LA Insights

Musings of the InsightLA teachers

LA Insights

rss

Musings of InsightLA teachers


Life Is But A Dream
Life Is But A Dream

I wake up to a clear winter sunrise in LA. It’s already the fifth day of the new year. Like a dream, the holidays are past, whether sparkling or somber. It’s 2019 now. Here we are, rowing our boats gently down the swift stream of time. Is life really but a dream, as our childhood song tells us? Who creates this dream life? Is it a lucid dream, where we are aware that we are dreaming? 

Living immersed in our culture, it’s not easy to stay aware of the ephemeral, dream-like nature of this life. I sometimes find myself asleep in a way, distracted - check my phone, intend to answer an email but get drawn into answering a text and then forget the email. I know I’m not alone, if this happens to me, it probably happens to you, too. We’re already living in a virtual reality, a dream world where we forget who and what we truly are. 

One New Year’s Eve, when people gathered to reflect on how they’d fulfilled their intentions for the year past, a very accomplished young teacher laughed and confessed: “I can’t even remember what my intentions were!” Her honesty was full of self-acceptance and light-hearted compassion. This is how it is sometimes: dreaming of a being a better self, we set intentions and…forget. It’s OK. 

The grace of mindfulness and meditation is remembering. We learn how to step back from forgetfulness into loving awareness, any time we remember to wake up. Waking up, we perceive time itself - present, past & future -- has the quality of a dream. If life is but a dream – let’s make this year a good dream!

Love,

Trudy


Going Deep
Going Deep

Today is the solstice, the first day of winter, when Earth’s axis tilts the Northern Hemisphere farthest from the sun’s warmth. It’s the shortest day and the longest night of the year. This year a full moon (called the Cold Moon, or the Long Night Moon, by Native Americans) coincides with the solstice, along with the Ursid meteor shower. After all the holiday celebrations, winter is a time to to drop under the busy surface of everyday life and ask, what is most important? Who or what most inspires me to go deep?

And what does that even mean? Commit to daily meditation? Do a retreat? Come to community sits (meditation sessions) and events to explore practice together? To me, going deep means questioning whatever holds me back from experiencing wisdom and love. It means remembering the dimension of timeless mystery, the ever-present mystery of nowthat is always here, waiting for me to look beyond habitual, conditioned seeing.

For you, going deep may be imagining you’re sitting on a star looking down, envisioning your life from the perspective of vast compassion. It could be serving in a profound way that takes you out of your separate self to identify with something far bigger. It might be devoting this time to creating more balance and harmony in your life, withdrawing from relationships and activities that don’t nourish your spirit to refocus on understanding where your heart wants to go. It can be reflecting on the deepest teachings you’ve encountered, like this from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

“Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows.”  

May this holiday bring you gifts of joy to light up your heart and home. 

With infinite love and gratitude for your practice and generosity,

Trudy

 

The Light of Seeing Clearly
The Light of Seeing Clearly

For years, my vision couldn’t be corrected properly with glasses. Unlike most people, I’ve been waiting eagerly for the time to have cataract surgery where a new lens can be put into the eye. Usually it’s a simple, routine procedure, but with some damage to my corneas, it’s trickier. Thursday was the surgery on the left eye. It went well, but I won’t know the final outcome for a few weeks. Nervous the day before, I reflected, what does it mean to see clearly? 

Seeing clearly is being fully present within the experiencing of seeing and what is seen; it’s an active process that can only happen in the present. Seeing this process clearly is mindfulness. Witnessing what’s happening right here through all the senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, thinking, remembering, noticing what grabs our attention – this kind of seeing doesn’t depend on the eyes. It requires the humility to simply receive the moment in clear awareness. It requires the willingness to welcome each moment of sight, sound, taste, touch, thought, feeling, taking it all in, moment by moment. 

This kind of seeing is creative, intelligent, awareness discerning how everything it perceives appears and then disappears. We don’t have to try hard, our natural awareness can easily see how a sight, sound or thought happens, peaks, fades, then passes away. We are life witnessing life being born, existing, vanishing. Seeing this way doesn’t depend on glasses or corrective surgery; it relies on cultivating invisible qualities of the heart, like tenderness and patience. 

It takes generosity of spirit to receive life as it is. It calls for the inner vision we call mindfulness or loving awareness, an intuitive wisdom. As the little prince said: “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) May the light of seeing clearly, wisely, “rightly” what’s essential - LOVE - shine through all your holidays!

Love, 

Trudy


Giving Thanks in Time of Fire
Giving Thanks in Time of Fire

This poem, Thanks, from W. S. Merwin, reminds me of the 

last lines of Leonard Cohen’s song, Hallelujah: 

 

“And even though it all goes wrong

I stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah”

 

Listen with the night falling we are saying thank you

we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings

we are running out of the glass rooms

with our mouths full of food to look at the sky

and say thank you

we are standing by the water thanking it

standing by the windows looking out in our directions

 

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging

after funerals we are saying thank you

after the news of the dead

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

 

over telephones we are saying thank you

in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators

remembering wars and the police at the door

in the faces of all who will never change

we go on saying thank you thank you

 

with the animals dying around us

taking our feelings we are saying thank you

with the forests falling faster than the minutes

of our lives we are saying thank you

with the cities growing over us

we are saying thank you faster and faster

thank you we are saying and waving

dark though it is

 

Love, Trudy


Tags

A Note From a note from cayce howe buddhism india meditation mindfulness NFT Pets Can Teach Us pilgrimage presence retreat 2018 2019 A Note A Note From A Note From Angelike Dexter A Note From Christiane Wolf A Note From Jack Kornfield A Note From Trudy Aggression ANF ANFM ANFT Angelike Angelike Dexter Annual Fundraiser ANoteFrom Anotefromchristianewolf anotefromjackkornfield ANoteFromTrudy Anxiety Are We Rich ashram Awakening Awakening Love awakeninglove Bhikkhu Bodhi Book buddha Buddhism Buddhist Holiday Building Building a Society of Love buildingasocietyoflove cayce howe Celeste Young Change Christiane Wolf Clearly compassion Conversations Courage Dalai Lama Deep Diana Gould Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Dream East East Hollywood East Side Find The Stillness Fire Ford Friends Friendship frustration Fundraiser Gavin George George Mumford Giving Thanks Giving Thanks in Time of Fire givingtuesday Goals Going Going Deep Granada Gratitude Happy Holidays Happy New Year Holiday Holidays InsightLA InsightLA East Hollywood InsightLA East Side Opening Insights of a Peacock insightsofapeacock irritation Jack Kornfield JackKornfield Keep Keep Going Learning Learning From Courage Life Life Is But A Dream Light Lisa Kring London Love Martin Martin Vitorino Meditation Melrose Michael Michael Stroud mindful mindful awareness mindfulness Mindfulness in Parliament Mountain Mumford New Location New Year New Years Newsletter NFT Noble Noble Friends and Conversations Note Note From Note From Trudy NoteFromTrudy One Family One Mountain Our Friend George ourfriendgeorge pain Parliament Peacock Pets Phillip Moffit Remember Remember? Resolution Resolutions Retreat Rich Ron Ames Seasons Seasons of Change SeasonsOfChange Secular Seeing Clearly Self-Improvement Shana Tova Sharon Salzberg Sleep Sloth and Torpor Society Solstice Spain Spiritual Spiritual Friendship Stillness Thanks The Book of Life The Life of This Moment The Light The Light of Seeing Clearly The Subtle Aggression of Self-Improvement thebookoflife thelifeofthismoment Time Time of Fire Trudy Trudy Goodman Two Peaks Two Peaks - One Mountain Ven Ayya Tathaaloka Vesak We Rich Welcome Welcome to InsightLA East Hollywood What Pets Can Teach Us Winter Winter Solstice Wisdom Wise Wise Society