Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers Day

We've been watching America's favorite serial killer on Netflix. Not sure what that says about anyone, but it has been entertaining. Dexter, the title character, has a son that looks exactly as my son did at that age. While watching, I can't help but think back of those days. Fathering a son who you lavish with love and hope and dreams of him being a happy and fulfilled adult.
To think, just a week ago he walked past the house with his hood up with a middle finger to match. He believes that I have failed him. Years of supports and barriers, he crashed through them all. It saddens me. I don't enjoy what I feel and find it difficult to view my feelings with non-judgmental acceptance. I'm naturally inclined to bottling up my feelings. It's as if I'm being given a bag of some foreign objects and I don't know what to do with them! Yet outwardly, all of my children know that I love them. They know their father as sensitive and caring. But I will not be manipulated.
The turmoil of trying to sell the family home after the divorce has increased the bag of repressed feelings. Anger, remorse, exhausted and deflated, it all seems so silly to me that I would feel this way. In great measure I feel lost, yet optimistically so. There is flux and then there is mire.
It's becoming familiar territory. I sail into the wind unaware of how to tack. The currents push me here and there and I struggle to find how I can best steer this ship. To my view I'm sucking at it.
Today is a new day. My youngest daughter is taking me to Fenway to see the Sox vs Indians. The sun's out. After the game we'll have dinner and laughs. And I took tomorrow off hoping to enjoy an even warmer day with Gaia Girl.
Happy Father's Day gents! We've earned it.....

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Right action


“The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. 
Self-knowledge has no end - you don't come to an achievement, 
you don't come to a conclusion. It is an endless river.” 
 Krishnamurti


Suzuki stated that, "There are no enlightened people, only enlightened actions." The truth of this statement cannot be conveyed through words. Trying to capture it's meaning through explanation would be as Watts would say, ...



"What it means is that reality escapes all concepts. 
If you say there is a god, that is a concept; 
if you say there is no god, that's a concept. 
And Nagarjuna is saying that always your concepts 
will prove to be attempts to catch water in a sieve, 
or wrap it up in a parcel."

So what exactly am I trying to convey?

Well, wherever you go, there you are. 

What? 

You know that experience of following the breath with your scrunched up face sitting on your Zafu. The cool flow of the breath dancing beneath your nostrils. The bellow of your lungs quietly pumping, pumping. And then you suddenly realize that you've been lost in thought lights years away from the cushion? And what do you do? You take calm non-judging action and return to the breath.

A recent event found me sad. Angry. Depressed. I wanted to thump my finger onto the chest of life. Poke. Fuck you! Looking for an excuse to go off on someone. My chest tightened. Muscles clenched to spasm's length. 

And what do you do?


Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Mind

Whatever our external circumstances, in the end happiness or unhappiness depends on the mind. Consider that the one companion whom we stay with, continually, day and night, is our mind. Would you really want to travel with someone who endlessly complains and tells you how useless you are, how hopeless you are; someone who reminds you of all the awful things that you have done? And yet for many of us, this is how we live – with this difficult-to-please, always-pulling-us-around, tireless critic that is our mind. It entirely overlooks our good points, and is genuinely a very dreary companion.

The point is that when our mind is filled with generosity and thoughts of kindness, compassion, and contentment, the mind feels well. When our mind is full of anger, irritation, self-pity, greed, and grasping, the mind feels sick. And if we really inquire into the matter, we can see that we have the choice: we can decide to a large extent what sort of thoughts and feelings will occupy our mind.

When negative thoughts come up, we can recognize them, accept them, and let them go. We can choose not to follow them, which would only add more fuel to the fire. And when good thoughts come to mind – thoughts of kindness, caring, generosity and contentment, and a sense of not holding on so tightly to things any more, we can accept and encourage that, more and more. We can do this. We are the guardian of the precious treasure that is our own mind.

~ Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo    (Re-post from First Sip

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Having a sick chicken

Anyone who owns chickens knows the highs and lows of choosing these prehistoric relics for their eggs, antics and sometime stews. We have dealt with lice, prolapsed vent, eating something too big to digest, rats, possum and at long last a sour crop.
Big Fattie McChicken is loud, talkative and opinionated. When you find her with her comb flopped to the side while standing and staring off into space you know that something is wrong. We have a dog crate which we set up as a chicken hospital. After poking and prodding and smelling and listening to her gurgling wheeze, Gaia Girl searched out You Tube and found this: HERE 
This helpful video showed us what to do. We were amazed at the grossly poured out chicken vomit but in about a day she was back to normal!
We have a small group of fifteen or sixteen chickens (I loose count.)
Katie is the leader and the smartest of bunch.
Fattie is her ambassador.
Cassie is the beauty,
Bernie is the wise bearded wonder.
And you cannot forget Effie (formerly F**k Feet) Or Rainbow, Purna and the list of no names. But having chickens is fun and often a topic of conversation. It's like having a kindergarten in the back yard except that they take pretty good care of themselves. We are just the school monitors and sometime Human Pez Dispensers. They get themselves up and put themselves to bed. And no diapers needed! They poop at will and sometimes where you wish they wouldn't.


video

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter and God Bless America

America is still a work in progress. From Washington's first days in office through present day Obama debate has never ceased. While Capitalism is reducing the middle class to a point of nonexistence and while the Supreme Court appears no longer so, we seem no closer to unity now than at the birth of our nation.
And perhaps that can be seen as a good thing
Freedom seems under attack from fictitious foes and real alike. The founding fathers implemented a series of checks and balances so that no one authority could run roughshod with their own agenda. With no unity in sight Washington now slogs through political mud and who can say where progress lay? In their wisdom, the founders designed that the Senate balances the house; the presidency the Congress; the judiciary the legislative and executive branches, the states the federal establishment.
And most important of all?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.........
Of the fifty five delegates of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants with at least two Roman Catholics. Present were Congregational, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Methodists. The Constitution was sent out to the states for ratification to a mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, German and Swedes. They in turn were made up of Catholics, Lutherans, Deist, Calvinists and Quakers. There was also a small yet growing Jewish community. It's important to remember that all came from lands where people were told what to believe and any dissent against the established religious authority was unlawful. And it must be remembered that the union of church and state constructed the Divine right of Kings leaving a Monarch beyond question or reproach. Government of the king; not of the people. The Divine right of kings was worldwide. Only in America, imperfect then and imperfect still, could a man believe as he wills without the fear of persecution or punishment.
I am pleased, grateful and excited that I, who will not attend church this day, can do so without fear. But for those who attend in praise of the risen Christ, I am thankful for their ability to choose and thankful for the wisdom behind the Declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
There is no Taliban here. There exists no one favored religion. And in the light of the right's push towards creating a religious state the founders attempted to thwart that possibility as well.
As James Madison wrote, "A religious sect may regenerate into a political faction in a part of the confederacy, but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source."
And so may our freedom continue!
Happy Easter.
Blessed Passover.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The three phases of life

In my late twenties with two growing boys, I bought a home and proceeded to add two girls to the family. All four are grown now and I am divorced from their mother. Yet I remain in the family home for another year ( my 3rd or 4th, I can't remember) longing for it to be sold. The market has hammered the price lower than what is imaginable and the many lookers struggle over the busy road that lies without the door.
Sure, there are good memories mingled with the bad but the time to move is now.
This home (pictured to the left) calls to me. The points to the positive are almost magical. And we all know how I like to avoid magical thinking!!
I've sweetened the pot by adding the modern washer and dryer to go with the house. Plus the Vermont Castings wood stove which is irreplaceable. I'll even throw in some chickens if they like.
The new home is less than half the size of my current home. It's private and quiet and it's a rental. Everything that I want. The plus far outweighs the negative. In fact, I'm not sure there is a negative. I'm confident that this move will happen but I admit to secretly stashing a fear that I might have to remain here for another year. And that makes me sick.
From many of my earlier posts you can see that my ex needs to be far from me. Even now, as I work in town as does she, I squirm every time the ambulance goes by. I think that her death, either by her own hand or by some act of fate will come to fruition within the next few years. I take no pleasure in that thought other than knowing that she might find peace. And sadly so will many others.
Several times an hour horns toot a wave as friends and acquaintances drive by the house. It's a nice feeling. In the new home that part of it will sadly be gone. But it's time to move on and transition into the next and final phase of my life. The breast feeds and nurtures but in time dries up to be a source of pleasure alone for the squeeze and the kiss of a lover. I need to nurture me. To quiet my being and explore life.
Many cultures recognize and divide life into phases. This is not a thesis, so look it up yourself. :) In modern terms the first phase is referred to as The Path of Personality Development. The second, The Path of Growth and the third, The Path of Higher Self. Hinduism divides life into the Four Ages of Man. The point is, I raised my children and had my career. It's time for inner growth and the honing of wisdom. Leaving this house closes one door and opens yet another. I shed tears for the good and the bad memories. I've experienced growth, pain and all that life can throw at us in this home. It is time to go.



Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Awakening




The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see. GKC

 Sometimes the anonymity of being a tourist lends a temporary comfort; a comfort that eventually leads you back home to where you're left with a feeling that you haven't gone anywhere. 

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