Category Archives: Buddhism

Disruption, Are You Rigid?

According to my dear friend Marilyn there are two kinds of people, those who prefer towers and the others which prefer caves, the former observers and the latter shelterers I would add that neither of these can hold off the ‘inconvenience’ of disruption.

The result of our cumulative experiences makes each of us shelter in uniquely different ways. Despite our protests we all have finely defined boxes, sometimes our boxes include massively built walls, which make us comfortable and ‘safe’. Entrenched in our comfort we grow ever less capable of being expansive. Our self-imposed exile of stability restricts our movement as surely as shackles might. Disruption is going to happen so I think it is prudent to recall Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words:

karma jpegBrainyQuotes image.

When we close ourselves off from disruption can be as small as the cap left off the toothpaste, or the toilet seat left up by a new lover, a guest in our home slicing a lemon differently or being a fresh air fanatic living in our homes with the windows thrown open (my hand is raised high here). Disruption after all is unsettling, upsetting, annoying and it is an enormous opportunity for growth.  The irony is, that if asked, those who are the most thoroughly entrenched truly believe that they are functioning in a state of expansive love, generosity and kindness – the truth is only on their terms.

Rigidity is not my friend, or yours. In the two years I spent as a digital nomad I have had ample opportunity to serve as ‘the disruptive force’, and I do mean “serve” in the truest sense of that word.

Lots is made of ‘being agile’ whether an organisation or an individual, embracing change, rather than fighting it, allows the best possible outcome to manifest. And yes, I really do believe that on our spiritual path in attaining at-one-ment with The Universe, or God, having our comfort zone pushed and pulled out of its normal shape is very good for us, necessary even. Disruption forces us to confront what we fear and let it lead us forward, or we can beat a hasty retreat from it returning to what makes us comfortable.

Recently I made a choice to help someone spend more quality time with their elderly parents prior to their departure on a rather long trip, but I needed to establish boundaries around my offer. Those parameters would allow me to be generous with my time and culinary talents but ensure that I didn’t bear an undue financial burden. We are always free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices. The response to my words came with consequences, disruption to the stability of my life and a hefty financial cost for the individual. Here is where personal responsibility kicks in, but it could be something ‘more’. I fully accept the karma of my choice but I have to wonder if The Universe was really using me as an instrument, or somehow protecting me (yet again). What if my words were meant to as an opportunity to help move this person dramatically away from the entrenched rigidity of their life? (my perception). Their subsequent choice denies their pets my love and companionship and their home security, and they will subsequently incur a cost of €50 a day for eight months while I am denied a measure of stability to write and conduct business. Quel domage.

Rigidity or resilience, how do you deal with disruption?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

 

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Where we’ve been, where we’re going

I am not the same woman I was on this day a year ago as I set forth in a 20150106_101627-2.jpglittle red car from the Dalmatian coast near Trogir to drive to Zadar and then onto Velika Plana in the Velebit mountains of Croatia. I have spent more time outside of the United States than within it these last 12 months. I have given up worldly possessions, my things currently residing in a 10x10x10 storage unit. As a result of studied consideration I am without an address while not a refugee, though some might argue that point, rather a wanderer as I wanted to take what little time remains on this planet for me and to live even more fully than I ever have previously. I have created a new (virtual) communications consultancy with my dear friend Ken, and together we generated more than 28million impressions on various social media platforms for the Istrian Tourist Board. I have now visited Israel, a country never on my bucket list unlike the genuine longing I feel for Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. On my first morning here I was welcomed in my friend’s garden 20151230_132038-2by the sound of the Muezzin’s voice as it rang out over this mixed neighbourhood in Jerusalem. After gently quelling Christians (pushing, shoving and being rude in their frenzy to kneel before God) in the Basilica and Grotto of the Nativity I spent Christmas Day eating Arabic street food in Bethlehem. I now wear an (energetically powerful) deep turquoise 2000 year old piece of Roman glass as a result of being here – the silver palm leaf as emblematic of my journey as the blue glass which mirrors the Adriatic Sea I have been engaged in protecting this last year. 

Numbers are the Universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth. ~  St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354–430)

Today is 02 01 2016. My birthday is 16 02 2016. I know nothing (substantial) about numerology but I like the synergy of those numbers. I like to consider that they represent within this infinitely tiny window of human history (45 days, or 4+5 = 9) something amazing and inspiring which is about to happen in my life, perhaps even for the world, that will fundamentally alter e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

After writing the above sentence I did a Google search of “numerology + 02162016” and the following came up as a result – posted by someone using the Avatar of Santa Mann on October 28, 2014 at 9:07 pm

The date is Feb.16th 2016 …
0216 = 9
2016 = 9 ….
02162016 = 18 = 9
9+9+9=27 = 9
If my calculations are correct this is a major date may even disrupt
elections for 2016

I will settle for something a bit less dramatic as I think the ripe New Year is full of promise and because how much more can we take of natural and man-made disasters as well as the wearying hate and destruction wrought by those whose lives are grounded in fear.

The New Year had has this ‘affect’ on me for a very long time – probably even longer than the loss I suffered thirteen years ago yesterday (where once again on New Year’s Day I was hit hard). Since childhood I have not made resolutions. I am reflective about the past and then it is time to move on. I have always believed that my journey was meant to be a singular activity and while that might sound a bit egotistical, aren’t all of our journeys singular? There are people who I hold in my heart more dearly than they can possibly know, but there is something about me (as my friend Kirstie points to my 7th House as the culprit) lacks ‘stickiness when it comes to relationships’ – all relationships, but in particular those forming romantic connections with men.

This morning 7575 miles away from where she and I sat at our respective computers, me at a rough hewn table with Narcissus picked from the 20160102_130834-2garden this morning their heady fragrance as much a balm as the cup of tea I was drinking, my childhood friend Mary dropped me a note on Facebook “…more comes from this time in your life than any other, be Faithful to yourself and know that all comes when least expected! I send love and Light my friend and embrace you across the miles…Namaste”.

Recently two very different men from two different cultures shared prophetic words with me. Both, whether they realised it or not, provided me with substantial gifts in doing so.  The first man, whose voice I have yet to hear, told me that I might be the woman he has searched for his whole life. Okay, whether I am or not if you are single isn’t it nice to think that ‘someplace out there’ there is one person who is keen on finding you?? Yet there are astonishing, and highly unlikely from a statistical perspective, synchronicities between his life and my own which would point to some reason for our (eventual) meeting including his having an important ‘life moment’ on my birthday last year.  The second man stood before me telling me that he had a message from God for me. Now before you pshaw that idea let’s recall that there is a long list of historic figures that the Almighty has spoken to, and plenty of contemporary false prophets spewing ugliness in His name from podiums tied to the politics of virtually every nation.  But I think Muneer is tied into something ‘older’ and somehow more authentic to our collective human condition.  There is love.jpgno way to explain, given the pure randomness of the way we met, how in posing his statements, subsequent questions and of his words (from God) he could be quite so accurate as to foster resonance in my heart chakra to the degree that my eyes filled (and spilled) with tears. The image at right PERFECTLY synopsis’s Muneer’s message.

I have been reflecting on all these words expressed to me, turning them over in my head and heart, recognizing the truth found and opening myself up to the path to set forth upon with their accompaniment. These words give me something to ponder and have renewed my hope in possibilities just as the clean slate of the New Year always seems to promise.

My friend Mary says that as I walk fully in Faith I inspire her to do the same. I had never considered that my actions inspired others but perhaps that is what love is. We are loved because we are God’s light carried within our souls, not separate, but ‘at-one-ment’.

We are loved. We are love. Happy New Year.

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the “price of a cup of tea” in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Journeying to your own Ithaca

There is nothing greater, more humbling, than to be truly seen and to have someone bestow the blessings of a long journey upon you ‘to Ithaca’. (And yes, I cried tears of gratitude as I was gifted with the video embedded below.)

How fragile our hold on living and life that we often neglect the supreme beauty of self found along the twists and turns of roads unknown and in navigating seas that awash decks with spray and waves which threaten to swamp us; these travels that make us more of who we are at our most essential until we arrive home. Buddha’s words resound throughout Homer’s The Odyssey and certainly are found in the ‘modern’ Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis (1863-1933) both “What we Odysseus-Sirensthink, we become” and “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” As my girlfriend Deborah so clearly understands my character, I dwell in the sensual and I fail to consider that there might be a Cyclops intent upon destroying me on my journey (so none appear).

And so, where you stand today, allow me to ‘pay it forward’ and share Kavafis’ (aka C.P. Cavafy’s) Ithaca words so eloquently read by Sir Sean Connery. That is all.

P.S. I received a message from a lovely (unknown) man from OKCupid who lives in Thessaloníki, Greece this morning. He graciously sent Ithaca, Ithaki, as read by a well regarded (and I believe deceased) actress which in the interest of authenticity I feel compelled to offer. I don’t know his name just his avatar but, thank you NnTt22.

Ithaca
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon — do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.

Kastelli Hill

Kastelli Hill, Atheras Bay, Cephalonia, Greece

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

odysseus

Map of The Odyssey

Ιθάκη
Σα βγεις στον πηγαιμό για την Ιθάκη,
να εύχεσαι νάναι μακρύς ο δρόμος,
γεμάτος περιπέτειες, γεμάτος γνώσεις.
Τους Λαιστρυγόνας και τους Κύκλωπας,
τον θυμωμένο Ποσειδώνα μη φοβάσαι,
τέτοια στον δρόμο σου ποτέ σου δεν θα βρείς,
αν μέν’ η σκέψις σου υψηλή, αν εκλεκτή
συγκίνησις το πνεύμα και το σώμα σου αγγίζει.
Τους Λαιστρυγόνας και τους Κύκλωπας,
τον άγριο Ποσειδώνα δεν θα συναντήσεις,
αν δεν τους κουβανείς μες στην ψυχή σου,
αν η ψυχή σου δεν τους στήνει εμπρός σου.

Να εύχεσαι νάναι μακρύς ο δρόμος.
Πολλά τα καλοκαιρινά πρωϊά να είναι
που με τι ευχαρίστησι, με τι χαρά
θα μπαίνεις σε λιμένας πρωτοειδωμένους·
να σταματήσεις σ’ εμπορεία Φοινικικά,
και τες καλές πραγμάτειες ν’ αποκτήσεις,
σεντέφια και κοράλλια, κεχριμπάρια κ’ έβενους,
και ηδονικά μυρωδικά κάθε λογής,
όσο μπορείς πιο άφθονα ηδονικά μυρωδικά·
σε πόλεις Αιγυπτιακές πολλές να πας,
να μάθεις και να μάθεις απ’ τους σπουδασμένους.

Πάντα στον νου σου νάχεις την Ιθάκη.
Το φθάσιμον εκεί είν’ ο προορισμός σου.
Αλλά μη βιάζεις το ταξίδι διόλου.
Καλλίτερα χρόνια πολλά να διαρκέσει·
και γέρος πια ν’ αράξεις στο νησί,
πλούσιος με όσα κέρδισες στον δρόμο,
μη προσδοκώντας πλούτη να σε δώσει η Ιθάκη.

Η Ιθάκη σ’ έδωσε το ωραίο ταξίδι.
Χωρίς αυτήν δεν θάβγαινες στον δρόμο.
Αλλο δεν έχει να σε δώσει πια.

Κι αν πτωχική την βρεις, η Ιθάκη δεν σε γέλασε.
Ετσι σοφός που έγινες, με τόση πείρα,
ήδη θα το κατάλαβες η Ιθάκες τι σημαίνουν.

Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης (1911)

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 
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Transcendence and Snowglobe(s)

boston at nightFor a moment pretend you are four years old, your nose pressed against the cold window pane, against the dark backdrop huge snowflakes fall and swirl in the street lamps’ golden halo, your tiny exhales fog the scene but magically it clears over and over again you are in rapture and you exist in this quietude of wonder for what seems like no time but in fact a half an hour or more has lapsed. Mom, or Dad or your favourite Aunt notices but doesn’t interrupt, distract or call you to dinner – as they are capturing this moment of your pleasure in their own memory to wistfully recall as the years slip by and you grow. The memory is palpable and shared, though you were blissfully unaware the gift your silent observation has provided. When your next birthday came around your tiny hands held the gift of a snow globe, and as you shook it the picture memory flooded back to you – because within the sphere was a small snowy landscape with a street lamp, exactly as you had experienced standing at the window as the snow and the street lamp merged into you and lit you from within.

33Bridges-Snow-Globes-Walter-Martin-and-Paloma-Munoz

See: http://www.martin-munoz.com/ for information about the artists of these contemporary snow globes

Some memories are more powerful, have greater impact upon us in the long term than we can even begin to comprehend. And when we draw upon these moments of our lives they aren’t remembered as a short film with sounds and words and precise lighting, no, I believe that they are recollected as the miniature scene in a snow globe. The swirling flakes of iridescence in water obscure the memory and then as the snow settles we are provided clarity – just a very tiny vision of what was, but perfect, absolutely perfect.

My girlfriend Jennifer had invited me to accompany her on a road trip to Boston and I admit I had trepidation over such because there is a more tenuous hold on adult friendships than those of our youth – perhaps because we realise the fragility and impermanence of life – it’s ‘reasonable’ to at least think about avoiding circumstances that could undo something which we hold precious. Once reconciled that all would be fine, it was with the experience of being a tour guide in Niagara Falls for three years that I planned and plotted – and while it’s hard to know how anyone will receive what you present them, easier perhaps with anonymous strangers than a dear friend, I approached this with nurturance and love. I was all in to map out ‘a gift’ and while I culled what I loved most about living in Boston and surrounds in the hope of providing a transformative couple of days of beauty, peace and experiences – I admit the anticipation of being back in Boston swamped my heart and head. While it would never be possible to share the gains of emotional experiences found in solitary activities (like a child standing at a window) such as riding my bike along the Esplanade, skating alone at midnight one bitingly cold night under a full moon on the (rarely frozen) Public Gardens’ lagoon, singing carols by candlelight and street lamps as Christmas Eve snow fell on Louisburg Square, swimming at Rockport’s Front Beach in pre-dawn waiting for the sun to rise, sitting in the courtyard of Harvard’s Fogg museum listening to viola de gamba and harpsichord, oh, yes, a very personal collection of ‘memory’ snow globes each impossible to share but it was the essence of these experiences I wanted Jennifer to find ‘for herself’.

deborah's snow globe

Golagai 2 by Deborah Barlow

I appreciate, and I see, and I am moved to tears and reflection and joy, and contemplation over the creative endeavours of others – even when I don’t understand their work as they might have intended. I had the very great pleasure to stand before this piece of art last weekend in the dining area of the home of my new (old – turns out we both worked for the same tech company albeit a decade apart) friend Deborah Barlow and her husband David Wilcox. I won’t lie, the biomorphic nature of Deborah’s oeuvre is ‘over my head’ intellectually but mastery of anything can be felt if not understood. My immediate, non-edited reaction to this piece of art was it was a snow globe, newly shaken, and waiting to reveal its hidden secrets as the pearlised flakes swirled around in the space contained within the outlines of the frame and it made me happy – no, rather, nostalgic and happy and filled with anticipation of Jennifer’s experience of the ‘edited’ Boston I had selected for her (and for myself to walk again).

Within an hour of arriving in town we were at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, within two hours I was reaching a (desired) state of grace and white light in my solar plexus sitting in quietude in the MFAs Buddhist Temple. Jennifer sat on the opposite side of the main entrance and when I got up she also did, her eyes brimming with tears, in that moment incapable of expressing words she could only repeatedly nod her head as she looped her arm through mine to steady herself against the wave of emotion and peace the various Buddha’s had gifted her. rasha-flying-solo

Memories come at us hard and fast and when we least expect them to, art is like that – or should be; we are transformed by being ‘present’ for the experience of someone’s gifts of artistry, how these affect and have effect on us. I might have initially connected Deborah’s work as a “snow globe” but now, forever, it will linked to the gift I hoped for Jennifer, transcendence.

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A Thousand Years, when love isn’t a smaltz-commercial event

This is NOT about that singular day a year (a month away) when commercial interests shove ‘love’ down our throats, this is about the infinite love that spans time, dimensions, multiple lives, crosses gender and age – this is the love, that everyone, E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, knows in one form or another.

how I feelSmall children love unconditionally, without restraint, and their tiny hearts have more than enough room in there for every person that comes in contact with them. Any of you old enough to be reading this have witnessed the purity of toddlers and tiny babies eyeing each other across any public space, how they instinctively make eye contact, and one, if not both of them, will move toward one another in this recognition of self – the same essence, so recently part of a larger whole, reunited in the space of a breath,  the most perfect love mirroring back at them, and reconnected.  They hug and kiss easily, they smile brightly and laugh, share toys and food or drinks without a second thought. Parents usually let this happen but I can see, you can very likely see as well, that something in the adult psyche has forgotten how to live with this much authenticity and their body language often becomes rigid and an invisible wall seems to spring up around them and their aura just before they drag their kids off.  In the United States we’ve gotten so crazy about this personal space that little kids (preschool, kindergarten, elementary school) get accused of “sexual harassment” – parents, educators and administrators you really need get your heads out of the trash and/or take a chill pill!

The Dalai Lama, in his infinite wisdom and compassion and love, maintains that we could completely eliminate violence (and likely war) in a generation if we taught each and every child to meditate.  I honestly concur, even though I can’t say that I am a practitioner of meditation myself – my alignment coming with my hands deep in the soil or cutting through salt water.

I have loved you for A Thousand Years, Christina Perri’s gorgeous song might speak to a romantic love but, is it?  The lyrics –

Image

“And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more”

suggest so much more than that (at least I think so). At our most perfect state of being all we are is love, a potent vibrational energy that doesn’t simply disappear when our physical bodies die.  That we, fragile, imperfect human beings will get one thing really right when we actually cease to analyze the dynamic between us and everyone else and simply let our consciousness (in the metaphysical sense) guide the connections to the people we are most safe with, who can be protective and receptive of the singular thing that unites all of us – love.  I am not remotely suggesting that every human being you are in the presence of over the course of your lifetime will be a harmonic match to you, discernment can be cognitive or intuitive (and yes, I have made mistakes in jumping fully into new friendships – not that I would change a thing about my behavior as I have always learned something while being burned).  But the sense that we have known someone for a thousand years, or more, that resonance and recognition only comes when we simply allow ourselves to ‘feel’.

LoveThese connections can manifest in astonishing ways – most perfectly between strangers who give everything and expect nothing (this collection of our humanity will make your throat clench and eyes fill), but ensure that we will ‘pay it forward’ because to not do so would seem somehow sacrilegious or make us immoral.

This sculpture Entitled A Helping Hand by Gustav Vigeland in Oslo, Norway seems to me to be the perfect A helping hand - Olso Norway sculpture parkrepresentation of this particular type of love.  Carved in granite, and set among 200 hundred other works spanning the human condition, the powerful sentiment of lifting up our fellow man who has fallen is only missing the commentary, “come on, let me help you get back on your feet”.  Any of our failures to recognise ourselves in those around us suffering becomes all of our collective failure.  In truth it takes so little to raise all of us up in an act of compassion and empathy – what will you do? 

Dr. Paul Zak as a neuroeconomist (yea, I know, I was like ‘a what’?) goes a long (brilliant) way in explaining the link between oxytocin, morality, empathy and love.  Watch the whole Ted Talk – it really is fascinating, and (I can almost promise) you will be really glad you did.  Essentially when we connect to other people our oxytocin levels spike – a good thing – because when we do we perpetuate empathy and we are happier and the world will vibrate at that higher frequency known as love too! He is a firm proponent of hugging – which releases even more oxytocin – I wonder if simply thinking about hugging someone accomplishes the same bio-chemical reactions?

There is also the romantic love to consider. I was the recent guest blogger and guest for Last Minute Travel’s #TravelTweetChat, I see no point in quoting someone else when my own brief words sufficiently convey so much relevant to this genre of love.

LastMinuteTravel.com ‏@LMTTweets  Jan 10 .@teresafritschi Is there a difference in finding romance than finding love?
@TeresaFritschi  Jan 10 #romance happens regardless of where u r, be #authentic, do the same things u ❤ @ home when traveling 4 romance 2findu

#romance is a state of thinking & being, #love is http://bit.ly/19XbCfH  the softly glowing embers ~ not the flames

@LMTTweets  Jan 10 .@teresafritschi So love is embers not flames. Please describe together since#romance. #TravelTweetChat
@TeresaFritschi  Jan 10  #romance is wooing http://bit.ly/1ae48zf  subsequent effort that keeps #love dynamic http://bit.ly/1ekmV0l 

@TeresaFritschi  Jan 10 We are all wired for #love#romance takes practice @LMTTweets both are based in thoughtfulness, tenderness

@LMTTweets  Jan 10 .@teresafritschi Any opinion the most sensual place or city? #TravelTweetChat
@TeresaFritschi  Jan 10 #sensuality is practicing awareness, an immersion of your senses @LMTTweets #TravelTweetChat

@TeresaFritschi  Jan 10 anywhere can be sensual – toes in sand, making snow angels, Fenway Park, a carousel ride, tasting honey

I know, you are reading this and asking yourself – “all this talk about love, but no sex?” – as the song goes, save best for last

existedI admit that the sharing of physical intimacy has not been part of my reality for a long time, taking a lover for the sake of having one or for ensuring physical release in the most casual sense (risking STDs and professional reputation alike), or to offset a fear of sleeping alone has never seemed a trophy worth having.  What is worth having is something precious and meaningful, something which becomes an extension of self, that is sustainable because the idea of letting it slip through your fingers or recklessly discarding it is abhorrent as well as inconceivable.  No relationship comes with a guarantee of satisfaction, and in our disposable society those romantic relationships that start out as the passion captured at left demand something more than the physical pleasure that comes with coupling to be sustained.  If we return for a moment to Dr. Zak’s commentary on oxytocin and hugging, just imagine the cosmic resonance ramifications of making love! Notwithstanding the incredible pleasure which can be realised from a rollicking orgasm there is a spiritual dimension that is often lost in the context of our dialogue about human sexuality.  Let’s be honest here, there are people we meet (or see on a movie or television screen or performing in concert or at the theatre) whose sheer physical beauty of their body is flesh as art. I am sure there is a high percentage of the world’s population which wouldn’t hesitate of having sex with these people regardless of gender or preference.  But a physical love, regardless of whether it makes you sigh, laugh, cry or scream out, one that makes you vulnerable emotionally, that carries you to your ‘greatness capacity’ as a spiritual being is what we should all aspire not only to offer but be capable of receiving.  

Time and space of the inner and outer realities are indistinguishable. The language of touch carries all the nuance, depth and meaning that words convey, more clearly. This expression of gratitude without words changes how you look at each other.

~ Wendy Strgar

There is, someplace, for each of us a soul capable of seeing ours as clearly as their own, whose beginning and end can be found at the end of both sentences and fingertips, the realisation of an unwillingness to compromise as manifest in human flesh that protects and nurtures and transcends dimensions. This love, no more perfect than any other, is perhaps the most illusive.  Maybe because it is so rare is why we value it so highly when the universe opens up and places it squarely in front of us.  And perhaps also because we recognise its rarity and somehow doubt its authenticity or our worthiness of it, or the very real possibility that this love ‘may not’ stand the test of time, we withdraw from it as did the fictitious heroine of La Princesse de Clèves from the Duc de Nemours:

What I fear is the certainty that one day the love you feel for me now will die… I shall remove myself from your sight, however painful the separation. I implore you, by all the power I have over you, not to seek any opportunity to see me.

Love, in all its forms, is sweet ecstasy and because of that heightened pleasure the cause of our greatest pain.  Why would you live any other way?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency through PayPal via livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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The ‘muscle memory’ of Anahata

ImageA social media acquaintance of mine of some renown, Edel O’Mahony, offered this fabulous meme on Facebook, and the contents of this blog post come about because of her words.

Our souls are always on a path to reunite with perfection – however imperfect we might perceive ourselves to be, never doubt we are worthy of this. The state of ‘at-one-ment’ as I call it… is our most natural state of ‘being’.  The “remembrance” which Edel references so eloquently is the spiritual equivalent of an athlete’s ‘muscle memory’ save for the fact that athlete or ordinary Jane or Joe alike we all can come to ‘be’ in this state of grace with desire, calm and practice perhaps but no special training.

I believe that most of us forget everything important for us to really know, the things we already knew as a soul before we were born into our physical and current human life, by age 3. The so called Indigo Child might hold onto these treasures a little longer – in fact into adulthood if an environment of tolerance, nurturance and awareness can be sustained despite the obvious obstacles of ‘mainstream’ society.

But this, the remembrance of being, I think is visceral – cellular memory – and ethereal as a mind function. That the mind is outside of our physical being and not in our brain is increasingly addressed by thought leaders, at scientific symposiums and in research alike.Image

Anahata – at once the consciousness of love, empathy, selflessness as much as to “be love” (not to be in love) and to accept the reality of divine actions both in our lives as well as guiding us toward ‘at-one-ment’.  When our Anahata (heart) chakra is aligned we feel ‘it’ as spinning white light right beneath the sternum – or, at least I do. This powerful ‘perfection’ and connection, a resonance with a single person or all of mankind, is an awesome blessing. Who wouldn’t want to exist in a state of perpetuity of such? I think it is easy to misconstrue this energy as something attained through physical consummation in the form of sex.  Yes, it can be, certainly between two partners fully evolved, conscious of the gifting of their energy (and not taking, taking, taking) to create a completed circuit without beginning or end.  Their climax being an expression of universal love as much as for one another.  Yet, being without such a partner should not dissuade you from the very real possibility of feeling Anahata as a consummation of your ‘self’ with the light, functioning in it, being a vehicle for its expression. It would be lovely to have this state be uninterrupted but for the fact that its power is so overwhelming that we mere human forms ill-equipped physically to function at this higher level of consciousness and still be “of this world”.  For myself, I recognise that as it comes to me I am moved to tears of gratitude for knowing such – however fleeting.  My time, and yours, to permanently reunite in this universal love will come, perhaps tomorrow or in twenty years. It is how we journey and live at the edge of this grace that determines how frequently we are used as a vehicle for its expression – habit begets renewal – but I don’t ‘know’ that it can be achieved as simply as turning on a lightswitch.

A friend shared a video that almost comes into my being as a prayer (I hope it finds resonance with you as well) – I won’t deny that at nearly 10 minutes you really need to be in a place of wanting to understand, or need a smack upside the head to remind you of who you really are.  The cinematography is stunning, the narrators’ voice is nearly hypnotic, you’ll want to watch it a couple of times – and bookmark it because truly unless you know what you are looking for you won’t find it a second time (and even as I did it still took me going back through all my Facebook and Twitter feeds and that of the friend that shared it, plus our private chat session to find it).

Being still does not mean don’t move. It means move in peace. ~ E’yen A. Gardner

There’s so much noise about finding peace that it is hard to imagine how anyone does!  You can’t shut down the world around you, no matter how many sensory deprivation (isolation tank) sessions you sign up for.  Regardless of your path to realise the truest essence of your being – your soul – with sweat lodges, meditation, yoga, reading volumes of sacred texts, prayer, silence, harmonic resonance with Tibetan bowls, to find peace within, and ensure it is also without, it begins as the folk song goes begins with the self.

If you enjoy my blog please consider “buying me a cup of tea” in your currency via PayPal at livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Which Walter Mitty Are You?

FYI – The following is NOT a movie review – 😉

Christmas Day Evening: 7:30 PM at the Cineplex with my girlfriend Jennifer Sertl to see on opening day (something I rarely do) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Humor me, click here and open a new window to listen to this while reading! 

ImageWalter Mitty is the ‘Negative Assets Manager’ which, while I think was cheekily poking fun at the derivatives market and the sub-prime housing crash, is quite literally what Ben Stiller’s character does – he takes care of the photographic assets (the negatives) that made Life magazine so special; even as his character initially is seen to be largely invisible – the grey toned, transparent and shadowed version, the negative, of a potentially dynamic and colourful, person.  Walter’s title is so fitting because it’s also the perfect analogy to the malaise of what most of humankind is actually experiencing – caught up in soulless jobs where corporate merger and acquisition teams squeeze the last drop of humanity from us while we stare at bank accounts and balance sheets with seemingly insufficient funds or go searching for some eternal truth and wind up missing the actual living of life.  Ben Stiller said, “What I liked about Steve’s (Conrad) script was the idea that Walter wasn’t really imagining himself as someone else, he was imagining a better version of himself.”  And that, more than the gorgeous cinematography or that Stiller actually did most of his own skateboarding down the twisty-turny road in Iceland, is what I loved about the movie – watching Walter discover the best version of himself (and, of course in doing so, finding himself worthy of love).

So much of our contemporary experience relies upon crutches to prop up ourselves to get ‘get through’ instead of really experiencing life. All the minutiae and excuses, the failure to step outside of our comfort zone and stretch ourselves as far as we Imagepossibly can – I don’t believe it is the fear of failing as much as it is hesitancy against the pervasive peer pressure to not draw undue attention to ourselves in seeming too assertive in expressing our wants or our possibilities. I am sure every culture has some variation of this but, in Sweden the word Lagom, in the context of societal behavior, means “to blend in appropriately”.  We become every variation of beige, taupe and grey living in a state of lagom. I’d like to apply Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s widely, otherwise attributed, quote from her article published in American Quarterly in 1976 entitled Vertuous Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668-1735 to my stream of consciousness here: “Well-behaved women (or men) seldom make history; …”

Prayer flags at Panboche, photo by Martin Edstrom

History isn’t always about academic study, or being noteworthy against the billions of humans who have lived or will yet live, history is made up of our stories, about the experiences small and great that define us, the choices we make to discover or to reinvent ourselves, to create value and meaning, history is always based in a personal set of experiences.

I enjoyed Walter Mitty sufficiently to see it again and it isn’t because I am a huge fan of Ben Stiller (or wasn’t), but the development of Walter’s being – the singular walk we all must endure is so palpable in the scene where he is abandoned by his Sherpas (which nowould never really happen) to navigate the precipice of a Himalayan summit alone. My girlfriend Jennifer’s favorite line from the movie comes from this scene, “I’m going to keep this short, I need to make oxygen choices.”  Isn’t all of life about discerning what we need, want, value and aspire to make our reality? It’s so fitting that (although filmed in Iceland) that the home to Shangri-La, the mythically created place of James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon (a 1st edition of which can set you back four figures!), the path to the spiritual awakening as found by Theos Bernard and Heinrich Harrer’s Seven Years in Tibet that are all found in the Himalaya’s, where seekers, real and imagined, ‘find’ themselves and where ultimately Stiller’s Walter finally comes across Sean Penn’s photojournalist character Sean O’Connell and the (equally very real and also allegorical) Snow Leopard. The meaning of life found in traditional rites of passage that have guided boys to becoming men and girls to become women for thousands of years always have found in ritual quest for enlightenment and connection to the Source in solitude. The difference in the movie, and in most of our rather common lives, is the stumbling into rather than the purposeful decision to set out.  Walter, like so many of us, fulfills his journey primarily because other people are depending upon him, have entrusted him (or bullied him) into action.  His path is righteous and selfless and heroic just as Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey and like Paulo Coelho’s protagonist in The Alchemist the treasure he traveled so far to find was with him all along – in the end it is his personal victory in the discovery of himself that we celebrate (in our case with applause in the theatre at the end).

Understanding the challenges facing ordinary men and women as they become heroes is to be courageous and go into the unknown and become the greatest version of ourselves.

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the price of a cup of tea in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my print or ebook from Amazon, please click on the cover art of my book, ebook also available through Barnes & Noble and Lulu, thank you!