Today

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:73

Practical Life

911 service in Washington State is currently down. King 5 has a link to alternative #’s depending on where you live https://bit.ly/2ThVlvp. I just added a few to my contacts.

Another gloomy morning and glorious afternoon on the lane. We went for a walk along one of the 3 dikes in the wetland. Wow, it’s a beautiful world.

In other not news, I’ve named the 2 male pheasants that have been hanging around Chester and Henry. We’ve been throwing a little cracked corn out for them. When we first moved here, there was a single male that wandered about. At the time I thought pheasants were naturally wild here. He was however a refugee from the fish and wildlife fall release program. He lasted a few winter months past hunting season. He and a Butterscotch colored bunny hung around together. One day they were just gone, likely a coyote food.

On that happy note…

…….

Onto our 5-minute meditation following the phases of the Moon.

The waxing moon increases in light moving toward first quarter. On Sunshine Lane, the Moon rises at 2:40 pm 128⁰ SE and sets at 11:00 pm 233⁰ SW.

Preamble

Consciousness is our superpower – direct it accordingly

Meditation

Ditch the party line.

Poem

The moon, she is split

Shadow and light

Toward illumination

Today

Truth

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:72

Practical Life

It was a truly gorgeous afternoon today, making up for the dreary morning. We worked outside. I worked mostly on the wetland path while Tom mowed. We use the path a lot in the fall and winter taking our yard waste to a sloppy pile. One of our winter projects will be establishing an official composting area.

I attempted to remove the many spider webs getting uncomfortably close to the various entrances of the house. I also made sauce with the last of the ripe tomatoes and roasted carrot soup for another day. It’s funny how it seems like we don’t do much of anything and then when reflecting on the day, find it wasn’t all just sitting around contemplating.

BodyMindSpirit

This morning as I sat to meditate, I was very conscious of my view outside, not that anything unusual was happening. It was dim, cold, and damp. The sun was slow to rise over the trees inching away the shadow across the wetlands. The birds were busy near and far. Even though my intention was to sit quietly and meditate, I immediately wanted to write some thoughts on Tarot. Kitty, who thinks meditation is just about me petting him, had tucked himself in next to me. As soon as I picked up my pencil, he sensed there was competition and took off.

I don’t look at meditation as one specific act of doing the same thing every time. It’s more like a way of acknowledging I’m a consciousness in a physical body, and being present. When I do it, I always have a better day. Often my intention is to sit quietly, calm my mind and imagine the light inside. To get out of my head, as so much of western culture is about mental pursuits. I’m not turning my brain off, just spreading my attention around.

Sometimes I do have a specific intention beyond centering myself. I enjoy connecting with the great mystery that lives through and beyond my physical form. Often my mind wanders and I ask questions.

This morning I asked what is truth? Something we’ve all been thinking about lately. Our experience is directed by our perception of what truth is. And truth is fully dependent on one’s perspective. Then I went on asking, if we can see multiple truths does that strengthen or weaken our perspective? Or if we can only see one truth, does that make it truer? Or when we can hold multiple truths, does the concept of truth become less important? Then I realized my thinking analytical brain had hijacked my meditation. Oh well, part of a successful meditation is to gently bring oneself back to quiet.

Whether or not I feel I’m good at meditation is not the point, it’s that I’m showing up to this moment and my whole being.

…….

Onto our 5-minute meditation following the phases of the Moon.

The waxing Moon is Crescent. On Sunshine Lane, the Moon rises at 12:38 pm 127⁰ SE and sets at 9:02 pm 232⁰ SW.

Preamble

As the moon continues to wax, imagine it illuminating those clinging thoughts of dis-ease. Stuck like burs, imagine something stickier rolling through and taking them away… or use a flame thrower, rake, hammer… Perhaps ask why I am hanging on to them?
If surrendering or a truce feels better do that. Sometimes just acknowledgment, releases us from its grip.

Meditation

Our shadow is part of us. It will take all our attention given the chance.
Bring on more light.
The brighter our light, the less shadow there is.

Poem

beauty in stillness
dark and light

Truth

Show Up

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:71

Practical Life

Today was a mixed bag of activities. We voted, surveyed the property for what needs doing, harvested a few things, sighed at the industrial strengthen kale, and washed the new silverware.

As I was drying the new set, I wondered how often people use both a salad and dinner fork for everyday dining. If we were to start again what should the modern table setting look like? I might have to do a survey.

BodyMindSpirit

“If you want to know your past, look at your present. If you want to know your future, look at your present” -Buddha

Over the summer I listened to the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It’s a practical guide for reaching goals by making tiny changes to our habits. He uses stories, psychology, and neuroscience to explain things, making it easy to grok. One of his premises is to start by just showing up. Even if its just putting on sneakers if your goal is to start jogging.

…….

Onto our 5-minute meditation following the phases of the Moon.

The waxing Moon increases in light moving toward crescent. On Sunshine Lane, the Moon rises at 11:21 am 122⁰ ESE, and sets at 8:16 pm 236⁰ WSW.

Preamble

Want to start meditating? Keep it simple. Show up.

Meditation

Sit.
Breathe.
Be.

Show Up

Hope

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:70

Practical Life

We went to the mainland today and did a lot of socializing, in person and virtually. On our way we had a mobile zoom call with my family. Then met up with our kids, followed by an afternoon with dear friends. It was wonderful to enjoy time with people we love.

BodyMindSpirit

On our way home we saw this sign at an intersection. It made me laugh, then I questioned my ethics, so quick to jump to a conditioned response. I decided that I would hack the hack. (A hack job indeed, but you’ll get the point ) At first I thought I’d just change the one word to Hope, but Hope for cash any condition was just too sad.

…….

Onto our 5-minute meditation following the phases of the Moon.

The waxing moon increases in light moving toward crescent. On Sunshine Lane, the Moon rises at 9:58 am 115⁰ ESE and sets at 7:39 pm 242⁰ WSW.

Preamble

We continue our journey, grateful for our shadowy past, knowing it does not define us.  

Meditation

Expanding with the light.
Our dark corners and shadows want Love too.

Hope

Hunting

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:69

Practical Life

Ah, it’s that time of year again when we wake to the not so distant sounds of gunfire in the wetland as the mighty hunters’ prey upon the stocked. Seasonally, a few acres north of us, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife release the beautiful yet vapid pheasant to be shot dead, for sport. I’m guessing some eat them, although in reviewing the wildlife website I found nothing about nutritional value, or how to prepare them. Yearly 35-40,000 pheasants are released in Washington. It is heart cooling to know our tax dollars are providing opportunities to shoot and kill, for sport. Seasonally, the prey find their way to our 5 acres for refuge, although being dim-witted, they wander back into the kill zone.

Yes, I eat chicken a distant cousin… by the way have I mentioned a pheasant sounds like a chicken coughing into a can? And whenever they’re disturbed, they let you know it.

BodyMindSpirit

Pheasants entered my meditation this morning as I dreamily gazed into the wetland only to see just the head of the distinct bird rising from the tall grass 60 yards away. Although only 4 inches, something unfamiliar was in the familiar, a kind of reverse Where’s Waldo.

It started me thinking, we’re often hunting for something. We don’t always know what we’re hunting for, we’ll know it when we see it if we’re lucky. It’s part of the eternal restlessness some of us are plagued by.

Meditation can bring peace. Although sometimes I’m not feeling the flow, and force will not bring it.

Others hunt for my peace, it’s a conscious effort on my part not to let them have it.

…….

Onto our 5-minute meditation following the phases of the Moon.

The waxing Moon increasing in light moving toward crescent.

Preamble

Yesterday we meditated on a Hero’s journey. Heroes are ready to begin again and again. They remember yet forgive their past and show up bringing their best forward, releasing attachment to what may come.

Get ready to make magic.

Meditation

We bring our fire, passion, & wisdom.
We bring all that comes from Love.
Grateful to what we leave behind.

Poem

The moon whispers to the trees as we say good night to the day

Hunting

Hello

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:68

Happy New Moon everyone!

Practical Life

Summer has come and gone on Sunshine Lane. We enjoyed friends and family visiting, summer breezes, floating on the Salish Sea and just being. We are grateful for the space and ability to entertain outside. Our gardens were bountiful. Lots of beauty, and things to eat, can and freeze. At times it was hard to keep up with all the growth. A 10 ½ pound zucchini went to our neighbor donkey, Cleo.

BodyMindSpirit

I started the Sunshine Observer as a deterrent from a bazillion posts about COVID-19 in social media. My intention was to keep things light as the world discovered what this virus was and how to manage our lives with it.  

Then George Floyd’s death brought the somber reality of existing racism front and center. So many important voices are finally being heard; the movement remains strong.

COVID continues along with floods, hurricanes, fires, murder, inequality, culture wars, political division, anarchy, and general insanity. A lot of craziness has happened in the last 4 months, it is deafening and much of it we can control.

There are unlimited strategies others use to gain power over us. Chaos, fear, religion, finger pointing… These strategies trap our attention and take our control. Power over us is a choice.

So, with the intention of lightening the deafening mood, let’s start anew.

…….

Onto our 5-minute meditation following the phases of the Moon.

Preamble

We are not simple, yet when we show up from Love, we set a strong foundation for everything we encounter.

The new Moon is the dawn of a new cycle, as the Sun and Moon are in alignment. It’s a good time to set intentions for the coming month.

We begin by welcoming the possibilities.

Meditation

We are on a Hero’s journey, starting something new. Start from Love.
With the dark we feel and hear deeply. Listen.

Poem

silent

present

welcoming the new

Hello

WTF

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:67

WTF is going on in Seattle?

Some of you not in the area may be wondering if we have gone to hell in a hand basket. No, no we have not. But it’s complicated.

Here is my understanding of the last few weeks…

Do not trust the media.

What is being reported in the media is a mixture of truths and false information depending on the perspective they are supporting. I do encourage looking at different news outlets to see how differently each is representing the situation.

There have been a bunch of different things going on at once. First protests were prompted by the police killing of George Floyd. Initially Black Lives Matter were not encouraging people to protest because of COVID, but people came with signs anyway in support. Then CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) was created in reaction to the SPD’s violent response to the peaceful protests. While Black Lives Matter and CHAZ share some of the same concerns, they are different citizen groups. Here is the list of demands from each  Black Lives Matter and CHAZ.

Even though we now live 35 miles away, we still consider Seattle our city. When the protesting started, we sat on our couch and watched the news. Disturbed by the mayhem of the anarchists and looters. We listened to our mayor and police chief talk about how they supported the protesters and their right to march, but there were others causing trouble as the police were trying to keep the peace. We were impressed at the time with the calm demeanor of the officials and their support of Black Lives Matter.

Then I started seeing social media posts from friends who were there peacefully protesting.  The police were throwing stun grenades/flashbangs and tear gas at them. My son Sam got a frantic call from his friends to come get them. They were quietly setting up equipment for the speakers when the police came and threw flashbangs and tear gas at them. Then the looting started. It was really confusing at first, it seemed like these folks had just gotten in the crossfire between the looter/anarchists and the police. But the violence continued after the looters/anarchists went home.

The protesters decided to stand their ground and marched to the Capitol Hill precinct which is now CHAZ, a 6-block area of the city. During the weeks I would switch between social media and the news outlets to see how each was handling it. The media focus stayed on the Capitol Hill protesters often criticizing their behavior, calling them terrorists etc. Friends reported the protests continued for the most part peacefully. Yes, a few small things were tossed at the police but nothing that warranted the severe response as they continued to throw tear gas flash bangs and pepper spray. The mayor and the police chief both said they would not use tear gas anymore, but the police continued to do so.

I believe my friends and Sam who spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill as things unfolded. None of whom are terrorists, looters or anarchists. They are peace loving people who started out protesting in the name of George Floyd and ended up protesting against SPD in self defense. The main thrust of the CHAZ protesters was to get the police out of the precinct, which they did. It’s unclear what will happen on Capitol Hill moving forward, things keep morphing.

We need police reform. Defunding the police is not a request to get rid of police, but to look at restructuring the system and reallocating the budget to include social services.

Peace be with you.

WTF

Tell Somebody


The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:66

The story of America is not a pretty one. This video is hard to watch because of its truth.

It’s a terrible beautiful time.  The people are rising for justice and equality. Some, still in the shadows are holding on *tight. Those coming out of the shadows are horrified they’ve allowed the inequality for so long.

Finally, we are experiencing a crisis of consciousness. 

This is Act 1 of the revolution: Acknowledgement

We fucked up. We can’t breathe. Racism is the igniter.

It’s been a long slow burn. Somewhere in our history Love became a weakness and the concept of “power over” became the mantra. The majority of public systems in place support some form of racism, sexism and bigotry. These were built by the white patriarchy. The patriarchy’s primary focus is control and power over others.  The systems are not designed to help humans thrive. They are designed to let very few have all the power.  The industrial complexes run the country; corporations and the military. Together they profit financially from maintaining socially detrimental or inefficient systems.  Together they keep the focus on the resulting chaos, perpetuating the perception for the need of more control.

The US is 5% of the world’s population and we have 25% of the world’s jails. Lap that shit up.

Timing is key. The Earth can’t breathe. It gave us the corona virus where the people can’t breathe. Mother nature knows exactly what it’s doing. Forcing us to stop and sit in place. This gave us the time we needed to reflect on what Matters. Then we saw the knee on the neck of George Floyd, ending his life.  That act finally tipped the scales for those still in the shadows to acknowledge we had created societal systems that don’t allow people of color to breathe. Black Lives Matter.

Enough.

We are done talking. Some want solutions right now. Some are springing into action. Some are still chewing on it; how will they be part of the solution. Some can’t *see the problem.

Happy people do not kill each other.

* If you’re not convinced that the country needs a makeover, review the Black history of this country. Here are a few of the good movies available:
I Am Not your Negro Based on James Baldwins works, a journey into black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to Black Lives Matter.
 13th the building of the prison industrial complex.
Selma The story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people.

Lest we forget The Dark history of Native Americans.

…..

Onto our 5 minute meditation following the phases of the Moon.

Waning moon decreasing in light moving toward Third Quarter

Preamble

Resurrect what has always been ours.

Meditation

Sit in silence
Bring our consciousness to our hearts
Imagine resurrecting Love
See and feel what grows

Tell Somebody

Guilty

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:65

https://twitter.com/Freeyourmindkid/status/1266626242905886721?s=20

Practical Life

Shit continued to explode yesterday. Last night we watched the pockets of destruction happening around the world from the comfort of our home.

What to do and not do?

The attached video is from a protest. It offers a perspective that needs to be heard. I have been struggling with how to fight racism. What is my fight and what is not? What is the appropriate response for white people? And what’s our motivation? I don’t want to screw things up because I feel bad. Guilt is a powerful motivator. But guilt as a motivator doesn’t solve the problems of racism, it changes the focus to be about making the guilty ones feel better.

Regardless of my intentions, I’ll wake up tomorrow with the unfair advantage of being White in America.

What to do and not do?

Meanwhile our neighbor has been shooting their pistol all day, and its LOUD, LOUD, LOUD. We moved to the country thinking it was a peaceful place…

BodyMindSpirit

Onto our 5-minute meditation that follows the phases of the Moon.  The waxing Moon increasing in light moving from First Quarter toward Gibbous.

Observe where your focus is now. How does it feel? If we want a new result focus on something different. We know the power of our mind; use it.

Meditation

Be here now, pay attention and feel any newness.
This is our time to contemplate our existence.
Be here now.
Pay attention to the waves of our breath.
With each breath give thanks to our body from our toes to our head.
The expansion is coming be patient with the reveal.

Guilty

Justice

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:64

Practical Life

 We woke to thunderous skies, rolling into our sleep, shaking us awake with its growling howling claps of anger. Excited for the intensity we sat with coffee in our comfortable living room as it screamed its way across the world. The anger didn’t stop with the storm as we read about protests against racism and inequality.

Even the birds were in synch with the discordance. First it was a small bird chirping and clicking incessantly, something was wrong. I was putting dishes away when I heard it at the window. I opened the kitchen door to see what the disturbance was about. I looked close by and didn’t see anything so closed the door. Again, they insisted to be heard. I opened the door and again saw nothing unusual, but I really wasn’t looking, just responding to the noise.

Then a few minutes later, larger, louder voices joined in. These could not be ignored. This time I went out into the driveway and walked up the hill toward the loudest sounds in the grove of tall fir trees. I only saw the hysteria until I stopped focusing on the noise and quietly observed.

At first it was a soft shadow lost in the trees. Then slight movement brought the cause into focus. The Crows cawing as loudly as they could with Robins and smaller birds all screaming for their lives and their babies. There it was, looming, silent. A great horned Owl. The smaller birds all worked together to push away the predator. They dive bombed the Owl, protesting as loudly as they could. It’s here, don’t you see it? Come chase it away with us.

Now aware of my presence, the Owl flew to a different branch out of my view, trying to stay hidden. I moved to a better vantage point. Looking over its shoulder at me, again it moved to be hidden. It was big, it could crush any one of these other birds, but the other birds know that when they band together, they have a chance. Maybe not in defeating it, because the Owls nature is to prey on others. But by calling attention to it, maybe it will move on.

This is the dance of injustice. It stays hidden until awareness is brought to it.

I’m a metaphor person, always looking for synchronicity and connection. How many times do we need to open the door before we act for justice? Our world is discordant right now, maybe it always has been. Unfortunately, we are born into a racist society. Equality requires the focus stay on correcting the injustice of racism and not the noise created by the awareness. Bias establishes racism, it is driven by fear. Fear has many collaborators and is used as a strategy that can be louder than potential solution. Often fear points the finger in the wrong direction. To be clear, Racism is the problem. I wish I had solutions. All I know is that when we act, it’s either from Love or Fear.

BodyMindSpirit

Onto our 5-minute meditation that follows the phases of the Moon.  The waxing Moon increasing in light moving from First Quarter toward Gibbous.

Preamble…

Our theme today is “Welcome and Release”. Welcome our best intentions with no attachment to how they show up. Listen carefully to our higher will, surrender to change for the best and highest good. See our ego, and release what we can shake off and make peace with what we can’t. If met with muddled thinking, imagine moving up and the confusion falling away, leaving us only with our vision. Now is the time to embody letting go and Welcome – balanced spirit, emotion, and intellect. Be in alignment and create a flow towards our intentions.

Meditation

We step in and see ourselves in our vision. Our oneness.

Justice