Become a Follower of the Big Dude!

Meet the divine Dude in this blog. This Dude has had and seen his share of sacred shit. He's not afraid of it or of its language. I can't relate to a god that's been crucified, but I can relate to one whom my government has imprisoned and humiliated. I can relate to one who's been raped by his own holy men. I can relate to one who grew up playing baseball or soccer and who dated the Prom Queen. I can relate to the god who knows the working of corporate conglomerates, pimps, and teen-age girls who are pregnant. I can relate to the god who loves alcoholics and drug addicts just a tad more than wall street hotshots. This Dude thinks all of us are mortal particles in an ocean of sacred shit. This Dude recycles.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Evening, Morning and the First Day

So, in order to get myself out of my head, out of the media, out of political crap, I call to mind creation myth.  In Genesis 1:3-5, the writer speaks of evening, morning and the first day.  It's the moment in that creation story when the big bang is happening and it all begins.

I always walk or sit outside in the evening at this time of year because I know that which I experience as God albeit nature, Universal Intelligence, the Big Due or Allah is present.  The weariness and worries, the sacred shit of the day pauses in that moment between day and night.  The light is golden through the trees, coming at me sideways.

"That moment brings me home to myself and whenever I'm home, the god is there.

 Speaking of god, I went to a new church last weekend and the minister sat with the children on the floor.  She said: God has many names.  What name do you want to call God today?"  A little girl said, "Rainbow."  The church members without hesitation began to pray:  "Our Rainbow who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name . . . ." I knew I was home in that church and God (aka Rainbow) was there.

These are desperate times in the world and that means desperation lives in human hearts as well. Sometimes we have to unpack all the trappings and go back to the center, to the first moment to find ourselves.  Wordsworth writes: "The world is too much with us."  If it was too much with Wordsworth who only had his feet and a few books to infiltrate his soul, imagine how much it is with  us who are plugged in to a never-ending tsunami of digital diversions.

In the evening and early morning, unplugged, I remember my place in creation.  I come home to the first day.  Roxie

Monday, February 27, 2017

Political Violation and the Night Sky

So, Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother were detained by the TSA for an hour and 45 minutes when they tried to get back into the US after a vacation in Jamaica.  Both are US citizens with US passports.  Both, when asked their religion, stated they are Muslim.  And then the detention began.

Does anyone remember the separation of Church and State in the US Constitution?  Did anyone note that they should have the rights of citizens?  Did anyone care that they weren't even returning from one of the seven deadly middle eastern sins, oops, I mean countries on the "do not enter" list? I have watched with increasing horror the unconstitutional, uncivilized and uncouth behavior of Donald Trump and his lackeys.  I have taken in the unabashed bigotry shown in the treatment of Muslims, Latinos, and women.  I have seen the prejudice that not only is extended towards any group that's not white male but also in the intentional dismantling of the many accomplishments of the previous president who happens to be black and have a Muslim-sounding name.

Detaining Ali Jr. and his mom was the last straw for me.  It tells me that even if the courts ban Trump's actions, his rhetoric is so strong that it causes minimum wage workers way down the chain of command to carry out his rhetorical wishes as if they were laws. Like despots before him, yelling loud and often enough at the populace is a way that he might get that populace to do the dirty work of promoting one mad man at the expense of all groups that don't fit his profile or do his bidding (or who fit the profile and do his bidding but slip up and show that they don't really like him).

I don't know why that was the last straw.  Maybe because it violated so many fundamental rights granted to US citizens that I can't even wrap my mind around it.  But there are so many other violations as well.  Violation of the freedom of the press.  Violation of scientific research. Violation of credibility in misrepresenting credentials from a prestigious university (lying, in other words). Violation of women's rights in words and actions.  My hope has been that the separation of the executive branch from the judicial and legislative ones would contain the vicious agenda of Trump. Watching security people carry out his wishes and ignore law and conscience tipped the scale for me.

We're a young country, barely an adolescent compared to the middle eastern countries we're targeting. Like many a young punk, we're carried away by our own importance and refusing to heed the advice of our elders (European allies, for example). Trump's brash hubris reminds me of Gwendolyn Brook's poem "We Real Cool."  It speaks of seven young men who think they're "real cool" and so they leave school and hang out drinking and doing whatever the heck they want.  The poem ends with "We die soon."  The US is has thought itself "real cool" in becoming a "player" at such a young age as nations go.  At some point, we had to hit a wall of stupidity brought on by our youth--that moment when youthful exuberance leaves behind the guidance of wisdom and embraces its own ignorance as if it were the holy grail. We're in that moment.

Deep breath.  I went out to look at the night sky. The stars and planets were in their places.  Orion's belt and the Big Dipper hold firm.  I felt the presence of a higher good.  I remembered how small we are in the big scheme of thing.

Praying for peace on earth and well being for all.  Praying.  Roxie




Saturday, February 25, 2017

Eat The Damned Apple!

So, you know the story: Adam and Eve ate the apple and, viola, the entire human race was cursed by their odd act of disobedience.  Speaking of odd acts, though; it's an odd act for god to ban the eating of apples!  Why wouldn't he (for it WAS a he) ban facial hair or hand washing or swimming in the perfect, pure waters of Eden?  Maybe it was all a ploy to get humans to wear clothes.  You ate an apple!  Shame on you.  In a perfectly logical consequence, no nakedness for you!  Like taking your kids' cell phones when they eat some of the ice cream you were hoarding for yourself.

The key phrase is "shame on you."  The initial story of our coming of age as humans features a rigid, controlling male god who entraps two hapless humans with the result that he not only rages at them until they are ashamed, he curses their progeny for all time.  The story seems preposterous and very like something the old pagan gods or the writers of fairy-tales would concoct.

Here's why this story works though and possibly why it got written in the first place.  Children inherit the foibles of their pares one way or another.  Either we grow up to be just like them or mayhap we pledge to never be like them.  In either case and most scenarios in between, we find ourselves acting out our parents' drama.  Having very strict and controlling parents, for example, I vowed to always love my children and not punish them.  I was as rigid about leniency as my parents were about strictness.

In 12-Step programs, you are asked to create your family tree and note the various addictions that your ancestors had.  Then you look at yourself and your siblings along with your children.  Indeed, the shame and self-loathing that I experience can be seen in my parents and grandparents.  The beauty of the 12-Step philosophy is in an image it uses.  You are asked to see your grandparents handing the human condition to your parents and your parents handing it to you.  Each time the burden is passed, it gets smaller.  Hence, it's a hopeful spirituality.  It posits that if you are in sync with a higher power of your own understanding or with universal good, you evolve towards the lightness of being or enlightenment that is your birthright.

So, as far-fetched as the Adam and Eve story is, it has a nugget of truth in it.  No parents are perfect and children inevitably feel some shame just for being children.  From their point of view, if a parent punishes them or ignores them or is having a bad day, it must be (thinks the child) my fault.  Our parents, god-like to us, couldn't be wrong. We can't bear for them to be wrong; the consequences to us (think the children) are too grave.  We grow up with shame.  As much as I wanted to be the perfect mom, I passed on the burden of the human condition albeit unintentionally.  And so it goes. Eat the apple; don't eat the apple.  It's all the same.  Roxie


Monday, February 13, 2017

Numbing Out

So, how do we find the sacred in the ordinary?  How do we make sacred shit out of the stuff in this day?  That stuff can range from attending the funeral of a friend who over-dosed to cutting our toenails.  In my case, it's being snowbound for a couple of days and not knowing what to do with so much time on my hands.

Thich Nhat Hahn says enlightenment is being present while doing the dishes or gardening.  I'm not so good at that.  Yesterday was about shoveling. The snow was heaped high and pure white all around.  While I did have a passing thought about the power and magnificence of nature, I mostly was aware of being very wet and exhausted.  After the shoveling which was completely unsuccessful in extricating my car, I spent the rest of the day playing video games and binge watching taped episodes of "Bull."  I ate popcorn with cheese and numbed myself generally to my housebound state.

Here was a day when I could have read sacred books, meditated, journaled, and even prayed.  Or, I could have sat and pondered that magnificence of nature noted before.  It could have been my own private retreat, a spiritual time.  It wasn't, alas.  Behind the game playing and numbing out was a nagging worry about the stuck car and the loneliness.

And the more existential worries about life and the insignificance of my existence. This manifested in thoughts like:  "What if I have a heart attack?"  Followed by a quick return to video games.  Sometimes I forget that the universe, the creation, is a wave made up of just such minuscule, sometimes frightened, particles as myself.  With Robert Frost, sometimes I feel like "I am too absent-spirited to count."

Sometimes, as today, I know me.  My kind and all the millions of other kinds make up the great wave of creation.  Feeling the pull of dark matter, like Einstein we know there's a worm hole out of darkness into an alternate universe of light.  I know that today.  Yesterday, not so much.  Roxie

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bring It, St. Valentine!

So, Valentine's Day (VD) is coming up here in the USA.  VD celebrates being "in love" as opposed to loving.  According to the myth, the day is named after St. Valentine who was executed in the third century for marrying Christian couples against Roman orders.  Somehow, that ancient event has evolved into (a) couples flaunting their relationship status and (b) major business transactions involving flowers, cards, candy, and fine dining.  Talk about secularizing the sacred!  One dead guy, ooops, holy martyr who performed illegal marriages and, viola, a booming business day in the US.

I'm all for love and I love many people.  I also have been "in love" and that didn't seem so much like love as it did a pheromone induced upper.  I would like to send love notes to my children, my friends, my dog.  I love them.  I'm not "in love" with anyone nor do I want to be.

I'm thinking the Big Dude or Universal Good is amused or, yikes, not amused by these pointless human antics.  What happened to enlightenment?  What happened to love thy neighbor as thy self? What happened to humble awareness of our tiny role in the universe?  Instead of dining out, shouldn't we be feeding the hungry?  I get that VD is an escape.  It's a way to forget momentarily that our partner is cheating on us or to extract a more expensive present from the cheater.  It's a way to pretend that Eros lives in our relationship.  If you have no in-love relationship, it can be yet another reason to feel bad about yourself.

Or, you could use it as a reason to say "I love you" to those you truly love, as a day to manifest loving kindness to strangers, as a day to feel your deep connection to universal love.Instead of wearing a heart pendant that someone bought for us, shouldn't we be wearing our vulnerability on our sleeve?

I'm here, Life.  Bring it! Roxie



Friday, February 10, 2017

Politics and Dark Matter

So, the US has a new president.  I could call him every bad name I can think of (and I have done that) but I have a nagging understanding that he is a child of the universe passing through just as I am.  He seems to be dark matter (see previous post) and that's the rub, isn't it?

As spiritual beings in a physical world, we need to see him for what he is, another face of creation.  He may be a tsunami and I may prefer a quiet pond, but who am I to judge?  I have no idea what universal design has up its sleeve.

So, that's on the spiritual plane.  I'm living simultaneously, however, on the physical plane and from that place I want to kick and scream and call names:  narcissist! Hitler!  misogynist! pervert! abuser of women! Fuckin' asshole!  Aaaaarrrgghhh . . .

I can feel myself being called back to my spiritual nature.  Breathe.  He is my brother, our president. I'm sending white light his way.  It's sacred shit, this political reality of ours. Roxie 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dark Matter

I don't know about you, but I always have thought that if I'm sad, my task is to get the feelings out and then cheer up.  If I'm depressed, I have to change that as if "dark matter" isn't welcome in my being and certainly doesn't hold up to the virtues of so-called "positive" feelings.

That's so untrue.  The universe is full of dark matter of all kinds.  The big bang theory itself posits that all of us particles are going to be sucked into a dark whole eventually.  The universe doesn't discriminate or make judgments between things that might make humans happy and things that might lead humans to despair.

The creation is a hodge-podge of tsunamis and vivid sunsets, of falling leaves and spring buds.  There is no judgment of these polarities or any of the situations between.  So it is with humans.  We are a combination of lightness of being and dark matter.  One is not better than the other.  Both and all the grey matter (LOL) between make up our essence in a wild, pagan dance of danger and ecstasy.

Wouldn't it be great if we just didn't judge.  Pema Chodron, a Buddhist monk, writes that life is in awareness, not in judgment--just noticing what is happening be it sadness or joy, beauty or beast.  Noticing and accepting whatever floats through existence.

Living in the spaciousness of, well, space is a kind of enlightenment.  Planets and meteorites, suns and moons, all the matter and dark matter of the cosmos sail by us if we let them.  My problem is that sometimes I grab onto some piece of the heavens and hang on for dear life instead of letting it all play out to its various destinies.  I'd like to be able to watch the wild river of my life as it flows around my feet whether in a trickle or rough currents that pull me temporarily under.

I want to make space in me for dark matter and not fight it as if it's the enemy, letting it be.  Roxie