Spiritual Gifts and the 6 of Earth

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This woman holds a bowl of earths, a present. But is she giving or the recipient of the gift? Either way she’s smiling. Her bowl is full, but just. Any more would be too much and her treasure would tumble over.

I believe that this is how our spiritual gifts come to us, in just the right measure. I’ve noticed how, as I develop my understanding of Buddhism and Tarot, life gives just the right help at the right time. It arrives in the form of an experience or a person or even something as random as my taking notice of  some graffiti that contains a message. The gift is just what I need to further my understanding. It’s not more than I am capable of absorbing, not less, just the right amount of knowledge. Thanks life!

Any experiences of spiritual gifts that you’d like to share?

Trapped by my own Mind–The 8 of Think

IMG_2261The 8 of Think in my deck ( traditional 8 of Swords) is about being caught up in our own minds, whether it be through anxiety, depression, fear or frustration. The first step to working with this mental state is acceptance.

I’ve had cyclical depression since my teenage years, and through the power of acceptance, I’ve learned to say to myself : “I’m depressed”. That simple statement is so liberating! It acknowleges how I feel and ends the struggle. The struggle to find the cause, to blame myself or someone or something else. So now, I am just experiencing the depression, which I know will pass, without the added shame, guilt and anger.

And the really cool part is that by accepting how I feel–I am accepting myself on a deep level. That is healing!

Dukkha, Tarot, and Me

I lead a Tarot meetup group in San Francisco. We explore tarot topics and do readings for ourselves and each other. It’s usually really fun! But then someone came into the group, and the energy changed for me. I felt like I was being judged and criticized. And each time she came, the feeling intensified. On our last meeting together, she sat directly across from me. Her frowns and negative words were coming right at me and it was intense.

Shortly after that I attended a Buddhist talk about Dukkha (basically Buddhist for pain and suffering) and difficult people. The speaker talked about how when we encounter difficult people, our first reaction is to push them away. I could relate to that! Then she reminded us that dukkha was our teacher. And difficult people are our teachers. My heart softened toward my difficult person. And I left the the talk feeling more open and inquisitive about the whole thing.

Through a chance encounter, I ended up getting a tarot card reading from a really skilled reader. My experience with the “difficult person” came up. The reader and I discussed why I had brought her into my life and what she had to teach me. It was then that I realized–she was my inner critic personified! Wow!

That revelation has changed me deeply. Now when a self critical thought comes into my mind, I see the woman from my group. I look into her face and feel compassion for her and myself. I know that my self criticism is as off-base as her criticism was toward me. And the result is: I’m nipping my negative self talk in the bud!

She doesn’t come to the group anymore. I eventually asked her to leave. But I honor her as my teacher.