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Posts Tagged ‘Balance’

The poem for today: Edge

July 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Our first call this morning was from Mindy. First reaction: oh-oh, what’s wrong? She usually doesn’t call early unless she is in distress. First thing she said was “Charlie is OK.” Our son-in-law was driving to work this morning, going in early about 2:00 AM. As he crossed the Severn River bridge going west he had to rapidly respond to an oncoming, fast moving vehicle going the wrong way, toward him; he managed to swerve away to avoid a head-on! And he had the presence of mind to call 911 and alert authorities.

Just down the way, near Mindy and Charlie’s home the wrong-way car hit another head-on; both drivers were killed. A third car was also hit causing injuries. The police still do not know exactly what happened, how the east-bound car in the west-bound lanes caused this!

We are all so grateful we still have Charlie in our lives! And it is a reminder of just how precious our lives are! This inspired today’s poem:

Edge

Humans are fragile things,
Little more than the gossamer
Of a moth’s wings.

When we dance at the edge of flame
We flirt with oblivion, feeling real,
Believing it’s not a game!

The heat heightens awareness, we feel alive
Remembering each moment is precious.
Flitting too close we die.

An errant draft can set us adrift.
Away from the light we forget,
Wondering why, wandering from the gift.

Then the flame flares, calling like Buddha’s bell,
Reminding who we are and why;
We fly true and well,

And dance again on the ledge,
Conscious of our delicate beauty,
Floating in ecstasy, balanced on the edge.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

PS: Mindy called as I was writing this. Thankfully it was a request for a quick ride to medical appointments. While driving to and from I did remember…!

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Update and a Poem: Testimony

June 20, 2017 Leave a comment

I have not posted here in a while but I have been busy! Personally I have been deepening my study and practice of Qigong to become a better teacher. The more I study, the more I realize Qigong is not only my life-long practice for health, happiness and longevity, but also my passion to share this health-giving, life-saving technology from ancient China. And it is so simple, so easy, and FREE!

One of my teachers, Jeff Primack, came to Baltimore in early April for a three-day intensive. It is always great to be with a teacher; and I had a profound experience of energy rising during the closing “breath circle.”

In late April Rosemary and I traveled to Sedona and the Mago Retreat Center for an amazing experience with Teacher of Soul, Katye Anna Clark and about 30 other travelers from all over the country. The retreat was a four-day intensive immersion for “Living from the Heart.” Wow! Another transformational experience of opening the heart to live more fully from the soul. And I had the distinct honor of teaching Qigong every morning of the retreat in the beautiful settings of Mago.

And in mid-May I traveled to Daytona Beach to spend another three-day intensive with Jeff Primack, this time at his National event: QiRevolution. And I met another of my teachers, Dr. Roger Janke who offered profound insights into health and wellness from his 40-year perspective of teaching and practicing Chinese Medicine and Medical Qigong.

It was a magical spring. I am honored and humbled to have experienced profound shifts. I am grateful for my further awakening. And I am motivated for share my insights.

And with that I offer:

Testimony

Health is a personal thing
And it is a choice.
It’s personal because it comes from inside;
And only you can make the choice.

Look to the outside;
Visit the impersonal health-care facility,
The hospital near you, the place
You would go if seriously ill or injured.

Do you see health there?
Oh, there is plenty of care.
Sickness, disease, crippling injures
Are within the realm of care here.

Look rather to the inside
If you are seeking health care.
There is where your health lives;
It is in your heart, your mind, your soul.

Your body is a walking, fluid, pharmacopeia.
Visit is often to find wellness.
Breathe, meditate, seek inside
The magic pill of health, happiness, longevity.

Be the testimony to your free choice.
Breathe the richness all life offers.
Move inward to seek the Light.
Balance in the flow of boundless Love.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

MONDAY’S POEM: BALANCE

November 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Today’s poem is a reprise. But it helps me remember this key to life and how to practice. And it is an echo of an experience Rosemary and I shared last evening; and that experience, too, was an echo of an earlier experience two years ago! Echoes within echoes, the cycle of time!

We helped sponsor, organize and share Ashana here in Annapolis for a concert Saturday night and an Activation Sunday evening. The Activation was powerful, a Kundalini Yoga experience of profound depth accompanied by Ashana’s amazing crystal bowls and angelic voice. For four hours we worked on opening and balancing our lower three chakras. This in turn helps open the upper three, all centered around the heart chakra. It was both deeply grounding helping us get in touch with the Earth, our Mother, and soaringly uplifting as we sailed and sang with the Angels!

And I reread this poem and remembered again that all is in balance; we all just need to remember!

Balance

Breathe in freshness,
The power of life in the Universe.
Breathe out love,
The acceptance of All in the Universe.

Consume deliciousness,
Every dish alive with energy.
Purge the waste without grief;
It is a meal for another.

Bring into the Universe all of You;
Your unique gifts are essential.
Let go of everything that is not yours;
There are others ready to serve.

Live your Life Purpose;
Your karmic journey is open.
Die as a Natural Human,
Fully embracing your sense of place.

©2013 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

New Moon in Virgo I Ching Divination

August 25, 2014 Leave a comment

As I posted earlier this “Moon-day” the Moon and Sun were conjunct at 10:13 AM EDT just inside Virgo (about 2 1/2 degrees). As I do just after this New Moon event I cast an I Ching Gua, the six line hexagram of the ancient Chinese approach to divination. I do this to get a sense of the energies coming in with the New Moon. For me this is a meditation practice and a way to tap into the “inner” to determine what is going on in the “outer.”

Today’s divination is very auspicious;  the energies the New Moon brought in are strong yet balanced; and even as they change (means change) the auspiciousness of the time grows!

Da Xu-Great AccumulationThe initial Gua I cast (I use the 50-yarrow stalk method) is pictured here. The bottom trigram is Qian meaning Heaven. These were all 7s, strong Yang lines forming a very sturdy foundation for the month. The upper trigram was formed by two 8s and a 9; two strong yin lines and a weak Yang line. The top 9 then shifts to an open Yin line forming the new “accomplished” Gua (see that hexagram below).

The initial Gua is composed of “Mountain” over “Heaven” and means “great accumulation.” In the sequence of the 64 hexagrams that compose the I Ching great accumulation follows “Without Falsehood.”  The implication is “when truthful there is great accumulation of virtue.” And with virtue comes great power, wealth and prosperity.

We are entering harvest time. It will be a good, even great harvest.

In the hexagram Heaven is below Mountain. The image is of clouds hanging within the mountains accumulating cooling and nourishing rain – a majestic image! And this is a good sign for continuing fair weather for the abundant harvest.

Tai-AdvanceWhen the top line shifts from Yang to Yin the accomplished Gua is Tai which means “advance.” It is pictured here:

To capture an image of this, one sees that the top line of the initial Gua “opens” as it changes. This opening lets the accumulation of virtue flow out in “advancement” and we use the accumulation to good purpose. The accomplished Gua means it is favorable to take action.

Quoting Master Alfred Huang, author of my main reference, The Complete I Ching, “Tai is one of the most auspicious words in Chinese.” It can mean: “more than great, peace, safety, good health, progress, proceeding, and advancing.”

Continuing to quote from Master Huang, here is King Wen’s decision for this Gua:

Advance.
The little is departing,
The great is arriving.
Good fortune.
Prosperous and smooth.

The keys to this accomplished Gua are union and harmony. Within the structure of the hexagram, the two trigrams, Heaven below and Earth above, are coming together in union. This is why the word Tai is so auspicious: when Heaven unites with Earth blessing and bliss are attained. And humans are the connectors. As the Taoteching states: “Heaven is great, Earth is great, Humans are also great.”

It is a time of unity and harmony. As we advance in the year toward the Autumnal Equinox, as this Moon-cycle begins to wane, we can move into the balance point in the Sun-cycle.

Harvest is great. Accumulate great virtue over the next few weeks and on that strength advance toward balance and harmony!

PS: As always, my dear friend and awesome astrologer, Gloria Hesseloff writes the perfectly synchronous newsletter on this Virgo New Moon; quoting: Virgo energy asks us to become highly competent in a skill that is of value to others. We then generously offer it as our high service. Your specific gifts are truly needed at this significant moment in history. The goal is to do this without arrogance (humbly) but also without self-deprecation. This can be a tricky task…

Through “great accumulation” of virtue we make gains “of value to others.” From this accumulation we “advance” and offer our gains as “our high service.” And we do this from a point of harmony and balance!

MONDAY’S POEM: Balance

September 23, 2013 2 comments

During this time of the Autumnal Equinox it is good to look for balance in our lives. I published this poem before, during another equinox. But it continues to speak to me and I hope it helps bring balance to your life during this time of equal light and dark. And the last line of this poem is fully in harmony with my last couple of blogs about “home” and “sense of place.”

Balance

Breathe in freshness,
The power of life in the Universe.
Breathe out love,
The acceptance of All in the Universe.

Consume deliciousness,
Every dish alive with energy.
Purge the waste without grief;
It is a meal for another.

Bring into the Universe all of You;
Your unique gifts are essential.
Let go of everything that is not yours;
There are others ready to serve.

Live your Life Purpose;
Your karmic journey is open.
Die as a Natural Human,
Fully embracing your sense of place.

©2013 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Harvest Full Moon, Autumnal Equinox, Homecoming and More

September 20, 2013 Leave a comment

As I wrote in yesterday’s post I am visiting my brothers on the family farm in Wisconsin. I was here for yesterday’s full moon; it was huge and bright here as only it can be in the countryside where it still gets much darker at night than what I usually experience on the east coast. Here is where I got part of my starry-eyed wanderlust when I was a kid looking up at the brilliant night sky, the dense and bright Milky Way streaking overhead and the astounding constellations of the Wheel revolving through the seasons. I was thrilled to see the aurora borealis occasionally in the cold winter nights. And I always loved the rising of Sirius around the time of my birthday. The sky part of being back here hasn’t changed over the years; I can still come back to that.

To celebrate the Full Moon we were out in my brother’s garden bringing in a pail full of green beans, a few remaining peas, an awesome head of cauliflower and some still sweat lettuce coming back after welcome rain. So we did our harvesting for the day and are now enjoying the bounty.

And I’ll be here for the Equinox on Sunday – equal parts night and day. This will be a time for reflecting on balance. And it is good to be here in the place I grew up to ponder the balance in my life: the maturing urbanite and the farm-boy, the world traveler and the small-town bumpkin, the spiritual seeker with the grounded and earthy dirt-farmer son. It is always a good thing to look for balance, not just at equinoxes, but all through the year. Balance begins with inner reflection; the inner is always reflected outwardly. Outer signs of balance, like Sunday’s Equinox, are there to remind us to go inside to find the balance.

I must admit I am somewhat unbalanced by this visit to the family farm; as I wrote yesterday I have discovered it is no longer “home” for me; not even a little bit. I continue to reconcile, or balance, this finding for myself. I think I will be doing some grounding work when I get back to Maryland; the grounding that may have been a vestige of my youth here in Wisconsin needs to be transplanted once and for all. Or maybe it just needs to be replanted in my heart as the physical grounding to place recedes as an important element in my life.

Sandwiched between Full Moon and Equinox is my 50th High School reunion! I will be joining my former classmates for a dinner tonight. Will I recognize anyone? Yesterday my brother and I had breakfast in the hometown café; a couple was also in the restaurant; I knew I knew them but could not place faces with names. The wife recognized me not by my looks but by my voice! And I thought I had worked so hard to neutralize my Wisconsin accent! Betty Lou, three years my senior, looks much the same as when we rode the school bus together the seven miles into town. But recalling names is quite another matter. I hope they give us nametags so I’m not guessing wrong!

Saturday is the big Homecoming event: parade (my class will have a float of some kind since we are one of the honored classes), football (one of my nephews will play) and the evening “banquet” (I put this in quotes because it is probably not what you think; substitute glasses of milk for a fine offering of wine and you’ll get the picture!)

I’ll spend Sunday visiting and catching up with family. I fly home on Monday to get back to routines, qigong classes and a re-balancing. And I’ll take a piece of my old “home” with me in my heart.

Where do you call home? Do you attend school reunions? How do you balance all the experiences of “home” with your life now? Take a peak inside for the answers.

Stand Up or Stand Out?

April 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Yesterday I posted a comment on Rosemary’s message from The Divine Feminine about living into the greater vision the Universe has in mind for us. And I challenged you and me to “stand up” and live that bigger vision, no matter how scary it might be!

Then I came across a story in an old favorite little book by Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu, that I’m re-reading to refresh my mind and spirit about the Way, the Tao that Chuang Tzu so eloquently and deeply explored. Here is that story, The Man with One Foot and the Marsh Pheasant. I believe it speaks loudly to this theme of living into a greater vision of ourselves:

Kung Wen Hsien saw a maimed official
Whose left foot had been cut off–
A penalty in the political game!

“What kind of man,” he cried, “is this one-footed oddity?
How did he get that way? Shall we say
Man did this, or heaven?”

“Heaven,” he said, “this comes from
Heaven, not from man.
When heaven gave this man life, it willed
He should stand out from others
And sent him into politics
To get himself distinguished.
See! One foot! This man is
different.”

The little marsh pheasant
Must hop ten times
To get a bite of grain.

She must run a hundred steps
Before she takes a sip of water.
Yet she does not ask
To be kept in a hen run
Though she might have all she desired
Set before her.

She would rather run
And seek her own little living
Uncaged.

As is so often the case with these stories from Taoism or Zen Buddhism, there is no clear cut moral to the story! On the surface we seem to hear that the Man with One Foot lived up to his charge from heaven – to “stand out.” But perhaps he over-reached his destiny, the “vision the Universe had in mind for him”! (Maybe this is a simple commentary on the “political game” as it was played then—a more dangerous one than today’s!).

Then there is the comparative lesson of the little marsh pheasant who sought her “little living uncaged.” I can presume that she is living in accordance with heaven’s will, nature’s choice. So often these Taoist stories urge a natural way of life, to go with the flow of the Tao.

For me the point of this story is not at all contradictory with the message from The Divine Feminine. The Universe (heaven) has big plans for us. We are standing on the backs of several thousand generations of human ancestry not to live small, to live caged, to live unnaturally with one foot. We are to stand up, not out. And yet, even if we are to lose a foot to the greater cause of living into our vision, is that too much?

There is a polarity to this story that seems to call for balance. We are called to stand up, but not out. We are called to live free as nature intended. And yet we are “called” by the Universe to live big. The story presents us with contrasts, the duality we so often face in daily routine. There is no right or wrong in this story of opposites. The story presents both sides. This complimentary nature of the Tao is a favorite theme of Chuang Tzu. And as Lao Tzu says in the Taoteching, Chapter 2:

All the world knows good
But if that becomes good
This becomes bad.

Follow your nature. And follow the Universe’s call. Stand up and be counted. And yes, there will be both good and bad consequences when you do. The “free” choice is yours!

What do you make of Chuang Tzu’s story?

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