Just Being

Yesterday I had the privilege of being part of a Native American Pipe Ceremony.

The setting was a beautiful piece of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a breezy Spring afternoon. Every element conspired to raise us all up to a high level of awareness.

We all wandered off to experience the mountain in our own ways — I was drawn to the small pond a little ways from our circle.

I stood by the water, just being: feeling the breeze against my face, the slight moisture from the earlier showers; hearing the high cry of a hawk, the drumming of a woodpecker, the creaking of branches against one another; inhaling the sweet tang of apple blossom; seeing the young reeds dancing in the water ripples. 

Just being: part of it all, feeling it all, loving it all.

What a blessed day!

The Osho Zen Tarot card Experiencing, captures the day perfectly.

You just look around, look into the eyes of a child, or into the eyes of your beloved, your mother, your friend – or just feel a tree. Have you ever hugged a tree? Hug a tree, and one day you will come to know that it is not only that you have hugged the tree but that the tree also responds, the tree also hugs you. Then for the first time you will be able to know that the tree is not just the form, it is not just a certain species the botanists talk about, it is an unknown God – so green in your courtyard, so full of flowers in your courtyard, so close to you, beckoning you, calling you again and again.
  aaaaa                 [from] Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang Chapter 2
An “experience” is something that can be filed away in a notebook, or captured on film and pasted into an album. ‘Experiencing’ is the feeling of wonder itself, the thrill of communion, the gentle touch of our connectedness with all that surrounds us.
The woman in this card is not just touching this tree, she is in communion with it, she has almost become one with it. It is an old tree, and has seen many hard times. Her touch is gentle, reverent, and the white on the inside of her cape reflects the purity of her heart. She is humble, simple – and that is the right way to approach nature. Nature doesn’t bang any drums when it bursts forth into flower, nor play any dirges when the trees let go of their leaves in the fall. But when we approach her in the right spirit, she has many secrets to share.
If you haven’t heard nature whispering to you lately, now is a good time to give her the opportunity.

The Endless Array

A friend sent me an e-mail asking about for my thoughts on death, questioning the continuation of spirit, and expressing concerns about hell and punishment.

I responded to her the best I could, and wound up afterwards contemplating the endless array of wonders that make up this physical world.

My own beliefs about the spiritual and eternal nature of Life are clear and pretty well set at this point in my life. My ideas about the “what” of that spiritual continuation are very fuzzy, however. The unknown is both exciting and frightening, I suppose. More exciting though, if you believe in possibilities. . .

Today’s Osho Zen Tarot card, then, is Possibilities.

Mind can accept any boundary anywhere. But the reality is that, by its very nature, existence cannot have any boundary, because what will be beyond the boundary? – again another sky. That’s why I am saying skies upon skies are available for your flight. Don’t be content easily. Those who remain content easily remain small: small are their joys, small are their ecstasies, small are their silences, small is their being. But there is no need! This smallness is your own imposition upon your freedom, upon your unlimited possibilities, upon your unlimited potential.a
Osho Live Zen Chapter 2
The eagle has an overview of all the possibilities contained in the landscape below, as he flies freely, naturally and effortlessly through the sky. He is really in his domain, very grand and self-contained.
This card indicates that you are at a point where a world of possibilities is open to you. Because you have grown more loving towards yourself, more self-contained, you can work easily with others. Because you are relaxed and at ease, you can recognize possibilities as they present themselves, sometimes even before others can see them. Because you are in tune with your own nature, you understand that existence is providing you with exactly what you need.
Enjoy the flight! And celebrate all the varied wonders of the landscape spread before you.


I’m adding a quick prayer* for my friend: 

I know that the Universe is a loving and vibrant setting for Love and Grace to prevail.

I know that Divine Love guides and guards us as we explore the infinite possibilities of human existence.

I know I am a child of that Divine and Loving Presence who shapes the world, and reflect the glorious possibilities of that beauty and power.

As a beloved child of the Divine I declare the truth that my friend is equally beloved and cherished. That she can open herself to the possibilities of joy and vibrant life. She can embrace the powerful and loving, rather than dwell in the shadows.

She (we all) are inheritors of a glorious and exquisite universe of the senses, the sounds, and tastes of the world. They surround us and uplift us, full of God’s grace, and His/Her endless desire for good, for life, for love. That impulse, even compulsion, toward light and life are in each of us in full, unlimited measure.

Nothing in my thoughts of the thoughts of another can delay, or deny or deter the fullness of this expression of Divine Love in our lives. I know that is Love is in motion — right here and now — working for the good in my friend’s life, and I know this love can overcome any barrier, belief or fear.

Therefore, I release this prayer in joyful gratitude, knowing it is already done.

And So It is.


*This prayer is an abbreviated form of Science of Mind Treatment.

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

I’ve had some medical stuff going on this past week that has taken my attention from writing. I’m nearly back to center — with some minor surgery ahead in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, life is returning to its normal shapes and textures. Here’s a beautiful mandala for all of us who are facing challenges this week (including just being alive). 

Have a happy day.

Birds & Hope

450px-White-Browed_Robin“If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.”

This Chinese proverb symbolizes both the reliable, yet fleeting, nature of joy and the eternal upwelling of hope to me. I haven’t blogged on my love of birds before, but it struck me tonight how much a touchstone they represent to me. I can depend on their song, a flash of scarlet wing, a cocky tilt of a chickadee’s head, the liquid trill of a wren. These moments transport me out of everyday consciousness — out of misery, depression, sorrow, exhaustion, fear, doubt, loneliness — into the power of the present (or the Power of the Presence, if you will).

Something in the juxtaposition of fragility and vitality that a bird is, takes me to center and balances me there. What an amazing gift they are to the world. I always wonder just what it is that makes them move me so — from the hummer feisty vitality to the majesty and power of the hawk, they have an instantaneous transforming effect.

Or maybe it’s just that you have to be looking upward to see them…