Why Easter Could Be My Favorite Holiday…

Easter should be my favorite holiday of the year.

Not because of the bunnies. Although I love bunnies!


Not because of the chocolate and I do love chocolate!


Not because it is Spring or Equinox although I wait impatiently for it throughout the entire winter.


It is because it is the only social cultural religious public recognition of Transformation through Death that I know of. It is the only time we, collectively, recognize death as a part of the human experience.

It is also a time that illustrates an aspect of Spirituality that isn’t talked about much: Transformation the cycle of Death and Rebirth.

Of course, if you think about it from a strict Christian stance I think, Jesus was the only one who could die and be reborn or resurrect. But put the word resurrect aside and call it Spiritual Rebirth then it does seem that conceivably I could do that and have done throughout my years of practice.

This kind of Death that Easter represents, to me, is not in the corporal sense as in a person dying, leaving this earth. It is not only about rebirth as in only Jesus can do it. It is about the psyche and the heart’s ability to transform.

We Die And Are Reborn In Every Moment – If We’re Lucky

I think of Easter as a celebration of the Death and Rebirth of our Psyches over and over again. Going through Transformation(s) is a necessary part of the Spiritual process toward Awakening. We die and are reborn in our lives. You may not know it, but you go through small death/rebirths with every moment. You may ignore the signs of wakefulness or ego-death, and in response to it, in fear of the little ego-death (Thanatos), you refortify your self (small ‘s’) every time you run into difficulty thereby starting the death/rebirth process all over again (karma). Without awareness, we slip back into our neurosis that veils the True Essence of our own Beings.

The Work – Practice

Any practice worth its Spiritual Weight puts the practitioner through the throes of a kind of death any time (maybe not every time) they sit on their meditation cushions or stand on their mats, or chant or do breath work, etc.. And any practitioner wanting Samadhi which is a state of transformative essence, has to accept this as part of the practice.

You’re On Your Own – As You Should Be

Growing up Catholic Easter was about suffering and resurrection and what Jesus can do for us.

Now as a mature woman, I realize that I’ve always known there is a flaw in thinking that. No one can do this work but ‘me’. The work is available to me as an adult. It needs a certain kind of maturity that comes with experience. But not the experience that is about traveling a lot or having a lot of schooling or street smarts. It’s the experience of existence, moment to moment, life unfolding that opens you up to this process – only you, the individual can know when that time is to delve into this work.

If You Let The Divine/Universe Guide You

As psyches, we are constantly in flux. It’s like our True Self is in a cocoon for our whole lives and it starts out as an opaque vessel, hard and impenetrable. If you let the Divine/Universe guide you through your life then metamorphosis will take place. The cocoon becomes transparent and it is apparent that growth and change are happening inside. Transformation from the inside out. You can’t see it happening until the outer layer/outer body becomes transparent. And finally what emerges into the world is something other than what it started out as. The butterfly doesn’t need to die corporally in order to change and Be this change. It needs to die to the caterpillar it once was. But not only does the physical body change and it only changes in order to Serve the Essence or Spirit of what has emerged: “Dying ego-ically” as it were, in order to transform is the crux of the success of Transformation.

So then symbolically, Jesus’ story represents the Spiritual Transformation from a Secular life to a life with god, union, Yoga. This is what I would like to think the celebration of Easter is about. The celebration of Transformation from one state to another, the death of one immoveable identity to an existence without labels; An existence of Openness and Self-knowledge.

And although Christians to a certain extent can be very maudlin about the whole process, it is a time of celebration – Spirit over Ego, Awareness over Blindness, Wakefulness over Sleep. It is a celebration to recognize that we all have the capacity to change and grow Spiritually.





Namaste – na*ma*ste  – exclamation

Literally “I bow to the divine in you.” A traditional Indian greeting of respect and thanks with spiritual and symbolic meaning. Said with a gesture of the palms pressed together in the middle of the forehead (third eye) or at the heart, and lightly bowing the head and shoulders.

Yes. That’s why I like to translate this word as “greeting” and not “prayer”. It is an expression of and for community not of silent contemplation. You express these words outwardly to others in greeting them. Like similar words in languages such as hebrew, french and hungarian (there are others, I’m sure), these words express a consciousness of the Divine and the Spirit within and our Connection to these – and our recognition of these, the Divine and Spirit, in others.

About Forgiveness…

I won’t watch the video. From the description – I get it. I get that the guy acted like a hateful person. I don’t need to see it to get me all incensed. If you wish to watch, it is here (see link below). Also, in the link read the post in which the author tells of her reaction to the vid.

This is my response to the author of the post, who brought this to all of our attention, and I thank her.

My Response

It’s About Your Own Psyche

It’s really not even about “forgiveness” is it?… You can’t “forgive” acts like this.

It’s really about delving into your own psyche and letting go of the ideas that everyone should be the same, think the same, act the same. There are always going to be things that people do that we can’t and will never understand.

Our First Response Is Out Of Fear

I think our first reaction to these things is really to protect ourselves. We feel for the animal… or another person… yes, but I feel that the initial reaction is from a deeply seated Fear around Trust, or the lack of it. How can you trust a person who does this to an animal? The answer is simple – trust yourself. But it’s not that simple, is it? – because there are times when you are surprised by your own thoughts or feelings – feeling real hate and violence toward this man, for instance – closely followed by the need to change him (and others like him). Change him by hating him? By punishing him (which is necessary because actions have consequences)?

Getting In Touch With Your Own Shadow

Throughout my spiritual process, I’ve taken on the task to become ever present to the shadow side of myself. When I see that I have the capacity to be angry, to hate, to wish someone ill, to get excited, to be kind, nice (shadow can be both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities), I can see it in others. In seeing the ‘dark’ within myself, I stop feeling victimized by the ‘dark’ in others. My work is to act in the clarity of seeing the entire range of feelings and personalities that can manifest within me and cultivate self-knowledge and self-acceptance.

If you’re always trying to see the ‘light’ in yourselves (and in others), you will never see the human capacity for the opposite, and that can paralyze us when we come face to face with the shadow (or what people like to call ‘evil’ or the ‘devil’). Always cultivating the ‘light’ (beauty, kindness, etc.), doesn’t help us deal with the ‘darkness’ in others (or within ourselves). We are surprised by it. We are never ready.

Balance Is Key

Everyone has the capacity for balance; everything on an even keel, expressing equally all aspects of ourselves in a balanced and healthy way. This man unfortunately did not express in a balanced way. His hate and loathing for animal rights activists out weighed his capacity for love. He acted out of fear. That is sad.

As humans, we act as we act. We all act differently according to external stimuli and the internal filter. The guy in the video has no more or less capacity for balance than you or me.

It is the nature of being human to have both sides (non-dualism sees all acts as just that – neither this nor that, good nor bad. It is how we respond to these acts that become the ‘defining’ instrument with which we judge). It’s actually normal to have the range of emotion, of thought. What isn’t normal is when one is much stronger than the other – when one is so out of wack that there is no sense of the other: There is no balance.

Be Your Own Beacon

Balance yourself in this way. Accept that you have the capacity for all sorts of feelings and see them for what they are. You don’t need to act in one extreme or the other – as this man did. You will act according to your own heart which has the capacity to accept all. Be brave. And admit to being angry when you’re angry, sad when you’re sad, afraid when you’re afraid. There is no need to hide from these. And you don’t need to think about “forgiveness”, because in the balance, love and compassion will be there – despite the feelings for retaliation and fear toward those who perpetuate these acts of violence.

Peace! Christine

A Response to A Video About A Guy Shooting A Horse

Warrior’s last letter

Warrior’s last letter

I am including this post in this series because the author wrote this:


“. . . I think sometimes we can get a bit caught up in this topic of war that we forget that there is a human heart behind the uniform.

And in doing so, we inadvertently fail to separate the “war” from the “warrior.”. . . “


We must always remember the human heart.

Words From Brilliant Writers…

Words from brilliant writers...

I knew I liked Susan Sontag. 🙂 Read the brilliance of her words even at such a young age…

No Words

No words. ❤

Erica Harrold

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened…

hat tip to Justin Fox at http://zengarage.com.au/2013/03/marina-abramovic-and-ulay/

View original post

Cry, Cry, Cry

* I cried out of loss. The confusion of it and the fear I felt.

* I cried when the realization hit me that I was who I was despite my best efforts to change. I felt I was letting everyone down.

* I cried of joy when a synchronicity appears before me for a split second and I realize that I am still in sync, even if I don’t feel it sometimes, with my Dharma. The universe does conspire with me.

* I cried when I see the pain of others: From bereavement, threat, ignorance. I am not afraid to feel their pain and cry with them.                                

The above is my addition to Miheala’s post. Please read on everyone… and Thanks for sharing Miheala. 

My teacher’s teacher…a long time ago…

My teacher's teacher...a long time ago...

Philip Kapleau. He wrote the Three Pillars of Zen.

My teacher talks about how demanding the practice was. Austere and painful at times. And worth it.

He, my teach that is, has written a book about his experiences with the Spiritual Process – hasn’t published it yet. I’ve read most of it. It’s a long book. But then any journey like this is a long one.
It’s decades of sitting, practicing, and deep self-discovery. Waiting for a kensho, waiting for something that signifies that your practice is becoming deeper.

It’s hard to tell in any practice. It’s not anything you can see. It’s certainly not in how well you sit. Because it doesn’t matter how long you’ve sat for – years, decades, the pain will return – because you’re body changes, that’s why. Day to day, week to week, month to month and in the years. Even – it shifts from morning to night – anyone with a cold can tell you that.

It’s a good book, Three Pillars of Zen – if you haven’t read it. Any of Roshi Kapleau’s books are a good read.

Just wanted to share that with you…