At least a list. InNaPoWriMo Day 30

Fer y Ric Alemania 2001 108Still hands

rest on the keyboard

tremble

shine

wait for instructions

emerge and write

at least

a list.

 

Stop the flow,

get up

heat water

grab mate

yerba

brown sugar

at least

a list.

 

Back on my butt

searching the guts

Grooveshark

Deva Premal

Gayatri Mantra

India… Ah! Here it comes!

al least

a list.

 

Remember my love,

remember when we met?

Whitefield morning.

Scented air.

Saraswathi Goddess.

Handcrafted Destiny.

at least

a list.

 

You thought I was so vain

(you are always right).

I thought you were out of your mind

(I wasn’t that right, I never am).

We crashed in the bad way

scattered glints

turned round

faded away.

 

Soft and tumultuously

sparks from your spirit

light my sari as a river

an irrepressible force

an impetuous course

unfolded nature

man and woman

reaching our central core.

 

Not enough poems, no praise, no song,

no, are not enough to express my love.

laughter above pain / you, funny cow

trust beyond anger / you, wise cow

compassion over pride / you, guru cow

respect built and re-found / you, seeker cow

At least a list, dear husband,

Minimal remembrances of pure delight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I´m a Muslim too. Beyond tolerance.

make-a-wish-panadero1

Not religion, but spirituality has always been a priority in my life, be it applied as a woman, a wife, a mother, a professional, a friend, a citizen.

The search began when I was born and I hope it will continue until my death.

I was baptized as a Catholic as a baby and went to church all my childhood for my own interest (my parents didn´t attend), I follow Sathya Sai Baba´s teachings since I´m 13 years old, I took initiation in Tao and I participated in Catholic praying groups in my early twenties (until they found out my interest in Hinduism and excluded me from the group!). I lived in Thailand in my late twenties and prayed and prostrated to Buddha before dawn along with my little students every day for a full year.

Six months ago I attended with my sister in law to a lecture of a German Sufi Teacher and to my request, he conversed me a Muslim and gave me a new sand beautiful name.

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This simple but profound experience raised my conscience amazingly and granted me bliss for more than a week in a constant state. As far as I am concerned attending Islam lectures, singing to Allah in circular dances and repeating His Holy Name has been an incredible experience, that has strengthened my love and inner peace as well as that of the people  around me.

This week I´ve been surfing the web in search of a book my sister in law recommended to me. What I found left me in deep thinking.

She has become a Muslim some three years ago and we are all really happy for her because her life changed drastically, for the better. This is particularly expressed in her inner happiness, gentleness and loving attitude.

islam piedras

I´m always interested in learning new things related to spirituality so she recommended that book to me: Mohammed. Since it´s not available in Argentina I searched for it at Amazon.com hoping to find the e-book version.

I got very disappointed to discover a wide offer of books attacking Islam, even doubting the existence of the Prophet, written by “experts”. The first title in the search results assures this “is the most intolerant religion in the world”.

I´m a common, not literate person regarding religious issues. But let me tell you my little knowledge shows me religious intolerance is a double mistake: to be intolerant is bad, to tolerate may be worse.

After OxfordDictionaries.com definition “to tolerate” is to “allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one dislikes or disagrees with) without interference”. Ergo, intolerance is the unwillingness to allow anything one dislikes or disagrees with. Yes, that´s bad.

But who are we to judge people´s beliefs and be in a position of allowing (or denying) their existence in the first place? This may be even worse. It is just the opposite side of the same coin.

The more I dive into world´s spiritual teachings and get in touch with true seekers from all religions, the wider my range of understanding of Unity becomes.

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I don´t want to tolerate, endure or bear with anyone who´s different from me. Who am I to judge if they “deserve” my acceptance?

I want to be alike to everyone. I´m a Christian, I´m a Hindu, I´m a Taoist, I´m Buddhist, I´m a Muslim too. Beyond tolerance.

1694 Main inspiring sources for this post (including images). Meditations of a Muslimah
http://meditationsofamuslimah.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/my-first-month-of-wearing-hijab/

Dr. Mary Ann´s Academy
http://drmaryann.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/god-is-not-one-islam-the-way-of-submission/

Further articles and video suggestions.
Daniel Barenboim Stiftung
http://www.daniel-barenboim-stiftung.org/projects-in-israel-and-palestine/

Israel Loves Palestine: the Movement
http://www.sabotagetimes.com/life/israel-loves-palestine-the-movement/

What would you do?

The hug. A postcard

Klimt

The other day I was listening to a mother of a 2 years old sweet boy who was playing sitting by her side. She was telling me about her pregnancy and her child´s personality. Out of respect I looked at him and said softly:

– Now mom is speaking of you. I know you´re listening. You´re free to express whatever you need.

This little boy doesn´t say a word yet (at least not in Spanish, very surprisingly he says “ball”, “jake” and “car” in English!) and the mother mentioned that point a few times. In the meanwhile, her child started rolling on the carpet, creating a “wave sensation” wiht his own body rolling away from mom, rolling back to her. The kind of “Fort/Da!” concept was incarnated in his own body. Every movement made sense and responded to what his mother was saying. Then the mother made an awesome statement:

– There is one thing I knew in this life and that is I wanted to become a mom and have children. That was my deepest desire.

Suddenly the boy stopped rolling back and forth, stood up, run as fast as his little legs allowed him and jumped on his mother lap, hugging her…

Little arms, tiny hands, clear mind, generous love hugging truly, unconditionally, in full surrender.

The mother became still, received her child hugging him back and they became One Soul.

I had the fortune to witness the magic.

Did I mention the child does not speak? I correct myself. He silently speaks in the universal language of the heart.

What do you feel when reading this story? Share your comments!

Tech Free Tree Fest (read this out loud and quick if you´re looking for a tongue-twister. For a nature love story read the post to the end).

We are back in town after a long stay in the countryside.

Those 4 months were intense, beautiful and tech free! We didn´t even have an oven, so we became experts in baking bread and cookies in the pan! Anyhow, this post is not about emergency cooking recipies, therefore you got my in-law (don´t miss her cooking blog). It´s not about countryside photography either, therefore you got my mom (her photo blog is beautiful).

This humble post is about what I could see from my kitchen window, beyond the house limits, in a world where kids had no TV, no internet, no phone, no mobile, no playstation… A tech free playful life! More specifically, this post is about how my kids rediscovered, enjoyed and loved trees.

It took them some time to realize trees were something they could interact with. The first weeks they explored the surroundings wanting to do the usual things they were used to: they asked us to take them to the playground and wanted to ride their bikes and skates on the road side (actually on the road, there was no “side” at all, but no traffic either).

It surprised me how many scrapes, minor cuts and bruises they collected in their feet and legs during this period. This brought me to think they were “city” kids, who never had a true extended opportunity to roam around freely, barefooted, without my constant warning advises behind. I trusted them, though. So I resisted the temptation to confine them into the house and they quickly developed the necessary skills to keep themselves safe during their games.

Slowly, they stopped asking for a daily visit to the playground and they started to realize there was a great world of play opportunities all around them, in front of their eyes. First thing they noticed was they could climb a big bush which they named “The Fat Sumo”. They literally went into the bush, took position on different branches and started moving them as the arms, legs and head of a big fat sumo wrestler.

Fat Sumo Wrestler (the bush, not the boy!)

It took three to four kids to complete the task and they spent hours and days repeating the game. Unfortunately the bush was not used to such high risk experiences and its left arm-branch broke. So we kindly invited them to explore real trees to climb and play with, remembering them trees are living creatures too.

From then on they chose a Weepping Willow as a King´s Court (throne included), a Shade Tree became a swing and a riding horse and some sort of Medlar was transformed into a den wherefrom some “fruit munitions” flew into the open field (some reached me and let me tell you the word munition applies perfectly well here). Finally, a beautiful Sweetgum in its Fall dress became the Everest, but only the older child in the troupe made it to the summit.

They didn´t left behind any tree to explore and play with. But the old grumpy Chestnut. It was that time in the year when the tree drops it´s distinctive spiny fruit shells  to the ground… did I mention kids were barefooted all day long? One or two stings were enough to establish safe zone limits.

So there it was, as a Selfish Chestnut Giant, standing alone, sorrounded by it´s own natural barrier, keeping kids at a distance. But as Oscar Wilde knew (and we parents all know) kids are not easily discouraged, specially when it comes about limits. Actually, kids love barriers… just to be able to cross them and see what´s up on the other side. And this is precisely what happened.

Slowly, very slowly, autumn neared winter and the good old Chestnut tree run out of its porcupine like little bombs and the field was cleared. Our gardener helped a lot, ignorant of the love battle that was going on he did score the final goal kids needed to win the game.

Helpless and naked, the tree surrendered. For good.

It became the most adored, trusted and cared for tree in the world. In my kids world at least. They lived great adventures around it and asked me to read them fun stories while sitting on its bare branches.

Finally, one sunny autumn afternoon it became the most fashionable spiritual Grandpa Tree there has been. Kids had organized a fest in its honor. They decorated the branches with silk wool and polyester wadding, wrote little love letters to hung on the threads, made invitations for neighbors, created tree masks and prepared fresh lemonade for everyone (I did help a bit with the little boy´s mask and cutting the lemons into halves). The lady opposite our home brought a copper inverted pyramid containing dry dung, rice and clarified butter (ghee) and offered us to burn a small fire praying for the healing of the Earth. She explained this was called HOMA Therapy.  We accepted.

So there we were, experiencing joy, unity and peace, praying for the healing of the Earth under the Great Tree our kids learned to conquer…

Recalling the whole experience I don´t feel anymore like advocating for the importance of playing in nature which was my first idea when I started writing this post. I don´t know you, but what my heart is whispering into my mind right now is a simple question: am I ready to release my well fostered ill-feelings towards thorny life experiences? Are you ready? I hope we all are. A true natural love story might be waiting behind.

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I used to be a perfect mom until I had my first child

Fritz Zuber Buhler. Girl feeding her doll

I mastered to perfection level every single detail a mother needs to know until husband and I decided to expand our family.

I mean it: EVERYTHING.

I had all motherly skills you can imagine, from infinite patience to unconditional love, from breastfeeding readiness to chef cooking abilities (husband doubted that part, though. But I knew I was going to delight my kids with every dish). I could meet any challenge finding the best solution to all sort of life situations and I used to boast about it.

I didn´t notice then, but I really went around boasting about it. Proudly standing on my perfection pedestal I would judge almost every single mother for their mistakes. How can she loose her temper like that? How can she put her kid aside to keep talking to her friend at the coffee shop? How could she wait for her husband to come back home to complain about her difficult day, about kids behavior, about feeling frustrated? Motherhood is life´s hightlight, how does she dare to complain?

Ok, I had been practicing to become a mom since I was age 3. Maybe they hadn´t. So I even dared to feel some compassion.

Then, the first month I didn´t get pregnant I suddenly became a mass of uncontrolled emotions that altered my nervous system to unknown heights and depths at the same time. Husband was worried (about me? about himself??). Under normal circumstances I´m a happy, smiling, fresh and calm person. But now I was hysterical.

Maybe just to save our marriage, the next month pregnancy test showed two beautiful soft pink lines the day after I missed my period. I was restored to normal (husband relieved). To normal did I say? Oh, poor man. He didn´t imagine what was coming next. The first three or four days I was radiant, shining like the moon and the sun together, smiling to everyone on the street and “feeling” the new life growing safe and sound in my womb. So I put a bit on weight to show everyone my belly, I felt dizzy, I had nausea all day (forget about morning sickness, that wasn´t enough for me), I cried and laughed for uncertain reasons and suddenly I started doubting… Doubting my body, doubting my emotions, doubting my mental health, doubting nature. So I started reading to solve my doubts.

By the time my first boy was about to be born I had read a real size piramid of books which drove me safely to motherhood insanity. There were so many “professional” opinions as there are stars in the sky, as so many diverse experiences as water drops in the ocean. And all claimed to bear the flag of final, unquestionable truth. Inspired by them, I started listing my brand new motherhood decisions: I wanted to give birth naturally. Caesar section was unimaginable. I  din´t want to receive epidural anesthesia, I wanted to breast feed my baby immediately after birth, I wanted to avoid hospitalization and keep my baby with me from the moment he was born onwards, forever after… Husband patiently listened to my loud voice thoughts, listed my wishes and promised he was going to stand by my side to grant and protect my rights…

Oh! How afraid I was to become a mother. I protected my fear with a thick coat of bookish knowledge and argumentative talk, so no one would notice I DID NOT KNOW how to be a mother. It took me a long time until I finally realized I was a complete ignorant on the matter. I recognized I was afraid of becoming a mother and accepted the fact that I needed to slow down my crazy mind and listen to my heart, that part of me which had kept silence all the way, from the very beginning of this story, waiting for me in its nonjudgmental characteristic mood.

But I did not find this revelations on my own. Oh, no! My first baby gently and consistently guided me in the introductory steps of this awesome discovering.

I defended breastfeeding on demand so he called me every two hours day and night for months, and months and months.

I defended not letting babies cry, so he wouldn´t fall asleep if not being in my arms.

I defended safe attachment, so he wouldn´t like being alone not even when I needed to pee or have a bath.

I had dreams of men wanting to breastfeed (imagine husband´s look when I told him?).

I was exhausted and really desperate. I knew there was nothing wrong with my baby, but big changes needed to be done… with me.

Today, nine years after that life long transforming experience that motherhood has meant for me, I´m more than happy to recognize I´m as simple and common as a mother can be, far, far away from perfection. A while ago a young, sweet, smiling new neighbor approached my husband with true concern to warn him the nanny had been yelling (yes, yelling) to one of our boys the day before.

We have no nannies. It was me.

This is something I´m not proud about and I do my real best to avoid going into loosing my temper like that. It´s an exceptional situation, I know. I must also admit this has happened here and then since I became a mom.

Saying this is not easy for me, the “good old days perfect mom”. But I´m not perfect any more, I´m not free of all human eventual frustrations and emotional influences. I do have freedom, though. I´m free to accept myself as I am, no arrogance coats, no masks. As good as it gets. This prevents me from creating false images about myself and allows me to see what I really have, what needs to be changed, what is alright.

After divine love, I don´t think there´s a mightier love on earth than the love a parent feels for his/her child, a love that can move mountains and fulfill the most difficult task on earth: the transformation of a human heart. At least that´s what has happened to me.

You might think I´m exaggerating when sharing my story and you´re right. I´m an exaggerated person. But don´t worry. Since I´m not perfect anymore I can live with that.

Love-more, let your preschooler play

(Chicago Tribune photo by Chuck Berman / September 2, 2010)

Today I enjoyed Not Just Cute Weekend Reads and found the recomended article  Kindergarten has become the New First Grade most interesting. If you care about parenting, education, childhood and preschoolers, please read it!

Now, my only question is… Is it a coincidence that one of the experts quoted in this Chicago Tribune article is called Loveless?

“I think even an advantaged child who attends a play-based kindergarten pays some sort of price because that is a portion of the day that could be going for cognitive development but isn’t.”

I mean, what price will we be paying as society if we deprive children from playing?? Oh! Love, come back to our hearts and let children live their childhood in peace!