12 Feb

vipassana rising

I was online reading information about certain aspects of spiritual enlightenment. I came across the word, Vipassana. The meaning is explained below, which I pulled from online.

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Vipassana – The Essence Of The Teachings

Vipassana is an ancient pali word meaning the right way to SEE / the correct way to see / the special way to see / observation / total, holistic observation / meditation / observation of the reality ‘as it is’ / observing ‘what is’ / insight.

Vipassana is the experiential aspect of the teachings of all Buddhas. Needless to say such an observation, such an enquiry into the truth is universal, non-sectarian, non-ritualistic, non-dogmatic and liberating. It is an art of living.

Vipassana is not a technique or a ritual to be followed mechanically. Vipassana is a process of observation – observing the truth from moment-to-moment – observing the truth as it is.

Looking Within-Living And Dying, From Moment To Moment

I like this idea. The process of observation is such a critical aspect of authentic human interaction and self understanding. I spend a lot of time observing my environment and how people react to their existence. How people define self is complex and fascinating.

Most can only see the world as they are, through their experiences, knowledge and education, while others, although tethered to self and unable to avoid how the self defines that which exists outside of it, still try to see what is, that which exists in its state of being beyond our observations and opinions about it.

In many ways, I live Vipassana, even though I did not have a word for it. Still, it is one of many levels of living/being. Living is layered, with aspects of existence that ebb, flow, surface, sink, solidify, dissipate and generally change with each new thing we discover/learn. So even as we observe, we are being observed. We meditate and are meditated on. We seek as we are being sought.

There is so much to this life, yet so little. Nothing is ever really solved. But we continue to see in the best way we know how.

11 Feb

stay in your lane and laugh

Writing Prompt: Quirk of Habit

Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.

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Don’t…touch…me. Really, don’t.

I dislike when people have no regard for my personal space. I’ve noticed that there are people who have the habit of thinking it is ok to put their hands on others without their permission. I’m not some new found toy or novelty. I’m a person with my own ideas and emotions and way of seeing life. It should never be assumed that the way one does things is the way I do things. Therefore, don’t touch me. Folks need to take their habit of touching others without their permission elsewhere.

I love people who have the habit of laughing at the most sinister things about life. I know, weird. But I find it amusing. I realize they are not laughing because it is literally funny, but because if they don’t laugh, they might cry. These kinds of people I find to be the most compassionate because they are incredibly sensitive to what is going on in the world and still find ways to keep a smile on their face, albeit at the most awkward time.

As for me, I hate that I am a procrastinator. It’s disgusting to say the least, and a really horrible habit. I’m working through it.

I enjoy rubbing ears. What a crazy habit, right? Every time I go near my sweetie, I rub his ears. I’m pretty sure he likes it, and I find it incredibly soothing. So there you have it, I’m an ear rubber. Don’t laugh at my quirky habit now made public.

10 Feb

the magic in time

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There is magic in my hips
I sway left

There is magic in my feet
I sway right

My wand sprinkles stardust
My soul remembers dance

My magic can’t stop hate
But it can stop time

Time is what we need
My wand turns counterclockwise

Tap three times on the black top hat
Time, the illusion, disappears

09 Feb

looking back to the future

Writing Prompt: Second Time Around

Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

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Looking Backwards: 2000-1887. It is a utopia by Edward Bellamy that feels like home. I’m drawn to works that create the possibility of balance, freedom and peace between humans. Far too many books focus on why and how we can’t get along, but so few create something positive, a way for us to live that does not disenfranchise anyone, but instead, uplifts and provides everyone with everything they need without a monetary system. I could read this work dozens of times and never feel bored. It is one possibility within a universes of infinite possibilities and ways of living positively that does not include having to fight against an already established dystopia.

08 Feb

there is no place like home

Writing Prompt: Our House

What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.

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I remember hot stones beneath my tiny four year old feet. The sun was made for me, and my feet were made for the hot stones. The water pump was just down the hill from the house. I would follow my grandfather there and watch him pump water to bring back to the house. A large brown water barrel sat on the porch catching rainwater my grandmother used when no one felt like walking to the pump.

There was no electricity, no running water and the outhouse was several paces away from the small brown house built by my grandfather’s hands. He lived and died in that house, his loving creation for my grandmother and his eight children, my aunts and uncles. By modern standards, my grandfather’s house would be considered a shack. But it was home, with beautiful solid wood floors my grandmother shined with a coconut brush.

My memories of the house are vague, but the tiny red flowers that decorated the yard which I used to make jewelry are fresh in my mind. I virtually lived outside, enjoying the fresh island air of my land beneath Cuba.

The house smelled like “food”, our provisions that were actually a store of white yams, yellow yams, dasheen, yucca, salt fish, ackee and several other traditional foods that cooked collectively we’d call, food. We wouldn’t say, “Would you like some yellow yam, boiled green banana and dumpling?” We’d say, “Would you like some food?” We always knew what that meant, a great meal.

I don’t remember sounds inside as much as I remembered sounds outside. Life was all around us on our over one hundred acres of land. Everything alive shared what my grandfather grew—mangoes, ackee, jackfruit, star apple, sugar cane, breadfruit, soursop, sweetsop, gineps and many more I cannot begin to name. He was a beekeeper, so honey straight from the honeycomb was my first experience with natural, unprocessed, unadulterated honey. I remember sucking the honey out of the tiny holes and many years later wanting to return to that experience.

I would often sit, shaded by giant banana leaves and sing. I sang all the way to America where memories followed me and would cling to me. Life in Jamaica as a child has left me with many fond memories that I cherish and am now writing about in a coming memoir. I’m not sure where I’ll take it, but I’ll let the sometimes fleeting and sometimes elephantine nature of memory take it where it wants to go.

07 Feb

eat to find ecstasy

Writing Prompt: Live to Eat

Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?

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I eat to live and within that, find ways to enjoy it. I enjoy both cooking and preparing raw meals that are tasty and unique. Experimenting with herbs allows me to create tongue tantalizing flavors that cause the eyes to close in ecstasy. When I create a meal, I put my whole heart into it. I love to see when people enjoy what I create and come back begging for more. Although I eat to live, I am still picky about the street food I ingest. The majority of public preprepared food establishments are disgusting, with bland food that is poorly prepared. When I find a spot that prepares food well, I am willing to travel miles on the days when I don’t feel like preparing my own meal. Good food is hard to find; therefore I am willing to make a trip to wake up my taste buds.

The longest I’ve traveled for a good meal has been two hours. Don’t look surprised. When a restaurant seasons its food with pixie dust and witches magic, the tongue becomes a compass.

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