from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Thursday, 10 January 2013


My Quaker friend and course participant, Jo, sometimes wishes me 'passionate equanimity'. I'm always struck by how resonant that is, how apposite: both for my personality (symbolised by Libra, always trying to find the middle way and hold the opposites together without breaking under the strain, but with a very good dollop of fieriness and vision, symbolised by my Leo and Sagittarius planets), and for my Zen practice of – trying to find the middle way of awake poise and peace.

Needless to say, whatever one's life task and aspiration is, the soul will find ways to test that to its limits over and over. That is, after all, how we learn.

Jo herself knows about the need for holding the opposites together: she spends much time in Palestine as a witness to and observer of the conflict there.

For me, right now, the conflict is a personal one – I wish I could say it was politicised, but it ain't (except in as much as the way we handle our personal conflicts will also affect – of course – our input into the collective. Any thought, word, action has a transpersonal effect – it's not always easy to remember that in our isolated little ego worlds, but it is an aspect of karma), and my conflict is huge, and internal.

Talk about 2013 coming in with a bang. On New Year's Day I was offered two extremely attractive, separate but deeply connected, Very Big Opportunities. Either or both will affect my future in enormous and potentially life-enriching ways that seem exactly appropriate to how I want to realise my future vision (for myself as well as for the people I work with on retreats, workshops and through mentoring, and our collective attitude to the natural world), and shape my working life – which I don't separate from the way I live – dramatically. And either, but especially both, will cost me more than I feel I have the resources to cope with, and require change, sacrifice and potential massive loss on several levels.

I am sitting on the (burning) fence right now – I didn't know I could be quite this anxious; I thought I'd grown beyond that long ago. Oh hubris!

But that's why there's been rather a lot of silence here on the blog since NY. Sorry to be so evasive. I'll speak more when things are clearer. (And when I've finished the assignments that I should have returned to their authors at the end of December.)

Meantime, suddenly we've had a week of gentle weather – that's been soothing; and primroses and daffodils are out.

I'm away into the sunshine, briefly, with She Who Wears Her Grey Matter On The Outside.


  1. Sounds intriguing, but also daunting. Wishing a peaceful time of discernment and the best possible outcome for you - and looking forward to hearing more when you are ready to tell. Thank you for being so open to revealing the place you are in - and in which you struggle - at the moment. The way you are prepared to live with unknowing and patiently waiting is always a glowing example to me. xx

  2. Patience?? Paddling like hell under the surface, Roz, with my tail on fire.

    Returning over and over to 'Beginner's Mind', knowing absolutely zilch about anything! Good - and humbling - place to be, no doubt... ;-) xx

  3. Wow. Congratulations on the VBO's (I think)! Beginner's Mind where nothing is known, everything is possible without pesky assumptions getting in the way.

  4. Thanks, David. It might be condolences that are needed - all these decades of mindfulness practice out the window! - Until today, where I'm feeling a little more equilibrious.

    I wish you a creative and still-minded wholehearted year...


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