Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Still Lightning Bugs

Image result for lightning bugs female mating with male
A few lightning bugs are still lighting up the fields and forests these hot summer nights. The males fly around and look for the flightless females lying in the grass. The males drop down to mate, and then the female eats the male. Whoa! That is not a happy ending to the story. It turns out that sex (for the fireflies) is dukkha ("bummer!").

This reminds me of a chant.

Separation from the liked is dukkha.
Association with the disliked is dukkha.
Not attaining one's wishes is dukkha.

Well, we could apply all of these to our sexual relationship(s).
Separation from the beloved is (sometimes) distressing and creates a longing.
Association with the disliked (state of aloneness and yearning) creates a desire for change.
Not attaining one's wishes (i will leave the sexual details to your imagination) can create disappointment.

Those beautiful male lightning bugs light up the darkness

Photo from nytimes.com

Monday, July 22, 2019

A Bee Rolls Around in a Flower

Every morning, when i cut a bouquet of annual poppies (Papaver somniflorum), bees are rolling around inside of them. Sometimes, it's one bee; sometimes, it's six.

I use this image of a bee rolling around in a flower when i lead gratitude meditations.

Express gratitude.
Then take one of those gratitudes, and roll around it, like a bee rolls around in a flower.
Yes, the mind will wander away, but keep bringing it back to this one gratitude.

By savoring one gratitude for at least 30 seconds, we begin to rewire our neural networks. We begin to re-set our baseline emotional state to a more positive set-point. Positivity begins to become a habit of mind. We begin to feel more joyful--sometimes, for no reason at all.

I feel joyful watching the bees roll around in the poppies.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Hungarian Bread Seed Poppies

Image result for hungarian bread seed poppy

This year i have a flower bed full of Hungarian bread seed poppies. The blue-black poppy seeds are used in baking Hungarian poppy seed rolls and strudels.

The flowers are a stunning purple that i've been trying to grow for years. Year after year i buy a packet of seeds. Finally! Success! These annual poppies reseeded themselves from last year's poppies.

We try to grow wholesome qualities in our mind. Sometimes, we plant the intention--for generosity, for patience, for compassion--over and over again. And then--It blooms, perhaps unexpectedly, in some situation.

We can't really say that those previous attempts were failures. We have faith that by re-setting our intention for a skillful quality of mind, that beautiful mind state will eventually show up.

The purple poppies proliferate.

Photo credit: https://www.selectseeds.com/annuals/poppy-seeds-plants/poppy_hungarian_blue_seeds.aspx

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Thorny Raspberries

Giraffes eat thorny acacia trees. Here on this continent, deer are eating my raspberry bushes--thorns and leaves.

Giraffes have very big hearts--weighing 26 pounds. For this reason, they often symbolize of love. And deer? Well, we all read Bambi or saw the movie when we were children, so we have a soft spot in our hearts for innocent deer.

How about a big heart when it comes to dealing with the thorny issues of our lives? It's called self-compassion--being kind to ourselves when things go awry.

If the deer and the giraffe can eat thorns and digest them, then we can practice self-compassion. Right now, i'm practicing patience and compassion toward the critters who are eating my raspberry stalks.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Too Hot to Garden

Related image
With temperatures in the 90s this week, I go out to the garden as soon as i've finished my hour-long meditation from 6 to 7 a.m. I can garden for about an hour before the sun rises over the trees, and then, it's suddenly too hot to garden.

I look for shade and pull a few weeds, but i've lost my oomph.

At the end of life, the body loses its oomph, and it's too late to....  Too late to say that important something to that beloved person. Too late to do that special, unique thing you do. The body goes all out of whack--too hot, too cold, too heavy, too loose. Too late.

What's that one special thing that silently calls your name? Listen. Listen to the stillness.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Sleepy Poppies

I went out to cut annual poppies (Papaver somniflorum) at 5 a.m., and, true, to their name (somni-florum = sleep flower), they were still sleeping. Their sleepy-head buds had not yet popped open for the day. I returned at 7:30 with clippers in hand, and they were finally out of their (flower) beds.

Rumi says,

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!”

What do you think Rumi is talking about? Why is he telling us to wake up! Why is he so insistent about not going back to sleep?

The poppies like to sleep. But what about you?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

He Loves Me

Our front lawn is now a field of daisies. My sweetie has mowed them into creative shapes. This is the first year that he's allowed the wildflowers to stand. Last month, lavender fleabane bloomed in the lawn. Now the daisies. In the past, he has hated to mow the stiffer stalks of these flowers, but this year, he's enjoying them as much as i am.

When i was young, i plucked the petals off daisies. He loves me. He loves me not. Now there's a stressful thought: "He loves me not."

But i can see that my sweetie loves me whole-heartedly. I have a lawn full of daisies and thousands of daisy petals to show me.