Finding Peace in Uncertain Times: Amma

There is no doubt in my mind that Amma has helped me the most in finding peace in uncertain times; by her presence, her teachings and the opportunities to apply those teachings, her music, her guidance when I have questions, the example she sets in living a life of service and the community of people I have in my life because of her.

As I am dealing with my own health problems, as well as living in the world during a pandemic, I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to learn persistence, flexibility, letting go, being like a bird perched on a dry twig, and being in the moment. While my mind still goes into overdrive, most of the time I am able to find a centered place within me.

As I am writing this, I am remembering a prayer I wrote in the mid to late 90’s. It is still my prayer.

Mother, may my hands be in service, my mind fill with mantra
May my voice forever sing your praise, my heart dance with joy
May my love shine ever brighter, my faith ever grow
Mother, may each day I become more like you, only for this I pray
Only for this I pray

[Amma means mother]

Finding Peace in Uncertain Times: Taize

Several weeks ago, I noticed that the most viewed post on my blog was Taize: Veni Sancte Spiritus. This morning I checked the stats and see that in the last quarter that post has been viewed 482 times. It is a 2016 post, so most viewers are probably finding my post through a Taize internet search. It is understandable that people would be looking for peace and inspiration from Taize music during the pandemic.

Below is the English version of Veni Sancte Spiritus. To read about some of my experiences with Taize, to hear the original version of the song and to read the English lyrics go to my 2016 post.

In normal times, there are congregations singing Taize music in Christian churches (Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, etc.) all over the world. Yesterday, a friend sent me the link to a choir that was created to sing a Taize song pandemic style.

There are many more Taize songs on YouTube.

Gigantic Rhubarb

A few days ago a neighbor asked if I wanted some rhubarb from her garden. I enthusiastically said “Yes”!

She put the rhubarb on my porch and let me know it was there. I was astounded by how big the leaves were.

I put a nickel on one of the leaves to give you a better sense of its size.

I wonder if the leaves are this big because the air quality in the city is so much better since there is decreased traffic due to the stay at home orders. Everything in nature seems more healthy and more beautiful this year.

I’m Not a Cook!

I’m not a cook, so this stay at home order is a real challenge. And when I do cook, I create a big mess. I made some zucchini-banana bread last week and it turned out well. (The two cupcakes are missing because I ate them while they were still hot!)

This is what my kitchen looked like when I finished making the bread! 😒 ❤️😧

Beauty During the Pandemic

I have essentially remained in my house since the stay at home order went into effect; but I have gone to the grocery store occasionally and have also walked up and down my street or around the block from time to time.

Yesterday, I took photos of some of the plants I’ve been seeing on those short ventures.

Click on any of the photos below to enlarge them.

FOTD

Stay at Home Photos

Like most of us, I imagine, I’m spending most days in my house. While over the years, I have developed the habit of leaving the blinds on the front window down since they help keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer, now that I’m indoors so much, I often find myself pulling the blinds up during daytime hours.  

Still my eyes may not see what’s in front of my face. One morning in May, I gazed towards the front window and really “saw” the view. I had known this rhododendron shrub had buds, but I hadn’t noticed it had come into full bloom. The sight was stunning. 

FOTD

Nimo: Superhero Music Video

On April 10, Nimo Patel from Empty Hands Music  sent this request to people around the world:

We are currently working on a new music video called “Superhero” to celebrate those people on the Front line of this crisis, AS WELL AS highlight small acts of love during this time. WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOUR FOOTAGE TO BE IN THE VIDEO! 

Then today, I received an email saying the video was live! Here it is:

Seattle in April 2020

A friend sent me the link to this video in an email on Sunday, but I just found it in my junk file. I should look at that file more often since some of the things that go there are definitely not junk. I wish I had seen it earlier, but maybe I’m seeing it at exactly the right time.

It is eerie seeing Seattle look like this but I am so glad it does. I imagine there are many cities in the world that are this quiet now!

I’m crying heartfelt tears of gratitude.

Nimo: Prayer Music Video

Nimo Patel from Empty Hands Music just released a new music video, so I, as usual, am sending it out right away.

This was the message that went with it:

These are unprecedented times for all of us. We need to act now: to serve, to support the collective and to help those in need. We also need to pray. Most of us cannot leave home, but we can send positive vibrations into the world, the air, our ears, our hearts, and our minds. We need to pray to change the energy field. Prayer can be anything your heart yearns for. Share your love and prayers everyday for all of humanity and all of Planet Earth. We need it and we can all do that wherever we are. In isolation or in community. Love you all.