Tag Archives: Love

Meditation on My Desk

Angie's Desk 2I have finally gotten my poetry mind cranked up again. It has been asleep for a few months. Here is my first attempt of the new year. Blessings!

MEDITATION ON MY DESK

Water bottle, half full,
sitting warm for a week,
water for profit in industrial plastic.

There’s a micro-angst-gnat in this one impression,
chomping down on my brain,
one of thousands in the dark.

Reading glasses splayed,
bent, scratched, and chewed.
Need new ones, stronger ones, alas. Alas.

My cell phone, all smudged,
its black face beckoning,
“Wake me up, wake me up! Run away, run away!”

Stacks of mail, pulsing tedium,
these time-suckers, tree-robbers,
solicitors, thieves!

Dust on the keyboard, dust on the monitor,
another gnat-chastisement. Wow.
I can nosedive dark!

What a huge lesson, in this simple observing!
I will stop right now.
I’ll aright this ship.

Laura’s peace candle, alight and full of her,
touching my mind with her beautiful face.
Oh, Laura, thank you, for injecting the love!

A gift, a book, this one from Jamie,
another sweet sister
walking me home.

I am so lucky. So very lucky!
Let that be front burner!
Let that eat the gnats!

I smile and bow, a micro-healing,
and the phone lights up,
and off I go.

© Copyright Angela Hite, 2016

Hate is a Two-Way Poison

Oh, my, there is so much hate in our world! It is top of mind, of course, because of the shock of last week’s Paris terrorist attacks. But hate is boiling in so many people these days, on so many fronts, that we almost take it for granted…as if hate is normal…as if hate is just fine.

Those of us who are devoted to love as the only force of true change are often accused of being foolish, trite, lofty, or childish. We are considered Pollyannas spouting from ivory towers.

Many years ago, I had a profound dream, one in which an angel came to me and took me on an agonizing but illuminating  field trip.  He carried me to the scene of a violent rape in progress.  I heard, saw, and even smelled the graphic horror playing out in front of me, and I began to feel hate swell up in my chest. I wanted to kill the attacker!  I wanted to tear him limb from limb! But I couldn’t move. I could only witness. I  asked the angel, furiously, “Why did you bring me here?”

The angel waved his hand in the air in front of me, and suddenly I could see a new dimension – a thick, brown, vibrational ooze coming off the attacker and slithering across the ground toward me. It was as if I were a magnet drawing the rapist’s degenerate energy my way.

The angel spoke:  “This is what is meant by deliver us from evil,” he said. “Hate is a virulent infection. Love is both the inoculation and the antidote. Do what must be done to stop evil, to bring justice, to protect the innocent, but do so with love, else you, yourself, will become contaminated.”

I have never forgotten the message of this dream. It is far from Pollyannish to hold on to a sense of love in the face of hate’s potent pull, to allow anger its natural place, without hatred. There is nothing simplistic, trite or childish about it. As a matter of fact, it might just be THE HARDEST THING on the planet to do, requiring warrior-like resolve and a refinement of consciousness that can only be accomplished through a lifetime of prayer, meditation, and forgiveness.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies. Do good to those that persecute you.” It was a shocking idea then, and it still is today… and so seemingly impossible that few of us even try.

I am a long way from victorious on this subject, and I may never be. But I believe, with all my heart, that this is the mandate required to save the world, nevertheless; that the “loftiness” of love must be brought down to earth…in our hearts, in our minds, in our words, in our actions…both proactively, and responsively, in times like these.

 

Urgent? Or Important?

Urgency
“The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.” – Stephen Pressfield

When I first read that quote I could feel a little bit of stress drain from my shoulder blades. Can you? As the world speeds up, and as our minds and bodies try to keep up, there is a growing urgency in the air, causing all kinds of reactivity in us and around us. Can you feel that, too?

I’ve written about this sensation before, calling it pressure, and it certainly is that. It’s also a free floating anxiety, a non-specific urgency…like the clock is ticking and the time is now. Now! But for what? What is the urgency? What is the pressure? If we don’t know what the urgency is about, how can we distinguish it from what is important?

Obviously on the social, political, economic, and environmental fronts, the clock IS ticking, and the clock feels like a time-bomb. The pulsing question so many of us are feeling, while the Talking Heads continue to rant back and forth is: what can we do? How do we keep our heads up, our hearts open, our optimism in place? What is our personal role in this brink? The energy is so thick lately, it seems hard to even place one foot in front of the other, to accomplish the most mundane things like emptying the dishwasher or getting bills paid on time. Overwhelm is the current lay of the land.

I do know what is important, though. And so do you. I wish there was a new word for it, a word that conveys the vast, penetrative feeling of positive possibility, the ever-fresh, alive, magical solution; a word that isn’t overused and misused so much that it has lost its potency…but the truth is the only word we have to describe the force within us that can drain away our reactivity… our radioactivity, our overwhelm…and diffuse the ticking bomb…is LOVE.

LOVE IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT. We know it. But we are in such a hurry, skittering across the volatile surface of life, that the depth and breadth and richness and calm within the experience of Love is dismissed or pushed aside, because we are in the trance of urgency. And we know that, too.

So let’s just take a minute to breathe, right here, right now. LOVE IS ALL WE NEED. From the surface hypnosis, it sounds like trite, Pollyannish pablum, I know. I’ve felt that feeling many times myself. But when the force of Love comes alive, and we get a glimpse through Love’s eyes, everything is possible. Nothing is impossible. Answers arrive. Magic appears. Energy is released. We just can’t hold it yet, that’s all. We lose our vision over and over again. Maybe that is the urgency we seekers feel. The urgency to stay plugged in.

So this is my prayer for us all today.  May we relax as best we can into the new rhythm of this consciousness evolution. May we trust the unfolding. May we allow ourselves to be rewired in love. May we remember what is important… and do that first.

 

Open Your Heart

Open Heart“The opening of your heart is the most precious gift you can give the world. It affects everyone, and in this way meditation is also service: it supports the whole of humanity and all of life. As you become more aware, more conscious, you blaze the trail for the rest of us to follow, and our paths become much easier because of the steps you have taken. Know this, in your unfolding, in your deepening: that your inner journey creates an easier way for all of us.” DIANA LANG, Opening to Meditation.

I am so appreciative of this instruction. I can often get way-laid by ego’s secret “unworthiness” message. I’m particularly vulnerable to it right now as I launch this website. “Who do I think I am, anyway?” ego blurts into my subconscious, making me trembly and weak. But when we open our hearts (a skill that can be developed), we discover that who we are is LOVE! That’s who we are! And God is LOVE! If we are LOVE and GOD is LOVE, well, that’s a pretty profound connection!  The ultimate identity.

So we return to LOVE, over and over and over again. Ego’s only power is that it stands in front of the gates of LOVE, constantly trying to take charge. And it succeeds quite often because of its mimicking capacity. We can easily get fooled into believing ego’s message of self-protection, but the litmus test is pretty straightforward.  Does the message feel like love? Way down in there, is there an inkling of something that says otherwise? Do we have the courage, and will we take the time to follow the trail down to that inkling?  Another of ego’s slippery whispers is how narcissistic it seems to spend so much time looking inward, right?

But when we can remember the above quote, that our open heart is the MOST PRECIOUS GIFT WE CAN GIVE THE WORLD, the time we spend looking inward becomes GOLDEN.

I needed this reminder today! How about you?

Blessings!

 

Why I Love Pema Chodron

Pema Chodron 2A friend suggested I write a post on what it is about Pema Chodron’s work that I love so much.  I have read all her books, and as you can see from the photo attached, I don’t just read them, I dig in!  I have learned from many wonderful teachers, but there is something about Pema’s communication style that cuts through my resistance. The question my friend asked was, “Why Pema?”Taking the Leap pages

My answer is a two-parter, I guess.  The first part is about Buddhism itself.  The second part is Pema’s personal style.

That old adage, “When the student is ready, the teacher will come,” is certainly true, in this case.  Though I am not a Buddhist, I became deeply immersed in the teachings of Buddhism through Pema’s eyes, and one of the first things I came to see was that through meditation and Buddhist teachings I was becoming more deeply attuned to the teachings of Jesus as well.

Love is ultimately the main message in Buddhism, as in Christianity.  The thing that makes Buddhism so valuable to me, though, is that it teaches HOW to love when love doesn’t simply bubble up, or when love is blocked by anger, judgment, fear, etc.  Buddhism is a methodology, a deep and detailed methodology on how to open ourselves to love.

The idea of practice came to life for me in studying Pema’s works.  We don’t just throw a switch and become better people.  As a child in a fundamentalist Christian culture, I was confused by this because I was taught that accepting Christ would change my heart on the spot.  But that wasn’t my experience.  I accepted Jesus, but my heart still held judgment, anger, fear, jealousy, deceit, sorrow, loneliness.

In Buddhism, though, detailed instructions are given as to how to practice changing our hearts, how to work with and accept our human characteristics, (both negative and positive aspects), without being slaves to them.  If I can recognize and accept my anger, for example, and if I develop the muscle to catch myself in a flare of anger BEFORE it has manifested into a reaction from me, then in that pause, I can choose what to do that is best for all concerned, rather than striking out in knee-jerk fashion.

So that is what drew me to Buddhism…the detailed instructions that would, with a committed practice, move me toward the person that I wanted to be in my heart…and in my case, that was to be more like Jesus!  One of the things often said in Buddhist studies is not to take any of this information at face value.  Try it out.  See how it works for you.  I have done that.  And it has indeed worked for me.  I have grown from this work.

As to Pema’s personal style (for there are lots of wonderful Buddhist teachers)…I think it is because she not only teaches the undoing of shame through compassionate self-acceptance, but she exhibits it in her own personal examples.  She is a world-renowned nun, but she makes mistakes, even to this day, and instead of hiding them or downplaying them, she highlights them as examples of the teachings she offers.  I find this incredibly helpful.  She displays non-shame! Not only does it take the theoretical and bring it into practical, every-day experience, but it also creates a human link, a way for me to relax and breathe with my own faltering “becoming.”  If Pema Chodron still has to work with anger, or depression, or aging, or any other of ego’s illusions, maybe it is okay if I still have to work with them too! I don’t have to deny them.  I don’t have to bury them under a false smile.  Nor do I have to give in to the outward aggression that ego so often tries to trigger. I can simply be with myself, without judgment. I can breathe in and out.  I can learn.  I can witness emotions, thoughts, and physical challenges shift, change and dissolve. By simply being compassionately present with ourselves, we can learn to experience the fullness, the totality of our lives.

Comfortable with UncertaintyThere is much more I could say on this subject!  I love her humor, her light-heartedness, her practicality, her succinctness, her wisdom. But the blog-gods are shouting, “Wrap it up! Not another paragraph!” So I will close with simply expressing gratitude for Ani Pema and encouraging you to read one of her many wonderful books.  See if she speaks to your soul the way she does to me!   The first of her books I read was Comfortable with Uncertainty.  The title alone pulled me in!  Check it out!

Happy reading!

The Magic Wand of Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

– MELODY BEATTIE

I must confess that Fear still has a way of tricking me into forgetting the Love that I know, I know, I know! I remember on the surface; my mental knowing stays intact. But Fear makes Love feel dry and shallow.  The deep, juicy well of Love that enlivens my knowing gets blocked by Fear’s magnetic, hypnotic negativity.

DumbledoreToday, though, the channel is clear again, made possible by the magic wand of gratitude.  And it truly is a magic wand! Simply pass it over your head two or three times, incant the words “I am grateful for…”  and fill in the blank with those things and people that you are so blessed to have in your life.  It may take some effort depending upon the strength of Fear’s hold, but hey, even with a magic wand, some effort is required!  Once you begin to feel even one or two hits of gratitude (and it is critical that you feel it, not just say the words), you will have Fear on the run.  And then you can literally feel the crust around your heart that you didn’t even know was there, begin to crumble.

So today, for gratitude itself, I want to shout out, “I’m so grateful! I can access the well!”

Happy spelling!