26 January 2013

Reading Mariechild Together: Born of Woman

"We are reminding ourselves of the source of life. Everything we know is born of woman." Joan Halifax

"For me, home is shelter, a place of refuge where I can be all that I am. One of the Zen koans, or riddles, asks, 'What was the face you wore before you were born?'" Diane Mariechild.

These two quotes are from January 25 and January 26 in Diane Mariechild's "Open Mind -- Women's Daily Inspirations for Becoming Mindful." 

Diane, I am pretty sure, must have linked these two days purposefully: the one (January 25) reminding us that all humans are born of woman; the other (January 26) asking both what we consider home to be and whether we ascribe over-importance to our possessions or achievements.

The face before I was born? Nothing to do, I am sure, with the condo in which I live, or the degree for which I now study, or the nonprofit I used to lead. Much more to do with generations of women springing from and going to the Source. The same Source that is now my home, and when I allow myself to peacefully sit with and love that awareness, it is my refuge.

Another point of connection between the two days:

"We respect this great power by...living peacefully, even in simple ways, such as choosing to let go of irritation when things aren't going our way...We must always stop to think: Is what I'm doing creating peace or creating conflict?" Mariechild, January 25

"Meditation and reflection on such a question [the koan, above] is a way of shattering our usual perceptions, our own ideas, opinions and all the ways we have become attached." Mariechild, January 26

Simply put, attachment to our things or to our ideas of who we are and who we hang around with does not make for peaceful living: no attachment cannot connect us to the Source. (Not even attachment to connecting to the Source, however noble or right it may feel, can help us live peacefully.)

Attachment can be at the root of much of our impatience, anger, fear, and lashing out.

How do you pull yourself back from an attachment or the way you are allowing it to keep you from living peacefully in this world?

I would love to hear from you. Please click on Comment, below, or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com. Thank you.


  1. I am finding that I have a surprising amount of attachment to the idea of a "perfect wedding" even though Patrick and I are not doing anything close to a traditional wedding! 12 people, very casual, lunch at a restaurant. Hopefully ringing in at less than $500. But occasionally I have these panic moments where I think-- "but the locale needs to be more scenic and beautiful, right? I need to have gorgeous, magazine quality pictures of myself in a stunning dress, because when will I ever have THAT opportunity again! And everyone else does it! Maybe we're making a big mistake! Maybe I'll regret this!" And then I calm down and remember what is really important here. Our marriage. Our life together. I think the attachment with the "perfect" wedding day comes from wanting a magical beginning to a marriage...because that will make it perfect, right? The perfect dress? The perfect flowers? The perfect relationship!

    Man, those wedding marketers really know how to work us over, don't they?

    So I just take a deep breath and remember the love I share with Patrick. The amazing intangibles...the priceless perks. I also think through the fact that I do not want to be defined by material objects, and I do not want to let others define me. I want the freedom to choose what "wedding" means to me. But it is not easy to fight against norms!!!

    So that is something regarding attachment that I am working with right now.

    Much love.

  2. Cristina -- I love your honesty and I think you have pointed out one of the many "shoulds" that we allow to box us in and make us fret. How we look, what we wear, what we buy...and all are magnified for a wedding. Part of what shapes us is the world we live in, and all that necessarily becomes part of our spiritual journey. Your wedding is part of your spiritual journey and that does not make it an obligation to be perfect, it makes it part of the flow of your life toward what you know is truly important: love.

  3. By the way, lest my comment above sound as though I have all the answers, I shall confess that I have been freaking out lately about how I look -- never satisfied, always comparing myself against others. And I don't know why. Yet. It's part of my spiritual journey, right?