Tuesday, December 3, 2013
You don't have to do everything right now.
You don't have to do everything right.
You don't have to do everything.
You don't have to do.
You don't have to.
Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Into my empty mind came the remembrance of Thanksgivings past, in which I drove I-71 from Columbus to my parent's house on Greenlawn Avenue in Akron in the worst traffic of the year - bumper to bumper at 72 mph. During that drive I would vow things like, "He's not going to get to me this time," and "I'm not going to get mad at anybody today."
In time my parents moved to a small apartment in a nearby town, and Cassie held the Annual Dysfunction, as someone later termed it, not in jest, then my father died and we all went to a horribly expensive restaurant. Then I held it in my house. Then my mother died. Then my sister moved to Australia. Then my brother finished his dying of liver cancer. Things change.
Midstream we began the Thanksgiving dinner at the church. It was something Tina came to - her family didn't like her, either - but she died last year. I miss her acerbic presence in my life; she was irreplaceable. Well, they all are. We all are.
I didn't know much about vowing back then. Nor was I in the habit of expressing my anger, irritation, resentment - just kept them on simmer. Of course, that kind of vow is an evil virus that can take over all your feelings and put them in the deep freeze we call depression.
I've been teaching the Great Vows for all, and thinking how the second vow is a natural for this great family holiday in this country of rampant consumerism -
Greed, anger, and ignorance arise endlessly, vowing to cut off the mind road.They do arise. And the vow is not to stop them. The vow is to let them pass, the way you do when you meditate. The vow is to get off the long train of resentments, preferences, desires, by doing something else. Cut off the mind road of long stories, hear the music, and enter the dance.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Above, the Dalai Lama talks about what is a fundamental goal of every religion - that we learn to love and serve others by becoming less obsessed with our desires and preferences. That command over our own thoughts and actions is the road to being happier more of the time, suffering less, and causing less suffering.
It is not at all about becoming Nobody. On the contrary, realized people always have a large energy field, or presence. It is about becoming who we really are, not who we were told to be. Insofar as we practice "self-denial" we are giving up our pleasures or desires. We are denying our addictions and distractions, our delusions - relinquishing them - and becoming more fully human - the women and men we actually want to be.
Friday, November 1, 2013
It's a funny thing, being a poet, or an artist of any kind. There's a great deal to learn, because art, as distinguished from self-expression, rests on craft and on the tradition, on all the discoveries of every poet who went before you.
It usually means you have a dedicated time to write most days. You read other poets and are connected to some - these days, often on the web. You practice the art without expecting to gain anything from it, though you could luck out. But if you do it to become rich or famous, it tends to become commerce, which looks to the marketplace rather than the soul.
But the largest part, I think, is Being a Poet. It is a way of being receptive to the whole world, outer and inner, of ambling along rather than always driving to some goal. It has to do with the need or desire to experience new things, to expand yourself.
And it has to do with creating enough empty space in your life to "waste time". I was doing that this morning, checking email, and clicked on a link in a post from Motionpoems, to which I subscribe. They never disappoint. There is also an article on the site by Angella Kasube, the creator of the video. What a wonderful new use of new technology. I hope you enjoy it, too.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Here is a bonus post - a heartwarming photo essay "Grandma and her odd-eyed cat," the link sent to me by a longtime Faithful Reader who goes by the name Was Once. Love, and good photography. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.