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Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Picture parade one hundred and one.

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Welcome to the Summer Solstice!

(And grateful for the technology giving me a window in which to write and post this.)

Only one way to open this week’s picture parade!

Rising sun over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge on the dawn  of the Summer Solstice.

Rising sun over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge on the dawn of the Summer Solstice.

Now to the second set of pictures under the theme of

Hiding in Plain Sight

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Danny9

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Danny10

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Danny11

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Danny12

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Danny13

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Danny14

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Danny15

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Danny16
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Yet another set of these incredible pictures in a week’s time; technology notwithstanding!

Written by Paul Handover

June 21, 2015 at 00:00

Saturday serendipity

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Facing up to our challenges often inspires new beginnings.

I subscribe to Val Boyco’s blog Find Your Middle Ground (and love it!).

Last Thursday, Val published a beautiful poem that she, in turn, had seen over on Mindfulbalance, a blog that I hadn’t come across but suspect that I am going to like.

ooOOoo

Originally posted on Mindfulbalance:

Trittsteine_am_oberen_Teich_Japanischer_Garten_Kaiserslautern

It may be that

when we no longer know

what to do,

we have come

to our real work,

and when we

no longer know

which way to go,

we have begun

our real journey

Wendell Berry, The Real Work

ooOOoo

Going to close today’s post by repeating something that is in a little book that I have had for years: Extracts from Peace In Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh originally published by Bantam Books.

Aimlessness

There is a word in Buddhism that means “witlessness” or “aimlessness”. The idea is that you do not put something in front of you and run after it, because everything is already here, in yourself.

While we practice walking meditation, we do not try to arrive anywhere. We only make peaceful, happy steps.

By taking good care of the present moment, we take good care of the future.

You all have a wonderful present moment!

Written by Paul Handover

May 30, 2015 at 00:00

Easter weekend reflection

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As read over on Find Your Middle Ground.

For Christians the world over the Easter weekend is the religious moment of the year.

For all of humanity, believers and non-believers alike, the following simple but powerful words ought to be a reminder of eternal values for every day of the year.

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Today’s Quote from Theresa

Beautiful words and image from Theresa at Soul Gatherings. Let it settle in.💛

Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:

purple-trees

In the end, only three things matter:
how much you loved,
how gently you lived,
and how gracefully you let go of things
not meant for you.

~ The Buddha ~

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Thanks Val for allowing me to republish this. (Val Boyco of Find Your Middle Ground.)

Written by Paul Handover

April 4, 2015 at 00:00

Misery Is Optional

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Another guest essay from the old lamplighter.

It seems to me that it is so incredibly easy to be influenced, even engulfed, by bad news.

Back on the 20th I posted an item that had been sent to me by John Hurlburt, who is the old lamplighter, called Interstellar News.

Here’s another essay from John that is a great reminder of that old adage: We are what we think.

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Lost

Misery Is Optional

There’s always been a delicate balance in the struggle between growth and stagnation. The emerging universe invariably prevails. The good news is that absolutely insisting upon the denial of reality naturally backfires in the long run. Common sense has repeatedly saved our collective bacon from the fire as our species has faced former crises. The stakes have never been higher.

There’s a natural balance that runs through our relatively brief species history. Extreme cultural alternatives include plutocracy and anarchy. There’s no question that if we’re not an active supporter of an inclusive solution we contribute to our collective dissolution.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. There’s a current global analogy. Global media communications reflect hate, divisiveness and violence. The obvious truth is essentially ignored. A result is our present state of angst, paranoia and associated stress disorders. We compensate with bread and circuses.

Indifference doesn’t have to be a local reality. We’re all naturally connected in whatever we conceive of as God. We share a common soul. If we are wise we’ll act accordingly. We’ll accept our inherent responsibilities as stewards of Creation. The fulfilment of positive actions in according with the nature of our being is a blessing that keeps on giving.

an old lamplighter

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These are beautiful words and whatever one’s religious or spiritual convictions if we don’t recognise that we are all “naturally connected” then it won’t be long before we run out of bread and circuses – and deservedly so.

Going to close this post by using the following picture and quotation taken from the latest Terry Hershey newsletter.

Machado

Beyond living and dreaming
there is something more important: waking up.

Antonio Machado

Call of the wild.

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A Monday morning reminder of our beautiful planet.

American Wilderness: The John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Tetons. Photo: Jon Sullivan

American Wilderness: The John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Tetons. Photo: Jon Sullivan

Just a random picture found by doing a web search. (Actually found on what looks like a great blog: I am Wilderness.)

This morning’s post was prompted by listening to one of my favourite music groups: The Alan Parsons Band. Listening to this particular track: Call of the Wild. From his third solo album The Time Machine released in September, 1999.

Lyrics written by Ian Bairnson

Well I’ve talked to the wind and I’ve listened to rain,
I have climbed to the clouds and I’ve cried out with pain,
This life is for living so come to my side,
And open your heart to the call of the wild.

We are all of one nation, all of one creed,
We are all out of nature, all of one seed,
We are in this together, man, woman and child,
So open your heart to the call of the wild.

We talk the same language in different tongues,
We’re somebody’s daughters and somebody’s sons,
But those who believe we are head of the chain,
May wake up to find we are all that remain.

There is no need to fear what we don’t understand,
For we breathe the same air and we walk the same land,
The strong and the anxious, the meek and the mild,
All dance to the drum that’s the call of the wild.

Impossible to listen to this beautiful track and not reflect on how badly we are treating Mother Earth.

Written by Paul Handover

March 30, 2015 at 00:00

Interstellar News

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In celebration of the 2015 Spring Equinox.

space-graphics-planet-earth-stars-moon-3d

 

The moment of the equinox is Friday, March 20, 2015 at 22:45 UTC.

I want to share something with you that was sent in the mail to Jean and me two days ago.

Interstellar News

The essence of a shadow is the energy of the leading edge of Creation.

The dominant species on a remote, possibly unique, planet called Earth has as yet to learn that life is the essence of a shadow.

As a result, the self-centred dominant species on this possibly unique planet appear to self-destruct. The shame and the pity are that a majority of life on the beautiful and evolving planet will accompany the selfish human species into the void of biological extinction.

The good news is that although extinctions have not been previously caused by dominant life forms on planet Earth, multiple mass extinctions have taken place. Life has regenerated every time. The planet will create new life and consciousness as it heals.

The Nature of Creation always wins. Stay tuned to learn if humans wake up in time.

AOL Universal Communications

Picking up on that last sentence, humans will wake up in time if we learn to care for each other and the environment as Nature’s animals have done for ever.

Just watch this short video of a mother wolf and her four one-week-old pups as evidence of the power of caring.

Written by Paul Handover

March 20, 2015 at 00:00

More on Danna Faulds

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Captivating ideas, thoughts and words.

(NB: I am presently away with my son enjoying the Wintry delights of Bend, Or and Mount Bachelor.)

In yesterday’s post, Be good to yourself, I featured a poem from Danna Faulds.  I had not come across her before and this time around it was thanks to a recent post over on Val Boyco’s blog Find Your Middle Ground.

It didn’t take much effort to find more beautiful ideas from Ms. Faulds. Try these, for example:

Awakening Now
by Danna Faulds

Why wait for your awakening?
Do you value your reasons for staying small
more than the light shining through the open door?
Forgive yourself,
Forgive yourself.
Now is the only time you have to be whole.
Now.
Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true nature.
Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.
Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.
Please, oh please, don’t continue to believe
in your stories of deficiency and failure.
This is the day of your awakening.

Elsewhere, on a yoga website, we learn that Danna is:

Danna Faulds, poet and dedicated practitioner of Kripalu Yoga, is the author of four popular books of yoga poetry: Go In and In; One Soul; Prayers to the Infinite; and From Root to Bloom. She credits Kripalu Yoga and expressive writing with transforming her life.

Another web search very quickly finds this item over on the All Things Healing blogsite.

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Allow

by Danna Faulds

Editor’s Note from Diane Renz: I have just returned from the Center for Mindfulness Scientific conference, a powerful gathering for all teachers, researchers, clinicians, and practitioners engaged in Mindfulness in the world. The Center for Mindfulness if the base point for Jon Kabat Zinn’s MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program developed over 30 years ago which, through science, has proven to benefit psychological, physiological, emotional, cognitive, and the many neural correlates relative to well-being. The last day we had the chance to practice mindfulness with Jon Kabat Zinn, Saki Santorelli, Florence Meleo-Meyer, Bob Stahl, which is where I first heard the Poem here called “Allow”. It is through our allowing where we each find our healing and return to our wholeness. In light of spring and all rebirth and beginning again, learning how to turn toward our pain so we can open to bright new growth rising up from the dark compost of our suffering.

869721_blue_bolt(1)

There is no controlling life. 

Try corralling a lightning bolt,

containing a tornado. Dam a

stream and it will create a new

channel. Resist, and the tide

will sweep you off your feet.

Allow, and grace will carry

you to higher ground. The only

safety lies in letting it all in –

the wild and the weak; fear,

fantasies, failures and success.

When loss rips off the doors of

the heart, or sadness veils your

vision with despair, practice

becomes simply bearing the truth.

In the choice to let go of your

known way of being, the whole

world is revealed to your new eyes.

ooOOoo

Again from that All Things Healing website:

About the Author

Danna Faulds is a long-term practitioner and teacher of Kripalu Yoga. A former librarian, she incorporated writing into her spiritual practices DannaFauldsyears ago, and this book is the result. Drawing inspiration from yoga and meditation, from the natural world, and from life, her poems capture both the struggle and the delight of the attempt to live consciously, in a voice that always encourages and uplifts. Common themes include awakening to true nature, touching the divinity within, overcoming fear and self-judgement, and the ineffable joy of spiritual union.

Written by Paul Handover

February 27, 2015 at 00:00

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