Monday, December 31, 2007
This is the park behind our lake, behind our house that I walk in each morning with Dusty.
I feel like I have learned so much from nature.......the main thing is: Everything changes....nothing stays the same. I love this park. It is one of the places that always connects me to spirit.
To be poor and be without trees,
is to be the most starved human being in the world.
To be poor and have trees,
is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes ~
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Sometimes people come into your life
and you know right away that they were
meant to be there,to serve some sort of
purpose, teach you a lesson,or to help
you figure out who you are or who you
want to become. You never know who
these people may be possibly your
roommate, neighbor, professor, long lost
friend, lover, or even a complete stranger,
but when you lock eyes with them, you
know at that very moment they will affect
your life in some profound way.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Scooter is Paul's new puppy.
Paul was our other guest of honor.
He is sporting his new tatoo "namaste"
The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don't have to gain, develop, or attain them. We're like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don't need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are -- as soon as we quit pretending we're small or unholy.
|Great is the intoxication of money, of physical power and strength, of name, fame, and position. These are the ultimate intoxications of the relative world. But far greater still is the infinite bliss of anahata nadam, which takes one beyond time and space and makes all temporal intoxications fade away, useless.|
| - KABIRA|
(The sound OM is called "anahata hadam" because, according to yogis, the OM sound is inherent in the cosmos.)
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Mark got me this really cool shirt for Christmas....I am wearing it in the picture above....It says: "Greet everyone one as you would your dog."
Anyway...it has this cool mission statement on the hangtag.
see below....I think that I will adopt it for my own mission statement.
It is beautiful and resonates with me.
Personal Mission Statement :
“From this moment forward I resolve to live my life with integrity and purpose, operating from principle, not ego, in order that I may inspire love and trust by being an example to all; I understand that all life is sacred and, therefore, will not judge nor deny another my unconditional love; I will seek only to be of service and understand that as long as I align myself with the Power and Wisdom of the Universe, I have nothing to fear.”
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Our friend that we adopted into our family, Mr. Russell.
He is an outstanding piano player and always gives us a concert....He comes for all holidays and family gatherings.
The eve of Christmas eve at the house of Hunan
The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.
Above is a very special friend of mine, Kate Vogl and her beautiful family.
She has been my friend since junior high.
Below is the note that she sent out in her Christmas card.....it really touched me....
hope you enjoy it too.
Things We Should Know By Now:
Jim: The closer you get to your MBA graduation date, the farther away it seems.
Especially when you take Finance the semester before you graduate.
Kate: It's the string of lights at the top of the tree that'll go out. and no, they haven't invented cordless Christmas tree lights yet.
Jen (in eighth grade and all that): If Mom didn't figure out hearsay in law school, she's not going to be much help for Mock Trial.
Julia (in sixth grad and lovin' being able to rule the -elementary-school):
So I've weighed my presents on a scale and checked a website to guess what everything is,
and I still can't figure out what I'm getting!
Happy (Kitty): Do you know where all the birds at the feeder go when that nice lady lets me out the door?
Looking forward to 2008! My first short story "The Accessory" appears in Blue Earth Review's Spring 2008 issue.
And I start teaching at the Loft Literary Center in January.
check out my course at www.loft.org
Monday, December 24, 2007
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages,
boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
All those times I was bored
out of my mind. Holding the log
while he sawed it. Holding
the string while he measured, boards,
distances between things, or pounded
stakes into the ground for rows and rows
of lettuces and beets, which I then (bored)
weeded. Or sat in the back
of the car, or sat still in boats,
sat, sat, while at the prow, stern, wheel
he drove, steered, paddled. It
wasn't even boredom, it was looking,
looking hard and up close at the small
details. Myopia. The worn gunwales,
the intricate twill of the seat
cover. The acid crumbs of loam, the granular
pink rock, its igneous veins, the sea-fans
of dry moss, the blackish and then the graying
bristles on the back of his neck.
Sometimes he would whistle, sometimes
I would. The boring rhythm of doing
things over and over, carrying
the wood, drying
the dishes. Such minutiae. It's what
the animals spend most of their time at,
ferrying the sand, grain by grain, from their tunnels,
shuffling the leaves in their burrows. He pointed
such things out, and I would look
at the whorled texture of his square finger, earth under
the nail. Why do I remember it as sunnier
all the time then, although it more often
rained, and more birdsong?
I could hardly wait to get
the hell out of there to
anywhere else. Perhaps though
boredom is happier. It is for dogs or
groundhogs. Now I wouldn't be bored.
Now I would know too much.
Now I would know.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
A Candle never Lit
A Candle never lit is like…
A prayer never said, or that promise never kept.
A hand never offered to help, or a smile never offered in friendship.
A hurt never forgiven, or a wound never healed.
A kiss never asked for, or a hug never accepted.
A love never pursued, or a dance never danced.
A song never sung, or those words never spoken.
A child never born, or a flower never allowed to bloom.
A risk never taken, or a room you never come out from.
A wall never climbed, or that path never taken.
A child never knowing their Grandparents, or that card you never sent.
A mercy never given, or a hate never left behind.
A baby never suckled, or a tear never shed.
Light that candle that sits so gloom and cold
bring a truth to your life before you are too old.
StrongBearRedHeart ©Copyright 2000
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.
Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower
or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets,
but I have found that when I silently commune with people
they give up their secrets also -- if you love them enough.
--George Washington Carver
Friday, December 21, 2007
hello? anybody out there?......anybody read this thing anyway????
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited.
Imagination encircles the world.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
When Spiritual Life Really Begins
When your honeymoon with spirituality ends--and it will end, marked by the arrival of STDs (spiritually-transmitted disappointments) -- and when your affair with being spiritually correct and spiritually in-style runs dry, you may say so long to spirituality, but it is a premature goodbye.
Disillusionment with spirituality is not only inevitable but also necessary, so that spirituality might be thoroughly deglamorized. When that disillusionment has had its say--cynicism's couch now being no more than a pain in the butt--and when your fear of re-entering the spiritual no longer frightens or disturbs you, your spiritual life really begins.
Most of the books will be gone; the ones that remain will feel like old friends you don't tire of revisiting, even if only for a page or two every couple of months. Most of the practices will also be gone; the ones that remain will feel as natural to slip into as your favorite jeans or T-shirt, at ease with both being worn and being worn out. Most of your aspirations to be spiritual will also be gone; the few that remain will feel less like aspirations and more like unforced inhalations...
Whatever disciplines we take on will result not from one aspect of us dominating the rest, but rather from a core recognition of what is needed...Instead of being at war with our weaknesses, we bring them into our heart. Instead of trying to get rid of what we don't like about ourselves, we develop a better relationship to it. Intimacy thus becomes more our path than transcendence.
Seeking will become supplanted by living a deeper life. Questions will still arise, but will ask for something more real than answers. Alignment with the Real will become the ground rather than the goal. Details will cease being just details. Focusing on what might be will yield to focusing on what's here now; that is, hope (nostalgia for the future) will be replaced by faith (radical trust in the now)....
Your longing to be fully awakened will still be present, minus the desperation and ambition that once characterized it. Where once you were in a hurry to get it, now you are not rushing or pushing, having accepted the fact that you are in it for the long haul. Then, even when you are off track, you are on track.
Life after spirituality is the beginning of authentic spirituality. No fireworks, no applause, no pats on the back from the Important, no need to present oneslef as someone spiritual. This is the beginning of true nobody-ness. It is not annihilation, but revelation. It is at once bare yet sentient openness, and also the beginning of true individuality.
For every question that arises here, Silence is the answer. Put another way, everything supplies the answer. Nothing is explained, everything is revealed. Beyond knowledge, Wisdom; beyond paradox, Truth; beyond self, Being; beyond everything, everything....
Life after Spirituality is committed apprenticeship to What-Really-Matters. All that happens is the practicum. Every situation offers the same fundamental opportunity. The teacher is everywhere. There is no freedom from our Freedom. No escape. The implications of this froth then still the mind, awaken and release the body, ground and expose the soul, unraveling all our dreams, breaking us open to what we were born to do and be....
Life after spirituality is a constant dying. Emerging from our own ashes becomes no big deal, but just the way things are....
from RobertMasters' May 2006 newsletter
This is a picture of my mom.
We wrapped presents at Borders today for Trinity Dance Company.
I found so much joy there.
This is Marko at his class Christmas show.
He got to introduce the show.....taking after his dad in front of the microphone
This is a picture of Marko's Christmas program...and what made me realize why I am quitting my part time job and am going to work only a few days per month.
I am missing so much of my life that I want to particpate in.
I don't want to miss anymore school parties, talent shows and snow days.......
I need a more flexible schedule.....and I miss working with kids.
do you like the quotes below....it just fit how I am feeling.
"I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big
success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from
individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so
many rootlets, or like the capillaries."
*The Will to
"The great lessons from the true mystics, from the Zen monks, is that the
sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's
neighbors, friends, and family, in one's back yard, and that travel may be
a flight from confronting the sacred. To be looking everywhere for
miracles is a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous." --
Abraham H. Maslow, *Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences*
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This is a picture of my dear friend Sherri......and me ....., Marko's sippy cup and Leslie's styling hairdo at Leslie's baby shower.
She is a true friend through and through.
If I had one word to describe her, it would be loyalty.
She is the most loyal person that I have ever known.
We met in the 7th grade in Medina.....She was Sherri Frysinger then.....now she is Sherri Lennon.
She married the John Lennon.
We lived together for a year after college........later she fell in love with John.
got engaged and moved to Columbus.
I had the honor of being her Maid of Honor.
They have three beautiful kids and live in Powell, Ohio.
Happy Birthday Sherri.
December 18th is a special day.....you and my old friend Reed share that birthday.
Thanks for being such a giving and loyal friend.
Sherri just sent up a very generous package for our Christmas projects!!
We have to get together soon....it has been way too long!!!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Nurturing a sense of connectedness to everyone
and everything invites
When I see myself as connected I am not looking for
occasions to be offended or to judge.
I don't see anyone as my enemy or an
obstacle. This is how I relinquish negative self-talk
and connect to the
solutions that are available to me.
In moments of despair I try to affirm,
"I see nothing, I hear nothing, I know nothing that is separate from me."
Sunday, December 16, 2007
What I Meant To Say" by Michael Murphy
Here is a quote from the book:
"Each time we embrace the loveless,
a love is ignited into an ember that can burn forever.
Each time we pass on the gifts given us, the gift grows.
And each time we help a child to become a strong and loving person,
we change the world and are all lifted by the hand of God,
that will carry us through whatever may come our way.
Blessed are those who need shelter from the cold
. . . Blessed are those who provide it."
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Cosmic consciousness: Richard Bucke describes the direct experience of the whole of consciousness in his 1901 book, Cosmic Consciousness. It is a description of attaining subtle realm experience, and the "conception" of the whole of the universe. This is coming close to the realization of the union itself with the whole, though still somewhat short of that realization.
"Like a flash there is presented to his consciousness a clear conception (a vision) in outline of the meaning and drift of the universe. He does not come to believe merely; but he sees and knows that the cosmos, which to the Self Conscious mind seems made up of dead matter, is in fact far otherwise - is in very truth a living presence. He sees that instead of men being, as it were, patches of life scattered through an infinite sea of nonliving substance, they are in reality specks of relative death in an infinite ocean of life. He sees that the life which is within man is eternal; that the soul of man is as immortal as God is; that the universe is so built and ordered that without any pre-adventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle for the world is what we call love, and that the happiness of every individual is in the long run absolutely certain. The person who passes through this experience will learn in a few minutes, or even moments, of its continuance more than in months and years of study, and he will learn much that no study ever taught or can teach. Especially does he obtain such a conception of the whole, or least of an immense whole, as dwarfs all conception, imagination, or speculation, springing from or belonging to ordinary Self Consciousness, such a conception as makes the old attempts to mentally grasp the universe and its meaning petty and even ridiculous."
Friday, December 14, 2007
This is a picture of Brahma.....the Hindu creator.....the Hindu faith believes there is a part of Brahma in everyone.
see the legend below...It is beautiful......love, Michele
According to an old Hindu legend there was a time when all men were gods, but they so abused their divinity that Brahma, the chief god, decided to take it away from men and hide it where they would never again find it. Where to hide man's divinity became the big question.
When the lesser gods were called in council to consider this question, they said, "We will bury man's divinity deep in the earth." But Brahma said, "No, that will not do, for man will dig deep down into the earth and find it."
Then they said, "Well, we will sink his divinity into the deepest ocean." But again Brahma replied, "No, not there, for man will learn to dive into the deepest waters, will search out the ocean bed, and will find it."
Then the lesser gods said, "We will take it to the top of the highest mountain and there hide it." But again Brahma replied, "No, for man will eventually climb every high mountain on earth. He will be sure some day to find it and take it up again for himself."
Then the lesser gods gave up and concluded, "We do not know where to hide it, for it seems there is no place on earth or in the sea that man will not eventually reach."
Then Brahma said, "Here is what we will do with man's divinity. We will hide it deep down in man himself, for he will never think to look for it there." Ever since then, the legend concludes, man has been going up and down the earth, climbing, digging, diving, exploring, searching for something that is already in himself.
above is a close up of Marko's favorite Indian player.
My dad took Marko and I out to dinner tonight to Houlihans at Southpark mall then took us to meet Travis Hafner.
Marko goes up to him and said" Hi Pronk."
Travis just laughed and said so what do you want for Christmas.......Marko said "well I want a lot of things."
He signed his hat....my dad took lots of pictures and we went home.
All the way home, Marko talked about meeting Pronk and how he is taking his hat for show and tell tomorrow.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Mira said I could post this letter below.......She quit cheer yesterday related to being verbally abused at school when she was made to wear her uniform to school. (the above picture is what she is supposed to wear to school on game days during the winter months) She said she loves to cheer but doesn't want to put up with rude comments when she has to wear her little skirt to school.
Middle school boys can be pretty crude......so can girls.
Plus she said she is cold in the school and they are not aloud to wear anything on their legs because it is "tradition" to wear their uniform.
She was making me laugh....said the wrestlers don't have to wear their singlets to school and the volleyball girls don't have to wear their tight shorts to school......if they did they would be harassed too. Although I am sad that she quit because I enjoyed watching her cheer....I am proud of her standing up for what she feels is right.
She wanted the teacher to wear a little cheer skirt to school and see how comfortable she feels.
anyway, have a great day.
and see the note below
December 11, 2007
Dear Mrs. Ryan,
This letter is to inform you of my decision to resign from the cheer squad. Yesterday we brought to Ms. Mihaloew’s attention our concerns regarding the demeaning way cheerleaders are treated at school and how we are abused and disrespected. We also brought to her our concerns about having to wear our uniforms to school on game days. We offered suggestions of other ways we could dress on game days (still representing the squad), but our concerns were not even considered. I feel like the school does not take us seriously, like we are just there as a joke. I’d like to suggest that in the future the school consider a more dance-focused cheer squad with modern uniforms, so maybe the school would take us more seriously and show us more respect. I’m sorry I was not able to finish the year out, but I have to go with what makes me happy. Please share this with Ms. Mihaloew.
By Ellen Bass
Pray to whomever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or marble of plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the Bo tree in scorching heat,
Adonai, Allah. Raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekinhah, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.
Hawk of Wolf, or the Great Whale, Record Keeper
of time before, time now, time ahead, pray. Bow down
to terriers and shepherds and siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.
Pray to the bus driver who takes you to work,
pray on the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus
and for everyone riding buses all over the world.
If you haven't been on a bus in a long time,
climb the few steps, drop some silver, and pray.
Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latte and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.
Make the brushing of your hair
a prayer, every strand its own voice,
singing in the choir on your head.
As you wash your face, the water slipping
through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
softest thing on earth, gentleness
that wears away rock.
Making love, of course, is already a prayer.
Skin and open mouths worshipping that skin,
the fragile case we are poured into,
each caress a season of peace.
If you're hungry, pray. If you're tired.
Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.
Pray to the angels and the ghost of your grandfather.
When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
to the video store, let each step
be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
that we do not blow off anyone else's legs.
Or crush their skulls.
And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheel chair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer that as the earth revolves
we will do less harm, less harm, less harm.
And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail
or delivering soda or drawing good blood
into rubber-capped vials, writing on a blackboard
with yellow chalk, twirling pizzas, pray for peace.
With each breath in, take in the faith of those
who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.
Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
feed the birds for peace, each shiny seed
that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.
Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
around your VISA card. Gnaw your crust
of prayer, scoop your prayer water from the gutter.
Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
your prayer through the streets.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
'Lady With A Fan'
Let my inspiration flow
in token lines suggesting rhythm
that will not forsake me
till my tale is told and done
While the firelight's aglow
strange shadows in the flames will grow
till things we've never seen
will seem familiar
Shadows of a sailor forming
winds both foul and fair all swarm
down in Carlisle he loved a lady
many years ago
Here beside him stands a man
a soldier by the looks of him
who came through many fights
but lost at love
While the storyteller speaks
a door within the fire creaks
suddenly flies open
and a girl is standing there
Eyes alight with glowing hair
all that fancy paints as fair
she takes her fan and throws it
in the lion's den
"Which of you to gain me, tell
will risk uncertain pains of Hell?
I will not forgive you
if you will not take the chance"
The sailor gave at least a try
the soldier being much too wise
strategy was his strength
and not disaster
The sailor coming out again
the lady fairly leapt at him
that's how it stands today
you decide if he was wise
The storyteller makes no choice
soon you will not hear his
his job is to shed light and not to master
Since the end is never told
we pay the teller off in gold in hopes
he will come back
but he cannot be bought or sold
-- words by Robert Hunter, music by Jerry Garcia
from 'Terrapin Station', 1977.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Macy took this picture.....one of my favorites.Love, Michele
Divine love consumes everything. It consumes the mind completely. But sometimes the mind won’t understand. Let it be. Of what use is a mind if the mind doesn’t help you to achieve cosmic love? And, of what use is a heart if the heart can’t help you to love unconditionally? You must try to develop this. Make your heart a loving heart! Get rid of all this negativity which stops you. And make your mind as pure as the lotus.
The lotus is a symbol of purity and advancement. If you see where the lotuses grow, they always grow on muddy, dirty water. No matter how dirty the water is, the lotus makes its way up to the surface and opens up to be the most beautiful flower! So is man. It doesn’t matter where one is or how muddy it is, one will always have to make one’s way, and achieve the Purity of the lotus.
— Shri Swami Vishwananda
Life is the Sacred Mystery singing to itself,
dancing to its drum, telling tales, improvising,
playing and we are all that Spirit,
our stories all but one cosmic story
that we are love indeed,
that perfect love in me seeks the love in you,
and if our eyes could ever meet without fear
we would recognize each other and rejoice,
for love is life believing in itself.
...Manitongquat, Native American Poet
Monday, December 10, 2007
A father had taken his son to a pet shop to buy him a puppy for a birthday present. "Decided which one you want?" he asked his son.
"Sure!" replied the boy, pointing to one puppy who was wagging his tail enthusiastically. “I want the one with the happy ending."
Sunday, December 9, 2007
She got some really cool pictures. Love, Michele
Friday night we were coming home from Ruby Tuesday' where we celebrated my dad's 67Th birthday. I was saying that I did not want to invite this one cousin of mine to Christmas because she had relapsed and was smoking dope again and had quit school.....and that I was not going to get her a Christmas present this year.
After hearing that, Mira speaks up and says "mom that is not right...you are judging her behavior...she is still a good person inside. Just because she has made some wrong choices doesn't mean we should exclude her from Christmas."
Then Macy says " yeah mom....and just get her a t-shirt that says 'hugs not drugs' for a Christmas present."
so many times, I feel like the child and my kids are my teachers.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Macy took these pictures in her photography class at Omega Institute this past summer. These are pictures of the "joy of play .....it is never too later to have a happy childhood class."
and as you can see...they had a lot of fun!!! They made this big water slide on one of the hills.
This week was kind of emotional for me....just crazy stuff...like Mira dealing with some mean girl stuff because she refused to wear her cheer uniform to school and then me putting up with a meeting at work where there was a lot of meaningless fighting and finger pointing was going on, then we got some extra bills that we did not need because our van was having problems.
but then I think about what is really real for me ......like different friends coming out of the woodwork to help for our Christmas projects we have going on(...bringing stuff over for Macy's homeless project.) , and my friend that is really sick and dealing with cancer but she is busy gathering stuff for Macy's project and wanting to go with us to deliver them even though she is really short of breath and feeling lousy, and then there is my dad stopping down Wednesday night to see our dog Dusty.....and he took him home for a "sleep over".....the joy in both of their eyes when they see each other is pretty powerful..............and then there is my cousin Chad who has come back home and decided to live a sober life.....and talking with him about his new sponsor and his love of writing and his struggles to stay sober......and I now realize what TRUTH I want to focus on.....and what I want to let go. I see so much beauty in the world........and that is what gives me hope and faith.
hope you like the quote below.
"I have faith in the truth, in its ability to find us....
If the truth often seems elusive when we seek it directly,
perhaps it is some consolation that it also relentlessly
reveals itself to us in our lives, our dreams,
and the stories we tell one another."
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer