Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jai Ma! A Tribute to Dixie

Flowers for Dixie
     Someone special has made a grand transition this week. She checked out of this particular world on the eve of Canadian Thanksgiving, which could not have been more appropriate. Dixie was the maker of delectable meals and the giver of constant thanks. She also happened to be Canadian. Her adult children and my dear friends, know how fortunate they are to have a mother that lives on in love.

We will continue to include Dixie in all things beautiful. I will miss her insight and opinions (always given with a grain of gourmet salt.) I admired the way she made an ordinary day feel like a special occasion. She brought an effortless elegance wherever she went. In her presence, I felt cherished. Her time here was too short for our understanding. I find comfort knowing the quality she brought to every moment, and to her relationships. I imagine her energy is now helping to heal the whole world.

Hindus also gathered this week to celebrate the Divine Mother. Since learning of Dixie's transition, the words Jai Ma (Victory to the Mother) continue to roll from my heart, out of my mouth. Victory to the Mother in all of her forms.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nature Deprivation Disorder

Eloise Butler Bird Sanctuary
     Cityscapes create a romanticism for my senses. I feel energized by the sight of people everywhere. Erratic urban noise has been known to put me into a deep sleep. There always seems to be a new and creative concept being unrolled, making city life even better. I notice the positive aspects of city living more than the drawbacks, and have long felt at home in this environment.

Then, last summer, I started to feel more like a robot then a human. A strong case of "Nature Deprivation Disorder" had kicked in. Whether or not this term was backed by medical research wasn't important to me. The term understood my physical and psychological need for Mother Nature. I knew I needed quality time with life, outside of a city routine. I could feel this need for nature in my bones. Michael Todd shares more about our deep need for nature here.

Standing in Nature
Dedicating several seasons to re-sync with nature has already been inspiriting. Carving out a chunk of time in a congested schedule did not seem possible or likely, which was exactly why I had to do it. Taking time to revel in being alive is not just for the young, retired, train jumping hobos, or super wealthy. 

When I stand in silence with nature, the teachings are beautifully obvious: 

-There is no need to rush.
-All things happen as they are suppose to  happen. 
-Conditions will not always be pleasant, nor will they always be unpleasant. 
-We are all part of nature, reflections of nature, and reflecting back to nature. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thank You S.N. Goenka

Sculpture by Kimber Fiebiger
     A great contributer and teacher of Vipassana meditation, S.N. Goenka, died a couple of days ago. He was 90 years old. I feel fortunate to have attended a 10 day meditation just last month, using his technique and guidance. His talks (via video) were incredibly inspiring, always leaving me with a beaming smile. One night he mentioned, "Buddhists are not afraid of death." They considered death to be a promotion. How wonderful it is to think about him moving onto his promotion now. May all beings be happy, peaceful, liberated. This was his greatest hope, and the purpose of vipassana meditation.

Goenka spent his early life preoccupied with money and business, which he remembered as the years of greatest discontent. In a search for migrane headache relief, he was led to vipassana meditation. The practice changed him profoundly. He dedicated the rest of his life sharing the teachings and practice of meditation. He wasn't interested in plaques, statues, or applause of any kind. He wasn't interested in living a life fulfilling his egoic needs. Some might imagine him to be dry or dull? Although he was serious about his practice and dedication to mediation, he had an instinctive sense of humor (of the side-splitting variety). He lived peacefully and undoubtedly departed in peace. 

The shortness of our life span can be mind boggling. When we live mindfully in the moment, there is nothing else we need to do. Life is being met and lived. When we sit in silence with our ever changing selves, we learn to be present for all aspects of our precious lives (death included).