Life After Life…

I share a poem this week, in loving honor of two excellent friends, one of whom has recently passed on, and the other now facing her physical mortality and her spiritual freedom:

 

The Tide Rolls Out

On the incoming wave

comes the bounty:

times spent with friends

laughing, loving,

serving Life together

day by month by year

by decades shared in the fellowship of Soul.

 

Then the wave breaks

against the rocky shoals,

sends shimmering mist

that dissolves

any rigid formations.

 

Now as I watch

the tide rolls out

carrying the tiniest gems

of eternal blessings, holographic

universes of light and sound

memories

rolling back to the Source

 

never to be washed away

nor forgotten.

images are from pixabay.com

Love Will Find Its Way, May the Blessings Be!

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This month the phrase “Keep Your Heart Open” has been a mantra and a lesson for me. Now I can connect this with its lyrical counterpart:

Love Will Find a Way!

Let’s make that, “Love Will Find Its Way” and we find a Better Endings mantra of positive resolve and acceptance.

Folks, I want to express my deep gratitude to each and every one of you who has been or is currently reading this post. I have so enjoyed the Blogverse this past several years, and some of you have become friends as I have liked reading and viewing your brilliant pieces and I have enjoyed sharing here.

Because my life has suddenly burst open with several new responsibilities and opportunities with which I am happy to engage, after long consideration I am signing off. This is my final post.

May I leave you, in deepest respect for all of your unique and beautiful Soul paths, with a universal mantra, the word HU (sung Hu-u-u-u-u-u on a long drawn-out breath, either aloud or inwardly). This is a breath mantra of divine, unconditional love that I have learned through my spiritual practice of Eckankar.

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images are from pixabay.com

Keep Your Heart Open;

Love Will Find Its Way.

May the Blessings Be to All!

Linda

Starting Over, Again

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At 65 next month, I feel I am starting over. Recently retired and this week completing a year’s stint as adjunct faculty far from my tenure of 25 years in Colorado, I have a second new home, no more classroom teaching after 40 years (though still teaching online), and a wide new community and lake environs to explore and to connect with.

I am grateful for the opportunities ahead without knowing what is ‘out there’ beyond the new horizons. My monthly question (inviting you to choose your own) is about how to  proceed with the greatest aplomb into this next Chapter; how to step forth into new territory with more mindful awareness, an openness to real change, and the dedication to implement my potentials through various forms of service. How am I to start over, having moved away from longtime friends and environs?

I open this month’s query with a poem, my first poetic impulse for over two decades:

Now Settled In Me

These days I traverse mindscapes

accompanied solely by voices from within,

now settled in me:

Friends I may never again visit bodily

remain; constant companions

alongside Masters and guides,

memories and silent vistas.

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I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

 

 

A Musical Tonic

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We are focussing on Elixirs this month as bringing  welcome encouragement and strength  that allows one to move forward from a personal achievement to ever new cycles of continuing  growth and development. The other day, I was feeling overwhelmed from a very busy schedule and at the same time feeling grateful for my book going forward (March 6 is the publication date for Your Life Path and I will post pre-ordering info soon!). One of my favorite of all time W.B. Yeats poems in the form of a song by Loreena Mckennitt, called “The Stolen Child,” played on my Pandora station. I replayed it several times and it was just the Elixir I needed then to reconcile my movement from where I am currently to where I am going as I will retire from Academe and relocate in under 9 months. The coda verse of this poem conveys where my heart is these days:

Come away, O human child!

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the world’s more full of weeping

than you can understand.

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Beautiful music and poetry can be a balm unto the Soul.  They lift us to a realm of Spirit and to an eternal Presence of divine love and companionship that the outer, day-to-day reality can appear to remove us from, if we let it.

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images are from pixabay.com

So for your enjoyment, here is a Youtube version of Loreena McKennit’s “The Stolen Child,” composed from W. B. Yeats’ deep-hearted poem:

What music lifts your Soul? I welcome your comments and stories!

 

The Road to Sadhana

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The poem I shared last Tuesday I composed in 1978 while on a very memorable road trip across country by bus from Buffalo to Tempe, Arizona. I was traveling with a friend, Grace, to check out Arizona as I would be attending college there the next year. It was a very eventful trip on so many levels. The Greyhound bus broke down in Effingham, Illinois, and about half of us stayed on until Flagstaff, Arizona, where we were rerouted on a Trailways bus through what was one of my and Grace’s primary spiritual destinations anyway: Sedona.

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All through the bus trip, especially after the breakdown and even moreso after an encounter with apparently a murderous pair hightailing it out of Albuquerque (I’ll tell that in a bit), I composed a trip length poetic account of the journey. Part of the coda verse I still recall for the epic poem was:

On the Road to Sedona,

Where all is Sadhana…

Sadhana is an Eastern term designating a state of spiritual enlightenment; a state of calm one achieves from centering deeply.  As our theme this month is the similar or related experience of apotheosis, it feels right for me to revisit this adventure, now 39 years later.

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So the murderer, even more than the breakdown of the bus and rerouting through Sedona, sparked a major change of consciousness for me.  Grace and I were at a bus stop in Albuquerque where Grace met a police woman. She told Grace she was on the lookout for a murderer and his accomplice trying to get away from New Mexico.  Our bus left there at midnight, the last bus for the night. Two men, one recently bald, paid the bus driver directly when he got onto the bus instead of paying as was normal at the ticket booths. Grace and I were sitting second row from the front of the bus to avoid cigarette smoke. The tall, bald man, wearing a serape with a metallic bulge in the pocket which he arranged over the seat to be positioned so the bulge was just behind his head, sat in the front row, with his partner sitting catty-corner behind us across the aisle (carrying only a wrinkled, paper bag). The Bald One, who resembled Lurch from the Addams family to me, pulled out a cigarette (forbidden for the 1st three rows), stared ominously at the bus driver, and chortled: “Goodbye, New Mexico, forever!”

OK, so that sets the scene. My friend Grace immediately figures this is the murderer the police woman is after, so she leaves the bus to tell the woman about him. She returns, telling me the police woman acted frightened to know the men might already be on the bus and asked Grace to be careful and not stir up trouble. So, I got off and told her what I had seen re. the money exchange with the driver. She acted concerned but frightened and told me to get back onto the bus and also to not cause waves.

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The bus wound slowly through the night from Albuquerque to Flagstaff, a very long night for me as I was on high alert. I whispered our suspicions to the woman behind me, Terry, who had been instrumental in getting our passengers to stay after the breakdown and to be rerouted through Sedona so that some of the rest could go directly to LA. Terry was traveling with her grandmother. She started a phone chain whisper throughout the bus, notifying everyone of the possibility we had a murderer aboard. Unfortunately, this whisper also reached the Accomplice across the aisle, who suddenly started coughing and rattling his brown bag to get the attention of the Bald One.

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At a roadside stop in Holbrook, Grace and Terry and her grandmother and I sat huddled together at a diner. The Accomplice shadowed us, being sure to sit within earshot. The Bald One never came into the diner at all, pacing outside and at one point pressing his face and nose up against the window glass to stare in at us.

When we reboarded, the bus driver shot me a frightened glance, as if to say again, ‘Don’t cause waves!’

So, back on the bus for the next few hours I entered into a deep contemplation, the deepest of my life til then. I sang a mantra, HU, which is a sacred name for God known to many religions. I chanted and went into a deep state of repose where I encountered spiritual Masters and agencies giving me instructions on how to be a channel for calm and Light in this situation, to prevent a major catastrophe involving all the passengers.

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Then something really weird occurred on the bus. People who had thought the whispered suspicions were a hoax or funny started joking loudly about who the murderer was going to take to the back of the bus and shoot first! This was surreal to me. I sank deeper and deeper into my contemplation.

At dawn, as we were approaching Flagstaff and the beautiful desert and San Francisco Peaks there, I came out from the contemplation, truly altered. I felt a calm as I had not known before. As I looked out at the desert and the Mountain, I said to Terry and Grace:

“People think that the Desert is barren and dead;

It is not: It is teeming with Life!”

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At this statement from me, Bald Lurch turned his head slowly to stare me down.

“So, how do you feel about YOUR life?” he cooed ominously.

Now, you might think my response would be fearful, but no. Because of the alteration in consciousness I had enjoyed in the deep contemplation, I actually was feeling quite elated. I looked back at him, eye to eye, and smiled broadly:

“How are You!?” were the words that came out of my mouth.

The Bald One merely grunted in disgust and turned his head back to set upon that metallic bulge.

We reached Flagstaff, alive.  The Bald One and the Accomplice were the first to rise from their seats and head for the door. Once again, Lurch uttered mysteriously:

“Goodbye, New Mexico, forever!”

That was the last any of us saw of these two men, now across the border in Arizona.

After a few hours those of us going on to Phoenix boarded the Trailways bus that would take us through Sedona, known to Grace and myself as a very spiritually charged area as our spiritual group had land there at the time.  This part of the journey was like a pilgrimage for us.

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As we rounded the bend from Flagstaff down into the majestic Oak Creek Canyon, the bus stopped at a rest area. I walked across the field and stepped down a bit from the  cliff edge to sit and be immersed in the Canyon overview. It was like an Eagle’s Nest, and I have returned many times since. That is where The Canyon poem emerged:

It is drawing me into Its depths;

It will contain me;

Yet in that instant It shall free me,

Until IS-ness dissolves beyond

Eternity

Where Just Isness IS.

We reboarded the bus and headed on down the canyon into the red rock splendor of Sedona. At the bottom we got out for a food stop.

“It’s like love,” Terry said.

“It can never be contained,” I responded.

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images are from pixabay.com

Other than those words, language failed me. I could not speak, identifying one mountain or person or bus or tree; all was an absolute Unity. This utter silence stayed with me until we reached Phoenix. I would later remember it as a brief glimpse of cosmic consciousness, experienced on the Road to Sadhana.

* * * * * *  

This will be the final September post, as I have nothing more to say now on the topic!

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

The Double Vision…

Yeats, Statue, Sculptures, Art

image from pixabay.com

Today I will share my favorite lines from one of my favorite poems, by W. B. Yeats.  These lines have stayed with me since high school years and they return this month with our monthly theme of Apotheosis or the merging of opposites associated with initiatory fulfillment. The poem is The Double Vision of Michael Robartes, and the lines that still line my heart are:

On the grey rock of Cashel I suddenly saw
A Sphinx with woman breast and lion paw.
A Buddha, hand at rest,
Hand lifted up that blest;
And right between these two a girl at play
That, it may be, had danced her life away,
For now being dead it seemed
That she of dancing dreamed.
Although I saw it all in the mind’s eye
There can be nothing solider till I die;
I saw by the moon’s light
Now at its fifteenth night.
One lashed her tail; her eyes lit by the moon
Gazed upon all things known, all things unknown,
In triumph of intellect
With motionless head erect.
That other’s moonlit eyeballs never moved,
Being fixed on all things loved, all things unloved.
Yet little peace he had,
For those that love are sad.
Little did they care who danced between,
And little she by whom her dance was seen
So she had outdanced thought.
Body perfection brought,
For what but eye and ear silence the mind
With the minute particulars of mankind?
Mind moved yet seemed to stop
As ’twere a spinning-top.
In contemplation had those three so wrought
Upon a moment, and so stretched it out
That they, time overthrown,
Were dead yet flesh and bone.
I knew that I had seen, had seen at last
That girl my unremembering nights hold fast
Or else my dreams that fly
If I should rub an eye,
And yet in flying fling into my meat
A crazy juice that makes the pulses beat
As though I had been undone
By Homer’s Paragon
Who never gave the burning town a thought;
To such a pitch of folly I am brought,
Being caught between the pull
Of the dark moon and the full,
The commonness of thought and images
That have the frenzy of our western seas.

The full recited poem follows for you to enjoy:

I welcome your comments, insights and stories!

 

True Partnership

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The Sacred Marriage is our topic this month. For myself, where I have found this is with my pets and family and with my spiritual Guides, but a stable romantic partnership has eluded me so that I now consider myself ‘post-relational’.  Yet I find a great deal of freedom and personal responsibility in living without a romantic partner, and I am happier this way.

Still, what is true partnership when that is not defined primarily or necessarily in romantic terms?

It is when two Souls team up, with love and trust in each other, to weather storms and support one another’s individual and collective missions. It is a guarantee of unconditional love and a willingness to communicate about whatever arises, knowing the other is open and giving in return.

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My dog Sophie and I are true partners. She has been through hell and back again with me when we endured a scourge of parasite bugs last March.  I don’t know how I could have gotten through that without her, and I am so glad she made it through too.  (Yet  I must also acknowledge a Good Samaritan who helped us both greatly at a B&B;  she took us in and helped nurse us back to health despite the risk to her own business.)  Once when I was finally determined to drive back cross-country to deliver Sophie to safety and then finalize my own cleansing of remaining bug threats, my wounds were searing and I thought they might be infected. (A doctor had me using an ointment that was wrong for these kinds of wounds.) Still over 1800 miles from home, I was at a low. Should I just drive through it, or seek help?  At that moment Sophie started barking emphatically at me and I knew she was telling me to get help.  So, in the midst of a torrential downpour somewhere in Iowa late at night, I found an Urgent Care and got the best treatment I had yet received, enough to let me and Sophie push onward.

Sophie

My dear Sophia

But I will be honest with you. I always did hope to establish true partnership with a human, yet that never materialized longterm for this lifetime except in some absolutely deep and wonderful friendships.  As a writer this has worked out fine, as it gives me the solitude and space to immerse myself in creative activity and the freedom to follow my dreams. I am reminded of a poem by W. B. Yeats, on “Words”:

I had this thought a while ago,

My darling cannot understand what I have done,

Or what would do in this blind, bitter land.

And I grew weary of the Sun

Until my thoughts cleared up again,

Remembering that the best that I have done

Was done to make it plain;

That at length I could cry,

At last,

My darling understands it all

Because I have come into my strength

And words obey my call.

That had she done so, who can say

What might have shaken from the sieve?

I might have thrown poor words away,

And been content to live.

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images are from pixabay.com

True partnership is  Soul with Spirit and with Divinity Itself, including Spirit as It expresses through other Souls.  Human companionship may be lasting or ephemeral;      in either case it is a great gift to be treasured for all that can be shared.

I welcome your comments and stories!

“So She had Outdanced Thought”…Go with the Flow

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I was listening on National Public Radio this past week to a discussion about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TED talk theme of “Flow” (http://www.npr.org/2015/04/17/399806632/what-makes-a-life-worth-living).  The neuropsychologist explains that the brain can process no more than something like 120 bits of information at a time. The more closely we focus on some activity, the less we are aware of many surrounding conditions or facts that might otherwise vie for our attention. When we are working with great concentration on something we dearly love—like a work of art, giving a performance onstage, writing, or competing at a sports event, we enter “the Flow,” effectively transcending space and time altogether while absorbed in this all-consuming activity in the Now.

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The NPR journalist associated this transcendent experience of “flow” with Abraham Maslow’s notion of a “peak experience.”  I know this concept quite well both as a writer and from when I was a competitive Fencer. I recall quite well one fencing tournament in Tucson, Arizona. I was so focused on being centered and fencing from that Center at that particular tournament that when I fenced, I won every bout 4-0 (and the tournament) and yet I hardly even knew what had just occurred when I stepped off from the fencing strip. The actions themselves had become almost “automatic”: advance/ retreat, attack / parry-riposte, etcetera were not consciously engaged but happened spontaneously from that Center. …”What a rush!” one might say, when this happens!

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Poetry is a medium that brings out my own artistic nature or my ARTIST Archetype Ally, that part of Self that I gratefully share consciousness with to better appreciate form, color, balance, and Nature.  One of my favorite poems from my favorite poet, W. B.Yeats, expresses poignantly the transcendent Flow of the Artist; in this case, in his dream of three Figures: “A Buddha, hands at rest / Hand lifted up that blessed; A Sphinx, head erect, in triumph of intellect… ; and “right between these two a girl that danced”.  Here are the relevant verses from part II of “The Double Vision of Michael Robartes” (from http://www.yeatsvision.com/Doublevision.html ) :

II
On the grey rock of Cashel I suddenly saw
A Sphinx with woman breast and lion paw,
A Buddha, hand at rest,
Hand lifted up that blest;And right between these two a girl at play
That, it may be, had danced her life away,
For now being dead it seemed
That she of dancing dreamed.Although I saw it all in the mind’s eye
There can be nothing solider till I die;
I saw it by the moon’s light
Now at its fifteenth night.One lashed her tail; her eyes lit by the moon
Gazed upon all things known, all things unknown,
In triumph of intellect
With motionless head erect.

That other’s moonlit eyeballs never moved,
Being fixed on all things loved, all things unloved,
Yet little peace he had,
For all that love are sad.

O little did they care who danced between,
And little she by whom her dance was seen
So she had outdanced thought.
Body perfection brought,

For what but eye and ear silence the mind
With the minute particulars of mankind?
Mind moved yet seemed to stop
As ’twere a spinning-top.

In contemplation had those three so wrought
Upon a moment, and so stretched it out
That they, time overthrown,
Were dead yet flesh and bone.

III

I knew that I had seen, had seen at last
That girl my unremembering nights hold fast
Or else my dreams that fly
If I should rub an eye,

And yet in flying fling into my meat
A crazy juice that makes the pulses beat
As though I had been undone
By Homer’s Paragon

So what about you? When are you most in the Flow? How can you use this experience to channel your inner Artist and to accomplish your deepest ambitions?

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images from pixabay.com

Enter the Month of the Warrior

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April is associated with the Archetype of the WARRIOR. Like all archetypes, the Warrior has many sides, many facets, Strengths, and Shadow forms, masculine and feminine.
For myself, today, my Warrior is in hiding with my Descender due to some trust issues. So the most I can evoke to at least begin the Month of the Warrior is this cryptic poem from Yeats. Given the current state of political pundits and wannabe presidential candidates pontificating in sometimes demogogical fury, I find these are not true Warriors, not authentic leaders (at least on the Republican side right now in America). So, back to Yeats for today:
On Being Asked For a War Poem
(William Butler Yeats)


I think it better that in times like these

A poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth

We have no gift to set a statesman right;

He has had enough of meddling who can please

A young girl in the indolence of her youth,

Or an old man upon a winter’s night.

HOLD FAST TO YOUR DREAMS

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I have never forgotten two poems by Langston Hughes that I first encountered in a high school segment in my English class about the Harlem Renaissance movement in literature. Both these poems are about the importance of having and realizing your Dreams.  Whether you relate these poems to your personal LIFE DREAM or to a more political notion such as in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream!” speech, the value of holding to your dreams and to your collective Dream is the same.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore, and then run?

Maybe it just stinks, like rotten meat…

Or crusts and sugars over, like a syrupy sweet.

Maybe it just sags, like a heavy load…

Or does it explode?

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The importance of having a Dream, of being a Dreamer, is fundamental in all approaches to self-development and to spiritual practices, isn’t it? Our imagination, the ability to creatively envision a ‘better ending’ to any situation you are in or that we face in society, is our greatest strength. To dream is to transcend, to free yourself from undue self-limitations, to soar.

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So here’s the second reminder from Langston Hughes  (http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/dreams-2/) :

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

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images from pixabay.com

 

Sing Hu, a Healing Song of Divine Love

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This past two weeks I have been sharing well-known prayer poems as words from the HEALER archetype energy…whether you think of that as your own inner archetypal Healer part of Self, or Spirit Itself, or the centering Order of the Universe, or God as the Creator and Healer, or a spiritual Teacher or Master who brings Healing to your Heart.  Spirituality in any form brings healing energies and allows us also to be a Vehicle of divine or impersonal, detached love which can be a healing balm for others who are open to receive that love.

I will share two more prayer poems today and Sunday (or Tuesday) to wind up this month of alchemical pairings of the HEALER Archetype with the Life Metaphor Life Is (or, can be!)Better Endings.

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Eckankar Worship Service

Sunday, Jul 8, 2012, 11:00 AM

Marin Eckankar Center
840 B Street San Rafael, CA

1 Members Went

Join us for an ECK Worship Service to share your spiritual insights and experiences with others like you. Discover spiritual tools to meet life’s challenges. Awaken to the divine guidance always within you. Open your heart to give and receive more divine love. Experience how the Light and Sound of God can help you lead a happier life.  The theme fo…

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Sing Hu, an ancient, sacred Name for the Creator

For myself, I take quite seriously Ghandi’s words shared in Tuesday’s post about the value of ALL religions or spirituality and including secular philosophical systems of belief or faith that are each of unfathomable significance and truth to the practicing Believer. My own spiritual practice for over forty years (would you have asked) is that of Eckankar, a modern-day religion with ancient roots, sometimes known as the Religion of the Light and Sound of God.

In Eckankar, we recognize and sing religiously as a love song to God an age-old prayer poem; it is a mantra that we may practice daily, even 24/7 in the background of our thoughts or consciousness. This ancient Word, sung simply on the outgoing breath as the one syllable HU (or, Huuuuuuuuuuuu), is found in many faith traditions. It is found in Allah+HU+Jah(weh) (Allelujah!) in declaration of names of the Divine, and it meant God or the Breath of God in ancient Egypt. It is in the Hawaiian Kahuna (a healing energy or Healer persona), and Hututu is the leader of all of the pantheon of Hopi Spirit-bearing kachinas.

The most popular poet of our modern age is Jalal-ad-DIN-Rumi, whose spiritual Teacher/ Master was Shams, or Shamus-i-Tabriz. Rumi (1207-1273 AD) wrote his “ecstatic” (from Gk. ekstasis: ‘standing apart from the body’) poetry in the mid 13th Century in a region of what is now northwestern Turkey. Below allow me to share some of Rumi’s poems that include reference to this love song to God or Name of God or the Breath of the Creator: HU.


The HU in Rumi’s Poetry

In sufi circles they say, “There’s prayer, and a step up from that is meditation, and a step up from that is sohbet, or conversation.”
Who is talking to HU! (The pronoun for divine presence.) Lover to beloved, teacher to disciple. The Friendship of Rumi and Shams
became a continuous conversation, in silence and words, presence talking to absence, existence to non-existence, periphery to center.
Rumi’s poetry may be heard as eavesdropping on that exchange.”

Coleman Barks, May 2, 1994
Say I am You – RUMI

Mathnawi, Book VI, 4038-4044http://www.sourcetext.com/hupage/Rumi/rumi0.html

 

[Open Secret – Versions of Rumi
by John Moyne and Coleman Barks]

This is what the Friend can do
when one is in such love. Sensual people use the holy names
often, but they don’t work for them.
The miracle Jesus did by being the name of God,
Zuleika felt in the name of Joseph.

When one is united to the core of another, to speak of that
is to breathe the name HU, empty of self and filled
with love. As the saying goes, The pot drips what is in it.
The saffron spice of connecting, laughter.

The onion-smell of separation, crying.
Others have many things and people they love.
This is not the way of Friend and friend.

 

[One-Handed Basket Weaving – RUMI
by Coleman Barks]

Muhammed is said to have said,
“Whoever belongs to God, God belongs to.”

Our weak, uneven breathings,
these dissolving personalities,
were breathed out by the eternal
Huuuuuuuu, that never changes! 
A drop of water constantly fears
that it may evaporate into the air,
or be absorbed by the ground.

It doesn’t want to be used up
in those ways, but when it lets go
and falls into the ocean it came from,
it finds protection from the other deaths.

Its droplet form is gone,
but its watery essence has become
vast and inviolable.

Listen to me, friends, because you
are a drop, and you can honor yourselves

in this way. What could be luckier

than to have the ocean come
to court the drop?

For God’s sake, don’t postpone your yes!
Give up and become the giver.

******   ******

Anyone can sing HU, either aloud or silently. It does not belong to any one religion or spiritual Way. Simply open your heart to love and allow this ancient, creative and healing current, this primal Word, to flow gently through you. It can help to lift your consciousness to link with your highest nature or with the quiet voice of Life—or love—Itself!

Remember to Daydream, Part 2 (The Lake Isle of Innisfree)

Here is an excellent demonstration of creative future casting by William Butler Yeats. Like my story of how daydreaming can relate to manifesting future realities (below), Yeats reminds us in his evocative poem to hold a vision in our minds of our desired state or condition; smell it, feel it, and it IS!

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wing.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

******   ******

fisherman-fishing-rod-and-reel-retro_G1Dew28_

Consider: the future consists of an unlimited number of possibilities only habitually constrained by conditions and circumstances of your past and present choices. If you can break the habit of perpetuating self-limiting thoughts, anything is possible. How can you do that?

The power of imagination is our greatest birthright for creating life conditions that realize our goals. Whether by contemplation, active imagination, meditation, yoga, positive affirmations, or prayer, we always do have the freedom to cast our dreams outward and forward into manifestation.

ornamental-round-lace-pattern_My9Rzo5_

In Your Life Path I’ll provide Life Mapping personal development tools for “future casting.” Like casting a net widely into the realm of fertile future possibilities, you can cast a diverse spectrum of desirable future “lifescapes” to help you shake off feelings of inevitability regarding future  conditions or the sense  of futility regarding significant change.

Here’s an example: remember to Day Dream! When was the last time you indulged in a great day dream? Have you ever thought about the possible relationship between daydreams and your actual future conditions?

When I was in high school I remember that I did engage in active day dreaming, especially when in classes that bored me. I developed one particular daydream that I kept going back to, time and again. It became clearer and more real to me every time I went back to it.

I am on a rowboat, alone on a lake, with a great book I have brought.  I row out to near the middle of the lake, then I put the oars up to rest and I lay back between the two seats on a recliner mattress with a large outdoor pillow gently lifting my head; I open the book and read! I hear the water lapping up against the wooden sides of the boat. This is the most peaceful moment I can ever experience. Then WHOMP! My boat has hit a soft landing. I look up and see that I have drifted onto the banks of a small Island. I get out to explore.

floral-summer-background-birds-out-of-their-cages-concept-vector_fJeoSK_O

So looking back at this daydream now, many decades later, I smile. First, I can still feel the vivid lucidity of this boat, the island, and the peace and freedom I experience from exploring this ‘alternate reality.’ More importantly, I realize with some surprise now that my ‘retirement’ Life Dream that I do expect to fully realize in three years actually does include a lake, a boat, and close focus on books (including my own!).

Today while working out at a YMCA, I sat in a rowing machine, always my favorite exercise vehicle. I closed my eyes and rowed. I was on that boat again, rowing peacefully along near the shores of Lake Chautauqua, which I expect to be free to explore in a few years.

castle

By future casting, you can PULL your unfolding Present into harmony with your most deeply desired future. You are NOT bound irrevocably to repeat your present conditions; you can CHOOSE your own course. All it takes is that you exercise your freedom to IMAGINE; that is your Divine Gift!

I welcome YOUR Comments and Stories!

 

Two Poems, by Tatyana Ulrich

mama-y-bb-girl-1113fg-v-1002

My Journey to You

I am that woman who thinks about you

Who is very excited to come get you soon

I am that woman who would supply all the love

Who leaves reality just to watch you grow up

I am that woman whose mind only thinks positively

The kind of mind that waits patiently

The emotions I get is way too hard to hide

I am that woman who would never leave your side

One who would travel half way around the world

I am that woman who wanted a girl

I am that woman of which tears I create

Staring at my only keepsake

A precious gem in the palm of my hands

A mother, a daughter whose bond will never end

I am that mother who can’t wait to bring you home

I am that mother who will never be alone

A mother who loved you from the very start

You were the one that gave hope to my heart.

Baby

Baby I can’t wait, I want to hold you now

I am speechless, that you have been found

A home for you and a daughter for me

Baby I love you, I hope you can see

Baby I am on my way

Don’t you cry, don’t be afraid

Just wait patiently and we will meet

Baby I love you I hope you can see

From the day I meet you, till the day you die

Don’t you worry, I’ll stand by your side

I’ll be with you from start to end

You are my family, you are my friend

Baby you gave me a reason to love

God gave me you, my daughter from above

I am your mother and don’t you forget

I have loved you since the day we met

———–

The Author:

I’m Tatyana. I was adopted at 18 months from the Jiangxi Province. I live in Centennial, Colorado with a mother whom I l love dearly. When I grow up I want to major in Social Work, specifically working with international adoption. I have created a website for Chinese adoptees at http://familyisforever.wix.com/ctdfca-china#

Best of Better Endings Guest Re-blog: CHOICES FOR THE SOUL HAĪBUN, by Brenda Davis Harsham

snow-on-tree-winter-background-1113tm-bkgd-133

The church is near but the road is all ice;

the tavern is far but I’ll walk very carefully.

Russian Proverb

Years ago, I was working for a minimal salary. My net pay barely covered the expenses of professional clothing, commuting, food and rent. I worked very hard the first year, trying to be the perfect employee, working quickly, seeking extra work, hoping I would earn a big raise. I slid sideways into debt when my car was totaled in an accident and my cat needed expensive medicine.

When I got my review, it was lukewarm, with no acknowledgement of my efforts and a minimal raise, not even keeping pace with inflation. I had a meeting with my boss, and I asked him if he was unhappy with my work. He said no.

“Did I forget any tasks you gave me or do them wrong? Was I too slow?”

Again, “No and no.”

“Then why are you giving me such a small raise?”

“Do you think you deserve the same raise as Monica who has been here nearly twenty years?”

“Are you saying I won’t get a good raise unless I work here twenty years?”

“You have to understand that we all have wives and children to support, and they come first. Why would I give you money that I could give to my wife and kids?”

I didn’t have any answer for that, and I got depressed. I had always believed that hard work was rewarded.     I worked quickly, efficiently, but when I finished my work, I no longer sought extra. I started doing my own writing in the office, which angered him and eventually he fired me. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I realize now that I chose to stay despite my unhappiness. Instead of leaving, I acted less than professionally and ended up deeply unhappy with him, but more importantly, with myself.

When I was fired, at first my self-esteem sank even lower, but financial desperation pushed me into following up every lead for new job. I found a great job where I relearned to value myself. I felt freer than I had in years. I changed careers and cities, which were great decisions. Being fired was a pivot point for me, and I learned something invaluable.

If I make bad choices, I only hurt myself, and I must make better choices. It sounds so simple, and maybe it is to some people. For me, it’s a daily effort. Some days I fail. Other days, it feels like climbing Mount Everest. But I am worth that effort.

dark clouds blow in fast
ice wolves wail and circle
curl up warm inside

These days, I don’t have every answer, and I’m not perfect. That is no longer even my goal. Each day I try to make good decisions. I try to respect myself, to find ways of seeking joy, and, as a result, I occasionally even find it.

green shoots reach skyward
gray ice mountains collapse
heart and soul quicken

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: Inspired by the weekly Līgo Haībun challenge and the Russian Proverb above.

Brenda Davis Harsham is an author, photographer and artist, currently publishing fairy tales, photography and poems celebrating magic and nature for kids of all ages. She teaches writing and is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

 Website: Friendlyfairytales.comhttp://friendlyfairytales.com/

The Only Way to Get What You Want, by Lidiya of Let’sReachSuccess, and “Who Are You?”, a Poem from iithinks

Two Guest Re-blogs about Finding Fulfilment by Being YOU!:

The Only Way to Get What You Want

Posted on March 31, 2014 by Lidiya

“You can start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for.”
Napoleon Hill

Everyone is good enough for anything. But a small number of people are remarkable in what they do because they go the extra mile.

thurs

By Stephen Brace @Flickr

That means they go beyond average, dedicate time and efforts and make sacrifices. It’s a sure way to success and great results in any area, but few are willing to actually do it.

All people are capable of more than they think. And there are so many examples of that in history as well as today. Just think of all the successful entrepreneurs that started at a young age and worked hard, of all the famous scientists and inventors who’ve tried and failed so many times before they succeeded, of all rich people who started from nothing, all athletes who dedicated years of their life to training.

The Habit

In his book The Magic Ladder to Success (you can get the free PDF here), Napoleon Hill lists hard work as one of the inevitable things you’ll have to go through if you’re really willing to make a change. He calls it  the habit of performing more work and better work than you are paid to perform.

Here is what he says:

“I do not believe it is possible for anyone to rise above mediocrity without developing this habit of performing more service and better service than is actually paid for in dollars and cents.

 All the ability on earth, all of the knowledge recorded in all of the books down the ages, all the schooling on earth, will not create a profitable market for the services of a man or woman who renders as little service as possible and makes the quality as poor as will pass.

 On the other hand, the spirit of willingly performing more work and better work than one is paid to perform is sure to bring its just reward. It will offset many other negative qualities and the lack of many other desirable qualities.”

It’s really important to realize that without doing some work you won’t get anywhere. And as everything else, it’s also a habit. Because only going the extra mile and then repeating it many times can help you get whatever it is that you desire. Only if you’re willing to do that, can you actually get anywhere and become whoever you want.

It’s simple, but not easy.

I’ve noticed that people usually think that the things worth fighting for are too complex and often don’t even give them a try. They also think there must be some secret that can help them get it easier.

Well, there isn’t. Things are really simple because all the fundamental rules we’ve all heard of are what it really takes to get there. But it’s not easy. It will take time, it will take energy, efforts, and many other things depending on the situation.

People still think they can find an easier way to lose weight and get fit, but the truth is that the basic things we all know about healthy dieting, exercising and motivation, especially the combination of them, are the way to the body we want.

Here is what Johnny B. Truant says in How to Be Legendary:

No form of success is complicated.

Repairing a relationship involves communication, patience, and time. Learningdance steps involves rehearsing them until you get them right. Becoming fluent in Italian requires speaking andreading and hearing Italian and maybe practicing vocabulary. Building a business requires finding a need in the marketand filling it, and learning from experience.

You already know what you need to do. You just need to do it.

If you want to quit smoking or drinking, doing the work is fighting cravings every day, maybe forever.

If you want to write a novel, doing the work is sitting down for a few hours every single day and putting words on thepage even when you suspect theyʼre horrible. If youʼre currently a bad writer, doing the work might even mean writinga few 100,000-word go-nowhere manuscripts full of terrible prose while youʼre learning, and then simply throwing themaway. Oh, and doing the work might entail a lot of rejection, too.

If you want to lose 300 pounds, doing the work is several years of dieting and exercise.

Doing the work is not for the faint of heart, but it is the key to achievement. Have you ever noticed how very few people are truly, truly, truly committed to a goal? Thatʼs why so few people achieve truly remarkable things.”

So with this post I want to remind you of 6 things:

1. It’s absolutely possible to reach all your goals.

2. You already have what it takes.

3. You’ll need to work hard.

4. Then to do it repeatedly.

5. You’ll need to go the extra mile and go beyond what is considered average.

6. It will also take dedication and sacrifices.

Without these six things in mind, I’m afraid you won’t achieve anything. And that means you will never do anything with your life when you could have done so much.
I see so many people wasting their time doing meaningless activities, wasting their potential doing stuff they don’t enjoy. And it’s so sad when they turn back and realize they could have done remarkable things with their life and helped others at the same time.

So if you don’t want to be one of them you need to be willing to work hard for what you want. It could be anything because you can simply achieve anything. But the way to do it is one – through hard work, repetition, practice and dedication.

Lidiya is a Marketing student from Bulgaria.Her passion is writing and she spends a lot of time blogging at Let’s Reach Successwhere she writes about success, simplicity, life hacking and self-improvement and wants to inspire people and remind them of their potential and powers.

You can find her on Facebook or reach hear by email at lidiya@letsreachsuccess.com

 

http://letsreachsuccess.com/2014/03/31/the-only-way-to-get-what-you-want/comment-page-1/#comment-8842

******   ******

Who Are You?

poem

WHO ARE YOU?

O’ Human Being
You were so noble
What happened?
The world changed directions
And you blindly followed along

Covered in blackness
Do not blame the sun
It continues to shine
But what no avail
If eyes are closed?

Your life is frantic
One thing after another
Barely above the water
Hearing the world whisper:
Keep up or drown!

Don’t listen, Don’t listen!
I promise it’s not too late
Become a human once more
Discover your Life again
Leave, leave this chaotic state!

Take a moment and relax
Nothing will fall apart
Sit in silence with yourself
Feel the Power of the One
Do you see what you are?

Come close, listen to what I see
You are the light of the heavens
Dripping with waters of Truth
Flowing in waves of Beauty
You are nothing but Love

Everything comes from within
When you find yourself
The world will fall to its knees
And whatever you need
Will begin seeking you

I’m not here to flatter you
This is nothing but the Truth
In prayer I ask for us all:
Let us find our true nature
And become reunited with You

The beautiful image is provided by graphic designer Shiraz Khan. He designs modern, beautiful and spiritually-inspired prints to place in your home. Giving you constant reminder of what is most important in life!! You can check out his great work at http://inonepeace.ca or click on the widget on my sidebar. Thank you Shiraz!

http://iithinks.wordpress.com/

CHOICES FOR THE SOUL HAĪBUN, by Brenda Davis Harsham

snow-on-tree-winter-background-1113tm-bkgd-133

The church is near but the road is all ice;

the tavern is far but I’ll walk very carefully.

Russian Proverb

Years ago, I was working for a minimal salary. My net pay barely covered the expenses of professional clothing, commuting, food and rent. I worked very hard the first year, trying to be the perfect employee, working quickly, seeking extra work, hoping I would earn a big raise. I slid sideways into debt when my car was totaled in an accident and my cat needed expensive medicine.

When I got my review, it was lukewarm, with no acknowledgement of my efforts and a minimal raise, not even keeping pace with inflation. I had a meeting with my boss, and I asked him if he was unhappy with my work. He said no.

“Did I forget any tasks you gave me or do them wrong? Was I too slow?”

Again, “No and no.”

“Then why are you giving me such a small raise?”

“Do you think you deserve the same raise as Monica who has been here nearly twenty years?”

“Are you saying I won’t get a good raise unless I work here twenty years?”

“You have to understand that we all have wives and children to support, and they come first. Why would I give you money that I could give to my wife and kids?”

I didn’t have any answer for that, and I got depressed. I had always believed that hard work was rewarded.     I worked quickly, efficiently, but when I finished my work, I no longer sought extra. I started doing my own writing in the office, which angered him and eventually he fired me. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I realize now that I chose to stay despite my unhappiness. Instead of leaving, I acted less than professionally and ended up deeply unhappy with him, but more importantly, with myself.

When I was fired, at first my self-esteem sank even lower, but financial desperation pushed me into following up every lead for new job. I found a great job where I relearned to value myself. I felt freer than I had in years. I changed careers and cities, which were great decisions. Being fired was a pivot point for me, and I learned something invaluable.

If I make bad choices, I only hurt myself, and I must make better choices. It sounds so simple, and maybe it is to some people. For me, it’s a daily effort. Some days I fail. Other days, it feels like climbing Mount Everest. But I am worth that effort.

dark clouds blow in fast
ice wolves wail and circle
curl up warm inside

These days, I don’t have every answer, and I’m not perfect. That is no longer even my goal. Each day I try to make good decisions. I try to respect myself, to find ways of seeking joy, and, as a result, I occasionally even find it.

green shoots reach skyward
gray ice mountains collapse
heart and soul quicken

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: Inspired by the weekly Līgo Haībun challenge and the Russian Proverb above.

Brenda Davis Harsham is an author, photographer and artist, currently publishing fairy tales, photography and poems celebrating magic and nature for kids of all ages. She teaches writing and is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

 Website: Friendlyfairytales.comhttp://friendlyfairytales.com/

************

I want to thank you, Brenda, and all who have chimed in today to like or follow this site. You have brightened my life. This week, I invite all of your insights and stories of any length (or poetry, art or photos) about CHILDHOOD MEMORIES. I will be using a Mary Poppins theme (love Saving Mr. Banks!) with daily blog titles based on the music. I am interested in insights and stories that remind us to look through a child’s eyes at the world. Please share with anyone. Of course you retain copyright and I will publish an author’s byline, bio, and contact info.- Better Endings to You! Linda