Come As You Are – 3/13/15, 3/14/15, 3/15/15

3:15:15 reflections and koi 1 sig“Although my eyes, blinded by passions, do not see the brilliant light which embraces me,
the Great Compassion never tires, always casting its light upon me.”
~ Shinran Shonin

Our old cat Velvet on 3/13/14 (she crossed the Rainbow Bridge that autumn).  RIP Dear One!

Our old cat Velvet on 3/13/14 (she crossed the Rainbow Bridge that autumn of 2014). RIP Dear One!

Click here for the post of photos from March 13, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Friday, March 13, 2015 – Today is golden with sunlight and the forsythia in full bloom.
3:13:15 f sig 3:13:15 close sig 3:13:15 f 1 sig“That Buddha, in the causal stage, made the universal Vow:
When beings hear my Name and think on me, I will come to welcome each of them,
Not discriminating at all between the poor and the rich and wellborn,
Not discriminating between the inferior and the highly gifted,
Not choosing the learned and those upholding pure precepts,
Nor rejecting those who break precepts and whose evil karma is profound.
Solely making beings turn about and abundantly say the Nien-Fo,
I can make bits of rubble change into gold.”
~ Hymn by Tz’u-min, cited by Fa-chao in the Wu-hui fa-shih tsan (Shorter Pure Land Liturgy of Nien-Fo Chant in Five Stages)

3:13:15 f 4 sig 3:13:15 f 3 sig 3:13:15 close nice sig“each blossom is filled
pollen, nectar, and longing
to bee completed”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

Honeybee gathering blue pollen from Siberian squill on 3/14/15.

Honeybee gathering blue pollen from Siberian squill on 3/14/15.

Click here for the post of photos from March 14, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Saturday March 14, 2015 – Today I saw a tiny beetle that looked like a miniature lady bug with black and red spots.  I haven’t looked this one up to see if it is actually some type of ladybug.  My Oregon grape is coming into bloom and the mason bees (osmia) are out and about.  My neighbors’ violets smelled heavenly.
3:14:15 nice b sig 3:14:15 v fr sig 3:14:15 osmia cl sig“True entrusting means that you’re able to truly relate to another being. Not only human beings but with plants and animals. Even those things that cannot speak, you’re able to hear their feelings. Namu-amida-butsu.”
~ Ichitaro
3:14:15 side v n a sig 3:14:15 side o cl sig 3:14:15 v sp sig“buds swell to bursting
sweet smells and nectar laden
beckon insect friends”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

Christmas cactus re-blooming on 3/15/14.

Christmas cactus re-blooming on 3/15/14.

Click here for the post of photos from March 15, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 – Today was exceptionally warm and we actually had a record high of 73 degrees F. at 3:00 P.M. MDT.  This is a quote from a local newspaper, “The warm temperatures are nearly 20 degrees warmer than normal temperatures for mid-March.” This made it a lovely day for sangha in the park and listening to and sharing wise words about our mindfulness practice and compassion.  We also learned about and practiced walking meditation.  I want to express heartfelt gratitude to our wonderful Practice Leader, Mr. Christopher “Myoshin” Ross-Leibow, and his lovely wife, Linnea, for their work service and also to the rest of the members of the Sangha. where we are truly welcome to “come as we are”.
3:15:15 Amida Buddha sm sig 3:15:15 falling water sig 3:15:15 koi and reflections 1 sig 3:15:15 koi 1 sig“Among all living things
mountains and rivers,
grasses and trees,
even the sounds of blowing winds
and rising waves –
there is nothing
that is not the nembutsu”
~ Ippen
3:15:15 old tree sig 3:15:15 falling water 1 sig 3:15:15 koi 2 sig 3:15:15 Amida Buddha 1 sm sig“we walk heal to toe
massaging sweet mother earth
with our mindful feet”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
3:15:15 koi and reflections sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace of the Universe!
Bright Bee Blessings, Namaste, and Namu Amida Butsu ~ Raven

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Spring Flowers at Sunrise 3/6/15

3:6:15 two d sig“Perfumes are the feelings of flowers, and as the human heart, imagining itself alone and unwatched, feels most deeply in the night-time, so seems it as if the flowers, in musing modesty, await the mantling eventide ere they give themselves up wholly to feeling, and breathe forth their sweetest odours. Flow forth, ye perfumes of my heart, and seek beyond these mountains the dear one of my dreams! ”
~ Heinrich Heine (today’s quote and poem, not including my haiku, from The Quote Garden.)

Snowdrops on 3/6/14.

Snowdrops on 3/6/14.

Click here for the post with photos from March 6, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Friday, March 6, 2015 – I waited for the sun to rise over the mountains this morning to share with you these portraits of yellow spring blossoms 🙂
3:6:15 yellow c sig 3:6:15 small d sig 3:6:15 f open front sig“When the winds of March are wakening the crocuses and crickets,
Did you ever find a fairy near some budding little thickets,…
And when she sees you creeping up to get a closer peek
She tumbles through the daffodils, a playing hide and seek.”
~ Marjorie Barrows

3:6:15 two d 1 sig 3:6:15 small morning group sig 3:6:15 one d sig 3:6:15 f a sig“over the mountains
then through the trees the sun peeks…
spying on blossoms”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

3:6:15 four d sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste and Bright Spring Blessings ~ Raven

Rain (3/2/15) and Snow (3/3/15)


3:3:15 b f opening 1 sig
“A day of spring —
wherever any water is,
in darkness lingering.”
~ Kobayashi Issa

Honeybees collecting crocus pollen on 3/2/14.

Honeybees collecting crocus pollen on 3/2/14.

Click here for photos for March 2, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Mourning dove on 3/3/14.

Mourning dove on 3/3/14.

Click here for photos for March 3, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Monday, March 2, 2015 – We had a little bit of lovely rain today and it is supposed to snow tomorrow, so I think I’ll put these two days together with a song covered by several famous bands and based on an old Celtic traditional song that migrated to the mountain places of the US where immigrants settled from the British Isles.  I really like the way The Lonesome Sisters interpret it and you can find a link to a youtube recording at the end of the post with lyrics.  Pentangle also did a lovely version. The Celts are a passionate people.  In some traditions water is connected to emotion. If allowed emotions can flow like water and if dammed can build up and overflow.  Many of the old songs from these areas are washed with what we think of (in the western culture) as the “darker” emotions.
3:2:15 b street sig 3:2:15 b drops j sig 3:2:15 b f sig
“Early spring –
stream flows
toward my door

~ Kobayashi Issa3:2:15 b drops j 1 sig 3:2:15 b reflection sig“precious raindrops fall
bringing life to thirsty land
much needed water”
~ Raven Ariana Simons3:2:15 b forsythia sigTuesday, March 3, 2015 – Today it snowed and we are on track with our song theme.  I have also added some haiku from a Japanese master, Kobayashi Issa. I learned a little about him today at a book club meeting that I am new to.  Here’s a link where I found some of his poetry 🙂3:3:15 b street sig 3:3:15 b f opening 1 sig 3:3:15 b calendula sig“Seeming as though
this would be the last of it…
so much spring snow”
~ Kobayashi Issa

3:3:15 s fennel sig 3:3:15 b hazel leaf sig “cold snow is falling
water in another form
some love, some avoid”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

3:3:15 b two f 1 sig
Here you can listen to the beautiful rendition of “Rain and Snow” by The Lonesome Sisters

Rain & Snow
Traditional, arrangement & last verse by Debra Clifford

Well I married me a wife, gave me trouble all my life
Run me out in the cold rain and snow,
rain and snow, run me out in the cold rain and snow

She came on down the stairs throwin’ back her yellow hair
and her cheeks were as red as a rose,
as a rose, her cheeks were as red as a rose

she came into the room where she met her fatal doom
and I aint gonna be treated this old way,
this old way, and I ain’t gonna be treated this old way

I shot through the head and I laid her on the bed
and I ain’t gonna be treated this old way
this old way, and I ain’t gonna be treated this old way

Her baby cried all night I know that what I done ain’t right
the wind howls her name oh so low,
oh so low, the wind howls her name oh so low

Debra Clifford © 2004

The Lonesome Sisters Lyrics
Sarah Hawker & Debra Clifford
lonesomesisters.com

Our hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste  and Nama Amida Butsu ~ Raven

The End and the Beginning (2/28/15 & 3/1/15)

Neighbors' Buddha decked out with some stylie beads and first daffodils of the season on 3/1/15.

Neighbors’ Buddha decked out with some stylie beads and first daffodils of the season on 3/1/15.

“…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

More lovely rain today and when I went out I found these jewel like pools of water on 2/28/14.

More lovely rain today and when I went out I found these jewel like pools of water on 2/28/14.

Click here for past photos for February 28, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Honeybee in crocus on 3/1/14.

Honeybee in crocus on 3/1/14.

Click here for past photos for March 1, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.
Saturday, February 28, 2015 – Today I went to visit my family for the birthday party of my youngest granddaughter.  Not only do they have some fun pets, they also have various birds and squirrels that visit their yard.
2:28:15 p sil sig 2:28:15 sitting s sig 2:28:15 pige sig“The true definition of mental illness is when the majority of your time is spent in the past or future, but rarely living in the realism of NOW.”
~ Shannon L. Alder
2:28:15 squirrl sig 2:28:15 p walk sig “in strange company
what happens at the feeders
stays at the feeders”
~Raven Ariana Simons
2:28:15 cute s sigSunday, March 1, 2015 – The first daffodils are in bloom on my street and when I went to visit my neighbors’ buddha (and daffodils) I found him wearing some rather festive beads.  Is he still celebrating Mardi Gras?  The crocus and forsythia are in bloom too, as well as various plants starting to bud or break through the soil.
3:1:15 f sm sig 3:1:15 w c sig“through rain, snow, and sun
the early flowers show up
they come as they are”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
3:1:15 y c sm sig 3:1:15 yellow c sm sig“I did not tell Fat this, but technically he had become a Buddha. It did not seem to me like a good idea to let him know. After all, if you are a Buddha you should be able to figure it out for yourself.”
~ Philip K. Dick
3:1:15 Buddha beads 1 sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste and Namu Amida Butsu ~ Raven

Snow 2/26/15

Streetlamp in the snow on 2/26/15.

Streetlamp in the snow on 2/26/15.

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”
~ Mark Twain
Click here for February 26 past photos (2012, 2013, and more of 2014).

Honeybee on duckweed in urban oasis on 2/26/14.

Honeybee on duckweed in urban oasis on 2/26/14.

Thursday, February 26, 2015 – Today it snowed, which must have been a bit shocking to the birds, bees, and blossoms that have been enjoying a rather mild February.  It wasn’t too cold, though, and the snow melted off of sidewalks and streets quickly.  Living in a desert, I’m happy we are getting some precipitation 🙂
2:26:14 a catkins sig 2:26:14 nice catkin sig 2:26:14 a catkins 1 sig“First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before the eye can focus —
Crocus. ”
~ Lilja Rogers

2:26:14 snow 1 sig 2:26:14 juniper cl sig 2:26:14 chickadee sig“little chickadee
yesterday it seemed  like spring
then today it snowed”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:26:14 forsythia cl sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste ~ Raven

Birds, Blooms, and Bees 2/24/15 & 2/25/15

First viola of the season on 2/25/15.

First viola of the season on 2/25/15.

“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ”
~ Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
Click here for the post with February 24, 2012, 2013, and 2014 past pics.

Hazel catkins on 2/24/14.

Hazel catkins on 2/24/14.

Click here for the post with February 25, 2012, 2013, and 2014 past pics.

Calendula seeds on 2/25/14.

Calendula seeds on 2/25/14.

Tuesday, February 24, 2014 – Today was a lovely day for birds and we had many visitors at the urban oasis and for sunflower seed offerings.  The forsythia is just coming into bloom and makes a lovely place for birds to perch.  Today we have goldfinch, sparrow, and house finch.
2:24:15 goldfinch sig 2:24:15 nice female sparrow sig“lively visitors
they love when the sun comes out
in February”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:24:15 bud eater sig 2:24:15 forsythia sig“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
~ Robin Williams

2:24:15 goldfinch 2 sig 2:24:15 f sparrow sigWednesday, February 25, 2015 – Some of my Christmas cactus have a few blooms here and there.  My first volunteer viola is blooming, too.  Today was nice enough for the ladies to come out and drink.  I hope they also found some fine pollen!
2:25:15 hb 1 sig 2:25:15 back 1 sig 2:25:15 hb 2 sig“blossoms, birds, and bees
celebrate feelings of spring
as daylight lengthens”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:25:15 hb 3 sig 2:25:15 bloom 1 sigEvery spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment. ”
~ Ellis Peters

2:25:15 hb sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Bright Bee Blessings and Namaste ~ Raven

Three Days – 2/20/15, 2/21/15, and 2/22/15

2:22:15 bee glass sig“pollinating fire
as we pray for all of life
each one connecting”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”
~ Pema Chodron
I didn’t to get my daily posts up from the 20th until today so I have added the hyperlinks in the dates in case you’d like to go back and see the photos and adventures on those past days (each post will have a photo for 2012, 2013, and at least one, maybe more, for 2014):
February 20, 2012 – 2014
February 21, 2012 – 2014
February 22, 2012 – 2014
Sunday, February 22, 2015 – Friday was cooling down, Saturday we had a little bit of snow, and today it is windy with snow expected in some parts of the state over the next couple of days.  One of my long time friends told me today that it looks like winter may be back.  I guess we’ll see from moment to moment, day by day.
Friday, February 20, 2015 – Definitely getting chillier and more wind, though the birds were out, but not a lot of the ladies.
2:20:15 robin 2 sig 2:20:15 crocus 1 sig2:20:15 g f 1 sig“waiting for your seeds
sitting on forsythia
while other birds eat”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:20:15 crocus op sig 2:20:15 g f 2 sigSaturday, February 21, 2015 – I woke up to snow, though it did melt pretty fast and there was only a small amount.
2:21:15 catkin drops 1 sig“the drops are perfect
holding upside down tree dreams
in the melting snow”
~ Raven Ariana Simons 
2:21:15 drop 1 sig 2:21:15 o g drop sig 2:21:15 dandelion drop sig 2:21:15 drop sigSunday, February 22, 2015 – Today was cold and so windy that the wind chill factor made me want to stay in the house.  I took a few studies of some of the leaves of my plants that live by my window with some colorful glass.  The honeybee votive candle holder at the very top of the page is part of the arrangement.
2:22:15 leaf detail sig 2:22:15 st fran 1 sig “such life in my home
and I don’t have to go far
to share, love, and care”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:22:15 leaves sig
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
~ Paul Coelho
2:22:15 odd leaves sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste and Bright Bee Blessings ~ Raven