Saturday, January 15, 2011

365 Journal Project: The Entries

Note about the entries: The images come together first.  The words are the last things to be added.

Entry #2: January 1, 2011 "Love More"  
New Year's Day brought up a desire to love more in 2011.  To let my Buddha nature shine through.  "Love More" is my mantra for the year.

"Love and be bold;
for he that dies hath these for wings
to rise from earth to heaven."
-Michelangelo Buonarroti

Entry #3: January 2, 2011 "The Sweetness is Inside"
Sweet, sweet meditation!  

"What is the way out?
I believe, to put oneself completely
in the hands of higher powers,
to be happy to be silent."

Entry #4 January 3, 2011 "Who are You?" 
"Will you never perceive what you are,
or for what you were born,
or for what purpose you are admitted
to behold this spectacle?"

Entry #5  January 4, 2011 "Letting Go"
"Sometimes, by letting go we allow
some grace to enter by another channel,
which all our mental efforts have 
hitherto kept out."
-Rodney Collin

Entry #6  January 5, 2011 "Rooted"
This is where the journal process started to change a bit.  More layers, less drawing and writing.  The images are starting to speak to my heart, and I am listening.

"Accept what the present brings and live in that.
If one is not established in the present 
then one is nowhere and 
nothing is possible."
-Rodney Collin

Entry #7 January 6, 2011 "Duality"
This entry started with the image on the right.  A photo taken in 1968 that appeared in National Geographic magazine.  It's a woman in a beautiful saffron colored burqa carrying two caged birds on her head.  The birds in the cage almost forms an odd smiley face.  The image has hope.

"And so the mystery remains
that we have sorrow so we can understand joy;
failure so we can recognize success;
pain so we can relish pleasure.

Somehow, built into the mystery
of this duality in life
is a blueprint for growth that has the potential
for shaping us into the people
who God wants us to be."
-Antoinette Bosco

Entry #8  January 7, 2011 "Consciousness"

"When you then take a deep breath
and rise above the cares
of the world in an hour of leisure, you will
surely win the right frame of mind
to face devoutly
what is above us, with reverence,
seeing in all events the manifestations
of a higher guidance."
-J.W. Von Goethe

Entry #9 January 8, 2011 "Interconnected"

Entry #10 January 9, 2011"Zen"
I've been practicing zazen (Zen meditation) for about four years now  It has,  without a doubt, transformed my life.  Different meditation practices work for different people. Find one that works for you.  Do it daily for three months and see how you feel.  You won't stop :) Zen and I go together like peanut butter and honey-so delicious!

"One must find something in himself
that longs above everything to grow,
to struggle,
to wake up."
-Rodney Collin

Entry #11  January 10, 2011 "Snow Day"
Ahhh, delicious snow day!  A treat in these parts.  As the snow fell softly outside and the day lay open before me, I enjoyed a day of total freedom.  This is one of my favorites for the warm and fuzzy feelings it produces.

"Nowhere, my love, can there be a world
but within us.
Our life passes through changing
and ever fainter dwindles
the external."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Entry #12  January "Letter To Myself"
Lots of stuff came up my meditation on this day.  It unfolded itself like a letter.

"We are not to lead a life that is not tested."

Entry #13 January 12, 2011 "Insist on Yourself"

"To be nobody
but yourself in a world
that's doing its best to make you
somebody else,
is to fight the hardest battle
you are ever going to fight.
Never stop fighting."
-e.e. cummings

Entry #14 January 13, 2011 "Comfort"
Being rooted, stable, grounded and comfortable keeps coming up (first chakra anyone?).  Must be all this cold weather!

"It is not for show that our soul
must enact its part;
it is at home, within us,
where no eyes penetrate
but our own."
-Michel Montaigne

Entry #15 "This Physical Body"

"The physical body was given man by
Somewhere exists the original Divine spark
launched from God
and which, re-found,
will be his conscious spirit."
-Rodney Collin

Entry #16 "Impermanence"
All things must pass. This moment.  This thought.  This fear.  This.

"Night is drawing nigh.
For all that has been-Thanks!
To all that shall be-Yes!"
-Dag Hammarskjold

365 Journal Project: The Beginning

So, this past New Year's Eve, in the quiet closing hours of 2010, I sat in silence and for a long while reflected back on the year that had past.  It was a challenging year on many fronts to be sure; at times scary, tiring, and soul searching.  But it was also a year of love, light, prosperity, amazing personal growth, change and clarity (talk about Yin and Yang!).

2010 started out with uncertainty.  Someone I love more than anything suffered from complete mental exhaustion and mental breakdown.  I don't know if you've ever experienced such a thing, but all I can say is that other than the loss of my parents, it was perhaps one of the saddest, scariest and most challenging things I have ever come up against.  The months that followed consisted of a slow process of healing, rebuilding and awakening to a new way of life (an ongoing process we are told).  Much has changed as a result-in the best of ways-and out of the darkness of those first few months came incredible, transformation and light (in yoga we call this "tapas", the burning away of impurities, baby!)  I am truly thankful for it.  

Just as things were beginning to settle down, I had a major health crisis that took the wind out of my sails physically, mentally and spiritually.  With the help of John (my wonderful husband), my friends and an amazing Ayurvedic practitioner (Vishnu rocks!), my condition stabilized.  Thanks to my yoga practice I am strengthening my body and getting my stamina back.  It's been a slow, humbling process, but I'm feeling better and stronger every day.  Because of my meditation practice I have refreshed my mind and renewed my spirit.  Taking the time to sit and meditate each day will change your life!

What really astounded me was watching how the support of my meditation and yoga practices continued on without pause.  Even during the most difficult moments, even during the times when it felt as though I were getting kicked while I was down, the inner stillness was felt with profound clarity.  Daily practice kept me afloat and present with what was happening. Yoga and meditation saves me everyday and enriches my life in more ways than I can possibly articulate.  This isn't to say that I didn't have my moments of despair or self-pity, I'm human!  But daily practice allowed me to see and observe that those not-so-nice thoughts were impermanent.

When I started to get back on my feet towards the end of autumn, a little light started to flicker in me and grow brighter and brighter. In my life "B.Y." (Before Yoga) I worked as an artist and jewelry designer.  From the time I was small I was always creating something: paper dolls with my mother, castles made of cardboard, "cars" for our cats made out of discarded boxes, you name it.  When I got older the medium of collage resonated with me and it took off from there.

The 365 Journal Project is a project born out of my meditations.  I set an intention in my journal on New Year's Eve to work on some sort of artwork everyday.  This is what emerged:

 The next day I found myself pulling out my paper bits, glue, etc and turning the page in the journal for the next entry, and here I am 16 days later and still going!  It is my intention to document a full 365 days of visual mediations.  I don't start out with an idea or theme.  I simply let the images choose me.  I weave them together and when I'm through, the images reveal to me a deeper meaning, a doorway into my inner world, a mirror.

It is my hope to share with you what manifests.

In the meantime, I encourage you to get on your yoga mat and stretch, move, and breathe!  Sit in silence for 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes a day.  Ask questions of your spirit but don't wait for an answer.  Just listen with your heart.

Namaste :)