The Dark In the Light

the pool

the pool

“When the sun rises and shines,
Not all the lotus buds in the lakes and ponds bloom,
Only those that are ready, do.
The rest have to bide their time,
But all are destined to bloom,
All have to fulfill that destiny.
There is no need to despair.”

~ Sathya Sai Baba

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This is the dark time before the light. The light of Spring  hovers but not quite here yet.  We are now through the month of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day when the North Pole is tilted farthest from the sun. Our ancient ancestors observed this event by watching the stars and the shortening days carefully  chronicling the movement of the sun. They learned that the darkest day is followed by a little more light and warmth when a new cycle of life struggles to emerge into the fullness of the new season.

When we are left to our own devices, our thinking mind tends towards a certain pessimism that all will be dark forever. The light will never return, our minds tells us; it is always darkest before it is pitch black: that is the kind of doom and gloom prediction that often dominate us most during the grimness of the winter months. A perpetual  gloom that descends and refuses to let go.  Our minds are that way. We see only the dark and the cold. Educated as we may be, we are wired to a reptile mind that wants to flee from the gloom and freeze and to return to the light and the warmth. When we imagine only the dark, nothing anyone can tell us will make it otherwise. It is not until we enter the world of fresh observations, sensations and possibilities, that there is a shift in thought. When we sit down to meditate or spend time in nature, or just taking photographs as I have done here, that we rejoin the living world.

Early Spring Primroses

growing in an old stone pot

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Under the Weeping Ash Tree

Under the Weeping Ash Tree

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Mary Watts Chapel,Surrey,U.K.

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the doors to the chapel

“A painted surface is a real, living form.” – Kazimir Malevich

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Watts Chapel

‘It is no exaggeration to say the Watts Cemetery Chapel is one of the most beautiful, extraordinary, original, marvellous and magical buildings in the whole of the British Isles!’ — Lucinda Lambton

Landscape, art and remembrance are beautifully blended together in this Grade I listed building. Visitors are drawn to the bright red brick of this Arts & Crafts masterpiece. Up close, the extraordinary design and decoration both fascinate and overwhelm all who venture up the winding yew tree paths.

Mary Watts was the artistic force behind the creation of Watts Chapel, and she dedicated it to ‘the loving memory of all who find rest near its walls, and for the comfort and help of those to whom the sorrow of separation remains.’ G F and Mary Watts both rest in Watts Cemetery, as do many other people who have played a role in the Artists’ Village over the years.

In 1895 Mary began to run evening Terracotta Classes at Limnerslease, the Wattses’ nearby residence and studio. At these classes Mary would teach local villagers how to model tiles from local terracotta clay with the beautiful and symbolic patterns that she had designed to decorate the walls of the Chapel.

G F Watts financed the building of the Chapel through painting commissioned portraits, and the Wattses presented it as their gift to the village of Compton. Watts Chapel remains a working village parish chapel to this day.

Further reading

Watts Chapel: A Guide to the Symbols of Mary Watts’s Arts and Crafts Masterpiece

The Making of Mary Seton Watts by Mary McMahon

An Artists’ Village: G F Watts and Mary Watts at Compton by Mark Bills

Compton Parish Church

Watts Cemetery

Watts Cemetery, which surrounds Watts Chapel, is more than 120 years old and was conceived and laid out by Mary Watts between 1895 and 1898 with the help of Compton Parish Council.

Watts Cemetery has been added to the Register of Parks and Gardens at a Grade II* listing by English Heritage, the second highest grade that can be bestowed, meaning it is protected from inappropriate development. The exceptional Arts & Crafts gravestones and cloister give the space a unique and emotive atmosphere. With much thanks to Beauty of the Arts

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Welcome To The Path Of The Heart

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I say welcome to the path of the heart! The journey within you! Believe it or not, this can be your reality. To love unconditionally and to come alive as never before! This path of love doesn’t go anywhere, although it is an adventure all the same. It just brings you more here and now into the present moment; to be in touch with every second that life gives you. To bring you into the reality of who you already are. This path takes you out of your suffering mind and back into your heart centre where the journey began long ago. There are countless ways of bringing you back to your heart and life without a doubt teaches you that.

 

my photo taken this year in the garden of rocks where there are several wonderful painted rocks. Here is one of Sai Baba. the garland, I could not quite place over the rock as I would have liked.

LIFE always gives us
exactly the teacher we need
at every moment.
This includes every mosquito,
every misfortune,
every red light,
every traffic jam,
every obnoxious supervisor
(or employee),
every illness, every loss,
every moment of joy or depression,
every addiction,
every piece of garbage,
every breath.

Every moment is the guru

Charlotte Joko Beck

Sat Chit Ananda

 

Defining the Moola Mantra with stunning visuals and the mesmerizing voice of Deva Premal.

You have come from God, you are a spark of His Glory; you are a wave on the Ocean of Bliss; you will have peace only when you again merge in Him. ~Sathya Sai Baba
 

I’ve been thinking about God recently.  I’ll  tell you what I think God is all about. The  Indian mystics all tell us, “A God defined is a God confined.” “What can’t be said, can’t be said and it can’t be sung about either.”  They also say, “God is impersonal.”  “I am without form, without limit, beyond time, beyond space. I am in everything. Everything is in me. I am the bliss of the universe. Everywhere I am. I am sat, chit, ananda, absolute existence, absolute knowledge, absolute wisdom.” ~  No messing about with their sacred ideas of God and what He is all about. They are straight as an arrow about it.

Jesus Christ says “He that is born of the flesh is flesh and he that is born of the spirit is spirit.”  Then he says, “Least ye be born again you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” also Jesus says, “I and my father are one.”  then Jesus says this,  “He that loveth mother and father, child, more than me cannot follow me.” What exactly is He telling us?

He is simply telling us just how things are. He’s talking about higher consciousness; He’s telling us who we really are. He is telling us what it means when we start on the journey  to be born again, when we suddenly start to have faith in another possibility than the one we have now. Now what is that called, what is the other possibility? It’s just a vibrational rate. It’s like you’re born with a pre-fixed setting on your television set to channel eighteen and you never even knew there was a channel eighteen, channel four, three, two. So when someone comes along and says, “Were you tuned into channel seven last night?” You look at them with a wee smile, “Don’t they know there’s only  channel eighteen? Then something suddenly happens, something touches a place in your heart that’s been there all the time. It’s just like you have suddenly awakened for a moment from a long sleep and say, “Oh! Wow! So that’s how it is! I was asleep for a long time. But now you are awake and tuning in to channel eighteen and you like what you are seeing.

Just saying

Judging Others

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Never judge someone’s character based on a few  words from some one else. Instead, think about the motives behind the words of the person passing judgment. An honest woman can sell fruit all day and remain a good person until she dies, but there will always be naysayers who will try to convince you otherwise. They will still find fault, becomes fault-finding is habit forming. Perhaps this woman did not give them something for free, or at a discount or a free apple! Perhaps too,  she’d  refused to stand with them when they were wrong, as often is the case.  And also, it could be that others are envious of her, or that she rejected the advances of some arrogant men. Who knows! Always trust your heart. If the Creator stood before a million men with the light of a million lamps, only a few would truly see him because truth is already alive in their hearts. Light cannot be hidden for long. Truth can only be seen by those with truth in them. He who does not have Truth in his heart, will always be blind to her. ~ Eve

 Adam Page history last edited by hjang3@... 2 years ago Hyojin Jang Vatican, Charles-Joseph. Adam and Eve. Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus. Marble. 4 x 8 x 4 feet. 359. Grotte Vaticane, Vatican City. Beatus of Liebana. Adam and Eve, Original Sin. Illuminated on Gothic Manuscript. 29.5 X 42cm. 776. Royal Library, El Escorial, Spain. Lord, Adam & Eve Reproached. the Bronze Doors of Bishop Bernward. Bronze. 58.3 x 109.3 cm. 1015. Hidesehim Cathedral. Bishop St Bernward, Tree of Jesse: Adam & Eve in Paradise, Paint on Wooden Ceiling. 27.8 x 8.7 m, 1230. St. Michael's Church, NY. Master Bertram of Minden, the Fall, The Grabow Altapiece. Paint on Wood. 266 x 726 cm, 1383. Kunsthalle, Hamburg. Hubert and Jan van Eyck. The Ghent Altarpiece.Oil on Panel. 3.4 x 4.4 m. 1432. St Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent. Dürer,Albrecht. Adam and Eve. Engraving. 25.1 x 20 cm. 1504. the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Goltzius, Hendrik. the Fall of Mank.Oil on Canvas. 104.5 x 138.4 cm. 1616. the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Natoire, Charles-Joseph. the Expulsion from Paradise.Oil on Canvas. 67.9 x 50.2 cm. 1740. the Metropolitan Museum of Art Cole, Thomas. Expultion from the Garden of Eden. Oil on Canvas. 99 x 137 cm. 1827-28. the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Valadon, Susanne. Adam and Eve. Oil on Canvas. 162 x 131cm. 1909.Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris Beversdorf, Annend. Adam and Eve. Silk and Metallic Thread. 22 x 18 cm. 2007.anne@stariel.com. ======================================================================================================================================= Abu Said Ubaud Allah Ibn Bakhitshu. Adam and Eve, Painting. 1294. Cleveland Museum of Art van Minden, Bertram. The creation of Eve


Adam

Our deep conditioning from school exams, grades, and the like gives us the habit of looking at every achievement competitively, in terms of where we stand. How are we doing: are we better, equal, or worse than others on the same journey? Such evaluation of our position becomes a real obstacle in spiritual life, for it constantly leads us to look at spiritual evolution in comparative terms. Someone tells you they have visions of lights when they meditate. You never have had such a vision. This fills you with feelings of inadequacy and jealousy. On the other hand, you may sometimes feel yourself leaving the body when you meditate. Your friends don’t experience this. This fills you with a subtle spiritual pride that feeds your ego.

In 1970 I traveled around the world on a lecture tour with Swami Muktananta. In his teaching he transmits shakti, or energy, to his students. I recall vividly a living room and Melbourne, Australia, where twenty people were gathered in meditation before him. It was late in the afternoon and he sat cross-legged on the love seat at the end of the room, with his eyes closed behind sunglasses, a knit hat on his head, idly strumming a one stringed instrument. The room was quiet.

Slowly, one by one, the people in the room started to behave bizarrely. One portly gentleman and a dark blue suit with a watch fob suddenly began to do mudras, traditional Indian hand positions. I recall the look on his face of consternation and perplexity – it was apparent that he knew nothing of these mudras, and was certainly not doing them intentionally. Next to him a gentleman dressed in a tweed jacket and gray flannels with the pipe in his pocket, obviously the perfect professor, suddenly got up and started to do formal Indian dance. Again the look of perplexity, for in no way was he responsible for what he did. Near me was a girl who had come not to see Swami Muktananda, but to be with her boyfriend, who was interested. Suddenly she began to do intense, automatic breathing. Her rapid breathing got to such a height that she literally bounced across the floor of the room with the breaths. Again I saw the look of perplexity.

I watched more and more people experience the touch of Swami Muktananda’s shakti, but never felt it myself. None of these things happened to me. I was concerned. After all, if I was “evolved enough” to lecture with Swami Muktananda, why shouldn’t I have these dramatic signs of spiritual awakening? The seed of jealousy sprouted in me. Though I didn’t admit it, I did my best to induce these symptoms of awakening.

Later I learned that these sometimes bizarre manifestations of shakti were the result of various blockages in people and were in no way necessary on the spiritual path. As time has gone on, I have learned that there is no experience, no symptom, no sign of spiritual growth that is absolutely necessary. Each of us has a unique predicament that stretches back over many lifetimes. Each person is drawn to a different set of practices and responds in his or her own way.

Individual differences are not better or worse, merely different. If we forgo judging, we come to understand that each of us has a unique predicament that requires a unique journey. While we share the overall journey, everyone’s particular experiences are his or her own. No set of experiences is a prerequisite for enlightenment. People have become enlightened in all ways. Just be what you are.

The experiences along the way are not enlightenment. So if you don’t see lights or meet remarkable beings on other planes, or if your body doesn’t shake, or if you don’t feel the greatest peace, or even if nothing seems to happen in meditation, don’t compare or judge. Just keep going. To compare yourself with others is to forget the uniqueness of your own journey.

– Ram Dass with thanks

Every Warrior Of Light (Inspirational Quotations)

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I guess the sun shows up every morning even in winter, no matter how bad we may have been the night before and how sick we feel in the morning. It shines without judgment on all. It never withholds even a beam of light. It warms both sinners and the saints, the druggies, the cheerleaders the saved and the heathens alike. We can hide from the sun, but the sun is not personal to anyone in particular. It´ll never, ever punish us for hiding away or choosing the shade. We can stay in the dark for years or decades, and when we finally step outside, it´ll be there waiting and shining and making the world lighter.  ~ Eve

 

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“Every Warrior of the Light has felt afraid of going into battle.
Every Warrior of the Light has, at some time in the past, lied or betrayed someone.
Every Warrior of the Light has trodden a path that was not his.
Every Warrior of the Light has suffered for the most trivial of reasons. Every Warrior of the Light has, at least once, believed he was not a Warrior of the Light.
Every Warrior of the Light has failed in his spiritual duties.
Every Warrior of the Light has said ‘yes’ when he wanted to say ‘no.’
Every Warrior of the Light has hurt someone he loved.
That is why he is a Warrior of the Light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is.”


― Paulo Coelho

Beauty of the Arts

Beauty of the Arts

Carry Your Light To Every Dark Corner –

image from beauty of the arts.

image from beauty of the arts.

Today I deactivated my Facebook account. I should have done it a month ago before Thanksgiving or perhaps even earlier, when the USA election was in full swing and while Brexit was turning Facebook blue. The reason for finally closing my Facebook account down today is due to the lead up to “Christmas.”

This year I simply do not have the patience to scroll through hundreds of cute kitties wrapped in shiny Christmas wrapping paper. Nor could I stomach more Christmas recipes for mince pies, toffee tarts or chocolate logs filled with dollops of almond cream.

I cannot no longer  “like” people’s family photos that simply holds no meaning for me. “Happy Holidays” is not something that appeals either and although I cannot stop the tinsel, trash and twinkling stars, I can switch it off.

The actual moment I ached to deactivate my Facebook page came when a “friend” posted the Tel. number of a suicide charity, just in case someone felt like they wanted a permanent out. And this was during the last days of November – a full month before Christmas day!

Time to tone down Christmas. Of course businesses are not going to do it. They will continue to flog Christmas in July, then switch to high-gear on “Black Friday” with an extra commercial push on “Cyber Monday.” I mean there is no end to the greed!

In the past year we have seen slogans like “Never Trump” or “Never Clinton.” Why not add a new slogan, one that will not divide us but might actually be helpful. Why not create a new slogan, something like @SayNoToSanta. I think it’s a great idea! We should broadcast it all over the Western hemisphere, to really get the message across that  we want our Holy, Christmas back! No more Happy Holidays with a huge dose of P.C.,together with over consumption and an overdrawn account that takes another year to pay off.

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I leave you with a special thought for Christmas – The True Christmas

“Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weaknesses and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your Christmas lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open? Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas!” -Henry Van Dyke

When Love Beckons You –

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I believe that both Gods and Goddesses dwells within our innermost being as the very spirit of our creative expression. To me, they are a great path that we must walk, a song we must listen to, a beat to dance to. A lesson to learn, a garden where flowers bloom, a puzzle  to solve, a book to read,  an ocean to swim in. That’s what they are  to me. Krishna said in the Bhagavad gita, Chapter 10:  “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly, engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.”

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“When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth……

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.”

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”

~ Kahlil Gibran, Le Prophe’te