Thursday, December 31, 2009

Waving good-bye, waving hello

What a wonderful year 2009 has been. It's brought so many healing and delightful things into my life: good tools for dealing with stress and taking better care of myself, heartfelt visits with family, two new amazing nephews (TWO!), a teacher (finally!), fun trips with my sweetie, (sorry, just have to say it, in my eyes a pretty cool new President), powerful e-courses and new friends and means of expression, the list just goes on and on... I feel deeply grateful. What will happen next?

video
[Oh, and no need to turn on your speakers for this little video. The acoustics of the courtyard and my camera made the fountain sound, in the words of my brilliant, articulate nephew Sammy, "kind of crazy".]

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I love this man!

When I need a little inspiration, John Cage always makes me braver and happier.


[Sorry about the rather hilarious shift at 4:20 to a Chet Baker song! Such a dramatic contrast to Cage's discussion of sounds as just sounds:) Didn't realize this was part of a longer piece - should have watched the whole thing! But the first 4 minutes and 20 seconds of this are fantastic.]

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Six word story

Inspired by the notion of six word stories, here's my own offering.


The light sparkled. Life was happening.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wild about Wilde

More tragedy from another favorite prisoner of mine:) This reading by Stephen Fry is a wonderful treat!



I watched Stephen Fry in the movie, Wilde, yesterday. A wonderful film! And I also recommend a couple of recent-ish adaptations of Wilde's plays: An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. But, these voices will always be Earnest to me:)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

That Bird Has My Wings

One of the many wonderful Christmas gifts I received this year from my sweetie is Jarvis Jay Masters's book, That Bird Has My Wings. Jarvis is a prisoner on death row in San Quentin. He is also a Buddhist, an amazing man who is friends with Pema Chodron and has taken a vow to help others -- a challenging task in the violent atmosphere of the prison system. Jarvis's story is so sad that as I find myself in this little island of love and peace in his memoir, I don't want to pick it up again because I know how terrible it is going to get -- I want to let that happy, loved little boy get some more time in the care of his devoted foster parents. In the meanwhile, I'll share a few things about the book here.

Interview with Jarvis Jay Masters, author of THAT BIRD HAS MY WINGS

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I woke up this morning with a heart bursting with love for all of you who visit me here and I wanted to give you a wonderful treat, like a delicious handmade, decorated gingerbread man and a cup of spicy tea. But I haven't figured out a way to deliver food via my blog. So instead I found this video, which may or may not fit the bill for you. But I love Flaming Lips and feel like they embody that feeling of love and wanting to give something beautiful to the world through their music. This song has the potential to bring a little magic to your day. Or not:) But know the intention is all love, love, love. Thank you for being you. You are dear to me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve


Thoroughly enjoying a lazy day off with my sweetie. Hooray for holidays! Wishing you and yours a relaxing, lovely weekend.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Momma Zen's "Stacking up: a taste of my laundry"

Andrea Scher posted the audio portion of the following post on her wonderful Superhero Journal blog last week and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought you might like it, too.

Stacking up: a taste of my laundry

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice - my favorite day of the year!

A picture of the last light of the shortest day of the year and a blurry image of that gorgeous crescent moon of the longest night:)



Looking forward to welcoming back the light!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Visions of India dancing in my head


I recently discovered the wonderful blog Lavender and Limes, just in time for Christine Chitnis's trip to India. She's been posting such amazing photos and great stories. It inspired me to shoot this portrait of Ganesh. If you like this, her blog will blow you away:)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dare. Change.

My Unravelling friend, Karen, has a wonderful blog that I always enjoy reading. Today she mentioned this video in her post and it knocked me out, so I wanted to share it here. Enjoy!


Apparently this was made for a Peruvian department store. Nice!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another interesting TED talk

You probably know I'm a huge fan of the TED talks. Found them through a link to Robert Thurman's delightful talk on how compassion is just more fun and went back for Elizabeth Gilbert's wonderful exploration of how artists relate to their muse and Jill Bolte Taylor's amazing story of her "stroke of insight".

Earlier this week I watched another talk that's kind of stuck with me since, about synthetic vs natural happiness. Thought you might find it interesting, too. There's something about it that seems to echo some of Sharon's "wise words" from earlier this week...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gives Me Hope

You may have noticed the new little gadget on the side of the page here. I'm so touched by the stories on Gives Me Hope. Here's a lovely video with more of the stories that people have submitted.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Classic Lizzy movie

It should surprise no one that I loved Last Chance Harvey -- Netflix streaming hit of the day:)

Got that swing

I think Rob Brezsny may be onto something great for 2010:

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" is a jazz tune composed in 1931 by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills. In accordance with your long-term astrological omens, I propose that we make that song title your motto in 2010 -- the standard you'll keep referring to as you evaluate which experiences you want to pursue and which you don't. Please proceed on the assumption that you should share your life energy primarily with people and situations that make your soul sing and tingle and swing.

This song totally makes me swing -- thanks Kath & Justin for including it on one of your amazing Christmas mixes! Had it in my head for a day after my last post. It is always welcome:)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hooray for blue sky!

After a few gray days I loved seeing the sun today! Hope you enjoy sharing a view of this incredible blue sky.

video

Wise words

December 14, 2009
Tricycle's Daily Dharma
Being, Not Becoming


The Tibetan Buddhist tradition defines renunciation as accepting what comes into our lives and letting go of what leaves our lives. To renounce in this sense is to come into a state of simple being. We have a moment of seeing, a moment of hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, thinking—just a moment, and then it is gone. When we look very carefully, we see that our experience is like a cascade of impressions. If we rely upon any one of these transiencies for a sense of permanent satisfaction, we lose the happiness of simply being. Just imagine for a moment the stillness and peace of not leaning forward even for the next breath. This is being, rather than becoming, and this is the power and fullness of metta.

-Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And just for Sammy!

Christmas and Bob Dylan all wrapped up in one:) Plus dancing AND fighting!

Moving movie

I also shot some little videos along on my walk yesterday, but ran into technical issues with Blogger. Hope you enjoy these today...

video

More moving and a little listening at the end

Love the birdcall in this serene moment. Sounds like a woodpecker to me.

video

Sitting, waiting, watching

So happy to have captured one of my favorite things to see, just as I was headed home. Sorry I missed getting its whistle! Next time...

video

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Today I went for a walk

I woke up this morning craving moving and looking and feeling the wind on my face. So I tried out the new sidewalk in Kingston Springs. It was wonderful!






Friday, December 11, 2009

Babies & Blankets


Hoping to get some major work done on Yuma's quilt this weekend. Looking at the past six blankets I've made with their owners enjoying them is great inspiration:)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another surprise movie delight - Henry Poole Is Here

It's interesting to me how sometimes the images and descriptions of movies on Netflix lead me to write off a movie that I end up really enjoying. Penelope was one of these. Today's surprise film delight was Henry Poole Is Here. And it's a streaming option (for now). See what you think.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter landscape

I'm addicted to posting my little movies of nothing in particular:) Even if they don't always play...

video

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More mundane beauty

Don't worry! Soon I'll stop posting amateur films of pigeons swooping around:) But not yet!

video

Monday, December 7, 2009

More looking

I love watching the pigeons flying outside the library. This was a small flock and it was a cloudy day, but I was happy to be able to capture some of this.

video

Friday, December 4, 2009

Looking


I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.

Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
as though with your arms open.

And thinking: maybe something will come, some
shining coil of wind,
or a few leaves from any old tree –
they are all in this too.

And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world
comes.

At least, closer.

And, cordially.

-Mary Oliver

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

Brene Brown posted this video on her wonderful Ordinary Courage blog and it really resonated. Thought you might enjoy it, too!



Learn more here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My day

More progress on the quilt, grooving to the menu music for the Kamikaze Girls DVD -- today's cinematic treat! Thank you David and Michiko!
video

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wowza and whew!

One reason I was so darned HAPPY on Wednesday was that I was about to watch Jim Jarmusch's new film, The Limits of Control, which was just released on DVD on the 17th. God bless Netflix for getting it into my hot little hands so quickly. And it definitely didn't disappoint!

The trailer makes it seem like there might be some kind of plot to the movie, but I think any thinking like that will only disappoint. To me, it is like watching a poem. As Jarmusch is quoted as saying: "The beauty of life is in small details, not in big events." And: "It's great that the audience have their own different takes on what they have just seen, and don't know all the answers. Often, I don't know all the answers either."

Plus, every shot is gorgeous -- Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express) was the cinematographer, need I say more?:)



And on the whew front, I've made some serious progress on Yuma's quilt. Wondered if it ever was going to come together, so I'm quite relieved that it is at this point and actually looking like something. The colors are far more vivid in person -- hope the little guy likes color!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

I am so thankful that you're part of my life! I hope you're having a wonderful day!

A glimpse into the Coleman Thanksgiving.
video

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Soooo happy about Thanksgiving

video

Great Rob Brezsny horoscope this week

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Do you know what you're really worth? Not as measured by your bank account and luxurious possessions. Not as reflected by your boss's or parents' or enemies' images of you. Not as distorted by what you wish you were worth or fear you're not worth. I'm talking about taking an illusion-free inventory of the skills you have that are fulfilling to you and useful to others. I'm talking about your wisdom more than your knowledge, your self-love more than your popularity, your ability to be good more than to look good.

Feels like he's on to me:)

As if it were written for me:)

November 25, 2009
Tricycle's Daily Dharma
Accepting Imperfection


Any time we want life to be different than it is, we are caught in impatience. We lose our sense of humor; and self-pity, despair, and blame seep into the heart. Gentle forbearance includes the spirit of forgiveness. When we feel conflict with others, understanding their suffering is the first step in being able to communicate, forgive, and begin again. The practice of forgiveness happens when we are able to realize the underlying cause of our anger and impatience, and this allows us to distinguish between someone’s unskillful behavior and essential goodness. Serenity and calm develop as we learn to accept imperfection in others and ourselves.

-Michele McDonald, "Finding Patience," Tricycle, Summer 2004

I love everything about this quotation. Accepting imperfection...oh, to embrace it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Movie of the Week - Penelope

For some reason I've passed over this movie in my Netflix streaming queue for months and months. This morning I needed something to iron to and thought I'd give it a try. So glad I did! What a fun movie -- great cast and I love the look of it. You might want to give it a try!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just sitting

November 21, 2009
Tricycle's Daily Dharma
The Paradox of Practice


Just sitting means just that. That “just” endlessly goes against the grain of our need to fix, transform, and improve ourselves. The paradox of our practice is that the most effective way of transformation is to leave ourselves alone. The more we let everything be just what it is, the more we relax into an open, attentive awareness of one moment after another. Just sitting leaves everything just as it is.

- Barry Magid, “How to Change Your Mind,” Tricycle, Summer 2005

Friday, November 20, 2009

Start Close In


Read a wonderful poem today, thanks to Liz Elayne at be present, be here. It's by a poet I'm not familiar with, David Whyte, but it definitely makes me want to read more. Here's the beginning:

START CLOSE IN

Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

You can read the rest here. Happy Friday everyone:)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nothing/Walking


I've really enjoyed Sharon Salzberg's latest blog post on Huffington Post: "The Nothing That Heals Us". Here are the first couple of paragraphs, to give you a taste:

"It's the end of daylight savings time on the east coast, and it just about always seems to be dim. Each day is largely dark, and cold, hinting at the uselessness of endeavor and the insubstantiality of what we ordinarily run around seeking. It's a good time to be depressed.

"This is the way we conventionally view what Buddhists call emptiness, and mystics of many traditions call nothingness or the Void. A really murky day, pointing to the uselessness of it all. But at the heart of personal, transformative wisdom, this emptiness isn't a cold, depressing problem, leading us down to nihilism - seeing emptiness is liberation. It brings us right through the seeming solidity and oppressiveness of our ordinary concerns, into a world where reality is shimmering, translucent, vital, while also being insubstantial, fleeting, and evanescent."

Good reading for those of us who are feeling quiet these days. You can read the rest here.

And when you're ready, I'd love it if you would come on a walk with me!

video

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Amazing afternoon with Mike Snider

As a special birthday weekend treat, I got to hear Mike Snider speak yesterday. Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to get to do a weekend intensive and hang out with the lovely, funny, deeply compassionate Jon Bernie. When I got back to Tennessee, I was browsing the Resources page on Adyashanti's website, and was blown away to see someone listed in Tennessee. I contacted Mike to see if he had any kind of regular Satsang and he sent a kind reply that he tended to work one-on-one with folks, that there was a group in Nashville that had invited him to come speak and he would let me know if anything came of it, and that I was welcome to email him with anything that was going on for me that he might be able to help with -- a really generous offer.

He kindly followed up a couple of weeks ago saying that he was coming to town after all and I was surprised and delighted to see that he'd be speaking at the 12South Dharma Center, where the Shambhala group I used to sit with met, so it was a venue I was familiar and comfortable with and sort of meaningful, since I'd been having feelings of being flakey and always looking for something new in my practice. Nice to have it confirmed, if only in my mind, that this wasn't something entirely different.

When I walked into the center, I immediately recognized Mike. There were those same kind, beautiful eyes Jon has! And he has that same huge heart and sweetness. And great sense of humor! You can listen to a bit of one of his talks here (scroll down to "Mike Snider in Palo Alto") and get a feeling for his sense of humor here:



He played the banjo to open up (he had just played the Opry the night before, that morning, and was headed back that evening), gave a short talk, and then opened it up for dialogue. Oh, I was in heaven! The room was packed, which surprised him. He expressed interest in coming back and I think we all are hoping he does. What a great day!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Great quote from Chogyam Trungpa

Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week
November 14, 2009

REMAINING HUMAN


Going along with mindfulness requires a great deal of trust. Probably the beginning meditator will not be able simply to rest there, but will feel the need for a change. I remember someone who had just finished a meditation retreat telling me how she had sat and felt her body and felt grounded. But then she thought how she should be doing something else. She went on to tell me how the right book had "just jumped" into her lap, and she had started to read. At that point, one doesn't have a solid base anymore. One's mind is beginning to grow little wings. Mindfulness of body has to do with trying to remain human, rather than becoming an animal or fly or etheric being. It means just trying to remain a human being, an ordinary human being.

From "The Four Foundations of Mindfulness," in THE SANITY WE ARE BORN WITH: A BUDDHIST APPROACH TO PSYCHOLOGY, page 27.

This quotation really resonates today. How often my mind grows little wings:) But these days I'm wanting more and more to just be in my body and be an ordinary human being. Wonderful confirmation here. Oh, Chogyam Trungpa:)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Feeling quiet

I don't know if it's getting over my cold or the season, but I'm feeling really quiet these days, sort of emptied out. Right now my big desire is to finish up the projects I'm working on by the end of the year and then spend the winter lying fallow. I just want to rest and replenish. So, anyway, here are some quiet things that have been good company lately.

Loved this little Argentinian movie. It streams on Netflix if that increases your interest. They call it "Intimate Stories" there. Oh, and they show it with subtitles:)



Also am absolutely loving Jon Bernie's talks that they've posted lately, including the Q&A portion. Could that man possibly have a bigger heart? I would love to replace my neurotic inner dialogue with the compassion Jon shows everyone in satsang.

And I'm also loving Jen Lee's recent podcasts. She has such an intimate way of talking and I love what she has to say. Along those same lines, really enjoyed Susannah's interview video on Danielle LaPorte's blog today. Love these inspiring women!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Movie of the Week - TransAmerica

This movie knocked me out!



And Dolly even wrote a song for it:) You've got to check it out!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Amazing Jen Lee

Loved this interview with Jen Lee. Especially liked where she was talking about being authentic as part of finding your tribe, being brave enough to really be yourself and then the right people coming into your life. Also have been enjoying the TV version of This American Life, which she mentions. How did I stop listening to it? Anyway, putting this here so I don't forget about it again. Am keeping my fingers crossed she's teaching at Squam again next September! Would be amazing to get to take a class with her.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Knowing ourselves

Moved to the Truth chapter of the Joy Diet and today's Daily Dharma really resonated with that. Putting it here to keep thinking about (italics are mine):

October 26, 2009
Tricycle's Daily Dharma
The Language of Dreams

We know that our dreams are just ways we have of telling ourselves about ourselves when we are asleep, and yet we have learned to keep from ourselves so much of who we fully, truly are that our dreams seem strange. Amazing, isn’t it? What we tell ourselves about ourselves must be told with so much secrecy and arcane symbolism that we can’t remember it, and if we can, we can’t understand it. At such moments our inner world seems shrouded, muted, alienated, as the natural world seems when it is covered with snow.

Isn’t it sad to realize that we have learned not to accept who we fully are? And isn’t it wonderful to remember that gradually, with courage, we can come to accept and include even what at first had appeared so strange, so horrible, so not-me in our dreams?

- Sylvia Forges-Ryan, from “Bare Branches, Bare Attention,” Tricycle, Winter 2002

Sunday, October 25, 2009