Lili Zohar's blog

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Working Together and the Quality of the Day

I find myself settling in from the ASG and IM2 weekend with profound gratitude. To have found teachings, a teacher and work that allows me to stay with myself and be in relationship to life feels like a gift for which I have no words. I found some from others more poetic than I can be in this breathless moment, that capture aspects of what this work is inviting in me.

Thank you Jason for who you are and what you are bringing forth. Love, Lili

Working Together, By David Whyte

We shape our self to fit this world
And by the world are shaped again.
The visible and the invisible
Working together in common cause,
To produce the miraculous.
I am thinking of the way the intangible air
Passed at speed round a shaped wing
Easily holds our weight.
So may we, in this life trust
To those elements we have yet to see
Or imagine, and look for the true
Shape of our own self, by forming it well
To the great intangibles about us.

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Coyote's Call

In the span of my lifetime, the rate of upheaval in populations and weather is staggering. It is hard for me to imagine how the planet can take this continuing abuse and still sustain life as we know it. This week I feel discouraged by the lack of any real progress at the International Conference on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, after a similarly unproductive conference in Copenhagen last year. To ask individuals, nations and conglomerates to sacrifice profits and lifestyle and to invest in more progressive technologies that could limit emissions and dependence on oil may be too much during rough economic times. It is hard to understand how losing species and habitat, rising temperatures and coastal waters, melting ice caps and dying deserts and oceans make a difference when one is just trying to get by. How can we ask those not immediately affected by climate change to care? At times I find being human beyond overwhelming!

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Beauty, Bold and Bittersweet.

In the plains of Colorado a dusting of frosty snow and a dollop of cold air has descended at last. This autumn, magnificently mild and dry, has showered us with a canopy of colors evocative of a New England Fall. The dancing golds and flaming reds are juxtaposed against the vastness of the endless cerulean blue sky. Joining the jubilant celebration, I bask in this sea of lively color when I gaze out my living room window or stroll in the gardens and parks. I have been roller blading with the abandon of a teen, avoiding the slick panoply of vibrant leaves and twigs on the path, knowing these days of Indian Summer are nearly gone.

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All The Souls

“What will happen to all the souls when the Earth is destroyed by the dying Sun?”
My son Eli and I were having one of our late night cuddles in his bed and his question, although strange, was not that surprising. Of late, Eli had been speaking of visitations by his grandpa who had died a quarter century before. When I asked Eli how he recognized my father whom I seldom spoke of, Eli responded: “It wasn’t really Grandpa Henry. It was his soul. He gave me magic slippers then he put all the colors of the rainbow into my heart.” I responded to Eli’s question before I thought much about it. “Don’t worry Eli. Souls are resourceful and the Universe is vast. If they really want to take form, surely the wise old souls will find a way.”

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Bringing the Orphans Home

At the All School Meeting a few weeks ago, Jason spoke about enlightenment as not freedom from (our ego, our humanity) but freedom with. He said this freedom comes from walking at the same pace as our neurosis. In his most recent teaching video, Jason instructed that we can’t reach enlightenment by cutting away parts of ourselves. Rather, to be whole, we need to welcome the orphans back home.

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Holding Space

During the retreat day last week at the recent All School Meeting of ASOS, we signed up to take turns practicing in designated places for the whole community, so that others could run and return. This assured that the space of practice would be held by some for the good of all, acknowledging our interconnectedness as a community committed to living consciously. It felt good to hold space and to know it was being held by others, when I chose to take a walk in the gloriously lush deciduous woods of Connecticut or to rest.

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Optimism with Eyes Opened

Of late I have been thinking of a comment Jason made last month to the year 4 class. He said that he used to be pessimistic, but that over time he has come to feel his optimism.

I have struggled with pessimism, sometimes to the point of depression and immobility. In middle school, I wondered if an asteroid might smash into the earth and end the human race, hopefully putting the planet’s future in the hands of a wiser and more capable species. Now I find myself experiencing varying degrees of hope and despair, depending upon my mood and the universe in which I am seated. Sometimes hopeful, I am also painfully aware of what we are doing to ourselves, each other and the planet with our massive abilities and relatively small understanding. It is hard to live with eyes opened.

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Wild By Night

When my daughter Rosa was 4, she found a young bird in our yard whom a cat had injured. Excitedly, she came to find me and together we emptied an old crayon-filled shoe box, lined it with shredded paper and placed a small pan of water in its corner. Through glaring eyes she peered at me as I came closer to help, wanting to flee, but immobilized by injury and fear. As I lifted the small starling, its pounding heartbeat, so rapid and strong, filled me with the bird’s fear from head to toe. It was as if I were holding not a bird but the very heart of terror in my palm. When the bird we named Lacey, did not improve, we found a shelter to receive her, never knowing if she made her way to freedom, or more likely, died in her box.

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The Densities I Move Through

Tonight I have been walking in spring's splendor, the air fragrant with flowers bursting full with color and scent from recent rains and a day of sunny warmth. The indigo air is alight with moon half full and some shinny mass of a planet is beaming it's golden light back at mine.

I'm taking my day's small victories and disappointments less personally of late--They too are becoming just densities I move through, sometimes slowly, tasting, other times hurriedly as if to get past an unpleasant smell. Spaces of wholeness and of difficulty are all playfully woven into my day, creating a fabric I mold into shapes and call my self. I notice my preference for the places of ease and spaciousness and the way I identify with thick and wooden areas of limitation as if monogramed, they belong to me alone. I am becoming a weaver of webs, an un-self-conscious dancer, a sometimes curious taster of all the delicacies and obstacles that life is offering up.

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The River and the Eddy

There are hot springs outside of Buena Vista Colorado, that bubble up from deep in the earth. One can find pools along the edge of the Arkansas River, surrounded by the Majestic Collegiate Range, the valleys and the winter trees waiting for their spring. In these eddies, the healing mineral waters, deliciously hot, bubble up from deep in the earth, as the river washes over, cool from the melting snows. The sky is strikingly blue and the burbling music of river over rock recalls the spirit of the Ute and their horses, on their Winter sojourn over the hundreds of years they lived in these lands. And others before them, who knew the healing powers that lay deep in the earth. When I get too hot and sleepy, I brave a trip to the center of the river, over slippery rock, where the water is icy cold. Relaxation then Exhilaration. What a blast!