Archive for December, 2009

Contentment within Beauty

Posted on December 31, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Health, Music, Philosophy, Spirituality |

The last one of the year! And the penultimate one in the series! I’ve been spending the “Twelve Days of Solstice” (since December 21) in contemplating various aspects of my reality. Only one more daily meditation to go, the one on New Year’s Day.

Day ELEVEN: The Quality of Beauty, the essence of contentment;
the Gift of Harmony.

I never really thought of “Beauty” as the “essence” of contentment. When one contemplates Beauty, it can be incredibly emotionally moving, exciting, or calming. The Navajo tribe of Arizona and New Mexico have a chant:

Beauty before me
Beauty behind me
Above and below me hovers the beautiful.

♦ ♦ ♦
We are surrounded by it
We are immersed in it.

♦ ♦ ♦
In your youth you are aware of it
And in your old age you shall walk quietly
The beautiful trail.

Their way is called “The Beauty Way”. There is much to contemplate here. When I consider the chant; when I softly repeat it to myself, I am in harmony with all that is. I am content. ♥

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Do I have faith in Faith?

Posted on December 30, 2009. Filed under: Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

Day TEN: The Quality of Faith; the Gift of Abundance.

I thought I’d start right out with the Quality and Gift I’m meditating on today. These are a bit of a challenge to me as I continue on my twelve days of introspection. (Day one was Solstice, December 21.)  “Faith”, especially, is a tough one for me, as I don’t really think I have much. Or, at least, not IN much. So, I’ll do what I often do when I don’t know what else to do, and that’s look up the word in the dictionary!

–noun

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.

Origin:
1200–50; ME feith < AF fed, OF feid, feit < L fidem, acc. of fidēs trust, akin to fīdere to trust.   [from Ask.com]

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

I do not believe things without proof, but…I don’t believe in the concept of “proof”, either. You can’t really prove anything to me; you can tell me about it; I can see how it feels to me, and then I’ll offer an opinion. :) #s 1,2,&3 don’t work for me, then. #4—well, sort of. #5, yes, but in my own way. I make it up as I go. So that leaves me with definition #6. I believe I am quite loyal. If I say I will do something, I will (although not always immediately). :cool: I am very good at keeping confidences, and I try very hard not to judge people on superficial evidence. That should count for something, shouldn’t it? ;)

As for the gift of Abundance; you bet! I’ll take some of that! And share it with you, I hope! It’s a strange time to be writing this, because many in the world are feeling lack and fear. If there’s any message to this day’s muse, it’s a reminder that Abundance abounds. One just must have faith. ♥

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Stop. Look. Appreciate.

Posted on December 29, 2009. Filed under: HowTo, Musings, Philosophy |

I tend to find inspiration in unlikely places. For instance: My firewall software. Whenever I go to a website it doesn’t recognize, a little window comes up asking how I want to treat the web address. I have three choices, and I can choose one, two, or all three. These are the choices: >Remember. >Trust. >Allow.

Remember means I want the program to make the same choice I’m about to make, next time I visit the site, without asking me first. Trust tells the program that I’ve been friendly with the website in the past, and I know we play nicely together. Allow is bit harder to understand. It means, sort of, “Let’s go there this time, and see how it goes.”

Remember. Trust. Allow.  I like to apply these principles to the rest of my life, not just websites. I remember who I am—an unlimited being who can create in ways still unimagined. I trust myself, mostly, to make the right decisions, even if they seem illogical to others. I allow—everything. The thing that gets in the way for most of us is our own resistence. Resistence occurs when we complain about something, when we look around and don’t like what we see (and decide to chant a soliloquy about it) or when we’re feeling undeserving.

I’m arriving at the last few days of my “Twelve Days of Solstice” Introspection/Blog-spilling, and here are today’s quality and gift:

Day NINE: The Quality of Appreciation; the Gift of Resources.

As any student of New Age Woo-woo philosophy knows (and I mean that in the best way; honest!) the more we appreciate, the more there is to appreciate. I’ve seen this in my own life so many times I no longer question it. I only have to remember to DO it! :)

When I Remember, Trust, and Allow, I Appreciate my Resources, and those that are on their way. Good resources to you this day.

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Just Joy

Posted on December 28, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Music, Musings, Spirituality |

♫  ♫  ♫  “On the eighth day of Solstice my Spirit gave to me: Gladness, Bliss and Joy!” ♫  ♫  ♫

Today, my eighth day posting daily about qualities and gifts of the season, something happened for the first time: The Quality and the Gift were the same—almost. (See previous December posts for the other qualities and gifts.)

Day EIGHT: The Quality of Joy; the Gift of Joyousness.

At first, my thought was that I needed other gifts today besides something ambiguous like “joy”. I’ve been having a challenging work situation, and the previous days’ gifts of balance, or wisdom, or a coming one, forgiveness, seemed better suited. “I’ll get around to ‘JOY’ after a while, when things settle down.”

Here’s the thing, though, and you’ll see this coming: Things DON’T settle down. Not ever. Alright, maybe temporarily, but what they mostly do is change. However if we take the time, in the middle of a “situation” to meditate a bit on what gives us JOY in life, then…(you’ll anticipate this one, too!) the things that were giving us challenges somehow, magically, become lighter. Perhaps unforseen solutions arise. Even if they don’t, I find myself facing “what is” with renewed strength and optimism. The miserable becomes tolerable; the tolerable, acceptable, and finally, pleasurable. [Disclaimer: This may take more than ten minutes. Then again…it may not!]

What is JOY, by the way? To me, it’s best summed up in a phrase from The Peaceable Kingdom by Randall Thompson: Gladness of Heart. I repeat those words to myself, and my heart opens, (I posted previously about an open heart) and well-being sets in. Here is a link to a YouTube video from a choir festival, with the mixed choirs singing this movement from Thompson’s great work. There are other recordings with better audio, but this one just has so much spirit. If I could, I would give you the gift today of JOY. It is yours, if you want it! :D

Joy to the World. Seriously!

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A sense of Peace; a way towards Balance

Posted on December 27, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy |

I’m on Day seven of my daily posts for twelve days in a row. I think I may make it to the end! :) Today’s topics come up at just the right time.

Day SEVEN: The Quality of Peace in all things; the Gift of Balance.

I’m one of those folks that…doesn’t really like to deal with Christmas very much—neither the pagan nor the Christian aspects. I don’t really understand the idea of a secular Christmas, either, but some of my countrypeople apparently do. I have a wreath on the door, a very small tree inside, and, for the month of December, I generally change the centerpiece on my coffee table from stones and a rustic candle to a red candle, pinecones and bells. That is the extent of my decoration, and it takes about, oh, 15 minutes! I’m fortunate that I have friends who invite me to gatherings at this time of year. I live far from family, and prefer not to travel during the holidays. I never reciprocate, but my nice friends invite me anyway. :) At least I bring things to them. I brought Belgian chocolates to the Christmas Day hosts, and *onions to the Christmas Eve friends!

A comment is heard every year, and not just from me: “The decorations in shops start earlier and earlier!” It was October 17th this year when a large store nearby began to sell both Halloween and Christmas items at the same time. One isle had orange and black, the next red and green! I sort of gritted my teeth and saif to myself, “OK, the countdown has started. It won’t get (relatively) normal again until January 2nd.

Even though I do celebrate spiritually (in my own way) and culturally with my friends, I find the whole season somewhat overhyped, and I have a tendency towards depression during it. What gets me through is taking what I like from the season, and breathing through the rest. This gives me a sense of peace, which is a welcome quality to meditate upon today.

It also allows me to receive the gift of balance. I can have some celebratory time and some quiet time. Some cheer and some reflection. Some admiration of over-the-top decorating, and then coming home to my own simple efforts. I take the gift of balance with me as I do some work today (leading a discussion group, and meeting with a financial advisor), and then, going to dinner with some of those good friends I mentioned. I am grateful for them, and for you.

May peace and balance bless your journey this day.

* Onions? As a hosts gift? This was my contribution to the amazing taco and tamale feast our hosts prepared. It is a tradition with them, and one I’m pleased to support. Last year I brought tomatoes. This year, I cried a few tears during prep., which may have accounted for some of my mood!
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An Open Heart

Posted on December 26, 2009. Filed under: Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

This installment wants to be brief. We’ll see if it turns out that way! I’m continuing with daily posts on twelve “Qualities” and twelve “Gifts” of the Solstice holiday season, begun on December 21.

Day SIX: The Quality of Lightness of Being; the Gift of An Open Heart.

After a rather frantic, but fun, party on Christmas Eve, I attended a small brunch with a few friends on Christmas Day. The contrast between the two was obvious. I’m glad I went to both events, but the “Lightness of Being” was most apparent in the smaller gathering. It was relaxed, mellow, and pleasant. We chatted, but didn’t feel compelled to talk. We ate, but not of “party food”, just a few healthy, home-cooked items. When I returned home, I spoke on the phone with a family member, and he was concerned that he and his wife had “gone over the top” providing gifts for their five-year-old daughter. Her mother really, really likes Christmas—I’m not sure what this really means—and wanted her daughter to be very excited and appreciative. She wasn’t. She is her own person, and this reminds me that we can’t “want” things for other people. Really. We can think we do, but our wants are really our own. You might say, “of course I want my child to be happy, and that’s for them!” Well no one wants anyone else to be unhappy, do they? It seems to me that wanting for another, even something as seemingly universal as this, brings with it the “wanter’s” own expectations for the”wantee”. I would have advised my relative to provide whatever decorations make HER happy, and arrange a gift or two for her daughter from the heart—and then let go of expecting any particular reactions at all. Not easy, but, helpful.

The gift “from the heart” leads me to the gift I’m given today in this twelve-day meditation, “An Open Heart”. This means to me that my heart is open to receiving, open to giving, and still open once those things are finished; indeed, open to letting go. I will have several opportunities to practice this in the next few days. I’ll let you know!

From my heart to yours: All good things, as YOU decide they should be.

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Simplicity: The bringer of Order

Posted on December 25, 2009. Filed under: Musings, Philosophy |

To those celebrating Christmas Day or Boxing Day when you read this–Good Holidays to You! Today is day five of a self-styled twelve-day Solstice meditation for me, and I decided to write my thoughts about it daily on this blog. I started on Solstice Day, December 21, and will end (at least this series) on New Year’s Day.

Day FIVE: The Quality of Simplicity; the Gift of Order in all Things.

Today is a good day to consider Simplicity. I think giving and receiving gifts is a wonderful thing, particularly if there are children in the family. But it’s OK to simply exchange greetings or cards as well. As we zip along towards the end of the year, I find myself going through the things I already have and either appreciating them anew, or realizing it’s time for them to go. (Something new and shiny once in a while just keeps things interesting!) Even the holiday party I attended on the 24th, lovely though it was, would be too much celebrating for me if it happened more frequently (although I’m willing to endure the homemade tamales and tacos we had at any time of the year; yum!)

And the gift of the day, Order, is probably the one I’m most glad to receive. My life can get quite chaotic; organized I’m not! But when I observe order (simplicity makes that easier), I feel a sense of calm I aspire to. Here’s wishing all is in order for you today.

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Thoughts become ideas, which become substance!

Posted on December 24, 2009. Filed under: Health, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

It’s Day four of my twelve day delve into the qualities and gifts of the season! (See my December 21st post for the concept.)

Day FOUR: The Quality of Ideas; the Gift of Lofty Thoughts.

If ideas really do create substance, I’ve been having some pretty strange ideas, lately. I’ve been having this weird physical thing (although getting better) where the whole world spins at a different speed than I do… :? And I have ONE computer, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d better stop playing games on it. Games on my PC do not play well with Internet activities. :( At some point, I might get a new computer, and use this one I’m typing on just for games. And, my word processing files are melting! But, I digress. My computer has been out of synch with its own reality, which helped to cause yesterday’s post to be late. Today, I shall intend to examine original thoughts, and see where they want to go. I’ll be attending a holiday gathering this evening, and I’m looking forward to the distraction from computers, and work, and things.

The “gift of the day” in my meditation series is “Lofty Thoughts”! What does THAT mean? To me, it means I can choose to think about all the stuff going wrong in my life, or the world, or at work…OR I can choose to think about the good I experience everyday. These thoughts are “lofty” as they enable us to perpetrate them. The more I think of the good things in life, the more good things there are to think about. Really! I think!?!

Good thoughts to you today.

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“Eternal” — a religious or physical concept?

Posted on December 23, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Musings, Philosophy, Science |

Day three of my twelve days of solstice-into-new year meditations contains a quality of the day, and also a gift I’d like to receive for the day:

Day THREE: The Quality of the Eternal; the Gift of Light.

“Eternal Existence” seems, at first to be a religious term. Some (not all) religions offer hope of a continued or new life after this physical one is over. In addition to heaven, if we’re “good”, we may be able to reincarnate, or, just continue on loving and learning but on a higher, non-physical plane. I’m not sure which, if any, of these beliefs I follow, but I’m open to any of them. I cannot bring myself to declare “this is the way it is” and feel that I believe or know a system to be true. I really just don’t know. So, I pick the beliefs I like the best. As some spiritual practitioners say, “we manifest what we think” or as some physicists would say, “results come into being only when we observe them”, I think what we believe or declare DOES matter, and enables us to see the world as we would have it—if only we learn how to use our gifts.

And speaking (writing) of gifts, the “gift of the day” in my meditation series is “Light shining through”! Light, it may be observed, is the most refined of the vibratory waves constantly moving through the universe. We observe it every day the sun shines. Think of all those waves of sunlight reaching us on the earth! And the light is substantial; some researchers say it has weight. When I first learned that the weight of the sunlight on the earth was two pounds per one square mile, I was astonished! We can’t feel it, other than as heat; how can we possibly weight it? But, scientists argue amongst themselves about this. ;) So, if I take in light, comprising some of the most basic building blocks of matter; do I shine light as well?  This picture would seem to indicate that dogs do, at least. :) But when I think of how the sunlight is life-giving, and necessary to our existence, I ask myself what can I say and do that is most beneficial to my fellow beings.

May your light so shine, today.

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Intellect: A tool or the center of being?

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Culture, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

I’m on day two of a twelve day contemplation/meditation explained in yesterday’s post. I’m writing daily, for twelve days, about twelve qualities of humanness, and twelve gifts we can give ourselves as we prepare for a wonderful new year.

Day TWO: The Quality of Intellect; the Gift of Transformation.

Yesterday, I mused about Intuition, and it’s under-appreciated place in our lives. Today’s topic, the Intellect, is perhaps OVER-appreciated. Many feel (and some scientists believe they have proved) that intellect is what “sets us apart from the animals.”

First of all, I’m not at all sure we are “apart” from animals in any real sense. We do process information differently from most of them, but that doesn’t, in my opinion make us “better” or “more evolved” or on a “higher plane” than they are. All creatures possess consciousness, and many animals have much better and refined senses than many of us humanoids.

What intellect does give us, combined with intuition, is the power of imagination. With imagination we can literally transform our world! It is a great blessing to be fairly intelligent. :) Anything we can imagine, we can literally dream into being, and once we’ve done so, can communicate the knowledge to others. This is the purpose of intellect, I think: to create, and experiment, and bring ideas into being.

Sometimes we humans get carried away with how smart we are, and use our rational ability for very irrational things: power over others; control over the planet; and a sense of entitlement to resources. I take a few minutes today to savour the gift of transformation that the intellect allows. I plan and hope that I always use it to bring benefit to our earthly existence.

I wish you the joy of transformation today.

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