February 16th, 2009

hot air balloon

Good Morning!

I wake this morning determined to address what I've been delaying.   With synchronicity, this is in my email box.

For a New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
~ John O'Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us)

Bald Eagle

Great News!!

The Bald Eagle is back!

Carolyn Jones writes in the SF Chronicle:

Bald eagles, nearly extinct in the 1970s due to pesticides disrupting their reproductive cycle, have slowly rebounded to population levels not seen in a century. In 1963, there were 417 nesting pairs in the United States. Now there are more than 10,000 - enough to warrant removal from the federal endangered species list in 2007.

In Tulelake, they're nearly as common as Canada geese at Lake Merritt. The eagles roost in the surrounding mountains and at dawn swoop over the wetlands and fields, picking off injured waterfowl.

alan - morning glory center


Richard Florida has an article in the March issue of The Atlantic, titled, "How the Crash Will Reshape America."

Here is the last paragraph of the article:

The Stanford economist Paul Romer famously said, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste."  The United States, whatever its flaws, has seldom wasted its crises in the past.  On the contrary, it has used them, time and time again, to reinvent itself, clearing away the old and making way for the new.  Throughout U.S. history, adaptability has been perhaps the best and most quintessential of American attributes. Over the course of the 19th century's Long Depression, the country remade itself from an agricultural power into an industrial one.  After the Great Depression, it discovered a new way of living, working, and producing, which contributed to an unprecedented period of mass prosperity. At critical moments, Americans have always looked forward, not back, and surprised the world with our resilience.  Can we do it again?

I suppose any country that calls a depression "Great," can definitely do it again.   We have an enthusiastic, intelligent, committed to change and hope, new leader.  May it be so!

waterfall - running

All Power is One!

This comes from Charlie Badenhop, the originator of Seishindo. What a beautiful way to connect and live!


Charlie Badenhop:

During my first year in Japan I hitchhiked for two weeks, visiting rural fishing villages on the west coast of Japan. At the time I spoke very little Japanese, and relied on the kindness of the people I met.

I visited tiny villages that had no hotels, and very few tourists passing by. Upon entering a village, I would find a kind looking soul, and pantomime that I needed a place to sleep. Sometimes my acting skills were not enough to get the message across, and sometimes I wound up in the house of a family willing to take in visitors for a small fee. I ate with my hosts and was then led to a simple room to sleep in.

In one village I had the privilege of staying with a remarkable man and his family. One night the man and I sat on a small wooden dock by the ocean. Using lots of gestures to help me understand, the man told me about his life. He was 63 years old. As a boy he'd been very involved in studying karate, but at the age of nineteen his life changed dramatically. Working on his father's fishing boat in rough seas, he lost his balance, and fell just as he was throwing a heavy fishing cage overboard. His left leg got caught in the line attached to the cage and the damage caused to the musclse and nerves of his left calf was severe. He had been limping ever since.

Once he realized he'd no longer be able to study karate, he made a firm commitment to use his life as a fisherman to further his studies. He read various books written by martial arts masters and then applied the principles of what he learned to his work life.

"One of the most important things I learned" he said, "Is to create a rhythm with your posture, movements, and breathing, that matches the rhythm of nature. When I injured myself on the boat, I was so involved in handling the heavy cage, I lost touch with the flow of my surroundings. I was fighting against the ocean, rather than moving with it. Guess what? The ocean won!"

"Notice the gentle ebb and flow of the ocean as we sit here now." he said, "And the sound of the tide lapping against the pilings of the pier."

"As you sense the movement and sounds of the ocean, notice your breathing, and feel your body responding."

I began to do as he suggested and felt myself being drawn into a parallel world that was outside my everyday awareness.

"Feel the life force of the ocean, and without doing anything, allow yourself to move with the ocean."
"Breathe, move, and feel your heartbeat."
"Invite your heartbeat, to synchronize with the heartbeat of the ocean."

"Now you're becoming one with the water, and you might sense the fluids in your body ebbing and flowing, like the ocean entering into a shallow inlet made of coral."

"Like the ocean you can begin to feel the power of flowing without resisting. Flowing without fighting against."

"Water surrounds and moves past all obstacles, and you can do the same."

"Only flow."
"A single drop of water, has no power. A single drop of water moving with the flow of the ocean forms a wave. The power of the wave comes from joining with. The same is true of me and you"

We sat there together for a while. The man, myself, and the ocean.

Not separate, but together.

In this moment, I sense all power is really One.

Such was my journey.

alan - spring flowers

The marvel we are -

Pablo Casals counseled:

“And what do we teach our children in school?  We teach them that two and two makes four and that
Paris is the capital of
France.  When will we teach them what they are?  We should say to each of them:  You are a marvel.  You are unique . . . . You have the capacity for anything . . . . And when you grow up can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?”