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#1674 - Sunday, January 11, 2004 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The title "Tao Te Ching" might be translated "The Classic Book (Ching) of the Way (Tao) and It's Power (Te)." In his book "The Way and Its Power," Arthur Waley quotes a description of Te:
It is close at hand, stands indeed at our very side; yet is intangible, a thing that by reaching for cannot be got. Remote it seems as the furthest limit of the Infinite. Yet it is not far off; everyday we use its power. For the Way of the Vital Spirit fills our whole frames, yet man cannot keep track of it. It goes, yet has not departed. It comes, yet is not here. It is muted, makes no note that can be heard, yet of a sudden we find that it is there in the mind. It is dim and dark, showing no outward form, yet in a great stream it flowed into us at our birth.
photo by Lady Joyce
Love flows from God into man,
Like a bird
Who rivers the air
Without moving her wings.
Thus we move in His world
One in body and soul,
Though outwardly separate in form.
As the Source strikes the note,
The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
And all the strings
Which are touched in Love
~Mechthild of Magdeburg
trans. by Jane Hirshfield
Gill Eardley -
Mechtild of Magdeburg
Love the nothing, flee
Stand alone, seek help from no one.
Let your being be quiet,
Be free from the bondage of all things. . .
Care for the sick, but dwell alone.
When you drink the waters of sorrow
You shall kindle the fire of love
With the match of perseverance
This is the way to dwell in the desert.
(Original Blessing, 151)
Mechthild of Magdeburg
A fish cannot drown in water,
A bird does not fall in air.
In the fire of creation,
Gold doesn't vanish: the fire brightens.
Each creature God made
Must live in its own true nature;
How could I resist my nature,
That lives for oneness with God?
photo by Lady Joyce
Ranier Maria Rilke
I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
The days of my life, already lived,
And held like a legend, and understood.
Then the knowing comes: I can open
To another life thats wide and timeless. ____________________________________________
Seng Tsan (6th century)
If you don't live the Tao,
you fall into assertion or denial.
Asserting that the world is real,
you are blind to its deeper reality.
Denying that the world is real,
you are blind to the selflessness of all things.
The more you think about these matters,
the farther you are from the truth.
There Is A Brokenness
There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
A shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
Beyond all grief which leads to joy
And a fragility
Out of which depth emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
Too vast for words
Through which we pass with each loss,
Out of whose darkness we are sanctified into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
Whose serrated edges cut the heart
As we break open
To the place inside which is unbreakable
Gill Eardley - Allspirit Inspiration
Maharshi's Gospel (84)
D . The world may not be conscious of itself, yet it exists.
M . Consciousness is always Self-consciousness. If you
are conscious of anything, you are essentially
conscious of yourself. Unself-conscious existence is a
contradiction in terms. It is no existence at all. It is
merely attributed existence, whereas true Existence, the
sat, is not an attribute, it is the Substance itself. It is the
vastu. Reality is therefore known as sat-chit,
Being-Consciousness, and never merely the one to the
exclusion of other. The world neither exists by itself,
nor is it conscious of its existence. How can you say
that such a world is real? And what is the nature of the
world? It is perpetual change, a continuous,
A dependant, unself-conscious, ever-changing world
cannot be real.
Viorica Weissman - MillionPaths
"If you understand, things are just as they are...
If you do not understand, things are just as they are...."
~ Zen Saying
From the website www.maximumbliss.com
Life is a ballet
Life is a ballet and although it looks and feels beautiful at times, our toes are bleeding and we wake in the night with muscle cramps. All of this strenuous effort creates beauty and it is well worth the effort. I have never danced as hard as when my small daughter was fighting cancer. She, herself, took ballet at the age of five although she had a large muscle missing from her right leg. It contained the muscle tumor that had to be removed. I had to stand on the sidelines and grimace as she tried to do what the healthy little girls were doing. She was thin as a rail and white as a sheet, but she persevered because what little girl doesn't love ballet.? I myself was going through beautiful motions of love for her, trying to give her a "normal" life until she died. It was well worth it. Our Swan Lake was the real thing and when all of the curtain calls had been taken, she never returned.
Many years have gone by since her death and I am still writing about it. I have let go of her but the lessons learned are still bearing fruit.. I have learned to trust beauty, whether it is of the heart, body or soul. It is truth in motion and it requires immense effort to create effortless beauty.
I have no doubt but that the ballet of life has a master choreographer. Someone who knows who is wearing the new tutus and pink slippers; someone who trusts that the music will be sweet and that the slippers are well-resined before the performance.
I never see Swan Lake without being moved. The real can never be taken from us, but the illusion is poignant indeed. Every year there are new dancers in the cast and in the beginning it seems that nothing will come together at the right time. Certainly as I danced through my daughter's cancer over a period of three years, I often sat on the floor and wept, but I always got back up and played my part. I followed the doctors' instructions to give her a normal life. That included her dancing, wincing and triumphing. Her teacher, of course, fell in love with her, as did all who came to know her brave spirit. Love knows the steps that it must take in the ballet of life.
sometimes......in grief counseling...if it feels right...I ask if there is anyone in the room who would choose to avoid the pain of loss by never having had the lost loved-one in their life.......
there is always only one answer..........
love is greater then loss.........
Toombaru - NDS
The music that's all around us
On the eve of a festival celebrating the work of John Cage, king of experimental composers, Michael White remembers the man who claimed that 'Everything we do is music' - even silence."
Mary Bianco - NDSN
Art as healer
Music, painting, poetry are shown to have therapeutic benefits
BY WALTER SKIBA
The four movements of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony take listeners on a journey from difficulty to triumph. Though the impetus for the work may have been the composer's coming to terms with his own deafness, the emotions generated speak to a struggle with any kind of spirit-threatening condition. While the demons are not entirely absent from the glorious finale, they surface as distant and weakened.
The composer's Ninth Symphony travels to another triumph, this time of the universal brotherhood of mankind.
Most people would consider these classical artworks uplifting and life-affirming, providing soul-enriching benefits for performers and listeners alike. Compare these symphonies with present day popular music and lyrics advocating mayhem, mutilation and murder.
Family physician Linda Rosenberg, for one, prefers and recommends the former for increased well-being and quality of life.
"The arts are a powerful force in people's lives," she says, "and they should be used to elevate and educate the soul."
She cites two recent films as examples that achieve this goal: "The Pianist" (2002), about a Polish Jewish pianist who suffers tragedy during World War II, but survives with the help of a compassionate German officer; and "Master and Commander" (2003), an action epic centering on the relationship of a captain and surgeon aboard a British frigate during the Napoleonic Wars. The two men relax by playing classical duets, the captain on violin and the doctor on cello, as a reflection of their multi-sided education.
Rosenberg uses classical music to create a relaxed environment for patients in her Hammond office and says that all the microscopic surgeons with whom she works also take advantage of the music's soothing effects.
Clinical research supports their actions.
Dr. Louise Montello, music therapist and psychology researcher at New York University, promotes the use of music, from classical to jazz to drumming, as a powerful instrument of "healing, creativity and radiant wholeness" in her book, "Essential Musical Intelligence."
Research has shown, she writes, that people who listen to uplifting and moving music before and after surgery require less anesthesia and pain medication and recover faster than those who don't. Such benefits apparently result from the body's release of natural pain-killers called endorphins.
"Along with the endorphin effect, listening to music can be a powerful distraction from our intense focus on pounding pain rhythms," she says in a New York Times review found at www.essentialmusicalintelligence.com.
Rosenberg acknowledges classical music can serve purposes other than to soothe, citing the example of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," which was used to rouse patriotic spirit at July 4 festivities.
The idea that art can be good for us is not new. The rising middle class in 18th century Europe saw access to the arts as a major factor in its quest for a better life, something only the ruling class could afford. As testimony to the importance of music in their lives, kings, dukes and princes would take musicians along with them when they traveled.
Citing examples of benefits of students' exposure to the arts, the Northern Indiana Art Association's Web site refers to a 1996 study by the College Entrance Examination Board, which found that students with high exposure achieved higher SAT scores than students with limited exposure, averaging an increase of 48 points in verbal skills and 34 points in math. Another benefit is a stimulated desire to learn.
How can the arts help deliver such positive changes?
"Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning," a 1999 report that compiles seven studies (found at www.aep-arts.org), says that the visual and performing arts engage multiple skills and abilities, involving the student in ways that go beyond knowing the correct answer.
The ability of the arts to stimulate right-brain activity contributes significantly to their impact on the whole person, according to clinical psychologist and mental health therapist Dr. Jaswinder Singh. Society and the academic curriculum, he says, place a higher value on left-brain skills -- such as correct language usage, analysis and mathematical operations, as opposed to right-brain skills, such as creativity, music appreciation, visual and spatial organization.
"The non-dominant right side is very little understood scientifically, and effective performance of its functions is also less valued as a measure of success," he says. "The arts are often treated as hobbies rather than necessities."
John Cain, executive director of the NIAA, sees another major benefit from involvement in the arts.
"Good art challenges you to think outside yourself, to examine bigger issues outside your everyday routine," he says. "Such reasoning has to be good for the soul."
Mary Bianco - NDSN
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