This story comes from the ancient Hindu philosophical texts called the Upanishads, dating perhaps more than 2500 years ago. It integrates the powerful imagery of two birds, in dialogue.
There are two birds who are sitting on the same tree, inseparable and best friends.
The first bird eats from the Tree of Life, sweet and sour fruits alike, chattering incessantly.
The second bird just watches.
The first bird is your practical self, your monkey mind that chatters about everything, fearing, judging, analyzing and acting. This is the seat many of us take for most of our lives, where we spend our reality in our non-thinking minds. This bird is in the spotlight of attention all the time, running circles around the second bird.
The second bird is the watcher, checking out everything that happens in your life. That’s all this bird does.
It watches everything, judging nothing.
It has no opinion of anything, nor does it have a memory. It is like a mirror, just receiving, keeping nothing. This is the undiscovered part of you which has always been there. By turning your attention to it, and being aware of it, you will shift. This is the act of meditation when you shift to this seat. It is the place where you reside over the ocean of bliss. You can go there anytime you want. With practice, this will become a natural space, putting you in control as you just quietly watch everything with calm and centering presence.
Shift to the seat of the second bird and make it become second nature to your being. Once you are in that seat, no one can take that away from you. And that’s empowering!
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
~ Wayne W. Dyer ~
“Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation affirming my connection to the earth body.”
~ Carol P. Christ ~
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“The true worth of a man is not to be found in man himself,
but in the colors and textures that come alive in others.”
~ Albert Schweitzer ~
We can find the most amazing textures in nature and all around us,
earth and sky.
When we look around us we see even the smallest textures like in a leaf,
an insect or even on ourselves.
When was the last time you were aware
and present in the moment with textures?
Today, I will awaken to the textures around me
and be abundantly grateful for them all.
Ignite your inner fire to follow your dreams and passions. All you need is a spark to get it started.
Don’t compromise your happiness.
I greet the summer with great expectations!
Today I choose happiness, success and abundance.
About the photo: It was a cool, summer evening at the beach in Southeast Alaska where we were celebrating our friend’s wedding earlier that day. This beach is famous for its driftwood along the shoreline, so it was easy to make and feed this blazing fire.
This container has literally traveled almost 10,000 miles, on two voyages, with our belongings in it. And it was no small feat to get it here, as you can see by the giant crane that lifted it from the tractor trailer, over the garage and to its resting place on the ground. We are so thankful that it arrived safely and now the fun begins. It seems like Christmas every day as we discover something that we treasure, forgot about or just question our motives as to why packed it in the first place.
The present moment
is all that’s between the past and the future.
Tucked between Oak Creek and the historic land scattered with art and sculptures, rests an amazing three-acre art installation in a small town in Arizona, named Cornville. Even though the name is “corny”, this little town has some brilliant history and interesting attractions. Eliphante, a sculptural village, the creative inspiration of Michael Kahn and Leda Livant, is among them.
This was a hard-to-find, one-of-a-kind treasure, but worth the hunt. Literally, you have to cross the creek to get to the property, and I don’t mean using a bridge. My van was up to its hub caps in water. We drove a short distance up a hill and parked on the grass where we were greeted by our guide who gave us a brief history of Eliphante.
In the late ’70’s, Sedona residents, Leda Levant and Michael Kahn met a couple in Cornville who owned property along Oak Creek. Michael and Leda were invited to be the caretakers and being the artist that he was, Michael began painting, transforming and building structures in vibrant colors with whatever he could find to use for materials.
For 28 years, together Michael and Leda built structures, without explanation to the designs. Some were sub-structures, while others were experimental, sculpted and whimsical. The largest structure eventually turned out to look like the head and trunk of an elephant, hence the name. Outside artists would also come in to help with their magical and spontaneous creations.
Michael passed away in 2007 and Leda now resides in a nearby town. Today Eliphante is a non-profit organization and the fantasy is shared and inspires visitors and residents who come to visit. Don’t miss this artistic treasure if you are in the area.
What better way to capture the theme of a Threshold than at the door of a library where new beginnings await in every volume … a place where the Tree of Knowledge lives and calls us to open its pages and embark on a new journey or skill.
I have always been fascinated by trees and when I came upon this door, it called me to photograph it. Then, of course, I had to find the origin of the beautiful and artistic piece. Woodworker Ruben Guajardo, born and raised in La Verne, California, took on the project in 1985 when a 500-year old landmark oak tree at the La Verne High School was removed because it had become a safety hazard. He recalls climbing this very tree when he was a child. The door project took him three years to complete which he dedicated to his parents.
Live life a tree . . . take root and reach for the sky!
And speaking of trees …. stop over at my website and check out my fascination with trees and The Tree of Life.