Mama Bear Story

Once upon a time, in a galaxy right here and now, after her cubs had left the den a Mama Bear became greatly wounded. Soon she found a healing cave in the woods and stayed there for three winters… or was it four?

Sleeping long hours she dreamt many dreams in which she was a white owl quarreling with a dark vulture. Night after night, and day after day, the two birds of prey fought inside her mental sphere.

Finally they took their disputes to the Force of All Light in the center of her Heart, and that Force of Goodness gave them Peace…

After facing her darkest fears, the Mama Bear’s traumas released, her wounds healed, and her power was restored… She stepped out of the cave into the Light and transformed into a magical Crow who flew West toward the setting Sun…

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Photo of black bear by Skeeze on Pixabay.
Photo of crow with sunset by Kumar Harsh on Unsplash.

 

Kissing the Earth

“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
~ Rumi

Similarly, Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh says, “We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

Dear reader, what ways do you kneel and kiss the ground? Do you walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet? What is the most beautiful place on Earth for you?

Photo of red rocks in Sedona, Arizona taken by me, StarFire Teja. The theme for Sedona is “the most beautiful place on Earth” and I certainly agree. In my mind I am ever kissing the ground of that holy red earth!

 

StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Feel Love Rising in Your Heart

 

May you wake up the hidden places of happiness in your mind.

May you open to the joyful soaring qualities of your soul.

May your weekend be blessed with peace and possibilities.

May you feel Love rising in your heart.

 

Photo by JanneG on Pixabay.

 

Monday Morning Musings on Transformation

In my recent post “Transformation Is Always Possible” I shared the following passage from Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm:

“Sorrow, fear, and depression are like a kind of garbage. But these bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. We can practice so as to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. We should not throw anything out. All we have to do is learn the art of composting, of transforming our garbage into flowers. In the practice of Buddhism, we see that all mental formations — including compassion, love, fear, sorrow, and despair — are organic in nature. We don’t need to be afraid of any of them, because transformation is always possible. With just a smile and mindful breathing, we can start to transform them.”

Well, my first musing this morning is about my review of November in my journal and calendar… Even though in the midst of my challenges I feel as though I am failing miserably, when I read through my journal I could see how much progress I am actually making, in working more skillfully with reactions, and in transforming negative thinking into positive thinking. And, I could see my strength, perseverance, grit, and mettle.

When I finished the review, I wrote, “I am feeling the flowers growing up out of the garbage! Even though it was still hard, November had so much goodness and it was much better than the previous three months!”

Dear reader, how was the month of November for you? Do you regularly take notes in a journal or calendar? Do you take time to reflect on your intentions, and celebrate your successes along the way?

My next musing is about how Gratitude is a potent tool for transformation… I really stepped up my gratitude practices in November, and I could really feel the results in a very tangible way. With each hardship that appeared, I consciously practiced feeling grateful for all the blessings in my life, and I came to the realization that for me, all roads lead to Gratitude!

As December begins, I intend to continue practicing the art of transformation… So my last musing for today is about my keywords for this new month. I pray that my “garbage” can be transformed into the flowers of Happiness, Holiness, Peace, and Joy! ~

~ Happiness ~ One of my current affirmations is “I am choosing to be happy, even when I feel tired or sick.”

~ Holiness ~ In this winter holiday season, I intend to look even more deeply into everything, so as to see the hidden holiness and to feel the absolute sacredness of life.

~ Peace ~ Imagining a very quiet place in nature, covered with pure white snow, I intend to generate the energy of Peace in myself and to send that energy of Peace out into the Universe.

~ Joy! ~ In his book Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm, Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh draws this slight distinction between happiness and joy: “In the joy there’s still a little bit of excitement. Happiness is a more peaceful feeling, like contentment.” ~ So, in addition to choosing to be happy, I am also choosing to be joyful!

Beloved readers… May your December be Happy and Joyful!

Do you have any keywords for December?

With hope, positivity, and joy,
Sister Teja

 

Dahlia photo by S. Hermann & F. Richter on Pixabay.

 

Compassion for Cows… And for All Living Beings

Dear readers,

Please meet my new love… a cow named Star! The beautiful cows in this photo are residents at Uplands PEAK Sanctuary (People, Earth, and Animals in Kinship), which is located in Freedom, Indiana. How appropriate, that the animal residents are allowed to live in freedom in a town named Freedom! The brown and white cow sitting down in the front of the photo is named Freeda, and the brown cow standing in the back is named Star. When I first saw photos of Star, on PEAK’s Facebook Page, I fell in love instantly! 🙂

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Photo credit to Star, Freeda, and PEAK.

I highly recommend following PEAK on Instagram. It is so heartwarming to see regular photos and videos of the lucky residents of this sanctuary! This month they have been highlighting stories about their turkey named Lily, who was fortunate enough to “accidentally” fall off of the truck on the way to the slaughterhouse, and now she has such a great life on their farm!

To read a very touching article about the nature of turkeys, please check out this post by Free from Harm, “Moving Beyond the False Stereotypes of Turkeys” which begins with the following: “To understand the complex suffering of turkeys raised for “food,” it helps to know that in nature, young turkey siblings stay close to their mother for four or five months after they are born. She is the center of their universe. Although turkeys raised commercially never see their mothers, the expectation of her is alive in their genes. In nature…” (And speaking of choosing to not eat dead turkey meat, you might also like to read my previous post, “Peacefully Sourced Holiday Meals.”)

The Free from Harm website also has a post entitled “Former Meat and Dairy Farmers Redefining Humane Farming as Vegan” in which they say “So many meat and dairy farmers are going vegan, we had to start a new website for their stories.” (Check it out here: Stories.) And, they have a great post explaining how “humanely” raised milk and dairy products are not actually humane: “What about Humanely Raised Milk and Dairy Products?

The thing is, friends, the cows are suffering tremendously, and it is my deepest prayer that more and more humans will awaken to the reality that the cows (and other animals, fish, birds, and bees) are being tortured. Once that awakening happens, I pray that the human species will, one by one, choose to eat a compassionate plant-based diet.

Thank you, PEAK, and thank you, Free from Harm, for the great work you are doing to help all the creatures be allowed to live in Freedom and Happiness!

May All Beings Be Free From Harm.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo credit to Star, Freeda, and PEAK.