Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Heart Restoration

Small and unexpected flash of insight this morning while doing a Kundalini yoga exercise for opening the heart: an open heart not only allows us to receive others and the world with curiosity and compassion, it also helps us feel old hurts we have (usually unconsciously) held there, and let them flow out with the exhale. No "once and for all" claims being made here- just an observation from the surprise of noticing small aches- like bruises on the heart- and letting them melt away to be replace with a rose-coloured wholeness. ~Oriah

I had labelled this photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming "Heart chakra" because of the stupendous colour- just seemed right for this post. :-)


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Waking Up with Joy

Some days, grace saturates my dreams and follows me into wakefulness. And I am quietly alert, smiling even as I open my eyes filled with a joy that does not deny the pain of the world or the trials and tribulations of one small human being. And I am filled with awe at having a life to live, of being an ensouled body/embodied soul.

I cannot make this happen- it is a gift that cannot be earned. And, of course, there are other mornings, mornings when I wake up worrying for the world and those I love, trying to pull away from small aches or searing pain, wanting to lodge a complaint with Anyone-In-Charge.

Remembering this makes me smile this morning as I whisper into the half-light, "Thank you."  ~Oriah

Another spectacular photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Sitting, Settling

The Grandmothers of my night dreams, old women rapped in wool shawls and bright blankets, their black eyes gleaming in the firelight, never use long sentences where three words will do.

Lately, it’s been, “Sit and settle.”

I think of Lao Tzu’s admonishment to be still and let our mud settle, consider what we should or should not “settle” for, remember how I did not fight for a fair settlement when divorce was desired. I wonder about settlers and settlements, ideas of staying put, settling down, settling in for a long and unavoidable wait. . . . 

I turn back to the Grandmothers full of questions.

One of the oldest speaks before I make a sound. “Oriah.” I turn to her and she speaks slowly as if to someone hard of hearing. I hear the sigh behind her words and see her small smile. 

“Sit and settle.”  ~Oriah (from a dream last night)

Another beautiful sunrise photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Being Home

Sitting at home reading, I paused to stretch for a moment and thought, "Ah, it's good to be back home." The thought startled me because, well- because I haven't travelled anywhere. And clearer than the thought was the feeling- that feeling you get after a long trip. No matter how well the trip has gone there is a lovely letting go when you return home and sink into the scent of familiar rooms, notice the way the late afternoon light brings out the dark wood grain of the tabletop, the way your bed feels warm and welcoming.

I'm curious about this feeling- why it arises now, in what way I have perhaps wandered from my "home" - inner or outer. If you've read any of my writing you know that I have faith in our deepest longing. And perhaps all soul longing could be described as wanting to go home- to ourselves; to a sense of belonging; to knowing our own belovedness and feeling the presence of the Beloved that never ceases to reach for us.

I don't know what made this feeling arise when it did, but I do know that we don't earn our homecoming- it is a gift, grace, unearned and unconditional. For reasons I do not understand, in that moment, as I set my book aside and sat quietly I became available to something that is possibly always there. And for this, I am deeply grateful. ~Oriah

The wonderful photos of Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming always remind me that this earth is my home.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bearing The Unbearable

My dear friend, Peter, who recently lost his wife, Diana (also a friend,) sent me this quote. It takes my breath away with its honesty about the hardest moments in a human life:"To have finally dealt with suffering is to consume it into yourself. Which means you have to, with eyes open, be able to keep your heart open in hell. You have to look at what is, and say 'Yeah, Right.' And what it involves is bearing the unbearable. And in a way, who you *think* you are can’t do it. Who you *really* are, can do it. So that who you think you are has to die in the process.~ Ram Dass

For myself, in the worst moments my only hope of doing this comes when I can be very still and drop into a sense of being held by a Sacred Presence that is larger than and yet within all that is. My willingness to even try is encouraged by the incredible resilience I have seen in others who have borne the loss of children and partners, and severe pain in body and mind. My prayers in those moments are simple- are, for myself and others, "Help," and, "Thank you." ~Oriah

Deep gratitude for this photo of a thawing lake from Karen Davis from Open Door Dreaming. It reminded me of what happens when part of the body that has frostbite (for me growing up in Northern Ontario, part of my face, and once, a few toes) thaws. It can be a painful as feeling returns, but the sensation is what lets you know it will be okay


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Finding a Way Forward Together

Sometimes, if we can be very still, eyes wide open, silencing the inner commentary for just one moment, we might see somethings we're missing.

Like the crazy beauty and unbelievable resilience of human beings,

The resurrection of the sun each morning,

How even those we oppose- those with "positions" different than our own- love their children.

Oh, I'm not hoping or wishing for endless harmony. I never really was a Kum ba ya girl.

But, I try not to protect my heart by pretending the children who are dying in the war in Syria, and schools in America, and the young indigenous man shot on a farm here in Canada are not all "our" children.

And what would we not do to protect our children?

There are times to stand up and shout, and times to be quiet and listen deeply. Of course I've sometimes gotten that wrong-  had something to say when I needed to listen; hesitated to speak up when something needed to be said, or shouted, or sung by a solitary voice or in unison by thousands.

At night as I drift into sleep something touches me- a larger Presence, the Beloved, the God whose Love I have known since always- and I know that in some way, deep at the core of Life, everything is and will be okay.

Knowing this, I can see without fear that here and now, in this shared world, there are things that are not okay, things that sacrifice children, things that we must change.

Decades of experience has eroded my certainty that I have the solutions, but deepened my conviction that we can find a way forward together. ~Oriah


Gratitude to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for this image of the early morning light, illuminating the darkness.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Gift for You

This link to a TED talk by Valerie Kaur is my Valentine's Day gift to you. In it Valerie reminds us-"Love is more than a rush of feeling that happens to us if we are lucky. Love is sweet labour- fierce, bloody, imperfect and life-giving; a choice we make over and over again." Her stories of being a mother, a person of colour, and a civil rights lawyer help us see that the love that refuses to exclude ourselves, others and yes, even those who oppose and hurt us, is revolutionary. That love can transform our shared world. 
May it be so. ~Oriah 


https://www.ted.com/talks/valarie_kaur_3_lessons_of_revolutionary_love_in_a_time_of_rage

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

To Love What Is Mortal

My friends, I had truly thought I would rejoin you here on Monday after my break from being on line. However, a dear friend unexpectedly died on Saturday and my heart has been fully engaged with that deep loss. I will return when I am able. The words that keep going through my mind like a mantra are those at the end of Mary Oliver's poem "In Blackwater Woods:"
"To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go."
May death, when it comes, remind us to live this wisdom with open hearts and minds. ~ Oriah
As always the beauty captured in the photos of Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming slows my breathing and helps me be in the moment.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sitting with the Silence and the Snow

I am going to take a little time off line. The body is asking to be unplugged from the world -or at least from the flow of electronic information- for a little bit, and I have learned (the hard way) not to ignore what the body needs. In the meantime, I leave you with the latest poem I have had taped to my bathroom mirror. I do this to learn poems by heart, so I can carry them with me, so I can recite them slowly to myself as I walk through the snow. ~Oriah
The Sound of Snow
She asked me how to describe the sound
of snow falling softly in the mountains.
I stood among the flurries until the tears came,
until I couldn't stop them. Not even
if I’d wanted to,
and I didn’t.
And, after a good long while, I replied:
“You must let your heart break for want of love.
You must listen carefully when it does.
Whatever it is you hear then,
that is it;
That is the sound of snow falling,
softly,
in the mountains.”
© 2014-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Winter: Reflections by Snowlight"
Published by Hiraeth Press
Another beautiful photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming.