Category Archives: Surrender

unbolted – a different kind of grace

rollercoasterI remember the day that my belief systems unbolted and fell away, never to return. What a moment of grace–but that was not my experience then.

Anger flared first–anger that I had wasted decades looking in all the wrong places. Then came, what now? Now, how do I live? The years since–that occurred in September or October of 2009–have been the steepest rollercoaster. I have learned to hold my hands up to the sky and holler, barreling down one steep hill and clattering up the next.

Unlearning has momentum! Are you ready?

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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surrender

hummingbird wingersizingThe ultimate surrender is the loosening for death, but allowing yourself to be anesthetized and going under the knife is close, in my book.

Today is a day of surrender. Actually, every day is a day of surrender–we allow ourselves to forget that. Who knows if I will wake up? In the large scheme of things, it simply doesn’t matter. I suppose the likelihood is that I will, but likelihoods are no longer a part of my belief system.

I have preferences–the parenting gene is still strong, and my son needs my encouragement this year. I’d like more time with my sweet partner. Writing here energizes me. The hummingbird babies on the live cam I’m watching haven’t fledged yet–although they are “wingercizing” regularly now, and are bright little alert birds. It would be fun to see them whiz off.

So I’ll say, “see you on the other side.” For convention’s sake. Whatever side that is.
Love to you all.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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nurse hat retired

Rowanlea’s Soulful Maggie
02-26-2007 to 07-18-2012

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the nurse hat

Here’s Maggie at sixteen weeks.

She turned a health corner last night. Her wounds, either from a poisonous spider bite or staph toxins from a puncture wound–we will never know for sure–are scary. I won’t show them here–too graphic for most–but they involve her butt and her right back leg, and partial skin loss on both. (The toxins drained down the leg.)

Now I wear the nurse hat. Everyone agrees that this dog is far too alive to euthanize, even though her recovery will take endurance on her part, and a great deal of human attention.

My job is to remain in the present without preference, and simply serve. This is our life right now, and it’s a wonderful reminder and teaching for us. Although I do most of the medical procedures, I couldn’t do this without my husband, who provides fabulous and steady backup, and helps hold this very large dog who is getting her strength back. Mostly, she simply accepts our ministrations with the gentle attitude you see in her eyes in the picture, even when it clearly hurts. She has never even whimpered. What a role model. In her own presence with what is, she amazes and teaches me.

Our days:

  • Wound cleaning: four times a day, then a walk in the yard, and passive leg exercises for her injured leg
  • Sub-cutaneous fluids: (given under the skin of her neck) twice a day
  • Antibiotic injections: twice a day
  • Force-feeding five times a day (actually a gentle process, and this morning she lapped a little blended food)
  • Bed changes four times a day because of the open wounds
  • and tons and tons of towel laundry.

See the length of her tail at sixteen weeks? Imagine how long it is now, as a full-grown adult! Her tail is shaved from the top to within ten or twelve inches of the end; her whole right hind leg is shaved. She is quite the sight–but of course has none of the self-consciousness that we humans suffer from.

Please, keep sending us breaths of good will. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but right now, she is improving.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2012

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leaving my son

This is the hardest part of relocating. For the first time in thirty-seven years, I will not be living in the same community as my son. My only child.

I know, in the larger scheme of things, that this is good for both of us. He gets to move fully into independent manhood.

Even though he has not lived with me for the past eighteen years, this is still big for both of us. He has disabilities that make his life difficult. A stroke at age five weeks left him painfully dyslexic and hemiplegic. He walks–gimpily–but doesn’t drive a car. A life-threatening heart defect required open heart surgery at twenty-two months. He suffers from hard-to-treat chronic pain–partly from the effects of the stroke, partly from fibromyalgia. He’s undergone corneal transplants because of a condition called keratoconus, and although his eyesight is serviceable, it’s not great.

He shoulders on, gifted with courage, a dark sense of humor, a flair for writing, and a pull to the non-dual view.

Like every one of us, he is perfectly imperfect. Unique.

My task is to remain present, to notice when the mind wanders into a worried, non-existent future, and to come home.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2012

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today I let go of…

Today I let go of a beautiful ministerial robe, made in the Sufi tradition. I wove the fabric, and a friend sewed the robe. I’ve am passing it along to just the right person, who will wear it with a full heart. It’s not appropriate for me to wear it any more.

Letting go of so much right now.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2012

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no effort required-take two

For thirty-seven years, I tried to figure it out. I tried to meditate. I tried to “do my practices” properly. In fact, I often did them, but they did not bring about the sea change that I hungered for. And yet, I continued to search, because I was driven to. I had caught the scent and couldn’t let it go, but nothing satisfied.

In fact, the very effort I invested seemed to take me furthur afield. I knew this–the hole inside, the sense of being an imposter, these remained–but I had no idea what I was doing “wrong.” My spiritual teacher had died in 2001, and I felt truly adrift.

Three years ago, something gave up and turned for home. I can’t really explain it. Teachers appeared who pointed in a fresh way. My belief structures crumbled. It had taken so much effort to hold that house of cards in place.

Life becomes simpler and simpler.

No effort required.

© Skye Blaine, 2011

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welcome what arises…

Wonderful reminder quote from Stephan Bodian’s “Wake Up Now”, pg. 85:

“Instead of focusing the light of your awareness like a laser on a particular object or activity, you open it like the sky, welcoming the experiences that arise just as the sky welcomes the clouds, neither ignoring or indulging them. Instead of concentrating, you relax and let go, allowing everything to be just as it is, without any attempt to control on your part. …Any effort is an indication that your mind has intervened.”

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“When Fear Falls Away”

I just finished Jan Frazier’s memoir, “When Fear Falls Away,” (Weizer Books, 2007). This is the second time I’ve read it, and I appreciated it even more this time.

Near the end, she says, “It’s all the busy work of the mind that you need to let wind down, run out of gas. Watch the stories you tell yourself. Notice the ways you define yourself in relation to other people, to events, to ideas.” (pg 188)

I don’t think of “doing practices” any more–life is a full Monte practice!–but if I did, her description would fit for me. Notice and notice and notice. Then notice some more.

© Skye Blaine, 2011

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