Saturday, January 5, 2008

Welcome 2008. May this be the year that peace guides the planet. My life has always been a bit weird and wonky, but I have to say that the past five years have been particularly interesting. During one especially trying time when I was just trying to survive the next hour I happened upon a Music CD that helped me to do that. The CD is Jai Uttal's Loveland. Jai's format for this cd is Kirtan. Kirtan is Hindu call and response chanting. I was introduced to this form of Bakti a few years back. I find it to be an intense form of chanting. Practicing Kirtan has brought my heart to a place of devotion and has supported and enhanced my other meditation practices. For Kirtan in the Pioneer Valley I recommend Dave Russell who offers loving Kirtan every Sunday at Yoga Sanctuary in Northampton Massachusetts. The Kirtan starts at 7:30.

Every year for the past 10 or so I pick a theme to guide my actions throughout the year. For 2007 this was Gratitude. I posted notes around my house and on my date book that said - GRATITUDE - remember to say Thank You. I have found that doing this really gets the idea across, and eventually the behaviour becomes a habit. This habit then becomes a trait. And so the alchemy of my personality gets transformed. For 2008 I have decided to place PEACE as my theme. I will mediate on peace, ask how my actions promote the idea of Peace, and walk the path of peace.

The following poem is from the Loveland CD and I am honored to share it with you.

Peace to the inner and outer environments
Peace to the five elements within and without
Peace to this body
Peace to this mind
Peace to this huge ocean of emotion and feelings
By the power of the truth
And for the happiness of all beings
May we have a culture of Peace
A society of Peace
A world of Peace
Where we can have days of Peace
Nights of Peace
Sleep with Peace
Dreams of Peace
By the power of the truth and for the healing of all beings
May we have Peace in all moments and in everything.

Excerpted from
Jai Uttal - Loveland

Yule Blessings

What a wonder winter can be here in the Northeast. The temperature has been down to zero on some days. I am heating my house with wood with oil as a backup system. For Yule I have cut a tree down from my backyard and decorated it with small lights and many years worth of ornaments. My favorite this year is a small pale pink doe that is stretching her neck up so that her head points straight up. She has roses painted on her side and is very sweet looking. This holiday season I have been working at the Fiber Arts Center in Amherst Massachusetts. What an incredible place! Every day I am there I stand in awe of the artists who the Gallery and shop represent. There is so much creativity here in the Pioneer Valley. The staff and customers are some of the sweetest folks you will ever meet. As I dance among the snow and ice here in the wonder-full north I send you all blessings and tidings of joy. May peace guide you and love find you!