And now it's Christmas

First I thought it couldn't be September, now I think it can't possibly be Christmas - but the day after tomorrow really is Christmas.

It's been quite a fall-in September on a writer's retreat in Cambridge, Massachusetts with DiLoPi - Patti Digh, Jennifer Louden, and Susan Piver, "Walking Into Fire" and in October (the weekend of the Halloween snowstorm) on retreat wiith Pema Chodron and Meg Wheatley at Omega.

Me with Patti Digh
All of this retreating has been great for my meditation practice-I bought the MP3's of the Pema Chodron retreat (Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change) and I heard Meg say that the purpose of meditation is to notice that you are thinking-I love that.  My brain is a little thought factory-it just keeps right on thinking.  Susan Piver and the Open Heart Project has helped me to direct all that thought to my breath-not easy but it does bring me a modicum of peace.

So what do I wish for in 2012?  World peace, the end of poverty, the end of AIDS and of all disease and oppression.  What, that can't happen in 2012?  Not even one of those things?

Well my second choice is that I become one who doesn't add to the fear and aggression in the world.  That I claim my "spiritual warriorship" as Pema puts it and become one who truly leaves this world a better place than she found it.

My dear Aunt Mary kept St Francis of Assissi's prayer on her bulletin board at work-Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.  And on those days when I want to scream, when it feels as though everything has gone wrong, from simple things like spilling tea all over me and the car, or being tailgated on Route 9 by someone who clearly thinks that the speed limit is a guideline and doesn't apply to him (or her),  to bigger things like not making goals I've set, or watching friends suffering with illness, or loss, I must remember that I can choose not to give up.

And that's my intention for 2012-not to give up.  To figure out how to take what I've learned and use it to serve others.