Category Archives: spirituality

twisted tree

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I quite like the effect of the Twisted Tree pattern that I’m knitting into my brown cardigan. Both fronts will have a tree, just above the bottom ribbing. I left out the seed stitch base so that the ribbing would flow smoothly into the trunk.

It adds a bit of interest, both in the knitting and the wearing. It’s rather amusing that the yarn colour is called “twiggy”! I had to lighten up the photo considerably so you could see the detail.

The book that this pattern came from was (I think) a Readers Digest book, 300 Stitch Patterns or something like that. Sorry to be vague, but it’s gone back to the library now.

The blue cardigan now has a partial sleeve. I’ve had to get out my second set of Denise interchangeable cables, as I had one break on me the other day and I need to fiddle around with the length as the sleeve diameter decreases.

As far as other news is concerned, Thursday was my busiest day last week. I started out by getting up at 6.30am so I could be at the SPCA by 8am. I was given two cute little dogs on leashes to load into the SPCA truck, plus one cat in a travel crate, to take to two different vets (for neutering – it’s a no-kill shelter). Driving the Ford pickup truck took some getting used to. I do have two Fords, and one is a manual/stick shift, so that was OK, but could I find the parking brake (handbrake)? Not at first. I searched around for it, and eventually found it down near my left foot – a pedal to apply it and a handle to pull to release it. New to me!

I had time to go home again and have lunch before going back out to a coffee shop to meet a friend (who I originally met at Taekwondo) and after that went over to another friend’s  home – the mum of my friend Anne who died last year.

In the evening Tai Chi Man and I had a book study meeting. That’s 4 commitments in one day – I used to think one a day was a lot!

Friday, it was so nice to be able to spend the day at home. I actually knitted on both cardigans, made my weekly meal plan and shopping list, and did some math with the boys. It’s good to have some balance.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Bill Hicks that one of my sons has attached to his bedroom wall……

The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace. – Bill Hicks

 

maybe, maybe not

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Have you ever heard the story (here’s a link) of the man whose horse runs away. The villagers say how bad it is, and the man replies, “Maybe, maybe not.” When the horse comes back, it brings three wild horses with it. What good fortune, the man is told, but he’s not convinced. His son is training the horses and has his leg broken. Oh, how terrible, the villagers say. Again, the man does not necessarily agree. When the emperor is looking to conscript men for his army, the son doesn’t have to go as his leg is broken – once again, it turns out that maybe it was a good thing he broke it.

The point of this tale is to illustrate that we shouldn’t judge what happens in our lives as good or bad. We don’t usually understand why things happen in our lives. Whether you believe in fate, or luck, or that we plan our lives before we are born into these bodies of ours, we can’t always see the big picture.

A small example of how this can happen….

Yesterday I did the shopping with my family and one of the boys picked out three packs of soycheese from the refrigerator at the health food store. After I arrived home, I noticed one was not vacuum sealed properly and in fact had green mould growing on it.

When WorldTraveller and I went out for a driving lesson this morning, we stopped by the store to exchange the mouldy one for a fresh one. While there, the woman at the till gave me a Sunday paper, which was free (they’re trying to attract new subscribers again). When I read it, I noticed an article that said that the trail we were planning to walk this afternoon was closed. Two mother bears and their cubs have taken up residence, no doubt attracted by the spawning salmon and wild berries.

So a block of mouldy cheese saved me a wasted drive!

I love what I’m learning with all my reading, discussion and contemplation about Zen and Buddhism. It’s all good. I am becoming less judgmental (definitely a work-in-progress), more mindful, more relaxed. Much better!

Release

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I’ve blogged about my love for Afro Celt Sound System before. Their song, Release, was the first one I listened to this morning when I put in my earbuds to listen to some music while cleaning. Heck, the ONLY music I have on my iPod is Afro Celt!

The lyrics just shook me into the present moment. This is what a fan site had to say…

RELEASE

Don’t think you can’t see me


Don’t argue amongst yourselves
Because of the loss of me
I’m sitting amongst yourselves
Don’t think you can’t see me

Don’t argue amongst yourselves
Because of the loss of me
I haven’t gone anywhere
But out of my body

Reach out and you’ll touch me
Make effort to speak to me
Call out and you’ll hear me
Be happy for me

Don’t argue amongst yourselves
Because of the loss of me
I haven’t gone anywhere
But out of my body

Reach out and you’ll touch me
Make effort to speak to me
Call out and you’ll hear me
Be happy for me

Reach out and you’ll touch me
Make effort to speak to me
Call out and you’ll hear me
Be happy for me

Notes: This is one of Simon’s top Afro Celt songs.  He describes it as “Proof of the healing powers of music and Sinead’s amazing shamanic qualities. A gift.”  In this song, founding Afro Celt member Jo Bruce (Jonas Asher Bruce, 9 February 1968 – 8 October 1997), who passed away from a massive asthma attack, is speaking to the band.  With the help of Sinead O’Connor, it was the last song written for Volume 2, provided the inspiration for the title of the CD “Release” and a healing force for the band after the tragic loss of Jo Bruce.  Iarla and James speak about the recording of this song in their June 2, 1999 interview with Nic Harcourt on KCRW’s program “Morning Becomes Eclectic”.

Before I knew all this about the band member dying, I was listening to those lyrics and thinking of Anne speaking to me from the other side of the veil. Shed a few more tears.

Ho’oponopono/Zen

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I’m sure I mentioned Ho’oponopono on this blog before. It’s a prayer or blessing that is used for healing. It has a number of meanings to me and, as you know, with energy work, intention is everything.

The words of the blessing are

I love you

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

I will be using these words as a mantra while I knit my prayer shawl. The Original Prayer Shawl pattern has a multiple of 3 stitches. Mine has four. This means that as I knit I can repeat silently to myself the four phrases for each set of four knit or purl stitches. Because I used a multiple of 8 stitches plus 4, I start every row with a Knit 4. (K4, P4) across the row, end K4. Really simple. Mindful (not mindless) knitting.

My view of the meaning of this blessing is as follows:

  • myself to myself (I am healing hurts against myself)
  • myself to others (I am healing my relationships with other people)
  • myself to the Earth and the Universe (I am healing any transgressions against nature)
  • on behalf of all humans to the Earth and the Universe

In this way, good karma is being created, which will benefit us all. My belief is that we are all connected. Anything that affects one person affects us all. Anything that harms Mother Earth affects us all. We are all part of one organism.

I don’t think I told you that a couple of months ago I received the Tao (pronounced Dow, rhymes with cow!). A couple of months before that, Tai Chi Man also received the Tao and invited me to do the same. Since that ceremony, I have been going to a book study where we are reading and discussing The Sutra of Hui-Neng – Grand Master of Zen. This is led by Master Yeh and his wife, who are Buddhists.

I have to say that knowing these people and reading the book, along with many other books on Zen and Buddhism, has changed my attitude enormously. Living in the present moment, being aware of what’s happening right now, not dwelling in the past or worrying about the future, really paying attention. I catch myself on autopilot, and then I realise how much of life we miss because we’re not paying attention.

Washing the dishes can be just that, not thinking about what I’m going to do tomorrow. Eating breakfast alone, without reading a book at the same time. Knitting, without thinking about what I “should” be doing next. Multitasking is out – monotasking is in. I cannot really listen to my husband or child talking to me if I’m staring at the computer screen.

The beauty of Zen is that you don’t need to do anything special, like sit in the lotus position for hours every day. You bring it into your everyday life.

Thank you for reading.

energy work

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Crumbs! It used to be that the weekend was for relaxing, but it seems like I have things switched around. My week was moderately active – I took the two younger boys to their PE session on Thursday and then to the BMX track on Friday – I can’t remember what we did before that (c: but it wasn’t crazy busy.

Yesterday, however, I was on the go from start to finish. Tai Chi Man and I had to get out earlier than usual to do the shopping and the library trip so that I would have time to prepare food for a potluck supper. Being vegan, of course I take more than the average amount of food. Most people bring one dish – I take two or three. I have to be prepared for the eventuality that the only thing we can eat is what we bring ourselves!

This time, it was a vegetarian potluck (however someone obviously didn’t get the message and brought shrimp, though maybe they’re one of those people who think that vegetarians eat fish).

So I spent a couple of hours making an apple pie*, cutting up vegetables and making guacamole, and making a green salad and a jar of dressing. And I took a couple of boxes of shop-bought crackers too.

The drive for the potluck was a couple of hours each way…but it turned out to be worth it. We went to the house of some friends of Tai Chi Man who he knows through one of his regular groups that he meets with. Once everyone had arrived, Tai Chi Man gave a short intro on the Oneness Blessing, then went around and gave the blessing to all present.

After that, we had dinner. I mostly ate what I brought though our hostess had made an excellent lentil dhal too. And I almost forgot – someone else had brought some really ripe strawberries which I couldn’t leave alone.

The evening was just incredible. Two women had brought zero point energy wands with them (I just found that link – I don’t know if this is the same  company or brand that they were using last night). One woman drew circles in the air above my hand and I could immediately feel heat and vibration. Some of the people there wanted healing, so they took turns sitting in a chair in the middle of our circle, having the wands circled over them, while others beat drums and other musical instruments (Native American medicine drums). There was some chanting too. Very powerful energy.

Before we left, Tai Chi Man and I were invited to go into the circle and we sat with our eyes closed while everyone drummed and chanted. What an experience. I would be happy to spend more evenings in such divine (no pun intended) company.

We arrived back home after 11pm, but it was a while before we got to bed. I slept really well (the previous night I was wide awake between about 3.30 and 5.30am).

This morning, I had to go to my cleaning job. Last week, it was slow-going. I had to find out what needed doing, where everything was kept, I didn’t have a system so I was going from one end of the building to the other lots of times. This time, it went much faster.

Now I feel like I’ve been worked over! It’s a very physical job. I’ll be fine after a hot bath and another night’s sleep though.

Thankfully I don’t have any more commitments for the rest of the day, except for a log fire (it’s not really that cold but it’s still nice to have) and a Harry Potter movie on DVD. And hopefully a little knitting – I’m on the straight stretch of the body heading up to the armpits so I don’t need to concentrate.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, and I’ll come back and visit with you again soon.

* The kids were very envious of the apple pie and totally disgusted that I had gone to the effort of making one and they weren’t going to get any. But there were three pieces left over at the end of the evening so they did end up getting some, AND I’m going to make another one today. Note to self: next time, make two!