Monday, February 25, 2008
Mambo!! (What's Up??)
I know I have not written in a while on this blog but I have been in Tanzania for the last couple of weeks. This IS my healing journey - after a real trail of tears - here I am in my homeland-on the continent!!! I have to give big thanks to everyone that has encouraged and supported me. I love being here.
Okay, this trip started at the crossroads...when we got into Tanzania guess who was there to greet me??? None other than George W. Bush and his crew. After a day and half of travel the plane lands in Kilimanjaro and Air Force One and Two are sitting at the airport. It was like driving up to your grandma's house and seeing two Bentley parked in the driveway - like who the hell is this??? We all laughed and talked about how we came to GET AWAY FROM THE MESS and here he is...We had to wait for 3 hours at the crossroads (literally)outside of the airport for him to pass through and get on his plane - all the roads were closed. I took it as a sign that he was leaving as we were coming in.
We then stayed with Pete and Charlotte O'Neal (the Black Pathers in AFrica). Talk about some cool folks!!! They have this very slammin' artist's compound with beautiful art work and a music studio. They work with youth in the community teaching art,computers, language arts, etc... I know they have a website - which I will have to give to yall later.
Next, I went on the journey to climb Mt. Meru. In case you all did not know - Mt. Meru is a volcano with large peaks. It was once taller than Kilimanjaro before it erupted in 1906. This mountain is the "Mother" - The Ancient One. Let me tell you - it was a deep experience. I did not make it to the peak of the highest peak but I did make it up to 9,000 ft - I was suffering but at the same time it was so beautiful- like another world - above the clouds. I have beautiful pictures taken by my guide -NEWS FLASH!!! THE BROTHAS IN TANZANIA ARE BEAUTIFUL, RESPECTFUL AND PEACEFUL. JUST IN CASE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THAT!!!
After 4 days on a cold mountain I am now in Zanzibar and it is another beautiful place. We are staying at my friend's Bed and Breakfast with the beach right out front. I think if I lived here I would never leave. They could tell me the world is coming to an end and I would not move from this beautiful place. I met some young little boys who came over on the porch and painted with me. One saw my picture of a mermaid called Mami Wata and he called her Goa(sp?) and pointed to the ocean. Nice to know Mami is everywhere....
This is just a small check-in. I am not on the Internet too often....
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 7:35 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Movie. Click here for more info.
I have resisted (up until now) really commenting on the upcoming elections on this blog. I think it is because I am jaded. I admit it- I simply can't believe the current political process can really satisfy my hunger for justice and truth. I want to encourage hope however...and I support true change.
My wise friend sent me a link yesterday to a 5-part radio series on the Ravaging of Africa. Do you all know that Europe can't even feed itself without Africa? American businesses can't even run without the minerals and resources of Africa. Our continent is the richest source and most vital source of the world's resources yet everywhere you go on the planet the Afrikan is in poverty- why is this??? Do you ever ask yourself why?? It is not because we are "primitive", or that we lack food, education, health, religion - it is because of exploitation. Very deliberate exploitation. Please listen to this radio series and understand that this is not only happening in Africa but in many other countries - there is a method to the madness. It is so entrenched in everything this country does AND we are all a part of it. I think if most of us knew how deep the rabbit hole went our heads would spin right off. I think we need to get clear that this country can't sustain itself on this type of disrespect forever - the earth has a way of cleansing herself and Spirit has a way of balancing things out. It would be wise to spend the rest of your days seeking truth then joining a sinking ship because everyone is on it.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The Ravaging of Africa
Men With Guns
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fannon
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 12:16 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I have been getting together my "stuff" for my trip. For the last couple of days I have had this overwhelming anxiety about not having "enough" money to go. I even called family members for help and then yesterday I woke up at 2:30am - I could feel all this "stuff" whirling in my head and a voice said,"Go back to what you know. This is not a trip this is a pilgrimage. You have everything you need." I looked up the word pilgrimage and it is a long journey or search of great moral significance. It was true that I did not feel like I was going to take a vacation...no this journey is much more...As with any journey the beginning is flooded with reasons not to start - there are tugs that say, "you need to do this instead" or "you don't deserve to do this" but Spirit is bringing home. I could go with the clothes on my back and I would ok. It is this kind of faith I need to hold on to when I bump up against discouragement.
I wanted to share the practice of Metta (I may have mentioned it before).
In the Buddhist tradition Metta is the practice of loving kindness. It is said that there are 11 benefits to this practice:
1) You will sleep easily.
2) You will wake easily.
3) You will have pleasant dreams.
4) People will love you.
5) Spiritual beings and animals will love you.
6) Spiritual beings will protect you.
7) External dangers [poisons, weapons, and fire] will not harm you.
8) Your face will be radiant.
9) Your mind will be serene.
10) You will die unconfused.
11) You will be reborn in happy realms.
A teacher once said, "If we are committed in our lives to the force of loving kindness, then people know that they can trust us. They know we will not deceive them; we will not harm them. By being a beacon of trustworthiness in this world, we become a safe haven for others and a good friend."
It is said to not practice Metta if you are angry or upset. It is better to just reflect on the fundamental wish to be happy and for others to be happy.
Metta practice does have a structure. First you start with yourself. Direct loving kindness towards yourself. That feeling of compassion and deep love - send it towards yourself. Second, send this same feeling of deep love and gratitude towards someone you love or who has been very good towards you. Third, send loving kindness towards a friend. Now, send loving kindness to someone neutral - someone you have no real feelings for either way. It may be more difficult to find the neutral person. Lastly, send loving kindness to someone you have had conflict with- someone you have disliked for what ever reason.
May you find this useful and calming.
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 8:19 AM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
**For the last few days I have been sportin' my afro. Not as big as Erykah's.***
Okay!!! I am leaving for Tanzania in less than 7 days and I am excited. I can't think of any better way to end a divorce than flying to the continent (for the first time) and participating in a spiritual trek! I have been thinking the last few days that I am on a life changing journey and it started some time ago. My biggest lessons was thinking that someone else had the key to life - that other people knew more about life than I did. I know we are not meant to be small on the planet - we all have such important contributions to the healing of our planet. Restoration and healing is what is needed and if someone is trying to lead you on a path that requires you to do anything other than that - they are just cheating you.
Last night some friends had a small gathering and wished me well on my journey. I believe you get to take the journey when you are ready - when you have let all of what you thought was the way - fall away and let Spirit take control. I am going to the continent in a very humble way - I am not bringing a lot and I am not expecting a lot - I am just there to be at the Master's Feet. Simply breathing the air will heal me - if there is more than that I will be grateful.
Late last year I met with a Ghanaian elder who was visiting from the Bongo Northern Region of Ghana. He provided me with insights that helped me along this journey. He told me that God will bring me to Africa. He told me other things - things that helped me leave my abusive marriage and helped me see that I indeed have purpose that must be fulfilled. What I have to do will be important to many of us. This is why I keep repeating that we are all important parts of this world healing - something that each one of us has to do will complete the circle. This is why healing is important, this is why living in truth is important - even if up until now all you have done is lied and cheated - today is a new day. Work towards truth and see how your life can change. It doesn't mean you won't have to be responsible for what you have done but you can begin to make things better and radically heal yourself.
Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
If you realize that you have enough
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 12:19 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008
There is this beautiful animation film called Princess Mononoke that I highly recommend if you have not seen it. In this Japanese "folktale" it explains that humans and animals use to live in harmony until humans developed a disrespect towards nature. Once humans began to cut down trees and clear the forest animals became enraged and started to attack human beings. The story explains that the animals' rage made them become stupid therefore giving humans the "power" to rule over them. The story is very deep and worth some inquiry about our relationship with nature and ultimately ourselves.
One aspect of the film touches on rage. We all have some rage but it is how we each deal with our rage that differs. If rage is stuffed down and ignored then it could become a cancerous growth, road rage or over eating. I have a friend named Ruth that works with Sistahs on Healing Rage. Her work is fantastic because she does not demonize rage, rather she helps each person explore how they disguise rage and in that exploration there is some resolution of the experiences that produce this intense emotion. Her website is HEALING RAGE.
Yesterday, morning - very early I hear a bird tapping at my window - again Spirit knocking. Later that same morning as I drove down my familiar road, I looked down unto Camp Creek to see a small deer drinking water from the creek. I thought to myself I hope it stays down there and does not come up to this road. Many times I see "road kill" on this street as huge semi-trucks and cars whiz by at 60 to 80mph. I heard back from the universe "the road as well as the predator is part of the deer's experience just as the cool drink of water it receives from the creek. The deer does not cut off its experience because of these things it simply lives and teaches its young to live and honor its nature thus the nature of all things."
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 9:51 AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
A whisper came to my ear this morning, "it is the healers that will lead the revolution and the warriors will have to learn to heal themselves - this will be the great battle." I got that the last couple of years to the last six months for me has not only called on my warrior energy but it has called on my most ancient healer energy. This time that I have been working in has called in friends that share this aspect - I call them "the healers" because they are forging the new ground of self realization and taking it on as a means of fighting the fiercest war - the war for consciousness.
This is no brick and mortar group with a club house or a logo - they are simply people that I witness in a process - they are wakening up to what matters even if it means reconstructing their idea of who they are or who they need to be.
Some years ago I was blessed see the vision of our new world - it was fantastic! It was quite different from what I thought it would be...what I saw was a great world healing would take place and that it would begin with each one of us realizing truly who we were. Once this happened we would collectively go back to our Mother's womb and heal her. All I can say is that "we" are going to go through a deep transformation - a change that many of us will have difficulty conceptualizing.
It is interesting -my wise friend brought up the word "jihad" (sounds like gee-hawd) - it is often referred to by western media as a group of people(often depicted as Muslim) waging "holy war" but he explained that traditionally the word means to take retreat from worldly pursuits in order to become one with one's self and God. It is the journey to internal reconciliation and peace.
Small groups of people and individuals around the world are tackling the notion of what it will really take to liberate one's self and one's people. I am posting just a few links to who I have found so far...
TWO BLOGS FROM SOME DEAR FRIENDS
Work Life Living
I found an interesting series of videos on the African and Indian Columbians and their movement to protect their communities and the earth. Click here.
Ok, I am behind on sharing what I have been doing...I think I am lazy about downloading the photos or something... This week I worked on my cover and the first inside pages of the art journal.
My intro page is starting with a stencil of a bird flying into a spiral. I used watercolor to create a background. Then I stenciled with acrylic paint and used stamps to create a message. I am not done but this is what I have so far...
I thought of adding a clay mask to the front cover - so I took some fimo clay and a mold and made a mask. I then added some "hair" and baked her for about 30 minutes in the oven to dry. When she was cooled I added some yarn to give her more texture. I am thinking this will be a Sistah Goddess Journal of some of my favorite Sistah Goddesses and how they have guided my journey. I am free flowing it all. See my pics. Send me some if you want to share what you have done.
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 10:24 AM
Saturday, February 2, 2008
I woke up this morning in a place of re-evaluation. For the last six months my life has been turn literally upside down. I have had to look deep inside myself and look at what is it exactly that I believe and if that belief has brought me closer to freedom or further away. Sometimes it is hard to tell...I have met many people with various philosophies about life - various practices, methods and processes that they swear will bring liberation. In my short 38 years on the planet I have realized a very important factor in liberation/freedom which is in the deep knowingness of one's self worth. We either engage with people, places and processes that deepen our sense of self worth or we don't.
Yesterday, as I went to pick up my personal belongings from my former home. The sheriff informed me that I would only have access to one room where my former husband had place my items. There was nothing on my legal papers that said I could not have access to the home but the sheriff deferred to my former husband who had decided what he would give me. I walked into a tiny room right off the side door of my house to find what appeared to be my belongings dumped on the floor intermingled with trash - similar to how it looks when people are evicted. There were socks, underwear, books, trash, books, pillows, etc... in a pile. I simply walked in and begin to pack it in a couple of boxes I brought with me. My friends came into the room and silently helped me move the items into the car. My former husband and the sheriff chatted it up - he told him he was a doctor that served veterans and the sheriff shared he was a war veteran - I think they even exchanged cards.
I realized throughout this experience I have had to repeatedly defend my humanity and the message I got from Spirit was to stay true to who I am even in the face of being treated like the dirt underneath someone's shoe - to know what is true integrity and stay in humble humanity - because this is true power.
After some deliberation I took my son with me yesterday to pick up our items because I knew he needed to witness this event. I knew that in the world of male patriarchy that my account of the situation would be dismissed. I wanted him to witness the role of every man in this situation - I wanted to show him the choices that each man in this situation made. I wanted him to witness the righteous men who showed up to help us pack and move our belongings. I wanted to make sure he knew who towed the good ole' boy line (in black face) and who really was about walkin' their talk. With the youth actions always speak louder than words.
So, I share this knowing that I am rearranging my own thoughts and beliefs. I am looking at what it truly means to be in a community and what it is that I can offer a community and what it can offer me. For the last couple of months I have met with a beautiful group of people who in my deepest respect I call 'the healers'. They are both men and women who have come together and opened their hearts to healing themselves, their families and their community. I can't thank them enough for being there for me and my son during this time - for sitting with me during my rage, my sorrow, my epiphanies and my new found joy. I know our work is good work and it will help us all.
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 6:30 AM