enough to explain all of that, but I’ve learned to radically accept things as they are. At the end of the day, at the end of this odd year, the only constant is love; to love and be loved. Despite the inexorable and merciless movement of time, I’m bound by that belief.

Do you make resolutions? I don’t — too much pressure — instead I like the idea of manifesting a happy and healthy new year.

You have to breathe through the heart. And once you’re in that space – and it’s a very big space – once you’re in there, you’re in a completely different space. You’re in the space that can heal anything.” Dolores Cannon

Dalai Lama

From His Holiness the Dalai Lama (whom I had the incredible honor of meeting and speaking with a couple years ago…)

As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all beings.”

In my opinion, this is still the best and most relevant mantra, again from the Dalai Lama:
Om Mani Padme Hum

He says this mantra has the power to…“transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech and mind of a Buddha.”

Tibetan culture tells us that to deeply know this phrase — to bring it into the very depths of one’s being — is to attain enlightenment.

Here’s what each syllable means:

Om

The first, Om is composed of three letters. A, U, and M. These symbolize the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; they also symbolize the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.

All Buddhas are cases of beings who were like ourselves and then in dependence on the path became enlightened; Buddhism does not assert that there is anyone who from the beginning is free from faults and possesses all good qualities. The development of pure body, speech, and mind comes from gradually leaving the impure states and their being transformed into the pure.

Mani

Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method—the altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love.

Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, of cyclic existence and of solitary peace.

Similarly, just as a jewel fulfills the wishes of sentient beings, so the altruistic intention to become enlightened fulfills the wishes of sentient beings.

Padme

The two syllables, padme, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom, just as a lotus grows forth from mud but is not sullied by the faults of mud, so wisdom is capable of putting you in a situation of non-contradiction whereas there would be contradiction if you did not have wisdom.

There is wisdom realizing impermanence, wisdom realizing that persons are empty of being self-sufficient or substantially existent, wisdom that realizes the emptiness of duality—that is to say, of difference of entity between subject an object—and wisdom that realizes the emptiness of inherent existence.

Though there are many different types of wisdom, the main of all these is the wisdom realizing emptiness.

Hum

Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable hum, which indicates indivisibility. According to the sutra system, this indivisibility of method and wisdom refers to wisdom affected by method and method affected by wisdom.

In the mantra or tantric, vehicle, it refers to one consciousness in which there is the full form of both wisdom and method as one undifferentiable entity.

In terms of the seed syllables of the five Conqueror Buddhas, hum is the seed syllable of Akshobhya—the immovable, the unfluctuating, that which cannot be disturbed by anything.

The six syllables, om mani padme hum mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is considered the foremost Buddhist leader of our time. The exiled spiritual head of the Tibetan people, a Nobel Peace Laureate, Congressional Gold Medal recipient, and a remarkable teacher and scholar who has authored over one hundred books. https://www.shambhala.com/snowlion_articles/om-mani-padme-hum-dalai-lama/

To See the Good

I parked my car (and made sure I knew where it was this time hahahaha). As I was gathering my shopping bags, I overheard a young-ish man with a baby sitting in a shopping cart as he was talking to his significant other.

He asked her if she needed any snacks, sweet or savory, and told her he loved her at least half a dozen times during the short walk to the grocery store, as we were headed in the same direction. The last thing he said was, “We’ll be home soon.”

I gathered from that brief exchange that she was probably pregnant and suffering from first trimester morning sickness. He was genuine, sweet, kind, obviously empathetic and caring.

I grabbed a cart as he stopped to disinfect his; the little girl caught my eye and said, “Hi!” I responded back to her, “Hello, sweetie!” She pointed to my mask (def wearing everywhere as I’m still recovering from pneumonia) and I nodded, “Yes, I’m wearing a mask.”

Her dad reiterated, “Yes, she is wearing a mask, my love.

That’s exactly how I refer to the Angels, so I told him he was a great dad; more dads should be like him. He thanked me and kissed his baby girl. She waved to me and we continued on our individual shopping journeys.

There are still good people in this world and that warms my heart.

Every Little Thing

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

Although I never before knew who originally created this quote, I always KNEW — deep in my heart — that a rainbow or a sunset or a whale, a Monarch butterfly, the sighting of a coyote or a bobcat, my hawks — the discovery of a rock or achingly perfect seashell — brings joy as much as a new Chanel or a stunningly crafted pair of heels.

The night when I was genuinely poorly, when I ALMOST thought I’d have to go to the ER, I was awakened by the conversational hooting of a couple of Great Horned Owls and felt comforted by their voices. In my feverish delirium, I believed they were telling me to hang on, it’ll be OK.

Thank goodness, they told the truth. As much as antibiotics bring their own set of issues with my little body (don’t ask), I’m on the road to recovery, as my RN mom would say.

This morning I have SUCH a strong desire for vegan hot chocolate, it made me think of her and start laughing. Simple joys, right?

When I was sick, as soon as I had a craving for anything chocolate, my mom said her nursey training told her all she needed to know to stop worrying about me.

I fully earned the title of Princess because I used to make her wear her nursey cap and drape her stethoscope around her neck when she answered the bell that was on my nightstand. And she happily complied while carrying a tray with ice chips, fresh flowers, and tea in the special antique porcelain tea pot.

At the end of the day, little things are undeniably all there is. Those of us who understand this surely are the lucky ones.

Happy Earth Day 2022

In 1970, I attended the original Earth Day celebration in Balboa Park. I remember wandering around the booths with friends, enjoying the balmy day amidst the smell of (then illegal) marijuana, which was never my thing because I wouldn’t be at all interested in any substance that encourages eating a lot of carbs.

It was a pleasant day with earnest young people dedicated to educate and inform and become involved in making the world a better place.

Happy Earth Day

The proper use of science in not to conquer nature but to live in it.
Barry Commoner

Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money
Cree Indian Proverb

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. John Muir

Galaxies in a Kaleidescope: Contemplations

From pickles to the contemplation of broken glass and mirrors; apparently that’s how my mind works!

I’ve always been fascinated by kaleidescopes.

Peering into one, it seems as if this human-made created and patterned universe of colorful swirling glass morphs into artificial realities.

What’s the question here? Is it that reality doesn’t seem real anymore.or are we simply a fractured, fragmented view of another reality?

In a kaleidescope, that which exists for an instant will disappear; ephemeral, never to be seen again in that same way, even though the original, organic pieces are still there.

Reality: the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them. Or, the state or quality of having existence or substance.

One small flick of the wrist and our entire universe can change. Just like a kaleidescope. In any reality. Or any sort of purgatory.

I like to share quotes from others:

“It was as if her life was a huge kaleidoscope, and the kaleidoscope had been turned and now everything was changed. The same stones shaken, no longer made the same design.”
Author: Betsy Byars

“Forrest Gump had it wrong. Life is not a box of chocolate; it’s a kaleidoscope. In the flip of a wrist, realities are shredded and the world takes on a totally new shape.”
Author: Carolyn Haines

Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope; a slight change and all patterns alter.
Author: Sharon Salzberg

I like to know how things work. I like answers.

Science tells me that it’s the incline of the two mirrors inside a kaleidoscope that determines the number of times the pattern created by the reflection of an object is repeated. However, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a repeated pattern. At least, not that I remember.

A kaleidescope is an optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces tilted to each other in an angle, so that one or more (parts of) objects on one end of the mirrors are seen as a regular symmetrical pattern when viewed from the other end, due to repeated reflection.

Each component works together synergistically to create an illusion of reality–and then it’s gone.

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Obviously I have zero answers to all deep questions; my pondering and contemplations are ephemeral and transitory–kaleidescopic. My brain can only handle a tiny bit of this at any given time; now I need to watch a couple of episodes of the new Dynasty. Balance. It’s all about balance.

If you have time for a great read, check this out via the Exploratorium: Facets of Light: Colors, Images, and Things that Glow in the Dark
https://www.exploratorium.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/facets_of_light1980.pdf

Wise Words

In the quietest moments, your most challenging thoughts will bubble to the surface. Do not distract yourself from them.  Embrace, examine and send them off to The Universe to be transformed.  That, my love, is called healing! ~ Creator
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Reblogged from one of my favorite writers, Jennifer Farley, The Creator Writings. She’s a ThetaHealing Practitioner and Instructor.  

What’s Your Inspo?

Friday thoughts…

(inspo = something or someone that serves as inspiration or motivation.)

deviantart.com/ignisfatuusii/art/In-the-Magic-Forest-3311904

I’m a forever child, never to grow up, still talking like the perpetual thirteen-year-old that I was/am, and sometimes a fairy princess in an enchanted forest with flowers in my hair surrounded by gentle creatures.

It used to irk my son when I’d repeat key phrases from South Park or Beavis and Butthead that were sooo INAPPROPRIATE, but now he laughs with me. A snarky chuckle, but a laugh nonetheless.

One day when he was in graduate school, we were eating lunch with a few of his friends and he put me on the spot and made me imitate Towlie from South Park. “Wanna get high?” in that Towlie voice. Good sports, we all laughed. I knew they were laughing AT me, but it wasn’t in a mean way. I laughed at myself, too. The jokes on them though, ‘cos whatever I did as a mom inspired my son to become a professor. HAHAHA.

Here’s Towlie in case you didn’t have a teenage son in the 90s…

NEVER GROW UP, that’s my mantra. (A girly Peter Pan without leaving all the narcissistic destruction in my wake.)

Just now at the ATT store I noticed that I was the ONLY one who was enthralled with two little starlings who walked all around me in a circle, not a care in the world with regard to humans and cars, and then I looked up and saw a gigantic White Egret. There was a UPS man parked right next to me and he followed my gaze as I was looking up, so I said, “Look at the beautiful white egret!” Nothing. “It’s a BIRD.” Nothing. “It’s really special!” Nothing. He continued with his stressed and frenzied pace to get those packages delivered and delivered and delivered. He looked at me like I was slightly off center but I wanted to tell him that he’d have a better day if he stopped just for a minute to BREATHE and LOOK UP.

There are miracles all around to be seen and heard. The simple things are the greatest bringers of joy and gratitude. It’s also true a Chanel handbag can bring its own kind of joy, as much as a seashell. Same.

Back to inspo

What’s MY inspo? Now it’s mostly Theo and Charlotte, and always my original Angel Boy, that’s a given.

I’m putting the finishing touches on Theo’s half birthday gift, another one of my personalized books with photos and beginner words that I write just for him.

Yes, we celebrate half birthdays around here. It’s a tradition started by my mom, the original Charlotte. Hee hee. Not only did I get presents on my dad’s birthday, I received gifts and HALF a cake on my half birthday in November. The same was done for AB and now his kids. I think it’s an awesome tradition.

When my son turned twenty-one, I embarrassed him (yet again) in front of his friends with my speech about my love for every breath he’s ever taken and then gave him a gift of a star that I named for him because he was and will always be my entire universe. Check it out: International Star Registry, Scutum RA18h 47m 46d D-12′ 24′

Do you celebrate half birthdays?

What’s your inspo?

Holding Space

Quote

IMHO, this is one of the best descriptions of what it means to hold space.

There will be times when you have to release and trust the awakening process. It may not be an easy thing to do, especially when a connection exists. Let others know you are there, offer support when asked and hold space for them in a kind, loving manner. The rest is up to them and The Universe.
Holding Space    The Creator Writings, one of my fave blogs.


I had heard the term but couldn’t wrap my brain around it, and as a slightly OCD Taurus who likes answers to questions and details and timeframes to be specific in order to feel safe, holding space is a confusing and nebulous and ephemeral concept, but I’ve been determined to understand because it resonates deeply with me. I’m relentless when it comes to understandING.

It’s a way of not doing anything when I’m all about doING and fixING and solvING. (All of those ‘ing” words that we’re trained to edit OUT of our writings.)

To hold space is to do nothING but BE.

BeING.

That very beINGness of taking a breath and stayING silent and havING faith and trust that everything is happenING as it should–well, that’s nearly impossible for me.

But here I am. I am. So hum.