Saturday, October 19, 2019

Grey rain, Silence, and the angel and the buddha

         (A few have passed and these are images from more recent that resonate in my heart.)

The rain has been falling in small buckets, somehow I missed it on my walk to and from the little wooden home I share with 6 other people at the moment. Some invisible umbrella protecting me. I managed to practice a new song with Sidd and Omraj and appreciate Myron's bright smile and sweet laugh during a chance encounter. He brought some California light.

We're about to start a silent retreat at Zmar, in Portugal. I have been serving on the team that puts these on since the summer of 2015 when I first came here after India. Which means I have participated in about 7 or 8. They all have a different depth to them, a clarity, a cleansing.
It's very different to serve the 800 people that come here as opposed to being amongst them, yet just as powerful. I find in some strange way I guess I have more to reflect on in my active experience, where I am still holding onto something in myself that creates a button to be pressed.

I love the rain, during my shower minutes ago I left the window open and watched it pouring outside and was reminded of the days of youth of playing in the rain mud wrestling and mud sliding. Nothing like wet, messy , muddy, innocent joy. 

In the living room where I sit now, there is one woman with a gentle and open energy travelling for her first time to a retreat like this. She told me she has gotten rid of her business and her house and she's on the open road, headed to South Africa after.

Life really gives us different streams, times where my mind longs for something stable, and also longs for no structure and no plan, an open slate.
One of my first years here I remember Mooji saying "never think you know what a day will bring, everything is fresh."

Even if my life has structure it is quite unknown. Something I do love about speaking with David, owner of the teahouse I have such a bond to, if you move too quickly to speak about future he can remind you that he may not even be alive after he walks out the door in 5 minutes.

Talk about appreciation of the present.

The rain feels like an old friend, a sweet music, tap tap tap, a great symphony, and she is well needed to this earth here in portugal. Oh rain , please make sweet love to the earth for many days to come. Thank you, Amen.

I stopped writing for a long time, my focus became very inward and I wasn't sure what I was writing or reporting about anyways, or for who . But today I spoke to Taryn, an old dear friend, who reflects something in me and reminded me of what I love about it. I do it for me, because it makes me happy, because it is an expression, a release, writing invisible words and images, painting them onto this invisible canvas of existence. In our new song we sing about Maya, which often Mooji speaks about, to be very frank this is the definition: 
the power by which the universe becomes manifest; the illusion or appearance of the phenomenal world.

Often we speak about it in satsang as the great play, illusion or dance. The world that we take to be so real, and yet is often just interpretation of experience. "You are the center of your experiencing, you are the heart of your world."
I can't help but quote my teacher Mooji as my life as of current is in constant satsang with him.
It feels like a very special time, and I also recognise its impermanence. Everything I have ever loved so deeply has come and go. Even Taryn said today you have so many different styles of writing and they come and they go. 
We can make things so much bigger in our head then they actually are, just be with what is, the power of observation.

One line in the song we are working on goes ; "Faith, guide my way..."
Ok very simple and nothing too overly profound, but I found I really had to practice the actual tempo of this line on the beat because I kept messing it up. And I felt maybe something for me to take in, doubt is so sneaky and sometimes tries to tempt . 
"is this really your best life? is there something missing?"
thoughts i can think about and yet when i am in the joy of the present with what life is offering me, surrounded by such total beauty and love, what could be missing?

nothing is missing , something whispers, it's just another idea, or concept. I have some friends who love this quote;
"My heart is at ease knowing that what is meant for me will never miss me, and that which misses me was never meant for me." - Imam al-Shafi'i.

Just another idea? One that sets the heart free.

This last one of us is very goofy. but something i like about it. and is life tricky? Mind is tricky, thoughts can be tricky, life can actually be so so simple, and thats what these silent retreats with Mooji are often getting at, that we try so hard very often to work on a projected self image of ourselves, or to attain that which is already here. "Where was peace until you found it?" and yet the paradox that he reminds is that often there is effort that is required to recognise the effortless - in the beginning.

and what is the beginning and what is the end? everyday we have small deaths.

As we enter the silence tonight, may i respect it, may i respect the richness of life with less words, more insight.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Coffee, a portuguese breeze, and love

I sit surrounded by the presence of the Buddha.

Its everywhere.

Writing to myself, the same self as the one who reads these words.

How magical, that there is no real separation .
Bamboo pieces hang and gently sway in the wind.

Last night I sat outside of my tent just watching the colors in the night sky change. A beautiful glow on the horizon and one star imbetween the light of dusk and the blanket of night creeping over it.

It seemed as if this star was standing still and ascending at the same time. I saw myself in this.
My heart totally still and always here and yet also something within me ascending.

Mooji said the other day in satsang, "Walk blind and really see."
I feel we are all doing this, everyday, every moment, but that faith and trust, it enables this seeing to be pure. Empty seeing, without expectation.

I feel a deep gratitude to all, and especially many beings who are walking in truth, and love and faith.
How they shine .

In the sauna I sang and sang some prayers.
Agua de luz, calme mi familia, sauna mi familia, limpia mi familia.

Some death and sickness is passing through, a wave in the cycle of existence.
May my family- and all families, be supported, to look for this inner light, to know the boundless love that carries them. And in their grieving find solace and be reborn.

A little dog came and stayed with us one night in our tent.
He showed up right after my Grandpa left his body.
This dog was full of playfullness, love, curiosity.
He was gone the next day.
Some beings come this way, to give you a message of love, and that's what they are sent for, no attachment, just a momentary glimpse or blessing of grace.

We take time to sit and be in silence, to meditate or contemplate here at the ashram.
This song in my ears sings "Blessed are those who see and are silent."
Silence, such a power.

Mooji says that by taking these moments to contemplate- "to sit in the cave of your own self"
that you are actually taking this time to recognise your timelessness.
Your eternal self.

What more to say. Sometimes words flow like rivers, and then there's that which flows beyond words.
Its a language of light, of seeing, a language beyond language.
The best way to share this must be through presence.
Giving thanks each day.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Moon light

the moon burns quickly, 
the candle grows quietly.

my hair falls slowly, 
and memories fade brightly.

it's December 28th. 
The end of the month. 
What a month it was, a brief pause in time.

you cannot contain time, nor stop it. I've tried before, to lasso the moon, to freeze the frame of my existence. But the mind doesn't not work like a remote control.
the closest thing you can do to freeze time is to be in the moment.
Because then time doesn't exist at all really.

I've been listening to a teacher I am going to see in India in February. What he teaches is simple, and he makes me laugh.
My dad, who seems to be weary of his heart condition and has trouble sleeping, finally fell into a peaceful sleep while listening to him. That's a good teacher to me . ;).But he also does seem to take to him, which is nice. It's nice to share something with your family and have them relate or connect to it.
The computer just froze, it allowed me to pause and take a breathe.

It's nice to stop. movement and stillness.

A candle in the dark.

I drove on the 17 freeway today, a little windy road freeway going to Santa Cruz in the mountains. I listened to Crosby Stills, Nash and Young. Had "Helplessly hoping " on repeat.
It's so good.
Timeless gems.

The sun came through the trees and I smiled at the rainbow reflections.

On my break at the teahouse I ran into two friends. One a boy named Kyle from a silkscreening class,and another a dear friend named Kate.
Her mow-hawk had changed from blue to black and was very soft to the touch. Like a little foxes.

I was so nice to see Kyle, he showed me his art, he is such a good artist and is only 21. I think him and I always gravitated to each others art in the class. Seemed to get it, meditative, simple.
They walked with me to get my thai coconut soup.
Talking about sweet nothing and it just made me feel loved to run into them seperetely together in that alley and then walk. 
The night crisp and people about.
Downtown gets like that sometimes.

I'm getting sleepy. 
Christmas was a nice blur, seeing family, no drama, simplicity, sharing, hugging my lil sis.
Tom talking about truth with my cousin and somehow us forming a little circle on the ground of the game room where pool was played.
The mystery reveals itself moment to moment.

I've been working pretty hard the past few days, but I see people do it all the time, its nice to be humbled by it.

There is a nice Rumi poem that I can only remember two lines of but they went something like this;

What is the body?

What is love?

(ok i looked up the rest of it because it's good...)

What is in the heart?

What else?

But i really liked that one line- "what is the body?
Endurance". It's just like, yeah..that is what it is. I mean living is to endure, or no rather, to be in a body. These bodies go through a lot, they endure the wear and tear of the world.
Our spirit, or consciousness is something different, the heart does endure a lot, but i do think the heart is or can be unchanged. That is what this teacher teaches, our true nature, the self , which is never affected or changed, or spoiled by the outside external world.

Thats one nice thing about children, they seem to be so unaware of them selves at times . And themselves more as an identity.
At least many I have met.

I had a second cousin that kept coming into the room where Tom was on Christmas. Tom wasn't feeling so great so he sat watching a movie while people mingled outside. The little boy would come in and say "hi Tom" over and over with a big smile. Then it was time for him to leave.
He asked my name again and then said "Bye Tom, can I give you a hug?"
Of course Tom said yes, and he just hugged him for a second. There was something just so simple and straightforward about it. A fearlessness and a purity. 

It's almost midnight, and the moon is about half full. I think I will drift into sleep now. 
The new year is coming. 
It is here.
Here we are.

I don't have many pictures at the moment. Pictures just haven't been a focus..
But that's ok, here's a few...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bhakti Love -- Nov 24th

it's one of those days.
being alive, breathing air, feeling gratitude.

the sun is shinning and its cooler, California winter weather where a light jacket is needed.

I just finished acupuncture. Which was pretty heavenly, there's something about being at ease with needles sticking into you that I just love. That beautiful paradox.
The 5 Branches studio room where I had my visit had a little picture on the ceiling of a boat sailing through mountains in some distant land. It felt Asian or European, but so peaceful. To look up imagining yourself floating along into nowhere while sweet Indian and Gamelan music comes in and out. So nice.

It's the 24th of November. The New Moon in Sagittarius just came.
I don't live in an only astrological world, but it's fun to play with the stars. Sagittarius is a happy sign, maybe I think so because I am one. But I feel a brightness, a visionary time.

I've been watching lots of Mooji with Tom and I just love him.
Such a sweet  beautiful man pointing to truth.
There's one line I love that he says which is "whatever you're perceiving your conceiving."
It's been really nice to identify less with the mind and leave more space for emptiness and peace.

I'm drinking a Chickory root tea in one of my favorite places in Santa Cruz. A man is calling out orders, and the boy behind the counter is beyond happy. I love seeing people who just can't contain their joy while doing such simple ordinary things like serving food.

Winter is here and things seem to be standing still and moving along swiftly at the same time.
I opened the teahouse journal the other day and someone had written simply at the top of an empty page
"Movement is the birth of stillness."

Mmmmm, I'm finishing up a project that I have been working on with my dear friend Manish. It's a short documentary of Ayurveda and has been really sweet to shoot with him. He just loves what he's doing. I think if you have the opportunity to work with those who put love and service in the center of what they are doing it can be a very magical experience. Lots of laughter anyways.

I went to my twin brother's house yesterday. He has so many sweet friends and it was so nice to see them. Like finding old trinkets you forgot about, each with a different magic and beauty to them. Seeing an old friend when you least expect it, it's nice when the universe brings familiar souls back to you. Like putting on warm socks from the laundry.

This post will be short. There's not a whole lot to say. Just feeling a space of gratitude for the unfolding mystery.
Some friends from NY will be here this weekend, I hope I get to see them. Not sure if I will sit in ceremony. Not feeling the strongest pull towards medicine. But only God knows.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

off to space in November

here we go.....

It's Novemeber.

I'm learning how to love every day.
How to breathe, to let go, to laugh.

Yo La Tengo is playing in my ears.

A little over a year ago I fell in love again.

" I remember before we met.."
That line in this song "We're on our way to fall..."

We're always falling, falling back into this moment. Some days are hard, some days we aren't seeing or experiencing the same thing. Fear may creep in, but then when we come back to the moment, when love is what we chose to experience. We fall, fall again, in and through. It's sort of like swimming.
Sometimes you choke on the water, or your vision is blurry. But we keep swimming.

I don't know how my life will end. David from the teahouse always says when you ask him about the future.."I don't know where I'll be tomorrow, if I'll be alive in 5 minutes when I leave here.."
Thats the truth. we don't know.

"ya we're on our way
.. to fall in love.."

But we can fall in love if we chose.

Recently a friend passed away. I didn't know her very well but she left a very big mark on my heart. The day I found out we went and prayed at the land of the medicine buddha and played the flute. I asked Tom if I was crazy, if it was silly that I was crying so much. I felt like her death broke something open in me. He said of course not, she is your sister, your spirit kin. She's a part of your family.
We went to her memorial in Portland and it was so beautiful. So incredible to see the people gather together and sing songs for her and speak of her. Her partner Elijah is something else. The way he held space for everyone, healed everyone with his love and acceptance and strength. It was like majesty, I felt this christ like compassion and universal love emanating from him. It was really powerful.

(OneDoorLand )

Three little kittens slept with us at the magical community we stayed at called OneDoorland.
 One kitten  nusseled into Tom's armpit, licked the hair in there and then went to bit his nipple. It was so cute and so sweet to see this innocent little thing try to get milk out of him and then cuddle back into his armpit. I felt like I had just experienced ceremony. And her memorial sort of was a ceremony, song and prayer and tears. We listened to audio from Richard Rudd on Simplicity and Forgiveness.
Ahhhh, forgiveness and ahhh simplicity.
Oh how we can overcomplicate and chose to not accept ourselves or others. That is the opposite of forgiveness, When we are unable to accept ourselves or the world around us.
Forgiveness is powerful, "It is the divine spark" Richard says.

This community really inspired me. I was there so briefly but there was such an intentionality there that emanated from what was created. Binah's vision and home was incredible. I remember when she had first told Tom and I about it and about how they had artists in residence. I didn't realize what magic was there. It was a gift to share that small pocket of time. The hearts that were so willing to share and open. And then laughter. It's so nice when you can be in a group and cry and laugh and heal. Richard has a key that says, "every intentional act is a magical act." I would love to be in such a focused artistic community. Magic intentions abound.

And then there's the now.

I am grateful for the now.

We drove back through space, through Mt. Shasta. And arrived at Panther Meadows at 11:00 pm. It was cold, there was ice on the ground. I peed in a patch of white snow and saw the most magical and giant shooting star I had ever seen. The night winked at me.
We walked around and the energy was so crisp. So alive.

We decided not to camp in the ice and snow. As to avoid freezing over and went and camped at castle lake. Tom and I huddled together for warmth and I'd wake and cover his face with my scarf.
I didn't dream, I just slept - slept hard.
When we woke we walked around castle lake. Tom was our guide, like Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings. He took Steve and I a little further, and further and further.
He was determined to find the meadow where he had had the vision of him and I a year ago. He saw us returning every year and eventually returning with our kids.

We found it, it was iced over and we stood over the valley and looked over it all. I was happy to be there with him. A year and a half ago when he had come on his retreat there I had been in Central America. I was healing and learning and he was doing his own work here. And then life brought us back together where Tom would teach me how to love unconditionally. Over and over.
When you can forgive anything, then you are free.

A year ago and then today.

Tom pointed to two trees today. He asked me what they embodied. We had been having a rough morning, just miscommunication and mis-understanding. I said being, air, peace, comfort. He said that is our relationship, those our the qualities we do or have the potential to embody too.
The first day we met we omed around a tree and the 5th we meditated under two trees together.
I've always felt trees symbols of peace and understanding. They give and ask for nothing in return.

Today is the fourth of November, I am 26. I don't know what it is that I will do in my lifetime, or how long I will live to. I know that yesterday a 5 month old looked in my eyes and smiled and smiled until I almost cried of joy, and today a friend had lavender purple hair. I know that my feet like the feeling of grass and my ears enjoy the sound of the flute.
I know I have been working at one of my favorite places on earth and it has been a challenge and gift.
I know that everything is changing and that I have 10 fingers and 10 toes.

I know that I can chose what to paint. There are maybe 25 people in this cafe with me, They all have their own worries and fears, and joys and blisses. They are not separate from me. I think thats the big reminder in love, we are not separate. Give others the freedom, space, and understanding you would want.
Here we are, all travelling through space. In the beginning of November.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Inspiration...coming and going (an new/old post)


The bats are out, the crickets singing, and I just finished some chocolate and a late night jacuzzi sesh. I love our jacuzzi, even if it irritates my poison oak. A trade off for living in nature is getting poison oak once a month.

Tonight we went with some friends and saw Boyhood. I feel like i am inspired to write each time I see a really beautiful film. I felt high afterwards- like Woo, I am alive, in this crazy wild dream! I am in love, and its not perfect but its magic and it is fun. And that is what this film was about, the reality of life with all its mundane beauty and sadness and growth.

'Every day is a new set of challenges and adventures" my friend Kirk said this to me the other week. We sat with him on the ground while he taught me how to make this really intricate dreamcatcher. My dreams are dark sometimes, and sometimes they are very telling. I dream of travelling with Tom, of being afraid of not being able to move forward in a car, of exploring and of flying. Fears and visions, the dream world is a wild place. I've been animating a girl connecting with her heart, and of myself flying in a dream. I'm wrapping up an animation project and it feels good to be nearing its completion. Who knows what is in store creatively next, but I'm planting seeds for beauty and growth and depth. I'd like to move to a new level with my work. In whatever way that means, I'm not yet sure.

flying, soaring, dancing.
We're always dancing with someone or something.

Today it's Wednesday .
We spent the day downtown, drinking tea, feeling, laughing and laughing, walking with friends, eating crepes, and then going into work for this incredibly relaxed and beautiful shift. The teahouse is a strange and magical place. It's a vortex of good people and good tea.

Tom and I just finished some late night snacks and a late night talk with this amazing ceramicist named Tom. He is sleeping under the stars tonight with out roomies in our front yard. We live in the woods where you can see the stars so clearly, its pretty ideal for camping at home.

May all beings be happy.

My tummy is full, I'm grateful, laughter is the best medicine. It heals the soul, of all splits, and fears and conflicts. Beware of the mind and its tricks, don't listen or believe the doubt and fear it will create. Thats been so helpful lately, to laugh and not believe the thought.

There is magic in the air.
here are some photos.