Wednesday, September 23, 2020

being the adult - on parenting ourselves...

 "Funny thing about memories is that, as it's now known, when they surface, we look at them with our current understanding and they get stored from the current point of view. And that is true for every time we again have the memory. In other words, none of our memories are intact. The good thing is: Over time, if done consciously, we can actually deliberately change how the memory gets stored. If we look at it with bitterness and hatred - maybe even vengeance (God will get you for that! - just you wait), or longing or regret, or understanding and love, etc. that's how it gets packed away. This could be about things we ourselves have done, or been done to by other people, or pleasant or unpleasant events. Maybe a good thing to ask ourselves is "what is it possible to achieve by simply re-phrasing our memories consciously?" We're the adults now. We get to parent ourselves. For better or worse."

Sunday, February 2, 2020

listen to the wind...

- message received by Regina Dawn Akers - May 19, 2008
The Teachings of Inner Ramana
“ “I am that I am” continues to be your friend and ally, because “I am that I am” is a reminder that occupies the mind. It is helpful to keep the mind occupied with a useful reminder, because that keeps the ears perked up and listening for only Me.
Be willing to also use the mind to ask questions, such as “What am I to do?” or “What is there for me to see?” Do not [think to find] answers to your questions. Only ask, and let
the answers come from the wind ... If you expect nothing more distinct than the indistinctness of the wind, you shall know what to do now, and all else shall be added to
you by the wind.”

Friday, January 3, 2020

A Cautionary U.S.P.S. patrons

November 14th, 2019 I packed an ebay purchase of Magnetic Clay for a buyer whose address is in New Jersey. I had begun taking all my packages to the post office myself rather than wait till our carrier picks up - which is usually late in the afternoon. I don't remember whether I dropped off the package in the lobby receptacle, or inside the post office on the counter like so many people do nowadays with pre-paid packages. I assumed the packages are all being scanned by the post office workers, and sent on their merry little way to their respective destinations.
About 2 weeks later I was looking through my ebay sold items, and saw that this particular package had not been delivered yet. I messaged the buyer asking whether by chance she had received the package, because it had not been scanned at my post office, or in fact, anywhere along the way. Packages can arrive at their destinations without being scanned even once, but that is highly unusual. She replied that had not received it. Before I had finished messaging her in return that I would try to track it down, and if it was missing completely I would give her a full refund she had already left me (my very first) negative feedback - saying she had not received the package. Ouch!
I made a trip to my post office with information in hand, and they were, of course, unable to find any info on the package since they had (unbeknownst to me) not scanned it. They admitted that it was even a possibility that a post office patron had taken it off the counter and simply walked out with it.
I issued a full refund to the ebay buyer, and waited a while before requesting a "postage refund" from in the event the package was still somewhere out there, taking a very circuitous pathway between here and there. Refunds from can take weeks. A few weeks later I needed to make another refund request from because an etsy buyer had neglected to update their mailing address, and then requested that I use their current address - “if it's not too inconvenient, please!”. That means buying another label, and waiting weeks for a refund on the first one. A few weeks later the second refund request was fulfilled, but the first one was still in play, or so I thought. I checked in, and it appeared the request had been closed without a refund. I checked the tracking number at that point and saw that the package had NOW been delivered on December 26th, but not to my buyer in New Jersey. It had been delivered to an address in Hazelton. First though, it had been scanned in Santa Clarita California, and then made it's way to Hazelton. I went on to and opened a “lost” claim for this mis-delivered package, which is what I thought it was at this point. For some reason I just felt like that claim was not enough. I printed out the USPS tracking path, and the paypal receipt of the initial purchase with the tracking number on it, and headed back to the post office. They remembered that I had been in before about this particular package. After 45 minutes the clerk came back with "this is a really tricky problem. We are not sure how to handle it yet, but we will try to get to the bottom of this." He said that somehow someone in California used the bar code on my package to ship a package from their location to someone in Hazelton.
What is a mystery is how that person got the bar code. The bar code was activated by a postal carrier scanner on Dec. 23rd in Santa Clarita. The local clerk was able to get photos of the package, with my package bar code on it, as it was scanned several times en-route. It was a plastic bubble mailer, and not the Medium Flat Rate Priority Mail box I had used. I did not recognize the names of either the sender or the recipient.
But wait there's more. The clerk told me that people are now stealing bar codes off packages to ship drug paraphernalia so there is no trace back to them. Usually the package is shipped to a vacant house, and after the carrier drops off the package someone comes and gets it.
Well, this is not welcome news to me. Up to that point I had been using an adhesive plastic sleeve to enclose the shipping label on the package. I had sometimes considered that those could easily be slit open and the label removed, but didn't want to be paranoid about it. Trust me, now I am taping every label onto the package so it is not easy to remove. I am also going to begin gluing the label to the package - especially the bar code area. And take photos of the package prior to dropping it at the post office. These are more steps to take for package shipping, but it seems a necessity in this day and age.
A little more information the post office I was definitely made to feel as though they thought I might be an accomplice in this saga. Since they didn't do their job of scanning there is no proof that I delivered the package to the post office but, in their eyes I may have sent the label to the Ca. shipper, and was now trying to claim insurance on the package. I went back a second time armed with my and my USPS receipt for that particular purchase, where it's absolutely clear that the package, with this bar code, shipped from my Florida address to a New Jersey address, and that it was a USPS Flat Rate Medium package and not a plastic bubble mailer.
My contact at my post told me via phone message there is nothing they can do about this problem. All I can do is hope to get my claim acknowledged.
And there was no interest in tracking down the shipper in Ca. for mail fraud.
Last thing...I called ebay and spoke with a representative, explained the situation that resulted in the negative feedback, and asked if it was possible to remove it since I had made a full refund. She saw that the buyer and I had exchanged messages, and graciously agreed to remove the negative feedback. Lessons learned, and moving forward...

1/06/20 update: USPS denied my claim since a package with my bar code (not my package) had already been delivered. I have one more hope...a friend of a friend here in Sarasota is a postal worker, and is often delivering in my area. Maybe she can help, or make suggestions... waiting for a response from her.
1/17/20 update: After submitting an appeal (with irrefutable evidence) to the claim denial online as well as an appeal to their snail mail claim denial the claim has been approved. The evidence is in the tracking history, as well as my shipping label receipt, and the photo from USPS of the second package with my package’s bar code on it. I am relieved to know that one does have a chance at an appeal when evidence is provided. Faith has been partially restored. Still, I will continue to take photos of outgoing packages and file them, and make sure my outgoing packages get scanned by the postal workers - with a receipt for the more valuable packages. Once the bar code has been scanned the shipper is liable. 

 etsy sellers drawn into package delivery scams?

etsy forums post: The word about the tracking number scam is getting out.  

Saturday, July 13, 2019

intimacy and tenderness of the souls light

“All through your life, the most precious experiences seem to vanish. Transience turns everything to air. You look behind and see no sign even of a yesterday that was so intense. Yet in truth, nothing ever disappears, nothing is lost. Everything that happened to us in the world passes into us. It all becomes part of the inner temple of the soul and it can never be lost. This is the art of the soul: to harvest your deeper life from all the seasons of your experience. This is probably why the soul never surfaces fully. The intimacy and tenderness of its light would blind us. We continue in our days to wander between the shadowing and the brightening, while all the time a more subtle brightness sustains us. If we could but realize the sureness around us, we would be much more courageous in our lives. The frames of anxiety that keep us caged would dissolve. We would live the life we love and in that way, day by day, free our future from the weight of regret.”
Excerpt from his books, BEAUTY: THE INVISIBLE EMBRACE (US) / DIVINE BEAUTY (Europe)
Post brought to you by etsyeller zafuChi. 
For these, and other buckwheat hull filled, and unfilled covers, zafu meditation cushions
orange sherbert stripe...

orange red poly twill zafu cover...

orange birds, black and white geometric, zafu

OOAK Orange Sherbert Pinwheel buckwheat hull zafu

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Defense is the first act of war.

Byron Katie:
“Defense is the first act of war. When people used to say, “Katie, you don’t listen,” I would immediately bristle and respond, “Of course I listen! How dare you say that! Who do you think you are? I listen!” I didn’t realize that I was the one making war by defending myself. And I was the one who could end it. It doesn’t take two people to end war; it takes only one.
The ego hates criticism and loves agreement. Actually, for the ego, love is nothing more than agreement. A relationship is two people who agree with each other’s stories. If I agree with you, you love me. And the minute I don’t agree with you, the moment I question one of your sacred beliefs, I become your enemy; you divorce me in your mind. Then you start looking for all the reasons why you’re right, and you stay focused outside yourself. When you’re focused outside and believe that your problem is caused by someone else, rather than by your attachment to the story you’re believing in the moment, you are your own victim, and the situation appears to be hopeless.
Your partner is your mirror. Except for the way you perceive him, he doesn’t even exist for you. He is who you see he is, and ultimately it’s just you again, thinking. It’s just you, over and over and over, and in this way you remain blind to yourself and feel justified and lost. To think that your partner is anything but a mirror of you is painful. So when you see him as flawed in any way, you can be sure that that’s where your own flaw is. The flaw has to be in your thinking, because you’re the one projecting it. You are always what you judge us to be in the moment. There’s no exception. You are your own suffering; you are your own happiness.
There’s no way to truly join your partner except by getting free of your belief that you need something from him that he’s not giving. Nothing can cost you someone you love. There’s nothing your husband can possibly do to keep you from loving him. The only way you can lose him is by believing what you think. You’re one with your husband until you believe that he should look a certain way, he should give you something, he should be something other than what he is. That’s how you divorce him. Right then and there, you have lost your marriage.
Of course, sometimes it’s best to physically leave. If your husband is abusive, question your thoughts about why you stay. As you enlighten yourself to what’s true, you may come to see that the only sane choice is to leave him. You may love him with all your heart and simply know not to live with him. We don’t have to be fearful, bitter, or angry to end a marriage. Or, if you’re not ready to leave, you may stay in the marriage, but with a greater awareness of how you’re abusing yourself by allowing him to abuse you. It’s like a yard with a big sign on the gate: THIS DOG BITES. If you walk into the yard once and are bitten, the dog has bitten you. If you walk into the yard a second time and are bitten, you have bitten you. This very awareness can change everything. By questioning your mind, you begin to realize that ultimately no one can hurt you—only you can. You see that you are 100 percent responsible for your own happiness. This is very good news.
If my husband were to have an affair and that were not okay with me, I would say, “Sweetheart, I understand that you’re having an affair, and I notice that when you do that, something inside me tends to move away from you. I don’t know what that is, I only know that it’s so; it mirrors your movement away from me, and I want you to know that.” And then if he were to continue his affair, to prefer to spend his time with another woman, I might notice that I was moving away, but I wouldn’t have to leave him in anger. There is nothing I can do to stay with him, and there is nothing I can do to divorce him. I’m not running this show. I might stay with him, or I might divorce him in a state of total love, and think, This is fascinating; we promised we would be together always, and I’m divorcing him now, and I would probably laugh, love that he has what he wants, and move on, because there is no war in me.
It doesn’t take two people to end war in a marriage; it takes only one. And if two people have ended it, life can be twice as beautiful."
- Byron Katie

Sunday, November 18, 2018

slub a dub dub...

Robert Allen slub linen zafus continue to be a bestseller at ZafuChi,
 and most frequently hearted/favorited...
I don't know exactly why, but "I can take it"!
I enjoy working with this particular fabric. It has a nice weight to it
 so it handles very nicely for cutting and sewing.
And in response to my query about her repeat purchases 
of slub linen products one California buyer said 
that after several years of studio use it wears well, and
 they just like the look of the fabric/zafu. Good to know!

slub linen zafu - dyed with natural dye materials from my yard

slub linen bolster pillowcase

slub linen zafu, with machine stitched reed design

charcoal slub linen zafu

Friday, November 16, 2018

Tree of Life Gemstone Pendant Necklace

(hot link above)

Two inch wide copper colored pendant, with chakra colored gemstones. 

Beautiful vintage style loop chain measures 24 inches long, and has a lobster clasp closure.
Ships in 1-3 days by USPS 1st Class Mail.
 Smoke-free, cat friendly home.
Thank you for shopping at earthnsky888.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

discount closeout zafus now on ebay...

If you're a consistent bargain shopper (like I am very frequently) you may be delighted to know that my discount/closeout (unfilled) zafu covers will for the most part be available here: earthnsky888 -ebay discount zafu store

My regular priced zafus (buckwheat hull filled, and unfilled) will still be available here: etsyseller ZafuChi  
geometric print - new stock on etsy - 11/15/18

woodblock leaf print - new stock on etsy - 11/15/18

natural dyed - new stock on etsy - 10/18

reeds design - on etsy

Sunday, August 26, 2018

on “dying before we die” - to truly live...

From Krishnamurti Notebook...
“There was a great delight among the trees and among the birds and the few men that passed by were not too wrapped up in their own affairs. There was the slip of the new, young moon, just a line, just a suggestion and there was the beauty of a day that was over. A woman in a green sari was carrying a big bundle on her head, her arms swinging freely by her side. You have to die to all things to be aware of this beauty that had no resting place; you couldn’t find it if you sought it; it was not in the museums, in books nor in faces; the smile fades and there are tears. You would never find it if you set out to capture it.
You have to die to all things that you have pursued. You have to die not knowing; you have to die without a purpose, without a motive, maturing in a day and dying in a day, without a past. An aeroplane droned overhead, somebody was taking flying lessons and above the plane were the vultures, endlessly circling, without a beat of the wings; there was delight in their movement but soon they would be coming down to be lost in the darkness of the night. You lived for something, you worked for something and your life was intended for something. You had to be useful to society; everything had its use and you of course were of the highest use—for the church, for the government, for the revolutionary. What was the use of that leaf, that flower and those birds taking their evening bath? But that beauty cannot be used; it had no value, there was no market for it and all life is travail and sorrow. Without that beauty there is no love.
The clouds were gathering around the sun leaving the sky empty. Every bird was now silent and the trees were withdrawing for the night. The moon was too young to cast any shadow but that would come later as she grew older. Innocency and youth were always with death, with the ending of thought. And with death comes that immensity, unapproachable, measureless. And it was there.”
This post brought to you by

Friday, August 24, 2018

listening to hear...

"Practice listening to others in the most literal sense, believing exactly what they say without attaching a future to it, and do your best to resist falling into your own interpretations about the information they share with you.
For example, someone might give you a compliment, and you interpret that to mean that the person has ulterior motives. Our interpretations of what we hear people say to us are often far more painful or frightening than what people actually say. We can hurt ourselves with our misconceptions and our thinking for others.
Try trusting that what they say is exactly what they mean: not more, not less. Hear people out.
Catch yourself when you want to finish a sentence for someone, either aloud or in your mind.
Listen. It can be amazing to hear what comes out when we allow others to complete their thoughts without interruption. And when we are busy thinking we know what they are about to say, we often miss what they are actually saying.
You might want to consider these questions:
- What can be threatened if I listen and hear literally? - Do I interrupt because I don’t want to really know what people have to say? - Do I interrupt to convince them that I know more than they do? - Am I attempting to convey an image of self-confidence and control? - Who would I be without the need to possess those qualities? - Do I fear appearing unintelligent? - Would people leave me if I heard them literally and no longer engaged in manipulative games? "
"Hooter" - 6/18

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

our version v.s. reality...

"Try this: Imagine you are in a situation or with a person that you find unpleasant and that you would ordinarily avoid. Now observe how your [mind] instinctively becomes active, insisting that you avoid this situation or try to change it. And if you stay on there and refuse to change the situation, observe how the [mind] insists that you experience irritation or anxiety or guilt or some other negative emotion. Now keep looking at this unpleasant situation or person until you realize that it isn't they that are causing the negative emotions. They are just going their way, being themselves, doing their thing whether right or wrong, good or bad. 

It is your [mind] that, thanks to your programming, insists on your reacting with negative emotions. You will see this better if you realize that someone with a different programming when faced with this same situation or person or event would react quite calmly, even happily. Don't stop till you have grasped this truth: The only reason why you too are not reacting calmly and happily is your computer that is stubbornly insisting that reality be reshaped to conform to its programming. Observe all of this from the outside so to speak and see the marvelous change that comes about in you."
~ Anthony de Mello (20th century Indian Catholic mystic)
photo shopped image - from facebook
This post brought to you by ZafuChi a handmaker of zafu meditation cushions and bolster pillows.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Blessing by John O Donohue

"May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life."
- Blessing by John O'Donohue
photo source - unknown
"Oh, for a closer walk with Thee..." 
posted by the owner of ZafuChi - a maker of zafu meditation cushions

Sunday, July 8, 2018

the little things...

Yesterday evening I heard a banging noise that I thought it was coming from inside the house. More banging. So, I decided to see if someone was at the front door, and sure enough. It was G--, one of my elderly neighbors. (There IS a doorbell, and it works!) His wife works, and he is often lonely. And is, or pretends to be, hard of hearing - I can't tell which. Consequently, he likes to get in my face, and I do my best to avoid it as inconspicuously as possible. So, yesterday I just lowered the window on the screen door and spoke to him through the screen. He got angry with me and ordered me, in his heavy German accent, to open the door...barking out "I have a cheesecake pie, and I made it to give to you. Eat it, and tell me what you think of it." Seriously, not the most courteous of people. I let him save face by asking "Are you OK? You seem a little upset." Then he became shame-faced, lowered his voice, and said “no, he wasn't feeling all that well. The heat was getting to him.” 

It's July in Florida. Tempers can flare more easily.

~ ) 0 ( ~ 

...a cat named Pretty Boy - who once upon a time lived in my house...

Friday, July 6, 2018

What good is longevity if it is not enjoyable...

"Follow your bliss."
~ Joseph Campbell

Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles detail the ten rules to help find personal ikigai.

1. Stay active and don’t retire
2. Leave urgency behind and 
adopt a slower pace of life
3. Only eat until you are 80 per cent full
4. Surround yourself with good friends
5. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
6. Smile and acknowledge people around you
7. Reconnect with nature
8. Give thanks to anything that brightens our day 
and makes us feel alive.
9. Live in the moment
10. Follow your ikigai 

What keeps us from feeling joy at being in this life experience? Without understanding that longevity may not be as fulfilling as it could, or can, be.


ZafuChi - online purveyor of zafu meditation cushions

Sunday, July 1, 2018

to see God in everything

To see God in everything we must (obviously, right?!) abandon all other ideas we hold consciously or subconsciously about everything.

‘The unavoidable choice to face everything that is not yet awake, both within you and in the world, is the movement of awakeness. Along the way, you may meet a huge amount of suffering or you may meet very little; it doesn’t matter either way. What matters is your unwavering willingness to meet this suffering all the way. This is not feeding the suffering but, instead, allowing consciousness to move through you according to divine will. It’s what the Indian mystic and poet Rabindranath Tagore meant when he said, “To find God, you must welcome everything.” In this willingness to unconditionally welcome every single thing in the field of your experience, you become a bodhisattva, dedicated to the illumination of all beings, one drop at a time. It’s a choiceless choice.’
-Amoda Maa source unknown...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

is time collapsing?

“My grandmother saw a lot of change during her lifetime. We're seeing as much, and more, change in a much shorter period of time is collapsing. Not that it is. Things seem sped up because we/humans make them happen much more quickly, and the internet is a large part of making this happen. It narrows the distance between things and that shortens time. Again, not that it does. It seems to. Go out into nature for a weekend without any digital devices and see that nature still has her own pace.” 
 ~Sarah Nolt
Etsy is making changes* that affect all etsy sellers, and buyers. Change is inevitable with growth. (* etsy's increase in seller fees from 3.5% to 5%, including that 5% fee on shipping too,  affects every etsy account.) Not to worry...ebay has been doing this for years. It's done to avoid seller fee avoidance, by listing an item below value and then "padding" the shipping to make up the difference.

In view of these fee increases I did need to add 10% to all of my etsy shop items. It's simply one of the realities of life.
Zafu Meditation Cushion. Floor/Dorm Pillow. Repurposed Green Cotton Print. Buckwheat Hulls. 15x5. 6"Sidewall Velcro Closure. Handmade, USA   

Sunday, March 4, 2018

the value of solitude...

“Solitude is very different from a 'time-out' from our busy lives. 
Solitude is the very ground from which community grows. 
Whenever we pray alone, study, read, write, or simply 
spend quiet time away from the places where we interact 
with each other directly, we are potentially opened 
for a deeper intimacy with each other.” 
~Henri Nouwen
beautiful space at Intent Space in St. Pete, Fl.
(this array of zafu meditation cushion covers purchased from ZafuChi)
(407) 301-1800 • 327 11th Ave n. 2f. st. petersburg, fl 33701

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Remember, everything has wings.

“You do too. Use your wings for health and for good. To fly away, to fly near, to fold and hide, to keep to the arduous surprising blessed journey. This comes with love for la mariposa, the sacred butterfly in your heart. Butterflies, these tiny creatures of mere painted paper and strength of will, fly thousands of miles in migration, can be torn easily, yet rise and rise and rise. You too. Dont forget. Where there has been one, there will be another. And another, and another. The butterflies are progenitors of life and life and life... the tiniest of the tiny ones, living bold and beautiful, even in tempest, even at rest, they are nonetheless Beauty with wings. Deep breath. I mean it: DEEP BREATH Remember who you truly are. Winged. Beautiful. Wise. Love from my heart to your heart.”
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

a sense of true belonging...

“The mystic Thomas a Kempis said that when you go out into the world, 
you return having lost some of yourself. Until you learn 
to inhabit your alone-ness, the lonely distraction and noise of society 
will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. 
 When you face your alone-ness, something begins to happen. 
Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging.”
~John O'Donohue, 
poet, priest, intuitive mystic
~ ~ ~ 

photo source: pixabay

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

our reality is a collective, overlapping, hallucination...

"Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence." 
(youtube link - as follows - for a 17 minute video)
 one youtube comment:
"This hallucination of the self is called "sakkhaya drishti" in Buddhism. And its the foundation of advaita tradition. Nothing is real, even your precious Self. Finally, science is catching up with the ancient wisdom."
photo source: pixabay
"Row, row, row your boat,
 gently down the stream...
.......... is but a dream."