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Posts Tagged ‘non-duality’

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Kali…..
….. is my petite cat’s name. Sundeep, my son, named her when he got her as a young kitten to spare her from an impending execution. Considering the circumstances, her name, Kali, is associated with a tremendously powerful and significant namesake, which I think quite apt, if not seemingly over- expansive for this diminutive in size, yet formidable huntress, and presence inside and outside our home since she arrived many years ago. She still looks so young!!

Yet from the vantage point of Hindu sacred writings, and from real life, it is obvious to them and to me, at least, that these bodies are mere vessels for each life using them for a time, and what we see as a simple little creature from the outside is often quite illusory, so who really knows what is concealed beneath her shell? Who am I to presume to know? Is this cat something beyond her corporeal existence? Most def, IMO, but who is to say with certainty what or who she is or is not? For all I know, I may have been enjoying the company of a goddess all these years, who was quietly sharing her time with me, which would make just as much sense, given the Goddess’ special qualities relative to time, life, energy and death ;-). Whatever or whomever she is beyond the shell, she has done these things nonetheless, and more!! Gifts come to me–do I notice properly? Have I lived in gratitude? Does my “becoming” reflect expansion of my gratitude? If so, then it perhaps was not a squandered gift, and perhaps will one day expand to a fuller measure that fills up most my remaining time and thought in my shell-leaving less room for the human frailties that come from suffering, weakness and fatigue of spirit and body, betrayal, insecurity, fear, and loss. One can only hope. I tenaciously persist in hopeful ambition that Iight continue to grow and learn and evolve and rise above these cages of my life, neither accepting nor rejecting self or other, but remaining open to possibility. Time will tell…

From Wiki: Kālī (Sanskrit: काली, IPA: [kɑːliː]), also known as Kālikā (Sanskrit: कालिका), is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Since Shiva is called Kāla—the eternal time—Kālī, his consort, also means “Time” or “Death” (as in time has come). Hence, Kāli is the Goddess of Time and Change.

Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilator of evil forces still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally “redeemer of the universe”). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess.

Kālī is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. Shiva laid in path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger. She is time manifestation of other Hindu goddesses like Durga, Bhadrakali, Sati, Rudrani, Parvati and Chamunda. She is the foremost among the Dasa Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses.

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“You look familiar, have we met?
You’re one I doubt I would forget ”
“We were connected long ago,
But why you left I did not know.

So many years have passed its true While I, alone, did wait for you.
Though I called often from the dark
To try to soothe my lonely heart.

I heard you speaking loud and clear, When I was was calling, did you hear? Your life you spent just chasing round
A clock that just kept ticking down.

Yet time did never touch my face Suspended in this timeless place.
Now I must speak, so listen now;
This truth you must embrace somehow:

You see we always have been one
You ran, but you weren’t really gone.
And for your journeys, chasing time
You’ve missed a lot by flying blind.”
“Now that I’m back, oh precious one,
We never have to feel alone!”

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Greater Than the Sum of My PartsWell, today I did feel better, and I did go back and finish this image, as I saw it in my mind’s eye.   I like this picture very much, as well, it tells a story.  But the other picture, well, it IS a story, and they are both wonderful parts of the (w)hole that is me!  This was done in graphite, colored pencil, pens, and markers.  I feel glad about both of them!

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what not to do in pain management"Doctor, it hurts when I do this." "Well," the doctor says, "stop doing that."

 

Yesterday afternoon, I formed an intention to do a drawing as part of an art challenge in a terrific online community of women artists called Milliande Art Community around the theme of “holes”.  My intention was to do a drawing incorporating the holes as a concept and I had a few options for compositions that I thought would be fun and aesthetically pleasing, and intended to share the finished piece with the group. At the time I was feeling pretty good, low pain, plenty of energy, and excited about doing some art just for the joy of creating.  My mind was already in a creative flow around it, and I looked forward to drawing it up.  Well, here’s the drawing.  One can debate about whether it is finished or not, and reasonable minds may disagree about just how aesthetically pleasing this drawing is at this point either.  Assuming that throwing my sketchbook across the room in frustration and hoping to never look at it again constitutes “finished,” when I “finished” last night, nothing about it felt good for me.  In fact, I was completely frustrated and stressed throughout the entire effort, from the moment I began to look at the  sketchbook page and trying to imagine the composition on the page, to drawing, to the moment that I threw it aside in frustration.  The whole effort felt like failure to me, and I hated feeling that way.  Before I went to sleep, I remember thinking that I should just get up in the morning, and rip the page out, throw it away, and completely start over.

But after a fitful night of sleep and a little distance from last night’s frustration, sitting quietly in the gentle light of dawn this morning I was better able to reflect on what had transpired, and this yielded some clarity for me.  I am constantly reminded that we only actually fail if we have learned nothing from our “perceived” failures, and I was reminded of this again today!  I think I understand now why it is that this didn’t work for me, and what might have worked better, whether it be art or other tools that I am trying to use to enrich my life.  The key for me is recognizing that there are distinctly different processes that are appropriate to working with where/how I am at any given time, and the key is recognizing what condition I am in, starting from there, and using what works.  Instead, last night I tried to force reality to fit a specified process, rather than the other way around.  The resulting product was a bunch of media forced destructively onto paper, that in no way reflected the way an image had been in my mind earlier in the day, and the more I tried to “fix” it, the farther away from that image it became, and the more upset I became.  Instead, the image that evolved on the paper was me holding up a mirror to myself, and I was stubbornly refusing to see it until this morning.  There was no flow of inspiration; there was only fight, because at the time I did not recognize a very important fundamental truth:  My journey can only begin where I am, and it can only go where I take it.  Force of will of my “thinking” brain cannot alter this fact; resistance is futile! 

So what went so awry?  In contrast to earlier that day, by the time that I began working on this, I was in a high state of pain and serious distress, almost completely horizontal, with physical discomfort that prevented me from even carrying on a conversation.  But rather than start from how I was at the time and modify my process accordingly, I kept trying to forge ahead as if my mind were already relaxed and comfortable, already shifted into creative flow, rather than allowing myself to become calm, quiet my mind and gently allow things to open up and flow naturally.  Instead, I added stress and discomfort through critical thinking, controlling behavior, and placing unrealistic demands on my mind and body.  The result:  the demands of my “thinking” brain did influence the product, but not as intended.  But the journey went exactly where I took it, and where I took it was where I was capable of taking it, given my stubborn insistence on trying to adhere to a process that was entirely unrealistic.  My husband often says, “You just can’t go any faster than the car in front of you,” and he’s quite right.  It just took a while for my brain to realize that it was acting like a road-raging tailgater on a one-lane road behind the rest of me—not exactly a great strategy!

Having said that, I did actually succeed in incorporating holes into this image—in more ways than one.  I managed to dig very deep scratches into the thin paper, especially throughout the hole at the base of the tree that is also the pupil of the eye.  You see, as my “road rage” escalated,  I dug deeper into the paper with the pencils.  And this little drama that played itself out last night reveals the theme of holes, as well.  It showed me “holes” in my own thought processes, and in fact is a real metaphor for experiences that I’ve had in my larger life, as I have fallen into similar holes in other ways, using a similar strategy.  Food for thought! 

And as I look at the picture today, with a clearer head, it’s not as “bad” as it seemed to me last night, shredded paper and all.  In fact, it does show the beginnings of what I envisioned, and if I wanted to, I could probably transfer the existing image to some fresh paper and work from there.  If I want to.  We’ll see.  But no matter how a “new and improved” image might turn out, I think that this one is a keeper after all, because I believe that it has real value just the way it is.  When I think about it, notwithstanding the unrealistic demands of my “thinking” brain, it is clear that I began where I was at the time, that the journey went exactly where I took it based on constraints that I chose, and I learned something valuable from the experience.  For me, no matter how aesthetically pleasing or displeasing the image may seem to me or anyone else, this means to me that the journey was a successful one!

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