Year of The Fire Rooster: Little Awakenings Become Big With Practice

From my friend Sarah

Providence Institute: Sarah's Blog

Year of The Fire Rooster

Losar Tashi Delek!

Happy Tibetan New Year!

In this video message, The Venerable Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoceh tells us that The Year of The Fire Rooster is an opportunity for awakening. Roosters crow to wake everyone up, and the fire rooster does it rather urgently. These are dark times, no doubt about it, but we can awaken to a more harmonious reality by practicing meditation, by practicing the paramitas, by focusing on our own thoughts, words, and actions. In fact, that is, according to the Dharma, the only way we can truly find peace and happiness.

He reminds us that progress is our friend. We don’t have to go for perfection right away. That will only lead to disappointment. If we practice, we can enjoy little moments of awakening that grow like the moon at Losar, the Tibetan new year. It starts as a new moon with no light. Gradually, step…

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Head Into the Wind; Reef the Sails

Reefing Sails Around Diamond Shoals, Cape Hatteras by Winslow Homer

Reefing Sails Around Diamond Shoals, Cape Hatteras by Winslow Homer

I grew up sailing, thanks to my father, a man raised in landlocked Arkansas, who as a young boy dreamed of sailing. I learned many things from my father, but I think today, November 9, 2016 is a day I appreciate the lesson of how stay alive at sea in a storm.

When the wind gets too heavy from a storm and threatens to capsize your boat, you can do two things.

Put out a storm anchor. The anchor drags behind the boat and stabilizes it. Sometimes you need two anchors. Whatever it takes to keep you heading INTO THE WIND. You cannot try to run away from the wind, if you turn sideways, you’ll roll over. If you run from it, you’ll be driven by the winds, perhaps grounded onto rocks and crushed. Or a giant wave will roll over you and flip you over backwards.

When you “head into the wind.” The sails make a chaotic flapping sound and the boat starts lurching every which way. It feels so counter-intuitive to do this. But, when you do, as chaotic and jumble as it all feels, you can reef the sails (bring them down to 1/2 or 1/3 of their usual height) thus using less sail to access the immense power of the wind, and you can continue sailing, despite the storm, which basically means you harness the power that can destroy you to stabilize and ride it out.

I actually had to do this once when we were sailing and I had to tie myself to the boat in order to do this without being washed overboard. It takes teamwork to do these life-saving maneuvers. Life jackets mandatory.

Remember, put out your storm anchors and head into the wind. Harness the power of the storm.

 

Work, work, work, or live. What kind of choice is that?

Isn’t the problems that parents face about our work culture? Parents who take time out of work to raise children, when they return to work end up with 75% of the salaries of their peers. In the meantime, if they work, the may miss their children’s first words, steps, and all the first that follow until they themselves begins to work and/or have children.

Feminism points at the problem, but it’s bigger than sexism.

The general set of expectations of salaried workers is that they will work ceaselessly: sixty or more hours per week, answering email at midnight, never, never disconnecting from work. Going on vacation means working “remotely.”

The realities of the wage workers is that they will need to have two jobs and two to make ends meet. If they have children both parents will have to do so. 

Nobody gets to live life! Buried in work people are not only missing their children growing up, we are missing being part of a community (other than the work place.) We are missing falling in love with our planet, our home, and as a result, letting the planet we depend upon self-destruct as a viable habitat for ourselves an all other living beings.

I suspect that for many people, acquiescence to the work culture is a means of covering over the panic deep inside regarding the current Earth crisis (Climate change, mass extinction, the beginning of the Anthropecene Age.) The mandate for workaholism as the norm, is work-addiction that keeps us from being awake to the real work that needs to happen now if our children are to grow up on a habitable planet.

We are missing everything. Standard work in America is like dry toast, with a side serving of more dry toast. All that dry toast sucks the life out of a person. It’s insanity.

I’d like to see Earthism, Humanism, Loveism.

Read the article that prompted me to write this:

Hillary Clinton’s generation aimed to free women from domestic prisons. But work is a prison, too.
NYTIMES.COM|BY JUDITH SHULEVITZ

Rest – Good for You & the Planet

Rest – Good for You & the Planet

I’ve been resting a lot lately. I got tired after 3 months of intense mourning following the death of my sister, lots and lots of open awareness meditation walking, a spiritual rebirth, an “adventurous” holiday peak traffic drive to Virginia (and back), and a week of intense study of tantric yoga with my teacher Gary Kraftsow.

(I’d like to write a post on each on those experiences — but that will have to wait for now.)

I’m resting by relaxing with my husband or hanging out with friends, sitting in my comfy chair and reading, taking slow walks.

Rest is a vital part living life in balance. Continue reading “Rest – Good for You & the Planet”