Yoga Wicca Buddha

Exploring a personal, eclectic path by looking at the intersection of three great traditions.

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Archer

Archer

 
Archer has been trying to make sense of religion since her parents first abandoned her at Sunday School in the 60s. She’s a mom, yoga teacher and repository of useless bits of information on ancient religion, spiritual practices and English grammar. Check out her column “Connections” in Witches and Pagans.
 

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Lost Child

Folklore and myth are full of lost children—abandoned due to curses, hidden away by fearful parents, exiled by evil kings and cruel stepmothers. Cast on the waters, left on hilltops, hidden in caves, their fate seems murky— until they reappear to either tragedy or triumph. Oedipus learns his true identity only to discover that he has fulfilled the dark prophecy that he was trying to outrun. But Perseus and Dionysos emerge victorious, avenging their rejection. Likewise, the youngest sons or rejected daughters of folktales overcome their outcast status and achieve treasure and acclaim. 

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Coming Home

It was day three of a seven-day meditation retreat and I was busy sabotaging my practice by wallowing in guilt. At the mid-week interview with the meditation leader I complained about these negative thoughts: “I don’t know why I do this to myself.” 

 

“But are you doing it?” she said. “Are you doing it?” 

 

Well, no. My thoughts were basically thinking themselves, assailing me when whether I wanted them or not. The more closely I observed myself, the more I came to the conclusion that I had ridiculously little control over the thoughts and reactions that drove me into various states and actions. 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    A lovely essay, Archer, and well expressed as usual. I am reading Ram Dass’ Be Love Now for the second time, and appreciating it

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Step into the Fire

Step into the Fire

 

I got called out by my kid. And it was gut-wrenching. 

 

They’d embarked on an exploration of “family stories” they wanted to rewrite, the unspoken assumptions and unwritten rules of their upbringing. When they shared this their words were calm but direct. The unquestioning child was gone. A fully observant adult stood in their place.

 

Seeing myself and our family life through their eyes was….bracing. Scary. I had to face some uncomfortable truths, and found myself filled with a sense of loss and regret. I hadn’t been a perfect parent, and I wasn’t a perfect person. 

 

But this was a perfect chance to step into the fire.

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Empty

Emptiness terrifies me. And I long for it.

 

Empty hours and empty days threaten me with meaninglessness. Between jobs, or simply at loose ends, I might feel guilt, shame, or the fear of not being real. In fact even my empty minutes need to be filled with reading, TV, or some other distraction. Waiting for the bus, I have to check my phone. There’s a nameless anxiety lurking in that unoccupied space. 

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The Amber Necklace

I won a set of brown beads in a raffle. They were simple and pleasing, warm to the touch. To my surprise, they turned out to be amber, understood by the ancients as both a kind of solidified sunlight and as the tears of a goddess.

 

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  • Archer
    Archer says #
    I've always said reincarnation is the only explanation for the talents of both my kids! Thanks for the kind words Ted!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is beautiful, Archer. So well thought-out and integrated. What a wonderful avatar your child is; and yet we are told that s

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Permission to Fail

“You cannot win,” says the villain.

“No, but I can keep on losing forever,” says the hero.

 

This exchange from the movie Dr. Strange gave me a thrill of recognition, since failure--avoiding it, experiencing it, wrestling with it--has loomed large in my life. 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is great, Archer - I love it! By the way, my friend's Buddhist teacher told her that she shouldn't do her practice until she
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    It really is a privilege to sit in a space where our natural messy minds are accepted and seen for what they are, and our relation

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Winnowing the Soul

I’ve been collecting wicker. Well, garbage-picking it actually. In my neighbourhood it’s gone out of style and so it ends up on the curb. And I can’t resist it: wicker hampers, baskets, bowls…nothing I need but everything I want. There is something enchanting about the weaving and wending, the writhing willow branches held in tension to create an object of beauty and use. I have to have it.

 

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