May we live like the lotus, at home in muddy water

Smallsuza-francina-042007-02bJune 25, 2014
Yesterday, late afternoon, as often happens when the heat in my house feels oppressive and my 65-year-old adrenal glands feel exhausted from the endless bills and unrelenting chores staring me in the face with no hope for a summer break . . . I felt myself becoming very negative, like I was losing my center, like I might as well go back to dumping bed pans and scrubbing floors because then at least I’d have some steady income. But then I looked down at the three happy faces of the four-leggeds and was reminded that a regular job, with an eight-hour shift, would present it’s own set of problems. Taking them to doggy-day-care would eat up half my income! Somehow, I have to stay the yoga-writing course!

So, as I almost always do when I feel myself sinking to the bottom, I lie down on my yoga bolster in the Goddess Pose, with my knees bent and the soles of my feet together, and take a long yoga rest. With my eyes closed, the movement of my eyes quieted by an eye bag, (which helps to quiet the mind) my gaze inward, looking down into the heart center, slowly the cares of the world fade far away. I remind myself that if I died, life would go on. So why not take time to die to the material world and the manifestations we find ourselves caught up in?

When I rest deeply, I remember that when the mind is muddled, no-action is better than wrong-action.

A little later the canines and I went to the park. They are a handful—but their joy and exuberance is contagious. After the park, without thinking where I was going, for no conscious reason all, pointing toward the east-end of Ojai, I turned left on Orange Road, and a thousand memories —things I’ve long-forgotten—-came tumbling down. I lived two different places on Orange Road—the first time in a house in the orchard, married at 18, with a wee infant, making my husband bell-peppers stuffed with brown rice and hamburger, a recipe I found in the New York Times Natural Food Cookbook—even though I was a strict vegetarian. And while I was cooking away the four or five fruitarians living in the orchard (I had met them in town and gave them permission to camp in the orchard) came knocking on the door to use the bathroom . . . They smelled the meat cooking but I distinctly remember how they smiled at me with their dusty, sun-burned faces and said it was very sweet how I was fixing food that I thought my husband would like . . .


In a few minutes the students are coming. But somehow, sometime soon, by end of summer, all these snippets will metamorphose into a story . . .
* * *
Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014

“May we live like the lotus, at home in muddy water.”

A day to commune with nature. Practicing yoga in nature, walking in nature, simply being in nature, brings us in touch with our own nature.

Ojai’s most renowned spiritual teacher and philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti, was without a doubt a nature mystic, though he most likely would have shrugged off the label. His writings sparkle with descriptions of nature in the Ojai Valley and beyond.

“Let us be respectfully reminded:
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by, and with it our only chance;
each of us must strive to awaken.
Be aware! Do not squander our life.”

Source: http://community.appamada.org/profiles/blogs/robert-aitken-roshi-death-and
* * *
February 14, 2014
The cycle of the full moon reminds me of the passage of time. Now I’ve flown from the river bottom back to a bird’s eye view of the Valley, at the very top of North Signal . . . to be honest, there are moments where I’m unsure if the daily life logistics with the animals will work out . . . and it takes all my will power and a long stay in the Goddess Pose not to sink into despair. . .

This photo of a lotus pond in Bali reminds me that the lotus rises out of the muddy waters of life . . .

* * *
January 17, 2014
Strange dreams these last nights of the full moon. Once again I’m moving out of my earthly abode to destination unknown. All my stuff is going into storage–and soon all that stuff will be whittled down to the bare bone essentials, writings, and photographs.
“All is impermanent, quickly passing.”

“Great is the matter of birth and death,
All is impermanent, quickly passing.
Awake! Awake!
Don’t waste this life.”

* * *
October 7, 2013
This photo, taken by my father in Bali about twenty years ago, is a constant reminder that nothing is as it seems on the surface, that everything changes, and that I must reach higher and see my life, always, from a global, cosmic perspective. That is the great yogic challenge! So on those days when I feel my raft sinking to the bottom, if I can just rest, breathe, and gather my life force, I (we) too can live like the lotus, at home in the muddy river of life.

When I feel discouraged, I remember my time in Bali, and I remind myself of these wise words, attributed to the Buddha:

“May we live like the lotus, at home in muddy water.”

“May we exist like a lotus, at home in the muddy water. ”

Understanding the meaning of this quote can help us along the way to develop and grow from life’s suffering or “muddiness.”

As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled,
so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world.
~Buddha

The lotus plant is a prominent image in Eastern philosophies. In yoga we learn to sit in the Lotus Pose (Padmasana).

In North America, the water lily could be compared to the lotus, offering beautiful flowers rooted in swamp waters.

— in Ubud, Indonesia.

Photo: June 25, 2014
Yesterday, late afternoon, as often happens when the heat in my house feels oppressive and my 65-year-old adrenal glands feel exhausted from the endless bills and unrelenting chores staring me in the face with no hope for a summer break . . . I felt myself becoming very negative, like I was losing my center, like I might as well go back to dumping bed pans and scrubbing floors because then at least I'd have some steady income. But then I looked down at the three happy faces of the four-leggeds and was reminded that a regular job, with an eight-hour shift, would present it's own set of problems.  Taking them to doggy-day-care would eat up half my income! Somehow, I have to stay the yoga-writing course! 

So, as I almost always do when I feel myself sinking to the bottom, I lie down on my yoga bolster in the Goddess Pose, with my knees bent and the soles of my feet together, and take a long yoga rest. With my eyes closed, the movement of my eyes quieted by an eye bag, (which helps to quiet the mind) my gaze inward, looking down into the heart center, slowly the cares of the world fade far away. I remind myself that if I died, life would go on. So why not take time to die to the material world and the manifestations we find ourselves caught up in?  

When I rest deeply, I remember that when the mind is muddled, no-action is better than wrong-action.

A little later the canines and I went to the park. They are a handful---but their joy and exuberance is contagious. After the park, without thinking where I was going, for no conscious reason all, pointing toward the east-end of Ojai, I turned left on Orange Road, and a thousand memories ---things I've long-forgotten----came tumbling down. I lived two different places on Orange Road---the first time in a house in the orchard, married at 18, with a wee infant, making my husband bell-peppers stuffed with brown rice and hamburger, a recipe I found in the New York Times Natural Food Cookbook---even though I was a strict vegetarian. And while I was cooking away the four or five fruitarians living in the orchard (I had met them in town and gave them permission to camp in the orchard) came knocking on the door to use the bathroom . . . They smelled the meat cooking but I distinctly remember how they smiled at me with their dusty, sun-burned faces and said it was very sweet how I was fixing food that I thought my husband would like . . . 
In a few minutes the students are coming. But somehow, sometime soon, by end of summer, all these snippets will metamorphose into a story . . . 
* * * 
Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014

"May we live like the lotus, at home in muddy water."

A day to commune with nature. Practicing yoga in nature, walking in nature, simply being in nature,  brings us in touch with our own nature.

 Ojai's most renowned spiritual teacher and philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti, was without a doubt a nature mystic, though he most likely would have shrugged off the label. His writings sparkle with descriptions of nature in the Ojai Valley and beyond. 

"Let us be respectfully reminded:
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by, and with it our only chance;
each of us must strive to awaken.
Be aware! Do not squander our life."

Source: http://community.appamada.org/profiles/blogs/robert-aitken-roshi-death-and
* * * 
February 14, 2014
The cycle of the full moon reminds me of the passage of time. Now I've flown from the river bottom back to a bird's eye view of the Valley, at the very top of North Signal  . . . to be honest, there are moments where I'm unsure if the daily life logistics with the animals will work out . . . and it takes all my will power and a long stay in the Goddess Pose not to sink into despair. . .  

This photo of a lotus pond in Bali reminds me that the lotus rises out of the muddy waters of life . . .

* * *
January 17, 2014
Strange dreams these last nights of the full moon. Once again I'm moving out of my earthly abode to destination unknown. All my stuff is going into storage--and soon all that stuff will be whittled down to the bare bone essentials, writings, and photographs.   
"All is impermanent, quickly passing."

"Great is the matter of birth and death,
All is impermanent, quickly passing.
Awake! Awake!
Don’t waste this life."

* * *
October 7, 2013
This photo, taken by my father in Bali about twenty years ago, is a constant reminder that nothing is as it seems on the surface, that everything changes, and that I must reach higher and see my life, always, from a global, cosmic perspective. That is the great yogic challenge! So on those days when I feel my raft sinking to the bottom, if I can just rest, breathe, and gather my life force, I (we) too can live like the lotus, at home in the muddy river of life. 

When I feel discouraged, I remember my time in Bali, and I remind myself of these wise words, attributed to the Buddha: 

"May we live like the lotus, at home in muddy water."

"May we exist like a lotus, at home in the muddy water. "

Understanding the meaning of this quote can help us along the way to develop and grow from life's suffering or "muddiness."

As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled,
so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world.
~Buddha

The lotus plant is a prominent image in Eastern philosophies. In yoga we learn to sit in the Lotus Pose (Padmasana). 

In North America, the water lily could be compared to the lotus, offering beautiful flowers rooted in swamp waters.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: