Rainy Days and Wednesdays

The rain has been dripping down. Steady, light, nearly constant for the past day and a half. This is what we asked for, but now we complain. Instead of dancing in the rain and celebrating, we hide from it, wait for it to stop.

The plants, trees, earth and lake are graciously accepting the rain. Drip, drip, drip. I feel like curling back up in bed, which I probably will for another half hour. Yesterday, home all day with an energetic little girl and a persistent headache. Today, grateful that the headache has subsided. Breathing, writing, preparing to face whatever this day brings. The birds are singing in the rain.

Hurricane Michael followed by a storm named Nadine. Category 4, aiming to hit the Florida panhandle. I guess that’s where this rain is coming from. Much needed for the crops but is it too little too late? Better than nothing? We’ll be grateful when the sun is shining again and the mud dries up.

I am daydreaming, not meditating. I am writing things for other people, not myself. Usually, they are interesting and enable me to learn something new. Prebiotics is a thing, for example. I have got the healthy wellness inspirational mindfulness yoga niche down pat. Brilliant how things flow when we do what we love and care about. Nasty how it all scrunches up and flips out when we are forced, or force ourselves, into being fake, doing something primarily for the money, sell our souls to buy more crap.

My twenty year high school reunion was last weekend. I had zero desire to attend. My graduating class had almost eight hundred kids in it. I knew maybe a quarter of them.  I’m hosting a mini reunion in mid-November with a handful of friends from those days. The nineties! It will be my first Thanksgiving in Texas in a decade. Two weeks and two days we’ll be there with my family, the TV, stores, cars, going places, playgrounds, toys, everything and more. How different my daughter’s childhood is than my own was. I’d like to write a book about that someday.

December takes us on another pilgrimage to Suramerica,. Oh yes, it’s all happening. Navidad and our daughter’s golden birthday and Carnaval de blancos y negros in the south of Colombia with my husband’s family.

Careful what you wish for; it just may come true.

Enjoy the fall!

Ain’t We All Human?

No one is immune.

Morality must shine forth from within.

Living truth, living from the heart, being just and creative and kind and compassionate.

All the organized structures must fall down, eventually, rotted from the inside, shot through with guru worship, magical thinking, discrimination, spiritual materialism.

None is exempt: not yogis, not Buddhists, not Christians, not Catholics, not Muslims, not atheists, not agnostics, nobody.

The women are coming up and let’s bring all of humanity, all of Mother Earth and Father Sky with us, too.

We rise, we rise, we are rising. All together now.

*

Ain’t I a Woman, 1851 Speech by Sojourner Truth

May I say a few words? I want to say a few words about this matter.

I am a woman’s rights.

I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man.

I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that?

I have heard much about the sexes being equal; I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it.

I am as strong as any man that is now.

As for intellect, all I can say is, if women have a pint and man a quart— why can’t she have her little pint full?

You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, for we can’t take more than our pint’ll hold.

The poor men seem to be all in confusion, and don’t know what to do.

Why children, if you have woman’s rights, give it to her and you will feel better.

You will have your own rights, and they won’t be so much trouble.

I can’t read, but I can hear.

I have heard the bible and have learned that Eve caused man to sin.

Well if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again.

The Lady has spoken about Jesus, how he never spurned woman from him, and she was right.

When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha came to him with faith and love and besought him to raise their brother.

And Jesus wept — and Lazarus came forth.

And how came Jesus into the world?

Through God who created him and woman who bore him.

Man, where is your part?

But the women are coming up blessed be God and a few of the men are coming up with them.

But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, and he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard.

Farewell, Amigo

A friend died last Thursday.

He ended his own life. A friend I hadn’t seen in years, but a friend all the same. A teacher, a musician, a husband, a father. With a daughter close to the same age as my own: five. He was forty years old.

I received the sad news one morning last week. In a message from a mutual friend. It was the first thing that entered my mind that day, this tragic news, and at first it didn’t compute.

He took his life. He is the first friend I’ve known who has committed suicide. It doesn’t seem real, that this person who was so alive and intelligent and complicated and hilarious and all the other things he was, to be gone just like that. It almost doesn’t seem real because there is no mention of it on social media amidst any of our many mutual friends. We are respecting his family’s wishes. But it is true, damn it.

red rain flower

I wrote his wife, now widow, who is my friend too. Even though there are no words, I wrote her. I’m thinking of her and him and their daughter and sending them love and metta.

I cannot imagine what she is going through. Even though I’ve read books written by widows about the experience of living through and beyond their beloved’s death, whether sudden or prolonged, I simply cannot fathom the grief and pain.

The other night, my friend appeared in my dream. As we were embracing in a big bear hug, I broke down in sobs. But I felt comforted by him, not sad about his death. In the dream, he was not dead. I was crying about something else, and he was consoling me. Only today as I was walking to yoga did I realize, on some level, the dream level, that that was our goodbye.

Adios, dear friend. Thank you. We will miss you. May you be free.

The Trecena of Noj: 13 Days of Earth Wisdom & Ideas

Last Thursday, the Maya here in the western highlands of Guatemala celebrated Wajshakib Batz, 8 B’atz, which is the beginning of the new two hundred sixty day cycle. So, we are only just beginning. Again.

On Sunday, I interpreted a Mayan Fire Ceremony for a small group, alongside the spiritual guide, Thomas and he also brought his wife, Yolanda, for the first time ever to a ceremony at this particular location, after having worked there for 7 years.

It was a beautiful day-count ceremony, although the group was a bit reserved and tame. Blessings, gratitude, intention setting, letting go, calling in. The day was 11 Ix {Jaguar}, and afterward there were five personal readings with Thomas, which I also translated. Almost all of them teared up at some point during their readings, and all our hearts had been touched.

It felt like a poignant, full-circle morning for both Thomas and myself, as we had both been away from this center for many moons and were at long last coming back together in the role of guide and interpreter once again, with the intention of planting the seed for a prosperous and abundant season ahead.

So, just six days into the new cycle, we begin a new mini-cycle of 13 days. “Mayan weeks” are 13-day cycles called trecenas. From tomorrow, August 29, until September 10, 2018 we’ll be moving through the trecena ruled by the nahual known as Noj [pronounced “Noh”].

According to the Mayan Calendar Portal, “Caban, or No’j in K’iche’ Maya, represents intelligence, ideas, wisdom, knowledge, patience and memory.” This is the day sign of education, training and intelligence. Its spirit animals are the woodpecker and the gazelle. These next two weeks are a time for introspection, reflection and cultivation of knowledge and authentic wisdom, a time to give thanks to both Mother Earth’s and our own natural intelligence.

According to The Serpent and the Jaguar by Birgitte Rasine, on N’oj days, “the Maya ask for wisdom, for talent, and for the capacity to think positive, innovative or productive thoughts or ideas.  It is also a good day to ask for creativity in all of our endeavors and intelligence to address all of our challenges and resolve all of our issues.”

Mind over matter. Free your mind. Meditate.

These 13 days are about working with the innate intelligence mind, cultivating creativity and asking for clarity and understanding.

What is past belongs there; what is present is in your hands.  But it is only through your decisions in the present time that your future is defined: every action, every decision, every plan or project you undertake will have some impact on your life or perhaps those of others in the near- or long-term future. This is why the present is all-important; indeed, it is the only fleeting bit of time of which we have any active experience. – Birgitte Rasine

And this is why so many ancients and sages will tell you, live in the one moment, the ever-present, and think not of the past or future. For they are both already there, in that one eternal, flowing moment.

Here’s to intelligence, the power, presence and protection of nature, and cultivating wisdom with the intention of inner growth, from a place of mindfulness.

Where is your mind?