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Showing posts from 2013

looking forward

And now  we welcome  the new year,  full of things  that have never been
Rainer Maria Rilke

~ Happy New Year 2014. May you discover the wisdom and magic that will guide through time and space! ~

merry christmas!

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. - Agnes M. Pahro


~ Merry Christmas ~

the gift of giving

At no other time of the year than in December many people are rediscovering their gift of giving. For a spiritual person living in a materialistic world "giving" can become a bit troubling. Giving can create attachment and we are supposed to learn how to let go and help others to do the same.

Giving involves so much more than the act of choosing and wrapping up the gift. Those who have the gift of giving take great care to offer gifts that will help others to grow spiritually. Gifted givers take time to understand the emotional or spiritual needs of those whom they wish to present with a gift. 
Gifted givers know that they can offer more than just a nicely wrapped packages. They offer their time, offer guidance or their abilities and wisdom. They offer gifts that have more meaning than the material value that can be measured in any currency.

But every year an interesting phenomenon is occurring everywhere during the Holiday Season. People recycle gifts they received from s…

the moon cannot be stolen

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived a very simple life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.
Ryokan returned home and caught the thief red-handed. “You may have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.” 
The thief was bewildered, but said nothing. He simply took the clothes and slunk away as quickly as he could.

Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow, ” he mused, “I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon...”

Wishing everyone a happy full moon gazing ~ Dominique

the fourth way

Of the desires expressed the one which is most right is the desire to be "master of oneself" because without this nothing else is possible. - G.I. Gurdjieff 

The Fourth Way is a system of self-development with roots in Sufi tradition, and probably even more ancient ones. It is said to be a way for people who have commitments in life, as distinct from a way for yogis, monks, or fakirs who have renounced the world in their efforts to evolve.
Man is described as a self-creating being, in a self-perpetuating universe, and the teaching stresses that Man's possibilities are largely unrealized. His mind is like a house wired for electricity, but not yet connected to the mains. Great efforts are needed to awaken the higher centers of the mind, and exercises and disciplines are required to bring up the level of consciousness to the point where the "house will become illuminated." Two lines of work are required of the aspirant, the one leading to increased know…

abundance

To live a pure  unselfish life one must count nothing  as one's own  in the midst of abundance.
The Buddha

thank you

After a long and arduous journey a young Japanese man arrived deep in a forest where the teacher of his choice was living in a small house he had made.  

When the student arrived, the teacher was sweeping up fallen leaves. Greeting his master, the young man received no greeting in return. And to all his questions, there were no replies.  
Realizing there was nothing he could do to get the teacher’s attention, the student went away to settle down in another part of the same forest and to build himself a house.  
Years later, when he was sweeping up fallen leaves, he became enlightened. He dropped everything  and ran through the forest to his teacher to say “Thank you.”
~ - ~
Story told by  John Cage in his book Silence. This story is also quoted in Kay Larson’s recent biography: Where the Heart Beats
Many thanks for this post to parabola-magazine
Image source here

waking up the cosmic serpent

DNA Activation by Timber Wolf

Some people believe that although we have twelve strands of DNA we only use two strands to build our bodies. Apparently the ten unused strands are called shadow or junk DNA by scientists.
 Cosmic Serpent by Jully Flynt
Similar to our brain, our DNA has inactive segments to it. With our brain, according to popular belief, we only use approximately 10%. With only 2 active strands in our DNA out of 12, we are only using 16.67% of the available capability stored within our DNA.

What would life be life be like if we could tap into the potential of the 12 strands of our DNA? It has been reported that when your DNA is fully engaged and active you are able to experience many things. Among these are:
a reinvigorated and youthful feeling greater enthusiasm in undertaking daily chores create new patterns of behaviour overwriting the old patterns develop your intuition strengthen, refine and deepen your meditations increase your fundamental and extra-sensory …

when the veil between the worlds thins

by Robert Moss
The hair salon on the corner advertises, “Halloween Makeup Done Here.” There are spooks and scarecrows at the doors of the houses on my block. As we approach Halloween, I am thinking of the many meanings of the festival, from trick-or-treat to the turning of the year.

This is the most magical, crazy, shivery night of the year. It is the topsy-turvy, inside-out, upside-down time, when the past lies ahead of you and the future walks behind you, breathing on your neck. It is a night when the doors between the worlds swing open, when the dead walk among the living and the living move among the dead.
The last night of October is the start of Samhain (which is pronounced “sow-in”), the great Celtic festival when the dead walk among the living, the fires are extinguished and rekindled, the god and the goddess come together in sacred union, and as the year turns from light to dark, the seeded earth prepares to give birth again. It’s a time, when the Celts knew what…

abyaha mudra

Abhaya in Sanskrit means fearlessness. Abhaya mudra or a mudra of no-fear represents protection, peace, benevolence, and the dispelling of fear. 

In the Theravāda Buddhism, it is usually made with the right hand raised to shoulder height, the arm bent and the palm facing outward with the fingers upright and joined and the left hand hanging down while standing. In Thailand and Laos, this mudrā is associated with the walking Buddha, often shown having both hands making a double Abhaya mudrā that is uniform. 
This mudra, which initially appears to be a natural gesture, was probably used from prehistoric times as a sign of good intentions - the hand raised and unarmed proposes friendship, or at least peace; since antiquity, it was a plain way of showing that you meant no harm since you did not carry any weapon.
In Gandhāra art, it is seen when showing the action of preaching. It was also used in China during the Wei and Sui eras of the 4th and 7th centuries. The gesture was u…

the call of the earth

by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

At this moment in time we are more and more consciously confronted by the reality of climate change, global pollution, acidification of the oceans, massive destruction of forests and wetlands and other natural habitat. All of it is contributing to the first man-made mass extinction of species that the planet has suffered, caused by industrialization and our addiction to a materialistic lifestyle. And we are all responsible - just by traveling in a car or a plane, we are actively participating in an ecologically destructive culture.

We all need to take responsibility for this pressing predicament. And although many individuals and groups have responded, little has really changed in substance on a collective, governmental level since the 2009 Copenhagen summit showed us putting short-term economic growth before the real and lasting concerns of carbon emissions and climate change.
Moreover, our materialistic culture has co-opted the concept of susta…

soul searching

The complex relationship between science and the spirit – and how to represent it by Mark Pilkington
‘Soul is the ring around your bathtub’ sings George Clinton on Funkadelic’s eponymous 1970 debut album. Funkadelic’s concept of soul is perhaps more intuitive than, say, Aristotle’s, but the image of the ring around your bathtub – a dirty halo as an emission of the physical self – perfectly reflects the idea that an individual consists of a physical body, and something else that is intangible but integral: the soul, self or spirit, a life force that both animates the body and makes us who we are.  

Separating the self from our fleshy containers has always been a complex operation and, 5,000 years after the Egyptians began to think about it, we still don’t know where we are. While we tend to consider the brain to be the seat of the self, other cultures have pointed to the heart or the liver. It may turn out that all these guesses are correct and the components of the self a…

in the heaven of indra

In the Heaven of Indra, there is said to be a network of pearls, so arranged that if you look at one you see all the others reflected in it. In the same way each object in the world is not merely itself but involves every other object and in fact is everything else. In every particle of dust, there are present Buddhas without number. - Sir Charles Eliot

image source here

smell the roses

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. - Dale Carnegie, American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.

sand mandala

Tibetan monastic traditions include the making and the ritual destruction of sand mandalas as an integral part of their spiritual practice. 
Elaborate mandalas are made of multicolored sand and destroyed upon completion. The completion takes time, concentration and diligence and, as such, symbolized the continuous struggle on the wheel of samsara. 

Once completed, mandalas are destroyed in highly orchestrated ceremonies. The destruction epitomizes Buddhist teachings of the transitory nature of all phenomena and illustrates not only the transience of all material things, but also the importance of detachment on the way to Enlightenment. 
Buddhism teaches that human suffering stems from our inability to detach ourselves from all things - good or bad and clinging to this narrative as if it were something that defined our existence. But detachment requires discipline and constant self-reflection and life gives us enough opportunities to test our spiritual progress.
In a monastic setting …

a courage to dream

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember,  you have within you the strength,  the patience, and the passion  to reach for the stars  to change the world. 
Harriet Tubman 

Wishing everyone a magnificent time in August and a lot of courage and strength to dream - Dominique
Image source here

ahimsa

by Mahatma Gandhi

Ahimsa is a comprehensive principle. We are helpless mortals caught in the conflagration of himsa. The saying that life lives on life has a deep meaning in it. Man cannot for a moment live without consciously or unconsciously committing outward himsa. The very fact of his living - eating, drinking and moving about - necessarily involves some himsa, destruction of life, be it ever so minute. A votary of ahimsa therefore remains true to his faith if the spring of all his actions is compassion, if he shuns to the best of his ability the destruction of the tiniest creature, tries to save it, and thus incessantly strives to be free from the deadly coil of himsa. He will be constantly growing in self-restraint and compassion, but he can never become entirely free from outward himsa.

Then again, because underlying ahimsa is the unity of all life, the error of one cannot but affect all, and hence man cannot be wholly free from himsa. So long as he continues to b…

how much longer?

A long time ago, in T'ang China, there was an old monk who embarked on a pilgrimage to Mount Wu-t'ai, the abode of Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. 

Aged and weak, he was treading the long dusty road alone, seeking alms along the way. After many long months, one morning he gazed upward and saw the majestic mountain in the distance. By the roadside, there was an old woman working the field.
"Please tell me," he asked, "how much longer I must proceed before reaching Mount Wu-t'ai?"
The woman just looked at him, uttered a guttural sound and returned to her hoeing. 
He repeated the question a second and third time, but still there was no answer. 
Thinking that the woman must be deaf, he decided to push on. After he had taken a few dozen steps, he heard the woman call out to him, 
"Two more days, it will take you two more days." 
Somewhat annoyed, the monk responded, "I thought you were deaf. Why didn't you answer my question earlier?…

the only question

There is only one question to ask yourself:  What would you do  if you were not afraid? 
Author unknown but greatly appreciated


from the heart of the buddha's teaching

For a table to exist, we need wood, a carpenter, time, skillfulness, and many other causes. And each of these causes needs other causes to be. The wood needs the forest, the sunshine, the rain, and so on. The carpenter needs his parents, breakfast, fresh air, and so on. And each of those things, in turn, has to be brought about by other causes and conditions. If we continue to look in this way, we’ll see that nothing has been left out. Everything in the cosmos has come together to bring us this table. Looking deeply at the sunshine, the leaves of the tree, and the clouds, we can see the table. The one can be seen in the all, and the all can be seen in the one. - Thich Nhat Hanh in The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
 The venerable Thich Nhat Hanh

are minds confined to brains?

by Ruppert Sheldrake
Materialism is the doctrine that only matter is real. Hence minds are in brains, and mental activity is nothing but brain activity. This assumption conflicts with our own experience. When we look at a blackbird, we see a blackbird; we do not experience complex electrical changes in our brains. But most of us accepted the mind-within-the-brain theory before we ever had a chance to question it. We took it for granted as children because it seemed to be supported by all the authority of science and the educational system.

In his study of children's intellectual development, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget found that before about the age of ten or eleven, European children were like "primitive" people. They did not know that the mind was confined to the head; they thought it extended into the world around them. But by about the age of eleven, most had assimilated what Piaget called the "correct" view: "Images and thoughts …

a fortune teller told me

About ten years ago a friend told me that he had just finished reading one of the most remarkable stories he ever read. Intrigued by his account I ran to a bookstore and bought the book. Believe me, I could not stop reading until I found out what happened in the end. 
Now, years later, A Fortune Teller Told Me still remains one of my favorite books. It is a perfect book for the summer, a perfect book for anyone who wishes to reflect upon his good or bad fortune.


Warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for an entire year, the author Tiziano Terzani - a very experienced Asia correspondent for the German magazine Der Spiegel - took what he called “the first step into an unknown world." He followed the advice and experienced the most extraordinary time of his life. He was marked for death, but instead experienced an incredible personal transformation which he is not shy to call rebirth.

Traveling by foot, boat, bus, car, and train, he visited Myanmar, Thailand,…

generosity

The Buddha said that no true spiritual life is possible without a generous heart... Generosity allies itself with an inner feeling of abundance - the feeling that we have enough to share. - Sharon Salzberg in Lovingkindness

Image by Lisa Kristine
Image source here

anoesis

Anoesis - consciousness that is pure passive receptiveness without understanding or intellectual organization of the materials presented. 


Image by Sarah Ann Wright  Image source here

a magical kitchen

People are starving for love, not knowing their heart is a magical kitchen. Open your heart. Open your magical kitchen and refuse to walk around the world begging for love. In your heart is all the love you need. Your heart can create any amount of love, not just for yourself, but for the whole world. - Don Miguel Ruiz, Mexican Author of The Four Agreements

Image source here

look for the helpers

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. - Fred Rogers

the inspired heart

If you feel that you are at the cross-roads of your life and you need some guidance or inspiration, Jerry Wennstrom's journey may be exactly what you are looking for. Many people expressed admiration for this unique literary work. Read below what they have to say.


• The realness of Jerry's journey touches my life. Each story teaches me something about myself and I am always in need of just what is being said. Sometimes I don't know I have that need inside but by the end of each story I am comforted and challenged to come to a more honest place about where I create from, live from, love from and am reminded of how unique each person's journey is and how universal. I respond to the book as an art person, a person seeing how God is in simple clear acts and consequences and how the world will survive it's constant greed and destructive enterprises. I have seen Jerry work and his studio and he makes what he does out of junk, simple things and cast offs. I thi…

reversing the negative

If you just look for what's right - in others, in relationships, in yourself and your journey - you will always find it. - Mike Dooley, Inspirational Author and Speaker
My mother used to say sometimes that if one looked long enough one would always find a hole in a whole thing. This was to remind us that things were good just the way they were. They were there to be enjoyed, to be savored without judgement. She knew that even the most perfect thing could be destroyed by a negative mindset as the person who "looked" for a fault always found it, whether it was there or not.
Things might not always be the way we wish them to be, but when we shift our attention from the negative to all that is good, right or positive, we must realize that we have more that we actually asked for, more than most people, and certainly so much more than those who are never content with what comes their way. 
Shifting attention to a more positive side of things allows us not only to see all the b…

a very small stage

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. 
Core of the Milky Way
How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. 
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity - in all this vastness - there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
He who has conquered himself by the Self, he is a friend of himself; but he whose self is unconquered, his self acts as his own enemy like an…

face your demons

Pema Chödrön

One evening Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to find it filled with demons. They were cooking his food, reading his books, sleeping in his bed. They had taken over. He knew about non-duality of self and the other, but he still didn't quite know how to get these demons out of his cave. 
Even though he had the sense that they were just a projection of his own mind - all the unwanted parts of himself - he didn't know how to get rid of them. 

So first he taught them the dharma. He sat on this seat that was higher than they were and said things to them about how we are all one. He talked about compassion and shunyata and how poison is medicine. Nothing happened. The demons were still there. 
Then he lost his patience and got angry and ran at them. They just laughed at him. 
Finally, he gave up and just sat down on the floor, saying, "I'm not going away and it looks like you're not either, so let's just live here tog…