Category Archives: Sky

Gratitude Friday

cityparksunrise031. The sky in Colorado. It does stuff like the above, all the time and for no special reason, sunrise and sunset and everything in between. This happened the other morning while we were walking Sam at City Park. Luckily Eric had his phone so we could get a picture of it. This is one of the reasons I get up early, leave for a walk while it’s still dark. This.

2. Red Table, my favorite cafe that was scheduled to close for good on December 22nd is not disappearing, just moving. Once a new lease is signed, they’ll announce where to, and there will be dancing in the streets, even if it’s just me, a flash mob of one.

redtableburrito3. Yoga Teacher Training at Om Ananda Yoga, (I’m official, all signed up and ready to go, we start in January) and a new yoga mat from Eric for my birthday. I am so excited to see how this is going to shift my practice, my relationship to my body, my life.

newyearseveyoga4. Birthday wishes. Lots of love there.

5. Guest post request from Rachel. She’s taking a blogging break, so “lined up a few great ‘substitute teachers’,” and asked me to be one of them. I am still working out what I’ll write about, but am so excited for the opportunity, so touched and grateful that she asked.

Bonus Joy: Sam. We have (mostly) decided that rather than get a new dog over Winter Break, we are waiting until Spring Break. *sigh* There are lots of really good reasons, but the most relevant is that Eric and I are still feeling the trauma of losing two dogs in a row to fatal cancers and need a bit more time to work with that before being responsible for another life, before inviting another beast in who will eventually break our hearts. The only issue I have with this decision is it isn’t necessarily the best one for Sam, because he needs another dog. He’s developing fears he never had before (the washing machine, which means the dryer too by default, the vegetable steamer, even the toaster because it sometimes sets off the smoke alarm) and will be much happier, calmer once he has another dude.

Mr. Sam, hiding in his bed because I was doing laundry

Mr. Sam, hiding in his bed because I was doing laundry

Gratitude Friday

1. New opportunities. Journal Your Life, yoga teacher training, shifts in my paid work, developing an ecourse, a home refinance that will allow us to make some renovations, Spring, a new garden, making space, asking for help where I need it.

2. Good dogs. There are just so many. It is the ONLY thing that helps me face losing another one of my good dogs–there will always be another. For example,  Jasper, a schnauzer/lab mix boy that’s about six months old, available for adoption from My Second Home Rescue. Isn’t he cute?

jasper

3. Serendipity. The Wabi-Sabi book my friend got me that magically led to the ecourse I’m creating, patiently waiting for me to notice it, to need it, and the magazine about Japan, specifically the issue about Expressing the Spirit of Zen, that Eric brought home from the library for me because he thought I’d like it, which is also helping me develop this ecourse, (teaser, or spoiler alert: Wabi-Sabi Creativity).

4. Sharing a banana with Sam. It’s our morning ritual. My first dog Obi loved bananas too. I especially love the way Sam nudges my hand with his nose while I’m unpeeling the banana, “yes, that, hurry, give me some.”

sam

5. Peach colored sky.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. It’s so strange to have him still here in Spring, when the grass is turning green and things are starting to bud and bloom. When he was first diagnosed in August, I wasn’t sure if he’d make it to see another snow. This was him this afternoon, having rolled in the grass and trying to convince his dad to throw a tennis ball for him.

dexball

Day of Rest

My friend Lindsey shared a poem on her blog, and part of it has stuck with me for days, especially considering my obsession with taking pictures of the sky, the way it shifts and changes and always amazes.

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

small, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.
~The Journey, David Whyte

This also stuck with me because of the way my practice and Buddhist studies are always reminding me that, at least in a metaphorical sense, I am the sky–spacious and open and fundamentally sane. As Susan Piver explains,

Dharma teachers often suggest considering your thoughts to be like clouds in the sky. Some are dark and stormy, some are beautiful and fat, while others are wispy and ethereal. Sometimes there are no clouds at all. No matter. Just like clouds in the sky, thoughts pass through your mind. And just like the sky, your mind can contain it all.

We are accustomed to identifying with every large or small thought that comes along. But you can train yourself to identify as the sky instead. When you do, tremendous confidence arises. You see beyond doubt that you can accommodate it all–sunshine, storms, mist, fog, hail–and never give up.

On this day of rest, I am contemplating what it means to “find that small, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart,” to allow confidence to arise, and to “see beyond doubt that you can accommodate it all–sunshine, storms, mist, fog, hail–and never give up.” May you, kind and gentle reader, on this day of rest, experience both freedom and confidence, along with true rest.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: Ease isn’t just for special occasions. It isn’t just for when I am resting or celebrating, when all the work is done or I am on vacation. There doesn’t have to be a desperate need or national holiday. I don’t need special permission or free time. I don’t need to earn it. Ease can be how I move through the day, through my entire life if I choose–content, satisfied, free, calm, spacious, sane and awake.

2. Truth: Keeping an open heart is difficult, which is why I train to steady my mind. Having an open and porous heart, I am extra sensitive to noises, light, movement, smells, energy and emotions, and the general chaos of an environment which includes other beings and all their stuff and nonsense. I am vulnerable. I can easily get overwhelmed, which can lead to panic, depression, and other states of dis-ease.

Keeping my heart open is brave and dangerous work. As Ram Deev said in a recent blog post, “Your heart wants you to grow, to be challenged, to face difficulties that seem insurmountable. It wants to nudge you closer and closer to the edge of oblivion.” And yet, instead of hiding, running away, resisting, or denying reality, I have made the conscious choice to keep my heart open, to let it all in, to allow it to touch me, to break me even.

I hold myself steady with the help of various practices, primarily yoga, meditation, writing, self-care, walking my dogs, and loving-kindness. I do all this because an open heart allows for a life of kindness, curiosity, freedom, and joy, along with what it knows best: love, deep and enduring, unshakable.

3. Truth: I am like the sky. I am not the clouds or the weather. I am not the birds or a plane or balloons. I am not the moon or the sun. I am the clear blue spacious openness, underneath and above all other phenomenon. My basic goodness, my innate sanity is unchanged by thoughts or emotions, unaltered by the weather.

We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake. ~Pema Chödrön

One Wish: That as each of us walk our path, face our own obstacles and struggles, we can so so with ease and maintain an open heart, and trust that we are basically good and sane, as spacious and clear as the vast blue sky.

#SmallStone: Day 27

Flight

flockofgeese

Somewhere outside the park, a series of loud cracks, the echos of a shotgun. A flock of geese who just a moment ago were happily resting in one of the baseball fields rises in collective flight, that of both kinds–floating in the air with wings spread wide but also fleeing.

flockofgeese03

The sound of their honking, loud and panicked and fast, excites the dogs, both of them pull and strain against their harness and leads, wanting to go faster, to chase, to catch up. When the geese are directly overhead, the force of their wings against the cold morning air makes them sound like a swarm of gigantic bumble bees.

flockofgeese04

#SmallStone: Day 23

The Sky

eddyjanuarysky

On the way in to my paid work office, I notice the sky, showing off the way it does. The trees drop their leaves and stand naked in the cold just so it can be seen more clearly. It’s why buildings have windows. It might be why we have eyes.

Gratitude Friday

thanksgivingsky12This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1.The sky. The full moon against the midnight blue black, the clouds, the clear days, the pale blue and deep blue and fire orange and bright pink and gold of the sunrise, the way it’s constantly changing but always the same.

2. Long walks with my dogs, both of my dogs.

3. My purple fleece robe. Eric bought this for me more than ten years ago and it’s my favorite, it’s perfect. It has adapted to my various weights and moods, is easily washed, is the perfect thickness and softness and length and color.

purplefleecerobe4. Good friends, good people on a similar path who have long talks with me about important or difficult or confusing or wonderful things, who make me laugh, who are a glorious kind of weird, who by simply existing make me feel less alone and more loved.

5. Technology. All the various tools and spaces and applications that enable connection, creativity, that inspire and facilitate my work, both paid and that of my heart.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Mr. Dexter, who will always be my Little Dude.

bigdandlittled

My Little Dude with his Little D