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Category Archives: Gratitude

J-QG on beach

My favorite place to practice Sunlight Qi Gong is the seashore at sunrise.  My husband and I had the surprise opportunity this week to stay at a friend’s home there for a couple of days to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary.  Touching sand, ocean and sky, breathing in fresh morning air, my heart opens with gratitude, a smile comes alive, greeting the rising sun.

When I die, please don’t see my passing as a tragedy.  It cannot be.  I have lived so many lives already, loved so deeply, been loved so beautifully and faithfully.  I am grateful for every extra moment of life, every sunrise, sunset, wave of the ocean, every breath, every moment with family and friends, every opportunity to tell my beloved how much I love him.

 

 

My affirmation for the month of March, as I heal from a bad cold:

“The spring sun is warming, healing and inspiring me.”Joann:Qi:Beach.JPG

IMG_0012

YES!!! Spring is coming. The first crocuses have broken through the ground, the snow is gone, and it’s now 68 degrees! What a beautiful, warm, wonderful day!

Winter hibernation, cold and shoveling have probably left this area, to be replaced by warm breezes, people outdoors digging in gardens, walking and biking on the creek path near our home.

New energy was anticipated, so we’re already teaching a Moonlight Qi Gong class and will begin a new one April 1 – Sunlight Qi Gong, my favorite. You can sign up at https://apm.activecommunities.com/takomaparkrecreation. Also a Day of Mindfulness on April 4 (dayofmindfulness@gmail.com) will provide a day of rest, meditation, mindful walking and eating at a beautiful blueberry garden. Qi Gong teacher training continues, this time a lovely Taste of Taiji with Master Li. This year I will do only the Tuesday class and Pat will take the Tuesday and Sunday sessions. And Monday evenings I am taking a Cartooning Studio class, furthering work on a comic book my granddaughter and I are creating together.

Of course, women’s meditation retreats (March 6, May 1 and May 22) enliven my life and allow me to organize others to practice meditation, Qi Gong and deep relaxation. (See http://www.ruthfishel.com if you would like to join us!).

All of these activities in addition to working on another new book, with the working title Loving Mindfully. Twenty chapters written, flowing easily.

Thank you, energy of sun, wind, air, earth, flowers and friendly faces for the daily inspiration to get outdoors, engage in life, enjoy opportunities to learn, grow and share the great gifts of life.

Fitzsimmons(1)                                                                                                                My mother as a teenager

Patrick’s poem for my special day:

“BIRTH”

Slipping
ouT to
new woRld
Unknowing
Connecting
pasT
fUture
now tRuly
alivE and free

(Picture the capital letters as lined up under one another…this program would not hold the poem properly as written).

 

My morning message from Thich Nhat Hanh from Your True Home – “No Provenance.” He says,“All things have no provenance. They have not come from anywhere, because they are free from the ideas of being and non-being. They do not have to be born. They cannot be grasped by our notions, or discriminated by our mental categories. They have come from nowhere: they will go nowhere. There is no author or creator.
That is the true nature of reality. We can only touch and experience things when we are free from the concepts of birth and death, creator and created. All things have no provenance; therefore they have no birth. Because they have no birth, extinction cannot be found either. That is the way things are.”

I laughed when I read this message from my teacher on my birthday! My mother might disagree that I came from “nowhere” and that there was no “birth.” In the historical dimension, it was a very important day for her to see her first child born on her birthday. She would have been 106 if she had lived this long. Of course, there are historical events we mark and people who are individually very important to us. Our own birth and death seem to have particular significance to us.
But Thay’s teaching pushes my mind beyond these concepts to the other levels of reality in which I understand that all beginnings, including my own, are connected to a long line of beings, phenomena, ancestors. I will continue, as will everyone, into many future centuries, in many forms. It is comforting today to hear that I have no “provenance,” that I existed before my “birth” and will continue after my “death.” So, we Buddhists say, “Happy Continuation” to mark our “birth days.”

Thank you to all my family members and friends, to my sweet husband for his poem, to my brothers, mother, father and centuries of ancestors – and to all who are or ever have been or ever will be connected to me. We are one, all part of this amazing stream of LIFE!