18
Dec

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“According to Vedanta, there are only two signs of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first sign is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second sign is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous”
~Deepak Chopra, Synchrodestiny

This Winter Solstice, 2012 is unlike any other before or after it in our lifetime.

12.12.12 marks the opening of the portal through which destiny beckons us to spring forth. We are being asked to cross the bridge from darkness— from old-outmoded, inhibiting, unconscious behaviors, from FEAR to light- to the creation of a new path, a new reality, a new world where LOVE reigns supreme and each one of us embraces the universal truth that we are ONE.

From 12.12.12 until 12.21.12, you are being offered perhaps the greatest gift you will ever know- the chance to manifest miracles. The stars are aligned and at the ready, waiting for you to say “YES!” Now is the time to ask yourself the question: Do you want to reach higher heights in your life, live more fully, find the courage to open your heart and vibrate at a higher level of consciousness? This portal of 12.12.12 is a gift that is based on individual participation. It is an experience that each individual must now ask and intend for. And each and every one of us must now make the effort to learn how to live in the new paradigm. If we want to go where only Love can exist, we must learn how to become Love.
The universe is conspiring to support you on this magic carpet ride into a bright and blessed future, where you will come to know your power, your light, your divinity. Will you spread your wings and take the ride? Will you embody your soul’s purpose and become a manifestor of the miracles you deeply and instinctively know await you? Will you let yourself believe that your intention and action are one and the same and that anything you truly wish for is possible?

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Here in San Diego, my childhood love of owls was rekindled by a sacred visit from a native barn owl this Fall. I was deep inside a meditation and I felt a strong pull to my left. I opened my eyes to see this magnificent and awe-inspiring beauty on the top of the morning glory wall behind my house fully illuminated by the full moon, looking directly at me it seemed. I sat there for what felt like an eternity, locked in his Strigine (that means all-things OWL) embrace.

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Since his sighting, I have been utterly and completely enthralled once again by my totem animal, and can’t get enough of their grace, wisdom and power. They embody so many of the qualities I prize so highly: kindness, generosity, compassion, authenticity, loyalty, creativity, independence, beauty, spontaneity, and passion. Each time I see an image of one, or am lucky enough to experience a real-life “visit,” my heart sings. This Winter Solstice is our opportunity to BE the owl, to embrace our highest selves. Join me in spirit on this magic flight and soar into the heavens while keeping your feet firmly rooted to the earth to become the very vessel for change and new growth in your life and in the lives of each person you meet. 

Flight of a Snowy Owl

15
Jan

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This morning I had a dream that I was sledding down the side of a snow-covered hill on my black Tumi backpack, and suddenly, a red-tailed hawk flew down from the sky, and came to light on my left arm. It was so unbelievable. I was so amazed. I can still feel my lips parted in awe that such a magical, spirit, such a wild, solitary, elusive bird had chosen to come to me in such a bold act of intimacy.

It was as if freedom itself had decided to come to me. And not only did it just float there on my arm, but it softly sank his beautiful talons into my flesh, gently holding on, knowing exactly how hard to press, accepting my warm breath on his beak. To see if it was real, I gently went to stroke his head, and he let me and spread his gorgeous wings of white and red in appreciation that I had chosen to reciprocate his intimate gesture with one of my own.

Even now, the feeling of lightness and warmth as big as the sky above, spreads across my chest, from deep within my heart center to his, this magnificent hawk; we were connected, united, and FREE!  What a joy, what a gift that dream was! I am still celebrating it … A message from above. I am still aglow from that moment when my eyes caught him and tracked his trajectory, incredulous that he was coming toward me –when I saw his wings beating in an upward draw, slowing his descent, as he floated down from the ethers, and chose me as his landing pad, a confidant to whom he could silently transmit the message: “Believe it. You are FREE.”

Trial by fire. Oh, and it is.

When I first found this image, I wanted to kiss the earth that I had located a visual depiction that managed to encapsulate the very feeling I have had over the past month. I feel like a stuntwoman walking away from a well-played crash scene, except the “scene” isn’t staged. It’s real. Never before has this conscious awareness of contrast between incarceration and liberty been as stark, as naked as it has been for me of late. And when I say this contrast- I am referring to the battle of black vs. white, shadow vs. sun that comes to dominate the grand stage of the mind. The duel to the death that happens when we entrap ourselves in the stories that we ourselves author, when we imprison ourselves in the cells we construct, when we fashion the very shackles that keep our feet well-fettered.

Rumi said it so well,  “You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?”

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01
Aug

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Something truly miraculous has happened.

I am riding a new wave.

It all began when I took Kofi Busia’s Yoga workshop, July 19-22nd. We practiced in the sanctuary of the Fleisher Art Memorial here in Philadelphia, and what better place to reach a transcendent state than in a house of worship?

The two definitions of what I am experiencing are here below, and while they describe in concrete terms what has happened to me, they can’t come close to communicating the kind of powerful flow of energy that courses through me minute by minute now. They can’t explain that I feel more grounded in myself than I ever have … that I feel like I am somehow no longer of this earth, but instead, flying inside on these currents I have created.  Even those flying dreams I have from time to time, those dreams that make me want to return to slumber so that I can convince myself to take off again can’t come close to making me feel the way I do. And as a buddhist, while I try to practice detachment, and am successful every now and then, I can honestly say that my relationship with attachment is evolving; I feel that I can both savor the moment and let it go at the same time. New. This is new. This is a new place, and this new place features new dimensions of existence, like another planet with new terrain to explore- the possibility to experience bliss and hope, but know well, deep inside that everything is ephemeral and that it is wisest to relish each moment without assigning to it anything more than our most subtle awareness and appreciation for what it is. And in the same breath, to be able to allow myself every hope and wish and know that I have the power to make them all real. The only thing standing between me and what I long for is my doubting mind and the sludgy energy that the doubting mind creates.

Hope and love are the rays of sun that literally burn through the clouds in the mind to reveal what is real and what is possible, and since July 22nd, I am filled with gratitude that overflows its banks- a kind of grateful that stems from an awareness of myself and my power that I have never felt before. Thanks to a magical confluence of elements, and definitive choices I made, taking myself places I knew I needed to go, informed by my deep inner wisdom, I went from being stuck, in a dark, frustrated place, to standing on a summit, breathing clean, crystalline air.

“Transcendence - the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond usual limits; going beyond, and ’self-transcendence’ means going beyond a prior form or state of oneself.

I have gone beyond the prior state of myself. And oh GOD, how I want to kiss the ground because of it.

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31
Aug

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For a while now, I have had this Rudyard Kipling poem on my mind, and when today arrived, I knew that I had to share it …

This poem for me, is one that makes you just stop and think and truly consider your life.  It is so simple and yet so profound.

It makes me think of the Runes — it reveals uniquely different and important messages and insights to each person who reads it.

It inspires tremendous self-reflection, and leaves you with the quiet gift of asking you to continue to take stock of how you feel about yourself and the world around you long after you have finished reading.

I have always treasured things like this that continue to move through me after I have physically left them–because they possess a subtle power that wield their weight like the ocean tides, washing over our consciousness and whispering undeniable, essential truths to us in the face of chatter and chaos, truth that rises up out of the foam and the fray like a lighthouse beacon, illuminating the path of purpose ahead.

My mother was the one who sent “IF” to me many years ago, and during this Mercury Retrograde, I chanced upon a photo of the two of us when we were on a camping trip when I was just three years old. The photo, to me depicts the freedom and peace of mind we can all feel when we practice non-attachment and gratitude for all that we are and all that we have– for all that we cannot hold in our hands.

The best things in life are the things that cannot be captured, that are ephemeral and that leave their indelible mark on our hearts changing us and moving us towards embracing what it means to be truly alive!

I can think of very few other poems that better express the Buddhist idea of non-attachment as well as this one does and reminds us to acknowledge what is truly important in life; for each one of us, I’m sure there are a variety of answers, but as spiritual beings living a human experience, I know from what I have observed over the years, that we all share this in common: we all care (to varying degrees, of course) about evolving and becoming better people, more aware, more mindful, more generous, more patient, more kind, and that we all know that our health, our loved ones, and nature are truly the most important things in life.

So why then, are we all given so easily  to attaching ourselves to what really doesn’t matter at all?  And I could list a plethora of items of course … but instead I will ask this question:

What is most important to you? And how do you make what is important to you a priority in your life for the short time we all have here on this planet?

I know for me that stillness is the way in … movement and meditation are the winning combination, and I want to hear from you about what you do to become purposeful and authentically empowered, so that you can manifest the things you wish to create in this life of yours.

More on non-attachment tomorrow- for now, please enjoy this brilliant pearl of a poem, and see what kind of gift it gives to you …

IF

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be a Man, my son!

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*OR “-you’ll be a Woman, my daughter!”