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Posts tagged ‘happiness’

Illuminated Manuscripts & The Holy Now

IMGI have been away so long, because for a while now I have been lost along the Way. Today, I found something I wrote a long time ago. It came back to me like a ray of light shining dimly through the nearly closed door into the dark room where I found myself once again. The door that swung ever-so-slowly shut while my back was turned, while my attention was elsewhere. Elsewhere in the past focused on pain and guilt, and in the future full of fear and dread; both in my personal life and reflected in the world at large. Reading my words from so long ago, I felt a faint knocking on my heart, a reminder that it is time to wake up again, to stand up, to turn and open the door once more. These are the words I read:

0001KQImagine all of the world’s sacred texts each transcribed onto their own single, thin transparent page. Each page rendered lovingly in vivid colors in the elaborate calligraphy of an illuminated manuscript. Each one striving to reveal the divine to a particular people at a particular time in a particular place.

Now, envision each fragile, holy page carefully layered one atop another. Stacked and neatly aligned, they are then lifted up to the divine light. All earthly interpretations dissolve while areas of commonality blend and deepen, rise to the surface. Like a stained glass cathedral window, only beauty emerges.

100_2667You begin to experience the enlightened words as they wash over you. Love. Compassion. Mercy. Forgiveness. Unity. From many voices, one divine source shines down on you and you are held suspended in an indescribable abiding love that seems to expand beyond your capacity to contain it. So you don’t try to contain it anymore. That’s when surrender comes.

All illusion dissolves, the veil is lifted, and you are free once again to see the divinity. In the only place it resides. In the here and now.

The divinity in the everyday. Every day.

Mammaste

I searched through 20,000 of my photos to find a particular image for ending this blog, but I couldn’t find it. But here is the one I kept finding–so I relented. A big fist-bump from the universe. Rock on, it seems to say. You’ve got this. We’ve got this.20150627_132321

Everyday Divinity

Landing expertly on the arm of my reading glasses, just next to the hinge, she bends her head over the front of the lens and starts tap, tap tapping on the glass. I can feel the warmth of her chest against my forehead, the manic beating of her little heart from flight.

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Moonstruck

Last night around 11PM I quickly climbed outside my second-story bedroom window onto the  roof that sits above the kitchen addition.   The roof is narrow and flat and covered in rubber. I was in a hurry to shoot the full moon before it moved behind a stand of tall trees on its trajectory across the night sky. I am a 55-year-old woman with dimensions incompatible with squeezing through a small opening in a big hurry. I barked my shin on the way out, bumped my head and cursed that moon. Rushing and grumbling, I impatiently set up my tripod and took a few quick photos only to find that my camera settings were off. As I anxiously readjusted the ISO and F-Stop, that beautiful annoying moon slipped behind the treetops and hid from my view.

It was near midnight as I stood high above the earth, irked at the moon. Then I noticed how quiet the world was. How the air was soft and cool and the black rubber roof, still holding the heat from the day’s sunshine, was warm beneath my bare feet.  I could see the neighborhood houses had closed their eyes, save for a few lighted windows winking at me through branches moving in the breeze.

Behind me, in the home I was leaning up against with one shoulder, my husband and children slept. Our big, sweet, retriever dog Baloo had followed me to the window. Looking confused as I squeezed through the narrow opening, he’d cocked his head from side to side, and was watching me still. With a heavy sigh I heard him plop down below the windowsill inside to wait for me.  I took a deep, contented breath and did the same on the other side of the wall. And there I sat, like a happy gargoyle perched on the roof, inhaling the silence, waiting on the moon.

Cheese!

Cheese!

By the time  she sauntered into a gap between the trees about 30 minutes later, I was calm and ready. I had a heart filled with love. Love of this home, this family, this neighborhood, the sleeping people, this night, this moon. I stood and put my eye to the viewfinder and seeing her full in the frame I said, “Well, there you are. Took your sweet time, I see.” She smiled and said, “Cheese!” as I clicked the shutter.

~Mammamste~
There is so much divinity in the everyday.

The world shines about me,

luminous as the moon

smiling like a rose,

and a sweet benediction flows

through everything existing.

How beautiful life is.

Hamza El Din

Pollyanna

This 'Way' of being in the world, of seeing the world as inherently good, of life as ultimately hopeful, and beautiful and sacred, is an exercise in flexing my ‘intention’ muscle every day. This loving outlook is an awareness I cultivate consciously. It is my spiritual practice of divine perspective. It is an intention of being a non-judgmental observer of myself and others. It involves, much of the time, my being unreasonably optimistic.

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You Were Born For This Moment

Subzero Sunrise

Subzero Sunrise

We often think the meaningful stuff of life will happen for us in big  ‘Ah-Ha’ moments when we suddenly see what our purpose is, discover our passion or perceive why we are here so we can get down to the business of  living our truest life. But what if because we are looking for what we assume it will look like, we are missing that it is already here, right in front of us?

Today, as I sat in my idling car at a red light on one of the coldest days in Minnesota history, I suddenly remembered a sunny summer evening sitting on the grass outside an elementary school down the street from our home. A school aptly named “Golden Years.”  I was watching my youngest daughter wobble around on her little bicycle that had just recently metamorphosed from four wheels to two. She had begged me to take her to the park so she could practice riding on what she called the ‘pie’ court. She was referring to the tattered basketball court at the base of the sloping hill where I sat watching her ride; tanned legs pumping, brown braids flapping.

Round and round she circled the rectangle, carefully cutting corners and bumping over cracks in the tar where tenacious weeds found purchase and grew stubby and thick under the regular trampling of feet. As I watched her ride I began to wonder why she calls this the ‘pie’ court. It was obviously not round . . . I called out to her as she cycled by me; “Why do you call this the ‘pie’ court?” On her next pass she yelled to me,
“It’s because there is a pie in the middle!”

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I looked, but I couldn’t see any circles anywhere on the court. “Where?” I shouted as she whizzed by again. This time she answered me well after she had passed by and I heard her words faintly trailing off, “It’s in the shape of the weeds!”

I looked again, this time really trying to see what she saw and suddenly,  there it was. Not the pie I assumed I’d see–not the round shape with a big triangle slice cut out. No, the weeds growing in the cracks of the basketball court formed an almost perfect symbol for pi. Not apple pie, but mathematical pi!  I was delighted to see it. My daughter was like a magician making something appear before my very eyes that wasn’t there a moment before (something children often do).

I hadn’t thought about that memory since that day a few years before and it made me feel a little sad. I realized there are so many details of my life that I will forget that are so simply beautiful.

piberational_fullpic_artworkI suddenly longed to remember all the small details that have made up this life of mine.  I wondered, what if NOW is always the moment we were born for? What if every NOW contains the potential of living out our purpose, our passion, our reason for being? What if we looked at it that way, that we were born for this very moment in time, all the time? (Yes, even these moments in idling cars, waiting for lights to change.) I wonder, would we finally see the vast infinity of pi (even in the weeds) if we stopped looking so hard for that big slice of apple pie?  I wonder.

Mammaste

Divinity in the Everyday

The Things We Do For Love?

So what happens when we realize what we thought we were giving out of love, we were really giving in exchange for love? What can we do when we feel resentment or bitterness welling up over something we’ve given in exchange for less than what we expected?

Well, that’s the amazing thing about gifts of love–we can retroactively transform those past transactions into gifts by simply forgiving any perceived debt! We can just burn the invoice, tear up the bill, erase it from the ledger in our heart. The alchemy of this transformation is pure magic, and you and I, we are all magicians at heart.

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And Isn’t It Ironic, Don’t You Think?

Sigh. I love my husband more than that holy water. I really do. But I'm not gonna' lie, it is a love that was sorely tested that day.

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Are Our Lives Predestined?

At the time, I had been trying unsuccessfully for about six years to have a baby, so I asked him; “When will my baby be born?” After a moment, he shook his head, looked a bit bewildered and said; “Well, it’s not for me to question the information I’m getting, but I’m being told your baby will be born in January.” I said, “Really? January? As in two months from now?” He looked as perplexed as I felt and he nodded and said; “Yes. I’ve checked it several times. Yes, in two months from now.” Clearly, I was not seven months pregnant. We both would have noticed that!

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I told Dad what you said about him . . .

“I told dad what you said about him,” my fifteen-year-old daughter said to me the other day. A stab of panic gripped my stomach. Had I said something derogatory? I knew I wouldn’t have, couldn’t have, especially to my daughter. But that irrational thought still crossed my mind and my heart. Maybe I had made a joke about him and she had taken me seriously? Maybe I was feeling some residual guilt from a time in my life when I was often careless and callous with my words about others. (It still happens, I’m no saint, but I work hard at being more aware of harsh words before they pass my lips.) She must have seen the worry on my face, because she quickly explained;
“I told him what you said about him being so good and kind and funny, and how you felt grateful to have him as your husband. When I told him what you said, mom, he smiled.” As she told me this, she smiled too. So did I.

It is so easy to tell our children how much we love and appreciate them. Through this conversation with my daughter I learned how important it is to tell them what we love and appreciate about others too, spoken from an easy and casual place of truth and sincerity. Out loud.

I think this may apply to how we speak to others too, not just to our children.

What do you think?

Mammaste

There is so much Divinity in the Everyday.

Seeing Beyond Things

Our every encounter with one another, all of our relationships in this life are holy. Each one has the potential to be a sacred exchange, whether it involves laughter or tears; a simple smile or even a sneer! We need only pay attention. There is so much divinity in the everyday if we have eyes that not only see but also perceive; if we can listen with ears that hear with an open heart. It is all gift. All of it. Keep watching, keep noticing, look and see beyond things. It really does expand your world.

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