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FRIDAY’S POEM FROM RHYTHMS AND CYCLES: Winter Solstice

December 5, 2014 Leave a comment

This past Wednesday Rosemary and I hosted a meeting of our Consciousness Exploration Community for sharing some good food and excellent conversation. Our theme for the evening was sharing something meaningful about the holidays; a story, a song, a poem. So I wrote today’s poem which also fits my “Rhythms and Cycles” theme very well.

I hope you have wonderful memories of your Holiday Celebrations and are making new ones this year. Be sure to share them!

Winter Solstice

They say we are on a spiral journey;
We spin on the Mother,
Spinning around the Father,
Spinning at the edge of a Milky Way
Wheeling along the fringe of reality.

The effects of this circling seem small:
Summer Solstice spins through Fall
And on to deepening Winter.
As light recedes in lowered sky,
Spirit dips so close we feel the Love.

The cycle is grounded deep in Mother’s core,
The energy follows graceful lines of
Magnetic force, lifting consciousness
Along soft grooves of innocence,
Natural paths of vision and expansion.

Spiraling Consciousness follows
These graceful lines of attracting energy,
Mapping courses for the Transformations
That continue to carry us higher,
But never away.

Earth bound and sky grateful, we rise,
Ever seeking, always believing there is more;
We are more.
We stretch our plastic minds beyond,
Resisting brittle breakage on our destined way.

Each turn reveals more, creates new
Perspectives, new vistas pulling up,
Onward to next dreams, exposing
Even then, the next turn, inevitably ahead
Around the bend.

Solstice deep to Solstice high
We spiral from choice to choice
Knowing the journey, seeking
The cycle through consistent course, yet
Rising through transformation with every change.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

THANKSGIVING TRANSFORMATION: Richard’s Commentary

December 4, 2014 Leave a comment

The title of Rosemary’s post of her poem, Butterfly, holds deep meaning in itself. Thanksgiving and Transformation aren’t words that go easily together, but if we give the pair a bit of thought there is more there.

We are now moving well into the last month of 2014. All the turkey trimmings are gone or put away. Is your sense of “thanksgiving” also put away with the November decorations, thrown out with the bones of the bird? Or do you practice gratitude all year long?

Rosemary’s second butterfly in her poem says: “Nothing is static. Nothing stays the same. The only constant is change.” Can we be grateful for every change? Can we look at every change as part of a greater transformation as explained by the third and smallest butterfly? This is the challenge the poem presents. It is the every day, small changes, moment to moment, that generate the transformations of our lives. And gratitude every day, moment to moment for those small changes leads to “thanksgiving transformation.”

Can you hear the vibration that rings between these two words? There is an echo between them, they are “light shadows” – we are thankful and we transform; we transform and we are thankful – every day and in every way. Thanksgiving Transformation is a state of being – continuous gratitude for the continuous state of change we experience. Thanksgiving Transformation is Life!

There is another pairing of words the squirrel of the poem brings to us: Presence and Preparation. These set up another vibration, the echo between being present in the moment, experiencing it fully, and being prepared for the next moment, that moment of change. It’s almost asking that we exist in two states at once; the dynamic about being prepared for tomorrow’s change while being fully present today is the challenge.

butterflyAnd this dynamic, this vibration is present in every breath, every heartbeat. As we inhale we breathe in appreciation, gratitude, thanksgiving for everything, especially the change of our body chemistry with the intake of fresh air. As we exhale we prepare for the next breath, exhausting the stale, used up air and the byproducts of our metabolism.

From the smallest change in our body chemistry, moment to tiny moment, to the great transforming changes in our lives, day-to-day, year-to-year, we are blessed. At the microcosmic level every moment is a miracle. And at cosmic scales, the beauty of the remnants of a supernova, as just one example, pictured here, are mind-boggling! I am in constant thanksgiving for all of it and all the blessings. I may not always be prepared for the coming changes, transformations, but I can truly give thanks for them!

Thanksgiving Transformation. You can’t have one without the other!

MONDAY’S POEM: Qigong in Winter

December 1, 2014 Leave a comment

From corn planting under Butterfly Maiden’s watchful eye to deepening winter my poems Friday and today span the seasons. Qi, too, spans the seasons and all that we sense and know. Let the Qi rise and flow through all the seasons of your life!

Qigong in Winter

Relax shoulders, take breath to belly,
Slowing and expanding with each intake,
Holding;
Releasing downward through body,
Feeling the cleansing exhaustion
Of the stale and spent.

It feels good to sink into self,
To become aware, at the cellular level,
That the Qi is alive
With Light,
With Love.
If feels good to be home,
Fires burning, caudron bubbling,
Steam rising upward.

As the snow falls heavy like moths
Fluttering to Earth, Heavenly Qi
Feeds wooly worms
In some strange reversing
Metamorphosis:
Renewing, shifting, transforming,
Always new!

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

FRIDAY’S POEM FROM RHYTHMS AND CYCLES: Butterfly Maiden

November 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Today I am reprising a poem from late spring 2013. On Monday the reason will become more clear with a new poem. My thought today, post Thanksgiving here in the US – and “Black Friday” when Rosemary and I stay home to turn our attention to our vision for next year – and as we head rapidly now to Winter Solstice is to dream of spring, and corn planting.

Butterfly Maiden

The corn is planted;
The spring rains have come.
The holy ground is rich;
The loam warms the seed.

Soon there will be a splitting;
Soon the full moon will shine.
Soon the earth will feed that seed;
Soon the sprout will reach for sun.

Moon watches through the night;
Moon wanes through a fortnight.
Moon withers toward rising sun;
Moon winks out as the sprout sees dawn.

Butterfly Maiden sheds her cocoon;
Butterfly Maiden warms in the sun.
Butterfly Maiden grins at the grinning moon;
Butterfly Maiden guards growing corn.

©2013 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Evolve Your Light – Richard’s Commentary

November 27, 2014 Leave a comment

As I was writing my Morning Pages the other day it came to me that I want to go deeper with Qigong. Why? I had raked leaves the day before and loaded 15 bags from the front yard – heavy work. As the evening descended my muscles and joints began to remind me that I am older than I think. But I did some breathing and reminded my body that I practice Qigong; all the twisting and pulling motions of raking leaves is not unlike certain Qigong moves I make in practice. In fact I was very mindful of these motions as I raked.

Last year when I raked leaves from that front yard I ended up with stiff muscles in my back for a week afterward. This year I woke up the morning after and felt great. So, I raked more leaves ahead of the East Coast storm we enjoyed yesterday. There is no question in my mind that my body practices are keeping me younger in body than my age in years would indicate.

My plan is to Evolve My Light, or I could say “Evolve My Qi” and take further steps down this path of growth. Why? Here’s how Rosemary answers this question:

Now, at whatever your current age is, those souls are looking to you for your light to shine on the path that you are sharing. How do you shine your light? By living your soul’s purpose, by being the light that you already are.

“Those souls” are everyone in my community. They include you, dear reader. My “soul’s purpose” is to build community. And my approach is to build community around Qigong. Qi is Life Force; it is Light; it is Love. By continuing to go deeper with my Qigong practice I am answering the call that Rosemary reminds us we are here to do.

I am reading some excellent books on Qigong and Taiji. And I am putting the word out I am looking for deeper instruction. At this time I am between classes that I have been teaching because I am feeling this call to go deeper before developing my next series of classes. Naturally I always learn more by teaching as well; a new class will be offered early in the New Year.

What form does your light take? How are you “Evolving Your Light”? This is the most important question you can ask yourself! Why?

YOU are in charge of the development and evolution of your own consciousness. No one around you can do it for you. You were not born to find answers and then stagnate. You are here to learn the next thing, to study, to grow, to evolve.

Never stop. There is no end here, no bottom to the deeper!

I am grateful to Rosemary for this important reminder! Enjoy your “gratitude day” today as we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US.

NEW MOON IN SAGITTARIUS I CHING GUA: SHI-MULTITUDE

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

The New Moon in Sagittarius appeared on Saturday morning, November 22, 2014 at 7:32 AM EST. That morning, shortly after the Moon was exactly conjunct with the Sun and newly in the sign of Sagittarius, I sat with my yarrow stalks and cast an I Ching Gua (a six line hexagram) to determine the energies for the coming month. And the result is an interesting one that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to.Shi-Multitude

It’s pictured here: only one Yang line at the 2nd position. All the rest are Yin lines. And there are no changing lines; this is a stable, some might say “stagnant” energy for the month.

My primary source for interpreting my I Ching practice is Taoist Master Alfred Huang’s The Complete I Ching. While most English translations of the Shi is “Army” Master Huang goes back to the older meaning, “Multitude.” In ancient China there were no standing armies. If there was a need for an army – only two reasons required one: defense against invasion and to overthrow a tyrant – military units were assembled from among the peasants who had some training in military action while they were idle during inactive farming seasons. I too prefer the older interpretation of the word and this Gua.

For me this hexagram represents a community. Rosemary and I both have been writing and thinking a lot about community, how important it is for human evolution. Humans are social beings. We have survived and evolved through gathering together in groups of mutual support and aid. In our modern world we seem to have lost this concept. We have turned to a “dog-eat-dog” world of competition, everyone for themselves, “whoever dies with the most wins.” We also seem to have lost any recognition or respect for leadership. With the “me first” attitude so prevalent there is no trust of anyone who might propose a movement toward progress.

This Gua, Multitude, speaks to this modern social dilemma. Note the second line is the only solid, Yang, or strong line in the hexagram. The Yin lines seem to pivot about this second line, the leader of the multitude. “He” derives his authority from the Yin line at the fifth position, a line representing feminine energy. There is excellent balance between masculine and feminine power in this Gua and the other Yin lines represent the community.

It is time for all of us to find our communities. If we are not in community we can either find one to join or build one. There is stability in this Gua, no changing lines, to emphasize this message. The key meaning is in Confucius’ Commentary on the Decision:

Shi is a multitude.
Persistence is for righteousness.

One who is able to lead the multitude
To persist for righteousness
Is able to bring peace to the world.

Firm and central,
He obtains a response.
Taking the risk of dangerous action,
He confronts no hindrance.
Relying on this,
He maintains public order,
And people follow him.
Good fortune.
What mistake should there be?

Fu-Turning BackThis month I also want to offer the Mutual Gua to shed more light on this energy of “Multitude.” This Gua is formed by taking the inner lines to form a new one: the second through fourth lines form the bottom trigram and the third through the fifth lines form the top trigram. This yields Fu which means “Turning Back.”

Master Huang says we should always look at the Mutual Gua: “The hidden meaning of any Gua lies in it’s mutual Gua; it should not be ignored.”

Turning back means to return to the beginning; to repeat a cycle. The Gua is said to represent the eleventh month in the Chinese Lunar calendar and the bottom Yang line can represent the Winter Solstice and return of the Sun. The Decision for this Gua says it all:

Turning back.
Prosperous and smooth.
Going out and coming in.

No harm.
Friends arrive.
No fault.
The Tao of falling away and turning back,
In seven days comes the return.
Favorable to have somewhere to go.

We look now toward Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Enjoy community. Find community. Build community. Thrive and evolve. The energies of this time support you!

Many blessings and gratitude for you, kind readers!

PS: Sorry to increase the length of this already long post, but I wanted to add this from Rosemary about the energies of Sagittarius:

According to The Mountain Astrologer magazine, ‘Sagittarius is the sign most associated with discovering the meaning of life and our role in it.’ Are you ready to begin a new cycle of living your purpose? Can you commit to evolving your consciousness and shining your light more brightly?

FRIDAY’S POEM FROM RHYTHMS AND CYCLES: Phoenix Moon

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

As I write the Old Moon has another day of life. We are about to enter another cycle of the Moon’s appearance to us as she orbits our world and the Sun. The Moon is exactly conjunct the Sun tomorrow, Saturday, November 22 at 7:32 am EST. And then we have a New Moon and the cycle repeats.

I don’t know if you feel the energy of the Moon as she goes through her cycle each month. I sure do. And I celebrate this cycle and all of her phases to honor her, life and the rhythms we all experience. I have written many poems to the Moon. Today’s is a new one for you to tap and experience.

Phoenix Moon

Bright day, heavy energy
As the Moon races, just ahead,
The Sun eating the distance
With every pulse between them.

The beat is felt if not heard –
The heavy sound too low
To press on human drum.
The closing gap pinches

The visible sliver of Grandmother
To nothing in the distant East.
Early morning darkness deepens
With her loss of limb.

Old Grandmother Moon again
Loses her race with her Son.
He dismembers and burns her
In his brightness, his sizzle.

But wait! In three days passing
She reappears on the other
Side of the world – resurrected!
Phoenix Moon is new. Blessing!

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

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