Sunday, May 26, 2013

Speed of Light in the Slow Lane

Tashi Choling's beautiful temple and a clear blue sky
Until one grows older, one doesn't understand the comments of older people who insist  that "the years flew by so quickly." Now, however, we understand. One moment, we were 30 years old, the next moment we find we are 60 or 70, taking life in more slowly and with the panoramic perspective unique to age.

In 1976, I was fortunate to meet Gyatrul Rinpoche, a Tibetan lama who became my root teacher.  I could certainly devote many blog posts to events and recognitions that transpired in my relationship to him, to his amazing example of what is possible as a human being.

Paradoxically, there has been a whole lot of physical effort involved!

I hope that I live long enough to write about some of this, not necessarily here, but in a book that describes the creation and evolution of Tashi Choling, one of the Dharma centers that he inspired, which I helped to ground in its early years.

Tashi Choling's majestic Tibetan temple sits at the top of an expansive meadow. It is a beautiful place --peaceful and inspiring. I just finished taking part in 7 days of spiritual practice there, as our annual spring retreat unfurled.  We were blessed by the presence of Lingtrul Rinpoche, a wonderfully open and relaxed Tibetan lama, and my teacher Gyatrul Rinpoche came to the final session of the retreat. A very rich, powerful incredibly moving time....a dip into the timeless heart essence ....

The proof copy of my new book--close to publication!
Songs of the Inner Life

Today I plan to finish the final proofing for Songs of the Inner Life, my soon to be published memoir.  The book is a project of Sage's Play, a venture I created in 2008, whose programs focus on creative, conscious aging.

I am very pleased with the cover design created by Robert Frost.  Robert has done many beautiful design projects for me over the years. I love his work.  He created a delightful brochure for the Retirement and Inspirement Coaching I offer and he has developed many many other posters and brochures for me.

It has been 25 years since I published a book! Well, that's not exactly true. I self-published Words Themselves are Medicine, a chapbook of poetry and essays in the early 90s.

My first book Growing and Using the Healing Herbs was a big success, thanks to the publisher Rodale Press' fantastic marketing structure. That herb book sold 200,000 copies -- the royalties paid for land I owned with my then-second husband, who co-authored the book with me.

Now we are about to send Songs of the Inner Life out into the world through Sage's Play.  I am very pleased to be offering Songs of the Inner Life, which tells some of the stories of how mysterious events and forces led me on my way in the midst of the landscape of ordinary life. I began writing some of the stories that appear in the book when I was 55!  I was plunging into life review, even though I didn't know it then.

The introduction to the book is available at our Sage's Play website (see link a few paragraphs up) under the Book and Writings link. I've collected some reader comments on the book as a way to let people know a bit more about what they can expect when they open its pages. If you are curious or interested, you can check them out at our website, too.

Writing and creating art of any kind  is of course an offering. Each piece of art attracts its own audience, people who resonate with its color, form, scent, message.  Songs of the Inner Life will emerge and connect in its own perfect timing with the people who are meant to read and appreciate it.

The Gardens

I feel very fortunate to be living amidst these gardens. The south-facing garden in front of the house is now filled with masses of blue love-in-a-mist, poppies, hibiscus, roses and dayliies. I expect the feverfew to explode into clouds of white blossoms any day now.

I am an earth-digger. With 6 planets in Taurus, it seems natural, perhaps inevitable.  It gives me a great deal of pleasure to enrich the soil and create beauty in gardens.

Years ago, when I lived in a place that had very dense clay soil, I used to imagine living in a cottage like this surrounded by profuse flower gardens, and now here I am....have I said this already? It is still very true.

In the back, there is a shade garden, boxes full of vegetables and the area at the very back of the yard, where a variety of vegetables and herbs commingle with some roses. Butterflies, bees, birds---the garden is a natural place of rest, where one can slow down and listen to things as they grow, appreciating their vigor and their perfect beauty.

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