Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘witnessing’

With Dad in the ER

He is on the hospital bed. The nurses have dimmed the lights. It must be night…We arrived hours ago. He was stashed in a booth. The ER is crowded on this summer Monday. A nurse comes with questions. Then leaves. Then a doctor. He leaves. Time passes…

My brother, David, stands and I sit. We listen to Dad, almost accustomed to his aphasic communication. Read more

Routines & the Moment

Most of us want a regular, dependable, effortless movement practice that will deliver fitness, and feelings of goodness and realness. We also want to be in the Moment. If we head down the delusional lane of finding a nice comfy routine, the Moment will never happen. The Moment–that elusive jewel beyond price–is not routine. Read more

Yes…yes

My father sat on the edge of the bed as I hung a framed Maxfield Parrish print of ‘Daybreak’ on the wall at the foot of the bed. He was happy gazing at this dreamy scene of two nymphs in a temple with gilded mountains in the distance. Then I handed him a smooth pale gray and salmon stone I’d brought from the beach. He liked that too.

He is at a dreary, institutional nursing facility for the time being, confined to a locked wing so he won’t stress himself. (For previous post about my father’s aphasia: Five Things.) We have a way of talking now. Read more

Last Morning on the Mesa

Late September on Apache Mesa

Early Day
A towhee rustles in the scrub oak. For this I love the oak.

Sun dimples two bright dots on rounded haunches of the blue ceramic Japanese tea cup Kathy gave me. Its delicate craquelure beneath shiny lacquer is a map to unknown lands. My heart wanders along these, digressing languidly. All the inner maps in my life. Read more

Life of the Spider

Late September, Apache Mesa

First Siting
Ric and I discover a large spider, the size of a first thumb joint, outside the cabin window. Every day just after sunset, she weaves a capacious web. It takes 45 minutes. By the time she is finished, it is dark. She sits in the middle. Within a half hour dinner is snagged—the past two evenings it has been an ethereal white moth with silver eyes. By morning, she has packed up her web. No sign at all. I wonder what time of night she does this but have never been awake to see it. She has been in residence for a week. Read more

Life & Death & Awareness

We are born to die.

The usual verbiage is that we are born to live and die, as if existence is an arc, but as far as the body is concerned, living and dying are integral. Like a snake we continually slough off skin, layer over bone, rip connective tissue and re-solder it. Living, at the biological level, involves constant dying. Life and death are not just cyclical but simultaneous. Life and death are one. And the same. Our culture gives us so little affection for small, daily deaths. Read more

Finding Our Way

Can’t Find the Grand Canyon
We engage in practices to open ourselves and to learn what it means to be present in this Moment, rather than caught in an old personal story. Last night at 2am unable to sleep, I slid into chanting thinking that I should be asleep and that chanting would calm me, but the chant felt dense, lumpy. A Being-ness had come over me and chanting felt like floating up from a depth. Then I realized I was awake because I was in the Moment. Read more

Because, Mind, you are Body

Imagine eating and eating and never digesting. Imagine being full, packed to the gills and never being able to assimilate, starving for nutrition, wallowing in gluttony run amok.  Now imagine that this is not about food but about body taking in information and never having a chance to integrate this information. This not so hard to imagine because it is how we live. Read more

Seeking Strength and Clarity

I have difficulty finding a kind way of being disciplined. For many recent years in my Dancemeditation work, I've been adjusting harsh, punitive disciplinarian-ness of my professional dance years. I seek strength and clarity which require the cultivation of will, but that will mustn't be a willfulness reeking of domination (which, oddly, might be a form of greed, yes? Want. want, want, my way, my way, my way, etc.)...

Read more

Nafs and Resistance to Personal Practice

There is a big idea is Sufism known as Nafs. Resistance to practice is entwined there. Nafs, in brief, are self-destruction. More gently put, they are the aspects of self that undermine core soul hungers of Self. They can show up as fear, doubt, or lack of self respect. Read more