Spirituality, Uncategorized

In The Arms of Love

I’ve just returned from a ten day holiday in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. San Miguel is a small town in the ‘mountains’ about 4 hours by bus from Mexico City. By Canadian or South African standards, they are more like hills than mountains. The land is dry and scrubby with lots of cacti. I managed the trip on my own and stayed with my dear friend Deni who has rented a flat there for two months.

San Miguel is more of a gringo town. Wealthy retired couples from the U.S. and Canada winter down there. Many artists live there and there is always something interesting going on culturally. For example, Deni and I saw a documentary on Freda Kahlo. Her life story told through her paintings. It was moving and marvelous. In contrast, we attended the worst concert ever – a sax quartet that was out of time, out of tune and totally devoid of any musicality at all. Saw a flamenco dancer accompanied by a violinist. Shear poetry! Another highlight was a visit to La Gruta Spa where we had mineral hot spring baths and a massage. Heaven!

In the centre of town there is a large Jardine – a square where the town’s folk gather to socialize and listen to mariachi bands playing. There are beautiful homes and gardens in San Miguel but we were unable to see them because they are walled in. The cobbled streets are lined with stone walls which made me feel a bit hemmed in. The place has many restaurants and the food was delicious. We also visited Pena de Bernal, an old town that has one of three monoliths in the world – a solid rock that juts out of the earth like a mountain.

There are lots of churches. In one of them there was a statue of Mary. A mexican woman called me over and told me to place my thumbs in her palms and look into her eyes. They looked real, filled with tears of love and compassion. Now, whenever I recall her eyes, my heart opens.

By far the most magical part of the trip was my journey home. My flight got cancelled due to bad weather. We were told that we had to pick up our bags and go to AC check-in and rebook our flights home. I got lost trying. I went up to a woman in uniform and burst into tears and told her I was lost. She took me by the hand and delivered me to where I needed to be. Angel #1,

After waiting for five hours in a queue, I finally got rerouted through Cancun on a flight that left Mexico City at 6 a.m. This meant waking up at 2:00 a.m. to check in at 3 a.m

I had lost my purse, 1,500 pesos and my visa credit card the day before. A.C. policy is to not cover hotels if the flight cancellation is not their fault. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for my hotel and feed myself, but I trusted that things would work out. I explained my situation and they agreed to help me out and put me up in a hotel.
I didn’t know how I was going to pay for my meals. However, a young Dutch woman with whom I’d been chatting in the line-up offered to lend me 1000 pesos – angel #2. After standing in line for 5 hours, I began to show symptoms and a woman whose father had Parkinson’s approached me and asked if she could help in any way. She gave me her cell number and said I should call if I needed anything as she would be in Mexico City till midnight the following day – angel #3. She and everyone I contacted were so kind! I truly felt held in the arms of Love. It was a profound teaching about Love and Faith.

Blessings to all



I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. In Feb 2012, I became very ill, anxious, sleepless and depressed – I wanted to die, but I didn’t want to die in that mental state. I shed many, many tears. At some point on my journey I began to take up painting again and found it healing. I felt inspired by nature and her beautiful colours. I felt cheered. Recently, I came across Chogyam Trungpa’s book SHAMBHALA, The Sacred Path of the Warrior, and his words resonated profoundly with my experience. Then I knew for sure I was on the right path because almost everything Trungpa wrote concurred with my experience.

 QUOTATIONS taken from the writings of Chogyam Trungpa

“The Shambhala teachings are founded on the premise that there IS basic human wisdom that can help to solve the world’s problems. This wisdom does not belong to any one culture or religion, nor does it come only from the West or the East. Rather, it is a tradition of human warriorship that has existed in many cultures at many times throughout history.”


“In Tibet, as well as many other Asian countries, there are stories about a legendary kingdom that was a source of learning and culture for present day Asian societies. According to the legends, this was a place of peace and prosperity, governed by wise and compassionate rulers. The citizens were equally kind and learned so that, in general, the kingdom was a model society. This place was called Shambhala….

Warriorhip here does not refer to making war on others. Aggression is the source of our problems, not the solution. Here the word “warrior” is taken from the Tibetan pawo, which literally means “one who is brave”. Warriorship in this context is the tradition of human bravery, or the tradition of fearlessness…

The key to warriorship and the first principle of Shambhala vision is not being afraid of who you are. Ultimately, that is the definition of bravery: not being afraid of yourself. Shambhala vision teaches that, in the face of the world’s great problems, we can be heroic and kind at the same time. Shambhala vision is the opposite of selfishness….”

When I’m feeling ill and experiencing pain, I feel completely self-absorbed and self-centred. I cannot feel my inner warrior, only my victim. So, to begin with, Trungpa suggests that “ we should make an effort to examine our own experience in order to see what it contains that is of value in helping ourselves and others to uplift their existence.

“If we are willing to take an unbiased look, we will find that, in spite of all our problems and confusion, all our emotional and psychological ups ad downs, there is something basically good about our existence as human beings. Unless we can discover that ground of goodness in our own lives, we cannot hope to improve the lives of others. If we are simply miserable wretched beings, how can we possibly imagine, let alone realize, an enlightened society?”

This was/is my challenge.

Trungpa writes:

“Discovering real goodness comes from appreciating very simple experiences…We are speaking here of the basic goodness of being alive- which does not depend on our accomplishments or fulfilling our desires.   We experience glimpses of goodness all the time, but we often fail to acknowledge them. When we see a bright color, we are witnessing our own inherent goodness. When we hear a beautiful sound, we are hearing our own basic goodness. When we step out of the shower, we feel fresh and clean, and when we walk out of a stuffy room, we appreciate the sudden whiff of fresh air. These events may take a fraction of a second, but they are real experiences of goodness. They happen to us all the time, but usually we ignore them as mundane or purely coincidental. According to the Shambhala principles, however, it is worthwhile to recognize and take advantage of those moments, because they are revealing basic nonaggression and freshness in our lives – basic goodness.

Every human being has a basic nature of goodness, which is undiluted and unconfused. That goodness contains tremendous gentleness and appreciation. As human beings, we can make love. We can stroke someone with a gentle touch; we can kiss someone with gentle understanding. We can appreciate beauty. We can appreciate its vividness; the yellowness of yellow, the redness of red, the greenness of green, the purpleness of purple. Our experience is real. When yellow is yellow, can we say it is red, if we don’t like the yellowness of it? That would be contradicting reality. …. We can cure ourselves of depression if we recognize that the world we have is good, but it is good because we can experience its goodness…The human potential for intelligence and dignity is attuned to experiencing the brilliance of the bright blue sky, the freshness of green fields, and the beauty of the trees and mountains. We have an actual connection to reality that can wake us up and make us feel basically, fundamentally good. Shambhala vision is tuning in to our ability to wake ourselves up and recognize that goodness can happen to us. In fact, it is happening already.”

 It is my hope that my paintings and cards will atune you to your basic goodness.

The archetype of the spiritual warrior has shown up elsewhere in my life.

Interestingly, synchronistically, I drew the rune Teiwaz, The Spiritual Warrior.” Patience is the virtue of this Rune, and it recalls the words of St. Augustine that the reward of patience is patience.

The molding of character is at issue when you draw Teiwaz. We are asked to look within and delve down to the foundations of life itself. Only in so doing can we hope to meret the deepest needs of our nature and tap into our most profound resources. We have to learn to align the self with the Self.

This is what my illness is teaching me.

Blessings to you all.



P.S. Hope you like these paintings and that they cheer you up.


my paintings, Spirituality

Where do I belong?

Where do I belong? This is the question that came up for me in the early hours of the morning.

I realize that all my life I’ve been looking to find where I belong. In part, or maybe in full, I’ve created separation instead of belonging. Always looking for what is missing.   But I’m beginning to see that nothing is missing. Love is right here all the time. I belong to Love. Love is my true home.

I’m a wandering Jew, looking for home. This is why I’ve been looking for home. Home.

On every level,I’ve been looking for family, community. Questioning. Do I belong to the astrological community? Do I  belong to the Shakti community, the TTC community? The Enneagram community?   To the Family Constellation Community; to all the clients that have ever crossed ny path? To my FAMILY?!

I’ve been dreaming of my sister Lynda. We were back in The Valley road house where we grew up. She walks into her bedroom and disappears. She’s just been talking to mom and dad.   I don’t know what about. I’m still too young to know.

And then I see Richard, my younger brother. He is very sad. He’s crying and I can’t reach him.

When I switched on the light to journal this morning, I was looking for a pen and I was drawn to the photograph of my mother, taken when she was probably in her 30’s. Dearest mom! … And I felt I was seeing her with new eyes. Seeing her soul. Her humour, her impishness, her deep sense of self-love and feeling of being loved. Her jewishness – humour. I’m seeing her light instead of the darkness which life brought her. I don’t see her in her suffering, but in her essence which is shear Joy.

When you make Love you’re home. You’re always home.

I carried within me always a sense of not being loved by my mother because I was a disappointment being born a girl not the wished-for baby boy. So it took her time to love me. She was feeling overwhelmed with two young daughters already. This is the story I made up in my head.  I’ve been attached to this story. But it doesn’t matter now. I know I belong to my family, who love me, even though I only have one living sister left from my family of origin.

I left S.A. I left the jewish community; I left my family. I’m living with Brent and Lucy and Stella. An honourary member of their family. But if I shift my figure-ground, I see that I belong wherever there is Love and this web of Love connects me to everything in the Universe. Love is the glue that holds everything together, including my own very body.

When I don’t value myself, then I don’t feel my sense of belonging. When I love myself with all of my humanness and imperfection then I feel Home.

Thank you God/dess and all the angels and spirit guides for bringing me insight. When I realize we are all just souls seeking to come home and gifting each other with gladness or sadness all for our own learning, I can forgive, accept Life as it is.

The world is perfect in its imperfection. I convey this is my art by accepting my imperfection.

My ailing body is a perfect imperfection for my learning now.


I’ve been making cards and envelopes for my show.  How do like these?



health, my paintings, Spirituality

Nov. 30/2014 – Love VS. Fear

I haven’t posted in three days. I’ve been doing reasonably well. I have been sleeping better for the most part, although I am still struggling with the tremors and the anxiety. Some days are better than others. I am waiting for the delivery of the marijuana prescription and mucona pruriens. Anita researched licorice and found that it is helpful for supporting the adrenals and the whole endocrinal system. This could help the anxiety. I will check it out with Chakib. I also learned about a new website from Karen Lantela called The Lyme Whisperer –www.lymewhisperer.com.   I could be reading about my own journey.

Painting has been bringing me joy and pleasure. I love working with color. Over the next few days I will post some of my paintings. Some are inspired by angel cards and others are of photos that have moved me. I have also been experimenting with new media and techniques, pastels and gelli plates.

pastelpastel drawing

There has been a real synchronicity when drawing angel cards. For example today I was concerned about my finances and I drew the card of abundance. I have been praying for healing and drew the card of healing. When this happens I feel that the Divine is listening. The book Emmanuel continues to teach me. Here is what he has to say about fear:


Is one of the major cornerstones?

Of the karmic condition.

It speaks

To the distrust of eternal love.

It is disbelief

In yourself.

It is an extreme perversion

Of truth and light

And love,

Which is precisely what your world

Is all about-

The healing

Of extreme distortions

Of truth and light

And love.

Fear is fungus

That grows rapidly in the dark places

Of consciousness.

It is the most powerful of doors

That closes off the Word

And the light of God.


Is the dragon at the gate.

It is denial of Light

And the denial of Light

Is resistance to God.

It is the falsehood that separates you

From God.

What are we really afraid of?

You fear humiliation.

You fear to be wrong.

You fear

That if your knowing

Is brought into your human experience

It will dissolve.

You fear to trust truth.

You fear to love in an imperfect world.


Spirituality, Uncategorized

November 18, 2014

It’s a freezing cold, snowy day here in Bethany.  Went for a walk and was happy to return home.  Had a visit from the community access centre case worker.

I managed to get some sleep, thank God.  I’m working very hard at staying positive and am trying as much as possible to be considerate of others and not fall into being a victim.  It’s much easier to do when I’m not exhausted and have been able to sleep. Also anxiety can be a factor too.

Here’s another beautiful quote from Emmanuel:


You will not exhaust

the love in the universe

if you were to absorb it

from now until the end of time.

Love is all that exists.

Love is the universal communication.

It is the energy that has created the

universe and is keeping it going.

God is love.

All matter is formed by love.

there is an organic love

that speaks to everyone

If they could but hear.

A leaf holds together

for love.


Love requires no practice.

Love is.

One cannot practice is-ness

One can, however,

Practice the decision to love.

This is what I’m trying to do.

Emmanuel’s Book, compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton

Spirituality, Uncategorized

I Ching Reading – Before Completion

I’ve been struggling with sleep and  pain.  I also experience difficulty breathing from around 5 p.m. in the afternoon and it is very unpleasant.  This leads me to feel quite despairing at times,  so I asked the I Ching for some insight.  After  reading the I Ching, I went for a walk  in the sunshine with Colleen, one of my caregivers, to try and promote a positive frame of mind.I pray for the strength to maintain a positive attitude and to be patient and  strong in Faith so that I may fully recover and  begin a new chapter of service.   Please pray with me.  FYI, here’s the I ching reading:

What do I need to understand about my difficulties about my breathing dispite the “success” of the bi-com treatment?

I Ching Online

Cast Hexagram:


Hexagram 64
Wei Chi – Before Completion


above: Li / The Clinging, Flame


below: K’an / The Abysmal, Water


This hexagram indicates a time when the transition from disorder to order is not yet completed. The change is indeed prepared for, since all the lines in the upper trigram are in relation to those in the lower. However, they are not yet in their places. While the preceding hexagram offers an analogy to autumn, which forms the transition from summer to winter, this hexagram presents a parallel to spring, which leads out of winter’s stagnation into the fruitful time of summer. With this hopeful outlook the Yi Jing comes to its close.

But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
Gets his tail in the water,
There is nothing that would further.

The conditions are difficult. The task is great and full of responsibility. It is nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion back to order. But it is a task that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the forces now tending in different directions. At first, however, one must move warily, like an old fox walking over ice. The caution of a fox walking over ice is proverbial in China. His ears are constantly alert to the cracking of the ice, as he carefully and circumspectly searches out the safest spots. A young fox who as yet has not acquired this caution goes ahead boldly, and it may happen that he falls in and gets his tail wet when he is almost across the water. Then of course his effort has been all in vain. Accordingly, in times “before completion,” deliberation and caution are the prerequisites of success.

Snake River
Fire over water:
The image of the condition before transition.
Thus the superior man is careful
In the differentiation of things,
So that each finds its place.

When fire, which by nature flames upward, is above, and water, which flows downward, is below, their effects take opposite directions and remain unrelated. If we wish to achieve an effect, we must first investigate the nature of the forces in question and ascertain their proper place. If we can bring these forces to bear in the right place, they will have the desired effect and completion will be achieved. But in order to handle external forces properly, we must above all arrive at the correct standpoint ourselves, for only from this vantage can we work correctly.

CHANGING LINE:S.  I got 2 lines.  The 1st and the 5th lines.  The 5th is the more powerful of the two and most promising:

Six at the beginning means:

He gets his tail in the water.

In times of disorder there is a temptation to advance oneself as rapidly as possible in order to accomplish something tangible. But this enthusiasm leads only to failure and humiliation if the time for achievement has not yet arrived. In such time it is wise to spare ourselves the opprobrium of failure by holding back.

Nine in the fifth place

Hexagram Sixty-Four/Line Five

Six in the fifth place means:
Perseverance brings good fortune.
No remorse.
The light of the superior man is true.
Good fortune.
The victory has been won. The power of steadfastness has not been routed. Everything hass gone well. All misgivings have just been overcome. Success hasjustified the deed. The light of a superior personality shines forth anew and makes its influence felt among men who have faith in it and rally aroud it. The new time has arrrived, and with it good fortune. And just as the sun shines forth in redoubled beauty after rain, or as a forest grows morre freshly green from charred ruins after a fire, so the new era appears all the more glorious by contrast with the misery of the old.

Transformed Hexagram:

Hexagram 10
Lü – Treading (Conduct)


above: Ch’ien / The Creative, Heaven


below: Tui / The Joyous, Lake

Worrying the Tiger

Yin and Yang

The name of the hexagram means on the one hand the right way of conducting oneself. Heaven, the father, is above, and the lake, the youngest daughter, is below. This shows the difference between high and low, upon which composure, correct social conduct, depends. On the other hand, the word for the name of the hexagram, TREADING,1 means literally treading upon something. The small and cheerful [Tui] treads on the large and strong [Ch’ien]. The direction of movement of the two primary trigrams is upward. The fact that the strong treads on the weak is not mentioned in the Yi Jing, because it is taken for granted. For the weak to take a stand against the strong is not dangerous here, because it happened in good humor [Tui] and without presumption, so that the strong man is not irritated but takes it all in good part.



TREADING. Treading upon the tail of the tiger.
It does not bite the man. Success.

The situation is really difficult. That which is strongest and that which is weakest are close together. The weak follows behind the strong and worries it. The strong, however, acquiesces and does not hurt the weak, because the contact is in good humor and harmless.
In terms of a human situation, one is handling wild, intractable people. In such a case one’s purpose will be achieved if one behaves with decorum. Pleasant manners succeed even with irritable people.

Heaven above, the lake below:
The image of TREADING.
Thus the superior man discriminates between high and low,
And thereby fortifies the thinking of the people.

Heaven and the lake show a difference of elevation that inheres in the natures of the two, hence no envy arises. Among mankind also there are necessarily differences of elevation; it is impossible to bring about universal equality. But it is important that differences in social rank should not be arbitrary and unjust, for if this occurs, envy and class struggle are the inevitable consequences. If, on the other hand, external differences in rank correspond with differences in inner worth, and if inner worth forms the criterion of external rank, people acquiesce and order reigns in society.



I’ve been thinking and struggling a bit with prayer. Here’s some of what Thomas Merton has to say about prayer:

‘We do not pray for the sake of praying, but for the sake of being heard. We do not pray in order to listen to ourseves praying but in order that God may hear us and answer us. Also, we do not pray in order to receive just any answer: it must be God’s answer…..
…the life of prayer is founded on prayer of petition – no matter what it may develop into later on.

Far from ruining the purity of solitary prayer, petition guards and preserves that purity. The solitary, more than anyone else, is always aware of his poverty and of his needs before God. Since he depends directly on God for everything material and spiritual, he has to ask for everything. His prayer is an expression of his poverty….

The solitary, being a man of prayer, will come to know God by knowing that his prayer is always answered….

Qualities of prayer:
1. Unhesitating faith (Matthew 21:21; James 1:6) which depends on “singleness” of mind and purpose.
2. Persevering confidence (Luke 11)

I’ve been detoxing the Lyme bacteria and had to go back to the homeopath for a booster treatment. Pain and tremors have kept me awake at night. This is when I find myself praying most fervently.

Here are some prayers by Tagore. This first one is my favourite.


Give me the supreme courage of love, this is
My prayer – the courage to speak, to do, to suffer
At Your will, to leave all things or be left alone.
Strengthen me on errands of danger, honor me
With pain, and help me climb to that difficult mood
That sacrifices daily to You.

Give me the supreme confidence of love, this
is my prayer – the confidence that belongs to life
in death, to victory in defeat, to the power hidden
in the frailest beauty, to that dignity in pain which
accepts hurt but disdains to return it.

Rabindranath Tagore.


In the night of weariness, let me give myself
up to sleep without struggle, resting my trust upon

Let me not force my flagging spirit into a poor
preparation for Your worship.

It is You who draws the veil of night upon the
tired eyes of the day to renew its sight in a fresher
gladness of awakening.

Rabindranath Tagore.

Love and blessings to you all!