Year of the Yin Fire Rooster

{original post on elephant journal}

episode034-2017-yearofthefirerooster

Monday, February 27, 2017, marks the beginning of the new year in the Tibetan calendar, also known as Losar or Shambhala Day.

As the rooster crows to welcome the sun, we wake up.

A mindful morning ritual helps us begin each day with a solid yet flexible plan. Healthy habits help keep us more creative and less destructive during these politically uncertain times.

We need to take a bird’s-eye view, seeing beyond the veils of delusion and illusion, looking at the current situation from a higher perspective and remembering that this too shall pass, whatever it is—pleasant, neutral or unpleasant.

Face reality. Keep up the good work. Never give up.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and to go to extremes: reading and thinking too much, obsessing and fretting over the world’s problems, which are all our problems. Then, to bounce the other way into denial or avoidance: hearing disturbing news, and not knowing what to do, where to go, how to handle or process it.

Here’s an eloquent reminder from Howard Zinn:

“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.”

This year, this moment, is all about raising consciousness, collectively and personally. This life is all about finding the balance—the spot on the continuum between too much and not enough.

I keep remembering the dharma story about the stringed instrument: A musician cannot play his guitar if the strings are too loose. No sound will come out. Yet, if they are too tight, the strings will break. We need to find the right combination of tension and ease in order to make beautiful music.

Staying aware of important issues and prioritizing self-care and self-love in order to be able to offer love and care to others in need. We are all in need.

“Rooster greets the new day with all the elegance, strength and vibrancy of its entire being, in service to the community. Let us all do the same. “ ~ Karen Abler Carrasco

May all beings sharpen our skillful means. May we discern what to hold onto and what to let go of. May we share our true feelings and our honest voices.

Tashi Delek! (Good Luck!)

“There are seasons in your life in the same way as there are seasons in nature. There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally, of course, there are times that are cold and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. These rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche 

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