Wednesday, April 27, 2011

be here now

“Redemption and resurrection are neither words nor objects of belief. They are our daily practice. We practice in such a way that Buddha is born every moment of our daily life, that Jesus Christ is born every moment of our daily life.”
—from Going Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

I pray all my Jewish friends had a blessed Passover. (I just learned from my friend Laura that the Hebrew name is Pesach. Thank you, Laura.) And I pray that all my Christian friends had a blessed Easter.

Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us that Easter (or Passover) should be more than just a date on the calendar, more than a beautiful celebration and memorable time spent with family and friends on a lovely spring day. The events and teachings should be something that we live each and every day; redemption and resurrection should be in every moment and in every breath.  Our grateful hearts should reflect Divine unconditional love to others and to ourselves.

Each Christmas, I watch Heidi; each Easter season, I watch Jesus Christ Superstar. The movie really opens my heart to a better understanding of the human side of the story, both of the Jews and of Jesus himself. I could relate to the emotions and desires of a people that are occupied by foreign invaders, persecuted and fearful. In “Heaven on their Minds,” Judas (wonderfully played by Carl Anderson) sings:

Listen Jesus, do you care for your race?
Don't you see we must keep in our place?
We are occupied
Have you forgotten how put down we are?

Judas was fearful that Jesus and all the Messiah talk would get them all killed. Understanding the human aspect of the story makes it more than a story for me; the people become more real, their emotions become more heartfelt for me. (Ask my family: when Jesus is whipped - with Pilate crying out “Twenty-one! Twenty-two! …” - I dissolve into tears.) The redemption and resurrection become more personal.

I continue to pick up on and learn different things from the movie. In “What’s the Buzz,” the disciples want to know what’s happening, what’s next. They’ve started a movement; where do they take it now? Jesus (played by the utterly amazing Ted Neeley) reminds them:

Why should you want to know?
Don't you mind about the future.
Don't you try to think ahead.
Save tomorrow for tomorrow;
Think about today instead.

Be here now. What a wonderful lesson! Live each day with Heaven on our minds, with Divine love and joy in every moment of every day. The future will unfold, whether we worry about it or not. Release any worry; inhale love and beauty. Everything we have is in this precious moment. Cherish it. See the beauty. Smell the wonder. Smile from deep inside, knowing peace and calm. Save tomorrow for tomorrow. Be here now.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

someone gave me something nice …

stylish blog award

Waaaaaaaay back in February, my sweet friend Sheri was kind enough to give me this thoughtful award. Thank you, Sheri! Now, I don’t normally “play” memes and such, but good golly, Sheri has given me countless hours of delight through her blog. She has a sense of humor that I can relate to, a delicious sense of irony and her kids just say the funniest things! (The apple obviously doesn’t fall far from the tree!) If you want a few moments of absolute delight, go pay Sheri a visit. You’ll be glad you did!

I’m supposed to share seven things about me. So just because it’s you, Sheri, here goes.

1. One of the people I’d most like to emulate is … Kwai Chang Caine. Yes, that Caine, played by David Carradine in the classic 1970s TV show Kung Fu. Something about that character seemed to crack something open in me and made me want to have that same sense of balance, peace and spiritual understanding.

Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear? Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds. Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat? Caine: No. Po: Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet? Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things? Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

2. I love aqua. It makes me happy. I love colors that are cheery and fun. Neutrals just don’t do it for me. I painted my dining area Aqua Spray around ‘03, then later painted my entry Surfer (a deeper aqua), then my living room Valley Mist (pale aqua/green/blue that changes with the light; love it!). I have aqua pillows, candles, accessories. I decorate with seashells and sand in bowls and trays. I love the energy in my home. I call it my sacred space.

3. I love my yoga practice. I have fibromyalgia and spondylolisthesis and the physical practice of yoga helps hugely with easing the pain and getting me to a peaceful place. I love learning about the eight limbs of yoga, learning about pranayama (breath), ahimsa (non-violence), pratyahara (non-attachment) and so much more.

4. My favorite movie is Heidi. I love all Shirley Temple movies. They make me happy. But Heidi is my favorite; the way a little girl’s love transforms an old man’s heart … sigh …

5. An old boyfriend once told me “You know what the problem is, Rose? You don’t’ need me.” That puzzled me initially. I wanted him, but I didn’t need him. I’m just not a needy person. Neediness is not my thing. I love the Buddhist tenet: Want less. Suffer less. It’s not the lack of something that makes us unhappy. It’s the wanting that makes us unhappy. How many times do people think “if I only had that special thing, I’d be happy?” Shortly after getting it, they’re unhappy again. Let it go. Release wanting. Be at ease. Fill your heart with love and then fill every molecule of your being with love, letting the warm goodness ooze from every pore.

6. Fave book: Happy Yoga: 7 Reasons Why There’s Nothing To Worry About by Steve Ross. It’s a wonderful guide for living and happiness. I’ve read it; I’ve re-read it. I can open it to any page and find a wisdom that I can use in the moment. Wonderful book. I recommend it to everyone.

7. Family: I have two brothers who I love to spend time with. They “get” me. We can talk and laugh for hours. I have an amazing daughter, wonderful son-in-law and two sparkling granddaughters. My mom’s soul parted from her body in 1990; I miss her physical self, her softness, her smile, but I feel her constant love. My dad is my hero; I’m happy that he’s still on this side to make me laugh and hold me with love. I have an abundance of cousins; many of whom I’m very close to. I have three close almost-brothers; we met when I was married and we grew into a family after I divorced.

So those are seven random things. Of course, I’m thinking about changing some of them already—ha!—but I’ll let ‘em be. I’m supposed to pass on the award to seven other bloggerss, but I’ll have to skip that part, if it’s OK. Life has been moving at warp speed lately and I haven’t spent enough time enjoying my favorites. I do recommend everyone on my blog list at the right, though. From spirituality to d├ęcor to travel, there’s a little something for everyone. Check ‘em out!

Namaste … Grasshopper

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Here I am …

Roads - Dalai Lama

Really? it’s been over a month since I’ve posted?

For some reason the past month has had less time than any given month usually has. Does that ever happen for you? One day sometimes seems a bit longer than normal, stretching out and extending every minute into the very fullest, maxed-out minutes ever. Then another day seems to have the shortest minutes ever dashed into time and space, the kind that surprise you as you watch the day speed by in a blur.

I’ve had a month of those teeny minutes, too-short days and just couldn’t fit it all in. I LOVE reading my favorite blogs and I haven’t even read any of them for weeks. Time to catch up! (I’m supposed to be doing my taxes right now, but I’d much rather check out what everyone’s been up to. You understand, right?)

First, thank you so much for those amazing comments on my last post about heaven being in the everyday moments. There is such beauty, grace, love and wisdom from each one of you. I bow (and hold it a few minutes. You really touch my heart. Namaste) If you didn’t read the comments, you might enjoy checking them out.

Laura - You mention angels among us. I regard you as one of them, gentle one. Your thoughts and honest wisdom always resonate with me.

Debra – Yes, there is true joy and peace found in the small, simple and everyday. Seeing the life force and beauty of a small stone or a bird’s song.

Darla – Goodness, but I always adore your loving enthusiasm! We are blessed!

Connie – I am so blessed by your friendship and so grateful for it. “Heaven is all around us - we only have to stop, look, listen and smell.” You’re part of my heaven.

Sharon – Glad you enjoyed the pics! I hope things are warming up and you’re enjoying your blue sunny skies!

Carol – Woods work, too! Any place with a life energy fits the bill, doesn’t it?

Roselle – I’m amazed and in awe that your life has been a message of angels and miracles. So wonderful that you realize it and acknowledge it! I think most of us experience heaven and miracles, but aren’t always open and aware of it. You have a grateful heart because you know.

Rebecca – “I believe that when we are at peace and when we feel loved, we tend to see the good that is out there.” I agree and concur! It’s interesting to me how two people can have the very same occurrence in their life, yet they can react to it in totally opposite directions, with one person grateful and blessed and the other person feeling unhappy or victimized. Peace and love (or lack of it) alter the experience. (( abrazos ))

Sheri – Thank you for the blog award! I learned much about you and share the same feeling about living near the water and about being truly, madly, deeply in love with life right now. SO AWESOME! You always always make me smile. I don’t usually do those lists myself, but for you, I will be very happy to make an exception – lol!

So, here I am … I’ve been doing some freelance writing for a website. Very cool project and I’m enjoying the content development. That’s part of the reason for my absence here; a lot of writing in the evenings or weekends.

And here I am … I’ve been trying to adopt a rescue dog for about two years and recently ramped up my efforts, checking daily, contacting organizations about specific dogs, completing applications and attending weekly dog adoption events at the pet supply stores. There are some great dogs out there! I’m allergic so have been focusing on non-allergenic breeds like Havanese, Maltese, etc. No luck so far, but I’m sure the time will come when “my” dog will present itself somehow. I think the organizations prefer to place the dogs in homes where they won’t be left alone the entire day. I understand that and I’m being patient. I totally trust that I’ll have my dog when I’m supposed to have her. I’m happy and grateful already knowing that there will be a four-legged companion in my life for me to love and care for. Peaceful and content.

And here I am … My daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters have been living about 50 miles away from me for the past few years. Good news: They’re moving back to Huntington Beach! I’m so thrilled! They’ll only be 2.5 miles from me; we can ride bikes back and forth on the weekends. Their landlord is totally sprucing up their new home; everything should be complete May 1. They’re moving out of their current home next weekend 4/9 and will just stay with me for a few weeks before their move-in. This way the girls can get into school here for the last couple of months. Jasmine (14) moved in with me last weekend; Brianna (10) will be here this Wednesday; we’ll move ‘em next weekend (their stuff will go in the garage of their new place for now) and then everyone will be here. My usually peaceful home will be fun and funny and filled with family. I’m so happy they’re coming back to HB!

And now I’m off to catch up with you all! Those taxes can wait …

love wordle