Happy New Year!

Swiss German: E Guets Nois! 
German: Frohes Neues Jahr! 
French: Bonne Annee!

Dharmachakra Mudra

Dharmachakra in Sanskrit means 'Wheel of Dharma'. This mudra symbolizes one of the most important moments in the life of Buddha, the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park at Sarnath. This event is often referred to as the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma.
In this mudra the thumb and index finger of both hands touch at their tips to form a circle. This circle represents the Wheel of Dharma, or in metaphysical terms, the union of method and wisdom.
The three remaining fingers of the two hands remain extended. These fingers are themselves rich in symbolic significance:
The three extended fingers of the right hand represent the three vehicles of the Buddha's teachings, namely:
  • The middle finger represents the 'hearers' of the teachings
  • The ring finger represents the 'solitary realizers'
  • The Little finger represents the Mahayana or 'Great Vehicle'.
The three extended fingers of the left hand symbolize the Three Jewels of Buddhism, namely, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Significantly, in this mudra, the hands are held in front of the heart, symbolizing that these teachings are straight from the Buddha's heart.
This mudra is displayed by the first Dhyani Buddha Vairochana. Each of the Five Dhyani Buddhas is associated with a specific human delusion, and it is believed that they help mortal beings in overcoming them. Thus, Vairochana is believed to transform the delusion of ignorance into the wisdom of reality. By displaying the Dharmachakra mudra, he thus helps adepts in bringing about this transition


I ran in to a couple the other day and learned that they no longer use the exclusive spa facility where I had seen them so often because membership price went up from $350 to $650/not per year, but per month!

Instead this couple, Republicans that no doubt oppose "Obamacare", joined a regular spa on cost of Medicaid! American tax dollars benefiting the needy?


I could not bear leaving my pups behind, leaving them home alone, when I know how much they like to be out and about, so I took them along on what is our local tradition, a walk up Canyon Road, lit up pretty in the traditional way with faralitos, tiny tea candles placed on dirt in brown paper lunch bags. Those little lights line the streets, the walls and the roofs and make for a festive atmosphere. Small bonfires attract crowds that once inebriated enough will burst in to Christmas songs and merriment.

With an early start before dark, I encountered no Christmas carolers, none, but did come upon three drummers banging out a Samba rhythm to the disbelief of a roaming, ever growing crowd.  They left a wide comfortable trail behind that was easy to follow for my pups, my little guy in ever more danger of getting stepped upon, of which he stayed blissfully unawares.

We did see some vibrant passionate art work by a Canadian woman painter, a delight. Some art galleries chose to stay open for the occasion and offered welcome relief from a fairly cold night. (It made me long for a Russian fur hat, coat and muff. I used to own a silvery fur coat I had bought second hand and then had a hat and muff made for me by my dear friend.) We did taste some sweets and cider. Some folks stopped to say hi, some hugged even though they were strangers and many smiled and more wanted to say hi to the four-legged ones. Sorry, I got no photos to share from our walk. A camera would have been way too much to use in that crowd with my furry companions on lead and challenging road conditions. The photos included I took very recently with Christmas in mind.)

Luscious Low Light

There is a kind of luck that's not much more than being in the right place at the right time, a kind of inspiration that's not much more than doing the right thing in the right way, and both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment.
Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts

Occupy Santa Fe Woes

After my attendance of our most recent GA, I kinda realized I was having trouble. In two full months now of involvement with the Occupy movement, I have not yet been able to express my concerns and contribute positively to the shaping of a still amorphous agglomeration of individuals in to an effective group of activists.

Yes, about 8 weeks ago I was able to influence the route of Occupy Santa Fe's march away from a narrow downtown street where it likely would have obstructed local business and created ill will, to a more visible path along a major flow of traffic through town. But as regards such obvious things of prime importance such as a good working, practical on-line presence, nope, no can do. No matter my posts on our various sites, no matter my mention to individual folks, no go. The Media working group concerned itself with big plans for video and radio transmissions, but seems to neglect the actual trouble with a smattering of sites: Facebook group and - page and - working group sites, plus additional two (no, not one, but two) sites for campers (with barely a post related to camp.) Then there is a rarely used website in existence that features working group sites not updated most in over a month, e-mail lists with their round robin plethora of e-mails ad absurdum and most recently a new yahoo group. These are only the sites I know of, there likely are more. All this makes efforts of organization cumbersome and dysfunctional and leaves newcomers at a loss of where to go for  their information and contributions. Why a central site is not a priority is beyond me. Why an updated agenda is not a priority is beyond me too. Why easy access to sites with capability of interaction is not encouraged, so as to create notices of events and to make efforts to let people know about plans and to inform about the progress of working groups is way beyond me.

Is it burn out already? My god-dess, we got a long road ahead of us if we are committed to the work of real change, rather then small change. I have been suckered in to what is called a Facilitation Work Group. The idea is to create templates to serve as basis for efficient facilitation of General Assemblies (GA) as well as training manuals for facilitators. The desire was to follow, but not imitate Occupy Wall Street procedures so as to serve our much smaller community. The benefit of trained facilitation has been obvious at every GA where such were amiss. Trouble is we got bogged down in minutia that I am afraid will stifle, rather then further the process of decision making in General Assemblies.

Odd that while I am normally shy and avoid the lime light, I have felt inspired, involved and committed with Occupy Santa Fe from the get-go. So facilitation seemed like  an arena I might be of use. I can be impartial, I have professional training to stay in an observer role and I have skills to follow process. I wish though I had better leading skills. I seem unable to really get my ideas across effectively and that is very frustrating to me. I guess it is my learning edge. I hope over time I will do better.

To my mind regular marches, preferably after lunch when families would be free to join in, would have kept us visible in the public eye. Instead we got buried in a part of our public park frequented mainly by transients and homeless folks. Others drive by, maybe notice the camp and at best wonder why. The Native American transient populace seemed to have laid claim to the real estate now occupied. They would get drunk and then belligerent and in this way would exhaust the campers in a seeming endless struggle to preserve their safe boundaries, their peace of mind and their sleep.

Of course my Cancer nature would find other means, more immediate ones, of being of service. I scored a whole chicken at the Farmers Market and made it in to chicken soup, my first one from scratch from a whole bird. (Reaching in to that bird to retrieve the innards was not as scary as I had imagined.) I  brought the steaming hot pot over to camp by 9 p.m. for something warm to eat during the cold night. I did got rave reviews and that felt very rewarding. But I also have brought over a pot of rice and lentils that then I had to discover hidden away, uneaten by the next day, what a turn off. Someone had made the decision that pancakes did not go well with brown rice. The whole pot with warm ready to eat food, made in part with vegetables from the adjacent community garden gone to waste, not to talk of the energy it had taken to make it.
 While these and similar struggles have been going on at Occupation sites across the globe and while many sites have been forcefully terminated, the spirit of resistance only will grow stronger forced underground. While for now less in the public eye, much does happen in working groups and there is no doubt a deep commitment for real change (rather then small change) by many fed up individuals.
An idea whose time has come can not be ignored. 
But the growing pains are many.

Magic Light

Magic Does Happen

Opportunities can arise so unexpectedly, I need reminders. Last night I was able to attend a public event, a lecture and panel discussion of interest, simply because I had whiled for an extended moment on an inviting bench outside the independent bookstore across from my home. Mind you I often visit this cozy alternative bookstore, but rarely have I ever sat outside it. Well, a woman joined me, we got to talking, to giggling, to sharing little intimacies, personal tidbits, and finally to exchange numbers. Few days later I was unexpectedly invited, by that very same woman, to a public event that commanded a great turn out of our alternative minded community. Among folks I had not seen in ages, I enjoyed myself tremendously. Magic happens, most often unexpectedly. If it can happen in one arena, it can happen in another. I want to keep an open mind - and heart as regards my next steps in to my future. The world can change at a moment's notice. Doors may appear to open suddenly when they may have been  available to us all along. We live in a multi-faceted, exciting universe that pulsates with possibilities. Trick is to keep eyes, hearts and minds open and available to the opportunities.

Post Ecliptic Dream

Wide awake at 3:45 a.m., just at the start of the lunar eclipse, I watched the event some on-line until sleep beckoned again. That is when I dreamed of teasing one tiny, pink, giggly mouse, by rolling it across my bed. Delighted this little creature, on it's back, pink paws extended, cute little belly exposed, seemed to giggle and laugh it's head off, just like my Sumo-boy might. 

Is my subconscious inviting me to lighten up? Mind you I am scared of mice and outside of my dreams I would never attempt to join any one of them in play. No doubt those lovers of rodents and all things alive will judge me lacking in one of life's major source of enjoyments. I woke not light, but heavy hearted, and the mood seems to want to persist.

The Cultivation Of A Sense Of Abundance

6 a.m. I am having breakfast inside my cozy warm home, while temperatures dipped down low to two degrees outside. I had one pancake, topped with cranberry sauce of my own making (sweetened with tangerine juice and just a dash of cayenne pepper for heat) garnished with juicy, plump fresh blackberries, and accompanied by one cup of strong, sweet, espresso made to taste richer with a dash of nutmeg, ginger and a sip of vanilla. Food that nourished not only the body, but also the soul.

Meanwhile our occupiers spent the night out in tents, in frigid temperatures.

I am worried, but plan to make a pot of rice and lentils in curry for them. 

Update: The occupiers assured me they were o.k., cold, but not too bad. Worst seems to be crawling out of their warm sleeping bags and in to the cold. I did bring them a steaming hot pot of brown rice, mixed in with curried vegetables, but no lentils, did not realize I was out. Walked over there with pups on lead in one hand and metal basket with steaming pot in other hand. Promptly lost my felt hat and had to retrace my steps all the way back to camp again where my Sumo-boy spotted my beloved hat sitting, despite the gusty winds, right there on the trail, hooray!