Summer Snowflake – Flowers for Confidence

Delighted with the outer-worldly magnificence of these flowers, I felt inspired to send my mother this picture, as I was totally ignorant about this humble bush. She promptly shared a favorite gardening experience as a youth in Sweden, and tells me that a related variety (Viburnum Opulus) is growing wild in Sweden.

‘Summer Snowflake’ Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum)

I am happy for my mother, who taught me about courage and taking delight in nature’s wonders. Looking into these flowers I feel confident to succeed on my sometimes challenging endeavors. I am suspecting that this might also be close to a ‘Watanabe,’ which gives you very flat blooms sized like a small coffee plate. And indeed the flowers looks like divine offerings for us to enjoy. I am reminded to look for the beauty that indeed surrounds me. My flowers inspire me to be more grateful and encouraged.

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Magnolia Planted

Magnolia tree

How long before I will see the flowers on this tree?

On this lucky Friday 13th..

I started to yearn for a Magnolia again.. as this is spring  and new things should be planted instead of all the sorrows of the past.  So here it is, a new baby tree. It is small, but with time it will grow into a mature being of beauty.

From Wikipedia:  Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae. It is named after French botanist Pierre Magnol. Magnolia is an ancient genus. Having evolved before bees appeared, the flowers developed to encourage pollination by beetles. To avoid damage from pollinating beetles, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are extremely tough. Fossilized specimens of Magnolia acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae dating to 95 million years ago. Another primitive aspect of Magnolias is their lack of distinct sepals or petals: Magnolias possess undifferentiated flower parts for which the term “tepals” was coined.

I was surprised to find out that Magnolias are as old as 95 million years. That takes a lot of patience on the part of Magnolias… My contemplation revealed that I am not that patient. But my palpable impatience is  a clever clue from myself! And the message is: I must spend time to grow as well.

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Meditation techniques: How to draw a creative zen tangled line drawing

It was in the aftermath of suddenly moving out from a 10 year relationship, that I started to tangle. To tangle is one of the best meditation techniques I know, mostly because it is comforting, but also because I could express myself in a new medium. My grieving process was crystallized in my doodles…

Tangle pattern Shell

My SHELL tangle pattern inspired by shells and pearls.

How I found Peace on a Piece of Paper

Learning how to draw the simplest pattern was not my cup of tea, but the more difficult ones mesmerized my mind. Later I have come to appreciate the very basic ones more because they are so easy to do and remember. I have filled four Moleskin notebooks full of tangle pattern and my own doodles in the past 5 months. I drove my family nuts by having to do my tangles… But my two nieces were amazed how easy they also could draw the Shells and pearls tangle above. The older one in grade 2 almost gave up, but then when we added lines and the pearls back ground, it became a master piece to everyone’s amazement. The younger one she got it right away. I wish I had taken a picture of their drawings… in fact you would not see the difference from the one above.

Meditation drawing tangle patterns notebooks

My Moleskin Drawing Collections

I found that the small format is key for success, because one use 3.5″ square tiles, or when using the notebook: 3.5 x 5.5″. It is the contained space that can be filled within 20 minutes that is so gratifying. When one is troubled, or grieving this type of meditation techniques of doodling is welcome.  One does not involve the mind too much, instead the intuitive flow of creativity appear right away when drawing the repeated patterns.

In the Shells pattern there is three shapes used: a line, a spiral and a round shape. I will share the How To below.

The best meditation is my doodling art and figuring out how to draw them

How to draw the Fibonacci Spiral

Fibonacci Spiral.

The way to draw the basic spiral patterns is very simple, even a child can do it. Put a dot on your paper and start from your dot curving out. This pattern is based on the Fibonacci Spiral. You can practice it on math paper it is not difficult. It describes the “golden mean” used in architecture, for example the Greek temples. It is interesting to know that the famous Egyptian pyramids are laid out along a huge Fibonacci spiral. The shape is also found in nature in a myriad of natural forms such as the Nautilus shell. I also create my Crystal Talismans based on this particular spiral.

How to Draw SHELL tangle pattern:

Creative How to draw shells tanglepattern

How to draw SHELLS tangle pattern. Pencil in the guide lines then draw the Fibonacci Spirals.

Begin with two pencil lines or more, then draw in the wide spiral shapes. For the sacred geometry fan, this shape follows the Fibonacci spiral. But as my nieces discovered, one can wing it quite well with good success. Then make the opening oval, fill it in. You can draw a smaller spiral on top of a larger one for fun effects.

Foot Note: I leaned about Zentangles from my friend Susan Stortini who is a certified Zentangle Instructor. Susan directed me to Maria and Rick at www. zentangle.com, and later I discovered Linda Farmers collection of patterns at tanglepatterns.com – Thank you all for my inner sanity!

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Majestic Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

blooming Hollyhock

Hollyhock aspiring to touch the sky.

I was glad about the Hollyhocks when my first seeds took root.  But my patience was tested, it took years before any of these beauties attempted the summit to the sky. In the end I got the reward. The entire Hollyhock bed overflowed with 8 foot spires…

The plants were a love gift to someone who loves Hollyhocks. In hindsight leaving that garden where I planted them was hard, but only on a human level. My plants will come up even though my care cannot extend itself to them. The glory of their majestic endurance though many storms, is adorned by their humility. Their sweet climb litter the stalk. One by one, over and over until I couldn’t reach them with out a ladder.

It is a medicinal plant as a tea, for the throat and lungs I read… but to me their healing is in remembering to stand humble in all weathers with the single goal to meet the sun, our source of light. It is like a faint memory of something so utterly sweet and gentle that can never be forgotten. Like being wrapped in a soft blanket watching the midsummer sun disappear for awhile before returning without a night. I ponder this as spring is slowly melting the layers of snow outside my window. May Love be remembered…

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A New Prosperous Year and Water Dragons to Bless Us

My Water Dragon seemed to come out of the tip of my pen

I was not too sure of how the Dragon would look like, but as I put the pen to the paper she appeared little by little… sort of meandering out of my ink. This one is not exactly tame, but her focus is towards the future – I am reassured!

Experience with Dragons

My first idea about Dragons came through outright fear, experienced during some summer nights a several years ago. At that time I lived in a small space directly accessing a deep well, which was dug maybe 50 years ago, no one could tell. The well was sporadically in use, and was only used for the gardens… As I came to take up residence near it, I experienced strange noises and weird sensations. And sometimes it was very scary. I remained sort of paralyzed in bed during the wee hours. I tried all versions of things to get rid of this fear, but it wouldn’t go away.

I came to the conclusion that I just had to face what caused these terrifying appearances, and let go of my fears right now.

Because it could not just be that squirrel who lived under the shingles. I finally got an awareness what was hiding under the building. Of course my childhood monsters was conjured up to enormous proportions. What came to me in my meditations was that I had stirred up some kind of elemental energy, and it was provoked. Maybe it was upset since long time before I got there, I could not tell, but now my fear changed into curiosity. What about this being? I didn’t want it to be upset and for sure not by my presence.

How to tame a Dragon?

I asked this being what it wanted. I wasn’t getting any words, but I felt it did not want to be disturbed. So I took some measures to seal my space and giving healing prayers to this effect. All my fears was totally removed after about a week of these prayers. I also found a small wooden sculpture of a green Indonesian dragon, it was just tiny but I hanged it in a corner of my room to remind me of the deep earth energies I had encountered. I felt green is a symbol of the living earth. In essence I had tamed my inner dragon, because I did not perceive the frightening sounds or sensations any longer…

So how about the Water Dragon…

Well not long ago I received a past life regression, by a skilled healer, and he told me about my dragon, she was a female water dragon… so I have worked with this energy to help me though emotional hardships. I am very grateful to the Divine of all Nature who gives me both Angels and now Dragons to help and guide me… If you feel you have a dragon, I’d love to hear about it…

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My Bodhi Tree Lives

I was carefully monitoring the new leaves coming out. I was so happy my Bodhi Tree survived the winter.

Bodhi Tree (Ficus Religiosa)

I’ll tell you it was a delight to see my small Bodhi tree come alive again after it dropped all the leaves… I was combating some kind of pest that ate the new shoots. But now when I see its vigor day by day I am rejoicing. A plant is like ourselves it must have nurturing and the circumstances to live healthily.

The Bodhi tree is known for its connection with the Buddha, who was sitting under a Bodhi Tree (the historic Pipal Tree) as he attained his enlightenment.This was 2500 years ago. To this day you can find this tree near Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, India.

My small Bodhi Tree is maybe 12 years old by now, and my enlightenment may take a little while longer a am afraid. For me the Bodhi Tree is significant, as a reminder that I have to take care of what I put out in the world. Bodhi Trees grow enormous with a very wide trunk… My tree is confined in a pot, and only brought outside in the summer. So challenging for him, as his natural habitat is in a much warmer country.

I am tracking my progress by watching my Bodhi tree grow. Especially relating to finding freedom, like the Buddha did. Could I practice patience better? By doing that perhaps at some point I have resolved all inner conflicting emotions and clinging to anything in the world.

 “The branches reach towards the heaven yet the vines of the tree reach towards the earth. Such is the state of mankind – always being pulled in two directions. One direction is freedom, ultimate liberation, and the transcendence of boundaries. The other direction is security, rootedness, comfort, and tradition – the self that will not turn away from the earth.” (This quote is from Bodhi Tree Yoga Center.)

How wise to contemplate it thus. I feel  the pull of freedom and of constraint in the physical world. The bills, the demands… and on the other hand leaping out into infinity. My Bodhi Tree lost all its leaves during my month absence to see my family oversees. As I came home he looked dead as a doorknob and covered with the pesky spider webs of the culprit insect. I found that only by daily inspection and removal of their nets could my tree survive, and here is the result. So the answer is mundane, very mundane…all is enlightenment.

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Magnolia – a measure of trust

Be with the Light

Where I am sitting outside in my friend’s house, I see Magnolia buds and half-opened flowers. This is already September but these flowers seems not to know about the harsher winter conditions further north. I love Magnolia, I planted a small Magnolia in my garden, it is still very small because of our cold winters. It didn’t give me any buds yet being only 2 feet high on its third year. I am seeing it as myself trying to finally flower, but unable because the surrounding conditions are not favorable yet. It is discouraging, but I will definitely learn something. I am sure there will come a time when the full blooming will take place in splendor and naturally springs forth with the glory of spirit vibrantly present.

May I venture to present you with this question: Do you bloom in what you do? Does it contribute to making this a beautiful world, or do you come and take, never expecting to give back?

Being a witness to what is...

Wise Magnolia gives abundant showers of sheer beauty; this is its nature. Giving more and then letting go, resulting in many seeds of more beauty. We can follow its way if we like. It is up to us.

I am thinking for myself I can learn from Magnolia, to just be me and shine my inner light. All have this light, and we do not have to steal it from others; just discover our own inside.

Yet some do not even see the flowers…

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