I love it when intuition clearly guides me in a way that I cannot deny. This afternoon, on the way home from errands in town, I felt a strong inclination to stop at our local library and check the discarded book section. We frequently find treasures among the donated and discarded books, so it wasn't a big stretch to follow intuition's lead this time. What was a big surprise, however, was the face gazing out from the trolley. None other than R. D. Laing on the cover of his book, Knots. This book and I became friends in 1969 when I was working as a secretary in Portland, Oregon. Earning barely enough to make ends meet, I often stopped at a gift shop/bookstore on my lunch hour to admire the items on display that I couldn't afford. The owner of the shop didn't seem to mind that I was there nearly every day and looked the other way when I carefully picked up and read from Laing's book every time I visited the shop. Laing's words were magical and gave me much-needed grounding and perspective. Having recently returned from a year at university and working in Italy, I was looking for direction. R. D. Laing's unique prose was a balm for my irritated nervous system and seemed to offer answers to questions I barely knew that I was asking. His words were a quiet murmur confirming my own thoughts and feelings at the time. The cover photo of the author also reminded me of an actor, Dirk Bogarde, who had captured my heart when I was in junior high school, I fell in love with the character he played in the movie, "Tale of Two Cities," by Charles Dickens. I had read the book in grade school and felt a strong affinity for the character Sydney Carton, played by Dirk Bogarde in the 1958 movie. What a reunion! The book, the author, the movie, the actor, all old friends.
From Deng Ming-Dao's 365 TAO Daily Meditations: Traversing sun leads to a new season, Vernal breath attunes the leaves. Tao is here. It is we who are not always in harmony with it.
Some people complain that it can take them up to a week to get used to changing from standard to daylight savings time, and even longer to adjust to a change of season. Is it that way for you? When something changes, does it take awhile to catch up? To attune to the change? Maybe we can take a lesson from the flowers in Spring that turn their faces to the sun, taking their cue from the new pattern of light. The Earth moves around a central Sun and so do we. AMAG frequently reminds us to "let life move through you as you move through all life." The sacred geometric design that AMAG transmitted and that are available as pendants in Sterling silver and gold-plated Sterling (Vermeil) help people attune to changes of all kinds, including the seasons. Like a musical instrument, we can be tuned to express not only our individual talents and spiritual understanding, but also find our best voice in harmony with the universal.
My sister, nephew, and great-nephew all have birthdays this month. Thinking of them brings to mind some key words for those born in March, the Pisces "fish who swim in the pure sea," as Judith Turner calls them in her book, The Hidden World of Birthdays. Pisces people I know are strong willed, have strong convictions, strong minds, and are filled with ambition and enthusiasm. Gemstones considered helpful to those born in March are Chrysolite and Beryl. Both stones support concentration and meditation and are helpful when one feels a bit frayed at the edges. Ostara, the ancient Celtic holiday that later evolved into Easter, marked the balance of light and dark at the vernal equinox. This holiday is a time for celebrating birth and rebirth. Lighting candles on birthday cakes in March is a good way to welcome the beginning of Spring.
I have subscribed to the Science of Mind Guide for Spiritual Living magazine for many years and find it to be a reliable place to go for inspiration. A quotation from Abraham Lincoln is featured today: "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax." This sounds like good advice and it's something I've noticed over the years. For example, prep time always seems to take longer and seems to be more laborious than the final action. It can take months to get ready to do something that takes only hours or at most a day to accomplish. Does that mean that we're wasting time, or are we sharpening our tools? The affirmation for today suggested turning one's to-do list over to God. This, too, is very good advice. As always, I asked AMAG if they agreed. They said, "It's good to make lists of what you wish to accomplish if it helps you organize your thoughts. Just don't make a big 'to-do' over the timing. Relax. Allow yourself to synchronize with whatever you are doing and the best time for action will present itself to you."
Alan Watts, Zen Buddhist teacher par excellence, said, "The ego is nothing more than the focus of conscious attention." AMAG would agree. They often refer to the physical body/personality as being "the character-self," the soul's focus of conscious attention as it animates form on a physical plane of consciousness such as Earth. This term is less burdened with baggage from Freudian psychology, but can still create confusion if there is uncertainty about who is focusing attention. Is it the soul or the character-self that is consciously animating a physical life? This is a question often raised during the course of study known as Master Class with AMAG. Focusing attention gets easier with practice, especially if I remember that I am a soul being a character-self known as Dayana, rather than thinking that I am a human looking for ways to connect with my soul.