Journey Into Stillness: Beginnings & Endings

It has been 40 days since the beginning of our journey into stillness.  Whether you sat beneath a bodhi tree, welcomed the dawn with a favorite mantra, or simply contemplated the idea of meditation, you are welcome here, at the place where one ending and a new beginning meet.

We are surrounded by endings and beginnings, some obvious, some not.  In a world that is constantly shifting, constantly changing, constantly evolving, it is important to mark the transitions, to notice when the gate swings open and we walk into a new life, a new day, or simply a new moment in time.

Breathe into the changes.  Find your sea legs; let yourself bend with the curves.  It is all a dance, and you were born to be a dancer.

Wherever you find yourself in your own journey to stillness, I hope it brings you joy and peace.  As for me, I will continue practicing the ways of stillness.  I will continue watching how one ending flows into a new beginning.  I will continue to fall deeper in love with the moments that hold me, and to share with you what I find along the way.


Athena & The Olive Tree

The Greek goddess Athena, wise and fair, was born from the head of her father, Zeus.  This came to pass because of a prophecy that any child born of Metis, goddess of wisdom, and Zeus, first among gods, would grow to be even more powerful than its father.  Fearing such a fate, Zeus swallowed Metis before she could bear him a child.

Some time later, Zeus began to suffer pounding headaches, which were remedied only when his head was cleaved open by a mighty ax.  Athena leapt forth, fully grown and fully armed, from her father’s head.  She became his favorite daughter, a patroness of the arts and a counselor of heroes.

At the time that the great city of Athens was founded, Poseidon, god of the seas, and Athena each coveted the city.  To determine which god would be granted the city, the citizens decided that both Poseidon and Athena would give the new city a gift; the giver of the best gift would be awarded the city as his or her own.

Poseidon struck the earth with his triton, causing a salt water spring to appear on the dry land.  Although beautiful and impressive, the salty water was of little use to the people.  Athena’s gift was more subtle–an olive tree.  But although the tree was small and delicate, its gifts were great:  shade, olives, oil, wood.  The city was given to, and named for, Athena.

The simplest gifts are often the greatest.  They may be hidden, they may seem mundane, yet these are the things that nourish our lives and give them meaning.

And speaking of beautiful goddesses born fully grown (and armed) from their father’s head… today is Father’s Day and my sister’s birthday.  So this post is both for my father (first among gods, but never afraid of his children’s potential) and my sister (a goddess of fire, passion and creativity if there ever was one).  I love you both.


How we do anything is how we do everything.

Do everything with love.

It is always a choice, and one that must be made again and again.  Others may not notice.  If they do, they may think that the choice to love, to be patient, to forgive, was easy–easier than battling, easier than fighting.  It is true that it gets easier.  But choosing to love is the path of heroes, not the path of least resistance.

Who we are is expressed in every single thing we do, in each moment of the night and day.  So often we forget who we are and instead react to what is around us–we meet impatience with impatience, anger with anger, rather than letting our true natures shine through.

Think of a sunflower–no matter what is going on around it, a sunflower takes in sunlight and water and turns it into beauty.  It does not bloom for some and not for others.  It shares what it is with everyone.  Be like a flower, spreading love and light–even to those who might not deserve it.  You will feel better, they will feel better, and moment by moment the world will grow in beauty and light.

Do you know someone like this?  My mother is my sunflower–warm and sunny even on a cloudy day.  You can be this way, too.  Just keep turning towards the light, the way a flower follows the sun.  See the clouds as an opportunity to shine, rather than an excuse to despair.  Act always from your true nature, your beauty, your kindness, your truth, and watch love grow around you.

Happy Birthday, Mom, and thank you for being a beacon of light in my life.  I love you.