Friday, March 22, 2019

Some Thoughts for the Spring Equinox

     It is the time of the spring equinox, when night and day are equal.  Readers of this blog know that one of the central themes of The Gemini Bond  is that in order to be ready to be joined with our Twin Soul, we need to balance the masculine and feminine aspects within ourselves first.  Here are some quotes which illustrate this:
Each one of us needs to discover the proper balance between the masculine and feminine energies, between the active and the receptive.  (Ravi Ravindra)
There is a collective force rising up on the earth today, an energy of the reborn feminine... This is a time of monumental shift, from the male dominance of human consciousness back to a balanced relationship between masculine and feminine. (Marianne Williamson)
The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over woman by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting—force is losing its weight and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. Hence the new age will be an age less masculine, and more permeated with the feminine ideals—or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced.  (Abdu'l-Bahá )
     We all have work to do -- within ourselves, within our families and communities, and within our world -- to balance the masculine and feminine.  Let's dedicate ourselves to this greater goal.  

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Another Terrific Book from a Master

     We now call to order another meeting of the Deng Ming-Dao fan club (hear! hear!).  I picked up another one of his books, beautifully designed and thoughtfully presented, as all his books are.  It is The Wisdom of the Tao: Ancient Stories that Delight, Inform, and Inspire.  What a wonderful resource!

     If you aren't interested in investing in all sorts of esoteric and expensive Taoist tomes, this book might be for you.  It gleans pithy stories from various sources -- the writings of Liezi, Zhuangzi, the I Ching, historical records, folktales, and various other Taoist classics.  Each story is one or two pages long and is presented in easy, modern language.  My only regret is that Deng did not add any commentary to some of the more opaque stories.  Some of them required extra pondering, but they were worth the thought.

     If you are interested in exploring more of the Taoist tradition, this book is for you.  Highly recommended.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

A Pearl of a Book, Part 2

     Last week I was lauding a recent find, 1,001 Pearls of Life-Changing Wisdom: Insight on Identity, Truth, and Success by Elizabeth Venstra.  One of the great things about this book is the wide range of topics that are covered.  Another great thing is how within each topic, Venstra offers quotes that may seemingly contradict each other.

     Here's an example:
I'm finally ready to won my own power, to say "This is who I am."  If you like it, you like it.  And if you don't, you don't.  So watch out, I'm gonna fly.   (Oprah Winfrey)
We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.  (Sheldon B. Kopp)
     Live with these quotes for a bit, and you'll see that they are not 'either-or', but' both-and' in terms of addressing the truth of personal power.   Wonderful!
 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Pearl of a Book

     You know I'm a sucker for pithy, thought-provoking quotes.  I recently found a book that's full of them.  A quote-lovers heaven!  It's called 1,001 Pearls of Life-Changing Wisdom: Insight on Identity, Truth, and Success by Elizabeth Venstra.

     It ranges in topics from identify and the self, to character, to truth, to emotions, to dreams and desires, to success, to time, and relationships.  What I really like about how Venstra put the quotes together is that she was not afraid to place two (or more) contradicting quotes next to each other.  It's like a built-in debate on a topic, which broadens one's understanding and opens one's mind to other ways of looking at things.  Wonderful.  Highly recommended.


Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Couple of Thoughts for Today

Here are some pithy quotes to chew on for the week.  Enjoy.
The longest day must have its close -- the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning.  An eternal, inexorable lapse of moments is ever hurrying the day of the evil to an eternal night, and the night of the just to an eternal day.  (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
And:
The ultimate sense of security will be when we come to recognize that we are all part of one human race.  Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border.  I think the sooner we renounce the sanctity of these many identities and try to identify ourselves with the human race the sooner we will get a better world and a safer world.  (Mohamed ElBaradei) 

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Poem for Lovers Across Time

     I recently read a lovely poem by Walt Whitman, which talks about how soul can recognize soul, across the limits of gender and the confines of time, even as Twin Souls do.  I hope you enjoy this on Valentine's Day.

To a Stranger

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you.
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream.)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only.
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)




Saturday, February 9, 2019

Another Wonderful Book

     I picked up a book last week which I think will prove very helpful.  Perhaps you would, too.

     Entitled Real World Mindfulness for Beginners: Navigate Daily Life One Practice at a Time and edited by Brenda Salgado, it features a chapter addressing a different life issue with some simple mindfulness practices to help face that issue.  Some of the topics include:  dealing with anxiety and stress, facing hurt or anger, enduring grief and loss, breaking bad habits or negative behaviors, promoting patience and compassion, and accepting aging and illness.  Each chapter, written by a different mindfulness teacher, is clear and concise and easily applicable in minutes.  A very useful book.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

A Gorgeous Book

     I was recently gifted with a book that has proved to be both inspiring and beautiful.  It is a small book, where I read a page or two before bed, but the stunning photos and the pithy sayings from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition stay with me into the next day.  Perhaps you would enjoy it as well.  It's entitled Offerings: Moments of Mindfulness from the Masters of Tibetan Buddhism (Mini) and features photos from Tibet, northern India, and Nepal.  It shows the grittiness and beauty of everyday life there.  And the quotes come from the Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron, Chogyam Trungpa, Jack Kornfield, Milarepa, and many others.  Gift yourself with this book.


Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Few More Wonderful Quotes

     Some more great quotes:
The true test of faith is how we treat those who can do nothing for us in return.  (Dillon Burroughs)
The time has come to worship with our lives as with our lips, in the streets as in the sanctuaries.  (Maurice Davis) 
Because we all share a wish for happiness and an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anyone we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister.  We do not need to become religious; nor do we need to believe in an ideology.  I believe that at every level of society the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion.  (The Dalai Lama)
(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Couple of Great Quotes

     This last week was the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  In honor of his life, I'd like to share a quote from him:
Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion.  The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody.  Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideas hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.
     And since Martin Luther King, Jr. modeled much of his philosophy on those of Mahatma Gandhi, I'll share one from Gandhi as well:
Those who believe religion and politics aren't connected don't understand either.
(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

An Old Motto for New Times? Part 2

     Class is back in session, and I've been seeing your hands wave all week.  Have a seat and let's continue our discussion.

     Last week I was promoting the idea of adopting "E Pluribus Unum" as a motto for everyone because I think that the next step in our earthly evolution is learning to recognize that we are all one.  Each contributes to the whole.  Each deserves respect.  Each has unique gifts and viewpoints which makes the whole stronger.

     But, you ask, what about the other motto, "In God We Trust"?  Are you throwing out God in this equation?

     Not at all.  I believe in God and talk to Her every day.  But when we say, "In God We Trust," some may argue:  "Whose God?" or "Which religious tradition?"  Is it the God with white skin and a long, white beard?  Or the one that exists inside every cloud and under every rock?  Is it the God whose Name cannot be named?  Or is it the one that lives within our ancestors?  Religions often promote a tribalism which has not proved beneficial through our history.

     My second issue with "In God We Trust" is that it can be disempowering.  It can make one feel as if we are handing God all our problems and saying, "Here.  Fix it."  That is, in my opinion, a form of magical thinking.

     The motto "E Pluribus Unum" recognizes, I believe, the contribution we each can make toward fixing our world problems.  And there are many.

     A sub-motto to "E Pluribus Unum" might be:  "Get to work."

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

An Old Motto for New Times?

     Sit right down, class, for today's history lesson.  Make yourself comfortable.

     Many years ago, when my country was young, the founders created a Great Seal and adopted the motto "E Pluribus Unum" in 1782. What does that phrase mean?  It means, in Latin, "out of the many, one."  They recognized, even then, that honoring our diversity and respecting everyone's contribution to our nation made us stronger.

     Then what happened?  Let me tell you.

     Back in the 1950s, during the Red scare and the start of the Cold War, our country decided to set ourselves apart from communism and its atheism and adopted an official motto, "In God We Trust."  By order of President Eisenhower in 1956, this new motto replaced "E Pluribus Unum," which had never been made the official motto by law.

     I think that, during these difficult times, we need to go back to "E Pluribus Unum."  And we need to make it the motto for every person everywhere.  Why?  Because if we recognize and honor the contribution of every person and every tradition and every ethnicity, we become stronger.  The opposite -- to push away others who are different -- creates ill-will on both sides, and this creates instability and chaos.  We need to open our hearts and minds and honor the best of what everyone has to offer.

     I honor you.  We honor each other.  From many, we can be one.

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)