Good morning ! These were the sights this early morning – out the door. Walser huus opposite the path, and my li’l perch, eh, porch My entrance and a broom, ancient design. Not found in stores Resting on a bench … Continue reading
After several years of Blog Sabbatical … voila – new tales – and indeed – the Pilgrimage continues. I have moved on from California – and am now moving through Europe – looking for a place to settle for a … Continue reading
And I also though enjoy those foggy and quiet mornings in the hills ….
Also a few days ago I came across some jokes in my email files and other docs … voila’
“A truck driver and his friend, a data analyst, go camping. Around midnight, the driver shakes his friend awake and says “Look at the sky and tell me what you can figure out from what you see!” The analyst says, “Well, I see the stars. Many more stars then we could see in town. And I have read that planets have been discovered around other stars. And that conditions on some of these planets is thought to be conducive to life. From that I conclude it is likely we are not alone in the universe.” “I conclude,” said the driver, “that someone has stolen our tent!”
And here one of my very favorites …
The Best Stress Test ever …. please see below ….and keep scrolling slowy…
I am not sure exactly how this works, but this is amazingly accurate.
The picture below has 2 identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress levels at the Mayo Clinic and later at Fletcher Medical Center in Burlington Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water.
The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific study revealed that, in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical, a person under stress will find many differences between the two dolphins .
The more differences a person finds, the more stress that person is experiencing. Look at the photograph and if you find more than one or two differences you may need to take a vacation.
No Need to Reply, I ‘ll be on Vacation !!
This late summer and fall light here in California truly appears as liquid gold. So often I find myself stepping outside my li’l chalet-like room in the hills and gaze at the skies and the golden light streaming … A photo image barely captures it’s magic, especially not the simple mini iPad thingy I use for taking pictures. Still … it’s an echo of that marvel and splendour.
Even though it is now too cool (for me) to sit outside – and luckily even too wet (we had a nice storm this past week…yiphee!) to sit outside on the teak, I still often spend time in the little plot of garden where my plants reside. There are weeds to pull, leaves to remove, roses to prune and lovely things to admire and interesting scents to inhale…
The reason that you haven’t heard much from me in the past 5 weeks was not due to me getting lost in the garden, but flying off to WestYorkshire again. Long story, that won’t be told, not even in the short version; but here are a few images for your viewing pleasure.
This spiffy stony bit of wisdom-encouragement I found around the corner of the cottage of where we were residing …
Think it is MOST interesting to find this statement on a Mechanics Institute, posted there almost a 150 years ago. Was it a reminder to people who studied and worked there? – that even when dealing with mechanics, physics and such measure-able topics, it does not preclude from ones duty to know one-self.
How very very timely, me thinks.
Wonder if they would have that motto installed above each Apple store?
The light started to fade already around 15:30 or 16:00hr, depending the cloud-cover; and it was only early November… how would it be like now, one month later? Getting dark around 15:00hr’ish? Sobering thought …
What a treat the sights of the High Sierras are – and I witnessed my first snowfall in manyyyy years. Was actually very enjoyable – to view the snow dance while resting in a cozy room.
the next day – and the ones prior – it was like this:
I was very happy on the trail with my Camino walking poles and ARIAT shoes with their familiar sounds for crunching the pebbles or dry pine needles while I explored again a bit of the area around the retreat. All my Camino-aquired ‘shape’ was nowhere to be found or felt and it was back to huffing and puffing through the landscape. But what a landscape it is….and the scents of the pines: marvelous simple wonders indeed.
and when I arrived home again – I had a lovely garden surprise …. pretty and fragrant
and these three fellows here below practically jumped into my bag prior to departure from the Sierras – apparently feeling adventurous and wanting to explore a bit the coastal regions of California perhaps. Not sure if my teak-table was quite what they had in mind regarding their adventure ambitions, but that’s where these chaps ended up … for now.
They do have company though… the old cedar trees are very close by. And … I even planted a baby tree some time ago … now a Baby Cedar. Am actually planting trees now. Who’d thought? — and already have an even babier baby-cedar in another pot. Smaller pot of course. But that one seemed too shy for a photo taking session. So it will be for another day. But here is my first Cedar Baby …
I am still in my annual deep-denial about the approaching autumn and winter season – but at least I have updated my closet and it now features woolen clothing, much cashmere and other warm things. Three neat stacks of sweaters: Black – Red – Cream. – (Wonder why my green “mainly-for-St-Patrick’s- Day” sweater ended up?) Pants: all black or grey. Hmm, I am realizing that I am thoroughly a very, very boring winter dresser. Oh well …. I shall bear this curious affliction with dignity 🙂
In the other “news-of-the-week”: I’ve also attended a workshop with my martial arts teacher Master Lam (Oct 18&19, a few miles down from where I live) – It’s an internal martial arts form, also called “Zhan Zhuang” – or “Standing like a tree”.
No, I am not being sarcastic, that’s what it’s called – but I am sure you appreciate the irony of me choosing a style that is about standing still. Needless to say, I love it ….
This is a video series I discovered many years ago & saved the bookmark of the link. Thought it was brilliant. And: But: I did nothing. – Then in January this year I thought: If I ever get to go on that Camino, I’d better get cracking aka exercising. – And I remembered those video’s that were filmed almost 20years ago in London and China by a UK TV station. Was very successful apparently. – Now, this time I bothered to notice his name, and researched it online, and voila’: turned out that Master Lam now lives: here! 3 miles from my flat…In that case I could no longer justify continued doing nothing – so I went there on a Saturday morning in the pouring rain (oh, those were the days….) – and thus finally started my internal martial arts class and practice… Standing still like a tree! Curious but true: you’d be surprised how one can develop a decent sweat by just standing there … like a tree. In the Water posture, or Earth, or Metal … and the charming Fire posture. (It is called like that for a reason, let me assure you).
“In gains, be tranquil.
In losses, be mild.
To struggle is inevitable
Just abide by nature.”
Since it is very intense to be standing still like a tree, and I certainly wasn’t prepared to spend two days like that … Master Lam and his son Tin had also prepared a presentation at the beginning of the workshop – sharing the philosophy behind that particular path.
“Fortune and Misfortune are from the same doorstep.
Gain and loss are neighbors.
Not even the Gods and Sages could separate them.”
such magnificence – and simplicity
There is so much stillness around while i sit in my li’l garden. Even with the distant freeway roar somewhere in the distance, which can be heard stronger or less, depending how the wind blows. It is not silence … it is a stillness that is present even in the noise of a very metropolitan area.
“live with intention. walk to the edge. listen hard. practice wellness. play with abandon. laugh. choose with no regret. continue to learn. appreciated your friends. do what you love. live as if this is all there is”. – mary anne radmacher
this is a quote on a postcard i bought some years ago – and as a classic, always up-to-date
I truly hope that you can create time and space for yourself to enjoy and relish in this golden light . so it won’t be a ‘winter of our discontent ‘ but one during which we can reflect upon the previous seasons ~
A Song of the Woods
by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.
“My leaves are turning crimson,” the giant oak tree said,
“And now throughout the forest – list! hear their voices ring,
sometimes i can be a bit of a quoteaholic — this time it’s courtesy of Mister Churchill — Salute!
Eclipse Season to me is a time to reflect on beginnings and endings – and a Lunar eclipse brings in the thought of the play of the opposites. Sun in one sign (Libra) and Moon in the opposing sign (Aries) as in this eclipse.
which in turn reminded me of the following quote by Daistez T Suzuki:
“It is the entry into the life of non-duality where one is no longer caught by the play of opposites, where self is not set over against other, nor are ideals in conflict with realities … As he is now one with his tasks, they are not to him mere obstacles to be disposed of so that he may begin the business of “really living.” His tasks are his life … It is in the uncreative life that the does is separated from what he does.”
and such are the contemplations that come easy when being an appropriate “Lounge-potato” here…
while enjoying the warm and golden light of October days ….
I do so love these days, the air is gentle and golden, the sounds full of peace, and Miss or Mister Hummingbird are flying by in the afternoon, paying visits to various blossoms in the garden…. and I feel so very very fortunate!
and not only because I can harvest Meyer-Lemons from my li’l tree that are future contributors to my weekly “Mini Margaritas”.
Perhaps I feel so fortunate because slowly-slowly it is dawning on me that to me it is becoming more ‘real’ each day: “We live my mystery and not by explanation.” – first heard it said by a Sufi Teacher, and it really resonated deeply within. And it also reminded me of a quote by Albert Einstein which I have posted onto the back of my un-smart mobile phone: “There are two ways to live life. One as if nothing is a miracle, the other everything is a miracle.”
Many years ago, after another job ended and no new one was lined up – I remembered a saying I’ve read or heard somewhere, which stated: “There is only one Giver.” – …. well, if there is only One Giver, it follows that there is only One Taker, no?
“Solitude does not mean living apart from others; it means never living apart from one’s Self.” Parker Palmer
Wishing you many serene days with the golden light of the changing seasons ….
“Preparing is going through the motions of getting ready for what you think is about to happen. Ready is actually being able to handle whatever is thrown your way.” These days I really wonder about how one can be READY … Continue reading
LOVE these gentle days in the autumn in California – and I had lots of lovely visitors to share those with this month. What a treat …. Sitting out in the garden, on teak and pine, next to those deeply and mysteriously scented roses while enjoying Yorkshire Gold with Curd Pie or freshly baked waffles … what a treat.
Tomorrow, the September New Moon, is the most potent day for a ritual called TARPANA – A ritual I was introduced to while living in India. It’s in honor to ones ancestors. And anyone interested in learning more about this ritual and background, I invite to read a brief text written by Robert Svoboda, MD – who I met many years ago. (He’s not only an ayurveda vaidya (doctor), but a fellow astrologer.) This chapter – which I will attach at the end of this post – is from the book “Prakriti – your ayurvedic constitution” – ISBN: 978-0-9656-2083-3. Best book I’ve read about (intro to) Ayurveda. Hope you will find it interesting and something to consider offering as well …
New Moon is exact tomorrow night (Pacific coast here) @ 23:14hr according to my spiffy li’l astro calendar. Equinox tonight, Sep 22nd @ 19:29hr. It’s the sun’s entry into LIBRA … yearly encouragement to reflect on balance in life – to put it very simply.
New Moon’s are auspicious times to start new cycles – There is always something we can start anew …. like planting new seeds, repotting plants and flowers, etc.
Wishing you a sacred and heartfelt Equinox time!
“Tarpana — (Libations of water, milk etc) By Dr. Robert E. Svoboda
There are no permanent physical or mental cure for constitutional weaknesses (constitution as defined by Ayurveda, the science of life and health). Once you have identified yourself as a V, P, or K type, or a combination of two of these, you are stuck with that constitution, and all its benefits and defects, until you die.
There are only two ways to escape. One way to escape is open to you if you are a spiritual aspirant, and follow strict spiritual disciplines. Under such controlled conditions there will be little occasion for your constitution to display itself. It will not change, but it will not disturb you. The other way involves the ancient ritual of Tarpana. Related to the Sanskrit word Trpti, which means satiation or satisfaction, Tarpana is a process of gratifying your ancestors.
There is a Law of Nature known as Bija Vrksha Nyaya: the Law of Seed and Tree. Your seeds are your genes and chromosomes, the essence of your parents’ germ plasm (plasma). You are the tree, the product of those seeds. Half your genes come from one parent, and half from the other. No matter how far you try to distance yourself from your parents, in space, time, or interaction, your genes and their genes are identical, and resonate with one another. Your parents’ emotions are bound to resonate with your emotions, no matter how far distant you may be from them, because of this fundamental identity. This is why a certain telepathic communication sometimes exists between parent and child.
Because your parents’ genes originated in your grandparents, your emotions will be influenced by their emotions, and by the emotions of your great-grandparents, and so on, back at least seven generations. Even though most of your ancestors are already dead the subtle effects of their personalities remain in your genetic environment and continue to affect you.
Homeopathic medicine discusses miasms, inherited weaknesses that are passed down from generation to generation in a family. These inherited weaknesses are referred to in Sanskrit as Kutumba Dosha (faults in the family). Ayurvedic rejuvenation works on the physical manifestations of these faults. Tarpana works more deeply, reducing the emotional charges, which have accumulated in you as a result of the activities of your forebears.
Suppose one of your ancestors was overly fond of eating, so fond that he or she fantasized about food all day long. All cravings are forms of energy, which are broadcast into the Ether (space) with every thought. Some of these thoughts will be rational and sensible, but many will be obsessive. You, who are permanently tuned to your ancestors’ wavelengths, automatically receive these subtle broadcasts, which will induce you to become obsessive about food if you are susceptible to them.
Anyone who is really obsessive about food is likely to be thinking of food at the moment of death. This final broadcast message is more powerful than all those which went before, because it is transmitted with all the anguish of an unfillable desire. Because of the power behind this desire, and the fact that the individual whose rational mind could partly negate it no longer exists, this last wish affects you much more powerfully than any living wishes can.
[Note: Compare Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 8, Verse 13: “Uttering the monosyllable Om- the Brahman (God)- and remembering Me, he who departs thus, leaving the body, attains to the supreme goal.”
Also Gita, Ch. 8, Verse 10: “At the time of death, with unshaken mind, endowed with devotion and by the power of Yoga, fixing the whole life-breath in the middle of the two eyebrows, he reaches that resplendent Supreme Person.”]
Tarpana enables you to negate these desires. Once they are gone, the pressure on your genes to make you obsessive about food eases, and your diet and habits can induce other of your genes to begin to function, which changes your emotional climate. As long as these unseen influences continue to affect you, no amount of diet or routine can ever eliminate them because they do not strike at the source. 99% of human and chimpanzee genes are identical; the differences between the two species occur because some genes are expressed more than others. You are your own creator, ceaselessly creating yourself from your own genes with the help of your physical and mental food and habits.
The traditional ritual of Tarpana is complex, but its essence is simple. It is much like the All Soul’s tradition, when people visit their relatives in the cemetery. In preparation, consider what one food item your parent or grandparent was fondest of. May be it is the apple strudel your grandmother used to bake, or the ale your father used to drink. That food will act as a vehicle for your emotion.
Sit comfortably facing south and visualize your dead ancestors, one by one, as far back as you can remember. Make each one sit in front of you. Telling them you want to help release them from any residual earthly desires they might have, offer them a spoonful of water, a spoonful of milk, and a spoonful of sesame seeds, preferably the black variety. These offerings are the same for everyone.
Then offer a little of the special item, with the heartfelt wish that this will satisfy any residual cravings and allow that individual, wherever he or she is, to continue with their own progression towards greater integration and clarity. You then request them to return whence they came, and feed the food you have offered to an animal, or put it into a river or the ocean. It is good to repeat this annually, preferably on the same New Moon Day each year. The best days for Tarpana are New Moon Days, especially those which fall in September (Pitr Paksha).
You need not even believe in reincarnation, or even life after death, to perform Tarpana. Your parents and grandparents are still alive inside you, in your genes. You are simply projecting a part of your personality, contacting it, and requesting it to be pleased with you and to relinquish any inappropriate influence it may have over you. This visualization releases you from any unhealthy psychological habits you may have as a result of the influence of these previous beings who also shared your genes, and of the images you have of those beings.
Tarpana is especially important for ancestors you knew personally. If you loved them, you show them your love in the only way remaining to you, by remembering them and offering part of yourself to them as a token of your love. If your relationship with them was marred by negative emotions, Tarpana allows you to forgive them, to heal the relationship by sacrificing your negativity and offering them the healing power of your love. Thankfulness for the genes which have given you life, and forgiveness for those genes which have limited your existence, transport the sacrifice to its intended target.
If you are convinced that this procedure can actually help eliminate any negativity remaining between you and the image you hold of your ancestor, it will. Faith is essential for it to work; you must make your offering with complete sincerity. Faith can truly make you whole.
Faith can make our society whole as well. Tarpana is important to all of us who have forgotten our roots. It creates the bond which should exist between our ancestors and us. Hindu tradition regards Tarpana as a duty, which every child must perform for its parents. When we accept this responsibility we relinquish forgetfulness. Tarpana is an act of remembrance, which solidifies the link between the generations. By opening ourselves to our ancestral influences and forgiving our forebears their imperfections, we open ourselves to their accumulated wisdom, which can cement our culture together.”
“Prakriti – your ayurvedic constitution” – ISBN: 978-0-9656-2083-3
During the night I could hear another wind change … and I was wondering what it might bring – and this morning early I saw it … the wind brought clouds which brought liquid diamonds. And the air is fragrant again here in the garden – Love it. And am so very grateful for those few drops of “Nass” – of moisture and wet air. It also reminded be living in times of the monsoon … And speaking of the monsoon – a few days ago I found an old journal, written in 1987 when I lived in India. All the heat, dust and fragrance of that ancient land seemed to rush out of those pages onto the here-and-now of California in the 2010’s Within the journal were also several pages of handwritten quotes – here are a few I’d like to share with you along with more images of the liquid diamonds… “TO know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is an understanding, in spite of distances or thoughts unexpressed, that can make of this earth a garden.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” Leonardo da Vinci
“Be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” Rainer Maria Rilke “Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.” W.B.Yeats “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” Shakespeare “We can be knowledgeable with another man’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with another man’s wisdom.” M.DeMontaigne “A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action.” (C.R.b.W. = can’t remember by whom”
It has been a very tender and evocative day – and now I watch how the rain clouds move east – hopefully releasing more moisture onto California soil…
I am saying “My” because in 2002 I’ve painted this ‘charming’ character, in oil on canvas …and she’s quite a formidable ‘housemate’ (as my friends who visit will know, she resides mainly in the kitchen, next to the toaster oven … Continue reading
In a book that I am fond of, called: “Spiritual Ecology _ The Cry of the Earth” http://spiritualecology.org/publication/spiritual-ecology-cry-earth was edited by a friend and has numerous contributors, one of them is Chief Oren Lyons. Recently I’ve found this on youtube.com … Continue reading
Morning Glory – Sept 1, 2014
By Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet – “Work”
“Then a ploughman said, “Speak to us of Work.”
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret….”
to read the complete text: http://leb.net/~mira/works/prophet/prophet7.html
Orvieto – 2009 – Catedrale -Detail of door entrance
One of my favorite lines of his writings on Work are these:
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
Porto – 2014 – Silver platter in museum of Catedrale
And it was in the past few weeks that my attention was turned again onto the topic of work and vocation. And again I am listening for these fine threads that life weaves, for me to finally see – again – and ask: what am I summoned to do? to be?
Or in the words of one of my favorite Jungian authors, James Hollis, who wrote in his most recent book “HAUNTINGS” in the preface: “ Such engagements with mystery are what life calls us to. It is not what we want but what life, apparently, wants of us.”
Morning view while enjoying a cup of good caffe’ with hot milk
For more books by James Hollis: http://www.innercitybooks.net/show.php?s=a&lastname=Hollis&firstname=James
Those who are most concerned with philosophy and the heavens are dearest to her. Those who have been instructed by her she raises aloft to heaven, for it is a fact that imagination and the power of thought lift men’s souls to heavenly heights.
- Urania, o’er her star-bespangled lyre,
- With touch of majesty diffused her soul;
- A thousand tones, that in the breast inspire,
- Exalted feelings, o er the wires’gan roll—
- How at the call of Jove the mist unfurled,
- And o’er the swelling vault—the glowing sky,
- The new-born stars hung out their lamps on high,
- And rolled their mighty orbs to music’s sweetest sound.
- —From An Ode To Music by James G. Percival
During the Renaissance, Urania began to be considered the Muse for Christian poets. In the invocation to Book 7 of Milton’s Paradise Lost, the poet invokes Urania to aid his narration of the creation of the cosmos, though he cautions that it is “[t]he meaning, not the name I call” (7.5)