Friday, January 12, 2018

Working with the five hindrances

A profound teaching for me in my meditation practice is learning how to clear away the five hindrances.  These states of mind are obstacles to serenity and make concentration difficult in meditation and in everyday life.  Of course I am the poster child for several of these, and so I created some water images as visual metaphors to help me overcome them. The original art is painted chalk on matte board, a technique which creates a shimmer and sparkle just like the surfaces of water.


Skeptical doubt can take over the mind and I wonder, "Am I doing this right?  Why do this at all?" The tiny tree growing in tumultuous water and hard stone is like my struggle for quiet and concentration.


When I think a good thought for myself, it is hard to also think a doubting thought for my progress.


Spiritual torpor is sluggish and cloudy, like stagnant water over mossy rocks. 


When I overcome my drowsiness by focusing on the dazzling light and myriad detail of nature's calm, I understand her instruction: don't be lazy.


Ill will in all its forms, from irritation to anger, destroys my peace. 


The water cannot be released from the boiling cascade of its downward flow, but I can have the patience of the rocks in its path who seem to know that less is more.  


Agitation and restlessness are like water rippling and pouring everywhere at once.  My worry will bubble over everything I have done, and not done.  


This agitation will cease when I just stop.  Breathe.  Be in this moment, because this moment is my life. 


Desire is more than mere liking.  It is the distraction of craving.  


When I understand that naming it makes it so, I can release my wanting by naming, and therefore recognizing, my feelings of contentment with how things are.

A set of five prints of these conversations with water is available in my Etsy webstore.  Perhaps you also have a struggle with doubt, laziness, anger, worry or desire, and would like to contemplate the teachings of water when working with the five hindrances. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Free Journey Oracle card reading for 2018

This blog is my new year's gift to you: a free reading using the Journey Oracle cards.  Posted below are the 4 cards I drew for a new year's reading about a situation I am in right now--planning a new direction in my art.  

You can print and fill out this full oracle card format to create a new year's reading for yourself. 

Begin by thinking of a situation for which you would like some advice.  This will be the topic of the reading.  Allow the situation to be around you in all its complexity, without thinking of any solution.  Then follow the prompts to meet the Oracle and complete your reading.



JOURNEY ORACLE CARD READING: CARD 1
         
An Oracle translates a problem or question into a language of image and symbol like that of dreams.  It changes the way you experience a situation to connect you with the inner forces that are shaping it.  An Oracle dialogues with your imagination—the creative basis of experience we call the unconscious.   

This is a picture of
THE SITUATION



Describe your first impressions of this image using simple phrases.  Do not analyze, doubt or discard what your inner voice is saying.  When you feel inner quiet, go to the Oracle’s identity.


Identity of Oracle: The Sun  
Qualities of this Oracle: opening to higher self; entering the sacred circle
Time of year associated with this Oracle: all time
Why this is the Oracle of your situation?


Message from the Oracle about your situation: Feeling the truth.
Why are you receiving this message?

PRONOUNCEMENTS FROM THE ORACLE ABOUT YOUR SITUATION

An Oracle reveals the forces that are moving beneath your situation. These sentences are not statements of logic or reason.  Write brief first impressions next to the statement.  If a statement draws a blank from your unconscious, move on to the next sentence.  


THE  SITUATION

This situation began by feelings of depression.

The prevailing energy of this situation is unexpected quiet.

The core energy pattern of this situation is overcoming tragedy.

The Mother of this situation is soft touch.

The Father of this situation is foxes music.
           

ALIGNMENT  TO  THE  SITUATION

Your relationship to the prevailing energy is bright wings.

Your perception of the situation is painful.

The impact of your perception is visible.

The connection between the core energy pattern and the situation
 is felt as unsteady.

The momentum of this situation is fed by cleaning up.



 JOURNEY ORACLE CARD READING: CARD 2 

This is a picture of
YOUR EXPERIENCE IN YOUR SITUATION


Describe your first impressions of this image using simple phrases. Do not analyze, doubt or discard what your inner voice is saying.  When you feel inner quiet, go to the Oracle’s identity.


 Identity of Oracle: Stars 
Qualities of this Oracle: entering doorways to healing, confidence, balance
Time of year associated with this Oracle: all time
Why this is the Oracle of your experience?


Message from the Oracle about your experience:  good work in all directions
Why are you receiving this message?



PRONOUNCEMENTS FROM THE ORACLE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE


THE  EXPERIENCE  NAMED

GOOD WORK IN ALL DIRECTIONS
Why is this the name of your experience?


THE  SITUATION  EXPERIENCED

medicine lessons from nature, dreamtime
taking time, spirit power negated through self-doubt
upheaval in every direction, I would rather know this one
“no disaster here,” being observed
good work in all directions

Which of the above phrases are you experiencing most directly right now?


Which phrases are you trying to avoid experiencing?


Which phrases are you seeking to experience?

 If these phrases and spaces are a map of your experience--where are you on the map?


EXTERIOR  SUPPORT

An exterior or support system for the situation is spidery places.

What is the meaning of this for your situation?



 JOURNEY ORACLE CARD READING: CARD 3 

The Journey Oracle’s answers change the way you see things. Your anxieties, fears and desires emerge to be recognized and resolved, and hidden transformative energies are released.

This is a picture of
THE CHANGE CALLING YOU



Describe your first impressions of this image using simple phrases.  Do not analyze, doubt or discard what your inner voice is saying.  When you feel inner quiet, go to the Oracle’s identity.


Identity of Oracle: West
Qualities of this Oracle: the water of dreams, visions, feelings, mysticism, sexuality  
Time of year associated with this Oracle:  all time
Why this is the Oracle of change?


Message from the Oracle about change:  dream is still around me
Why are you receiving this message?


PRONOUNCEMENTS FROM THE ORACLE ABOUT CHANGE

These statements bring an in-depth recognition of the change you feel coming.  This change is an expression of the healing that is asking to happen. Write brief first impressions next to each statement.  If a statement draws a blank from your unconscious, move on to the next sentence.  

 CHANGE

The power needed to shift this situation will be a sound of wonder.

Change will come by receiving a new song.

Your relationship to the change in this situation is discovering imperfection.

The moment of letting go into the change will smell saucy.

The concern to be avoided within this change will taste smooth.


 DIVINE  WILL
                       
The wisdom of lying down quietly will empower the transformation.

Completed transformation will be felt as a quality of bright lights


DREAM  ON  THIS  QUESTION

 Will you gladly donate your share?


HOW  IS  THIS  AN  ANSWER?

Ghosts



JOURNEY ORACLE CARD READING: CARD 4

This is a picture of
THE RESOLUTION



Describe your first impressions of this image using simple phrases.  Do not analyze, doubt or discard what your inner voice is saying.  When you feel inner quiet, go to the Oracle’s identity.


Identity of Oracle: Samhain (Halloween)
Qualities of this Oracle: Water, Earth, Northwest; storing
Time of year associated with this Oracle: October 31
Why this is the Oracle of your resolution?


Message from the Oracle about your resolution: Do you realize you have your own story to write?
Why are you receiving this message?


A FAIRY TALE FROM THE ORACLE ABOUT THE RESOLUTION OF THE SITUATION

The dense weave of meaning in a fairy tale provides insight into the hidden forces behind your situation, and points to the resolution sought by your unconscious wisdom.  In this fairy tale, your unconscious wisdom knows the names of all the characters, all the connections to your situation, and what is the happy ending. 

ASKING  THE  BREATH
A woman wanted to speak to her dreams, to ask the meaning of images and actions and so receive a different way to look at things. But how could her being in the dream talk with her being in ordinary life? The woman had yearning rewarded when she realized that both these parts of her were breathing, and so maybe she could ask her breath to tell her the meaning of her dreams.
The woman began to pay attention to how she was breathing when she was feeling a Yes about something: her breath went deep into her chest without interruptions. She noticed that when she was feeling a No her breath could not maintain a balance of action and consideration—and became tight and shallow in her throat. The woman practiced asking her breath by focusing on situations she knew to be true or false. She would say “I know this plant” while holding a sprig of something she recognized from her walks in the forest, and then take a full natural breath. Her throat would open and the air would go deep into her chest. Then she would pause at her driveway and say “it doesn’t matter which direction I turn to go home.” And her next breath would stay high in her throat, feeling constricted and shallow.
         The woman’s practice became a spirit-filled good intention toward her dreams. When she first woke up she would ask her breath to discover the subject of a dream, and confirm the meaning of places and people because of course in a dream nothing is ever what it appears to be. The woman became so skilled at this that she began to call on her breath to confirm all her decisions. When someone said “Does it matter which one we leave?” or “Is this the way we go?” the woman would close her eyes and be asking the breath and in this way speak her decisions from a clear guidance. Then all of nature began speaking to the woman; because of course everything is a part of the same breathing.

Who are you in this story? 

What is the meaning of the story for your resolution?

Based on your character in the story, now what are you now going to do?


HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Journey Oracle