Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Building a Strong Container/Becoming a 'Vessel'

What does it mean to become a vessel--to open myself to be a container for what wants to come through, what is pushing into the world through me?

What do I do, how do I behave, when I sense that these interior walls are being shored up, fortified--and that soon, so soon, something molten and pure will be poured into the space that I'm holding in the world?

What do I do?

How did I imagine that being filed with light would be an experience of bliss? Why, when in reality, it is a constant burning, a hot dry wind that turns my parasol inside out and blows the papers I've so carefully, so artfully--so spiritually-- arranged, off the tabletop, scattering them like these useless thoughts across the lawn?

Oh, where did it come from--this idea that enlightenment would end all pain and struggle, and the need to learn, to cope, to grow? What was I thinking? Did I really think enlightenment would make me immune to suffering? To death?

How terrifying it is, this realization: That I am being asked to live fully, to fill my place in the world!
How marvelous and thrilling, at the same time.

In her book, Spinning Straw into Gold, Joan Gould writes, "To be a good 'vessel' is a term we deplore these days and apply only to women, as if it implies passivity, but the opposite is true: to be a good vessel requires willfully emptying oneself of everything but a single intention. It requires stillness. And it demands constant vigilance to protect the virgin self--the contained and therefore continent self--against intrusion. Contents, no matter how valuable, are useless without a proper container."

As God commanded Moses, "Do not look upon me," each of us faces this challenge when we choose to become "enlightened." When we ask God, Make me an instrument--pour your light through my life--this is the challenge. For how do we, knowing what is trying to push into the world through us, build a strong enough container to hold it all? How do we let it in, let it through, let it shine without withering to a husk--to a pillar of salt--in its brilliance?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

At Panera

Under the iced tea spigot, someone has placed a page of loose-leaf paper covered with incomplete math equations: 1324 x 6; 1901 x 2; 9321 x 9… A piece of homework long abandoned; that school year complete without it; now blots up drips of iced tea left by careless patrons on our way to sunny beaches and this outdoor seating area where I sit, under a blue canvas umbrella, wondering if it will rain.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cold and Flu Feel Better Brew

Just thought Id share. This worked amazingly well for me and for Max, clearing our stubborn symptoms in one day. It also tastes good which made us drink enough to make a difference.

In large tea pot or large glass mason jar, combine:

Big handful Mullein Leaf - for mucous membranes, esp. throat - expectorant
Big handful Elder Blossom - said to support immune response to flu
1 tsp. dried Thyme - for congestion - expectorant
2 T. Nettles - to beef up immune system and blood
1 tsp. Cinnamon - to warm the body

Fill container with boiling water and stir. Cover and let steep at least five minutes.
Pour through a strainer and serve with generous tsp. of honey.

Note: It's important to use honey, which has antibacterial and immune-boosting properties, as opposed to sugar, which suppresses the immune system--or artificial sweetener, which has no purpose whatsoever in healing. If you can't have honey. skip the sweetener. The tea tastes lovely without it.

Note 2: If using a glass mason jar, remember to place a metal dinner knife or large metal spoon in jar before adding hot water. The metal conducts excess heat preventing the glass from cracking.

Feel better!