Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein
Archive for October, 2011
This is Madre Piedad, the latest addition to Buen Pastor. She spent over twenty years in Mexico City working with girls and women and now helps Madre Bertita with the girls in the internado. I saw her yesterday when I went to Buen Pastor for a special going-away lunch.
Yesterday, the madres collectively prepared a spectacular lunch of fried fish, guacamole, squash, spanish rice, and Madre Bertita’s special dessert. It was a delicious feast! They invited Katie and Liz which made it even more special, and gave me parting gifts including special silver bird earrings that are typical of the work here in Guanajuato. I thought I was going to hold it together and make it a tear-free afternoon, but towards the end, Madre Elvira got to me with her sweetness, telling me how I much I meant to them and not to forget them. At that moment, I realized how much I was going to miss them and how much I love them.
Buen Pastor and these madres have meant so much for me these past six years in Mexico. They’ve anchored my heart while revealing to me an all encompassing love that’s very much included a kind of mothering-daughtering relationship. And while they were thanking me for these little things, I wanted to tell them I owe them so much, for truly the biggest lessons in life: love and community. I hope they could see it in my glistening eyes, and feel it in the solidness of my hugs for I couldn’t speak at that moment. I will never forget them.
Shiny table at Truco reflects Salamanca’s toxic cloud story.
This bakery is Farley’s second favorite stop in town. The first is the taco stand near Alhondiga.
Both Fernando and Farley have a sweet tooth and a soft spot for doughnuts. Whenever Fernando walks out with a treat (we call them “Choochooloukus” which is slang for treats), Farley places 100% of his attention on it. Yesterday, for instance, as he focused on the doughnut, he missed the alluring French Poodle on the other side of the street wearing fashionable puppy clothes and wagging her tail at him. In Farley’s world, Choochooloukus trump making new friends.
We are not talking about passive agents of transformation;
we are talking about an intelligence,
a consciousness, an alive and other mind, a spirit. . .
Nature is alive and is talking to us.
This is not a metaphor. ~Terrence McKenna
One of the ingenious ways the egoic mind protects itself is by projecting its shadow parts on to another and then closing the door to dealing with those parts by using the keys of resentment and anger. Resentment and anger ensure that the shadow parts will be locked in and safeguarded as qualities of the other and not as projections of self which in fact, they are.
It’s possible that when it is difficult to forgive someone, it’s because the very qualities we despise in them are the ones we ourselves carry. Once we begin the unfolding process of forgiveness, we learn that it’s not so much about understanding the other as it is about understanding ourselves. We will know we are making progress when a sense of ease begins to enter not only this particular relationship, but all of our affiliations.
The sun was setting as Fernando went for milk and I waited outside the tienda taking pictures of fading light.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to someone you love. When the time comes to travel along different paths, remember these three principles so that pain does not nest in you and your joy does not attenuate.
- It’s nice to have someone to love who loves you back. It’s human nature to want this. But remember that you yourself are love. You are the essence of love. It already resides within you. You do not need a beloved to reflect the love you have inside. It is who you are. Practice letting love emerge from within and filling your presence with it whenever you can.
- When you come to the end of a relationship, you can choose to celebrate instead of suffer. Celebrate the time you had together, the lessons learned, and the love shared. Remember that your souls made a contract to serve the other in this life and to bring home lessons that could only be learned in the unique relationship you created together. It’s all good. Celebrate a job well done and a contract completed even if you must celebrate alone.
- Nothing stays the same. We are always experiencing change in one way or another. Those lovely times together, they graced us for a moment, and now they have gone. The separation that now exists, that will change as well because someday, there will be no separation. The only thing that remains and does not change is love. So embrace this moment where love exists within and around you. And give thanks.
Be careful what you wish for. You may just get it and even more wonderful things you couldn’t even have imagined. Then you have to be ready to accept and integrate the wish into your life.
While in Peru, I set an intention for heart-centered work and for finding a spiritual community. When I came home, I would spend a few moments every morning applying my posanga (sweet smelling liquid made from flowers by one of the Shipibo cuñanderas meant to attract things into your life) and meditating on the intentions I had set.
For three years, I had been applying to jobs. These last two years alone, I applied to over 100 positions. Twelve years ago, I had applied to two jobs while still in library school and had received interviews at both and a job offer at one. Now, the economy had made finding work extremely challenging.
I landed several interviews. Last summer, I flew to Portland for an in-person and was so close, I thought, to a good paying job with benefits, mentally stimulating work, and where people treated one another with respect. It’s not that I wanted to leave Mexico… I still love Guanajuato, and Fernando, very much. It’s just that I knew the work I was doing was not sustainable financially, emotionally, or intellectually.
I gave my two weeks notice the beginning of September. I didn’t have another job lined up, but I began trusting, believing, that heart-centered work would appear. I was ready for it and would attract exactly what I needed into my life. I began applying to jobs with renewed enthusiasm including one for “Community Relations Coordinator” at a Buddhist retreat center nestled in the Redwoods above Santa Cruz. Shortly after, I received a call, and then an interview, and eventually, I received a job offer which I gratefully accepted.
My new home is Vajrapani Institute. I plan on moving the first or second week of November. I’ll be living in a cabin and mostly “off-grid” in the heart of the Redwoods. The food is organic and I’m looking forward to meeting my new workmates that live there as well. I’ll be surrounded by wildlife, beauty, and a spiritual community. I feel incredibly lucky.
Every time I woke up last night, I heard rain falling. Today is the first day it’s felt like Fall.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. ~Steve Jobs