Attention is Seeing

Photo by L2B Photography ~ © 2010

“The clouds began to gather in the morning, light, fleecy ones;

they were gathering from different directions, mostly from south-west;

the sun raced between them and shadows covered the land.


“Towards the evening, the sky was dark and rain was in the air . . .

it began to drizzle; it laid the all-prevading dust, washed the leaves clean and it brought that fragrance of rain on dry earth.

It was a pleasant smell and the birds had taken shelter for the night . . .

Attention is seeing. Seeing is an art as listening.

But one hardly ever listens or sees; everyone is so occupied, so busy with the things that have to be done, with one’s joys, problems and tears.

One has no time to see.

But time does not give you sight; time hinders seeing, listening. Time is the space for experiencing and experience only dulls the mind and heart. The mind is filled and the heart has turned away and so there is no seeing.

To see knowledge must be kept in the books and not in the mind; knowledge interprets, chooses, giving colour, opinion, weighing, criticising, choosing and then there is no seeing. When the mind is so crowded and the heart dull with sorrow, how can there be seeing? What you see is your own projections, your own desires, your own fears but you don’t see what is. It goes by and you are lost with your own toys.

But when you do see, do listen, then that act is the miracle that transforms, that has emptied the mind and the heart of the past. You don’t have to do anything, thought is incapable of this miracle; then that seeing is love, as listening is. You cannot come by these through exertion, through the dullness of discipline, through any bargaining nor through the shock of unanswerable questions. There must be emptiness to see, to listen there must be a quietness.

It was rather late in the night; lightning and rain were making great noise. Again, the brain was aware of the lightning, and the rain on the window, but it was motionless, astonishingly still, for that immensity was there with clarity and unapproachable strength.

— J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti’s Notebook

Every Day Another Opportunity

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.

Pericles (via Angie at Pick My Brains Art)

Wandering through my inbox, I found this quote from my good friend Angie. It was followed by a Google Reader feed that also addressed the question of what our purpose is here.  Things that keep popping up in my days I call my “theme” of the week/month/year. So my theme, it would seem, is what I’ve come to believe is what’s important to me and how I honor that principle.

Every moment in my day is an opportunity to try a different way of thinking. To truly SEE with the eyes of gratitude. Each moment offers me a choice – in how I  respond and act, words I choose, etc.  But also and just as important to this soul is choosing the myriad of little, seemingly trivial choices: which thoughts to listen to, choosing to make eye contact with a stranger and smile, choosing what’s more important in a situation, or choosing my motives.

Consciousness is a requirement. I find that when I’m not practicing gratitude, my actions all become rote. I sleepwalk through so many things, so many opportunities that would be lost without making a decision to pay attention to each of the individual moments I’m given.  And at the end of the day I take stock of what would be left behind in that day, should it have been my last.

  • Where was I Love?
  • When did I choose forgiveness?
  • When did I offer charity, even if I wasn’t really feeling like it?
  • Did I offer hope?
  • Did I uplift people in my world that day?

“Everybody knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently…

‘So we kid ourselves about death’

‘Yes, but there’s a better approach. To know you’re going to die and be prepared for it at any time. That’s better. That way you can be actually be more involved in your life while you’re living.

Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, ‘Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?‘ … The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live…

Most of us walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully because we’re half asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do…

Learn how to die, and you learn how to live.'” – Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

If we really had that little bird on our shoulder asking us throughout our day if we are ready to die today, we would find gratitude and so much opportunity in every moment. We would appreciate every sunset, every drive or walk,  every phone call from our parents or siblings, every chat with our friends, every taste we experienced through all of our senses, and so on. Urgency, significance, and passion would electrify every moment.

We would remember how significant each human experience is and pinch ourselves regularly as a reminder to appreciate these moments. Every day and every situation and every event would be meaningful and memorable down to the most routine of things.

I choose to imagine that little bird on my shoulder, though some days I’d just as soon he fly away and find some other shoulder to perch upon! But when I’m honest with myself, in my heart of hearts, I like to keep it there as a reminder to stay conscious and present. For its in learning how to die, that I learn how to live.

Namaste,
~me

Perseverance IS a Lesson

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to discuss the topic of navigating when life throws you a curve ball. Perseverance was brought up. Hindsight offering a better perspective than the current reality could was also mentioned. For me, that’s what I call my learning “curve” in life.

Life's PathIf I look back on the moments in my life, I can see those curves in the road. Blind curves that I couldn’t see until I was swinging wide to the right or left. You know. The moments when I think, “This changes everything” or “I can’t see my way out”. Its that free-fall feeling; an anxiety and fear driven uncertainty of what the outcome will be, because I can’t even imagine how it could possibly EVER work out! But it ends up working out in a way that wasn’t even a blip on my imaginary horizon and infinitely better than anything that I could come up with in my catastrophizing “what if“s! Besides, what am I guaranteed besides THIS moment, really?!

If I’m not experiencing highs and lows in life, then I’m a flat line – and everybody knows a flat line means I’m dead! There are those things that can make me lose all perspective – things that I cannot possibly wrap my finite brain around. I just have to have faith that something good will come of it all. More times than not I’m left with faith being the only alternative, with the understanding that when I’ve moved out of and past “IT”, that I can look back with those high definition hindsight goggles and SEE what lesson there was in it all. I mean, if I’m not learning something from all these mistakes then what’s it all for?

My quote of the day comes today from Angie. Throwing her two cents in, she said,

Sometimes there isn’t any lesson … sometimes the only lesson is perseverance.

That has been pinging around my mind all day! Because there are those events in life that I look back on – look for the lesson – and have to acknowledge that while I believe there are no mistakes in life, I may just have to wait until I’m done here to understand why some things happen. And maybe the only gain is a little bit more faith. 🙂

I’m still here, which means that the next time I get thrown a curve, I remember that while I may not see the solution, I DO remember this feeling from that last curve and hey! I survived that, didn’t I? Each night is followed by day…each down by an up…and as long as I’m breathing in and out, my life will continue to ebb and flow. 

Reminds me of a post I wrote almost 7 years ago on my first blog entitled “Snow Globe Effect Perspective

I am one of those people,
when someone begins to speak
mentally “see” my own version of the subject matter.
(I hope other people do that too)
So what?” you may wonder.
Recently, I was privileged to be in the company of others
who were discussing the topic of perspectives.
Snow Globe PerspectiveMy internal theater screen flickered to life
filling my head with a image of myself,
in the center of a snowglobe.
“Snow” was swirling and circling my head.
I could not see beyond it to the world that lies through the glass.
My perspective and vantage point were snowblind
Now the bitch of it is
I’M the one who shook the freakin globe!
I could hear a faint familiar voice,
“…our troubles, we think, are of our own making…”
Yeah,yeah,yeah.
Creating blizzards of emotional chaos
Seems to be a natural gift I have been bestowed with.
Getting out of the way of The Source,
Trusting that It knows the way
out of the blinding storms I create in my little world,
Allowing myself to be led
Despite the fear of the unknown
Confidence that all is as it should be
and will be
And capitulating to this certainty
That is SO hard!
The thematic lesson that keeps thrusting itself into my path?
FAITH
Should be simple, right?
Experience has taught me time and time again
No matter how much “snow” blinds me…
No matter how much I want to manipulate my way into it…
No matter how much I fight…
or conversely want to give in-just give up…
If I just wait-
If I just be still and have FAITH
It always turns out better than I could fathom
Life comes back to me higher
than the limits of my imagination
Only, being in the middle of that snowglobe,
I can’t SEE that
until the I can look back in hindsight.
To sum it up in one neat lil package:
“…cause I gotta have Faith, Faith, Faith…”
::SIGH::
~Me

Namaste,

~me

Patterns and Circles

My Zen thought of the day:

10. Change

Life repeats itself mindlessly – unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That’s why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death, the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel:

  • birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth;
  • love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love;
  • success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success.

Just see! If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern. One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God, that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don’t see the point why one should go on living…. And it goes on and on, but you don’t see the pattern. Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it.

Osho Take it Easy, Volume 1 Chapter 7

The symbol in this card is an enormous wheel representing time, fate, karma. Galaxies spin around this constantly moving circle, and the twelve signs of the zodiac appear on its circumference. .. closer to the center are the four directions, each illuminated by the energy of lightning. The spinning triangle is at this moment pointed upward, toward the Divine, and the Chinese symbol of Yin and Yang, male and female, creative and receptive, lies at the center.

It has often been said that the only unchanging thing in the world is change itself. Life is continuously changing, evolving, dying and being reborn. All opposites play a part in this vast circular pattern. If you cling to the edge of the wheel you can get dizzy! Move toward the center of the cyclone and relax, knowing that this too will pass.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve wondered why doing the exact same thing on any given day gives such vastly different results, with no discernible difference in the things I do! Why it is that some days I just wake up and am in love with life! And like a person who is in love, I find beauty everywhere – joy in the most mundane things – gratitude for everyone and everything that is part of my world!  And upon waking the next day, I have to push myself to move through the day – gurumping and hurumping about everyone and everything  and wishing the day would hurry up and end! Go to sleep and see what tomorrow will bring…alchemy

But when I realize its just a repeating pattern and has always been one since I first drew breath, then I realize that however it is that I feel today, it will be different tomorrow – the good, the bad, and the ugly. As long as my heart is beating and I’m breathing in and out, it will change. “This too shall pass” becomes a comfort on a darker day or a catalyst for being more aware of the transient nature of even the best of moods and feelings.

I know. It seems like a “Well, duh!” sort of thing, but reading that Osho Thought of the Day reminds me. Reassures me that there is a rhythm to this life and once I find the rhythm, I can dance my way through. 🙂

Peace,

~me

Drink It All In

Pensive

Pensive

Did you say it?

I love you. I don’t ever want to live without you. You changed my life.’

Did you say it?

Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it…

but every now and then, look around;

Drink it in,  ’cause this is it.

It might all be gone tomorrow…

We spend our whole lives worrying about the future,

planning for the future, trying to predict the future,

as if figuring it out will cushion the blow.

But the future is always changing.

The future is the home of our deepest fears and wildest hopes.

But one thing is certain when it finally reveals itself.

The future is never the way we imagined it…”

(Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy)

Seems to be my theme for the time being!

There was a Buddhist story that I read in Tuesdays With Morrie about living as though each day were your last.

“Every day, have a bird on your shoulder asking you,’Is today the day?’ Am I ready? Am I being the person I want to be?”

That being said, I’m going to try… try not to shoo, maim, or harm the bird in any way 😉 … and to listen to it remind me of what is most important! To leave each person I encounter today with the certainty of knowing that they are loved… to be the person that I want to be… and to drink it all in as though it were the last time I might be there. 🙂  It’s a plan; a goal.

Peace,

~me

Photographs

Framing-the-PicWhen the image mirrors the man
And the man mirrors the subject
Something might take over

When you try to photograph something for what it is, you have to go out of yourself, out of your way, to understand the object, its facts and essence.

When you photograph things for what Else they are, the object goes out of its way to understand you.

No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.

— Minor White, quotes from mirrors messages manifestations

Be Greater

eyeoversky

Rise Above

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love

and to be greater than our suffering.”

– Ben Okri