Monday, March 14, 2011

Earth Martinis - Shaken & Stirred

I am generally not much of a news follower but this last while it seems unavoidable: trouble in the middle east, earthquake in New Zealand, earthquake and tsunami in Japan, weird political rumblings in the US. It's not just the news media trying to drum up another drama to keep the evening news ratings up. It seems to me we are truly being shaken and stirred. Ice storms in the north east, torrential downpours here overnight, not that I'm a martini drinker, but I'm thinkin the cosmic bartender is up to something.

And as much as we try and create our little cocoons of safety we can see from these events that there really is no ground to rest on, nothing we can wrap ourselves in, except perhaps the Dharma. And the Dharma tells us that everything is changing, moving all the time, everything is impermanent. The truth at least makes the landscape navigable. And in our tiny lines of vision we really have no way of seeing the big picture. Our ability to swallow the martini, comes from, as Joko Beck, says, (and I think I've quoted this recently), "being a bigger container."

We need to be a container big enough to hold all the ingredients for the earth martini and in this work, we are called upon not prefer the cranberry martini one over the mud or dictator flavoured version. "I didn't order this, bartender, take it back." Of course we experience grief when faced with destruction and the death of thousands but it is within our ability to experience the grief and as Trungpa Rinpoche used to say, "have a strong back and a soft heart". We need to take action if it is necessary, say some prayers, dedicate the merit of our meditation, send some money, or more, if appropriate, whatever we can do.

And we need to carry on with the other flavours of the day, rather than becoming a newsicle frozen in front of the TV. There is the joy of the Bufflehead swimming on the pond, the good humour of the guys tiling the bathroom, the intermittent shafts of sunlight flooding the dirty windows between downpours. There is our livelihood. The world is always moving and shaking but mostly we are too preoccupied to notice. Sometimes it takes a really big shake to wake us up, to remind us that this life is something to be grateful for, rather than grumble about.

My tiny bit is over at my etsy shop, 50% of sales will go to earthquake relief in Japan and I will support others locally in their work. Rawsome Living Foods is donating all of their profits from their Saturday (March 19th) craft fair sales at Mahon Hall. Another islander is having a vegan bake sale on April 2nd. What flavour is your martini?


  1. Yes, the news out of Japan and elsewhere is devastating and heartbreaking- sometimes it does seem too much to bear-- too overwhelming. But we continue to find balance, to make sense of it all.

  2. thoughtful post. it is true that mother earth will do her rumbling and shaking not taking us humans into consideration and she has been doing so since before man appeared on the earth.

    it is hard to remember how small and temporary we are, and such events reminds us and bring out sadness and grief that there is but little we can do. we must go on with our lives, and as you say send prayers and love.

    Chogyam Trungpa also speaks of being the "broken hearted warrior." It is all part of the puzzle of being human, knowing we a temporary and ephemeral beings despite feeling so solid.

    thank you for these thoughts.

    love the photo. have been burning incense in inadequate containers and forgot that mode of saving the ashes and propping the incense in them. I will try that.

    got your card and enclosures yesterday. love it. thank you so much.

  3. layers - yes to finding balance1

    Suki- I love this, the broken hearted warrior. And if it helps, that's dry white rice that the incense is standing in. that was pretty quick mail!

  4. Beautiful ... "we need to carry on with the other flavours of the day" and not become addicted to one taste. Yes.

  5. macha chai latte... it all seems so removed from this Tea House I'm sitting in. And yet... and yet... I keep having to learn over an dover that it's not my preferences that matter. It's what in front of me... now... just now... and again now...

    Waiter, make that a double! ;-)

  6. Darla - yes "not addicted to one taste" and yet that is exactly what we do most of time isn't it?? I have to be constantly reminded.

    108 - Love to be able to join you at the tea house. ah yes, somedays it's a double with delusion on a leash!