Giving Thanks

I feel so grateful for my life of abundance.  While it may be ridiculously modest compared to many, it is full of so much luxury and security relative to the other end of the human spectrum.  I never tire of running water, and the gift of A/C in Florida!  A car that stops and starts, legs that go and eyes that see.   The amazing beauty of the earth and sky, the landscape and the living things.  The other souls on my journey, my teachers, my students, my family, friends and neighbors, and the people I meet by chance every day.  I’m grateful for public servants, all the workers and workplaces that bring food to my table, furnishings to my home, fuel to my car.  For local and global leaders who are willing to pull the cart of history down the road, for followers that make choices based on compassion and egalitarian ideals.  For written words, for art and music.  Grateful for my coffee in the morning, wine in the evening, all the ups and downs in between, and the Tai Chi that helps it all make sense.  20170119222822
Photo courtesy of the ShanghaiDaily.com

2018 The Year of the Earth Dog

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“It is said, by Chinese Wisdom Teachers, that the Year of the Earth Dog (perhaps the Earth Wolf) will be a time when the insights arising from the happenings and breakthroughs of the Year of Phoenix will be actualized for the common good.” So says my fourth teacher, Dr. Roger Jahnke, in the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi February newsletter.  He continues “Wolves, hybridized to be Dogs, are loyal, they are tribal, they work together, they care for children and elders – they understand the common good.”

By all prognostications, the year of the Earth Dog is a year to work for the common good; a year to be steadfast, observant and obedient, cautious, even ordinary.  Perhaps this is a time to assess your tribe.  Who do you love?  Who do you serve?  And how?

A Happy New Year

130As we approach this brand new year, filled with possibilities and hope, may our intentions be rooted in love for ourselves and others.  Set reasonable, attainable goals.  Surround yourself with a community who supports and encourages you on this path.  Create meaningful rituals for a healthier lifestyle.  And remember that every ending offers a new beginning, so if you fall of the routine you have set for yourself, simply begin again, being present in the moment, just as it is.  This moment, too, is filled with possibilities and hope.  May your intentions be rooted in love for yourself and others.  This passage was copied with gratitude from the Asheville Community Yoga  January Newsletter: Freedom through Service.

The Gift of Awareness

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      During the holidays, do try to take a few minutes each day to close your eyes, adjust your posture, take a deep breath, and look within.
      Five or six deep breaths is one minute.  One minute spent listening and looking within will increase awareness.  Awareness is different than thought.  When thoughts arise, say “thank you, not thinking now” and go back to the quiet wonder of looking and listening within.
      Awareness clears the mind, connects us to Source, eases pain and increases clarity.  Thoughts are tools that allow us to tackle great projects, but awareness is the wisdom to know what is yours to do.

Solar Eclipse 2017

In some ancient cultures, it was considered poor manners to look at the coupling of the sun and the moon during an eclipse.  Was this an ancient wisdom for protecting the eyes of the innocent and curious?  Or was it a preservation of patriarchal/matriarchal supremacy?  Or was it something else?

annular-celipse-1839-052012-500-customA rare and powerful occurrence can indeed be blinding. Traditions, superstitions, preconceptions might mask the truth, or they might serve as a protective filter, enhancing life for our safe participation.

Observe.  Things are not always as they seem.  Be aware of the veil that has been cast.  Beware of hiding behind it; beware of casting it off too quickly.

The sun is always shining and the moon is always full.

 

Power of the Vernal Equinox

Spring is the season of new beginnings!  The Equinox marks the time when day and night are of equal length.  The balance is about to tip to the yang after the winter season of yin.  In the spring, we can tap into the natural energy of re-birth and emergence, perhaps a particularly strong energy in this Chinese Year of the Rooster.

According to Wikipedia, the celestial location of the vernal equinox is the First Point of Aries.  “It is one of the two points on the celestial sphere at which the celestial equator meets the ecliptic plane, the other being the First Point of Libra, located exactly 180° from it.”

The University of Southern Maine Planetarium site states “The Sun used to be “in” the constellation Aries on the first day of Spring, otherwise known as the vernal equinox.   We should explain that as Earth revolves around the Sun, the latter will appear to travel through thirteen constellations comprising the “zodiac.”  Greek astronomer Hipparchus of Nicea (190-120 BCE) introduced the term “First Point of Aries” (or “Cusp of Aries.”) when he observed that the Sun was within the constellation Aries during the vernal equinox.     However, the Sun’s apparent vernal equinox position has continuously shifted along the ecliptic by about 1 degree every 73 years due to precessional wobbling.   The wobbling, caused primarily by interactions with the Sun and Moon, causes our planet’s pole to describe a 47 degree circle through the sky every 26,000 years.   Consequently, the thirteen zodiac constellations will all “host” the vernal equinox point during this 26,000 year cycle.        According to astronomer Jean Meeus, the vernal equinox point crossed the Aries-Pisces border in 68 BCE.  Ironically, this shift occurred less than a century after Hipparchus’ death. The vernal equinox point has been moving westward through Pisces ever since.  In AD 2597, the vernal equinox will move into Aquarius the Water Bearer.  Or, to be more specific, it will cross into the rectilinear region that the International Astronomical Union has designated as the Aquarius “region.” Perhaps even then, astronomers will continue to refer to the vernal equinox as the “First Point of Aries.”

first point of aries

illustration copied from https://usm.maine.edu/planet