Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Before there can be a beginning there must be an end.
This morning I pulled the Death card from my Motherpeace deck.  This is the last day of 5771, i remind myself as I read what Vicki Noble writes 'this is not about a physical death, only a metaphor for some experience of dying and rebirth'. 

I had just decided to write an entry in my blog. And when I began the 'title' section, i could only think that this is an ending of four years of writing in this blog.  I have, with the encouragement of Tim, my beloved Buddhist therapist, begun creating a book of the last four years' musings.  I have been even imagining reading from the completed book to my students of mindfulness-meditation.  So it will happen, after I figure out how to work blurb!

I sit with tears coming down my face. How do I say good bye to this ritual of writing The Society of the Vav? How do I end this love affair i have had with the Hebrew letter Vav? I do not want to say good bye, adieu, ciao! For that would leave emptiness. And G!D forbid I should feel that bottomless pit of emptiness!!
And how do i know it is over? Where will I go? Who will i be if i am not a Vavnik? or will i be that forever whether i write or not? So many questions, so few answers. Letting go is a powerful exercise for me in this moment.

I ask myself, 'What would the Vav say?'...and I hear, "once a connection is made it is never severed. " I am a vav-nik forever and I am learning what it means to be connected with family, friends, nature, to trust this connection and to trust me even more to know I can take care of myself.  i am amazing and there is work left to do that is all mine, along with others.  I am on a mission to heal the world, one heart at a time. And I am learning my skills and refining them as i move through the River of Light.

The first entry of the Society of the Vav was on listening.  And I am continuing in learning how to listen.  I am learning what it means to listen to the inner voice, the G!D within me.  She is so wise. Like the character in Ntozake Shange's 'For Colored Girls Who Consider Suicide When the Rainbow is not Enuff" I am owning that G!D is within me.  The Indwelling Divine Spirit, Shekhinah, She dwells within and I need to listen to the still voice not just the loud ones that say "you are going for a trip around the world" or "I want to be a rabbi". The more subtle ones, that demand i be quiet and be still, to slow down so the wind does not distort the sounds and words coming through me to me.  That is being kind to myself, treating myself as if I were my own lover.  I am a life long learner, thank G!D! Other wise I would be up a creek without a paddle!!  LOL!!

So this is how I will leave you, with an end, a celebration of what has come and an and...

And, of course, a blessing:

As I watched the sun set on this last day of 5771, I mused on how grateful I am for your Presence in my life
and I wondered
am i ready for this Rosh Hashanah and what she will bring?
Not that it matters, she is going to come anyway,
and I , i am going to welcome Her with open arms and an open heart!

Who would turn away sweetness and joy?

Shanah Tova u'Mituka, Tikateivu v'tikateimu!
May this year be good and sweet
and may you and all you hold dear be written and sealed in the Book of Life for yet another year!

And if that does not happen, may we come together to support each other through the narrow spaces,
knowing Love is always there to comfort. And we are love!

blessings of joy and sweetness, health and love in 5772!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Had Dream

I had a dream this morning before I awoke and i was full of joy and love when I opened my eyes. I am not sure what the dream was all about, choosing not to analyze, and I am not going to review it here with you.  I am going to write it down and savor it the feelings, people, colors, conversations.

Then I am going to notice how my life enfolds.

I had a moment of awareness and enlightenment yesterday as I readied for bed. When I am on retreat, I am mindful of the present moment, slow in movement, noticing how I lift my foot, place a plate down on the table, choose my food and more! I am taking time to be with me, focusing on now, coming back to this moment when the mind begins to do its dance of;  'look at what he is doing', 'how about that thought', 'can you believe what she did', ' or 'ooo, that smells good and I am hungry',  etc etc etc.

I have been telling people about some of my experiences on various retreats and how much i enjoyed them. I began to wonder "why only then?"

Then, as I put back into order the plants on my stoop,  I shoved the hand painted ceramic pot that held a miniature snake plant into the railing and the arm on one side cracked and fell into the bushes. I was shocked, i thought I was being so careful. Everything had been going so well, the storm door was off and i had a screen door up to let in the fresh air with the help of my neighbor, Dale. I thought I was careful, apparently not enough!

Then I remembered impermanence and loss is just an emotion we tag to an experience.

The mind wandered and I remember supporting others on their silent retreat at Elat Chayyim,  offering them water as they worked in the hot kitchen. I loved serving and caring for those choosing silence. Or on all the retreats, the many experiences and learning.  In Thailand with Rosemary and Steve where I learned that silence is not a punishment and i was never alone.  Or in Pudecherry, India, at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram where i learned I am deeply connected to the spiritual world through my body and I stayed there long enough to hear the Mother speak on the anniversary of her birthday, 'yea, thou you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i am with you'.   Or in Israel and France with Thich Nhat Hanh where i learned about the power of discipline and focus and faith and to go back to my roots.  And at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA where i discovered how unsafe I felt int he world and that I wanted Hebrew Wisdom, and asked for it from Sylvia Boorstein, along with the Buddhist practice taught there.

And how can I forget Stephen Levine and the very first silent retreat I ever experienced. When I learned that I am my own teacher and I must learn to trust myself, trust the process and treasure myself.  Treasure myself, what a concept I continue to learn what it means along with love myself and make a friend of time.

So I laugh out loud as i awaken to my life and put the pieces together, making a collage of extraordinary beauty, as stunning as Andrea's quilts.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Holy Union, Hieros Gamos

I want to enter and be entered
I yearn to know what it feels like
To have G!D within me
While being able to enjoy
The deliciousness of
Being Present with You

I want to breathe in Ruach HaKodesh, The Holy Spirit
And then breathe back into You
Renewing myself as the moon
Renews each month

I am made in the image of HaShem, The-One-Without-End
Loving women and loving men
Just like She does
Why deny the fact that
My heart is as large as His

I am Ariadne and I am Shekhinah, The Indwelling Presence of the Divine
I am Sarah, princess of the world
I evolve and transform with each breath
I am love and I am hate
I am Hagar, the stranger within me
Yearning to be known

I am an individual, unique as the moment
I am Abraham confused in love
I am never the enemy, only Darkness
From which Light can come

Come closer, My Dear
Let us be known to each other
So we can laugh and cry together
We can mourn and celebrate our lives
Lived and soon to be born

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Taste of the World To Come

Blessings of Being Awake: Shabbat Shalom, blessings of a restful day full of moments of a taste of the world to come, i wish to you and to me. And I ponder the days that led up to this day.
This week in Beaufort two young men died. One took his own life and one died as a result of an accident. Both i pray have souls who are at peace and both left families and friends grieving, wondering if they could have done something differently and feeling sorrow and yearning for one more day with their friend, son, brother, lover, husband, father.....
I never met either and i have heard stories from my daughter as my grandson struggles to understand this death of a friend and peer.
This week a dear friend struggled with depression as the mind imagined a future without hope for a freedom that in her past she rarely experienced and deeply yearned for a reprieve in her life.
This week my adopted grandson told his father and his step mother he is not returning to college. He will be leaving for California to seek work and a break from the routine of the last five years.
This week I met several new people who hold possibilities of a good life for me here in the marshes and waters of the Lowcountry.  Some kind and good women and men who live outside the box of societal norms' expectations.
This week a new friend visit changed my perspective of myself by offering me herself through deep conversations.
And this week my daughter showed me her joy at having me physically closer to her.
This week I began seeing and experiencing the patterns of the Presence of the Divine in my life.  I began getting the message that I have really and truly never been alone! I began to see, as Jacob was said to have spoken, God was in this place and I, i did not know.
Spiritual Practice: With this seeing and knowing, I have set an intention to continue to meditate, chant with my shruti box, pull my Mother Peace Cards, consult and study with others who know differently than i so I can expand my perspective. And I remain in a place of not knowing, so I can be surprised with the joy of possibilities.  So I can laugh like Sarah was reported to have done, when she was told she would be a mother at 99. And perhaps, I, too like my role  model and Matriarch, will birth something when i think i am dried up and barren. Or maybe I will notice the amazing lives i have touched and get to walk with and that, that will be enuff!!!
Society of the Vav, Vav-nik Intention: And as I stand at the threshold of the next moment, I will use my head and my heart, as i shatter the still energy, moving forward over the threshold into next moment. I do make a difference. This is justice. This is transformation.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Learning to Play on the Offensive Team

So, you must be curious and wondering what offensive team? The team that has the ball and calls the plays and goes for the goal, of course!
The agile ones, the light on their feet ones!  Not the ones who offend!!  LOL!!

Well, I might have to offend some people on my way down the field! And that is what happens when you are focused on your souls journey, making meaning of your life. Some people will be sleeping and not want to be bothered. Some people will like you just the way you are, so they do not have to change.  And, as Mary Oliver wrote, sometimes you have to walk away from those voices and save the only life you can, yours. There are others you will join on your journey.

Phyllis came to visit for a few days. And whenever a Baba Lover who is also from Boston, an Aries, lives alone and is very brilliant gets together with another Jewish, Boston born, Aries who lives alone, and likes to please, after a few days sparks fly!  Divine sparks that want to be redeemed, so the soul can be uncovered.  In the unsettling chaos, Phyllis spoke a truth: be offensive!

She had seen me become defensive and in her inimitable style, had told we what to do, instead of what not to do. Apologizing for her directness, she said the words again, be offensive. 

After brushing off my ego, and settling down to hear what she had to say, i pondered her words. Offensive? What does that mean. 

So what do I need to be on that team? In shape and focused, have clear intentions, be a team player and flexible, improvisational, transformational and love the game! And maybe I have to learn it is OK to offend, say it like it is, the truth as I see it! Oy Vay!!  Well, I tell myself, everyone, including me, needs a clear mirror. Like the 360s we use to help leaders get their affect on their world.

This intention is a great one to set for Elul. While I am learning about loving You as You love me, I will hold onto the balance of love and power; soul work and connectedness to others. I get a shiver down my spine knowing this truth will shed a few pounds and get me closer to the truth; my G!D is everywhere.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Practicing Surrender

Banyan tree, WPB, 1973; Being held by the Divine community.

I went on a work and play road trip to NC this last week, driving from Beaufort, SC to Greensboro to Asheville and Brevard NC and then back home. I drove blind. You read correctly. I turned on my GPS and prayed.

I did not look at the map that sat in my glove compartment. I did not have my Google map print-out nor did I call any one on the phone and to ask them to guide me on their Google.

I set the Nuvi and prayed and took direction. And since I was the only one in the car, I could not look too often as I had agreed to not look at it while driving.

I get chills up my spine when I think about how brave I was to let go of my deeeeep need to be fiercely independent and follow the legacy of my parents. I thought often, why am I doing this? I like seeing the whole picture. I adore knowing where I am going! Do I need another gadget? And knowing those are the words of a woman who does not like change and who wants to be practical!

I was also hearing in my head Ilana's voice, asking me 'why won't I let anyone help me?' And the other voice of mine saying, what kind of a role model are you to your daughter? Do you want her to build walls of 'i can do it myself, thank you' too!?

This is a big one! Letting go is soooo hard!

And it is good practice this surrendering. And it is only to a machine. And i practicing learning family in my new home, learning i am not alone, learning about being connected and learning how to JUST receive the love of others.

And I must admit I am slow extending the net to practice believing in the the unconditional love of my G!D. And I am learning this too. And that I also can learn to love me, even after all these years. With the help of learning to take down the walls and experience the love given.

So, thanks, Ruthie, for encouraging me to buy my first GPS and Ginny for helping me practice receiving love from my anam cara. And to everyone else who have been patient with this heart and still wants me in their life.

Elul begins tomorrow night. The thirty days of blowing the shofar to wake my soul up and bring me back to my true self commences at sundown . Thirty days of practicing and learning so on the anniversary of the beginning of the world, the next new moon, I will be ready to forgive myself for all the moments when i doubted my lovableness and invite me back into my heart and celebrate the beginning of the Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, 5772.

And I am learning to believe in the concept of a learning community and that i am smart enough to learn while living within the boundaries of this physical reality. I must be loved! LOL!! Why else would i do this!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Circumcise Your Heart and Do Not Have Such a Stiff Neck

Will You help me practice the uncovering of my heart so I can consciously know, be viscerally aware that I am receiving unconditionally love from the Mayan Raz, eternal spring?

Will you be my mirror and my partner to support me in experiencing that i am safe in this world to receive the universal love that is available? I want to face the fears that keep my heart protected and begin to know what it feels like to feel worthy of receiving unconditional love, without strings. I have felt moments of this love, as during my ordination, an expansive, glorious, sweet, adoring love. I also feel deep love of and connectedness with my daughters. I want to also receive there love.

In meditation this morning, in following the circular movement of the mind from Here to there and back to Here, i experienced an awareness of how covered i keep my heart. And that the phrase from the Torah that I have had a strong relationship with, circumcise your heart and don't have a stiff neck, was a message to me personally. I began to cry, deep sobs of awareness.

I know now that I learned an internal stance in childhood to lean over, hunch my shoulders, keep my head down, my hands over the chest and groin and lean forward into the wind. That was the only way i could move with people and be safe, keep my heart protected, and exist until i could become aware of other ways of being; to live my life fully open, head up, shoulders back, chest exposed to the elements knowing i could take very good care of myself and that i am lovable and safe. And I could create sacred space where I would engage in crucial conversations and learn about me within a relationship.

I am no longer willing to use my energy to keep my heart covered. I have other things to do with that energy. I feel expressive and I am no longer tongue tied.

Will you play with me? Will you be my partner and be open to love, unconditional love that speaks from the heart-mind, body-spirit, that engages all of me in a compassionate and kind manner and creating sacred space to allow us both to be Present.

Are you ready for me? Am I ready for me to be out and naked and fully alive in the world? Can there be three amazing women in one family? YES!!!! and...... LOL!!!!

I must uncover this heart and be open to change for if I do not, it will be done for me! And that is what I read in the Holy Scriptures.