Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Politician's Hand

I've had cause for much of my adult life to be in the presence of celebrities and politicians. This evening after a lovely dinner out among new friends, smiles and goodbye hugs were exchanged. My friends joyfully extended themselves, savoring our time together, thinking on fun times to come. The evening celebrated the opening of a meaningful, non-profit arts institution. We toasted the success of the woman who birthed the project: a remarkable, gifted, creative, humble, generous, and intelligent,...a politician to be. During jubilant farewells, I heard a strange statement, "So-and-so doesn't hug," referring to this magnificent young woman. The Politician doesn't hug. With her hand formally outstretched, far from her body, stiff and curt, she kept safe distance: in the important practice of protecting her personal space. Photographers will be everywhere as her rightful leadership path emerges. Her presence is meaningful to the press, and will become moreso. My heart ached. This extraordinary woman who is phenomenally generous with her personal funds, intelligence and energy supporting the arts, teaching people to fish rather than throwing promises away...this woman I will vote for when she is ready for office. But oh, how my heart ached. This magnificent woman, whose mission is Love, whose focus is productivity, wellness with strength and kindness...well. She doesn't hug. Is this OK for me as a citizen of this loving country? I have created the environment where leaders must so protect their virtues that the simple, truthful act of a heart-to-heart hug with a new friend cannot co-exist with a political dream. It's a powerful choice. I don't know her motive: if this is a sacrifice for her, or even if the 'no-hug' policy is politically motivated. But with much experience in celebrity folds, a famous 'hello' squeeze turns into an tabloid instant affair if photographed. Simple as that. Who are we becoming as a nation that open affection is prohibited for our leaders? For our entertainers? What about for beloved new friends of friends? I'm not sure. It just 'IS'. I'm a hugger. Heart to heart. Soul to Soul. Gratitude to Gratitude, and Song to Song. I send this noble woman a hug, silently, from my laptop right now. Over the airwaves. Through the void. I hope, in some small way, she feels my appreciation for all she is doing for the community. I look forward to seeing what she does for the world. I'll be behind her, sending her silent hugs all the way. Blessings, Robbi

Friday, November 2, 2007

On Overwhelm

What am I meditating for? My life is hectic now. If I act as I profess, I wouldn't even say these words. and true prayer, meditation, reflection, contemplation, (whatever your way) alleviates that. But here I go again with another day of overwhelm. Three portraits on my easel being finished simultaneously. I've returned to 3 quarters of full time school to complete my BFA. My home is being renovated (all floors torn up and no kitchen). I am far from peace. That said, I am incredibly grateful for the abundance all around me (received 27 calls on my birthday!), and yet I cannot get a grip! Six months ago, a friend invited me to Buddhist Sangha, and last night I finally stopped in. Sangha is the Buddhist practice of coming together to meditate. For an hour, we sat in silence-deep silence. With a strong man 'holding the space,' he brought us back from our thoughts continually. How turbulent my mind has become! Out of an hour, I had a total 12 seconds of almost quiet mind! Ground zero start-over guaranteed after breaking my spiritual practice. During the second hour, we listened to a CD on the Buddha's instruction. (Paraphrasing) It was said that we would never find peace if we meditated/prayed for peace. Buddah said to pray for Connection to the Source. Connect to the source. Imagine that. These past two months I have been praying for balance, internal peace, time! Pray for time? Does Time want my prayers? What the heck was I thinking? All I have to do is sit, quite my mind as best I can, and FEEL the Spirit within me! Connection. In the philosophy/religion Science of Mind (I've just completed my License Practitioner training) the teaching is such: in prayer (I am IN prayer, AS the prayer), there are 'steps' one can use to connect... 1) Recognize Spirit is all there is. (whatever name you give it.) 2) Unify with this God. (I am of this God; of its substance.) 3) Realize my desire. (This is the fun one. State my desire, and feel that I have it, i.e. the teachings of the wildly popular and best selling book and movie, The Secret. You have to feel it with every sense; your participation in or with your desire.) 4) Thanksgiving. (Thanking God that it responds to my call. Thanking God for existing and being within me.) 5) Release. (Sometimes this is the most difficulty. You've really gotta let the prayer GO! TRUSTING that God's gotcha covered, and has the power to create your dream within you. Its not an outside power either. You are releasing and trusting yourself, too.) This stuff is good, juicy teaching. I dig it enough to have studied through license. Now I'm off to Wisdom University to study more diverse paths. (After my full time BFA is complete (wish me luck)). I feel peaceful now. Thanks to that Sangha last night. Oh, and thanks to my doing the work to connect WITH my God, and not just appeal to it for my peace. God is my peace. How could I have forgotten? In the words of the great Homer Simpson, "Doik!"