My friend Ruby sent me this quote today - with her addition. I'm not one to reminisce about my past year at this time (though I might comment it was one of the most extraordinary years of my life) nor compile top ten lists of anything wrapping up the last year in a bow.
I do like the idea of a theme for the new year, as Colleen aka Communicatrix writes. And I have a short list of interrelated intentions for the upcoming year.
Yesterday I picked up the head-over-heels-fest-over-social-media issue of Time magazine. The mylar mirror shimmies on the front cover. Maybe that's why I buy it. The sheen of radiant diamonds. (I'd been a wee bit happier if the Time Person of the Year was We. Anyhow, later, about this Time cover story & issue. Check it out yourself.)
In the issue, there's an ad for diamonds in there. It teases: "Speak Love Fluently."
And there you have it. That's my overriding ambition for next year: Speak Love Fluently - and I'll give that a crack without showering diamonds on anyone.
In one of my favorite business books of all time, The Diamond Cutter, the author applies Buddhist principles of openheartedness that he cultivated in the monastery and gets down to brass tacks by running a successful jewelry house in the diamond district of New York City. He never once uttered a single word about the dharma while employed. No one knew he'd lived and was still commuting daily from the monastery. He exuded it in his actions and speech and non-actions and non-speech.
In The Alchemist, Coelho refers to the language of the Universe repeatedly in Santiago's wandering quest for a buried treasure revealed in a dream nestled among the pyramids. It was in the songs, the scents of the caravan across the Sahara, the gypsy fortune-teller, in the stirring of his emotions, the crystal glasses he filled with tea and served to passersby, in his every wayward step to Egypt. Yes, there is an alchemy in outpouring love and reading love's signs embroidered everywhere in clear view.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Luke 12:34
This is not a foreign language, although it seems like it was almost lost, like Gaelic once was nearly lost.
I was halting this year, not exactly polished, not sure if the accent of control betrayed my journey to the yielding field: "Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field, I'll meet you there," prayed Rumi.
To speak clearly (and actions speak louder), in a universal language, that is my overarching vision for 2007 whether the medium is poetry, tea or social media it doesn't matter; a language so intimate needs no translation.
There are times I have been in the mood for sushi. Sometimes I am in the mood for Sufi. Sometimes I am in the mood for pad thai. And sometimes I am in the mood for Kabbalah. It wholly depends on the company at the table. They call this cafeteria spirituality, I shrug. And I've never been able to get any of my blog posts accepted into a Buddhist blog carnival either, I bow.
"Too few of us, perhaps, feel that the breaking of bread, the sharing of salt, the common dipping into one bowl, mean more than satisfaction of a need." - Chinese poet Yuan Mei
Dan was deliberate and quick: "You love the thing in front of you." There was a drawn watery silence.
Yes, yes, it's that simple, and that hard.
images The mandala of the diamond vehicle, or Vajrayana Buddhism; Andy Warhol's Cologne Cathedral, screenprint with diamond dust on Lenox Museum Board, 1985, Edition 52/60; and Warhol's Gold and Silver Shoe (Oh, I just saw Anselm Kiefer's exhibit at SF MOMA and he owns and incorporates huge pieces of the Cologne Cathedral roof; and godknowswhy Warhol just keeps coming up lately - he was into diamond dust as material - even in Time: "The stars of Web 2.0 are descendants of Warhol.")
Bonus 1: A parable of Hindu goddess Lakshmi and the diamond right in front of our feet.
Bonus 2: I first read Iyanla Vanzant's book "In the Meantime" during my separation five years ago. The book peers out at me from my housemate's bookshelf recently. I've re-read it again.
The progression through the love's metaphorical house from basement consciousness to attic consciousness makes a heck a lot more sense to me than it did five years ago. Highly recommended, period, especially if you search for love in romance. Here she writes about full experience of love in practice:
"It's one thing to study spirituality out of a book, or to be in a learning environment where you are being supported, where the teacher is there telling you what to do and how to do it. In a learning environment everybody in the room has the same goal, the same mind-set. This is the beauty of being in a learning environment. But why do we gather information? Why do we want to learn? We learn so that we can go out and put what we know into practice. We're not going to practice in the classroom - that is a false environment. In the classroom you develop the skill. In the world you hone the skill. In the outside world where people can't even spell the thing you just studied, you are going to do more than learn theory. In the world you are going to deal with people who have no idea what you are talking about. Does this mean that your information is faulty? Is it an accurate indication that the theories don't work? Absolutely not! It means that you must continue on the journey, put into practice all that you have learned. Eventually you will find yourself in a community or an experience where everybody wants to know what you know [or not]. Or where everybody knows what you know and is willing to help you facilitate further growth in it.
How can you take what you have learned about love and loving and apply it to every area of your life? You must be willing to meet resistance with love. This is how you will hone your skills. Find your center and stay grounded in it. Do not try to convert others to your way of thinking. When you find that you are the only person in a room who thinks the way you think, it doesn't mean that there is something wrong with what you do and how you do it. It means that every time you meet resistance, you have an opportunity to strengthen another love muscle. Don't doubt yourself. Don't question yourself. Know that the resistance is going to come up at different levels with different characters. Each time you face resistance it will evoke different feelings. Those feelings are the development of your stamina. One day very soon, the only feeling any experience will evoke is the opportunity to share, spread, give, or receive love." - Iyana Vanzant, "In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want"