Seeing Miracles –

Petals in the fountain - by Eve

Petals in the fountain – by Eve

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh


For these pics. I used a Lumix XL7 camera on macro setting.

Blackberries growing under the hedge

Blackberries growing under the hedge

begonia and geranium floating in the fountain

begonia and geranium floating in the fountain

white hydrangea

white hydrangea

The Enchantment – Rumi Video with Valdi Sabev’s Music

With the constant rain and windy weather this year, I’ve kept my spirits high by creating You Tubes. They are fun to make although not at all an easy process. First to consider is the music. Music is tricky, choose the wrong music and your You Tube will flop. My best tips for people wishing to embark on creating You Tubes is to spend time watching other people’s efforts. Study the images used. Transitions are important, don’t use too many. Text is probably the most difficult, get it wrong, and your You Tube will look amateurish. I have to admit I’m still learning!

For this  most recent You Tube, I have again used summer flowers, together  with a Rumi Poem. The Music used is  from  Valdi Sabev – “A Perfect Day.” – I love it. Do  hope you will stop by for a few minutes to watch and enjoy. (For this You Tube, I’ve used a newer version of Movie Maker – this proved much more difficult on timing the transitions.)

Rumi for All Seasons

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Who is the real Rumi? Was he religious, or a progressive thinker, or a hip spiritualist believing in the occult, or was he a scholar or a professor? The correct answer is all of the above. Due to his incredibly long and prolific creative life he has covered every topic imaginable from erotica to deeply philosophical, hence he has become a projection of the reader’s own mind.

For example Rumi talks about God in some of his poems and then dismisses him in many others. His prime message is that God is found in your own heart. He recited hundreds of poems where he mentions that he would set fire to Ka’ba and any temple or church, because God is not found there. He then encourages the reader to look into his or her own heart instead.

Due to the fact that Rumi recited poetry for about 25 years and 70,000 verses, he has covered every morsel of emotion, thought, idea and topic. Therefore, he can’t be pinned in one saying. Also because of the long duration of his creative expression he changed his mind often. Hence, you have poems where he praises God and then poems where he outright destroys any such concept.

In 800 years of popularity, Rumi has become a mirror projecting what the reader imagines. An orthodox or a religious reader, or a university professor, or a New Age type, or an advanced progressive thinker, all embrace Rumi as one of their own.

http://www.rumi.net/

Seeing Everything As A Gift – Inspirational

Photo from Corlay, Brittany, 2014

Photo from Corlay, a small village in central  Brittany,

Walking around with my camera as I tend to do,  I never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. I keep putting one foot in front of the other, until something appears I want to photograph. The picture here is of a path, one I regularly visit.  While shooting  the photo, I’d focused on the trees only, thus, had not seen the lady with the white dog. Sitting later in the computer room, editing the photo, the lady in the far background suddenly became visible.  How had I missed her? She was wearing  a red coat, a colour that stands out, but somehow I had not seen her. Now, I wonder was she real or was she a phantom?  I will never know. She is a pleasing gift for this photo though.   Thank you lady in the Red Coat!   


“As we traversed rural India at the speed of a couple of miles per hour, it became clear how much we could learn simply by bearing witness to the villagers’ way of life. Their entire mental model is different—the multiplication of wants is replaced by the basic fulfillment of human needs. When you are no longer preoccupied with asking for more and more stuff, then you just take what is given and give what is taken. Life is simple again. A farmer explained it to us this way: “You cannot make the clouds rain more, you cannot make the sun shine less. They are just nature’s gifts—take it or leave it.”

When the things around you are seen as gifts, they are no longer a means to an end; they are the means and the end. And thus, a cow-herder will tend to his animals with the compassion of a father, a village woman will wait three hours for a delayed bus without a trace of anger, a child will spend countless hours fascinated by stars in the galaxy, and finding his place in the vast cosmos.

So with today’s modernized tools at your ready disposal, don’t let yourself zoom obliviously from point A to point B on the highways of life; try walking the back roads of the world, where you will witness a profoundly inextricable connection with all living things.”

–Nipun Mehta, PATHS ARE MADE FOR WALKING: Four steps to take on the road of life


Here are several other favourite paths from central Brittany, France. “Photos of Fall”

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a favourite path

a favourite path

Goddesses – Video

A magnificent you tube defining the Goddess, her strengths and her beauty. The photos are amazing, the music magical. :)

A little about two ancient Greek Goddesses – Demeter and Persephone and the rites of the divine bee.   Here goes in a few words.

The fifth century BCE Greek historian Herodotus relates the importance of bees in ancient Greece, pointing out that the honey of neighboring countries was made using fruit, while the honey of the Greeks was produced by bees. The significance of this difference lies in that, to the Greeks of that time period, bees were considered to be divine insects, and were revered in their myths and rituals. Among the most celebrated of these myths was the story of the fertility goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone. Demeter restores her gift of fruit and grain to the earth, but she also gives a greater gift to humans—the Mysteries.

The Eleusinian Mysteries were an initiatory tradition that played an important role in the lives of those who experienced it. In these rites, the initiates, known as mystai, were led on a procession toward Eleusis by the priests and priestesses of Demeter. This was a symbolic initiatic journey in which they purified themselves in preparation to ceremonially return Persephone from the underworld and take part in other sacred acts. As in the wider Greek culture, the bee symbolized divine concepts of life and death, so in the Mysteries and other traditions it took on the connotation of initiatic death and rebirth: that is, of personal regeneration and transformation.

Debbie Rilley - thanks for bee pic.

Debbie Rilley – thanks for bee pic.

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from the garden

from the garden

A Belle Maison – House For Sale In France –

Summer time in Central Brittany

Summer time in Central Brittany

    Unique Artisan home for sale in Gourin, Morbihan, Brittany, France.  The house is in walking distances to the town, the supermarket, schools, (some of the best in Brittany.) Salle de Fete and public swimming pool. Well situated and priced to sell.

Oh kay! house selling is a nightmare for anyone outside the major cities. I absolutely agree with that. But miracles can happen eh?  So You, me, anyone of us,  we face our greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle. I hope the miracle is at hand.. hah! :)

  une belle maison http://fabulousbrittanyhome.fr/

aahouseapril98

The flower garden

The flower garden

The House

The House

une belle maison http://fabulousbrittanyhome.fr/

Flower The Symbol Of The Soul – Inspirational

flower photos by eve

flower photos by eve

There is one school of thought that we already are just a state of consciousness, just with part of that state in material form. If our bodies are aspects of consciousness, just dense ones, then we are better understood as being half-beings, made up of manifest (material) and unmanifest (non-material) consciousness. Here in this excerpt from Blossoming Of The Rose, we read how the flower is a symbol of Spirit. 

    


“The flower has been regarded and used as a symbol of the Soul, of the spiritual Self, of Divinity in both the East and West. China adopted the image of the ‘Golden Flower’, while India and Tibet adopted the lotus, which has its roots in the earth, its stem in the water and its petals in the air, where they open under the rays of the sun. In Persia and Europe, the rose has been extensively used. Examples are to be found in the ‘Roman de la Rose’ of the Troubadours, the mystical rose exquisitely described by Dante in the ‘Paradisio’ and the rose at the centre of the cross that forms the symbol of some religious orders. Usually it has been the already open flower that has served as a symbol of the Spirit, and, although this is a static representation, its visualisation can be very stimulating and evocative. But even more effective in stimulating psychospiritual processes is the dynamic visualisation of a flower, that is, of its transition and development from the closed bud to the fully open bloom.

Such a dynamic symbol, conveying the idea of development, corresponds to a profound reality, to a fundamental law of life that governs the functions of the human mind as well as the processes of nature. Our spiritual being, the Self, which is the essential and most real part of us, is concealed, confined and ‘enveloped’ first by the physical body with its sense impressions, then by the multiplicity of the emotions and the different drives (fears, desires, attractions and repulsions) and finally by the restless activity of the mind. The liberation of the consciousness from the entanglements is an indispensable prelude to the revelation of the spiritual Centre. The agency for achieving it – and this applies in nature as much as in the realm of the mind – is the wonderful and mysterious action of the intrinsic value of ‘livingness’, both biological and psychological, that works with irresistible pressure from within.”

– Roberto Assgioli, MD, ‘Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic Writings’

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CATCH A FALLING “STAR” – Sathya Sai Memories

Isaac's Krishna with flowers

Isaac’s Krishna with flowers

 

Catch a falling star, put it in your pocket and save it for a rainy day. Those few words from the song of the same name, sum up my experiences I had this year in the Puttaparthi Ashram. I had given the post another name, but feel this title is more in keeping with the post.  So here goes.

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On my visit to Puttaparthi this year, I noticed so many changes. Gone were most of the small cafés I’d enjoyed eating in. Gone too was the prettiness of the ashram. The huge concrete buildings were in need of a lick of paint, the pathways that meandered around the darshan area, all were in need of repair. It was noisy. I remember one day a young seva dal worker walked up and down the walkway in East Prashanthi, with a placard that read: “Please be quite.” There seemed to be such a lack of awareness that this was supposed to be a place of peace, quiet, and reverence.

I opted out of sitting in the darshan hall this year, preferring to sit in the gardens at the back of the Ashram. They were beautiful and cool. The Bougainvillea and other tropical plants painted the landscape brightly while providing shade. The statues all around the garden, freshly painted, were a reminder of times gone by when everything had been spick and span. I used to sit there on the stone bench under one of the Neem trees, watching exquisite black and red butterflies dancing from branch to branch. The Neem trees were in full bloom while I was there, and as the tiny blossoms reached out toward the sun, all kinds of insects came to settle. My! the chirping sounds of those insects added a sense of the sublime to the whole scene. The birds too chirped their mantras and whooped, often it seemed, keeping time with the Vedas being chanted in the darshan hall some five hundred feet away.

The bench under the Neem tree was my favourite place to sit. The gardeners watered the area in the early morning, leaving everything wet. A smell of fresh earth embraced us.  The temperatures also dropped sharply after the thorough watering. It was simply the best place in the ashram to stay cool.

Isaac Tigrett’s ‘Krishna’ status stood directly under his 4th floor apt. It, too, had received a fresh coat of paint. The dark blue colour shone in the sunlight, and if one looked sideways at the statue, it appeared to have an aura. I am not sure what optical illusion made this appear so. Anyway it was enchanting to the eye.

Isaac’s apt was high up, in full view of the canopy of the Neem trees. How I envied him that special place. I never saw him in or around the ashram but sensed he enjoyed his apt. and its spectacular view! But he is no longer there now. He gave up his residency this June. Apparently his “Mission” had ended.

Isaac outside the ashram gate on Guru-Pournima celebrations this year.

Isaac outside the ashram gate on Guru-Pournima celebrations this year.

He’d lived there for seven or more years. On Tuesdays and Fridays, he’d held early morning bhajans there in his apt. I attended only twice in 2008. Isaac at that time was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of ladies attending. Obviously the famous former owner of the Hard Rock Cafe was centre of attention – that is after Sai Baba. He had not expected on his arrival, he could create such a stir. But human nature being what it is he was very much in demand. It was like everyone wanted a piece of him, and he later retaliated by withdrawing.

Isaac had gone through many up and downs during his stay in Prashanthi Nilayam. He arrived a few years before Swami’s demise, and had weathered all the political storms that were to come later. Although respected and admired on his arrival, he had difficulty settling in.

I’d not known Isaac personally and, after 2008, I hardly saw him. He’d told people he had no friend’s there. I am not sure that was altogether true, but perhaps he felt that it was. He’d hired young men to run errands or to assist him with his projects. I was told that even his assistant had been less than loyal and had been let go. Yet, he was generous in supporting the local villages, and was well-liked by those who lived outside of Puttaparthi.

bench3Catch A Falling Star

I remember seeing him two years ago in the Mandir hall. He’d looked much older. His hair once dyed black now was white, his untrimmed beard didn’t help his appearance. I guess he’d ceased to care much about his looks, once under the influence of Sai Baba. Gone also, I thought to myself, was the image of the chic entrepreneur of the famous Hard Rock Cafe. He looked somewhat awkward and out of place. I watched while he did his pranams to Swami, then as he got up, he glanced over at the ladies in an embarrassed way, and slowly walked out. It was around that time he stopped visiting the Mandir. I had a strange feeling at that time, his days there were numbered.

Isaac deciding to leave the ashram marks the end of an era. I arrived just after he’d given a huge cheque for the SS hospital to be built in 1991. Everyone was talking about him. They all said that with the building of the hospital, things would be great for Sai Baba. And weren’t we the lucky ones to be there with Him at this time?

Well, in my opinion, that was an unlikely truth. The ashram had certainly changed with the great influx of money though not altogether for the better. Now that he has gone, will things settle down to the slow pace of life that the ashram enjoyed before Isaac’s mission? I suppose so, but Isaac Tigrett will never be forgotten. He left his mark there and as for the hospital? No one can erase his memory from that. What a sad ending…

 

Bamboo in the garden. The garden is the heart of the Ashram in Puttparthi

Bamboo in the garden. The garden is the heart of the Ashram in Puttparthi

In the garden after the rain

In the garden after the rain

Ashram Gardens

Ashram Gardens

Finally, this writer is most cautious in posting articles that may be contensious  I always check with people who are mentioned in my posts. It is only good manners to do so. I contacted Isaac Tigrett, before the final draft of this blog-post was released. I have always done that with his posts (those on this blog) and for others too. thank you..

Love Poems – Jalad ad-Din Rumi video

Creating  videos is hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. I made this one today. It is hot off the press or should I say off the computer. I do hope you spend a few mins. (Two actually,) watching this you tube.  Made with all my love, joy and  much happiness for the gift of inspiration from those enchanting words of  Rumi.

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The ecstatic poems of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master born 807 years ago in 1207, have sold millions of copies in recent years, making him the most popular poet in the US. Globally, his fans are legion.

“He’s this compelling figure in all cultures,” says Brad Gooch, who is writing a biography of Rumi to follow his critically acclaimed books on Frank O’Hara and Flannery O’Connor. “The map of Rumi’s life covers 2,500 miles,” says Gooch, who has traveled from Rumi’s birthplace in Vakhsh, a small village in what is now Tajikistan, to Samarkand in Uzbekistan, to Iran and to Syria, where Rumi studied at Damascus and Aleppo in his twenties. His final stop was Konya, in Turkey, where Rumi spent the last 50 years of his life. Today Rumi’s tomb draws reverent followers and heads of state each year for a whirling dervish ceremony on 17 December, the anniversary of his death.

The transformative moment in Rumi’s life came in 1244, when he met a wandering mystic known as Shams of Tabriz. “Rumi was 37, a traditional Muslim preacher and scholar, as his father and grandfather had been,” says Gooch. “The two of them have this electric friendship for three years – lover and beloved [or] disciple and sheikh, it’s never clear.” Rumi became a mystic. After three years Shams disappeared – “possibly murdered by a jealous son of Rumi, possibly teaching Rumi an important lesson in separation.”  Rumi coped by writing poetry. “Most of the poetry we have comes from age 37 to 67. He wrote 3,000 [love songs] to Shams, the prophet Muhammad and God. He wrote 2,000 rubayat, four-line quatrains. He wrote in couplets a six-volume spiritual epic, The Masnavi.”

During these years, Rumi incorporated poetry, music and dance into religious practice. “Rumi would whirl while he was meditating and while composing poetry, which he dictated,” said Gooch. “That was codified after his death into elegant meditative dance.” Or, as Rumi wrote, in Ghazal 2,351: “I used to recite prayers. Now I recite rhymes and poems and songs.” Centuries after his death, Rumi’s work is recited, chanted, set to music and used as inspiration for novels, poems, music, films, YouTube videos and tweets (Gooch tweets his translations @RumiSecrets). Why does Rumi’s work endure?

The inward eye

“He’s a poet of joy and of love,” says Gooch. “His work comes out of dealing with the separation from Shams and from love and the source of creation, and out of facing death. Rumi’s message cuts through and communicates. I saw a bumper sticker once, with a line from Rumi: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

“Rumi is a very mysterious and provocative poet and figure for our time, as we grapple with understanding the Sufi tradition [and] understanding the nature of ecstasy and devotion and the power of poetry,” says the poet Anne Waldman, co-founder with Allen Ginsberg of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, where she is a professor of poetics. “And the homoerotic tradition as well, consummated or not. He is in a long tradition of ecstatic seers from Sappho to Walt Whitman.”

~courtesy of Culture BBC