Thursday, October 22, 2015

I am Jewel-ish

The lingering dreamworld colors first waking moments this morning. Recurrent themes in dreams are yet more remarkable - the mind's Greatest Hits. 

In 3D existence, one of the greatest hits to my inner child is the critical view held by father about my spiritual life. Granted, we were in complete agreement as to the non-existence of God, but apparently it was an incomplete consensus.

At age 19, standing on the steps of the most sacred pyramid in the Mayan empire, a column of light-energy descends from the sky and shoots straight into my crown chakra. It is the first time this physical container experiences "getting high."  (Note: no puff of marijuana or any other mind-altering substance had graced my bloodstream at that age...later.)

Henceforth, my life path veers away from the road most traveled and I leap into the void.

Decades after a declaration of independence from my parents' worldview, old age ripens the fruit of their loins. In last night's dream I cannot remain at a special ceremony with my Buddhist teacher because of a family demand. Frustration, anger, and fear of losing my teacher's blessings jolt me into wakefulness.

I reflect: the dreamworld reveals my anxieties but cannot dictate conscious choices. Relieved that this insight remains firm in my waking mind, I am free to muse about the fun qualities of my father.

He was a jokester and quipped with annoying frequency, "Are you Jewel-ish?" His play on words deflected the anti-semitic notion of the Jew, a label that plagued his earlier years.

Today, I can say with complete certainty, "I am Jewel-ish." Born a Jew, adopting the Jewel in the Lotus as my life path, and bearing French citizenship, "I am Jewel-ish" describes my being perfectly.

At last! I have pinpointed my gestalt in this incarnation.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Wages of Sin

After publicly admitting to a behavior that would have AA members pricking up their ears (a beer for dinner two nights in a row), a logical consequence has been vested upon me: a protest movement by my stomach leading to a decidedly unpleasant revolt. Au revoir beer. 

Granted, any nutritionist or logical person would have asked me why I drank a mini-bar beer to fill my stomach instead of take-out in "the city that never sleeps." Afterall, it isn't as if I was stranded in the middle of the Gobi Desert.

Contemplating thus in the early morning hours when I'd rather be sleeping, a biblical phrase came to mind: "The wages of sin is death." Sin, in this case, would be laziness and disregard for the welfare of the body temple.

Then a truly logical thought pattern arose. The correct admonition goes like this: "The wages of birth is death!" But nevermind. Life is not logical and certainly human behavior falls into the category of illogical most of the time. In an attempt to make sense out of the zigzags of existence, only one word untangles this mixed up tale: forgiveness.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Beer for Dinner

Just when I thought I knew the ins and outs of my persona, another subpersonality reared its unique head -  that of the boozer. In the vernacular, "a boozer" would be someone who imbibes alcohol in great quantities with great gusto and with great frequency. Being a lightweight drinker for virtually all of my adult life, this new propensity to drink comes as a surprise.

Lest the reader think that alcoholism is in the cards, clarification is in order. For me, heavy drinking is a cocktail per day for a week followed by a severe aversion to anything with more alcohol content than a Kombucha. And yet, while holed up in a hotel room in New York and forgoing dinner after snacking all day on film festival munchies, hunger sets in at about 10:00PM.

Going to a restaurant by myself is unappealing but making a dinner date with a warm body is even more daunting after interacting with humans for 14 plus hours during the day. So what does a gal do at 10:00pm when the stomach starts to feel hollow and the desire to nest overwhelms the hunger?

Yes! She raids the hotel mini-bar that is stocked with M&M's and cans of Heineken. However, rational thinking sets in. Eating the M&Ms has a distinct advantage in that they contain chocolate wrapped in vivid colors, a source of amusement for an artist and a chocolate lover. Nonetheless, this snack contains almost no nutrients and this human does not get sugar highs but definitely gets the sugar lows.

Beer, on the other hand, has vitamin B and fizzy bubbles. It also will make the head dizzy and the body slower - a good thing at 10PM. And that, my friends, is why a mini-bar beer has been my choice for fine dining these past two nights.

Gourmets or health conscious chefs might read this with horror and distain. Rest assured, upon returning to the land of Lotus Eaters, I promise to snack on apples and organic nut butters alone when the evening hunger games commence.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Watching History Roll By

Curiosity is a wonderful attribute. Without it there would be no inventors, explorers, mystics or scientists. The world would still turn on its axis and the stars would still shine in the heavens but the unique ability to reach beyond the personal self would be muted.

We are well versed in the exploits of adventurers and cats but how many of us are truly curious about the people who surround us? 

There is no such thing as a boring person, even if that someone holds the world's record for tedium. Beneath the most expressionless face of a dullard lies a human being that has been interacting with the multi-layered world in a manner entirely unique to that being. If we strove to be truly curious about each other, reaching out with attentive inquisitiveness in lieu of narcissist strutting, perhaps the complex and wonderful nature of the "other" would reveal itself.

Motivation is the key. When the spirit moves a person to see and hear what another is all about, the recipient of attention flowers. Feeling heard, feeling seen - without judgement from the observer to the observee - is a mighty gift.

Between the Frying Pan and the Fire

When the first inklings of a pandemic started brewing in late January, I was in Bodgaya, India, the place where the historical Buddha attai...