The F Word

The F word is one of my favorite words in the whole world. I use it all the time like I use chili or ginger.

I picked one of my yoga teachers because I was looking for a good yoga video on youtube and I thought I heard this one teacher say “What the fuck.” I had to go back and double check, and yep, that is exactly what she said. I thought, “How fresh and unpretentious is that!” So I started learning from her and I bought one of her books.

I don’t use the word indiscriminately. I don’t say it around my grandkids or to just anyone who happens to knock on my door.

I use it when I need a certain pizazz that only the F-word can give.

Some people don’t care for a spice like that at all, They find it completely distasteful. F—fine. Let ’em eat sassafrass.

Then there are others who use so much of it that it loses its punch.

Like any good chef, there is a skill (or a talent) to using the F-word; There are a few rules I like to abide by.

I don’t like to hurt people with it unless I am extremely angry, and then I am not in my right mind anyway.

So I never say “Fuck you.”

Traffic situations do not count. If I am in a car and windows are rolled up then it’s ok to say “Stupid fucker, ” when someone does something really stupid,. But of course, I follow it up right away with wishing them peace because I don’t want to make any bad karma.

In fact, the car is a great place to let out a whole string of angry “Stupid motherfucking asshole fucking duck breath piss ant!” when I am totally upset at someone as long as I get it out of my system and immediately apologize to the air and say “No, I don’t mean that at all!. What I mean is, May you be at peace…” and so on.

Actually, that is the only rule I can think of: don’t hurt people. Otherwise, it is just a word. But it is a word.

Words have power.

Take the word, Love, for instance. Love has a vibe.

Hmmm. As I say it, love seems to hold a little more power.

Fuck it, I’m choosing LOVE.


In My Own Hoop (La La)

Many of us who participated in the Solstice Meditation Renewal Course by Ram Dass stayed and repeated it after the course ended. That is how much we loved it and that is how much we gained by supporting one another in our Facebook group. Tomorrow will be the third week (second time around) and the mantra for that week is GATE GATE PARA GATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!

Gone, gone, to the farthest shore, I have awakened!

It is known as the Heart Sutra and it is chanted to help let go of attachments to anything that might be keeping us from our bliss or our enlightenment.

I know a lot of people in today’s meditation circles hesitate to say (out loud) that enlightenment is still a goal of meditation. It is more common these days to meditate for peace of mind, lower blood pressure, better concentration and all those health benefits that aren’t so far out there as enlightenment. But not me; I want the who shebang.

Meditation can induce experiences of bliss, spiritual vistas beyond anything we can imagine in ordinary consciousness. But that is not what I am after, either. I want to go beyond even that. I believe we have the potential to do (to be) enormously good for one another. We are the medicine for the heartsick; we cure with our compassion. So I meditate to be more capable of being at the right place, to do whatever is needed at that particular time. But even more than that, I meditate because, as Ram Dass says, “What else would I do?”

I am beginning to think that the beyond I seek is right here, inside my own hoop. So I chant Gate, Gate, and go deeper within, beyond, beyond, to the farthest shore. I’ll see you when I get there.

Cure For Depression

Make sure you tune in with Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo before chanting this mantra. You can find plenty of samples on youtube, or you can use this one.

This guru guru wahe guru mantra has been a real lifesaver for me. The breathing pattern created by singing the mantra causes a positive shift in mood and energy level. The other, more subtle benefits, well, you’ll have to find out for yourself.

Pardon Me, I’m Parched

Therapy is like water for me and apparently, I am a plant that needs to be watered once a week. I can survive on a two-week watering schedule. But more time between sessions than that and I start to wither.

Let’s clear one thing up, however.

There are different kinds of therapy (and different kinds of therapists to be sure.)

Some do not realize that therapy can be a nurturing, lovely thing that feeds the soul. Some approach it more like a surgeon and will be there only to cut the bad stuff out of a person. That is not what I mean here.

Others, of the bitter pill variety, will give you brine and you’ll wonder why the hell you feel like shit when you leave the office, why all your leaves are turning black and dropping off.

That’s not what I’m talking about either. We don’t need that.

I ‘m talking about the kind of therapy that makes you feel like you can go out into your world and do something good—the kind of encouragement and support that helps you be the best Geranium or Begonia you can be.

A therapist needs to see you for who you are. She can’t think you are a cactus when you are a strawberry plant or she won’t be able to give you the right care.

Someone needs to see the best in you and help bring that about.

They help us see the best in ourselves and in others as well. They open windows and let fresh air and sunshine in and help to make the world a less hostile place.

We tend to put up walls and get all weedy with every negative thought that blows our way; a therapist helps us keep things in order so that we can keep growing.

I’m just saying, I need to be watered once a week. If you water me and keep me in the sun I will grow and I will produce fruit (or nuts! or berries or flowers.)

Don’t think therapy should be reserved for the mentally ill and then only for the illest. We all need it.

Cough. Cough.


Exponential Potential

It’s 2:00am and I am wide awake.

I want to talk to someone; I want to talk to you.

How do I know who you are? How do I know you are the one I want to talk to?

I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel a connection.

There has always been you, even though I don’t know exactly who you are. In fact, not knowing exactly who. You are, but knowing you are a benevolent someone who really cares what I might say is what I most need right now.

I mean, I can’t just pick up the phone and call you.

I could.

But if I did then you’d be Mary or Lee Ann or Jimmy or Ron: You’d the the particle instead of the wave.

And don’t get me wrong! I need the particle! I need each individual in my life . I treasure my friends and family. But I need the indiscriminate wave as well.

Does that make sense?

Maybe it’s like writing to Dear Diary.

The thing is, there has to be a connection to someone outside of myself. I don’t want to talk to myself even that is what it seems like I’m doing.

You can need me like that too. Sometimes you need me to be part of a collective, and at other times you may need to connect with the individual me, the me that I happen to be at this particular time and place . You might be feeling quite wavy and. n need of definition so I might be able to help you out with that by being peculiarly myself

But I don’t mind being part of the mist either, part of the primordial possibility.

I know that sometimes we are who we are and sometimes we are exponential potential.

Either way, I love you. Thanks for being here (and there) when I can’t sleep.

Love, me.

Robert Knew He Could Fly

Robert knew he could fly. There was no question about it.

The problem was that no one else was ever around to see it. And that was worse than it would have been, he thought, than if he’d never learned to fly in the first place.

He didn’t fly like a bird or an airplane; he flew like a bright kite, rising above the trees in a determined but almost frantic ascent, his nose, his face, his aqua eyes focused entirely on the sky above the trees, above the voices of liars.

It was so clean up there, the air pure.

And the sky understood him, the clouds welcomed him. In fact, if they saw him coming they’d gather in little groups and decide in a hushed whisper how best to entertain their little companion.

“I’ll be a dancer said one. Look I am on my toes.”

“ That’s nothing said another. I am a warrior.” And he puffed up until a blue-grey shield appeared on his chest, at which point the sun handed him a ray to use for a sword.

But today was no day to fly.

Robert didn’t even look up because it hurt him to know that today, the worst day, the day he had an obligation to the one he would bury, the clouds still moved in the sky and the sun still ruled the day.

The rage had passed, but the hurt would not leave. It bore into his bones and moved through his marrow.

None of this day made sense.

The cars lining up, and people bringing casseroles. The sick smell of lilies.

At one point, Robert felt himself rising above the heads of people dabbing their eyes with Kleenex. He floated there just a moment, barely long enough to be sickened by the irony of this group of people, many without a hint of holiness in them, sitting here, saying goodbye to his son as if they had any right whatsoever to walk into this room where an angel rested.

It made him wretch.

He ran out of the room,  away from the sound of bees and hornets and yellow jackets that buzzed and hissed condolences.

Robert pulled away they and they said, “Sssstay.” But they dared not touch him.

When the door behind him slammed shut the people turned back to themselves.

 In the fresh air, Robert stood tall, taller than any man. His blue/green eyes were the kind that made a person wish they could jump in, and they were focused on something only he could see.

He stood tall so quickly it was as if something inside had been released,  like an accordion that took a sudden breath and was being pulled open and then twisted in the musician’s hands to wring out the most original music. The accordion folded; cries of great love poured out.

“Hold on dad! Catch up!”

Robert held onto the bars of his motorcycle, thundering down the road. Everything was upside down. Thunder rumbled from the highway and there was no sky but a lake where the sky had been.

He heard Nathan calling,

“Hold on dad!”

Robert sat firm,  “I am!” He said.

He was determined to keep the wheels rolling. It was going so fast.

He remembered that he could fly.

But today was no day for flying, was it?

Robert gripped the handlebars

Before long he was knee deep in cumulonimbus. The road beneath him had vanished and there was nothing but sky above and below.

He knew Nathan must be nearby because he could hear him; he looked, but couldn’t see him.

“Hold on, dad!”

“I am.”

What We Keep


What Do We Keep?

Most people would have thrown it out because it was almost useless. It wasn’t even pretty. It was just a plain, old bowl with a big crack in it. Mrs. Jaramillo took it out and patted it before she placed it on the table. She gathered flour, salt, lard and a rolling pin. She was preparing to teach my mom how to make tortillas, and mom was ready to learn; she was already knocking at the door, calling, “Hello! Anyone home?”

Ven. Ven. Come in.”

She was friendly the way the ladies at church are friendly after Mass, smiling and pursing her lips a little. But she warmed up quickly to mom and was soon sloshing coffee over to the table. She was laughing at mom’s story about the grasshopper that waved to us when we were gathering left-over peanuts from some farmer’s field.

“I’m telling you the truth! It waved at us! We got down in the dirt and stared real close and it waved one little arm at us when we said ‘Hello’ to it.”

“Mrs. Jaramillo laughed; her toothless mouth was shiny and pink. “Ai, Joyce, you are one crazy lady, I tell you what.”

Her laughter gradually softened and fell quiet like a leaf, falling easy till it rested silently in her lap. She shook her head, still smiling at the thought of mom, with the four of us kids, lying in the middle of a field, talking to a bug.“OK now, Joyce. Let’s make tortillas. Go over to the sink and wash your hands.”

Mom did as she was told and came back to the table.

You get your flour and fill it to here, where this crack is.” Mrs. Jaramillo poured flour into the bowl, up to the crack. Mom said, “But what if I don’t have a bowl with a crack in it?” She was still feeling playful and assumed Mrs. Jaramillo was too. But Mrs. Jaramillo stood up straight and looked tall even though she was barely five feet. She picked up her bowl and put it away. “Well, then you will never learn to make tortillas!”

Mom thought she must be joking, but she was dead serious and after several very uncomfortable moments, she said, “Well, I guess I’ll go home.”

The screen door creaked shut and mom walked back to our house. She never did learn how to make tortillas.

Mom and I love to talk about that story, mainly because we can’t figure it out. What was it that upset this friendly old lady so much that she refused to teach what she’d been happy to teach only minutes before?

We treasure that story because it makes us laugh because we don’t know what to do with it. We hold onto it because it reminds us of a time when grasshoppers enchanted us while we gleaned the fields. We hold on and we talk about it every chance we get, baffled and full of wonder too.

I hold my favorite bowl like I’m holding a baby. Not the way a new mother holds a baby, but in that relaxed way that women develop when they realize the baby won’t break the way fragile china or porcelain breaks.I get out the flour, salt, and olive oil and stand over the empty bowl, looking for that line of cobalt that runs right through the clay like a river running through the mountains. There is one spot where it looks like it’s splashing over its banks. I pour the flour up to there.


Reiki Rocks!

I did my first Reiki session using a rock as a helper.

Mom was having intense lower back pain and said she felt as if there were black globs of stuff inside her that if she could get out, her pain would go with them. (She was speaking of energetic globs.)

I needed something to draw the energy out of her back; it wouldn’t move sufficiently just using my hands.

I used a fairly large, comfortable rock on her back and pulled the energy from her back into the stone with both hands in Reiki position over the stone.

When I started to feel the stone pulse, she said she had some relief from at least some of the pain, but she said there were two globs that didn’t want to come out. We will respect the wisdom of her body and wait for the right time to remove the other globs.

I thanked the stone for its help and I am leaving it in the sun today to clear the energy.

It seems like the rock has life. Whoever thinks rocks are dull, inanimate objects have never experienced the …IDK, hidden? energy of rocks. They are truly helpers worthy of my respect and gratitude.

Man, Reiki rocks!

Stay Woke!

White= clean and pure (Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with race.)
Gardens = growing things, life
Terrycloth = serious work

I dreamed I was in the bathroom of the old house on North Abilene. I really had to pee! The room was just like I remembered it and I was a little apprehensive only because the cellar door was behind the bathtub and it always gave me the creeps.
I noticed water gushing out the water faucet in the bathtub so I got up and struggled a little to get it turned off. The water was clear and clean; it was very cold.
When the water was off, I noticed a lady in the bathtub. I didn’t recognize her and thought it was weird to have a stranger bathing in grandma’s tub.
Her bathwater was all milky from having used so much soap.
I headed toward the door (at a casual pace) and she got out of the water and put on a clean, white, terrycloth bathrobe.
I turned and asked her, “Are you a ghost?”
“No.” She said. “But you are.”
Part 2
I walked toward the living room where all my relatives, living and dead, were gathered. 
I was intrigued by the Lady of the Tub and wondered if the whole family were ghosts, like me. I tried to ask her, but she had just slipped through the back door off the kitchen. She was gone. I could not ask a single question. I was bewildered.
Part 3
I tucked the dream away and at the first opportunity, I took it to the Wise Woman, la curandera 
 With both hands I took the dream and placed it in the looking bowl.
“Well,” I said, “What do you think of that?”
La curandera and I let our minds work in the soft, open way, the way of intuition and visions as we examined the dream; we used the mind of scientists when they are first inspired, long before they form a hypothesis, long before they ask questions, while they are still full of wonder. Thedream was intact, safe in the looking bowl and we each had enough curiosity to keep it stirred.
Part 4
Of course, I can’t reveal the dream secrets. To do so would rip it to shreds. But I can tell you, that as we worked with the dream, the dream came back to life. I was able to follow the Lady of the Tub. She’d gone through the kitchen door and into the garden. She was standing in a sunny spot, waving and smiling. She was me, the spirit. She was calling me out of the past. She was real while I had been like a ghost, creeping around in a dusty old house that doesn’t even exist anymore. I was invigorated by the realization that the true me is a spiritual, energetic, empowered and apparently fairly clean being.
At that moment I remembered a line from one of my favorite movies, Bulworth. In the movie, an old, very mysterious man tells the protagonist, “Don’t be no ghost, Bulworth. Ya got to be a spirit! Don’t be no ghost.”
Yes, I say. I got t’ stay woke. I ain’t no ghost.