Thursday, January 28, 2010

winter is returning. it's snowing and the brownish, grey fields are covered with a white glaze. the snow flakes are tiny.
when i woke up very early this morning, the moon was still shining, but grayish clouds now cover the sky.
later in the day i have to go to work and I'm not looking forward to the drive on these slippery roads.
two more months. only 60 more days and the first signs of spring will appear... every winter i start counting the days. at some point i just miss the full color palette of nature so much.. grey, white, blue, .. pretty.. but a splash of yellow, a hint of red, facets of green make such a difference... i wonder how it was in 'the old days', when winters also equaled a massive reduction of food varieties.... It is probably not even a century ago, when roots and dried and preserved fruits were on the daily menu...
winter has returned and with it, the temperatures are dropping again... 60 more days to go...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

there is so much to learn about Buddhism and it feels overwhelming at times. Practice is necessary, Monshin said, yet one can choose the type of practice that meets one's personality best. oh well. So i picked up meditation, or to be more accurate here, i 'try' to meditate, to let my thoughts dissolve in the sounds of bells. i try to observe them and let them go. i count my breaths, i visualize.. and i like it. meditation does have - to say the least - a calming effect on me when i',m meditating with others in the temple. but i don't get my butt on the cushion during the week. i have a little bell, i have incense and a candle, a cushion and a nice corner in the house... yet, day after day, i find millions of reasons why 'now is not the time' - it's too early, too late, I'm too hungry or too full, too tired, too busy, and so on. consequently, i don't meditate; consequently i don't practice; consequently, i don't follow the Buddhist path - at least not as a daily practise. luckily, there are so many more aspects to it..

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the sunshine today had a certain kind of energy to it. it felt brighter and more promising. the sun was a synonym for power and life, for hope and joy, for the magnitude of a moment.
i think of Mieze and tears still roll down my cheeks...
this little feral cat taught me so much about love ...
i think of all the shelter cats i saw last sunday and i want to take them home - all of them, all of them. they all should experience the joy of a loving home and what it means to be cared for! yet i can only take two. how can one possibly choose.
the sunlight today was powerful and i drank in every minute of it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It is raining. we have a 'rain storm' with temperatures in the upper 40's! The snow banks are melting and turning into huge water puddles now. the creek is getting wider and wilder by the minute.
power interruptions, dark rain clouds, damp wet air. in short: it's ugly out there! i had to turn on the lights in the house and i would have taken a hot bath if my bathtub had not been leaking. the last thing i needed was a huge downpour inside the house. !
if i could, i would go to bed and just sleep through this!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I love this big face. this large head. i wish i had space for it at home.
the expression on this face radiates peace, calm and silence.
at least this is how i see it. how many faces do i see every day, how many expressions do i come across every day? and how many of them have a soothing and comforting impact? i don't remember where the following quote originates, but anyhow i really like it : " when you turn thirty, you start being responsible for the wrinkles on your face and your facial expressions.." ...if eyes are the entrance to the soul, then faces are the mirror of the life lived...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i wish all closed doors would be as appealing as this one.
i wish i knew where this door was originally used and who entered and exited it - when and why. doors are perfect fairy tale subjects.
each hero always has an obstacle to overcome and a closed door is just one of many. Old doors were so beautifully crafted, full of ornaments and details. now we have glass doors which open automatically... or metal gates controlled by cameras and number combinations... behind closed doors dreams and nightmares take place. I'm sure that there is a large art piece somewhere out there where a huge door is put up in the middle of nowhere. this reminds me of the beautiful gate in the movie 'spring, summer, fall, winter and spring'. i guess i love doors..

Sunday, January 17, 2010

it's a grey Sunday. the Amaryllis is finally blooming, adding some color to the otherwise bland looking color pallet outside.
incense is burning. this morning i went online and read article after article about Haiti and the magnitude of this catastrophe makes me feel immensely helpless. I wish i had a skill set that could be used down there.. i would fly there in a heart beat. my little inner voice is whispering, 'well, why don't you help in your immediate neighborhood' true, i suppose, but then again, not true.
this red flower cheers me up. how can i pass it on?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

so, the concept of 'no thought' or 'no leaking thoughts' in the absolute world, can be called a 'no-leaking' mind or wooden spoon. whereas in the provisional world discursive thoughts are unavoidable. but the absolute state of mind hovers over the provisional approach like a shadow and ensures that the discursive thoughts of this world do not enter the absolute, causing the mind to leak.
So, the provisional world is not leaking into the absolute world. both minds function within the same moment, within the same mind, within the same body. this makes sense as they are ultimately the same anyway, right? this concept of Wunien seems to be so simple and clear, and yet it is impossible to grasp and even to be understood for even a second by a beginner's mind like mine. i want to think it through and yet i know this does not get me anywhere. very difficult to accept.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

dinner was heavy. too much pizza. too much wine too. after a long work day. my mind is already making lists for tomorrow - all the "must-do's and want-do's". and somehow i have to sneak my Spanish lesson in. less than a year ago i didn't know a single word of Spanish and now i should theoretically know about 16oo words and quite a lot of Grammar too. but despite this progress, I feel overwhelmed and i find myself in a very old and familiar thought pattern that starts with the phrase> you are never going to learn this, because.....< . quite astounding that i approach all of my activities with this negative attitude. yet, today at the book store, looking at various 'how to learn Spanish books' i thought to myself ... ' a word a day, a piece of grammar a day, there is no time limit and there is no official test either, just keep going and you'll get there'.. and i was surprised by these encouraging thoughts . maybe a year from now i will be able to write a few sentences in Spanish...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

it's so bitterly cold that the snowman won't melt. he is still guarding the house and i kind of like it. today, Sunday the 10th, i did nothing!. yes, nothing! - at least according to my standards.
i slept in until 9.00 am, which is really late for me. i played a game with the little one; made myself comfortable on the couch; read a book for hours; did a Pilates workout for my lower back and then went back to reading and making a few phone calls. at some point i had a cheese sandwich and finally I left the house in the late afternoon. i was invited for dinner at a friend's house. what a brilliant, lazy day. i cannot recall a day like this for months! maybe even years! maybe it was just time to recharge my battery, to rest and be lazy, to adjust to the bitter cold? whatever the reason for this slow day was does not matter, i loved it.. and may the guardian angels stay close!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

i heard today that we will encounter the coldest winter since the 1930's. wow. now, the typical me would complain and bitch but i have the words from Monshin in my mind, saying that this time of the year is a perfect time to concentrate on Buddhist practices, to reflect upon life and all its aspect, and to extend compassion, love and equanimity. what a great concept if you really think about it. cold weather as an opportunity rather than a pain. tonight i was invited to a women's gathering. all of us had been involved with a store here called 'great finds'. it was a very funny and loving get-together and i truly enjoyed how different we all are, which is a notion I very rarely have. Now I'm home, drinking a glass of wine. Actually it is a holiday today. the day the three kings visited Jesus Christ.. at least i think that is how the story goes.. Myrrh, Gold and frankincense...

Monday, January 4, 2010

361 days left and snowmen everywhere. they put a smile on my face and they seem to hold the future in their little hands / like aliens hovering over the area. i love them. 361 days and counting.
when will my Mieze come back home? more then 200 flyers later..neighbors call, expressing their sympathy.. i need a snowman to look after her and guide her home through the snow and cold.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year

Happy New Year. New Year. New counting. new beginning.
i finally slept in and i think i haven't slept that long in 10 years.
So, a new start. some resolutions in my head.
last night's meditation into the new year accompanied by 108 rings of the bell was magnificent, and the slow unfolding of the first day of the new year is too.
new ways. new thoughts. new patterns. old costumes.
the time is still ticking with the same steadiness. happy new year.