Assorted matters

I've been feeling a bit stagnant in my magical practice lately. I've been doing my daily rituals, my emptiness working, and even have been involved in a economic activism experiment I hope to post about soon, but being at Heartland did remind me of how important it can be to get out of the usual patterns and push yourself into some new places. I have to admit my emptiness working has perhaps caused some of this feeling of stagnation. To some degree everything in my life feels empty at times and it can be hard to face that.

At Heartland, I ended up doing a fair amount of energy work with one of the people I met there and it reminded me of some of the practices I've done in the past with energy work, so today while having a conversation with Lupa, I asked her to run energy with me. We both noted that the energy between us felt strong and steady, speaking to a strong connection between us. I'd run energy with other people and found different variations, which seemed to speak to the connections I felt with each person. I may be trying more of this as a way to ground my awareness into the connection I have with a given person.

Also at Heartland, I ended up picking up some clothing, which included Hakama pants and a black vest with colorful patterns on it. When I combined the vest and pants with a mesh shirt and my black hat I found I'd created a ritual garb for myself, which very much invoked my connection with Xah. I've already got some ideas on how I can enhance that ritual costume further, which I'll be trying out soon...both for magical work and also for another type of scene. I want to play to my roots as a ceremonial magician more, albeit with my own flair and imagination. It's been a while since I've used some of the more ceremonial aspects of my magical practice, but I think it will be a fun challenge for me.

Book Review: Mapping the Dharma by Paul Gerhard

I found this book to be very readable and easy to follow. I really appreciated how it was set up to explain Buddhism in a very approachable manner, with clear and concise explanations of what Buddhism is about. While I'm already familiar with Buddhism, the author's way of explaining the core concepts and different components of it really helped me understand a lot more about Buddhism. I came away with a much more solid understanding of Buddhism, its practices and how I could incorporate it into my life.

5 out of 5 meditators

When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals by By Jeffery Masson and Susan McCarthy

This was a thought-provoking book about the emotional lives of animals and how much we take for granted by trying to assume that only humans can feel emotions. The authors provided a wide variety of anecdotes from their own experiences as well as the experiences of others. They show that animals can feel emotions and also interact in a variety of ways that go beyond traditional scientific reports on them. This book also raises some important questions about how we treat animals. My only complaint would be that at times the authors are very biased about how they feel, which consequently tones down some of what they attempt to convey to readers.

4 out of 5 animals