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Pema

17 Jan

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“Each person’s life is like a mandala- a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life. We enter a room, and the room is our mandala. We get on the subway, and the subway car is our mandala, down to the teenager checking messages on her iPhone and the homeless man slumped in the corner. We go for a hike in the mountains, and everything as far as we can see is our mandala: the clouds, the trees, the snow on the peeks, even the rattlesnake coiled in the corner. We’re lying in a hospital bed, and the hospital is our mandala. We don’t set it up, we don’t get to choose what or who shows up in it. It is, As Chogyam Trungpa said, “the mandala that is never arranged but is always complete.” And we embrace it just as it is.
Everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening. From this point of view, awakening is right at your fingertips continually. There’s not a drop of rain or a pile of dog poop that appears in your life that isn’t the manifestation of enlightened energy, that isn’t a doorway to sacred world. But it’s up to you whether your life is a mandala of neurosis or a mandala of sanity.”
Pema Chodron

23: Dear Tassajara

15 Jun

Dear Tassajara,
It was no accident that you were one of the first goals I tackled for the year. I’d like to think the universe knew I needed to learn some Zen fundamentals before I got too far into this crazy year, because boy, oh boy did the lessons come in handy when stuff didn’t go my way! When I first heard about you 2 years ago, I knew that I would have to find  a way to get to you one day- I knew it was something my soul required. Who doesn’t want to spend a week in silence with no phone or computer at a Buddhist zen center  nestled in the mountains?
So I put you on my “365 til 30” goal list because I thought…what better thing to explore before 30 then the silence of my own head!
You were quite the experience, to say the least! Definitely one of the most beautiful and exhausting (I say that with love) 7 days of my life. My highlights from my time with you..
Being awakened every morning at 5:20 by a person ringing a bell beckoning me to the Zendo (meditation hall) to meditate for an hour in the dark- if I didn’t have to sit upright during this period I would have surely slept through it. But once I stopped complaining about being up so early I fell in love with starting the day this way. There is something powerful about that whole meditation thing!
Getting assigned to clean toilets in the guest cabins as part of my work program. Let me tell you, it was such a joy! I’ve decided that considering I don’t clean my own toilet at home, this had to be some sort of karmic joke. But once I stopped complaining about how gross it was (to myself since I wasn’t able to speak to anyone) I started to lose my emotional response to the situation. By day four, I was cleaning toilets with a damn smile on my face.
The last highlight was bathing nude with Buddhist monks. Probably the only time in my life I will be embarrassed because I HAD a bikini wax. Oh the stares I got!
All in all it was one of the best experiences of my life but also one that had me asking myself what I had gotten myself into?
But my absolute favorite thing about you was the silence you gave me. I have never experienced such silence in my life and it was exactly what my crazy head needed.
Although I quickly learned that a crazy head with no distractions other than its own thoughts is a scary place for a few days until it settles down.
This quote from the Buddha sums up my feelings about you-

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell”.

I sincerely hope we meet again Tassajara…
Love,
Kate

 

31

7 Jun

Love the excerpt below.

Nothing Solid by Pema Chodron

Moving away from our experiences, moving away from the present moment with all our habits and strategies, always adds up to restlessness, dissatisfaction, unhappiness. The comfort that we associate with concretizing and making things solid is so transitory, so short-lived. 

Moving into our experiences- whether it’s the opening experience of love and compassion or the closing-down experience of resentment and separation- brings us an enormous sense of freedom: the freedom of nothing solid. Something about “nothing solid” begins to equal freedom. In the meantime, we discover that we would rather feel fully present to our lives than be off trying to make everything solid and secure and engaging our fantasies or addictive patterns. We realize that connecting with our experiences by meeting it feels better than resisting it by moving away. Being on the spot, even if it hurts, is preferable to avoiding. As we practice moving into the present moment this way, we become more familiar with groundlessness, a fresh state of being that is available to us on an ongoing basis. This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted, and shaky- that’s called liberation. 

48

21 May

I woke up this morning to this note from the universe and it could not have been more perfect considering I am 48 days away from turning 30 and my crazy journey is coming to an end.

……

The very best moment in any long journey that makes your dreams come true, Kate, comes not on the day you realize they have, but on the day you realize how little they matter compared to loving the adventure they’ve inspired. 

Don’t ask me why, I just know what I know – 
    The Universe

……

365til30: instagram  @kate365, twitterfacebook

92

7 Apr

We shot a 365 til 30 promo piece yesterday and it was so much fun to see the project and goals come alive in video! Here’s a sneak peek…

I’m off to Costco to get road trip supplies which should be a really fun place on a Saturday!

138

21 Feb

Coming off yesterday’s post, I am sure this will NOT come as a surprise to you- I have hit a bit of a midlife crisis with 365 til 30. Or, as Maggi, my life coach so kindly put it- “I think 365 til 30 is starting to run you now, instead of you running it”. Ouch. What a painful thing to hear but so true. The ten goals that gave me SOOOOO much joy 6 months ago have started to feel like chores- totally not the point of this project! Maggi has urged me to remember why I originally wanted to accomplish these goals and to focus on the joy and excitement the thought of experiencing them brought me.

 When I started 365 til 30 six months ago,  I was off and running right out of the gate. Full of excitement and wonder, I happily embarked on the adventure of camping and Tassajara. After accomplishing them I moved onto my other goals for the year- learn to cook, master the tango, speak French fluently, work with my favorite websites, publish my writing (I have a book proposal floating around at a publisher…fingers crossed) and volunteer. I have realized these goals are less finite and instead are an ongoing process. I am constantly tending to them.

The last two goals…Drive Across the USA (which I am in the process of planning for April) and getting Frank, my French Bulldog (which will happen when we move) are goals that I am still working towards. With the road trip fast approaching I happen to think about it all the time. I am DYING with excitement to drive across the USA with my girlfriend Rachel– she is the perfect friend to do this with and equally excited! This goal has always been one of my favorites on the list because it’s something I have dreamed of doing since I was little girl and I can’t believe I’m finally going to do it! As the trip approaches though I have started to feel a bit anxious about it. When I put it on the list I always wondered how I would take the time off to do it right. It’s not like it’s ever really convenient to leave your life for 3-4 weeks…work and money are valid concerns. My remedy for the fear is to remember the joy the idea of accomplishing it brings me and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

With so much on my plate I decided I needed a focused plan towards finding the joy in the goals again.

I start another round of tango classes on Monday the 27th for 6 weeks and I will not skip one class…not one!

I will find one new exciting dish a week to learn! (last night it was fish provencal! It was soooooooooo gooooood- post coming!)

I will continue my volunteer work at PATH once a week.

I will spend 4 hours a week practicing my French in preparation for my trip to Paris in July!!!

I will finalize all the details for our road trip from a joyful place instead of an anxious place so that we are ready to embark on the journey in April!!

I will stay positive and grateful about the fact that my book proposal is floating around  in the world instead of anxious.

I will re-stratagize my approach for working with Take Part and Explore- I have had sooooo many meetings with both of them and feel like the timing has been off…but maybe I need to re-think my approach.

I will commit to weekly sessions with Maggi starting this week. It doesn’t matter how busy I am! They will be a priority because they always keep me focused, calm, joyful and on-track.

Oh, and most importantly, I will commit to being grateful and enjoy the process….otherwise what the hell is the point right??!

*

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.

Anais Nin

141

18 Feb

‎”Life in itself is an empty canvas – it becomes whatsoever you paint on it. You can paint misery, you can paint bliss. This freedom is your glory.”

~ Osho ~

144

15 Feb


“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”

Buddha

166

23 Jan

TASSAJARA

I feel like my adventure at Tassajara was a million years ago and I miss it. It was one of the first goals I crossed off my list back in September and is one of my favorite 365 til 30 memories. Ill admit it was one of the hardest goals to tackle but so worth it. SO WORTH IT.  I walked into the experience not knowing what to expect and I was surprised by what it brought into my life- a calm, a quietness with myself that I have never experienced, a kinder approach to myself and the world around me. I became my own best friend there and I liked it,

I didn’t realize how much I missed Tassajara until I had lunch with a fellow Tassajaran named Tarquin last week. I haven’t seen him since the day I left and it had been too long. He was the very first person I met when I arrived there. At the time I was feeling every emotion in the book- exhausted, scared, happy, anxious, excited and totally overwhelmed. I felt like a fish out of water and I couldn’t stop asking myself…”what did you get yourself into?”

The minute I got there I was paired with Tarquin in the kitchen to cut vegetables and he immediately made me feel calm. He is a generous spirit. We chatted about life and his time at Tassajara as we chopped carrots. He was from the LA area as well. This was his first time at Tassajara- he had been there for  3 weeks at that point and planned to be there 3 more. My first question was “why would you sign up to be at Tassajara for 6 weeks? Why not ease your way in with a week or two? What if you didn’t like it” He said “well, I thought if I am going to do it then do it.” I was pretty impressed with this.

He assured me that everything was going to be fine and in that moment I knew that I had a friend in him and I felt a sense of calm. Over the next week we enjoyed many more talks and laughs but since much of our time was spent in silence we didn’t get to know each other too much more.But luckily we got another chance.  The night before I planned to depart he asked me if I could give him a ride back to LA because something sudden came up back home that he needed to attend to. My response was…why not! All part of the adventure! Our ride home was hysterical…we talked and talked and talked and talked. Actually I don’t think we ever shut up. We were both so chatty after having to be quiet for so long!

When I dropped him off at his house we hugged and said that we would grab coffee or lunch soon and 4 months later we finally did! When I saw him I felt like I was transported back to Tassajara. I could almost smell the place and a bunch of memories flooded back. For as hard as the experience was I missed it terribly. Tarquin mentioned he was thinking about going back this spring.

NEWS FLASH: I’m thinking about trying to get back there this spring as well. We will see…so much up in the air right now.

Until then Tarquin and I have decided to get back into our meditation practice together and will be attending a meditation sitting…from 7:30-9 pm next week. Ouch. Nothing like throwing yourself back in full speed.

*

“All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.

Buddha

Tarquin!

171

18 Jan

‎”Although it is embarrassing and painful, it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself. It is healing to know all the ways that you shut down, deny, close off, criticize people, all your weird little ways. You can know all that with some sense of humor and kindness. By knowing yourself, you’re coming to know humanness altogether.”
– Pema Chödrön