A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘balance’

Cute ~

Puppies and Kittens

As that one woman in your office can tell you (or if you are her, no need), cute pictures of snuggly, doe-eyed little critters touch a soft spot in us humans. Baby schema — the set of features that make young animals appealing, like big eyes and a head too big for the body — have been shown in experiments to capture people’s attention, make them smile and even induce caregiving to others. Oh sure, the boss may seem tough, but one look at a basket full of puppies and he’ll want to rub you right on your little belly.

A study published online this week by the journal PloS ONE suggests that viewing cute images not only makes people feel better, but improves performance in completing certain tasks.

Oh my! A study to explain why might show something that the wise ones have been saying for millenia. Genuine compassion is what is needed for this world to function better. Lol, I know that seems a bit simplistic, but it’s true. When we care, we are careful. Anything evoking that caring part of our personalities will function to bring us into a state of mind that will cross our “t”s and dot our “i”s with more precision. We can be as efficient in many ways as a surgical machine, but without compassion, we are just going about our tasks on automatic drive. That’s why we cannot find a way to make a computer surpass a good Doctor’s worth when it comes to patient care.

I love the very thought of this. It so completely shows that we are in need of compassion, even in the mundane tasks of the day. The more we care, the more careful we are, even when it comes to tying our shoes. I suspect that this was marketing research for anime that simply surprised those conducting the study regarding the deeper implications of it. But how magnificent is that? A simple market study about cuteness finds that we as humans are hardwired to function better when the caring part of our personalities is tapped! I dare say that you will find with deeper study that this is why those who can harm animals easily and without purpose are inclined to become serial criminals of a violent and harmful nature.

Compassion is teachable! It is important to begin the teaching in early childhood. If we do this, we will enhance our existence beyond our wildest imaginings, and find true happiness is something that can be unleashed here on Earth.

The Sacredness of “8” ~

gentledanceThere are eight beatitudes, the approach to life taught by Y’shua, there is the Eightfold path to enlightenment taught by the Buddha, and there are the Eight sacred directions, as taught by the Native American holy people. All of these 8’s have to do with the way one who wishes to be truly happy and live a balanced life, will walk his or her path on Earth.

I love the perceptions provided by these 8’s. One of the things that cannot be avoided is the different places on the earth where they came to “be”. The Native American Path, The Beauty Way, is, of course, very New World, originating, at least on the surface, very much in the Americas. The Eightfold Path of the Buddha began in India, and has been well known throughout southeast Asia for centuries. The Beatitudes, though deliberately not taught as a path by the church fathers lest outsiders be able to point out the similarities to other perspectives, originates, for our purposes with Y’shua, a gentle teacher of principles from the Middle East. When you look at this from a global perspective, there can be no mistake, there it is, the evidence that there is one Holiest of Spirits whose work it is to teach us foolish children how to behave. Call her Sacred Mother, if you wish, for she is, in her own way, a Mother to us all.

global_map_8Her ways and her teachings of compassion and respect for the value of others has broken out all over the world. She is not bound by culture, for if you wish to approach her, and learn from her, she is vastly available, just ask. (Proverbs chapter “8”) (hm, there’s that eight again.) To the Native American perspective she is Grandmother Iktomisha, taken from her ability to weave the warp and woof of reality as we know it, not unlike the spider in nature. Does she look like a spider? I don’t know, though, I have seen her in vision as a glowing light, and I suspect she can appear as she would choose to do, or as you are capable of accepting her.

She is not the Old One, that one is her Creator, progenitor, yet, she is so powerful, that many of old would have worshipped her as the all in all. That does not seem to please her, for I have asked. NO! I was told, she is companion to the One. I suspect she has communicated similarly with others, I am not claiming anything unique. I believe that it is quite possible that many with whom she communicates will not so admit, because there infinityare many who will call us simply crazy. Yet, crazy or not, it cannot be denied that if we were all to live by those golden rules, take them from the Natives of America, from Y’shua, or from the Buddha, this would be a peaceful place in which to live. Hm, okay, I’ll be crazy if that’s what you call it.

Karma ~

dance-of-lifeWhat goes around comes around, i.e. if you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else, or more positively “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is another of the parallel teachings that Y’shua echoes from the Buddha. It does make a person wonder if he did travel to India or further into Tibet during the missing years. I am not sure, and there is little to support the idea except that his teachings so completely echo the truths of the Buddha who lived some 500 years earlier in the Orient.

The graphic above is my own, called, “The Dance of Life”. It is my interpretation of the Tai Chigolden-key1 Tu, the  symbol of balance that is used in Taoism, and other Eastern philosophies.  Karma, though it easily boils down into the goes around comes around platitude is a bit more complicated than that. But, of course, that’s like saying Y’shua taught only the Golden Rule, which, BTW I think of it more as a Golden Key, as it is a key behavior that leads more clearly to peace and gentleness between peoples than any other teaching. If you treat others with the respect you wish to receive from them, you will lead a peaceful life for the most part.

dharma_wheelBuddhanet.net gives a classic explanation of Karma as it is accepted through most beliefs where Karma is a doctrine. As I understand this explanation, it would seem that Karma then is comparable to Y’shua’s teachings regarding a tree and it’s fruit, a good tree grows good fruit, a bad tree grows bad fruit. So it is not something quite so simple as one would presume from simply “what goes around comes around”, though that is obviously part of it. It would also explain, to a degree, why “The Secret” is an incomplete teaching, as there are many more factors than simply putting your shopping list out to the Universe and getting what you ask for.

There is another factor that this definition speaks of negatively. I do believe in the mercies of a Creator, and I also believe in help from Spirit. So the teachings on Karma, though good teachings, are not all that appears to be out there in the Universe.

Balance re: attachment, detachment ~

marefoalI do sometimes wish that the English language were more diverse. There are times like this when one word does not fit all. Attachment can mean anything from an area where a plug connects with its socket to the relationship between a mother and her young.  Detachment of a type is an important concept in Buddhism, and also a sign of sever emotional dysfunction in a child. Gads! What a world! I may get quite verbose on this one, as it’s a tough nut to crack.

First, be aware that detachment in Buddhism is a type of disentanglement when one is so embroiled and enmeshed in the lives of others that the attachment causes  severe discomfort for both parties, where neither party knows a gentle way to ease out of the situation. It is not intended to dissolve one’s compassionate interaction with other humans, or even other beings. Quite to the contrary, it is intended to teach that the truest form of compassion will always be there to help, but will never interfere if the person has already bgmade up their mind the direction in which they intend to go. When that person is injured as a result, there is no recrimination, simply help with getting back on one’s feet. It is not an easy way to live or see the world. There are so many times when pure temptation would have us say “I told you that would happen.”

Only when it becomes apparent that even with the hard knocks the person hasn’t learned are we to take a further step back, even then, no recrimination, simply not allowing their need to learn the hard way to devolve us out of the path we are supposed to be walking. The concept being that once you have done everything you can, and are praying about those areas where you cannot reach out and make a difference, (the prayer that some one somewhere can.) BTW, the serenity prayer helps with that (Neibuhr), you can move on to learn the next step of your path. One of the things that attracted me to Buddhism was that there are those, (called bhodisatvas) who chose to stay on this plane to help those of us who lag behind. They reincarnate not because they must or stay in a low position on the wheel of life, but because they have “made it” and are here to show the rest of us the path of kindness that will bring us all home.

the_dalai_lamalargeRemember, Buddhism is a personal path of study and learning about mastery of self  and about personal attitudes, it is not a religion, it does not address in any way if there is a G-d in the heavens, it is about you taking responsibility for your actions and learning to live a better way. You are free to believe in God, it does not interfere with being a Buddhist also, you may be a Taoist, (pantheistic belief in compassionate living, a Christian, a belief in g-dman that “saved” you; a Jew, a monotheistic belief in compassionate living, or any other belief system you choose. It is easiest if you choose a belief system where compassion is a chief cornerstone, so that you have no conflicts between your path and basic Buddhism.

It is the need to live in balance, called the Middle Way by the Buddha, that finds itself addressed in living a “detached” life that holds neither attachment to things or people so tightly that they cannot breathe, nor detachment from things or people so lightly that one forgets to be kind to all other beings. Finding that balance is not easy, but it is possible. HH Tenzin Gyatso, the dalai lama,  is a wonderful example. I bow to his teaching and mastery.

Fruit, mature, ready to “eat” ~

apple_royal-galaIf compassionate behavior is the first fruit of the Holy Spirit, what are the results of that fruit maturing and becoming ready for consumption? Since love can gush all over and be almost overpowering in it’s sweetness and nourishment, allowing all manner of things to grow, both healthy and not so healthy, it is necessary to learn how to handle all that loving power correctly, and with the will of All That is Good, in mind. The result then, of being flooded with the love of Spirit, is a willingness to learn.

One becomes hungry for every bit of instruction that is available. This is where learning to study Holy Writ, the commentaries regarding Holy Writ, the meditations of Masters that have learned the Holy Writ before you, and anything that acts as a codicile to Holy Writ besides. Learning is the mode into which the beginner flowers. As one grows there is also a willingness to help those coming after you to learn the Way.

The things you are learning here are above all how to balance the incredible

Balance

Balance

love of Spirit with a sense of discipline that will allow that love to flow freely when needed, and to put the brakes on when gushing will only harm the person or situation involved. One learns, if one is close to Spirit, that the place of “Balance” is “Beautiful”.

In order to grasp the beauty of balance, there is always a need for wisdom and understanding, these are the “next” on the agenda to learn, though most of the time the lessons are all wound together so one gets a bit of wisdom when one learns balance in a given area, and a bit of understanding when one needs to apply discipline to oneself or the situation. Patience is learned along the way, as nothing comes overnight.

rabbit_jpg

Humility

And, lo and behold, as one learns all of these wonderful things, the will of that which is Highest and Best becomes ever clearer. But, even here, humility is required, for even at our highest point of development, we can be deceived by those whose motives do not serve the Ancient of Days.  This is why there is none who can say they have attained the highest level of maturity and need no more growth or learning.

So, what is the mature fruit of the Spirit? It is a dynamic sense of balance that is able to adapt to the circumstances at hand and move the elements around to honor the Highest and Best. What a beautiful day when we all attain that balance.

We Are Seen ~

chakrasThis is essentially how a perfectly balanced human being would look in the world of Spirit. Since the perfectly balanced human is a myth or at least rare as hen’s teeth, with only a few humans ever reaching such a balance, perhaps Buddha, or Y’shua, but, even there we cannot be certain.  We can be fairly certain they would have come much closer than any of us.

The aura of a human is actually rather egg shaped, so a humanspiritualchakraegg that was very spiritually minded might look like this, while a person whose goal was to live the Lavidaloca might look a bit different, like thislavidalocachakraegg. None of us is so stable that the “egg” remains one color or the other all the time, and if we are a person that flows back and forth between the two lifestyles, our aura would flow between the two extremes. Most of us are somewhere in between, neither so spiritually minded as to have little left of the “life force red”, nor so carnal as to have none of the “spiritual” vibrations of the violet rays. The colors actually flow within the “egg”, so that, rather than a “rainbow” look, we are more like a many colored bubble with a predominant color showing the main focus of our lives.

The point of all of this, is that Spirit does not see us, or the adornments we put on our bodies. The molecules of solid objects actually flow so slowly they are only peripherally visible to Spirit, if at all. That does not mean Spirit does not know they are there. There are colors in our aura that we humansimagopal2blacksu2 cannot see that tell Spirit where our mind is focused, what we are choosing to show other humans in order to manipulate our surroundings, and our intent along the way. Ouch, yes, we are that transparent to Spirit. This is why Spirit can actually say in the holy scriptures of all different faiths that we are known completely.

I have often wondered why our true beauty is hidden behind a veil, for there are many who search for happiness in all the wrong places that would find if they could but see the way, that, though it is never easy, happiness can become pure joy when we serve with humility. We are abler than we think we are. And, with the help of the Highest, we can shine better than we know.

Labels ~

As a society we depend on labels to tell us what is in things, on things, about things and whether the sun will shine tomorrow. For the safety of our children, and the well-being of ourselves, labels serve as a very necessary short hand that allow us to move through life not having to read the fine print on every thing that passes under our inspection. However, we do need to remember that they are shorthand, not the full or even often the true story behind the labels. This is so prevalent that there have, in the past decade or so, come to pass many truth in labeling laws.

The difficulty there, of course, is that some of the spaces in our lives where we particularly need “truth” to be the veritable truth, those laws cannot enter nor would they be effective if they could. How do you label a mystical experience? “The sun was a beautiful rosy red, and the stars talked to me!?!” Careful, you’ll be labeled a druggy if you say that to too many of the wrong people. Or what about the fact that there are so many people out there willing to take the money of people honestly seeking spiritual truth and having no idea where to find it? You cannot always tell, in fact, there are people who sincerely believe what they are selling is sound truth whose work will in the end prove quite false.

All too often that ugly word, “cult” gets thrown around when a new idea comes to town and the “old guard” are threatened by a strange way of doing things. Some of the new ideas are great and will enhance one’s spiritual experience immeasurably and some are pure bunk. Did the Masters’ give us a way to tell when we were being led down the primrose path, or are we on our own on this trail?

Actually, both Y’shua and Buddha gave us some very wise teachings to help us tell when we were being led around by the nose. The Buddha’s caution was to stick to the teachings, the “Four Noble Truths” and the Eightfold Path” being primary but also his other teachings, if a new teacher came along and began to teach anything that went contrary to the basics, he was a charlatan. Y’shua spoke of the fruit of a teacher’s life, if the fruit was bad, the tree was bad, do not eat from that tree.

Many times if you find that someone you have leaned on as a teacher is lacking, you will be slammed with “Do Not Judge”, an understandable gambit, but be careful, choosing not to stay under the tutelage of one that does not live by the principles as a general rule is not condemning them to haedes, it is preserving your own integrity as a follower of the Great Ones. Attempt always to stay in balance and accuse seldom if at all, but do not choose to stay where Compassion is not honored as a way of life.

How totems work, at least for me ~

It seems best to start with Wagle Shun, my south totem teacher. I have felt her presence since I was a small child and will admit that it is her wisdom that has kept me from crashing on the rocks during the early part of my journey. Since she is the totem of the mystic, there is every reason to suspect that this is why I followed that path. Whenever I see one of those wonderful little figurines of her in a home I visit, I start asking the questions that will tell me if the person that collects them is one of her students. I start with her because her gentle guidance is available to everyone if she is who I believe her to be.

Proverbs is full of mention of her, most especially the eighth chapter. It is also full of mention of her opposite number, Folly, whose animal I am unsure of. I believe Wagle Shun is my teacher’s totem, and is most certainly the way she communicates with me. It is she who first taught me not to envy others the things that are theirs by birth, which, once I knew my birth totem was a good chuckle, since that is the raven, and a reminder of Aesop’s fables. Who knows, maybe I am folly and am finally allowing Wisdom to teach me. That would certainly be the way my life has gone, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it were at least an allegorical truth.

These two totems, along with the Snowy Owl and the butterfly have drawn me from early youth. I have had some strong lessons to learn from them. Note the amount of airy totems, which is where my head usually is and then it will be no surprise to you that I had to learn from another totem, one that had drawn me but I had not explored the lessons, the otter, how to stay grounded, balanced and playful. If you understand that the animals as the Native American sees them, are teachers, not G-ds, they can teach you also.

You can start out by looking at the animals that drew your attention in childhood, what were they trying to teach you? Even domestic animals have lessons to teach so do not discredit their influence in your life lessons. If you cannot remember being drawn to any wild ones, there is another, rather slightly off-beat way to learn about totems that have to do with you personally. Everyone is familiar with astrology, some believe in it, some don’t. That’s fine, I will not try to persuade you one way or the other, but it is a tool, should you choose to use it, that can lead you to the knowledge of at least four of the animals that will have been a fairly strong influence in your life.

First go to Alabe.com, look down the page to where you can pull a free birth chart. Enter your data there, save the chart on your computer, it will be a gif image, and save the write-up in a Word document, or other word processing software. (Open Office is free on the web and does all that Microsoft’s does without spending an arm and a leg.) When you have them on your own computer where you can study them, pick out the “houses” that are your birth sign (your character), your moon sign (your inner self), your rising sign (your outward projection for others to see) and the North Node, which will tell you where you are headed in your learning patterns.

After you have found the astrological “houses” involved for your birth, look at Sun Bear’s Dancing with the Wheel. It can be found at most Public Libraries if you cannot afford it, but is a wonderful book to have if you are interested in Native American cosmology at all, so I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the money if you have it. You will find the totems for those four “houses” in that workbook, and full explanations of the lessons those four animals have to teach you. It is not quite the same as having a “Medicine” teacher find your totems for you, but is a good way to start with learning about totems.

Cyan ~

At the throat chakra there sneaks in a lighter “blue” that is called cyan. It’s a rather lovely, almost electric blue and quite vibrant. Though we think of it as a mixture of blue and green, it is a printer’s primary color, mixing with magenta, (that extra color between red and purple) and yellow, with a dead black as the darkening agent. It is interesting that the “normal” color wheel and the printer’s color wheel both use an almost pure yellow when the other colors are just ever so slightly different in their vibration on the electromagnetic scale.

The variation of Cyan that is called “Light sea green” is actually the color I would have expected to show up on the spectrograph, as it is more my own perception of the combination of blue and green.

I have read and studied other chakra teachings and the one thing that strikes me as strange is the lack of comment on listening, which is as much the power of this chakra as speaking. Since this is a blue-green combination in color, it is here that balance in our day to day “journey” is most important. Hearing truth and assimilating it as truth is every bit as important as speaking truth. To do so with the grace, beauty and balance of the purest color of Cyan is a worthy goal for any lifetime.

Is it coincidence do you think that this is also the center of balance in the human being? Our inner ear is responsible for helping us to walk on this rapidly spinning planet without whirling out of control. Learning to hear everything that is being said, and weighing it’s importance to you and yours is tricky indeed. Carefully digesting this truth and bringing it into manifestation for those you value can be intense, to say the least. Finding the balance of when to listen and when to speak is every bit as important as speaking truth and hearing truth when it is spoken. It is also important to remember that how you speak the truth can make all the difference in the world in how it is received. When the Dalai Lama was asked if he could boil his religion into just a few words, he simply smiled and said “Be Kind.”

{Editorial Note:} In my further studies of the spectrum I have learned that Newton had initially named the spectrum with the standard 7 colors that we have been accostomed to, but it has apparently been suggested that “indigo” be dropped as a seperate color because there are many folks who cannot differentiate between it and violet. Erego, the spectrum now has 6 colors, rather than being expanded to the 8 or 9 that I would have thought appropriate with magenta and cyan, oh well, fashion, as ever prevails

Principle number 10 ~

10) Eternal harmony will be achieved through balance. The human is the only creature that loses its part of the Song shortly after birth. It is the human animal that has thrown this part of the Universe out of balance.

Have you ever thought about the “cost” of free will? Or even about the fact that, for most people the “group” sort of thought that we are told is automatic within a hive, is foreign to a human? Much of Science Fiction is predicated on attempts to get into that sort of thinking and working with it as the premise for at least a short story line, if not the whole of some person’s life. But, freewill has actually cost the human being the ability to relate to the whole in a manner that sets one’s own “self” aside for the betterment of all, very seldom can we do it.

Yet, it is our grasp of our ability to decide individually whether we will wear a tie, or go chez casuale, that lets us be the “person” we choose to be. Here, though, there is cause to stop and take a look at this wonderful “gift”, for more than one man has written about the struggles to do what is desired only to fall back on an “older” version of “self” that is more willfull and and less “enlightened”.

See the New Testament book, Romans, chapters 5,6, &7. This is the writing of Paul, the converted, who had slain so many Christians in his zeal to serve Hashem. When he was converted, he decided that instead of bringing Gentiles into the fold, he would keep them at bay and breed a hatred of the parent faith in them, which is part of the reason I so dislike calling him a saint. He also is often called an apostle, by his own pen, which implies he walked at Y’shua’s side during his time of teaching, a flat out preverication. I am quite familiar with his works, but refuse to venerate him as “above” others in spirituality.

It is, in fact, the very attempt at “group think” that passes for doctrine and dogma that is the reason I do not call myself an out and out Christian. I do indeed love Y’shua’s teachings, and follow them as closely as any, but the “church” attempts to make it as though those who do not see Y’shua through Paul’s eyes are apostate and wicked. Well, I guess that makes me apostate and wicked. I will celebrate.

Sadly, here, one comes up against the very comment of this principle, that harmony needs to be acheived through balance. This can only happen when the humans who count themselves as leaders quit trying to do our thinking for us. They may influence, they may speak, but do not insist that I must choose not to think on my own. If you want a clone, go ahead, make one, we have the technology. Just move along and let others attempt to follow the light while you follow your own dark trail. When the preachers and the mullahs and the evangelists begin to take their lessons from the Rabboni, and understand that the nourishment that leads to harmony comes from Spirit, not man, we may make progress on this particular principle.

The 7th ~

7) Harmony and Balance are the keys to Life. Everything evolves by seeking balance with everything else.

Google harmony and balance and you will find all manner of wonderful esoteric studies and plans to help you find an inner balance. There is very little said, at least on the web regarding the scientific observation that nature in her own right, is always seeking balance in the ecosphere of our very own planet. Look at the stars and the galaxies, and you will see much that would indicate that all move toward finding that balance just to exist. One wonders why our Creator would choose to make this a goal rather than the natural way of things. Yet, all creatures seem caught in a balance wheel seeking the way of harmony.

We are incited by many Holy Books to believe that the Universe was once in balance and something knocked it for a loop. The are those who teach that man is the one who knocked things out of balance and others who teach that it happened much earlier in time and space than the point at which we came onboard as a species. There are even teachings that we were created to try to help put things back in balance, (whooo, that failed badly if that was the case!) However, no matter which origin stories you hold dear, it remains that our world’s dynamic is to seek balance, it is, then, this balance that supports life on Terra.

Saddest, however, is that we humans seem to have lost the natural grasp of balance, if we ever had it, and now must find our way to living our lives in a manner that seeks balance in even the smallest things, such as how much food to take into our bodies, and how much sleep to get in a 24 hour period in order to stay at optimum for as long as possible. As we move from an agrarian society through mechanics into a technical society we find we must teach ourselves much about how to maintain the simple balances of eating, breathing and sleeping.

In order to grow in spirit, we also need to learn how to maintain a balance in life. It is easy for the ascetic to have the wonderful mountain top experience and “find God” there. It is not so easy to maintain that sense of the divine in the traffic patterns on Monday morning. Yet, G-d is not distant when we are in traffic, in fact, unless I am mistaken, the Angels that guard us are more present there than on the mountaintop. I hope so, we certainly need them.

If I understand Spirit correctly, here, it is not on the mountain top that we grow, it is in the valley, in the traffic that we are stretched and pulled in order to remain calm and cheerful in the midst of anger and futility on the part of those with whom we travel. One of the toughest points of balance is the one that applies internally, learning to be less harsh with ourselves will help us to be more compassionate with others.

5th Principle

5) Everything has its own vibration. When you were born, you had already a song of your own, your expression of the Song of Love. It is the same for all life. Each has its own expression. Even so with plants, trees, rocks, clouds, water, earth; All Life.

You have your own song, sing it! This is why most often we see a personality coming out even in the tiniest baby. This little person is already very much carrying a tune of their own. We do not make them each individuals, they already are. What we do is add the various grace notes and new phrases to their repertoire so that, if we have done our job correctly, they may sing their own song more fully.

A parent does not give a child their personality, they have that already when born. However, a parent can influence very much how that personality interfaces with the society into which that child is born. Your child is the gift of the many generations both houses of mother and father combined with the love and care given by this set of parents. That makes child rearing an ever present challenge, since, as any good parent knows, no two children are alike. You simply can’t go by a previously given set of instructions.

However, if you think of your child as having their own music when they come to you, and think of your job as truly listening to hear their song, then help them tune it and fine tune it, the rewards for both child and parent will be immense. When we learn to have that kind of respect for each other, let alone the other life forms in the Universe, we may just begin to mature into the kind of enlightened beings that are capable of creating harmony and balance!

The First Principle ~

1) Creator is Love. The Song of Love, with its melodies, and harmonies, is the expression of the Will and Mind of Creator, who is the Original Source of Life.

The Principles I have listed here at this site were given to me by Spirit for my protection. I have said before that I hear voices, some high, some low, and I cannot always tell the difference. The principles allow me to progress through life without being swayed by the low ones into acting in ways that I would later regret. You would think that the Mosaic Decalogue or 10 commandments would do that, but they are actually a skeleton of a much larger system, and one needs to know the entire system for them to work at keeping one out of trouble.

It is difficult to know how to describe the principles as compared to the commandments, though, perhaps they are the cells that make up the bones and muscles of the body of information that one needs in order to serve the highest and best. Take, for instance, the first Principle that I have listed above. Compare it to Moshe’s first command. The Principle tells you that God is Love, therefore, Moshe’s command to love Hashem with all your heart, and every breath you breathe is not difficult, it is a delight, for you know that you are loved first, and loving back is seldom difficult.

You also begin to understand that the breeze flowing though the trees, and the sound of the crickets in the grass or the animals on the plains, are themselves the sounds of Creator’s love coming toward you from the woods and the grasses. It is as you realize this that you begin to understand that Hashem is not “Out there” looking at you from afar, but right here with you, loving you with every puff of breath that keeps you alive.

Because of the gentleness of the breezes, you begin to realize that, though there is much in the Universe that is too great to understand for a human, and the winds blow much too harshly during a hurricane for a human to stand in the way, there are breezes that nourish as well. There is music in the Universe that is gentle enough for a human to survive and thrive if we will learn to get out of the way when the big winds blow.

If we will begin to pay attention, we can also learn here that the source of our own lives is the source of all life, and that there is much in the Universe that has nothing to do with us. I know this means becoming aware that the entire Universe is not about us, necessarily, but about life in abundance and that, rather than our mission being to “take over” the Universe from Hashem, as we have for generations thought and acted, perhaps our mission is to learn to live in balance with the other life forms that Creator has made and placed here.

Perhaps, in fact, we have been singing the wrong song, what if we were supposed to be singing a song of love, and we have been singing a song of conquest?

Birthdays ~

Today is mine, making me officially 56 years of age! Gads, what an old woman I am. The raven and the crow are the birth totems of the Libra people, which is actually quite fitting, since folks either love us or dislike us intensely. That is this bird’s reputation. Trickster, clown, funny; omen of ill, morbid, dour; I am not sure whether it is that we cannot make up our minds who we are, or whether we are just so sensitive to every wind that blows as to make us unsteady in the long run.

I was quite fortunate to have parents that would not tolerate that kind of unsteadiness, and since the beaver (taurus) is my moon sign, {our inner self} I had some strength to draw from. I very much believe in free will, so do not believe the old teachings regarding the stars and their hold on us as individuals. Though I do most definitely believe that there are influences that come to play. I drew the above picture of the raven with my own totem in mind, but gave it ultimately to another “raven”, a close friend and companion.

Like the coyote, raven is a trickster, clown, who often likes to play jokes on others, though, as often as not, the jokes backfire, and it is Raven that gets kicked in the derriere. It can be fun to watch the fireworks, but watch out, the sparks may fall on you, too. If the raven learns fairly early to only put out what he or she would like from the universe, things will go much more smoothly, and Raven can learn to go with the flow. My papa was a coyote man, and could laugh at himself quite well, so there was no question I would learn that way of life, or go down trying.

Raven is a bird of portent, companion to Odin of the Norsemen, long associated with the tower of London, and one of the Native American bringers of the gift of fire, his feathers having been permanently singed in the effort. {Raven used to be white, in the “first” age, but Raven has simply played too many jokes, so now wears black most of the time.} Raven’s “planet” is Venus, so raven’s clowning will often flow over into the department of love, as well.

Raven’s lifetime struggle is to learn to find that delicate balance between what to take seriously, and what to laugh at, and Raven will ultimately serve the truth, no matter how much it hurts.  I would have to say that the lesson to learn from Raven is to never take yourself too seriously, learn to roll with the punches, and have fun while you are at it. P.S. that would include how you read this blog!

Thanks, Su

Balance and Beauty ~

Buddha taught that life led in moderation, called the Middle Way, was a life of balance. Most Native American tribes, and the Kaballists teach that beauty and balance are the way to live. They are the same teaching, from different perspectives. Our little Kung Fu master demonstrates the beautiful sense of balance gained from working with Tai Chi, a form of martial art developed for meditation and control rather than combat.

Part of the deeper beauty of all of these paths is that they do not teach a static balance, as though one were standing in one spot, never to move again, but a  dynamic balance that prepares one for the changes and jostling that are a part of everyday life. I love the path of mysticism, though could never truly enjoy life on a mountain top, living as a recluse. I like people, flawed, imperfect, warts and all, I love to be in the midst of things. I do not have to be the center of attention, in fact prefer to be a bit on the side, but I definitely like to be part of an interactive show.

I think the reason I was drawn to mystic spirituality was that there was always room for me to be an individual. I am just as flawed as anyone else, maybe even a bit more. I am not going to achieve perfection in this lifetime. But, though it has been a bit of a bumpy ride, I’ve had a lot of fun!

One of the most important tools in learning to walk that balanced path is the sense of humor, and here I am not talking of laughing at others, but learning to laugh at ourselves and our foolishness. Besides, if I hadn’t been kicked out of the Lutheran church for thinking in circles, life would have been incredibly boring! Garrison Keillor says Lut’rans can’t have any fun! I love the Prairie Home Companion, with Mr. Keillor’s dry wit and sense of the ridiculous. His entire discourse is a sort of gentle, laugh at oneself, lesson in living. One of my favorite characters of his was Guy Noir. Or was that Guy Noarr?

I was listening to the “tube”, (don’t often watch, but sometimes you see some worthwhile stuff on there,) and Professor Randy Pausch was mentioned. His sense of balance in the act of living and dying was probably as profound as any I have ever seen in action. Having every reason to be angry with G-d, having a young family and a wife with whom he shared a loving relationship, he died with grace and humor, leaving a wonderful legacy for his children.

Among the things most memorable was a comment of his that “Right up there next to being responsible and doing the right thing . . . . .this close,” and he held the thumb and forefinger apart for us to see, perhaps an eigth of an inch “Is having fun.” It would certainly be no shame to have seen this man angry and in tears, as the pain of parting from such a full life would be immense.

That statement is as close as one can come to expressing the concept of walking in beauty and balance. May he be blessed on his journey.

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