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TAO/MITAKUWE OYAS'IN  Vol. 37 (April/May 2012 Issue)


Contents:

From Denean: Slow Movement: Are You a Tortoise or a Hare?

This Issue's Featured Song: "Eagle In My Heart"

Breath Focused Meditation

Current News & Announcements:                             Click Here to check out Denean's Music 






Slow Movement:  Are You a Tortoise or a Hare?

Artwork by Milo Winter. This image from The Aesop for Children is in the public domain. More information at Wikimedia Commons.


First of all, for anyone who isn't familiar with the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, here is the Aesop version:

 

The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. "I have never yet been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me." The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge."  "That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance round you all the way."   "Keep your boasting till you've won," answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?"

    

So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race.

 

Then the Tortoise said: "Slow but steady progress wins the race."

 

 

"So how on earth do we find the relaxed steady pace of progress that Tortoise shows us in such an overdrive "Harry" world?"

 

Everything in life is always a choice on some level, even if it is a choice in how we respond to situations not of our own making.  It doesn't feel that way sometimes, I know.  But when we really become conscious of our actions and acutely aware of our part in it all, we will realize that we really do always have options:  a choice in how we respond, a choice in what we do or don't do.  But that choice also requires us to take responsibility for our part and to accept the consequences of the choices we make. 

 

If you "change" by making different choices and taking different actions in response to the demands of the time, then your world must and will change too. 

 

Slowmovement.com says what we are really searching for is "connection".   So what are we doing now to try to make connection?  How much of our behavior and activity is geared around the approval of others, "fitting in" or some "standard of living" external to us that we will sometimes do about anything to meet?  Where, in reaching for connection are we possibly throwing ourselves away instead? All of those things that we "have to get done"...do we??

 

In Chapter 22 of The Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell translation) says:

 

If you want to become whole,

let yourself be partial.

If you want to become straight,

let yourself be crooked.

If you want to become full,

let yourself be empty.

If you want to be reborn,

let yourself die.

If you want to be given everything,

give everything up.


It goes on to say "...only in being lived by the Tao can you be truly yourself."


 

So let's look more closely:

 

"If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial."  Acceptance is key here. Accepting everything (including yourself) just the way it is.  Perhaps it is time to redefine "wholeness" if you have some preconceived idea about that.  True wholeness is being at peace with all things just the way they are...then you will see the "wholeness" of letting yourself be "partial".

 

"If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked." Do you have an image, ideal, or concept in your mind that you are striving to match in order to be "straight"?  Does that image, ideal, or concept honestly match reality or the true demands of the time?  Let's talk about "demands of the time" for a moment.  This does not mean "demands of the time" in the sense of the demands of the world around for you to conform to its expectations!  "Demand of the time" in the true spiritual sense is looking at things exactly the way they are and discerning from your intuition and the truth of your own being what is really needed in order to bring balance, harmony and equilibrium.  It's not that we don't know...we do!  We are constantly saying it..."I wish things would slow down"..."I really need some quiet time"...or "Everything is moving too fast", etc.  So we do know what the demand of the times we are in is really calling for.  It's calling us to move at the pace that is really right for us regardless of the demands of the world around us.  Take it easy...slow down...sloooow steady movement just like our friend Tortoise, quieting our minds and our actions, and moving only according to our own inner compass.

 

So if doing this makes you look/feel "crooked" rather than "straight", then acceptance is again the key.  Accept not getting some things done.  Accept letting some things go.  Accept letting some relationships fall away (if they can't accept you truly being yourself).  This acceptance is letting yourself be crooked in order to become straight.  In this case the new definition of straight is "you aligning with being who you truly are instead of a preconceived image, ideal or concept to meet external expectations.

 

 

"If you want to become full, let yourself be empty."  Ok, why do we run after this crazy, out of control world?  In many cases it is in the effort to meet the expectations of a high pressure job in order to "make a dying" as they say in the "Your Money or Your Life" movement.  (The "Your Money or Your Life" book and/or the financialintegrity.org website can show you a whole new paradigm in relation to finding financial independence and making peace with making a "living" instead of a "dying".)   The point is to let go of anything that does not truly nourish you...be willing to surrender.

 

 

"If you want to be reborn, let yourself die."  Everything in the transformation of our world and our consciousness is pointing us to this surrender.  It is time to let go of all of the old ways of doing things that just don't work.  Let go.  Be like the phoenix; surrender to the death of the old with resolute confidence and faith that you will rise from the ashes born anew.  You will!

 

 

"If you want to be given everything, give everything up."   Let it be your mantra.


Because "...only in being lived by the Tao can you be truly yourself."


Let the demands of the time in the true spiritual sense show you how to be lived by the Tao.  It's really not hidden from you.  When you look to the truth of your own heart and intuition, it is right there...a clear path.

 

What makes it seem "muddy" are the resistances, judgements, desires, concepts, ideals, and expectations that obscure the truth and narrow reality.

 

Step into a new paradigm...it is time!   Be like Tortoise!!



 


Where to begin?  Well this leads us right into our meditation time.  The starting point and our "True North" is in coming to stillness.  But when we are so hyped up in overdrive like Mr. Hare, we may first need to quiet the body before attempting to quiet the mind.  Take a leisurely walk, do some yoga, pilates, chigong or t'ai Chi.  Remembering our theme here...slow movement...breath deeply and let go of all the stresses of the day.

 

When you are ready, sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor and your back straight (it can be supported) and your hands in your lap.  Close your eyes, relax, and simply breath.  As you do so, focus only on the rise and fall of your chest or belly. Focus only on this movement of your breathing.  Sit quietly doing nothing but this.  Try to remain perfectly still as you allow your body and your mind to come to quiet.  If thoughts arise, simply observe them.  Label them if you wish, then just let them go as you gently return your focus to your breathing (use general labels such as thinking, emotion, itching, pain, etc).

 

Try to do this first for short sessions of 10-15 minutes gradually increasing your time to 30 minutes to an hour or whatever is comfortable to you.

 

Doing this once or twice daily will greatly enhance your ability to slow the pace of all areas of your life.

 



 



This Issue Featuring:


Eagle In My Heart


From The Farmer's Daughter Fire Prayer Album by Denean Details Page 



This song will be available for listening until the next newsletter issue

(approx. June 1st, 2012)


In giving thought to a song that would represent the total surrender we have discussed here, "Eagle in My Heart" came clearly to mind.  It was a time after the death of my father...a time of deep soul searching and life transformation.  It was a profound portal of change that took me to the core of my roots.

 


EAGLE IN MY HEART  


Let the wind blow through my hair

Let the eagle in my heart fly

What will be, let it be

Set the wild horse free...and fly


Eagles were made to soar the heavens

They grace us with the wonder of their presence

And I don't have the right to keep one from her flight

This eagle in my heart now must fly...fly...fly


Let the fear and pretense like a robe fall to the ground

That I no longer need to hide behind

I stand here naked in the light on this mountain in the sight of God


And dare to dream my dream

Then give it to my maker...give it wings

Bless it while I hold it in my hands

Then set it free...give it wings


Eagles were made to soar the heavens

They grace us with the wonder of their presence

And I don't have the right to keep one from her flight


This eagle in my heart now must  fly...fly...fly


Let the fear and pretense like a robe fall to the ground

That I no longer need to hide behind

I stand here naked in the light on this mountain in the sight of God


I stand here naked in the light on this mountain in the sight of God...

and fly...fly...fly



Written by Denean © Denean / Sacred Earth Music, BMI





Current News & Announcements


As you saw in the banner at the top, I will be traveling to Israel to perform in early June!  I am really looking forward to this journey and all the adventures it has in store.  Because of the timing of when I leave, the next newsletter may be a little early or a little late.  I'm not sure which at the moment. 

 

Due to my preparations for this sojourn and for a few other reasons, the new album release will be a little later in the year than I had originally planned.  I'll keep you posted :-)




    

     

    

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