take heed! take heed!

Zen Evening Gatha
Let me respectfully remind you

Life and death are of supreme importance.

Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.

Each of us should strive to awaken.

Awaken.

Take heed.

This night your days are diminished by one.

Do not squander your life.

luminous beings…

 

a little late, but…
May The Fourth Be With You!

much needed after today, here are some favorite Force and wisdom quotes from Star Wars:

“It’s an energy field created by all living things.  It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi

“Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.” ~ Yoda

“Close your eyes.  Feel it.  The light…it’s always been there.  It will guide you.” ~ Maz Kanata

“I’m one with the Force.  The Force is with me.” ~ Chirrut Imwe

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” ~ Yoda

“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” ~ Yoda

“To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not.  In this war, a danger there is, of losing who we are.” ~ Yoda

Answering the cries of the world…


For those of us in the LGBTQ community, for people of color, for Muslims, for the differently abled, for women, for the immigrant, and for anyone else who feels a sense of being the “other” or oppressed, the results of this election may feel frightening and concerning. Our hearts broken, vulnerable, and tender.
Stay with this. 
STAY with this. Do not cover it up, do not hide from it, do not run from it. There is no need to pretend.
This brokenness, this vulnerability, this tenderness of heart, IS our strength and our power.
It is the same strength and power imbued and made manifest throughout history by artists, peacemakers, spiritual warriors, and lovers. This is what the world needs right now. Perhaps, more than ever.
For those of us who are LGBTQ – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are people of color – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are Muslim – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are women – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are immigrants – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are differently abled – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those whom I may not understand, who may hold opposite views (even views I consider harmful), who also seem to be feeling frightened, disenfranchised, and angry – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
The road ahead will surely be work. Perhaps, very difficult to work. But I vow to continue to work in service of the values and principles that define my life, my art, my writing, my spiritual practice.
I vow to continue to work in service of the same values and principles that moved me to vote for whom I continue to believe is the most qualified and representative candidate. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that speaks to the best of who we are and can be. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that opens hearts, nurtures kindness, motivates fierce compassion, elevates the “other”, and opens doors to the immigrant – the hungry -the poor. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that produces dialogue, civility, nonaggression and nonviolence.
This is what I can do, what WE can do, no matter who is President or who is in Congress or who is on the Supreme Court.
This world desperately needs healers, lovers, peacemakers – bodhisattvas.
Will we hear the cries of the world and answer the call?

~j
11.09.16

let us rise…

on the death of Justice Scalia and the celebration by some of loss and tragedy…

VOX article

I think this is important. 
the ability to disagree passionately, to oppose perhaps with rigor and defend what one feels is just and right, working to unravel what one feels is harmful in another’s opinions and actions. all the while, not forgetting a shared humanity. all the while, still seeking a place of common ground, a place to connect, to meet and find resolution.
in my life, in who I am, with what I believe, I have encountered many (some of whom are friends and relatives) who are in opposition to these things and even work against them. this can be hurtful and even cause harm. but they are not the enemy. the enemy may be ignorance, it may be fear, it may be harmful religion or politics, but not them.
I made the choice a long time ago, I could view these things as burdens, unfair and unjust. or, I could see them as opportunities to teach that there is another way. a way of love and openness. 
It has been said that our “enemies” (strong wording with unfortunate resonance…perhaps read as those in opposition to you) are our greatest teachers. it can be they who challenge us to rise and rise, thereby benefitting this world.
all of this is transitory. we all love and care deeply. we will all age, break down and weaken. we will all get sick and have pain. we will experience loss and heartache. we will all die and our loved ones will grieve and weep. this is our shared journey.
let us rise.

~j

beauty is waiting, love is calling…

tibetan prayer flags

 

the thing is, around every corner beauty is waiting to be seen,
anxiously calling our attention.

and love.
love is calling to be held close and to be given away.

beauty and love.

sometimes they are disguised as the wind dancing through and with the
willing, swaying trees.
sometimes they are disguised as the little ants working together in
purpose or in laughter from a good joke, or the taste of your favorite
food, or the look in your beloved’s eyes.
sometimes they are hidden in struggle and grief, pain and loss.

but they are always present.

can we see the beauty in our broken moments?
can we hold ourselves with love?

sometimes the beauty we find and the love we discover are in how we
respond to life.

we have the capacity of heart to respond to life with openness, with a
spacious quality that allows.  love allows.

so we still ourselves.
becoming aware of our breath.
we listen with fresh ears.
we look deeply.
and we stay open.

everything is a miracle, every moment sacred.

~j
02.13.15

rest in peace, kalyanamitra…

PeaceOfferingSmall

sometimes

it is all i can do
to just sit

here in this naked moment

this uneasy
space

my heart broken open

how else can all of this Love pour out?

~j

…here i sit.  at present words fail me, so i have pulled from words assembled in the past, reflecting a moment then, to reassemble them here in the present, reflecting this moment now.

i hesitate to use the word “lost” when regarding the passing of a friend.  love is never lost, never gone nor diminished.  love just transforms herself and continues her lovely dance into the next hall where her beauty can continue to grow and delight.  how can the great work of love ever be done?  nevertheless, in this transitory life we call home, when a friend continues their journey it is we who can feel lost.

i hold these uncomfortable feelings, these feelings of sadness for all who are suffering in this “loss.”  i hold these feelings with tender care.  allowing them to grow this heart in love and teach the bravery that is openness.

Lori Miles Rubino is a bright light, who has embodied bravery and openness,  a gift to all who know her and have the privilege to call her friend.  kind, compassionate, encouraging, funny, open and loving.  a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, coach, friend, artist, photographer, and writer.  her life has been one of great love, the work of a bodhisattva, as is so evident in the amazing family she has raised and of whom i am so grateful and adore.

in honor of her bravery, her openness, and her beautiful talent as a writer i want to invite and encourage you to read her blog One Toe Over the Line Sweet Mary.  her most recent entries will shake you, wake you up, make you laugh and open your heart.  do yourself the great favor and gift of reading her words.  chew them, reflect and meditate on them.  especially her entries, Forgiving and Dying among others.  i was so moved in reading the latter – it was our final correspondence in the first week of January 2015 beyond mutual Facebook “like”ing more recently.  i cherish it.

the rawness, i attempt to express in my words at the top of this page – is so deftly brought to life in Lori’s essays.  i will be reblogging her work, here, to share.

love you, dear Lori, and so grateful for the gift of your love.  i look forward to watching how it continues to grow in the hearts of all who know you and love you.  rest in peace, kalyanamitra.

namasté
~j

01.21.15