Photos

Making Beauty

My top word for the week is “dank,” which evokes so much in so little space.

I was attending a conference for much of the early part of the week and simultaneously needed to meet a combination of expected and unexpected deadlines.

I had the delight and nourishment, though, of my daily practice and teaching.

Through making art — however we do it — we find the beauty that is there. Even in the circa 1974, tied for the second ugliest building on the National Mall, Frances Perkins Department of Labor Building before 8am on another dank morning.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Magic Carpet?

Do you ever stop to wonder about the ubiquitous, wildly patterned expanses of carpets at the big chain hotels?

What might be the reasons for such carpets?
1. The carpet designers all ingested some kind of substance that gave them visions?
2. Patterns hide the dirt better than solids?
3. The interior designer wanted to make sure that the hotel carpet could not possibly be like one you would have at home–thus giving some fantastical notion of the exotic?
4. The hotel wanted to make sure that if your eyes glazed over during some conference that the swirling of the patterns could draw you into some entrancing meditative state that you would associate with visiting the hotel?

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Found Exhortation?

Could you find your innards gorgeous–the blood, sinovial fluid, organs of digestion and elimination? What about your inner thoughts and memories, the ones you do not want to share?

That, of course, is not the point, here. What does it mean to be gorgeous inside? As a found exhortation it is to invite us to find (and seek) the wondrous and exquisite place where external (including your internal critic) judgment and values become irrelevant (even while recognizing that we are still working on things).

To find that gorgeous and glorious inner space and rest in it is one of the reasons to meditate–especially those of us who have a tendency to hear at times all too loudly the inner and outer voices of criticism.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Snow and Blossoms (Morning Walk via the Capitol to Dupont Circle)

I got out of the house by 7:30 this morning because I knew the dusting of snow would not last long, and I wanted to enjoy the combination of blossoms and snow making every thing vibrate with beauty.  I was not disappointed.  The sun started to come out just after I had fully circumnavigated the Capitol.  By the time I got to Lafayette Square, the snow was all melted, but the blossoms sparkled even more.  It was such a glorious walk through the neighborhood, I was quite ecstatic, and at one point, I thought perhaps I was hallucinating when I first crested the Capitol grounds around 8am; from loudspeakers on the Mall (presumably there for Cherry Blossom Festival events), someone was blaring the Clash, singing “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Could I really have been hearing the Clash being broadcast on the National Mall at 8am on a Sunday morning?  I remembered thinking we were making a statement when we blared the Sex Pistols as we drove across the 14th Street bridge towards the Capitol on July 4rh in the mid-80s.  I remembered how disappointed my friends and I were when Joey Strummer disappeared the year I was living in London, and we didn’t get to see the Clash in Brixton. I allowed the flood of memories to rush in and then fade with the music.  I thought of all the years I have been walking around this city, and how many times it has snowed while the blossoms are in bloom–more frequent than one might think.

I watched the melting snow start to glitter in the sun and the blossoms vibrating with their ephemeral beauty.  And then I walked on through downtown, past the White House, and up to Dupont Circle, stopping to buy apples and mushrooms at the Dupont Fresh Farm Market before attending meeting for worship at Friends Meeting of Washington.

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I have had a more stressful than usual couple of weeks at the office. While I was walking into the office, I was thinking about how the more deadlines I needed to meet and the more difficult interchanges I had to bring to the most optimal resolution, the harder it was also to have energy to give to those who are in far greater need, though I seek ways to be of service.

When I saw the oversized half moon dwarfed by the cherry blossoms, it helped put things in perspective. Nothing I do immediately impacts life or death. A hard week does not mean much in my life as a whole, my tribulations are only so much play in the midst of the outrageous ground of all human being, human being is only one small part of life on this planet in this galaxy in this universe, and who knows how vast is the realm of consciousness. I smiled at the moon and the blossoms and thought of their beauty throughout the day.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Cherry Blossoms at the Japanese Memorial (and Abhuta)

When I was walking home in the gray chilly day, astonished and awed by the beauty and effulgence of the cherry blossoms as if experiencing them for the first time though I have been witnessing them blossom here for over 25 years, I thought about the principle of abhuta.

Abhuta, which means wonder, is one of my favorite sanskrit words. It is one of the important aspects of the Anusara alignment principle of “opening to grace.” When we approach things freshly and with wonder, then we will not only experience more delight in our daily lives, but we will be more open to learning something new from what we experience over and over again, both on and off of our mat.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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0herry Blossoms in the Rain

As I have walked around town enjoying the spring surge of blossoming trees, I found myself remembering that our most famous cherry blossoms were a gift from the Japanese, which remembrance sent a deeper yearning to help send healing.

At one sunny, pink-blossomed drenched moment yesterday, I found myself asking how could one’s heart not reach out to a people who brought us such beauty. I then thought that this country had no problem incarcerating “those” people on “our” soil and bombing their country when the arrival of the gift of our famous cherry trees was still in living memory. At that time, “they” had become our country’s enemies because of the actions and statements of those in power. The gift had become irrelevant in the context of war.

The peril in both thoughts is that they distance us from opening and relating to the essential identity and humanity in all of the individuals we meet of various nationalities and alliances–whether in a time of gift-giving or in a time when we cannot abide the actions or ideas of those in power.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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First Look at the Garden

Here is what is coming up from last year–perennials, volunteers, or things I planted in the fall (in order photographs appear and from front to back and left to right within photos):  ruby chard, hyacinth, oregano, strawberry, cilantro, garlic, beets, brussels sprouts, kale, mizuna, parsley, arugula, lemon thyme, italian flat leaf parsley, echinacea, garlic, roses, spring onions, chives, mache.  I will be planting seeds in the morning.

 

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