Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


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Counting the Omer

Day 49

Malchut Sheb’Malchut Presence within Presence, ever since this part of our journey started on the second night of Pesach, we began to taste freedom on the tips of our tongues. Even so, when Shabbat ends and Shavuot begins we will stand together at the foot of the metaphoric mountain, the thunder, fire and dense smoke of our endlessly busy lives, the deafening noise that surrounds us in this electronic age, the anxieties that take up head space, the disappointments, judgments and struggles that tighten our hearts, causing amnesia, confusion, too often forgetting the power of a single breath noticed, where we are, who we are, what is most important, the reasons we packed up our few belongings and left Mitzrayim, the narrow place for the vast unknown, ended up in our dusty travel worn rucksacks. We are human; it is difficult to completely escape the constricting psychological shackles that bind our steps as we stumble, sleepwalking through most of our lives.

And then, for perhaps the briefest of moments, this wilderness wandering, this cacophony and graceless motion will cease. In stillness, as if the entire world is suspended in a nearly imperceptible drop of morning dew, a spark of insight will allow us to perceive release and unification all at once, present to Presence within Presence. We are now as prepared, as we can be to gather at Sinai, just one more day, Malchut sheb’Malchut.

Thank you for being my companions on this soul journey. Click Counting the Omer page to view earlier offerings.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A River of Stones: July 16

A Small Stone:
The chipmunk king was standing upon the large bolder below my bedroom window issuing his end of the day proclamation with much gusto to the creatures of his backyard dynasty. It sounded like a litany of complaints to me, or perhaps I heard his voice as dissatisfied because I found his repetition and pitch annoying?

More pebbles from the river of my mind:
I’d been watching short video clips of Pema Chödrön back to back, listening to her teachings, her humor, absorbing her warmth for nearly two hours. The chipmunk's chatter came in and out of my mind-space, much like thoughts, emotions and physical sensations during a seated meditation practice, or any point within a day that one stops to pay attention to a particular moment unfolding. A segment of an interview with Bill Moyers alerted me to pause in watching the videos, turn my awareness toward my direct experience and write down this quote: 

"It isn't the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it's how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer." 

This was certainly not a “new” concept to me, but it woke me up. I re-read her words that I had copied down with heightened understanding, as the sun sank lower illuminating the trees with an emerald glow, the sky gradually faded to a dusty rose, my heart became softer as well. The chipmunk quieted down for a few moments. Was he also considering the wisdom of her statement? (How well do chipmunks hear?) We both sat in silence, he outside, me inside, breathing in peace on the edge of the summer evening as Shabbat approached.

This morning as I share the details of this brief enlightened moment of grace with you, it is evident that there was more than one venerable being sitting in the seat of teacher as yesterday glided into today.  Thank you Ani Pema Chödrön. Thank you little chipmunk king.


  1. Great post Laura, and the quote is right on spot. (Love Pema BTW)
    For your amusement, I was having coffe on my studio steps, still in pjs and bunny slippers. A very small bunny kept edging closer until it was in the step below me, looking at the slippers in complete wonder.
    I see shoes.
    It must have seen a recognizable rabbit form.
    Vision shapes thought.

    Much love!


  2. And thank you, for teaching it to me, to us, by sharing this experience!

    One of the most beautiful parts of this spiritual journey, since Buddha Chick, is how I seem to come in contact with a core set of teachings over and over and over. And each time I experience the teaching again, I come to a new level of understanding in my heart, and consciousness. The ideas are so simple, yet so profound.

  3. All hail the Chipmunk King! We have his royal cousin, Squirrel King, in our backyard.

  4. suffering is not a requirement of being human, it is a means of understanding and gaining compassion for those in pain and suffering

    joy & harmony for you

  5. Moments of clarity, wonderful!

  6. thanx for sharing the chipmunk story and the video

    both bought tears of recognition

  7. Hi Laura! I have just made your site my Blog Of The Week!

    Thank you for inspiring me everyday. :-)

  8. I am copying that quote down right now.

  9. Honesty, yours, helps us connect with words and emotions that will ultimately help us, IF we choose to hear and work toward the light.

    Thank you for sharing.


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