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May 2015



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May. 23rd, 2015


(no subject)

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day.

May. 19th, 2015


Daily practice feels so good

Today I wrote for 25 minutes. Yesterday, 120. I'm reintroducing daily writing (by which I mean anything that comes between my idea and the finished piece) into my life. I'm working on an article that analyzes a series of focus groups held with Latina mothers in Newark. The focus groups explore how they and their families use parks.

I miss daily writing, just like I miss daily training. I want them both back.

I've been writing for a couple of hours one day a week and doing cardio two or three days a week: not nearly enough of either to feel harmonious, strong and really, really vibrantly alive.

But I have been meditating again, and listening to Pema on my drive to work. I think I'm slowly assembling all the things I want in my life, the things and people and practices that make me feel good, and folding them all in. Mmmmmm. Delicious.

May. 17th, 2015


(no subject)

This weekend was very good. Michael, Angela, Trent and I spent it relaxing after the semester's end. My house is a mess but I am quite at peace: this morning we even wandered through a big neighborhood garage sale.

Mmmmm, happy.

New and lovely

The semester is over.

My grades went in on Friday, and I have moved from my beautiful, large but remote office in the SSB to a smaller but very lovely office in a suite on another campus.

Last week I cleaned the suite and scrubbed it well: my RA helped me unpack program files and moved cabinets and furniture. I vacuumed up every bit of the dirt and made the place neat, clean and fresh. This seemed best, since the massive move of department people and objects around me had created lots of chaos and there was no indication that cleaning and arranging assistance would come soon.

Even though it was stressful to move during grading week, I got to create exactly the space I want. The last occupants left us with several lush, healthy plants, and I rearranged them all, putting two in my office.

Tomorrow I will help my counterpart unpack her office if she will let me, so our space can become even more harmonious and beautiful. Down the hall, my talented RA and another student I really admire who will now be joining me on a project have an office close to mine, and I'll check in with them as well.

I still don't have my own office keys and my desktop computer is not up and running yet, but I am quietly creating exactly the collaborative, enticing and useful suite that I want to work in. The benefit to chaos is that you are often left alone to explore your imagination and generate the most delicious and useful structures you can think of, and no one else is around to tell you not to try.

I'm already working on posters and wall art, and the aromatherapy diffuser is waiting to be pulled out and plugged in.

My new campus is vibrant, green, full of flowering trees and good smells and populated by many of my program's non-health track students. I have a feeling I will be much better connected to everyone now that I am on this campus.

Down the street is a full gym, and all around us are quaint little ethnic restaurants. A really good library sits across the street.

Additionally, I think I'll have close to 10 successful applicants for the health track this summer, over twice as many as last year and four times as many as was usual before I arrived. This is exciting---I can see my careful tending of this particular garden is starting to result in a bountiful harvest. Exciting!

May. 9th, 2015

Choose wisely

Love, Attention, Flow, Boundaries

I put this here because I think this is tremendously important for me to remember and integrate into my being.

It's an insight from my long-time, heart-of-my-heart friend K.

"...when we're so fully focused on relationship with another person/our surroundings/our activities that our ego (in the Jungian sense of that part of the psyche which mediates between our core Self and the world, and accumulates baggage and gets mistaken for who we are), falls away, we fall not only into Oneness, but also into a state where we are so fully in our integrity that it is hard to knock us off course.

In that state, it becomes easy to:

  • Feel an impersonal benevolence towards all beings

  • Feel Love and profound compassion for others which is not linked to personal liking

  • Identify and maintain healthy boundaries

  • Refuse to accept any form of insult or injury

  • Speak hard truths lovingly

  • Remain detached from the graspiness we usually experience around desired outcomes

all at the same time.

My friend J sent me a link to a Susan Piver which she talked about the placement of intense attention being love. This is what I wrote back:

OK, this articulates clearly something I've felt in different contexts:

Read more...Collapse )

So, to summarise:

When we're amidst all the baggage, our bodyminds have to scream at us to get our attention, so of course we react from a heightened sense of threat which is mediated through what we've been taught is appropriate and proportionate (ie. generally inappropriate and over the top, whether that means going ballistic or falling into passivity and paralysis, with all the consequent fallout).

When we're in Oneness, we've stepped away from baggage, so have clarity. Our bodyminds are sending signals we can hear properly at their appropriate volume, and so we're able to respond in ways that are appropriate (if not socially normal).

This is the classic kung fu movie sifu, who, having wrangled with their ego, is able to respond calmly, minimally, and with compassion from a place of deep power; their actions are small, their effects are huge. In these films, the hero's journey is always from ego to enlightenment; the final fight scene is always a result of the antagonist's refusal to recognise the destructive path of ego, and the hero wins by not engaging in struggle but simply placing their attention on and flowing with Oneness.

So that's as far as I've got with this stuff."

My very, very wise friend K.

May. 8th, 2015

Big shine

I know. It makes me happy.

"Darling Sabrina,

You are safe. You are protected. And you already have all that you need to have all that you want.    
Just call on me,

Your Inner Pilot Light"

May. 6th, 2015

...what is brain?

Emotions and Self-Soothing


Tender is good

Today I woke up thinking hmmm, it's not so bad having a very tender heart. it's true that some parts of life feel painful, but others are just beautiful, and a tender heart lets you feel the full extent of them both. It is a gift, tho sometimes a hard one. That's OK.

May. 5th, 2015


(no subject)

One more thing: just as I was wondering why all of these different religious practitioners and paths are appearing in my life, Mariksa, the Cuban healer, explained that for me, every spiritual path would have something to offer.

"When you are asked to pray to the Virgin, do it. When you are asked to make an offering to another God, do it. There are many wisdoms from every part of the world and they will all be important for you."

Then she had me repeat a phrase I don't yet understand, the gist of which seems to be about all paths offering something wonderful to explore.

Luckily, I recorded this. It's going to take several listening sessions to really begin the process of understanding.

Mariksa's Oshun Bracelet

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