There is magic everywhere

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I was once again inspired by an entry on my page-a-day calendar from Buddha Doodles entitled “There is magic everywhere.” The challenge for all of us, especially in these strange and sad days, is to be open to a little magic. On by bike rides I get to see the magic of spring each day. Arizona springs are brand new to me. There are so many blooming bushes and cactus. I have been surprised by their beauty. I have also seen the magic of rebirth that comes with spring. So far I have seen a mother quail with her twelve little chicks attempting to fly, multiple mother ducks swimming with their ducklings and mother chipmunks attempting to corral their offsprings into their burrows. Sometimes it’s hard to keep my eyes on the path with all of the activity that surrounds me. I remind myself each ride to be open to the magic around me.

I recently had a magic moment at our complex’s pool. I noticed a woman who was completely absorbed in her book. She wore a large brimmed sunhat and was lying on her stomach. She seemed oblivious to what was going on around her, as she was engrossed in her book. As I looked at her, a beautiful black and gold butterfly flying around her. It hovered over her for several minutes, and only seemed to be interested in her. A few minutes later we were asked to vacate the pool for routine cleaning. I found myself standing beside this woman as we waited to be let back in. I shared with her what I had seen…That this butterfly seemed to have singled her out for a visit. She looked amazed and told me that her son had died just one month ago. We both teared up. I described the butterfly to her and said it was truly one of the most beautiful ones I had ever seen and the only reason I mentioned it to her was that it only seemed interested in her. She shared with me the book she had been so engrossed in. ‘Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child.’ It was truly a magical moment. I felt honored that even though she had missed the magical moment herself, I could be a conduit to it. We now smile warmly each time we see each other. A magical moment that we now share.

Can we continue to look for signs, and the magic in the moment despite these times we are experiencing? Police officers kneeling with demonstrators gives me hope. A thousand phones lit up for 8 minutes and 46 seconds gives me hope. Change must truly happen. We cannot forget this moment. We must keep looking for the magic despite the darkness and find our way to peace, change, understanding and healing.

Future Thinking?

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It’s an interesting exercise to consider how much time you spend with thoughts about the future. Most of us like to do a little planning, and even wishful thinking, about what’s coming up next. But at a time like this it’s hard to say what will be going on next year, next month, or even next week.  

For us, future thoughts are mostly about our daughter’s wedding in October. Planning that kind of event truly requires future thinking.  Other than that we have no plans.  We have things we would like to do, like trips to see friends and family. But it feels premature to make concrete plans that aren’t absolutely necessary.  

The future has never been a guarantee, yet we have taken it as if it is.  This pandemic has really brought home the idea of uncertainty.  But what if it has also provided us a gift? What if we all took this opportunity to focus on the present, instead of the uncertainty of the future? A reboot of the brain to stay closer to the now.  Concentrating on the day we are in, and trying not to stray too far from the moment  The present is the gift.  The gift is the present.

Today

Today I’m flying low and I’m not saying a word.

I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,

the bees in the garden rumbling a little,

the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten

and so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.

Quiet as a feather.

I hardly move though really I’m traveling a terrific distance.

Stillness – one of the doors into the temple.

–Mary Oliver

Metta Meditation

One of the most beautiful ways to meditate is by doing a metta meditation.  Metta actually means ‘loving kindness’.  It can be done as a way to nourish yourself or a loved one.  It can also be done for someone you don’t know well like your favorite barista or grocery clerk.  It is also done for the world at large. At a time like this it really resonates with me and I am not alone in feeling this way. I have been generously included in a daily metta with a group of yogis from Prairie Yoga in Lisle, IL.  My dear friend, Jen Botka, has been leading her senior yoga class via text in a daily moment of metta which also includes 3 OMs and 3 deep breaths since the quarantine began. It’s a 5 minute pause in the day to send love and wellbeing out to the universe.  If you would like to join us, set an alarm for yourself for 3:00 pm central, 4:00 pm eastern, 2:00 pm mountain and 1:00 pacific.  Find a quiet place and place hands at the heart.  Connect to your breath and allow the mind to quiet.  Repeat these phrases to yourself and add 3 OMs and deep breaths if you like.  

May all sentient beings be mentally happy

May all sentient beings be physically happy

May all sentient beings be safe

May all sentient beings have ease of well being

On any given day you could change the wording to accomodate what you need.  If you need some lovingkindness for yourself, change the wording to: May I be mentally happy…

If you know a loved one that is in need change it to: May John Smith be mentally happy…Etc.

Let me know if you are joining in and spread the word! It’s what the world needs right now