Tomo 13

Mi padre y yo compartíamos una admiración por las hermanas Bronte, aquellas Inglesas que escribieron Cumbres borrascosas y Jane Eyre.  El  tenía una colección de libros clásicos finamente empastada con lomo verde y  letras doradas, la mantenía en perfecto orden hasta que Yo tomé el tomo 13 que era la novela de Jane Eyre escrita por Charlotte Bronte.

Leí el libro y de alguna manera lo perdí;  nunca volvió a hacer parte de ese conjunto de libros de colección. Yo siempre me sentí culpable de que faltara ese tomo en la colección  pero creo que para mi papá era más importante que yo hubiera leído libro y que compartiera con él el gusto por ese relato,  la forma de escribir de la hermana Brote, que tener la colección completa.

La colección existe aun, pero sin el tomo 13 y quizás nadie sepa ni le interese la historia de cómo se perdió, pero para mí fue muy importante considerando el sentimiento de culpa que guardé por muchos años.

Ahora que lo pienso, el compartir un libro es tener una conversación,   es tener un conocimiento común;  para  mi padre y para mi  fué como si hubiéramos viajado juntos a Inglaterra  al  escenario de esa novela y conociéramos todos los rincones,  fué más importante que se hubiera leído el libro a que existiera la colección completa.

 

De igual manera en nuestras vidas es  importante si nos hemos perdido un poco, en algún momento, si nuestra vida ha sido subrayada, ha sido leída, si las hojas se ha arrugado, si guardan rastros de uso, si las lecciones han sido aprendidas y compartidas, si ha causado impacto, si se ha maltratado en el camino.

En fin  ser  un libro leído siempre será más importante que permanecer inmóvil en una   colección completa sin tocar.

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Hippie or Happy?

I am happy

I am finally living in a house that I own

Where I can paint the walls of whatever color I want

Where I can plant native plants and let the grass grow as it pleases.

I have cut out the cable and do not hear 24 hours news

I have my cell phone ringer off so I do not hear the phone

I do not have a landline phone at home to avoid sellers and scammers

I will soon go off the grid and install solar cells in my home

And a shower with harvested rain water

My next project is to have my vegetables grown with Aquaponia

I am happy,

I have a feeling of accomplishment while getting out of the running train.

I however do not have a standing on social media.

Freakonomics radio was talking about Social Capital

Referring to your social network and its value, from how many friends you have on FB

to how many numbers in your phonebook, and if you can trust your friends

But, on the other hand I listened to an interview with Arianna Huffington the creator of Huffington Post

Who talks about burned-out syndrome of this generation due to

Having to be “on” all the time. Running out of personal battery,

She suffered it, and now goes around talking about the attention stealers

Sitting with the phone in our hands to see how many likes our last post makes.

I am happy, and my happiness does not depend on how many likes I get daily

when I try to be ON all the time my creativity disappears.

To be creative you need to be centered, relaxed, allow the flow to run through you.

It is difficult, people expect you to answer the phone of the message immediately

While I rather be swimming in a natural pond

Picking up wild flower’s seeds

Having a conversation where we actually can look at each other’s eyes.

Reading a book made of paper.

This is just me, me and my happy moments, while my daughter asks me how I got to be so hippie.

Hippie or Happy?.

 

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Lessons from “El Camino”

“The Way”, that’s how they titled the movie that portraits  Martin  Sheen walking in Spain following the steps of his son who had died in the Pilgrimage known as Camino de Santiago.

I wanted so much to experience the energy of such a place where every day hundreds of people walk, bringing their own intent and needs.

Even before starting I was very aware of my thoughts and feelings, I will call the journey “El Camino” the pathway and will try to make a comparison of my feelings during my walk with what I see life is about and lessons learned.

Reality or Illusion:  You may have a preconceived idea of what to expect and a thought of how things should develop, but in reality things can be completely different.  We were scheduled to arrive at Oviedo to start our journey, but due to bad weather the plane could not land there and landed instead in a different town Santander. In life you have to be flexible, be ready to adjust your plan, adapt quickly to the new conditions.

External Voices There will be external voices telling you that you will not be able to make the journey, that is going to be cold and rainy  and even volunteer to take you.  When we arrived the weather forecast called for rain and at some point we thought we would not be able to walk, but the clouds moved away, I found an umbrella, and it finally rained while we were having lunch, everything worked in our favor.  So, remember, in life clouds can also move away.

inicio

Internal Voices. My first steps in the journey were full of doubts, I was thinking I was not going to be able to make it, 20Kms was too much to try to accomplish in a day, I would have to leave my friend alone, what would she think? However, the more I advanced in my walk those thoughts disappeared.   You have to remember to discard all negative thoughts in life and follow your dream, one step at a time.

lluvia

Inner Reflections:  The journey called for silence and inner reflection , we were surrounded by beautiful nature, lines and lines of trees that had been there for hundreds of years, so there was no space for chatting,  but rather a certain reverence you felt compelled to.  In life, find the answers in silence.

 

 Puerta

Being present. You can do part of the path and be completely transformed if you are “present” meaning, walking when you are walking, and resting when you are resting.  That will be better than making the whole path while dreaming, in a very unaware manner. Life lesson- Being present will help you advance quicker.

The Pilgrim’s Certificate.-  You need to walk at least 120 Km to be eligible to receive the certificate and get stamps “Sellos” in every station.  We realized we were doing “El Camino”  not with the purpose of obtaining the stamps or collecting another Diploma, we were doing it for our own awakening and development.  It is not about the destination but the journey itself. So if you really want to have a Spiritual experience and can not travel to Spain, you can do your own path in the vicinities of your hometown. Set a goal and experience the journey with your heart full of appreciation and awe for whatever you encounter.

 

Palitos

That my friends is life, a path full of surprises, where things are not what we expect, leading us to realization.

So I wish for you the same we heard over and over:  “Buen camino peregrino”  Good journey pilgrim

 

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Camino de Santiago

flechaEl camino de Santiago es tan personal que aun cuando dos de mis hermanos lo han hecho, ninguno regresó a contar de manera animada su experiencia.

Me tocó o llamarles antes de embarcarme Yo en ese viaje y aun a pesar de mi insistencia los detalles que me ofrecieron fueron pocos.

Ahora entiendo por qué, es  que el solo hecho de intentar poner en palabras la experiencia, le quita parte de lo Sagrado.

Lo sentí como un viaje al Útero de nuestra amada Madre Tierra, donde me pude sentir perfectamente acobijada en amor absoluto, protegida, recibiendo regalos del canto incesante de los pájaros, el aroma de los eucaliptos, las flores amarillas que abundaban, riachuelos de aguas cristalinas, contrastes de colores en el paisaje y la vibración devocional de todos los peregrinos que han recorrido esos mismos pasos con sus intenciones, y los pocos peregrinos que lo recorrieron con nosotros.

Peregrina

Porque para mi sorpresa sentí que fueron pocos los peregrinos que cruzamos, o quizás estaba yo tan embebida en mi propia realidad que no los vi, o no logre que su presencia distrajera mi meditación.

Porque siento que camine en estado consciente, sintiendo cada paso que daba en el contacto de la suela de mi zapato con la tierra, con las hojas, con el lodo, todo era bello y tenía la sensación de no querer que terminase.

Es muy lindo pensar que ese espacio ha sido denominado patrimonio de la humanidad y que día a día  peregrinos de todo el mundo lo recorren, a pie, en bicicleta o a caballo.

Todo parecía indicar que no íbamos a poder caminar, el ajetreo de los días previos me dejó o con los pies cansados y una rodilla adolorida, nos sorprendió un frente frio y el pronóstico de que llovería. Mi propio pensamiento me limitaba diciéndome que no sería capaz de caminar los 20Km diarios que habíamos determinado como meta.

Pero todo se fue solucionando, al frio lo combatimos con capas de ropa, para la lluvia yo encontré un paraguas que alguien había dejado puesto al lado de un basurero y solo lo tuve que utilizar en una corta oportunidad, y mi pensamiento se fue alineando en la medida que yo daba más y más pasos y mi cuerpo respondía a tal punto que no quería que el día terminara.

flores

No tuve ni una ampolla, ni me molestaron los zapatos, ni me dolió nada.  Aunque ahora que lo pienso a lo mejor era por la felicidad de concluir la jornada y de haber recibido tanto alimento para mi espíritu, por haber sentido tanta paz en un lugar abierto donde pude ser libre, libre de hacer, de pensar, de ser, libre de todas las limitaciones de pensamiento.

Creo que el camino me cambió, no quiero presumir ni entrar en detalles pero quiero alargar en mi ese sentimiento de Amor Absoluto que recibí mientras mis pasos me llevaban de una estación a la otra.

Alguien me preguntó si había tenido muchas conversaciones con mi hija que caminaba conmigo, y me di cuenta que no tuvimos conversaciones porque el espacio invitaba al silencio, al recogimiento, a la introspección.  Nuestras voluntades estaban unidas en querer hacer el camino pero lo que cada una sacó de la experiencia es muy único y personal y quizás nunca lo verbalicemos, porque ponerlo en palabras es  limitarlo, encasillarlo en descripciones cuando en realidad  fue algo totalmente sagrado.

catayyo

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An unexpected gift

Today I realized I have not posted in more than a year.  It seems I published my book Reflejos de Estrella, and my hands did not write anymore.  Below is  a note I wrote  on Sept 2015, but did not publish.

 

I did the unexpected and received and unexpected gift.

 

It was am 80 degree day and the sun was shining.  As I was driving towards the pool for my usual week end exercise, I passed by a store and saw this man neatly dressed carrying two bags of groceries.

I could feel the bags were heavy on his tired body.  I was hesitant for a moment, but then remembered what my father once told me, “When it is about giving, do not hesitate”. So, I stopped my car, rolled down the window and asked him where he was going.  He said to his apartment building nor far, so  I offered to take him.  He was grateful; and as he got in, I could see he was sweaty and tired.

He said, with a strong Indian accent “You know meme, on my free time I write poetry” and he started to recite one of his poems.

There was so much pain in his words, and every word he said, resonated in my heart. Missing his country, caring for humanity all those feelings and thoughts that keep me awake at night.

We arrived to his apartment complex and I asked if he could repeat the poems and if it was ok for me to video record him.  He agreed and recited his poems again, bringing tears to my eyes.

He told me he had a son who was a famous architect in California, and that his wife was ill.

He shared how he missed his son.  He also said he was about to retire in 1 year and would soon return to his country.

What a beautiful moment.  I told him I also missed my parents, but had gotten to the conclusion that love had no boundaries and didn’t know of geographies.  So whenever I missed them, I would send them love, with the thought that we are always closed in hearts.

For an instant there was a father missing his son, and a daughter missing her parents.  I probably was the child he missed and he certainly was the parent I missed.

He was very grateful that I had taken the time to ride him home, and he gave me the gift of his poems.

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100 reasons

fotoreflejos

The saying goes “Every one in his/her life time must, have a child, plant a tree, and write a book.  The problem is who will raise the child, water the tree and read the book”.

So, here I am giving you a 100 reasons to buy my book.

1.       To get a peek into my life
2.       Because you are curious
3.       You like the title
4.       You like the cover
5.       You will get to know Rumi
6.       To read it to your grand children
7.       To  give it as a present  (graduation, wedding anniversary, birthdays)
8.       You were part of the stories
9.       You know the characters in the stories
10.   You want to find the reflections of the stars
11.   You want to connect
12.   You want to believe
13.   You want peace
14.   You want to create a magic story out of your struggles
15.   To use it as an Icebraker
16.   Night stand decoration
17.   To carry it in your purse and read while waiting
18.   To learn Spanish
19.   To learn about virtues and character building
20.   To learn about meditation
21.   To read one at a time and reflect
22.   To start journaling
23.   To support the development of the self
24.   To show you read
25.   To instill the reading habit in those around you
26.   To help in the development of awareness
27.   To promote the author
28.   To learn about magical places on earth
29.   Because you want to heal
30.   To restore hope in you
31.   To simplify your life
32.   To look cool
33.   To feel the texture of the book
34.   To awaken the child in you
35.   To learn the virtues
36.   To confirm pink dolphins exist
37.   To motivate you to travel
38.   To meet Jovita
39.   To see your natural surroundings in a new light
40.   To believe in magic
41.   To create your own magic story
42.   To start a journal
43.   To awaken the Divinity in you
44.   To see the spark of God in all
45.   To give it as a present to your Spanish speaking friends
46.   To donate to a public library
47.   To spread the word
48.   To get points in your credit card
49.   To fund my creativity
50.   To talk about it
51.   To show your children you still read books
52.   To relax by reading
53.   To decorate your living room book case
54.   To find the spark that unites us all
55.   To read it in a book  club
56.   To start a book club
57.   To take it in your next flight
58.   To underline the phrases you like
59.   To learn Saint Francis prayer
60.   To find answers to your questions
61.   To stablish your own connection with the Divine
62.   To enjoy the now
63.   To practice your reading skills
64.   To see if there is science in writing a book
65.   To look at the author’s picture
66.   To find gramatical mistakes
67.   To take it to your children’s Spanish teacher
68.   To find a message
69.   To share a message
70.   To leave it on your desk and see who picks it up
71.   To set your mind in the right mood
72.   To help you fall asleep
73.   To have your spanish speaking boyfriend/girlfriend read it and  translate to you
74.   To instill character building
75.   To meditate as you encounter a blank page
76.   To dedicate some time to reading
77.   To learn about Confucious
78.   To accumulate good Karma
79.   To receive Rumi’s messages
80.   To give me feedback
81.   To check amazon delivery time to Europe
82.   To make it a best seller
83.   To show support
84.   Because you love me
85.   To promote the book industry
86.   Because you care
87.   To give it away
88.   To improve your Spanish
89.   To share the stories
90.   To connect with your Gurdian Angel
91.   To visit Barnes & Noble
92.   To book your next trip to the Amazon
93.   To take it to your church
94.   To spend some money
95.   To bring it to friends in Latin America
96.   To pay attention to your dreams
97.   To create your own poetry
98.   To use your Spanish dictionary
99.   To promote possitive thinking
100.                        And finally …. Something I have been wanting to do for a while ….. To leave it on a public bench, with instructions to read, sign the place and date, and let it travel the world

 

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Good Bye to a Beautiful Soul

papi

The best decision in my life so far has been to cancel the cruise, the celebration my school classmates had organized to commemorate our 40TH graduation anniversary.  I decided to go to Colombia instead and spend that week with my family.  That was the last time I saw my dad.

We had such a great time,  reading poetry,  listening to music, remembering his friends.  His mind was so bright  even on his last day.

He was very ill, he had kidney failure and had decided not to do dialysis.  He had managed to live his life without spending one single night in a hospital.  Anytime the doctors had suggested an overnight stay, he simply stood up, put his shirt on and walked away!

It still makes me laugh to remember his determination and the doctor’s face.

So,  in his critical condition he decided to stay home, patiently waiting.

It was a waiting game and the uncertainty was difficult to deal with.  We did not know if he would lose consciousness, if he was going to experience a lot of pain,  and if that were the case. What would we do?

The other question was the timing, life is always full of events and two of my brothers were taking their children to Europe for college, one to France and the other to Germany.  My sister was having a civil ceremony for her daughter getting married.  I had friends coming to visit and had planned a trip to New Orleans.

I kept asking all my friends how their parents had died.  For me this was a first, and I wanted to make sure I was prepared to face that situation.

Some people mentioned long periods of agony with the person being bed ridden for months,  even years.

But my father was different,  or lucky because he did not get to that point.  He left before he was a burden to his family and he waited for everyone to be back from their trips.

There was no pain, no fear , he just let go as if merging himself with the Universe.  He waited for my mother to arrive; he granted her the blessing of being with him at the moment of his ascension.

After he passed I stayed in Cali for two weeks to help my mother with the transition.  I went through his filing cabinet and found a packet of old pictures of him, from the time he was single.  I also found a handwritten envelope  with the names of three children he loved  with some money.  Everything had been planned to the smallest detail.

What surprised me the most was to find his two lucky charms.  One was a tiny piece in yellow plastic he always carried in his wallet.  About 15 years ago I got a magnifying glass and saw that they were the three wise monkeys “see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil”.  He never told us where or when he got it, but the philosophy of the three wise monkeys seemed  to be engraved on his behavior.  He was such a great man, always doing good to those in need, always  kind, never complaining or talking bad about others.

amuleto

To my surprise, the second charm was a tiny Buda.  He, who had not participated in any religious activities lately or had any religious affiliation, had carried a Buda with him.

Buda

The day after the cremation and the mass, we took his ashes to the place he loved the most “La Buitrera” where he had spent time and time again, climbing the mountains,  meditating, contemplating nature.

There is a lot of construction going on right now, so we had to park the cars  a mile away from the house and walk, carrying our belongings until we got to the farm.

It reminded me of a pilgrimage, we all siblings, my mother, my daughter nieces and nephews, bringing him back to the place he loved.Buitrera 2

Buitrera 2

In this day and age when we depend so much on technology, it was great to see that there was no Internet Connection, everybody was  dedicated, concentrated, meditating, on life, death, and the importance of elaborating , mourning, letting go.

In the days that followed, I helped my mother go through his belongings.  We only came up with 7 bags, that is all he had.  I confirmed my idea that he lived in a monastic way, only having the bare minimum for him.

He was so generous with us all, and everybody he encountered.

It is hard to think that he is living now only in our memories,  the body is no longer here.  That is the reason why I write, so that I do not forget.

I want to remember all his gestures of love

His  positive mind

His sensitivity and alertness to the needs of  others

How his friends valued his friendship

His love for nature

Our unspoken communication

His business advice

The pandebono He bought for me every morning

He lives in each one of us and I Thank God for having experienced life with him.

May he rest in peace ❤wonbudhism

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