The Matter of Hope

“Hope is important, because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. But that is the most that hope can do for us — to make some hardship lighter. When I think deeply about the nature of hope, I see something tragic. Since we cling to our hope in the future, we do not focus our energies and capabilities on the present moment.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist Master, in his book Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.

Dear readers, during this strange time it seems that most of us need hope to lighten the load of our global hardships. And, even while we cling to hope for the future, we can simultaneously try to remain focused on the present moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh continues, “I do not mean that you should not have hope, but that hope is not enough. Hope can create an obstacle for you, and if you dwell in the energy of hope, you will not bring yourself back entirely into the present moment. If you re-channel those energies into being aware of what is going on in the present moment, you will be able to make a breakthrough and discover joy and peace right in the present moment, inside of yourself and all around you.”

Are you able to enjoy the present moment now? During this time of quarantines, do you feel hopeful or hopeless?

Before my Dad died suddenly in January, I had been struggling for some time with feelings of hopelessness regarding my health and financial issues. Now, suddenly millions of people are homebound and worried about money like I was! I never would have dreamed this could happen.

Strangely, I am actually feeling more hope now than I did before… And even if hope is not enough, right now it is very important. If you feel hopeless, consider these strong words by Christian Mihai, in his post “Life in The Time of Coronavirus”:

“I encourage each and every single one of you to not become hopeless. It’s a sin not to hope. Truly. If you are hopeless, you think of yourself as helpless, and then you’re really screwed. Maintain a positive attitude, make the best out of an awful situation, and keep working towards your goals. One way or another.”

May you be blessed with hope, courage, and strength. May you take delight in small joys and find peace dwelling in the energies of each sacred moment.

With much love and hope,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by CHIRAG K on Unsplash.

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Who’s the Fakest of Them All?

 

“The mind that is not baffled is not employed.”
~ Wendell Berry

Dear readers, are your minds baffled by the current state of the world?

My mind is unhinged by this article in The New York Times: “That ‘Miracle Cure’ You Saw on Facebook? It Won’t Stop the Coronavirus.”

I just don’t know what to believe! What is fake news, and what is even faker news?

Before reading that article, I believed that the posts with home remedies for treating the virus were truth.

After reading that article, I felt like mental constructs were coming undone, but then a suspicious thought arrived on the scene: What if the vaccine makers are paying the media to debunk the healing power of home remedies… Who’s the fakest of them all?

But then again, I can (at times) be easily duped. The posts with natural remedies seemed convincing. I mean, why would I have doubted the suggestion to gargle with warm salt water?

Can you relate to my frustration here?

Sending much love from my quarantine to yours…

With a baffled mind,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by Ice Tea on Unsplash.

 

Connect With the Watcher!

Dear readers,

Anytime you feel those branching anxieties, one thing that really helps is to connect with the Watcher… you know, that deep part of yourself that is always watching all of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations…

Watching, witnessing, and observing… without attaching, desiring, and reacting…

Just watching.

Even for just ten minutes.

My dear ones, this practice is helping me so much and I hope it will also help you…

Stay calm, stay safe, and stay healthy!

With much love,
StarFire Teja

 

Image by KELLEPICS (Stefan Keller) on Pixabay.

 

Still Poem

 

The birds are still singing
The trees are still blossoming
The sun is still shining

The Five Pines still stand tall
emitting their fragrance

I am still alive
finding inner strength

And you who are still reading my poems,
May you be calm.

 

Blossoms photo color enhanced by StarFire Teja. Original photo by gayulo on Pixabay.

 

Monday Morning Musing on a Virus Pandemic

 

“This is the strangest bird I’ve seen in eight hundred years!”

~ Words spoken by the old demoness Sinhika, as she watched the SuperHero Hanuman (the Hindu Monkey God) flying over the ocean, in Ramayana: King Rama’s Way by William Buck.

Dear readers, greetings from the bird’s nest… I have just one musing this morning: This virus pandemic is the strangest news I have ever heard! I keep thinking of that quote above and wondering if anything this strange has ever occurred on this planet?

This is the strangest bird I’ve seen… ever!

How about you? Are you in quarantine, practicing social distancing? Are you doing any daily spiritual practices to calm your mind and to nourish your heart with love?

Have you ever seen such a strange bird?

With a bewildered mind,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash.