November 21st, 2006

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Good Morning!!

I woke from the most wonderful dream of my parents at an imaginative resort and in their bathing suits and looking beautiful and my mother was just going in for a swim and my father was watching her.  She was in a topless bathing suit, and proudly displaying the one breast she had left when she died.   I feel happy reassurance that my parents are well, and vacationing happily wherever they are now and whatever we are given or create in the larger womb into which we birth when we die.  I feel myself lighten with knowing yes, of course, they are well.

Thanksgiving is close!   Hooray!!

Words from Lao Tzu

    Thirty spokes are joined together in a wheel,
    but it is the center hole
    that allows the wheel to function.

    We mold clay into a pot,
    but it is the emptiness inside
    that makes the vessel useful.

    We fashion wood for a house,
    but it is the emptiness inside
    that makes it livable.

    We work with the substantial,
    but the emptiness is what we use.

          - Lao Tzu

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Home -

Peter Matthiessen -

    The search may begin with a restless feeling, as if one were being watched.  One turns in all directions and sees nothing.  Yet one senses that there is a source for this deep restlessness; and the path that leads there is not a path to a strange place, but the path home.  ("But you are home," cries the Witch of the North.  "All you have to do is wake up.")

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checking in -

I have some tears this morning.   When I talk to Jane, I share with her what I wanted to put on the blog yesterday but just couldn't bring myself to do.   Last year, yesterday was the day I started chemo, the Monday before Thanksgiving.  It is hard not to feel the shock of that.  Parabola Magazine came yesterday and the theme is "Home."  I cooked all day yesterday, made chile, pesto, pumpkin bread and read about Home, the home within, even as I have felt my own home expand.   I realize now perhaps I should be putting my check-ins for my Sensory Awareness work here.   I posted this yesterday on our Sensory Awareness Yahoo group.

My words:

I am enjoying the check-ins.  This has moved from my “to do” list to something I want and need.

I re-organized the room I use to sense.  It is inticing now, inviting, not just a place where things that have no other place get stacked.  I want to enter the room.  I want to enter myself.

I woke yesterday loving the portability of sensing.  I can do it anywhere, anytime.  I also see that it is important to have a time and to honor that.  It is a spiritual practice. 

What I am noticing is that my home has expanded.  I am seeing differently, and, in that, there is more space.  I have a new sense of feng shui and have gotten rid of things that no longer serve me.  I notice placement and color.  I awaken the dead spaces in my home as well as myself.  I am tapping my home awake, and my house is expanded.  

My cells and the air within, and the air that surrounds, awake.   Right now, my feet are on the floor, and I feel their dimension and vibration.  My spine moves.   My shoulders curve in anticipation and they are not stuck.  I went outside this morning and was enraptured with the fog.  I stand and look at the sky.   I am happy to be back with sensing, renewal, and the places I touched in this last year.    I let myself feel there is nothing to do, but be, and in that, I am in ease with what I do and that is more than before.   

I move easily like an animal, the living organism I am, and my heart is gently stroked with the wonder of it all.  With each breath, I am struck like a chime.  

I re-read my words and must say that this is not every moment, but it is the moments I remember and want to focus on, so as to cultivate them more, so that is what I report.  When I wake in the morning, I do feel a weight of pressure around what I "need" to do, but I stay with it and sense, and move and expand around it, and, then, somewhere, it is gone, and I am like a featherbed that has been fluffed.

         Sensing as much as is possible, for me, right now,    Cathy


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Prayer -

"The function of prayer is not to influence God,

                but rather to change the nature of the one who prays."

                                -- Soren Kierkegaard

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Checking in -

Today has been a bit of a rough day, as I felt through the Rosen movement that each time I went to chemo I thought I might die.  I knew there was a reason they monitored us as they did, and we had happened to catch an episode of West Wing where a father of one of the characters died while receiving chemo.    I knew it wasn't just a trip to the park and I could say rationally that all was fine, and there was another part of me that was not sure I would survive.  I felt today how truly grateful I am to be alive. 

Theresa today spoke of how we grow many sets of wings in our lives, of how we are fledglings again and again.  I like the thought of it, and the image of my diaphragm as between my roots and my wings.  Today was about the diaphragm, that place that is, as Marion says, the bridge between our conscious and unconscious.   We worked with all the many ways we move and touch to stimulate the diaphragm.  No wonder I feel tired this evening as I continue to work to integrate this year.  I am ready for Thanksgiving.   I just have the fun parts, the making of pies, dips and rolls.   Chris comes tomorrow, and we begin, and Jeff and Jan on Thursday.  Again, I say, I am grateful for life.   This may be the best Thanksgiving ever, for me.
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Mayumi Oda -

I read Mayumi Oda's book, I Opened the Gate, Laughing, An Inner Journey, and I feel deeply touched.

As a child, she had to leave Tokyo during WWII when it was being bombed.   She writes of life when her family returned to the rubble of Tokyo.  It shows how children find beauty and play whatever the circumstances.

    "For a few years we had very little to eat.  Some months we had only sweet potatoes.  My mother started to take her beautiful kimonos to nearby farmers in exchange for rice.  My grandparents made our Japanese garden into a vegetable patch.  All the adults were so busy with survival that we children were often left alone.  We did not have any toys except wooden blocks that we had saved from before the war.  We mostly played outside. 

     We also studied outside.  My elementary-school days were quite chaotic.  There were not enough classrooms, so many classes were held outside and called Blue Sky Classrooms.  I remember my afternoon math class under the wisteria trellis.  I could not concentrate on multiplication tables.  I just sat there watching the flower petals being blown by the May wind.

     A persimmon tree covered the backyard.  When I felt sad and lonely, I used to climb the tree and put my arms around its trunk.  Sometimes the tree felt more like a mother to me than my real mother.  It was always there when I needed it.  In spring it blossomed with fragrant, white flowers with pointed petals like folded origami.  In autumn when the tree lost its leaves it was covered with orange persimmons whose weight bent the branches.  All the neighborhood children climbed our tree and feasted on its bright fruit.  It seemed the sweetest thing that we had ever tasted."

Later, Mayumi Oda comes to Green Gulch and Muir Beach.  She sees cabbage and lettuce spreading their leaves, "revealing mandalas of the field."   She speaks of how interdependent we are, especially in our food.    It is lovely to think of this as we partake of food this Thursday, as we feast even more than usual and celebrate all we have to thank.   My life is rich.  My cornucopia overflows with gifts.   May yours do the same.