justkimu: (reading is sexy)
Hello there!

Since I'm in a bit of a spiritual slump, I asked the Book Gods for some suggestions...all I got in return was this...

"Don't read The Shack, and let your peers and friends guide you"

Give me one book title you think I should read during this summer (and into fall). If there were one book that you feel pulled to have me read...speak it to me in the comments.


I will post my reading list after it is compiled.

Thanks for your help, friends!

justkimu: (clean and fresh)
The Mister and I are sitting in the garage having a “the babies are in bed” drink. We have Jethro Tull’s Thick As A Brick playing in the background. There are dishes left in the sink, and a large bit of laundry left to fold. I’m sure there are a few other things that need to be done, but it is just too hot to do anything but drink a cold beer and listen to music.

Other than what I’m writing now, all I can think about is what is left to be done in the house. You see…I did not “wash my bowls” before coming out here.

In Buddhism there is a phrase, “wash your bowls.” What this means for me is multi-fold (the laundry). It helps me keep clean (the dishes) my tools for everyday living. When I get in a place where I’m stuck (the things on the floor that need sweeping), I reach for this simple tool. Wash your bowls.

At the very basic level, this means accepting personal responsibility. When you peel back the layers of bowl washing, you can see deeper meanings. If you are accepting personal responsibility you have right thought, speech, vocation and so on. If you are focused on the task at hand, you are not letting your mind wander into the realms of not-so-right thought (which is the key to having the other “rights” in Buddhism).

But this post is not about Buddhism per se…but more about how the simple act of physically washing your bowls makes a path for accepting responsibility.

In the news lately I see a whole lot of finger pointing. There is quite a bit of “it isn’t ME, but all of Them that is making the world as it is today.” Instead of looking at our own stack of metaphorical dishes, we like to point out the larger, and more messy, stack of everyone else’s dishes.

I get pretty guilty of this myself. When I think I’m in need of validation, I’ll search around for someone who is clearly doing things all wrong…and if they would just listen to me…the world would run in the fashion of unicorns, rainbows and fluffy bunnies. And, if I may go on (online, to the local Editor, or to anyone who is willing to listen), what I am saying is according to every expert that I can find to further support my cause.

There is no easier way to not look into ourselves, than by looking into the “self” of another.

So…what if we all just stopped to wash our bowls? What if we spent hours and hours on inner peace, instead of worrying so much about how we would influence our will onto the world around us? Instead of fostering a new-age Pax Romana with our desire to fix the world’s ills, we (you, me and everyone we see…) can take a peaceful look into our own inner Roman.

But here comes the sticky wicket…just by writing this very post, I’m offering a suggestion for a way of life that I think is good for everyone.


When I get to places like this, I like to reference Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginners Mind. What I’m really looking for is a way to “control” my environment…make it better for me and those I love (and maybe those I would like to love). Suzuki says:
Ancient painter used to practice putting dots on a paper in artistic disorder. This is rather difficult. Even though you try to do it, usually what you do is arranged in some order. You think you can control it, but you cannot; it is almost impossible to arrange your dots out of order. It is the same with taking care of your everyday life. Even though you try to put people under some control it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them.

The same way works for you yourself as well. “If you want to obtain perfect calmness in your zazen, you should not be bothered by the various images you find in your mind. Let them come, and let them go. Then they will be under control. But this policy is not so easy. It sounds easy, but it requires some special effort. How to make this kind of effort is the secret of practice.

This means that it is okay to let people not wash their bowls. Let them find their own way. If you try to hard to control what others do, then you are not trying hard enough to look at what you do.

Isn’t this something we are all seeking? A way to keep order in the Universe without making everything bend to our will? Don’t we scream from the mountaintops, “Let my people go”? Don’t we wish mischief upon everyone we love, so that in this searching they will find their own way?

These are things I think about on a hot, sultry evening…while drinking cold beer in a warm garage. As I look over at The Mister, seeing his joy in hearing music from his past (even though I want to listen to my own music), I allow him the free will to engage in a little mischief - an evening free of washing his bowls.

And in that freedom is where we all find Nirvana. We allow all that we see a chance to find its own way, a chance to make its own mistakes.

Because, in the end, we only really need to be concerned about our own damn bowls anyway.

Love ya,

justkimu: (expect great things)
This morning I did not run to the laptop as my coffee was brewing.

Instead I fed the little ones, wrote in my journal and enjoyed the quiet morning.

One must let go, Kim, in order to be free.

You know,
The Universe For those who wish to climb the mountain of spiritual awareness, the path is selfless work. For those who have attained the summit of union with the Lord, the path is stillness and peace.
– Bhagavad Gita

In order to climb the Himalayas within us, we have to train ourselves, little by little, day by day. Sir Edmund Hillary, who climbed Mount Everest for the first time, did not just stand at the bottom, take one leap, and land on top. He practiced climbing for a long time to learn all the required skills; and for you and me to climb the spiritual mountain, we, too, have to strengthen our muscles over a long period of time.

Isn't it awesome that we are often given answers when we stop looking for them? While I'm still recovering from my weekend, I can see that there *is* something out there looking out for us. In fact, All That Is always has our best interest at heart...even if our situations seem dire.

The blessing in my loss of faith, is that I am rebuilding a very strong foundation that brings me peace. I have created a Temple within myself that holds my heart and soul safe. When the next big thing comes up, and it will, there will be a safe spot to weather the storm.

I have been humbled . . .

Love ya!
justkimu: (Yeee Gods!)
As I as making breakfast, a wave hit me. Not literally, y'all, but metaphorically. ;)

I've been studying religion and spirituality for 20 years. New faiths and new ways of thinking come up all the time, and it is not unusual to read about a new branch of a main faith growing followers.

Back to this wave . . .

There has to be something that ties everyone together. Above science, above theology, above all understanding. Science is just tipping the scales into the realm of the Unknown, and actually defining what Great Mystics have known for ages. A few nights ago I had my mind blown learning about atoms and neutrons, and how they can be in two places at one time. Sure makes those "kooks" who know about astral travel look much more credible now, doesn't it? ;)

Anyway...I've been on this search...for something that can bring all people together, no matter what background/lifestyle/faith system they have. It is more than just love... And while Love is the main tenet of my own personal faith system, there is something more. Something so obvious that we are totally missing it. This "bigger than us" energy/thinking will bring everything together.

I think I can do it. I think anyone could do it.

This is what happens to me after eating fried potatoes with Ethiopian berebere seasonging. ;)

Give thanks, give praise!
Love ya,
justkimu: (balance)
When your kids wake up a 0-dark:thirty, you get time to reflect on your life in the early morning quiet. This morning, however, I woke from a very long dream to hear lots of thunder. The lightning sort of punctuated all the situations I experienced in the dream.

Sort of like this...

*groggy half sleep waking* BOOM of thunder, *last few images of my dream* FLASH of lightning, *trying to sneak in 30 more seconds of sleep* JUMPING of little kids on my head and body.

After good morning hugs, diaper changes, sippy cups filled, first breakfast made, laundry started, dog fed, more diaper changing, potty-time, coffee, dishes rinsed, lights on in dark rooms, early morning questions asked, more coffee, enduring the first "that's mine" issue of the day...and more coffee...I'm ready to write. At that time, and only after all that morning activity, can my mind be truly free of chatter. Anything that happened in dreamtime has been put away in my mental filing cabinet, and I don't have to obsess over what every little detail means because my first thoughts are to take care of my young ones.

That, my friends, is true bliss. Crazy as it sounds...when you don't have time to fret over things, you are much happier. Okay, saying that most likely *does* make me a crazy person, but I'm okay with that. ;)


As I sit here smelling the fresh rain, I think about how my brain works so fast that I see things too clearly sometimes. What does that mean you ask? Well...ever since I was a little kid I could look at something and see to the core. Didn't matter what it was, or who it was, I could evaluate it with lightning speed. Add a nice does of intuition to this mix, and you have a woman with two brains.

There is the "normal" part of me that does what "normal" people do - go to the grocery store, visit with friends, fold laundry. Then there is my "Abby Normal" side. This is my "preferred" side, as I'm much happier being fully in my Just Kim U skin. I've tried the "fitting in" thing, and it just didn't work. In fact...it went down in a flaming pile of dog doo. A large flaming pile of dog doo in fact.

Oddly enough, my weird side is also the most rational and relaxed. It is the "herd culture" side of me that always opens my big mouth. It takes what my intuitive side sees and translates it into fears, rants or lack of clarity. Over the past year I've worked really hard to bring these two sides together, and have had very good results.

I can be that "weird lady down the street" *AND* fit in with the soccer moms. Well...okay...maybe not the soccer moms (are there any soccer moms left???), but I can walk among everyday people and not have a panic attack. I've learned that there is a time and place for my gifts, and that when I sense something my first job is to understand it. Once I understand what is going on, then I can share it, or pray for it.

This is a benefit of growing up and getting older. Every part of yourself comes together in one nice package. Sure...you might still have a bad day, or an insecure moment, but whether you like it or not, life will push you to a happy end result. :)

Love you!

November 2012



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