January 2nd, 2013

wildwood retreat center

My first robin of the year -

I was delighted to see a robin on New Year's Day, a harbinger from my childhood, of spring.  

I note there have been problems with LJ.  I wonder why anyone wants to be malicious and cause problems.  I don't understand.

I saw the movie Argo and recommend it.  Stay after the credits begin to hear former President Carter speak.

I'm drinking hot chocolate, looking out as the sun goes down behind the ridge, or rather, as my part of the earth turns away from the sun.  

I also saw the movie Les Mis.  It's different than seeing it live, and yet, I thought the critics were unfair.  Each actor and actress puts heart and soul into the movie, and I love that they were singing live.  I had no idea there were so many songs, and I've certainly had quite a look at a variety of teeth and tongues, but the message on Love is strong, and the scenes are beautifully set.  I set intention once again to read the book.   

It's only the second day of the new year.  It feels precious and new.  I find myself noticing each step, each breath.  May this year be one of Love, Connection, and Peace.  


It is evening, the time of candlelight.  I love the dance of flame and the scent of candles.  Right now, I'm using red and green candles, one with the scent of cinnamon, and the other, pine.

I don't put all decorations away immediately, so switch slowly from the colors of December to spring.  I figure red, the color of stability, passion,  and strength works well until Valentine's Day.

I am reading a book recommended by a friend, Sweeping Changes by Gary Thorp.  I am reminded of a movie I recommend, Enlightenment Guaranteed.  It was made in 2002 and is an account of two brothers who go to a monastery in Japan.  

This book Sweeping Changes brings peace.  Here are two paragraphs from the chapter on "Crossing the Threshold".

"As you walk from room to room in your own home, try to really experience the transition of traveling from one place to another.  Notice the differences between motion and stillness.  Sense how you relate to various enclosures and open spaces.  Feel the differences between entering and leaving, if there are differences.  Contemplate the thoughts that become caught between places, in the doorways themselves, and think of the people who have walked these paths before you. While you're thinking of others, the doors of your household begin to become the gates of compassion."

"Suzuki Roshi stressed repeatedly that, just like the swinging door, we should move freely back and forth throughout the various aspects of our lives, both wholly independent and at the same time, completely connected to all things.  He viewed the very act of breathing as the breath's entering and exiting a doorway.  The image of stepping through a doorway is symbolic of your actual entry into your own life.  It might be compared to a film loop in which you're entering the same door over and over again.  You are always entering through the doorway of this very moment.  There is no retreat. No heading for the exits.  Just a continual "going in" to this eternal NOW!"

I noticed tonight that it was light a few moments later than the solstice.  In this Now, is change.