Thursday, January 20, 2011


Doing a regular meditation practice changes a person. I can't actually describe the changes, possibly because I have no particular goal or plan I'm pursuing. I just do what my teachers tell me, and try to do it according to their instructions.

But here's an example. Earlier today I was all set to go to my favorite political discussion board and mix it up with a few wingnuts, but then realized I didn't really feel like it. The combative impulse just wasn't there.

Meditation won't change the world, but it sure changes the view of the world a person gets from inside his own head.

Etaoin Shrdlu

Monday, January 17, 2011

new cards for a new year

For my first reading of the new year I decided to try a new deck of cards. These are the wonderful Mexican loteria (bingo) cards which are used for that universally popular game south of the border. On the back of each card is a "riddle" or, more correctly, an aphorism which gives a hint about the identity of the image. These are used by the caller to enhance the game, but I've found that they are also clues, sometimes obvious and sometimes cryptic, which shed light on the meaning of the image.

For example, the first of my three cards drawn for January turned up one of the more arcane images, Las Jaras (the arrows). The aphorism Las jaras del indio Adan, donde pegan dan closely translated is "The arrows of the Indian Adam, where they stick." I interpret that as saying that the fundamental nature of people, or of any given person, the fundamental building blocks and patterns of what we call a personality, are set in place very early and don't change thereafter, no matter how many transformations one passes through. This is particularly pertinent to my situation, because even though I've experienced a lot of life-altering changes in the past few years, I'm still, at the most fundamental level, the same person I've always been.

Next came an image which I'd found mysterious until now, but it's meaning clicked into place when it appeared in the center of this draw, at this time in my life. No te arrugues cuero viejo, que te quieropa tambor reads the aphorism for the drum, which roughly means "You may be wrinkled, old leather, but I want to use you for my drum." I may be an old man, and an old wrinkled piece of leather, but there are still a lot of songs left in me. And in this case having drawn that particular instrument among the several in the deck may be significant as well. I wonder if there's still a bit of percussion in my future.

The final image, the simple star shining in a night sky, conveys the same meaning as the more elaborate star picture of the tarot deck -- hope. La guia de los marineros, "the sailors' guide," is the simple and transparent aphorism. It's a reassurance that the sailor on his long journey will eventually return safely to home port, and tells me I need to keep following the guiding stars I've depended on these past few years, which have led me out of a wilderness of despair and back into the sunlight.

Etaoin Shrdlu

Sunday, January 09, 2011

how it spoze to be

Yoga every day. Eating nothing but beneficial food, most of it either raw or very lightly cooked. Not smoking anything, not even vaporizing lately.

The result? Muscles toned, joints flexible, breath coming easily, digestion sound, mind clear and at peace.

This is the way a person is spoze to feel -- what Gary Kraftsow calls "optimal." This is how it spoze to be.

Etaoin Shrdlu