August 2019

Dear One,

I cannot believe it is August and that I have been living in Florida for four months.
It has been both challenging and rewarding. It has been at times stressful and more often calm and peaceful.
I live on the top floor of my apartment house and I see rooftops, treetops and the most beautiful sky as it changes from day to night.,
or night to day. It is watching life... seeing the dark being infused with light.

What I now have time for is an opportunity for self questioning: "Am I free from anger, impatience, pride, frustration and disappointment?
Am I aware of what causes these reactions? Am I grateful? Do I live a life of loving compassion?"
I take a breath in and remind myself that this life is imperfect as am I and that there is more work to be done.
Then I read a book and it says: There is nothing to be done, everything is already perfect.

Now I have the time to look duality in the face.
I have been taught that forgiveness is imperative, not only of ourselves, but also of others if we are to achieve healing and an open heart.
Then I read that on the highest plane there is nothing and no one to forgive because on the "Absolute" level everything is perfect just as it is.
Zen Master Suzuki Roshi: "You are already perfect the way you are... and you can use a little improvement."
So life is indeed a puzzlement, a paradox.

About forty years ago Stewart Emery (in an Actualization Seminar ) told me;
"Instant gratification supports your belief in your own unworthiness."
"Understanding* is the booby prize of life." *(i.e., understanding alone does not create change)
"I will always support your excellence never your 'Shittiness'."
"Happiness is allowing happenings to happen and accepting things and people as they are."
"Life is imperfectly perfect* and so are you." *(or perfectly imperfect)

And now so many years later I realize that life is a point of view. Our thoughts create our experience.
Change your thinking and you will change your life.
I ask you: "Who and what informs your thinking? What do you know that cannot be challenged?"

Pema Chodron challenged the saying: "When the student is ready the teacher will appear." She says when the Soul is ready the teacher will appear.
I resonate with this. For me, my life, in this body, is predicated on the soul's yearning to bring love to where love is not. My teachers offered me this possibility.
And I have prayed to be a vessel for Gd's light and love. I am grateful for my teachers. I am grateful for my discipline and commitment.

So... what do you believe? What thoughts will bring you home to your heart?
For myself (Barbara), I have been letting go of the thoughts that limit me: the self-sabotaging addictive behavior that keeps me locked in defense, refusing to take responsibility for what is mine.
In the last four months I have been experiencing the magic of truly being a witness to my insistence that things be my way, and that "YOU"
or LIFE be different than it is.

There are moments that I am filled with light, with an "Aha!" ...and there is so much flowing energy.
It is in moments like this that I experience the meaning of the quote: "The peace of Gd which surpasses all understanding."
It is in this moment, when my mind is still, that I am marinating in a life lived in freedom from my self-deprecating ego.
It is a magical moment of remembering my source and that I am eternal.

Please join me in this Franciscan Prayer:
"O my Gd, you are here.
O my Gd I am here.
O my Gd, we are here.
And always, always, always you love us.
Always, always you love us."

Breathe this into every cell of your body. Feel the magic moment of love.

Dear Gd,
May my mind be a clear channel through which the thoughts of heaven
make their way into the world.

With Love and Blessings,

Please watch: Elaine Stritch - 'I'm Still Here'