Photographs from the summer garden. This year I grew my wild-flowers from seeds. They survived the driving rain and gusty winds of Springtime, the cold and dull days of early Summer now in August, they bloom and grow as if to reach the sky. So magical to behold. I have taken many photos of them all, especially the Marilgolds although I have only posted a few. Eve
“A poor old Widow in her weeds Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds; Not too shallow, and not too deep, And down came April — drip — drip — drip. Up shone May, like gold, and soon Green as an arbour grew leafy June. And now all summer she sits and sews Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows, Teasle and pansy, meadowsweet, Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit; Brown bee orchis, and Peals of Bells; Clover, burnet, and thyme she smells; Like Oberon’s meadows her garden is Drowsy from dawn to dusk with bees. Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs, And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes; And all she has is all she needs – A poor Old Widow in her weeds.” – Walter de la Mare, Peacock Pie
LONELINESS is the doorway to unspecified desire. In the bodily pain of aloneness is the first step to understanding how far we are from a real friendship, from a proper work or a long sought love. Loneliness can be a prison, a place from which we look out at a world we cannot inhabit; loneliness can be a bodily ache and a penance, but loneliness fully inhabited also becomes the voice that asks and calls for that great, unknown someone or something else we want to call our own. Loneliness is the very state that births the courage to continue calling, and when fully lived can undergo its own beautiful reversal, becoming in its consummation, the far horizon that answers back.
From upcoming The Reader’s Circle essay; LONELINESS (c) David Whyte
I am very sure that darkness and the light are equally sacred but that does not mean we benefit by becoming complacent about the darkness we find ourselves in. We may meet in ourselves the deepest darkness a soul can bare but there’s always a way out of the darkest pit. For ultimately, if we are to cleanse the mirror of perception and purify ourselves, then we must bring light into the darkness. That’s always been the path of consciousness and the movement of illumination from the beginning of time. This coexistence of darkness and light indeed creates a merry dance in which the clarity of light is invited to lead and lead it must, but it does not create a hierarchy.
When we meet a loved one, or see a beautiful flower, or hear beautiful music, we are instantly filled with light.We can feel ourselves literately lighting up. Simply by being in a positive state of mind, our souls becomes receptive to the light.
We are capable of sending light to another by directing our thoughts, which are aligned with our feelings, toward someone, and when one does, instantaneously that light vibration and its energy is with that person. The quality and worth of light that is received is exactly that which we send, although the receiver may not be aware of it on a conscious level.
“We not only have light within us, but also emit light. The light we use for communication within and also emit is called ‘biophotons’. Experiments have shown that creatures of the same species emit and absorb light from each other in the form of these biophotons. These biophotons, being subatomic particles, may carry information. They also may carry energy, the vital force in Huna that is used by all three parts of the self. So when the religions speak of someone being filled with light or being the light, there is a physical basis for that reference. It is also another indication of communication that goes on all around us, that we are in fact a part of, but are unaware of, except when it is revealed by scientific methods.
Light in the tiniest amounts working on the tiniest particles that are nothing more than a possibility are the building blocks of our world and our bodies. Light, as subatomic particles that form waves, moves information from one dimension to the next, from one part of the family within to the next and it is happening all around us and through us. Light is our energy source and our information. When we consume food we digest the food and expel the carbon dioxide, but absorb the biophotons. The biophotons are absorbed by each cell nourishing the body. Our bodies are made of light and by consuming light we replenish our bodies. In every respect, like the Essenes, we are children of the light”
‘At first, name and form are essential, that is the reason why Avatars come, so that God can be loved, adored, worshiped, listened to and followed, and finally realized as nameless and formless.’ – Baba
After the physical passing of Sai Baba during April 2011, darshan experiences are no different from those experienced when he was alive. In other words, the vibrations can still be felt. One might say that Sai Baba has not gone anywhere. Long ago, I remember reading a particularly beautiful story about Sri Ramana Maharshi. Ramana told one distraught devotee not to worry about his imminent demise, for he (Ramana) was not going anywhere. He had no place to go to that He was not already there! Ramana would remain available to all who sought darshan and solace in his ashram. So it is, I now believe, the same with Sathya Sai Baba. Here is a short story from Diana Baskin who tells us that Swami told her just before his demise these few words: I am not going anywhere.
‘I am not going anywhere.’ –
Why would Swami tell Diana Baskin these few words, I believe without a doubt he was telling her that he would always be available to those who were dedicated to him. He also was giving a broader message, his vibration and his essence would always be there in Puttaparthi.
Swami, the Heart Core of our Life
Swami became my Guru when I first came to India in 1969, taking on the task of teaching me the principles of a spiritual life by building a solid foundation rooted in Dharma. Later, He became my Mother, taking over the task of nurturing, acceptance and unconditional love. Finally in 1979, Swami took the role of Father by introducing me to my husband, Robert, performing our marriage ceremony and extending His strong hand of support and gentle loving guidance throughout our marriage.
Swami was the heart core of our life. For the past 40 years, our life centred solely upon Him, and the anticipation of our trips to India that brought us in His physical presence was our nourishment. My husband and I were devastated and heartbroken as we lost all at once our Guru, our Mother and our Father.
But Swami did not teach us to be weaklings and even in the midst of sorrow His teachings rushed to my side, giving me strength and support while gently reminding me that there was a limit to everything.
When the husband of our friend died, Swami said to her that she could mourn his death but only for a short time; after that, she needed to let go of her sorrow. Last Words of Swami
I understood intellectually that to honour Swami and His teachings, I needed to put them into practice, be a master of my emotions and keep my focus on positive and constructive thoughts. While this helped to some extent, it was not enough. I longed to re-establish the direct heart-to-heart link with Swami that gives joy to life.
Swami had not only foreseen the problem I would encounter but in His infinite compassion had given the solution, unbeknownst to me, shortly before leaving His physical body.
One morning, after Bhajans as Swami was returning to His residence, His car stopped in front of me and as the driver lowered the window, Swami motioned for me to come forward. His voice was very faint and I had to lean into the car and read His lips to grasp His words. At the end of our brief conversation, He said something so unusual and out of context that I had to ask Him to repeat it. These were the last words Swami ever spoke to me.
For the year that followed, I pondered His words and questioned their meaning but failed to find the reason why He voiced them at that time nor could I find any sort of veiled connotation they might imply. It was not until a few weeks after Swami passed, in the midst of great sorrow and mourning that like a thunderbolt from the heavens it hit me! Not only did I understand what He meant from the deeper perspective of Advaita but a mere remembrance had the power to re-establish the precious heart-to-heart link and fill my heart with love. The powerful words of truth, love and wisdom. “I am not going anywhere.”
Himy, an old friend of mine on FaceBook and a great supporter of this blog, wrote the following account for this blog, back when Swami was alive. I loved it so much, I am re-posting it today.
I understand exactly how Himy felt that far off day in 1999, when Swami gave him close Darshan. I often felt the same way too during darshan!
In this small story, Himy tells how he had mentally told Baba earlier that day, “I don’t want anything” and Swami, as always, knew exactly what Himy had thought. Himy tells us in this story, “I didn’t even get a bit of the vibuthi Swami made”. Likewise, I, too, was always telling Sai Baba, “I do not want anything”, then while at Darshan, I would end up at the back of the hall, often where I could not see him! Often in those early days, I would end up crying because of his lack of attention towards me. I never much thought that Swami was giving me exactly what I’d asked him for! Although, there’s never “nothing” with Swami – the Darshans were deep and always filled with light and wonder. He was always, until the very end, radiant and sublime, and as a result, we came away from Darshan filled to the brim. – Eve
I Only Wanted Swami To Talk To Me! – Himy’s Darshan Story
On one of my visits to Puttaparthi, I had a really great experience with Swami. (I think it was during 1999). I was feeling very down and out.
I was feeling very small and insignificant and unworthy, even when talking to people. I was just keeping to myself. Then I prayed to Baba to talk to me because that would make me feel better and worthy of being talked to by others also. With that thought, I went inside Sai Kulwant hall after having drawn 4th token (or something near to that number.) And I was sitting in the second row in darshan on the men’s side.
Then the music started and Baba came out from the Poornachandra Auditorium. He used to walk then. He shuffled forward taking letters, blessing sweet trays. Finally he was opposite my row. He spoke to someone there. Then He suddenly turned towards our side. There was a Russian sitting in front of me. Baba said something to him. Then suddenly He was looking at me and saying something in Telugu (I think – because I heard something like “neevu” which is a Telugu word). My head was spinning. I couldn’t believe Baba was talking to me !! At the same time the thought passed though my head “could Baba be mistaking me for some other guy, some Telugu guy”? I dismissed that thought as soon as it came because I knew that Baba knows everything. He doesn’t make mistakes. Then Baba repeated what he must have said earlier, in English. He said “Where have you come from ?” I was still too stunned to reply. Baba spoke a third time. This time in Hindi. He said “Keedhar se aayaa?” meaning again “where had I come from.” I managed to say: “SAI, Mumbai”. Then Baba threw up His hands in the air as if I had given the wrong answer and He said “Oh!! Bombay!”
Then He proceeded to make vibhuti right in front of me and gave some to a Telugu farmer sitting next to me. Others nearby stretched out their hands and Baba kept giving vibhuti to all. Finally, I also picked up the courage to stretch my hands out for vibhuti. But Baba just turned away. When i was praying to Baba earlier in the day, I had told him that “I dont want vibhuti or anything else, Baba, please just talk to me.”
By turning away Baba displayed His omniscience. He proved to me that He knew my thoughts. What a proof !! I sat there with tears flowing down my cheeks and couldn’t stop crying long after darshan. People would just look at me and I was not able to say anything. They just nodded, knowingly, and said “Ananda” meaning bliss! Baba does hear and answer our prayers. He knows everything.
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
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.
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.
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.”
Folks, I plan on being away for a couple of months in India. I am going back to visit Sai Baba’s Ashram. I need a break and some release from the bitter cold, lack lustre days of winter. Also some time away from a computer and blogging. I hope to return with some new travel stories and, of course, photos. Here is one of my favourite memories from many years ago while on a visit to Whitefield, in Bangalore. I don’t visit Whitefield anymore because the Bangalore traffic is too congested nowadays to make the trip. I miss the enchantment of Whitefield, and of course the darshans in Sai Ramesh Hall. Luckily, people have created beautiful you tubes, like the one above to savor our memories forever.
Sorry for mistakes in this post, I have had quite a few computer glitches this morning.
“Blessed Sweets” – I remember the day well, like yesterday!
It was during one summer in the early 1990’s at Brindavan that I noticed Swami was blessing more than the usual number of silver sweet platters.
One particularly happy afternoon I watched with interest two ladies seated on the aisle holding their bright silver platters high while waiting for his attention. Swami came to darshan walking from side to side in his usual fashion but eventually stopped in front of the ladies then blessed their platters, which contained not only toffees but also photos, vibuthi and lockets. I sat thinking to myself, I wish I too, had a silver platter to hold high for such a blessing.
Before darshan the following morning, I plucked up enough courage to buy a silver platter, a huge bag of sweets (Mango Melodies), and three packets of little golden lockets, each one with a small picture of Swami with his hand held in the ’Abhaya Mudra – ( the ‘WHY FEAR, I AM HERE’ blessing ) and one yellow rose. I wasn’t quite sure how to prepare my platter nor did I know where to place the lockets. After some thought I placed them under the toffees and then placed the rose on top. Ah, it looked pretty, I felt sure that Swami would bless my offering.
But Swami did not bless the dish on my first attempt and by the second day I lost confidence and gave the dish to an Australian colleague to offer but Swami would not bless the sweets. On the third attempt I was happy to be seated on the carpet’s edge of block two where Swami always walked. He stopped, looked, and blessed the sweets forcefully. I’d felt him taking a large swipe of the contents into his hand then he threw them, showering what seemed like a good portion of devotees. I could hear loud whoops of joy as the sweets were thrown. Puzzled, I wondered why.
After Swami had passed by, I glanced at my platter for the 3 packets of lockets but only one remained. Apparently Swami had thrown two packets of lockets with the toffees! No wonder there had been such loud whoops of joy from devotees in block two.
A few days later I learned that the lockets had been thrown without their clear wrappers. In fact they had been dispersed individually with no trace of the wrapper anywhere. One of the lockets had fallen to a lady with cancer and two others had gone to another lady with a serious illness! What I do know is the lockets made a lot of people very happy.
Here’s a link to an interesting talk given in July last year in Puttaparthi Ashram.
Sathya Sai Baba – photo and a few of my favourite quotes.
“Do not be misled by what you see around you, or be influenced by what you see. You live in a world which is a playground of illusion, full of false paths, false values and false ideals. But you are not part of that world.”
~ Sathya Sai Baba
When a person asserts that he is low and mean and that he knows but little, he becomes low and mean and his knowledge shrinks.We become what we believe we are. We are children of Almighty God, endowed with Supreme, Power, Glory and Wisdom.We are children of Immortality.When we dwell in this thought, how can we ever be low and ignorant?
The Guardian Of The Night – Source: Beauty Of The Arts
What’s the most real-life scary story you have posted on a blog? I’ve had several that I certainly would not wish to share, but this one is worth sharing. At least, I feel it is. I call it my ‘Guardian Angel’ story. So here goes. 🙂
The phone rang in the kitchen just as I was about to go out. The aerobics class was at eight p.m. and I hated being late. Should I let the phone just ring? Whoever it was could call back later. It was getting dark outside, dang! I hated driving at night on route Seven.We lived in Reston, Virginia at that time. I was in my early thirties.
I rushed over to pick up the phone and said a rather impatient ‘hello’? A lady’s voice at the other end, one I didn’t know, answered :
“So sorry to bother you. You don’t know me but I know you. I was able to get your number from the phone exchange. I hope you don’t mind my doing this but I am concerned about you.”
I was stunned by her message as our telephone number was ex-directory. What did she mean by concerned? And why hadn’t the phone exchange alerted me before giving out my number ? I thought they would have asked permission.
With a seriously shaky voice, she said, “ There is a rapist in the area, do you know?”
I didn’t of course. I rarely read the newspapers. Our only direct neighbors were out all hours and we rarely saw them. Feeling awkward she continued on :
“I know you go out about this time, I have seen you from my kitchen window. I live just down from you, facing on to the parking area. I am just calling to say don’t go out tonight. There is a guy in the area whose been raping women. He’s attacked three women so far.”
Stunned by what she said, I asked for more details. She didn’t have many to share other than to be very careful. I thanked her very much for caring. That night, I stayed home. Still, the thought of a rapist being around, was somewhat disturbing. I couldn’t sleep well. Luckily for us, our house had been sold recently so, we would be moving out in a week or two.
We’d sold the house to an investor, who had, in turn, rented the house to two young women in their twenties. They came around to visit a few days after the sale went through. I gave them a house inspection and, remembering the rape, I warned them to be very careful not to take any chances.
The day we moved out, I wrote them both a note, advising them to make sure the locking ‘Charlie bars’ were always closed on the patio window. We’d had them installed a long time ago. They had done a great job to secure the back of the house. I popped the note into a kitchen drawer, where they would find it. We moved out and thought no more about our old house, until I met a former neighbour who said:
“Have you read the newspaper?” I said I didn’t often read newspapers. “Your house made front page! A guy broke in the other night and raped a young woman. She’d only just got home. He was inside waiting for her. Poor girl, she nearly died!”
My heart skipped a beat. How had this man managed to get inside? I’d given the girls instructions to keep the house safe. What could have happened? Later, I learned they had forgotten to close the Charlie bars on the patio window. He’d forced the patio doors open.
It could have been me who had been the victim. How close had I come to being attacked by this villain? The thought made me shudder.
I often wondered about the neighbour who called me that night so long ago. I never met her. I still ponder on how she’d got my number without my consent. Of course, I am grateful she did. Had she been a guardian angel sent to warn me? I’ll never know. I will never forget her or her thoughtfulness.
just to finish, I would like to add, I still feel so sorry for the young women who was raped. I tried to be a guide to her by leaving a message in the kitchen drawer, also alerting her to the fact, I wish she’d had taken the messages to heart, for she didn’t deserve to suffer that way. No, not at all. Eve