Memorial for Freda Belden 12/8 Sedona

Thursday, Dec 8, 2011 at 6:30-8:30

Sedona School of Temple Arts, 2945 Southwest Dr. Sedona, AZ 86336

Please bring your favorite stories about Freda, poems or songs to share. Potluck to follow ceremony, bring a dish you think Freda would have enjoyed eating with you. If you can’t come in person and want to share some words with those gathered please send what you want to share and I will read it to the group. Please take a moment that evening to hold her in your heart and join us as we celebrate her life and passing. Share this email with her friends.

Directions- The school of Temple Arts located at the corner of Southwest Dr and Sinagua Dr. The directions: take 89 A to the Giant Gas Station, (2 blks east of Dry Creek Rd,) turn north onto Tortilla Dr, go 1 block to Southwest Dr. turn left, go 2 blocks and turn left  and park. It is the building on the southeast corner behind the White House Inn. Call 928-282-5483 if you have questions.

Cracking Open My Heart

My mother’s brain cancer seems to be progressing rapidly since we returned from our trip to Washington State. I took her to Washington to see her oldest friend. They had a wonderful visit. I then picked her up and took her on a trip around the Olympic Peninsula for a few days. I hadn’t been on a vacation with my mother since I was 14 and we backpacked into Big Sur on the California Coast. We had a great time being in nature and seeing the incredible beauty of the mountains, lakes, rain forest, lavender farms and beaches there. My mom was in good spirits and enjoyed herself.

Since returning to Sedona she has begun to decline. She is less engaged with the world and rarely wants to leave her room. She has developed a great love for Coffee Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream and potato chips which she eats while listen to CDs of Ekhart Tolle and Adyashanti. She still has a good appetite and for the most part eats healthfully.

I find myself walking the line between giving her what she wants and encouraging her to do what I think is good for her. My good friend, Jim, mentioned to her a few days ago that he has an electric key board and that he could bring it over and teach her to play the piano. She was excited by the idea. So yesterday, we took her up to his place in Oak Creek Canyon and got the key board. Last night, she began her first lesson. It was great to see her interested in learning something new.

Lately, I have become aware of the amount of stress I am dealing with in this situation. Watching her life force energy stating to wane has been a challenge. This morning I was listening to Adyashanti talk about the difference between courage and fearlessness. Courage is doing something in the face of fear. I have been practicing courage and it is exhausting work. Now, I am ready to face my fear and surrender fully into each moment. Fearlessness is just allowing everything to be as it is without wanting or needing to change it.

I feel deep gratitude for this opportunity to be with my mother as she approaches her transformation from being in form to being formless. It is allowing me to see where I hold on, where I contract and where I resist. She is at peace and enjoying each moment. Watching her, caring for her and loving her is a wonderful gift that is cracking open my heart in a new way.

Conscious Dying

A few days ago I was meditating with my mother.  She was seating with her back to me.  I sat and focused on my breath. All thoughts disappeared and deep peace filled me.  I dissolved into Emptiness.  “Emptiness,” with no up or down, no forward or back, no left or right, empty of form and yet full of Consciousness.

I opened my eyes and looked at my mother’s back. i felt incredible gratitude and appreciation for her being in my life at this powerful time.  I closed my eyes and once again there was only Emptiness.  I recognized that Emptiness doesn’t feel emotions. Only a human form can feel the love of a daughter for her mother.  I became aware of my body’s desire to move, then thoughts came and went. I recognized that Emptiness and form are One, co-existing as this apparent me, called Crystal Dawn.  I saw that life is a meditation. Every inhalation is an opportunity to awaken to the now. Every exhalation is an opportunity to surrender the past. As both Emptiness and form I was free.

My mother, Freda, was diagnosed with brain cancer on May 12th while having during brain surgery. The brain tumor had only been discovered two days earlier when I took her to the ER because she was confused and lethargic. During her week in the hospital, I spent many hours on the internet researching primary brain cancer and glioblastoma multiforma, which is the type of cancer she has.  Friends and family helped in learning about possible treatments, both medical and non-medical.  There is no cure for this type of cancer and the prognosis is poor.

On May 18th Freda was discharged from the hospital and moved in with me. It was the first time we had lived together in 40 years. Post surgery she became clear-headed once again.  Our family came together and talked about the various treatments. Mom was clear that she did not want radiation or chemo. She wanted to die consciously and really be present throughout the experience. She felt all she needed was to eat healthy, meditate several times a day and avoid unnecessary stress.

At 78, she trusts life. She has been amazingly healthy. On entering the hospital I had to explain that she was taking no medications and her last hospitalization was in 1958 when she gave birth to my brother. It is an inspiration the grace that natural surrounds her as she goes about her life. She is surprisingly relaxed and happy. She reads and is creating a journal about her experiences. She is writing a novel based on a short story she wrote several years ago. Friends and family come to visit.

The first couple of weeks  after she moved in I felt called to prepare myself to support my mother in dying consciously. I reread the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and reviewed the Buddhist practice of Phowa , Conscious Dying, that I was initiated into in May 2006.

Knowing that she may be only a few months left to live has made it easy to set aside the business I often get lost in. I have a new appreciation for each moment we share. Being with her at this time of transition is teaching me to slow down and revaluate my life.

The past few weeks are teaching me that birth, death and rebirth are always unfolding. I commonly call it “change.” Change may appear exciting, like a trip to Hawaii or scary, such as being laid off from work. When it is exciting I am attracted to it and want more. When it is scary, I contract. I want to deny, blame or resist what is happening. I find myself saying, “This is not my life.”  Resistance causes me to suffering. Another word for resistance is control. Most of my life, I have believed that if I take charge and stay in control, I’ll be safe and keep my loved one’s safe as well.   Of course this is just a belief. Control is an illusion.

Over the past few days I’ve been noticing when I resist what is. I can clearly see how my ego wants to be in control, to get “my way.” The ego, the ‘’I,” is the cause of the suffering. When I stop and let go of “I’ and recognize the Emptiness that is my true nature, there is no resistance, no fear, no need to change what is. There is peace, joy and love.  My intention is to just stay present and empty and let everything be as it is.

Copyright 2011 Crystal Dawn Morris

The Heart Sutra

Art available at Mandalas.com

Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, while meditating saw that  human existence is inherently empty*, at that moment he was released from suffering. He share his experience  by saying:

Form is emptiness,
emptiness is  form.

All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing increases and nothing decreases.

Emptiness, has no body,
no feeling, no thought,
no will, no consciousness.
no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.

There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.

This is truth that cannot be doubted.

Gaté,
gaté,
paragaté,
parasamgaté.
Bodhi!
Svaha!

The Dalai Lama translates this as:
go,
go,
go beyond,
go thoroughly beyond,
and establish yourself in enlightenment.

* Emptiness is the usual translation for the Buddhist term Sunyata. It refers to the fact that no thing — including human existence — is permanent and no thing is totally independent of everything else. In other words, everything in this world is interconnected and in constant flux. A deep appreciation of this idea of emptiness thus saves us from the suffering caused by our egos, our attachments, and our resistance to change and loss.

[This is an interpretation based on the work of others. I accept responsibility for any errors.]

Parenting for Social Change

This book was written by a woman I met at a Christmas Eve Brunch for Unschooling Mom’s that I attended with my daughter-in-law. It contains a powerful message. If we want to live in a world that supports authenticity we have to begin parenting consciously.

Transform Childhood, Transform the World

Parenting for Social Change is about creating new paradigms for parenting that affirm the dignity and respect the rights of all children.

The parent-child relationship is the foundation from which we learn how to interact in the world. As children many of us had our experiences invalidated, our voices silenced, and our needs and wants trivialized by parents or other adults. We learned that the world was controlled by those who had more power. Though we may have experienced glimpses or moments of a different way of being in the world, often those were few and far between. The paradigm of control and domination by those who had power was our primary experience.

A commitment to social justice parenting asks that we examine the biases and prejudices we have been taught about children and childhood. Through honest self-examination of our internalized beliefs and beginning the process of unlearning adultism, we can create deeper, more respectful, authentic, and joyful relationships with the children who share our lives.

We can create a world in which children’s voices and lived experiences have value and meaning in what has been adult-dominated world. Rather than seeing childhood as the training ground for a productive adult life, childhood and children can be valued in the here and now.

Social change parenting starts from within. Each of us with the willingness to move beyond the paradigms we were taught can create an amazing place for children (and adults!)in this world. There is not an end-point that results in perfect parenting or a perfect life, but rather an exciting process and journey of learning and growth! Please visit Teresa at her website https://www.parentingforsocialchange.com/
for more reviews, information, articles, ideas, etc.!!

Here is a review by an unschooling mom. See her full post at https://www.wanderwonderdiscover.com/

Parenting for Social Change by Teresa Graham Brett is a wonderful, thoughtful, and honest book for any parent who wants to change and transform their parenting from a place of control, to a place of respect and dignity. Teresa offers her experience, her insight, and her authentic self from her own journey from parental control to parental partnership. Her writing is informative, clear, and cites valuable research on how dominance damages children. She challenges us to question our own social views and how we may treat children as “adults-in-training”, rather than human beings with their own right to expression, opinion, and choice. I see so much of myself in her stories and examples as a former authoritarian parent. But, I must say, societal messages are so pervasive, as are our messages from childhood, that even the most peaceful of parents would benefit from reading this book to re-examine the subtleties of conditional love. Here is one of my favorite paragraphs from her book, pg. 96:

“Let’s be clear: our work as parents isn’t about doing things differently so our children will change. It’s not about finding the magic words or methods that will ensure compliance and eliminate disagreements. Instead, it’s about examining ourselves so that we can see how our ways of being with children have been constrained by our previously held beliefs, values, and attitudes. We do this so that we can experience authentic relationships with the children we love so that they can live their own lives, free of our baggage.”

Help Heal the Oceans, Chant the Gayatri Mantra

I have always loved the Gayatri Mantra. It has been used in India for over 3000 years. I first learned it almost 20 years ago in Ralph Blum’s book, The Book of Runes. He associates it with “Sowelu”- Wholeness, the Sun’s Energy. Here is his translation:

You, who are the source of all power,
Whose rays illuminate the whole world,
Illuminate also my heart
So I to may do Your work.

Recently, learned that Deva Premal and Miten are suggesting we chant it to help healing the oceans and all beings who live there. Here are the words in Sanskrit:

Om, bhur bhuvaha svaha
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yonah prachodayat

Watch their video and chant along with them as you imagine the Gulf of Mexico and all the worlds Oceans clean, healthy and vital. This includes all the beings that live there and those who rely on the Oceans as well, including people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IFlaG45xM8[/youtube

Practicing Compassion with Love and Tea

Practicing compassion is an important aspect of Tantra. Helping those less fortunate is a way of practicing compassion and also feeling gratitude for all the abundance we have here in the USA. Because of the situation in Tibet many Tibetans have been forced to leave their homeland and are living in refugee camps. My friend Kathleen Gorman lives here in Sedona. She is committed to helping support this Tibetan refugee camp which is located in Mainpat, India. She has created a website to make it easy to give and feel connected the this small community on the other side of the world. It is doing good works to help the refugees and they are also building a monastery there as well. Even small donations of $5-20 can help create miracles. Learn more https://www.tibetanstupa.org

Hi,
There is some great news on a new small business support program for the projects for the Tibetan refugee camp that Tibetan Stupa is doing! This ‘program’ started when a small family run, organic tea blend company, called Love and Tea, emailed to ask if they could arrange to donate a portion of their online sales to Tibetan Stupa. In just a short time, we easily worked out an arrangement, based totally on Love and Tea’s chosen donation amount, and we’re off and running.

Love and Tea does their bookeeping on a weekly basis, and so once a week, they simply go onto www.tibetanstupa.org and donate their chosen amount to any of the active projects they wish. A simple, easy and generous way for them to put as they say “Love in Action’ to help the camp. And a welcome contribution from small business for the people of the camp!

The thing I like most about Love and Tea’s giving program is that they did not want to wait until they were a big company with a big giving department, they want to help now. I really appreciate that, as just about all of what Tibetan Stupa has been able to do to help the camp has come from many, many people having exactly that same thought and that same action, to help with what they can, now.

If you’d like to check out the fine hand blended organic teas that Love and Tea offers, their website is www.loveandtea.com

If you decide to purchase any of the Love and Tea products, by entering ‘Tibetan Stupa’ in the ‘discount code’ box on the second page of their checkout, Love and Tea will donate a generous percentage of your online purchase to Tibetan Stupa. It is that simple!

If you’re a small business owner and like what Love and Tea has done and want to explore doing your own giving arrangement in your own style, please contact me at kcampkathleen at yahoo.com

If you have a favorite small business and want to let them know you like what Love and Tea has done, and ask them to consider designing their own giving arrangement to help the camp, please feel free to send them this email. They are very welcome to contact me at kcampkathleen at yahoo.com

Many thanks again to Love and Tea for initiating this wonderful giving arrangement and for their ‘Love in Action’ to support the camp!

Best,
Kathleen Gorman for Tibetan Stupa
kcampkathleen at yahoo.com
https://www.tibetanstupa.org

Ho' oponopono, "To make right"

Ho’ oponopono is a practice from the Huna tradition of Hawaii. Essentially, it means to make things right with your ancestors and the other people with whom you have relationships. The original purpose of Ho’oponopono was to correct the wrongs that had occurred in one’s life including: Hala- to miss the thing aimed for, or to err, to disobey and Hewa- to go overboard or to do something to excess which were illusions, and ‘Ino- to do harm, implying to do harm to someone with hate in mind, even if accidental.

A simple way to practice this is to repeat this mantra:
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank You.

Here is a more elaborate practice that is especially helpful when dealing with difficult emotions like, anger, hate and fear. Ho’oponopono helps to clean up all our relationships with other people in our lives. Inside us we carry all the significant people in our lives. Doing Ho’oponopono allows us to clean and heal what no longer serves our highest good.

1. Bring to mind anyone with whom you do not feel total alignment or support, etc.
2. In your mind’s eye, construct a small stage below you.
3. Imagine an infinite source of love and healing flowing from a source above the top of your head (from your Higher Self), and open up the top of your head, and let the source of love and healing flow down inside your body, fill up the body, and overflow out your heart to heal up the person on the stage. Be sure it is all right for you to heal the person and that they accept the healing.
4. When the healing is complete, have a discussion with the person and forgive them, and have them forgive you.
5. Next, let go of the person, and see them floating away. As they do, cut the aka cord that connects the two of you (if appropriate). If you are healing in a current primary relationship, then assimilate the person inside you.
6. Do this with every person in your life with whom you are incomplete, or not aligned. The final test is, can you see the person or think of them without feeling any negative emotions. If you do feel negative emotions when you do, then do the process again.

I hope you find this a helpful practice.

Aloha

Erogenous Zones of Life, Light, and Emptiness – Ken Wilber on You Tube

In this video Ken talks about sex, Tantra and using sexual energy to Awaken. The phase he shares that mirrors the breathing practice he talks about is,
” Bliss realizing Emptiness Arises as Compassion.”

Tantra Tip of the Day- Practice Connected Breathing

Connected breathing begins by being present with your breath. Allow your breath to naturally deepen and find its own relaxed pace. As you relax and watch the breath the mind tends to relax. As the mind and body relax, the breath allows you to access emotions and stuck energy you have been holding onto. If emotions arise just be present with them, without thinking about them. Instead, breathe the emotions through the body and watch them transform.

If you notice tension in the body, breathe into the tension and send love into that area of the body. Notice the contraction begin to soften. If thoughts arise let them be as clouds in the sky. Watch them morph and change without becoming attached to them. Always stay connected to the breath, if you get lost for a moment or minutes just return to the breath.

Connected breathing can also be done with a partner in a variety of positions. Here are a few- sit facing each other while you eye gaze and breathe together. Lay face-to-face, in the scissors position, eye gaze and breathe together or try lying in the spooning position with eyes closed as you snuggle and breathe together.

Doing connected breathing helps you to develop presence and equanimity as you let go of thoughts and feelings. It helps you to increase energy, decrease stress, feel more connected, let go of fears and develop more compassion for yourself and others.

(C) Copyright 2009, Crystal Dawn Morris, all rights reserved.
www.TantraForAwakening.com
www.TantraGal.Blogspot.com