Summer Solsticio

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Photo by Nitin Dhumal on Pexels.com

Yesterday /Ayer — 21 de Junio — 10 Q’anil (SEED) — the manifestation of growth; a day of light and heat and waking up at four o’clock in the a.m. with a burning need to write, to process the despair in the air, the sadness heavy in our collective heart, the determination to do something, to stop this cruel insanity.

Yesterday spun from a dark dawn to a bright morning, walking hand-in-hand with the light of my life, my compact joy, my precious Jade.

Yesterday encompassed storytelling, howling like wolves, slithering like snakes, meowing and hissing and spreading our wings, coloring with magic markers and wild children. Salvajes!

Yesterday with a cherished friend, a heroine, we sang and sweated and scrubbed salt on our skin and slimy aloe vera on our faces and in our hairs — emerging from our chakra chant cave into the fading light of a hazy sunset fresh and realigned, renewed and ready to face the challenges life brings.

Yesterday, at home and out in the world, was a day to spontaneously rejoice, to give thanks to the sun, el sol, Tata Inti.

Today is the half moon. La media luna.

The Big No: The Value of Boundaries.

I tend toward the YIN, meaning feminine, meaning soft and earthy.

Recently, I had the opportunity to express my YANG, meaning masculine, meaning strong and fiery. And it was hard and it gave me a splitting headache and vertigo and insomnia, but in the end it was GOOD.

It feels so good to say know when it’s right to say no, when saying “yes, sure, okay, why not?” has been your pattern for eons.

Give it a try:

  • “No, I will not do that.”
  • “No, I am not going there.”
  • “No, I am not going to engage in that habit/pattern/behavior/addiction anymore.”

Why not? Because our time and talent is worth more. Because we cannot and do not want to be flexible and accommodating anymore, when the other party is rigid and exclusive. Because our energy will be spent in the way we choose, from moment to moment, every day.

We all have feminine and masculine energies within us, waiting to be balanced. May we find equilibrium and the essential equality of yin and yang, of yes and no.

There are endless possibilities. May we continue to explore them.

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HOW TO KNOW NO

There was a giant No.
That No rained.
That No created a tremendous blizzard.
That No made a dent on the coffee table.
That No was the greatest No of No’s in the universe.
That No showered and hailed.
That No created sunshine, and simultaneous eclipse of the sun and moon.
That No was a lady’s legs with nicely heeled shoes.
That No is the best No of all.
When a gentleman smiles, a good man.
That No is the best of the hips.
When you watch the gait of youths as they walk with alternating cheek rhythm,
When you watch their behinds,
That No is fantastic thighs, not fat or thin but taut in their strength,
Loveable or leaveable.
That No is shoulders that turn in or expand the chest, sad or happy,
Without giving in to a deep sigh.
That No is No of all No’s.
Relaxation or restraint is in question.
Nobody knows that Big No,
But we alone know that No.
This No is in the big sky, painted with sumi ink eternally.
This Big No is tattooed on our genitals.
This Big No is not purely freckles or birthmark,
But this Big No is real Big No.
Sky is blue,
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
And therefore this Big No is No.
Let us celebrate having that monumental No.
The monolithic No stands up and pierces heaven;
Therefore, monolithic No also spreads vast as the ocean.
Let us have great sunshine with this No No.
Let us have full moon with this No No.
Let us have cosmic No.
The cockroaches carry little No No’s,
As well as giant elephants in African jungles—
Copulating No No and waltzing No No,
Guinea pig No No,
We find all the information and instructions when a mosquito buzzes.
We find some kind of No No.
Let our No No be the greatest motto:
No No for the king;
No No for the prime minister;
No No for the worms of our subjects.
Let us celebrate No No so that Presbyterian preachers can have speech impediments in proclaiming No No.
Let our horses neigh No No.
Let the vajra sangha fart No No—
Giant No No that made a great imprint on the coffee table.

-Chögyam Trungpa, January 1979

5 Ways to Find Balance & Bliss in Daily Life

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Our past does not have to define or confine us. We have the power to choose, now, in this moment, to say YES or NO or MAYBE. We have the power to affect our present and future, yet the wisdom to know that there are many things outside the realm of our control.

Finding our balance is lifelong work. If we were perfectly balanced all the time, that wouldn’t be much fun, would it? We wouldn’t appreciate the times when we find balance because there would be nothing to compare it to, no growth, just a stagnant, too-easy, status-quo balance.

Here are some wonderful ways to cultivate more balance and wellness into our daily lives:

1) When you wake up every day, repeat this Shantideva verse three times (Pema Chodron swears by it):

Just as all the Buddhas of the past
Embraced the awakened attitude of mind,
And in the precepts of the bodhisattvas
Step by step abode and trained,
Just so, and for the benefit of beings,
I will also have this attitude of mind,
And in those precepts, step by step,
I will abide and train myself.

Bodhisattvas are human beings who strive to benefit all beings (including themselves) and choose to stay in the human realm helping inspire everyone to achieve enlightenment. The precepts include a long list of things to avoid (killing, stealing, etc.), the Buddhist version of the ten commandments. What it all boils down to is cultivating openness, honesty, compassion, loving kindness and equanimity. 

2) Be in touch with reality. Remember the simple truths of life: everything changes; be kind and grateful as much as possible; eat things and consume ideas that are wholesome, nourishing, and in alignment with nature.

3) Be in touch with your breath, taking time each day for some yoga and meditation practice, and always cultivating loving relationships with self, family, friends and ultimately all beings and things.

4) Choose to slow down, shed toxicity and be patient. Awareness of how our minds and bodies and hearts work is the first step. Acceptance is the next. And, simultaneously, striving to improve, to be more disciplined yet more spontaneous, more natural and open. I know it’s paradoxical to be content with how things are in this moment and to set goals and achieve them. Life is full of paradox!

Thanks for reading! May this article be of benefit. Please pass it along to someone who could use it, if so inspired!

Boundless Gratitude

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Thank you for this sage.

Thank you for this moment.

Thank you for this life.

Thank you for the birdsong.

Thank you for the lake.

Thank you for this breath.

Thank you for the sky.

Thank you for the volcanoes.

Thank you for the flowers, fruits and food.

Thank you for love, and the moon.

Thank you for friendship and family.

Thank you for yoga.

Thank you for music, art, being, gratitude.

Thank you for seeing and looking, listening and hearing.

Thank you for the trees.

Thank you for the cats and dogs.

Thank you for all the animals.

Thank you for the ocean and all the water.

Thank you for the world and the universe and stars.

Thank you for my body.

Thank you for my mind,

Thank you for my soul.

Thank you for my heart.