The Cubs and Not Knowing

108 years. Auspicious for any of us that may know the connection in spiritual circles.
108 years since the Cubs won a World Series Championship. There’s been a curse and years of drought. My grandmother was a die-hard Cubbies fan. My father often told the story of how he was visiting her in the nursing home after breaking her hip. They were watching a Cubs game together. She was red hot mad(because they were losing) and told dad to “turn the damn t.v off” and go home so she could rest. He was a good son so he turned off the game and headed home. The phone was ringing when he walked in the door. It was the nursing home saying grandma has passed after he left.

Dad only watched Cubs games. In the last years of his life after mom had died, and he was almost completely deaf, he would still watch the games with the sound off and the closed captions moving across the screen below the image of the baseball diamond. Once the regular season was over, that was it. He’d say, “What’s the point? I don’t care about the play-offs if the Cubbies aren’t in it.”

I’m still in shock. I can’t imagine how he would be feeling right now. I haven’t watched that many world series games over the years; never all seven. By the final game I new the names of every man on the roster, who was warming up in the bull-pen, what a check swing looked like and what made up the “strike zone”. It helps to live with a die-hard Yankees fan who I am schooled by during the regular season (if I ask), for any or all of the 162 games.

What is really staying with me since last nights final game and victory for the Cubs was the perfectly beautiful teaching of “not knowing”. In Buddhism we talk a lot about being mindful, being in the present moment, and not getting stuck in your own or someone else’s storyline. And you know what? It’s all right there in those nine innings. Or in the case of last nights seventh game, ten innings.

You should have heard the announcers, most of them retired baseball players themselves. It was stunning to listen; talk about an education. These fellas know their stuff. You want to understand pitching, listen to an retired pitcher describe how the starting pitcher throws, what are his best pitches (curve ball, cutter, change up). And the rest of the announcers giving their predictions. Cubs in six, Cubs in seven. Only one said Cleveland in seven.

The series began in Chicago with fans out of their minds with pure joy. 108 years for gosh sake and that damn curse of the billy goat. Legend has it the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago was asked to leave a game being played at Wrigley Field in 1945 because he stank of his pet billy goat, “Murphy”. And so it began.

There was no curse last night and the Cubs struck first. By the fifth inning it was Cubs up 5 to 1. And there were the announcers talking about the Cleveland team as if it already was in the past. And I kept thinking, “Don’t go getting comfortable, that’s not the kind of team Cleveland is.” I remember saying to my partner, “You think it’s over?” “Oh yea”, he answered with a fair amount of confidence. But I was sure, it’s not over, anything can happen. I realized I tend to be the kind of person that is more ready for something out of the ordinary to happen as opposed to the same thing always happening. I think that’s a good thing except when I’m wanting things to change/be different/keep moving…out of, I don’t know, boredom or routine or just simply wanting things to be different.

And sure enough, they tied the game, 6 to 6. And now it’s the end of the ninth  inning and it starts to rain. A seventeen minute rain delay and the Cubs come back to score two more runs. I was pacing. I asked my partner not to say anything, he was making me nervous. And then the third out happens, the game is over, the Cubs have won the WORLD SERIES and the players are jumping up and down and crying and laughing and hugging one another.

What a beautiful scene and I just kept thinking, “this is it!” This is exactly what life looks like every single day. Even when we think we have all the statistics, the history, the correct recipe for a win or loose scenario there is not one thing that is really going to tell you the outcome accept for watching each moment as it unfolds. Being in each moment. Causes and conditions and not just the things that are visible to the naked eye. No. Causes and conditions usually refer to and include everything that has come before that may (or may not) be related to what is taking place in each moment.

Everything affects everything else. My smile effects the world. My words, negative or positive have a warming or chilling affect. The love and warmth I share with my partner is generated for all sentient beings. The fierceness I feel for my grown sons spread far to other mothers and their sons (and daughters). How I treat a brother I haven’t seen in five years and just ended a thirty year marriage matters and the care and tenderness I feel for his situation ripples out to all those with a broken heart. The way I love my pained dog who’s been limping around with a torn ACL is generating deep connection and companionship for other four leggeds.

The four vows of the bodhisattva in the lineage I practice go like this:

Creations are numberless, I vow to free them.
Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to transform them.
Reality is boundless, I vow to perceive it.
The Awakened way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it.

A seemingly tall order for sure and yet, these aren’t commandments that, if not followed every instant, one will be struck down or punished. It is a guide for a way of living that includes everyone and everything.

There were at least 108 causes and conditions that came together last night in Cleveland that allowed the Cubs to win the World Series, (and probably at least another 108,000 more). Can we know what’s about to happen based on the facts/what we know/what we’ve studied/what we’ve been told? The announcer’s had no idea Rajai Davis would hit a 2 run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game. Not expecting the unexpected because you think, “I’ve got this. I know what this is about.”

Impermanence and interdependence: we are all inextricably tied together in the depths of our cells. Carl Sagan says, “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you first have to invent the universe.”Did the Cubs “know” they were going to win game seven and bring home the World Series trophy? Maybe. Or maybe they just play the game with heart and soul and a mindset of joy. They play for the fans, bringing their  emotion, physical ability, determination, focus and commitment. And maybe, all those ingredients came bubbling, churning and rising up, just waiting for that perfect moment to come together as the first baseman, Rizzo made the final catch for out #3.

May this joy and ecstasy reverberate throughout the world to everyone.

 

 

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This is the revolution; who IS slicing the sweet potato and a list

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The revolution is being televised and social media’d and interneted.
A new lexicon.
Arising –
A  reinvention.

Racism, white privilege, feminism, spiritual practice, the spectrum of sexuality and gender. Where does writing and connecting with the creative fit in?
Mentioning death: some mine/some ours.  Violence and terrorism and politics.
Silent reflection and contemplation.

This embodied female formed woman.

Lilith, the true Eve.

She watches the right hand slicing through the still hot sweet potato. Who is perceiving? Who is the watcher? If there’s no identification, will she cut herself?

Imprinting negotiations.
Authenticity
to be still and silent.
She called them “nasty-urshins”. She wanted to remember their names.

A perception
only of limitation>
Intersectionality
cis…binary….identified as woman.
Midwifing oneself
Part seer/zen priest(ess)/practitioner/creative/writer
photographer/mother/lover/friend.

promaja:(croation)
the wind felt when standing between two windows left open.

 

 

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on the wind; in the air

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Hummingbird called me awake this morning.
On the wind, in the air.
Intimate voices.
Self-inflicted wound/fatal.
Moving in all directions at the same time.
A storm between the temples.
“No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by his assassin’s bullet.” rfk
Controversy>
Tears, now.
We have the right to remain silent>
He said, “When you sit down to meditate, you sit down for everyone.”

Somatic illumination.

 

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Body as Lineage

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Born,
I am not worthy. I must pray to have the stain removed.

Questioning,
they turn their backs. I walk away.

Search.
I search for:
value,
self-acceptance,
non-invisibility/to be seen.
Ease within my own body.

To be heard.

I am told:
You need a teacher, a guru, a path, merit.
But here, in these bones and flesh of walking human anatomy.
There is body felt intuition. Shields are coming down/falling away.
This laboratory of body/biology and physiology, and anatomy; outside of time and space.
Outside of hierarchy, dominion, and patriarchal rightness.
Here – in this body made as woman. Evolving.
Codes of carbon transmuting into crystal (s).
Devoted to the continuous momentum of waking up.
Finding ease in this form; discordance a new friend.
Silence, a welcomed partner.

The codes of teacher change to: learner, mentor, ones who share.
Authority: yours and mine.
I trust. From beginningless time; shoulders upon shoulders.
And to this exact moment in time:
no longer standing ON shoulders.
Standing shoulder TO shoulder.

We wake up.

 

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Shear (ness)

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Shear.
Clarity. There’s a transparency.
A certain wisp of your breath.
Felt. Intimate.
I alight.
There is healing going on.
A healing.
I am healed. Wiped anew.
They are forgiven.
Discovered agency.

A pressure in the womb. The history of the universe.

Her story.
Yours/mine.
Mine.

And the tulips request another day.
Beautiful discipline.
I see you in your shoes.

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A Great Intimacy

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New bird songs, un-named, sing to me.
The wooden windmill spins a reply.
Emerging tulips’ imminent growth.
Grief shows itself in the bones.

The wooden windmill spins a reply.
Adobe colored dirt lines the undercarriage.
Grief shows itself in the bones.
Buddha smiles with grace in hand.

Adobe colored dirt lines the undercarriage.
The roar of the silence is questionable.
Buddha smiles with grace in hand.
Over completed fullness in the round.

The roar of the silence is questionable.
He demanded, “Bring me the fan of the rhinoceros.”
Over completed fullness in the round.
First there are two cushions and now there is a chair.

He demanded, “Bring me the fan of the rhinoceros.”
Embody the touch of an unknown assailant.
First there are two cushions and now there is a chair.
You assuage the hunger of the pleading wolf.

Embody the touch of an unknown assailant.
You cup your hand to my left cheek.
You assuage the hunger of the pleading wolf.
Long dead, where is the forgiveness?

You Cup your hand to my left cheek.
Intimacy is unbearably brilliant.
Long dead, where is the forgiveness?
They say the scent of roses means Mary is near.

Intimacy is unbearably brilliant.
First apricot buds blooming today.
They say the scent of roses means Mary is near.
I was raised to believe I was a saint.

First apricot buds blooming today.
I carry history on my left side.
I was raised to believe I was a saint.
I wish I knew their names.

I carry history on my left side.
She said, “I am not your teacher, only your preceptor.”
I wish I knew their names.
Shivaratri delivers merit one thousand times over.

She said, “I am not your teacher, I am your preceptor.”
The blue in your eyes makes my heart break.
Shivaratri delivers merit one thousand times.
There is no evidence of living in India.

The blue in your eyes makes my heart break.
New birdsongs, un-named, sing to me.
There is no evidence of living in India.
Emerging tulips’ imminent growth.

 

***Also, kindly posted over at Miriam Sagan’s website
https://miriamswell.wordpress.com/

 

 

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as things are

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So much.
So many things.
Situations. A herstory. A discovery.
Roses.
Things found.
Love.
Mysteries unveiled.
The veil removed/ Not completely/ but not opaque.
Any longer.
A gentle hand held to the cheek.

mine.
Humans gliding on frozen water and the little girl who wanted to be.
Something/someone.

Solar plexus spinning out rays
of the sun.

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the “up-tos” of this mercury flight

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A busy month for sure. Here we are in the last week of the first month of a new year. Fairly jam-packed so, I think listing is the most concise and accurate.
Writing class: sit/walk/write with Natalie Goldberg and my dear friend Annie.
And an infrequent unfight – with my partner. I thought I was perfect. What could I, how could I possibly have made you___________. Filling in the blank is what I do. But now, on the other side, I see that the story has gone on well past it’s day. In other words, drop it, Mary.

There are now five planets visible in the morning sky: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. A miracle.
David Bowie moved up into the ethers.
I work. I. I’m working with pain in the body. I never really knew what this meant. Who wants to feel, even more, what we’re? I’m already/always trying to get away from? This pain: here, then over there and mostly, when lifting my arms, and as they come together parallel with my eyes. And then up, up, over head to take off my shirt.
I have to make the animal noise/a release in order to move the arm just so. Just so I can complete the movement and remove the shirt/bra etc. And so on. I say, “aghhhh..”
And. Lucy comes running.
Embodiment.
Not grasping. No victim.
Who’s responsible? The jig is up.
“At some point,” he said, “we say, enough.” And then, although experientially, it may take the rest of our lives, you can’t/won’t be able to go back to sleep. You’re awake. Even though there are days, sometimes on end, where the eyes are droopy or closed tight shut, you cannot fully return to that ignorant slumber.

And I can and will go forward. Going forward.
Moving now.

and then he said, “when you sit down, the world sits down.” A new voice that called to me from ancient ancestry.

magic continuing

remain alert/listen

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Things heard & read

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“If only people could perceive the mystery in all life, down to the smallest thing, and open themselves to it instead of taking it for granted. If only they could reverse its abundance which is undividedly both material and spiritual. For the mind’s creation springs from the physical, is of one nature with it and only a lighter, more enraptured and enduring recapturing of bodily delight.”
“Letters to a Young Poet”, Bodily Delight ~~Rilke

A new moon in Capricorn today. My natal moon. Working with soft and hard edges. A second Saturn return. A first mercury retrograde of the new year. Chiron cracking me open. How much more is there to go?!

Finding myself preferring to be quiet. Not putting in my “two cents.”
Walking through a foot of snow, walking Lucy. Lucy meanwhile, bounding/leaping/chopping bites of the snow. We make green chili hot chocolate/green tea/ chai extra spicy. Things that are warming.

Learning how to edit, I delete a full paragraph. Refreshing. A pressure/pinpoint pain in left occipital ridge. I learned to place my hand on my heart as a preliminary moment to meditation. Then place hand on something solid. Then begin meditation.

I belong to an online meditation Sangha. A community. Men and women wanting to wake up. There is a virtual shrine room. I turn on my meditation app for the timer. I sit up straight, then bow. Mostly, I’m alone. Sometimes with one other. It’s funny, but the whole experience is so intimate. Seeing myself sitting on the computer screen, I know others are meditating somewhere. There is a feeling of belonging.

I see the lottery is up to $900 million. Wouldn’t it be nice if whoever wins would give the money to people who really need it? I think the possibilities are pretty obvious.

So much processing going on. Every word I say, shift of head, foot off ground, all my sitting still, move, move, move. Shifts and changes occurring completely of their own accord.

I’m looking for the lightness in all things. Clarity. clean and clear. Awake. No, not looking/not outside myself. Discovering what’s already there.
Inside. When we hear, “You already have everything you need.” Do we  have any understanding of what this really means? That’s what I’m finding out.

 

 

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And then there’s the rest of your life.
And mine.
Ours.

Now:
I can’t  seem to draw myself into a conclusion.
The direction is, synchronize body and mind to bring yourself into the present moment.
There is space.
And there is the heart center pounding and burning. I don’t seem
To have the appropriate mechanism. When something’s already occurred.
Taken place. And I imagine everything to be fine. And now I’m hanging.
Now, it seems, we are at a second phase. The first being that I would drink,
A lot. Because I was always putting.
Placing myself in the wrong.
Raw.
Now, we are at a deeper and more intimate level of awareness.
As the teachers have taught this day.
An elegance. Of discipline. Not running away.
Staying with the rawness. Even for moments.
One.
Here.
There. There. Sad-joy.  I find this is nearly and almost always, my every waking moment.
And now, there’s a line across my right eye. This has happened perhaps four or five times.
Over use of the eyes?
Does the line refer to a separation?
Of thoughts/ideas/feelings/understandings?
The feeling is extraordinary and unnatural.
Ouch.
Is that true?

Dissonant
Discordant
Undeliverable.
These too can be the doorway in.
To.
Me.
I remain hurting but perhaps I can hold the space for myself?
Ripped open.

There, the heart muscle can be found. Striations named as myocardium.
Beyond understanding the heart requires blood and electronic(s).
How can I understand, if I can’t understand more steadily how this main system of my body
Connects with the rest of the underlying organisms?

Oh, there it is.
Belonging.

“There is a resonant heart in the depth of silence. When your true heart speaks, the echo will return to assure you that every moment of your presence happens in the shelter of the invisible circle. These eternal echoes will transfigure your hunger to belong.”*

Now. No one can do this for me.
Not even you.
The heart breaks and reveals more.
More.
More .

He said, “catching the scent of something beautiful: we notice the brilliance of a flower, the inner experience of our loved ones”.**

I lay myself bare.

Eternal Echoes, John O’Donohue **Acharya Nick Kranz

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