Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice 2014

Merry Yule and a Happy Winter Solstice to All!
On this, the longest night of the year, or the shortest day, depending on how you prefer to look at it, we will soon be greeted with the gradual 'return' of more and more light.
I am a tad late with this post, but there are good reasons for the delay.
In 2006, I formed a relationship with a man that also brought two children - a human child and a canine child.
We lost the human child a few years ago after a long struggle.
On December 19, 2014, we lost our canine child after a long struggle with degenerative spinal myelopathy.
I tried to not become "attached".
I tried to resist tender feelings and love.
I tried to stay at a distance.
All of my efforts were futile.
As I sit here, trying to type, my heart actually hurts.
In the Kadampa tradition, I am being taught that love is not supposed to hurt - that attachment is the pain maker.
Well, I am now experiencing that which I sought to balm by attempting 'detachment'.
This loss hurts like hell.
No matter how many beings that you love and lose - each 'separation' is painful, often unbearably so.
One may even surmise that with all of the losses incurred in this life, that they would get easier to bear with more experience.
My Friend, I believe that my pain may actually be increasing with such 'experience' - especially as I come to know my own mortality. A fragile mortality magnified by caring for the sick, the suffering and the dying.
On that note, I am going to end this post.
Apologies, but I am experiencing the kind of grief that disturbs my concentration and attention.
I still must believe that love is worth every tear shed. 
I still must believe that love is the only thing that holds meaning in this journey called life. 
I still must believe that every being that undertakes this journey seeks love.
That said, I will leave you with an excerpt of an old prayer that is typically dedicated to the Winter Solstice and seems especially suited to this occasion.

"I am the circle of rebirth.
I ask no sacrifice, but do bow,
No other law but love I know,
By naught but love may I be known.
All things living are mine own,
From me they come, to me they go."

December 4, 2001 - December 19, 2014
Photo courtesy of Chandra Eswaran

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Time Doing - Being

As a birthday of note fast approaches, I find myself pondering time. 
In a very absurd twist, I have no idea how I racked up so many miles!
As a person whose work value was measured in "billable hours" (a term that can strike fear in legal folks) I have the utmost respect for time. 
Loved ones ask me what I want for my *big* birthday, I can only answer 'time', or items and services that will help free up time. 
If I look back over my life, I see that I attempted to cram the nine lives of a cat into my one. 
During the present moment, I am amazed that God has granted me the grace of the time I have spent on earth. 
It is for good reason that time is referred to as being "spent" - rather like money. Money comes and goes and that account can accept deposits.
Alas, the account of time is only available for withdrawal, my Friends.
I now KNOW that my time is limited, so I do not want to waste a moment. 
However, I am uncertain what it is that I should be doing with my precious time. 
The other day, I completely and spontaneously unplugged from the phone, the email, my business, chores, bills and work. I made the conscious and deliberate choice to go to a new place and simply see what grace ushered in for me. 
The oddest thing happened.
I had some fleeting moments of giddy freedom. I met a few new friends. I had fun.
This way of spending time is so beneficial to the spirit. 
How sad that most of us (that would be me) have to schedule it.
 I accomplished more in that day than I did in a recent week's labor. 
For a brief moment, I actually understood the concept of BE-ING.
So, I am still learning. 
Learning and wondering if I have lived my life in a backward fashion.
All of these years I was focused on DO-ING instead of BE-ING
It is no wonder that after a lifetime of running, it feels as though I have been standing still for a few years. 
I am not used to BE-ING!
May we all be graced with the gift of another birthday - another opportunity to learn - another day to BE.

Fire Image Courtesy of Chandra Eswaran
Love. Peace. Gratitude.