Friday, November 19, 2010

Rushing Off to New Things With the Wisdom of the Past

Balance of Power:hand made paper from India

Blessings of Being Awake
:Many years ago when familial depression was a regular visitor, I remember making a commitment to myself. Each time I felt useless, internally stuck, helpless, and no energy to do anything and not being able to see beyond my nose, that I would remember my ancestors who were in concentration camps and say to myself, "i am only bound by the limitations of the mind, I have more choices than they did." And my 'sorry for myself' moment shifted a bit to help me see other options.
Earlier this week, I found myself not being able to find passion and interest. And yet, like many of my ancestors, I kept moving through the day searching for the light that might appear at any moment. Last night's meditation class was a very bright light. And this morning, after meditation , I pulled the Daughter of Wands card from the MotherPeace Round Tarot deck. I felt the earth/fire energy and knew I was "integrating the wisdom of the past" into the present moment.
Spiritual Challenge: I am committed to the intention of seeing myself as a whole person with a rich full past integrated into my present, apart of both heaven and earth, never alone therefore connected to many souls and being influenced by them as they by me. When I traveled solo around the world, an important piece of wisdom came to my consciousness; I was matter and therefore I mattered in the world. I could not longer think of myself as unattached, a hungry ghost searching for redemption.
Spiritual Practice: I re-named myself with the name of the woman I was named after, Faga Tubie, the good bird. I use the Hebrew version to remind me of my divine connection to HaRachamana, the Compassionate One. Like Jacob, I have two names, one given me by my parents and one chosen for me by The Never Ending Love. Introducing myself with that name is the most natural experience for me. I believe it was the name I was known by before I was born.
Blessings of the Vav: the story is never over, just continues from generation to generation.
Andrea took on a new name, Simcha as joy is what she feels in the work she has chosen. May we all be blessed to wrestle with the Divine and find our Self.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's My Job To be Me

Etta being Etta: we have so much to learn from our young ones who are determined to be them self!
Blessings of Being Awake: "It's my job" she said with great pride and ease to my thanking her for being so naturally out as lesbian. "Its my job", I repeated to myself several times as I walked away from Alix Dobkin, singer, song writer, author. What a role model and sister collaborator I thought. She is inspiring me to continue on my path of self love. A path I am not sure I could be walking if Mona, of blessed memory, was still alive.

My Spiritual Challenge is to go to find the edge and then to leap. I am learning to know and stay true to my core beliefs and then to walk the talk, to live as if I were 'treating myself as if I were my own lover." To do this I must stay connected to the moment and to the One Without End who wraps Her Self around and inside of me, forever faithful, protective.

My Spiritual Practice is as always to breathe deeply, expanding the narrow spaces anxiety brings. When I go within, I am led by The One Without End, HaRachamana, The Compassionate One down the path of righteousness. "Be proud of your differentness", I hear my heart saying. "Enjoy your outsider status", you are Kadosh-separate, unique...You". "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think!"
Blessings of the Vav: As I evoke the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet within me, I walk between heaven and earth. I am a connector, a hook, a holy priestly letter. I am standing erect in my own uniqueness ready to connect. What chutzpah it took to listen and then validate by giving attention to the thought 'society of the vav' so it could grow! Nothing new for me, if I look back on my life. I have been here before and answer "but" to my ideas. And this time I am integrating those moments as I write another chapter in this holy life I have been given. What is your amazing miracle story?

Just be You

Blooming: I look at these flowers and I wonder if they ever doubt themselves, compare their bloom to others and come up short or feel desperately alone. And then my tears start doing their thing as I laugh out loud remembering 'I just need to be me.' Isn't that what I have been practicing all these years. Just do it your way and it will be right. It might not get me an A by someone elses' standard. And no one else is grading me but me! " Just be average", I hear Pat saying, and I know my 'average' is amazing!

Blessings of Being Awake:
Tonight I will have an hour to impart my joy of Hebrew Wisdom and meditation to a group who is paying to learn from me. I am anxious and I am relaxed. I want to do it right and my intention is to be improvisational and learn while having fun. So I am reading some new information and remembering all my classes and my own practice. I know whatever happens in that 60 minutes will be perfect and direct from my heart that sits in the body that holds wisdom.

I feel grounded in my experiences and the many people who have imparted their wisdom to me. I have learned directly and indirectly from many people and to them I dedicate our time tonight: Stephen and Ondrea Levine, Stephen and Rosemary Weisman and students at Wat Kohw Tam, Thailand, Abby Karp, Thich Nhat Hanh and everyone at Plum Village, France, Joseph Goldstein, Rabbi David and Shoshanah Cooper, Rabbi Sheila Perltz Weinberg, Rabbi Jeff Roth, Rabbi Joanna Katz , Sylvia Bornstein and all my teachers at the Metta Center of Barrie, Ma, Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man and Nan Fink, and Richard White, Beth Lynn and Brett Ferrigan and students at Shambala House and many others yet to be named.

I have practiced by myself, reading books and driven by something I did not understand. And I have been given instruction and space to learn. In Thailand I walked away knowing that the teaching had saved my life. I have taught others and they were appreciative. Today is different. And I know nothing and I know everything I need to know. So whether it is because there is no one in between me and the Divine; or because I am finally living that there is something bigger than me and I am paradoxically surrendering while being an active partner by just saying 'Yes'.

Listening to the inner voices, led me to the Society of the Vav, that led me to 'Yes and' exercise in improv. And there is no time like now, Hayom Yom, this day, this moment to continue the saga of this life. And I am doing it, Ahni, I, TZiPi Radonsky, woman in all my permutations of roles. And I am in joy!! Come join me, so we can play Ahnachnu, we, together.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting the Whole Picture

A close up a piece of the Tree of Life, does not say everything about the tree, just a moment in the viewers perspective and time.
Blessings of Being Awake: As I was walked into the auditorium that was quickly filling up for the show last night, I saw Edie standing in a row looking around, as if she was waiting for someone. My heart got excited as I walked over to greet her. I have loved this woman from our first meeting in the workout dressing room when I first moved to Century Village. She had lived many years in Israel and loved to speak Hebrew with me, as I with her. She loved to sing in Yiddish and was so full of fun and joy. She endearingly called me Tzipila. Yet, this woman I kissed and spoke in Hebrew with last night was engaged in make believe. She called me by another name, looking blankly in my face and appeared cautious, not wanting me to know what she knew she did not know. As I left her to find my seat, I remembered the picture I had taken of her last November. She was standing at the voting entrance holding the sign for Obama over her head with a big smile on her face. I imagined that as her family went through her things, they would see this picture and remember this other time when she was full of life. And I felt full of many emotions, wanting to hold this whole picture, the variations of her life of her life.
Several week ago in the "Adventures in Intimacy" workshop, Hedy talked about having many marriages; and what we were seeing that weekend was a another marriage to the same man, a different incarnation. So When Yumi said at one point that in one of those marriages that he had been a jerk, i had to remember the plethora of roles we each play in a life time. And I had to welcome myself back into my heart and forgive me for all the expectations i have that makes me my enemy. I am my friend, my best friend, and as Kahane writes on, I study both love, living the 'we', and the power, fulfilling my soul's mission.

Laughing out loud, I say to myself , I am being forced by various experiences to hold multiple realities, not only am i expanding my lungs through being at very high altitudes and breathing deeply as I sing with my shruti box, I am also expanding the mind, proving that old dogs can learn new tricks and fulfilling my mother's comment "you are my Einstein".

Blessings of the Vav and Ecclesiastes and Solomon. Believing in the transformation of the soul, in its many season while holding the variant colors of possibilities is having faith and hope in something bigger than me, the Mystery of Life, The One Without End, the Compassionate One.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hallelu Yah, Praise The One Without End

Crisp October Boston morning after a wonderful visit with my beloved cousin Linda.
Blessings of Being Awake: Sometimes being awake is not fun. I wrote this poem after a Sunday of being the only chaplain in a hospital in Greensboro, NC. It was a day full of many challenges. When I reread the words of the poem, visual and visceral memories arise, from the new born in the NICU whose mother sat beside the incubator, very confused as she watched her child struggle to hold onto life to an elderly woman whose husband sat beside her crying as she took her last breath. At the time, I was more easily using the more familiar word for The One Without End, god. Today, this word feels flat and I want a more active word for the Never Ending Love. Also, at the time, I was finding again my identity as a Jew. I was discovering that the word I said in Hebrew, Halleluyah, was also being said by my sister and brother Christians, Praise God! I was living in the in the bible belt where these words rolled of the tongues of the people around me. And I felt those words were their language and if I said them I would be less Jewish. I laugh as I write this thinking that we are such funny people with our small minds. And I felt uncomfortable speaking their language, especially with the same intensity. In writing the words of this poem, I was getting used to their language, trying it on for size, making it mine, learning from them what I did not think that I knew; that The Rachamana, the Compassionate One, the One I desperately wanted to know, had saved my life for some purpose I have yet to understand.

Praise God for creating home
Even when we cannot find it
Praise God for bringing us home
Even when we do not know when we get there
Praise God for spitting us out
Even when we are not ready
Praise God for catching us
Even into awkward hands
Praise God for each breath, tear, sigh
Even when we are embarrassed by the emoting
Praise God for the voice that sings your praise
Even when out of tune
Praise God for every life you take
Even when the anger exacerbates the pain
Praise God for each life you give
Even when we cannot appreciate your miracle
Praise God for the resiliency modeled
Even when we cannot get unstuck
Praise God for the vulnerability we often experience
Even when we are shamed into silence
Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!
Why not praise God
Better than damming the pain in my heart
for all those whose grief I witnessed today.

Blessings of the Vav: AND I will always have another chance to make another decision, to re-look at the decisions I have made. Hebrew Wisdom teaches me that I always have the Right of Return, tshuvah, returning to my true self and to be true to my souls's journey. I want to continue to grow the mochine d'gadlute, the big mind, to gain perspective, to give myself the time to learn what an amazing soul lives within me.