Monday Morning Musings on Strength

 

“… the strength of his devotion and fortitude, like some sturdy bull, drove him forward.”

~ Tulasidasa describing Rama’s brother, Bharata, in his Ramayana, Shri Ramacharitamanasa, edited and translated by R.C. Prasad.

 

Dear readers,

Welcome to yet another bizarro week on planet Earth! This morning I’m thinking about Strength. The quote above inspires me to cultivate Fortitude.

Fortitude.

That is a great word for our current times! Just hearing the word makes me think of iron bars, charging bulls, and this cup of strong black coffee beside me.

As I sip (and thoroughly enjoy), this cuppa, I am using mental powers, somewhere between fortitude and mojo, to ignore the morning aches of Fibromyalgia and focus on writing this post for you. I am imagining that many of you are also forging through some pains, whether they be physical, mental, or emotional, in order to do some work this day. Are you finding surprising new levels of inner strength inside yourself?

Here’s another musing on strength… A few nights ago I showed my Mom a post by Lowe’s, in which they stressed only one person per trolley in their stores, and my Mom started reading the comments below the post… Well, this one guy was very angry in expressing his complaints, and a fellow shopper replied to him sternly, saying “Buck up, buttercup” to which he softened and admitted that he was having a really hard time with lots of woes, including losing his job…

It is easy to get angry and complain… It is a lot harder to be vulnerable and admit that you’re afraid you won’t be able to feed your family. It takes a lot of inner strength to be honest like that.

My final musing for this post is about how going out walking in the hood feels like a war zone now… It feels like I’m watching out for snipers (human beings) who might be carrying protein molecules (viruses) in their pockets… or worse, in their nostrils! Just going for a simple walk to see the flowering trees and hear the singing birds takes a lot of inner strength these days. You gotta be watching all the time to make sure you don’t come within six feet of one of those human creatures!

Thanks for visiting the StarFire Temple of Happiness. I hope you enjoyed this post!

May you stay strong, with fortitude of mind!

With happy coffee vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

Bull photo by sumanley on Pixabay.

 

Deep Realizations and States Inspired by a Virus Pandemic

Dear readers,

Greetings from my tree-house temple, where I am sipping hot black coffee in my happy orange mug, whilst listening to birds of many kinds singing quite cheerfully to the Sun. Those feathered love-beings have no awareness of social distancing and quarantines! Ahhh, ignorance looks like bliss!

And speaking of bliss, during this time of virus-induced staycations, are you doing any daily practices to help yourself be calm? Do you sit in meditation or go for meditative walks?

One day last week I went out for a walk and in the first block I saw a dead squirrel in the street… A little bit later, I saw a live squirrel and I said out loud, in my Dad’s voice, “Be careful there buddy… and don’t take any wooden nickels!” (If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know that my Dad died in January… Well, “Don’t take any wooden nickels” one of my Dad’s classic sayings!)

After that spontaneous connection with my Inner Dad, I remembered what my psychologist had reminded me recently, when I was expressing fear of more loved ones dying: “You have yourself.” As I walked on, I realized that I really need to cultivate inner strength… And then my sense of humor came back, and I found myself laughing at my thoughts…

That evening when I sat in meditation, I was focusing on the Atman (my Spirit) in union with the Brahman (the Great Spirit), which I wrote about in my post “It’s All One Air,” and then I started contemplating my attachment to the ideas I have for my own burial, and I realized that they were uncannily similar to the ideas I had for childbirth the first time…

In 1997, when I was pregnant for the first time, we took a childbirth preparation class, which was all about visualizations and artsy, spiritual notions of giving birth. Totally naïve to what the physical pain would be like, I prepared for childbirth as if we were throwing a dinner party: I bought colorful flowers, candles, fresh fruits, inspiring music, and beautiful jewelry!

Well, when the labor actually got going and I experienced the searing, excruciating pain of the contractions, I did not care one bit about flowers and fruit! I was completely incapable of doing any spiritual practices like imagining my “special place.”

During my second pregnancy in 2000, we took a very different class with our midwife. She was quite real and basically said, “It’s going to hurt like hell, and how are you going to cope?”

Anyway, during my meditation last week, I realized that the attachment I have about being buried (in a green burial) in a pine box, wearing a red shroud and orange shawl, with sunflowers, red roses, orange marigolds, cedar, sage, pinecones, and amethyst crystals around my body, is pretty similar to the attachment I had to giving birth with glowing candles and gorgeous fruits.

But when death actually comes, I probably won’t care about what kind of flowers are buried with me. My mind still holds those preferences dear, but the Spirit probably doesn’t have such desires… And, if I die during this virus pandemic, there probably wouldn’t even be a proper funeral and burial for me. (If my Mom died before me, that is.) Who knows, I might even be thrown into a mass grave!

And, the most important part of that meditation – and of my whole life, really – was/is the deep peace I felt/feel when tuning in to Atman-Brahman, and experiencing how the air in the jar is one with the air everywhere

… I could really feel the Oneness of all energies, inside me and all throughout everything. I felt like I was in Brahman-Sukha, the Supreme Happiness while being absorbed in the Supreme Being… I felt/feel like I am closer than ever to experiencing the deep state that I have been reading about for so many years!

Can you relate to my experiences? Is this virus pandemic bringing you to any deep realizations or deep states?

My dear ones, it brings me such joy to create this online StarFire Temple of Happiness! I hope my posts help you to Happy Up your life.

With depth, strength, and even a little bliss,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by Bru-nO on Pixabay.

 

Confronting Fear

 

“Confronting fear is the destiny of a Jedi – your destiny. The Force will be with you always.”

~ Luke speaking to Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

 

Dear readers,

May you be calm in facing your fears.

May you feel the underlying Peace encoded in your blood and bones.

May you stay safe and healthy.

Sending good cheer and good courage from my quarantine to yours,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by AdinaVoicu on Pixabay.

 

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.