Sunday, May 25, 2014

big adventure

ingrid and tom

The old pond,
A frog jumps in:

-Matsuo Basho, translated by Alan Watts

This was a big week! I spent a long weekend working on my active imagination paper, then helped present the upcoming gallery exhibit information at the library's Board meeting, Ingrid Laubrock and Tom Rainey came to town and we did programming with them at the library and at Zeitgeist Gallery, and then I've spent the weekend with some art conservators working on the public art at the library, and coordinated a bookmaking workshop on Saturday. I'd seen this week coming on my calendar and knew it was going to be a big one, but as it goes with these things, all we can do is try not to panic. And it has actually been a wonderful experience! I am incredibly lucky to have the best support team of all time of family and friends and coworkers who were right there to step in any time I needed any kind of assistance. Amazing! And I've gotten better at asking for and accepting help, which honestly makes it all possible. We just can't do these things alone, and it is so much more fun to do them together!

Also, every morning I do some active imagination - I tell you, I love this stuff! I'll get into a relaxed state and wait to see if anyone or anything shows up. This week I've received incredible wisdom from a little Zen frog who appeared on a lily pad in a pond and told me that he likes to sit in the sun and then hop into the pond and then sit in the sun and sometimes sing. I've experienced frog singing at Joe's and it is amazing! Anyway, wise Mr. Frog has been a very helpful reminder to keep it simple and stay present - just what has been needed this week.

And Ingrid and Tom were completely lovely and fun and their music blew our minds, as we knew it would. Rodger gives a moving account of his experience of it here.

I hope you are having a fun holiday weekend! Enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

paper adventure

My final paper for this quarter is due on Wednesday and I've had so much fun this weekend working on it. The class this quarter has been on active imagination and I've been really intrigued by the use of this Jungian technique to explore our unlived lives. So that's what I've been up to. Not much to share, but I remembered that I'd mentioned sharing part of my final project for another class and never did. So here's part of that. Enjoy!

nyc mystery door

Sitting in the large meditation hall, I’m trying not to fall asleep, feeling both tired and agitated. The man behind me is too close. I can feel his face inches from the back of my neck. I’m worried that I’ll doze off and drop my pen and notebook, my eyelids getting heavier and heavier with each blink.

The talk is on stabilization, our natural ability to be present and to know what’s happening, and here I am actively falling into unconsciousness over and over, drifting off and coming back and drifting off again. Well, at least I am being kind to myself about it, momentarily practicing acceptance, and looking forward to climbing into my soft, warm bed.

It is hard to know what’s more uncomfortable, when the hall is hot and stuffy or when the air conditioning kicks on and a cold blast of air makes me shiver and wrap my scarf even tighter around my neck. My stomach growls – the vegan lasagna might not have been the best choice. What will I have for breakfast tomorrow? Oh, right, the talk. What have I traveled halfway across the country to hear?

The older woman in her maroon robes and short Buddhist nun haircut, whose kind face smiles out at me from the countless books and CDs on my shelves at home, is describing her fellow practitioners who’ve dedicated their lives to seeing everything about themselves with kindness, without trying to change anything, and she says she feels this is an example of how to be fully human.

“Sounds like individuation,” I think to myself, struck by the similarity between Buddhist teachings and what I’ve been studying in my classes on Jung. And then she says something that wakes me up completely: “Things become doorways to a bigger, more profound reality.”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

haiku adventure

drive home from loose leaf hollow

I know, almost as soon as I got home I was back on the road again. But my dear Joe Z. was offering a one-day retreat I couldn't resist: Stalking the Wild Haiku! I drove up on Friday afternoon and back on Saturday after a day of wandering in the beautiful Kentucky countryside, stopping here and there to jot down a haiku in my little notebook. Here are a few to document the day:

On a meander -
I love walking in the rain.
And now an excuse.

Green sprouts in brown field
Rain is pattering, soft, soft.
Black cows standing guard.

Cedar heavy with
marooned, orange sea-creatures...
how mysterious!

Indigo bunting
distracts me on the road back -
no time for poems now.

The afternoon sun
dances on the back porch leaves.
Rain a memory.

The wind in the trees
and the sound of my footsteps
then a rooster crows.

Written to stillness,
my mind floats like the branches -
open and content.

Opening, closing,
the butterfly tests her wings
or just feels the sun.

My eyes love to look!
A day in nature is a
treat for mind and soul!

Joe really designed a wonderful little retreat for our lovely group - complete with a great and fitting Friday night movie for our day in nature: The Way with Martin Sheen. One of my fellow retreatants had actually walked the Camino and it was a treat to get to hear about her experience. Although I was only away for a little over 24 hours I came home in a completely different place - feeling quite held and supported by nature and community. What a gift!

And a very happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful and amazing mothers in my life. I so appreciate you all!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

library adventure

One of my wonderful co-workers shared this with me and it touched my heart and rocked my world. Hope you enjoy, too!