Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sorry I Am Slow To Post But I'm In The Middle Of Moving. Aiyiyiyiyiyiyi....

Dear Ones,

These last couple of months have been difficult, sad, confusing and kind of crazy. Now I am in the middle of moving. The painters are in, I have been buying vintage furniture for the house, and lots of whimsical and odd things. 2 mermaids (I collect them, and have considered naming my new cottage "Mermaid Cottage.") but I think I have to live my way into it and decide as time goes by.

Once moved and settled I shall be back full force and promise to be updating my blogs more often. I hope you are all well and happy and finding joy in this new year. My life is changing radically right now and all for the good, scary, but a long time coming. It's quite something to buy your first house at 55 and feel gleeful like a 13 year old picking out wonderful old things to suit my vintage and whimsical tastes, to have a big magical ship in the back yard (I shall take pictures and share them after I get moved and settled.). I'm not certain rather my many belongings are going to be as hard to move as 12 -- gulp -- animals, so I ask for your prayers and positive thoughts and good wishes. This is going to be a doozie of a move, but it will be my forever home. I never plan to move again. I think when I go some day I'll have my kids have me roasted and toasted and spread my ashes in the magic boat and around in the garden. Sounds like a dandy place to be planted and fertilize the growing things. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and compost for the roses.

So here I go, and the sun is breaking through the clouds. I am crossing the threshold into a whole new life, I've had my studio is painted a color called "Persimmon" and the ceiling a sky blue and soon I'll be back at my writing and fiber and other art and my etsy shop shall get going again. I am beginning to live again...

Blessings to one and all... I'll be back here soon...

Friday, January 1, 2010

"The Pug Preacher" ~ On The Anniversary Of My Ordination...

"Little Things Are Indeed Little, but to be
faithful in little things is a great thing."

~ Mother Teresa ~

Reverend Mother Maitri & Sampson,
one of Mother Maitri's 4 Rescue Pugs...

Dear Ones,

It never occurred to me when I heard the calling to dedicate my life to a spiritual path, and finally, after years of study and practice, was ordained in the Christian Church an an interfaith minister one year ago this month, what form my ministry might take. Most ministers, priests, nuns, monks, and others know what they are about to undertake as far as the outer accoutrements, rules, and laws of their own religion. When I was ordained I knew that I was not going to walk the path of these holy men and women, but a more down to earth, person to person ministry, as I walked through life. I didn't know that like St. Francis much of my work would be with animals, sheltering and protecting them, taking in the ones that few others really want, the old ones, the infirm, the disabled. This is my calling.

Imagine, one day, hearing an acquaintance call me The Pug Preacher. I laughed out loud because it is true. Pugs and parrots and Big Dog Moe; the wildlings -- birds at the feeders, squirrels, snakes, lizards, insects, shy feral cats, and much more -- who would surround me in my garden and my life would be among my greatest teachers. The world that God created is my "chapel." The people and animals I encounter in person or online or in the woods are my "congregation," though most don't even know that they are, and I don't need them to. I took my vows knowing that my job was to welcome all people of all religions, spiritual paths, all the colors of the rainbow, and every gender-identified human being God would put in my path. It is a rainbow path, an illuminated one, a path that has caused the well of love inside of me to grow deeper and deeper, and to spread wider and wider with each passing day.

"Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto to me..."

A child is my teacher. My mother, now passed on and at peace, is still a great teacher. I am open to all the teachings and wisdom truths no matter what form they take or from whence they come. I have struggled with my "title" for a year. I am Reverend Mother Maitri Libellule. A great many call me Mother Maitri, and just Maitri is fine by me, but taking my full title is part of the accepting of the mantle of my faith, my vows, my path. Because I am a mother and a grandmother, because I nurture small living things, Mother Maitri feels very comfortable to me, (...and I'll answer to anything!).

My mostly cloistered life, living almost entirely in silence and solitude, coupled with the vows I took, the promise to create a ministry, no matter how unusual, as led by God, and the still small voice within, has been quite a journey and will be for the rest of my life. Since my dear mother has passed I have now begun to put into place the life that I was meant to lead.

I am in the midst of buying a house. An older home in a comfortable old neighborhood with a large fenced yard for the dogs, and enough rooms inside to meet the requirements of my patchwork quilt sort of life. For the minister in me there will be a small room that serves as chapel, with a small altar where many sacred objects will sit, where I will meditate and pray, and come to seek counsel from my spiritual guides.

There will be a room that will be a writing room/library where I will write my books, work on my blogs, and create booklets for the ministry, as well as study and make notes on the deeper truths and spiritual messages that arise in my life, a journey that I will record to share with those in my ministry, which is open to people of all faiths as an addendum to their own paths, to perhaps enrich them, and find new ways of looking at the world. As His Holiness, The Dalai Lama said, "My religion is simple. My religion is kindness." The Maitri Ministry, based on the teaching of maitri, of loving-kindness and compassion, is at the root of all the work that I will do. I took the name to honor my spiritual path and work, and to be a guiding star all the days of my life. When I took the name, legally, nearly 5 years ago, the person that I had been all my life slipped quietly into the background, still a part of me, but not part of the life I plan to live my way into. When I was ordained one year ago, the path deepened. Now I am moving into the actual life long in the planning. My work has begun.

Yesterday I bought a new (to me) car that is a couple of years old -- My 17 year old van has seen her finer days -- and I will be donating it to a person in need with no car. I will be moving mid-January or so, and I am allowing the first 3 months for settling in and getting the ball rolling on many fronts.

And gratefully there is a big room for my fiber studio where I will make the goods to help the ministry keep going and to help support the pugs, both the ones I take in and the ones at the rescue. It will be a full life, and I know that God will bless me with the funds I need to keep the ministry going.

And so with Sampson asleep (and snoring rather loudly as he is wont to do) and lying against me, and all the other friendly beasts, feathered and furred around me, I will close here and open my books to study and plan the life I am moving into. Perhaps at some juncture my ministry will grow and become non-profit. For now, it is most important to me that it grow in love.

Warm Regards and Many Blessings to each and every one of you, and a very Happy New Year from all of us at The Maitri Ministry...