I love the relative emptiness of the days between Christmas and New Year's.
In the space of so much not happening, so much seems to be getting ready to.
You can almost feel all the forces coalescing for a new beginning.
I can't quite believe Christmas is over! I am back in L.A. unpacking and getting ready to re-pack for a little trip to San Diego. I am feeling so anxious about the new year. Not "bad" anxious but anxious for it to start! I feel like there is an inner momentum happening that I can't really explain!
I am having to say goodbye though, not only to 2011 but to a place I love and have come to count on. When I have been blue, or happy, or just looking for a new and different way of looking at things, I have gone there.
My favorite bookstore, The Bodhi Tree is closing. It opened in 1970. (It was made a bit famous by Shirley Maclaine in Out on a Limb.) Phil and Stan, who have run it for all these years are ready to retire. They are trying to sell the business but alas ... the neighborhood has gotten so expensive, that if the sale goes through (a few haven't) they will have to open it somewhere else.
Some places just have an amazing energy, especially bookstores. This one though? It has whole sections (not just a shelf or two) on Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and the Sufis, Native American Shamanism, Astrology, creativity, Judeism, Kabbalah, Saints, healing, psychology, books on yoga and breathing, music, candles, sage, healthy eating cookbooks and more incense than you have ever seen in your life ...
A seeker went to ask a sage for guidance on the Sufi way.
The sage counseled,
If you have never trodden the path of love, go away and fall in love;
then come back and see us.
~Jami (Essential Sufism)
There has always been complimentary tea in the shop and many times I would go in, have a tea and find a quiet corner somewhere to explore some new thought or way of seeing the universe.
I wasn't the only one ...
Asking good questions is half of learning.
It will close in just a few days, on the 31st of December. I went yesterday to say goodbye and there were more people than I have ever seen in there, buying 1/2 off books, CDs, essential oils and laminated images of the Buddha and anything else that was left on the shelves. The incense, candles and sage were gone, as were all of the wonderful jewelry and prayer flags.
Most of these photos were taken a couple of months ago before the big sale started.
A tiny slice of the incense selection they had ...
Clean but the mirror and the message shines forth.
~A Course in Miracles
Soul development should take precedence over all things.
Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment,
full effort is full victory.
Does this path have a heart?
If it does, the path is good;
if it doesn't, it is of no use.
A small section of the Buddhism area ... books beginning to disappear ...
When will you begin your long journey into yourself?
Throughout the store, all around the ceiling, pictures and images of teachers, prophets, saints and gurus ...
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
~14th Dalai Lama
The cat cleaning himself last night, on a nearly empty bookcase, in women's studies and feminism ...
Empty shelves in the middle that were filled with candles and candle holders ...
I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor.
Do you know your next door neighbor?
Some shelves were almost bare, signaling that it was actually going to happen. The store will indeed close. A mother and her adult son were taking photos of each other in the store. I wasn't the only one trying to freeze time.
I hope whether the business is bought or not, someone will create another sacred space here, of exploring and learning ... a place that inspires the spirit and propels us into a place within ourselves, to be the best version of ourselves. It's wonderful to have a place to go, that helps us to open that door, that welcomes us ... and says, We are all in this together and we will help you find a way.
I am feeling so grateful that such a place, found a place here, for so many years. Sometimes, though, we have to find that place inside ourselves. (but I will still miss it!)
The appearance of things change according to the emotions,
and thus we see magic and beauty in them,
while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.
Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make,
not a place you must find.
Hope you have had a beautiful holiday with your loved ones.
May you have a safe and joyful celebration of the year to come!
Blessings and light and so much love!
p.s. ... saw this this morning on my friend Anna's FB page and had to share!