Letting Go and The Bodhisattva’s Way

Letting Go to Heal

In the last week, so many things have been breaking open to be revealed, to be healed. I’ve been letting go — to open the space for the new to come in, for the light to shine even brighter.

Letting Go and Bodhisattva Way 16th Karmapa 08213 by Baylan Megino

Letting Go and Bodhisattva Way 16th Karmapa 08213 by Baylan Megino

Opening boxes to find treasures and trash from years ago. Surprises and jewels mixed amongst the mundane. A handwritten will, a talisman, a watch. Sifting and sorting to find what will come forward, what will be passed on, and what will be discarded entirely.

It is a process. It takes time. It breaks open old memories. The good memories are treasured. And the painful ones are offered to be healed.

Letting Go and Moving On

Of course, something electronic had to go. This time it was the refrigerator controller. It’s challenging and freeing being without a refrigerator for more than two weeks.

Had to figure out how to keep perishables from perishing. Or learn to live without.

There are many boxes to be gone through. It will take time. And I am being gentle with myself and with mom.

And as I am moving forward, I am thinking of how to incorporate these pieces into my new work. How do we take those parts of our past and make them meaningful building blocks for our future? Ahhhh….. yes.

So today a dear friend posted a message that spoke to my heart, reminding me of the reason we go on, despite challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds.

“You keep going. That is the bodhisattva’s way. As long as it benefits even one being you have to, without any sense of discouragement, go on.” – 16th Karmapa

And as I finished preparing this photo, a hummingbird swooped under the eaves, seeking refuge from the constant rain.

 

The Dream Maker in Winter

The Dream Maker in Winter is like the Bear – finishing the creation cycle by resting, gaining clarity in the dreamtime, gathering energy, and preparing for life in the spring.  Today I walked in my garden and was greeted by two very different things.

At the bottom of the stairs is my container garden. Right now it’s just pots of dormant orchid bulbs and succulents. We don’t get a regular hard frost here, so the succulents can survive winter without freezing.

Dream Maker Container Garden in Winter fb 02355 by Baylan Megino

Container Garden in Winter 02355 by Baylan Megino

These flowering plants do well in containers, providing beautiful flower spikes each year. They don’t require much tending, and only need to be in the filtered or light shade, away from the harsh bright light.

Their roots don’t need to spread wide and deep, and instead circle around inside the container before needing to be separated and cleaned.

If I go too long away from this contained garden, I sometimes miss the beautiful flowering branches of cymbidiums and have to wait another year to discover what color each plant will produce. And if I’m fortunate to see the flowers, I sometimes bring them indoors to be enjoyed, container and all.

February is the middle of winter and my garden is confused.
And that’s okay by me.

I look around the neighborhood and everyone’s front yard is so neat and nicely tended. The plantings have been strategically placed, and dog owners are careful to pull their pets away from lingering too long in one place.

And then there’s my home.

I grew up in gardens that were given free rein. My father annually pruned back rose stems and occasionally trimmed the fruit tree branches. He had areas kept neat for the vegetables, but a lot of the garden was allowed to spread unhindered.

So today the yellow flowers are growing wild, towering way above the 6” limit that the City prefers for “weeds.”  I enjoy the masses and mounds of clover-like leaves and the yellow cups floating above and closing at night.

Dream Maker: The Garden in February 2016 fb 02362 by Baylan Megino

The Garden in February 2016 fb 02362 by Baylan Megino

Beneath that green carpet I know there is dark, rich soil being nourished by green roots kept moist by the shade. I used to think of them as tiny shamrocks, in honor of my favorite Irish nun in 2nd grade.

They make me smile as they greet me when I come home each day. It is then that I take an audible cooling breath and gratefully exhale.

There’s even an area in front that sprouted some huge mushrooms that looked like shiitakes. They were attractive to some of the dogs, but someone promptly took them away one night.

My neighbors haven’t said anything to me, but I can hear the whispers in their minds as they walk by. Why don’t they keep those weeds under control? Cut that grass – it’s so long it’s bending down toward the earth! Those rose bushes should be cut back! That ivy and morning glory will invade the neighbor’s space – why aren’t they more considerate?

There is timing for everything as we make our dreams. In time, I will trim back the ivy and the morning glory vines.

In time the yellow flowers will finish their cycle and disappear. Then it will be easy to clear the space.

The grass… well, it’s just too close to the tiny shamrocks to cut without disturbing them. Grass will be cut in time.

I’m patient with my garden. And my garden is patient with me.

While I wait for the plants to finish their cycle, the fruit trees are going through theirs. Oranges are falling from the tree, and the apple and peach trees are preparing their leaves. I was told that one of the trees is a walnut — we’ll see if it decides to provide nuts this year. The brambleberries are silently preparing to bloom.

And so it is with life. In our winter season, we Dream Makers take time to go within and gather energy, to dream of what is next to be created.

There are so many choices. What is the fruit of our labor that we want to show the world? Which is The One for this next cycle?

What is the proper environment for them – pot or ground? Roots contained or free? How will we grow and get the fruits out to others to be consumed? Who do we want to enjoy the fruits of our labors?

How much effort are we willing to put forth toward harvest time? How much harvest do we want to reap?

And so it goes as we contemplate our dreams and plan to make them real.

The dream takes hold and sinks roots into the soil of our hearts,
fed as an expression of our deepest soul’s murmurings.

For the Dream Maker, each day the dream takes on more form. The harvest is chosen. The space makes way for the soil to be tilled, and the seeds to be planted. Remaining dead branches are pruned back so energy can be concentrated on new growth, new branches.

Our vision becomes clearer and we can see how the garden will look in the spring as the new leaves sprout. The dream takes shape as we imagine summer’s approach, perhaps already starting a second cycle that will grow alongside.

We see the profusion of green leaves waiting, preparing the way for the flowers and fruits to appear. We can feel the cycles of sunlight, moonlight, dew and rain.

We can feel the gentle breezes and insects doing their parts to spread the pollen and, when it’s time, share the seeds.

We have dreamed alive our bountiful garden — the garden nourishing us with beauty and oxygen and food and sacred space.

The Dream Maker sees all these things, and knows it all begins in the silence of winter.

 

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Blessings, light and peace,

Baylan

Gratitude Day 4: Fathers

On this 4th Day of Gratitude, I give thanks for my father, and all the fathers in the world.

Every day I walk by two places where my father’s watchful gaze is seen. Though he isn’t with us any longer, my memories are strong and inform my every interaction.

The Yang to Mother’s Yin

When I think of Dad, my memories are filled with how he showed up in the world – at home, at work, in the community, in organizations. Whether in public or in private quarters, my dad showed me how to interact one-on-one with whatever was in front of me.

Gratitude Day 4 Father by Baylan Megino

Gratitude Day 4 Father by Baylan Megino

Dads do that. They show us how to DO things – how to observe, analyze, plan and implement so that we can get the result we want.

They teach us how to think about our part in the whole. Sometimes we have to think of what is in the best interest of the greater good, and choose between our individual desires and what will be best “for all concerned.”

They show us the individual attitude needed to persevere in difficult times, as well as the way to step back and be part of a team while maintaining our individuality.

They also show us when to step aside.

It’s hard for me to write about being a dad.
I’ve never been a dad and never will be.

I can only share some of the images that I am grateful for that are indelibly etched in my memory:

  1. Watching Dad make a kite out of bamboo strips, then flying it in the Knights of Columbus kite-flying contest
  2. Fishing in the Ozarks and catching lots of bluegills
  3. His erect stance, with head slightly tilted, a smile curling up the edges of his mouth.
  4. His / My hands
  5. The way he called me “Girl” – only a handful of times
  6. Standing alone with him behind the church entry doors as the Love Theme from “Superman” began to play, he touched my arm, slightly raised his eyebrows, and gently asked, “Are you ready, girl?”
  7. His gentle touch
  8. His anger at injustice
  9. Playing chess after work with my aunt
  10. Wearing plumed hat, satin cape, and sword as Grand Knight and part of the Knights of Columbus Color Guard
  11. Dancing with all the widows and older single women, but Mom always had the last dance
  12. Baiting the hook and fishing at Berkeley Pier
  13. Smoking Kent cigarettes, the stick pursed between lips and tilted up so the ashes wouldn’t fall
  14. The glow of his cigarette in the dark as the trash mound burned
  15. Carrying Mom’s big camera case wherever they traveled
  16. Michelin Man
  17. Bowling with community groups
  18. Singing in the church choir
  19. Connecting with the land and its cycles at the almond orchard
  20. Planting green beans and tending to the garden every evening
  21. Opening envelopes by tearing off the end
  22. His joy on our first visit to the Philippines and pride in sharing his family
  23. Putting on the Igorot hat, squatting on the hillside and looking into the distance, cigarette held between his lips
  24. Fishing at Ocean Beach with the long ocean fishing poles
  25. Fishing derbies at Lake Chabot
  26. Dad with my cousin and his young male friends
  27. His willingness to try anything
  28. His mischievousness – climbing the statue at the St. Louis FANHS Convention
  29. Fixing the car
  30. Figuring out how to DO things
  31. Being

Like many, my relationship with my father was up and down. We were much alike, so eventually gave each other wide berth when needed. In those times, as now, those many memories gathered over the years kept us connected.

I am so very grateful for those memories. And for the man who made them and me possible.

Thank you, Dad.

Today, give thanks for your father. If you can, tell him. Even better, show him.

Blessings and peace,

Baylan

 

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Gratitude Day 3: Mother

On this third day of Gratitude, I give thanks for my Mother, and for all mothers in the world.

This morning as I woke up, sunlight was just peeking through the window. The house sildent, I heard my mother moving slowly in the next room.

Gratitude Day 3 Mother by Baylan Megino

Gratitude Day 3 Mother by Baylan Megino

How many times as an infant, I wondered, did I listen to her move through the rooms, the speed of her gait and volume of her sound communicating her feelings?

That is what mothers do. They are always present, whether physically or in our minds. They birth us, feed us, dress us, discipline us, tend to our every need. They teach us how to view and approach life, based on traditions, their experiences, and observations of the world. They shape our mental world and expectations, and guide our responses, defining right and wrong.

Even when we can provide for ourselves, mothers often still attempt to guide our thoughts.

It’s hard to stop being Mom.

Becoming a mother is a process sometimes eased by the shared wisdom from your own. It is in preparing to welcome your child that you understand the commitment required of a mother, a commitment made to ensure the continuation of life beyond our years.

A mother must give over her body to another being — for up to nine months she shares her breath, her blood, and her cells so that the baby can grow.,

She risks her health and her life in order that her child can come into the world. And once arrived, she must put many of her needs aside in order to focus on ensuring her child grows healthy, strong, and able to face the world in their own way.

As adults, our challenge is to remember to
keep in touch with our mothers,
even when life gets busy.

Especially when life gets busy.

As I get older, I’ve found that my mother has honed an uncanny intuition. Was she reading my mind before I even knew my thoughts?

At some point, the tables will turn, and children become caregivers for their parents. It is then that we must remember — EVERYTHING Mother did so that we could live, so we could thrive, so we could choose the path to walk and the life to live.

And in the toughest times, remember that someday, receiving care is where we shall each be. Hope that the care is given by someone who truly cares.

Giving gratitude for Mothers, and especially for My Mother. Thank you, Mom 🙂

Blessings, light and peace,

Baylan

 

 

 

Gratitude Day 2: Connection to Spirit

On this second day of Gratitude, I am grateful for my Connection to Spirit. It is my everlasting lifeline.

Gratitude Day 2 Connection to Spirit by Baylan Megino

Gratitude Day 2 Connection to Spirit by Baylan Megino

In this life, I’ve found there are some things that don’t make sense in the moment, but in hindsight make absolute sense for the journey.

In difficult times, when there didn’t seem to be any light in the dark, the only thing that got me through was my focus and belief in something with higher intelligence and knowedge of the big picture. Invisible, unknown things don’t make sense to me any other way.

I also believe each of us has loving beings in the spirit world who help us. They comfort us when we’re sad, cheer for us when we need encouragement, congratulate us when we achieve something.

They nudge us in the right direction, give us guiding signs, and generally help us get through the daily ups and downs of life. And they stand by as we navigate each moment, ready to help as soon as we ask.

Raised as a Catholic, in the 7th and 8th grades my mother dropped me off early at school. If it was dark, cold, or rainy,I slipped into the church to escape the elements and classmates.

Almost daily this allowed me to attend morning mass. The church was a quiet, warm, cavernous space, populated by only a handful of seniors and me. Tucked into the shadows in the back rows, it was the perfect place to observe the sunlight move across the stained glass windows.

As I’ve gotten older, I explored other religions and spiritual practices so I could understand other perspectives. Understanding the what and why of different practices has enriched my own spiritual practices.

Over time, rituals and routines for the daily round gave me touchstones for peace of mind. Though sometimes I only have a few minutes to stop and connect, often that’s enough.

Connection to Spirit for me is a regular flow of communication. I ask questions or for help, ook for signs, listen to my inner knowing and to the sounds and words around me. I trust that I will be heard, and that the answer is on its way.

So today I am grateful for my Connection to Spirit – through it I give thanks, and receive an abundance of information and loving care. No matter what.

Today let’s be open to experiencing our Connection to Spirit. Ask for something simple – a sign, a message, a parking space – and look and listen for the answer 🙂

Blessings, light and peace,

Baylan