Wednesday, July 26, 2006

write love on your wings

i will write love upon your wings and set you free
(i read something like that on a tibetan prayer flag recently.)

leonard shlain says in sex, time and power,"homo sapiens sapiens - the doubly wise human (as we used to be called) is at present undergoing a metamorphosis."

he says an apt example of the process of metamorphosis is the life cycle of a caterpillar, a notoriously rapacious and greedy insect which morphs into an entirely new organism after a period of turning inward. as a butterfly it is utterly transformed to destroy nothing while pollinating the flowers.

marion woodman said in the august sun magazine that she felt there was a new consciousness emerging. "all the selfishness and judgement, the religious posturing that says, "anyone who doesn't believe exactly the way i do and have the same god that i do is inferior to me" - all of that is dying a violent death. we are being driven by the earth itself to begin functioning with a world consciousness."
shlain writes, "in buddhist parable, an ordinary person may behave in a selfish and self-serving manner until (s)he becomes "awakened". to achieve this state, a person must withdraw temporarily from the world and turn inward (chrysalis). the transformation that is occurring within his (or her) soul is not visible to anyone observing him (or her) from the outside upon achieving enlightenment.

yes, it is difficult to see transformation amid the violence in the middle east...or in my middle aged self. but this is my mantra these days. 4 aspects of love from the buddhist tradition. 4 angel butterflies. i write love upon their wings and set them free to fly around the world.

maitri, karuna, mudita, upeksha
kindness, compassion, joy, freedom
maitri, karuna, mudita, upeksha
maitri, karuna, mudita, upeksha

in shlain's book he says ontogeny is the short rapid recapitulation of pylogeny (gestation mimics evolution).
i believe that the creative process mimics evolution too.
so this week i've made butterfly benevolence, chanting my hopeful love chant and claiming that this is not stupid but doubly wise to believe homo sapiens sapiens can be transformed to love!

we got to perform in haifa israel last year. our friends are o.k. one of them emailed saying he moved his family from near the border where he had just purchased a home and is hold up in tel aviv which is unusually quiet, for now. in the midst of trying to find safety for him and his family, he feels so bad for the "living hell" his country is creating for the innocent people of lebanon. i can so relate to feeling bad about and even responsible for what governing bodies are doing!

wishing for the fighting to stop, for the armies of caterpillars to be transformed...for those wielding power to have an awakening !!

smile gently inward at yourself,
at the wounded places here and abroad.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

communicable ease

in the face of current events on the planet, i am making myself smile. exercising my smile in order to feel better in the midst. i am praying this simple act will cause entrainment, activiting the mirroring neurons of those around me, pumping us all with endorphins of happiness. communicable ease! could this become an epidemic...a pandemic. lawd! lawd! then let it make it's way to my heart and the middle east too!

i have been reading and listening to work by dr paul ekman, a professor of psychology, who has become the world’s most famous face reader.

it is known that the simple act of smiling releases endorphins and makes us feel better. one of dr ekman’s key findings is that if a person merely arranges his face into a certain expression, he will actually feel the corresponding emotion - in other words, emotions work from the outside in as well as the inside out. "in a real smile, the eyebrows and the skin between the upper eyelid and the eyebrow come down very slightly. the muscle involved is the orbicularis oculi, pars lateralis."
crucial to how we feel is being aware of how we are feeling in the moment. "the sine qua non of that is to realise that you are being emotional in the first place. the earlier you recognise an emotion, the more choice you will have in dealing with it. buddhist terms, it’s recognising the spark before the flame." in times like these, we can go through the back door, so to speak. practicing the physical and spiritual discipline of smiling to get to happiness.

things that have made me smile this week:

the laughing church
i saw a video of it in the airport, couldn't hear the minister's message but no matter, i just loved the idea of it. laughing uncontrollably in church, sacred unabashed joy.

the street guy in toronto in the worn suit jacket talking loudly palm to ear, as if he were on a cell phone amid people in their spiffy bus - y - ness suits scurrying by doing bus-i-ness on their actual cell phones. it was a moment of beautiful real performance art, a statement on our wacky society!

climbing trees with a 5yr old girlfriend, swinging on branches and flipping off onto the ground!

the article about the new implant that reads the brain's electrical impulses to allow paralized folks to operate computers, thoughts making things happen! july 13th edition of the seattle times ("chip helps turn thoughts to action")

face of unseen things! a friend, karen telford photographs magical nature art.
her tag reads: "to be a part of something one doesn’t in the least understand is, I think, one of the most intriguing things
about life. -- dame agatha christie

playing tag with my cat pixxel in the yard

the newsweek special addition called "giving back awards" (july 10 2006) about people who use fame, fortune, heart and soul to help others.

august 2006 popular science magazine....or any past publications for that matter. i love reading about the new inventions!!!
in this issue check out the 10 breakthroughs in science. by 2010 scientists hope to perfect nano knitters a technique of helping nerve cells regrow to bridge the gaps left by injuries.

and even simpler:
baths, sweet peas and radishes from the garden, coffee, hugs, sunshine, sleep

hope you'll notice what makes you smile and or decide to practice the art of smiling.

i love this practice: just for a moment, close your eyes and smile gently at yourself. i like to stretch and breath deep while i do this!

insight incite endorphins.

notice the hub cap angel with the saw blade wings above. she is smiling a rusty but full smile.
see the article on mirroring neurons and art

may you empathize!