Higher Ground


The light center we took a day trip to, a couple of weeks ago, is dedicated to prayer for personal and planetary transformation. It is in Black Mountain, NC. It is open 24/7 for prayer and meditation. It is owned and operated by the United Research, Inc.

 

The building is circular and there is a room which is set up with lights and comfortable chairs. A panel of light surrounding the room below ceiling height is programmed to shine one color at a time for four minutes, with one minute of darkness in between each color. The seven colors begin with red, continue with consecutive hues of the rainbow, and end with white light. There are so many people who have prayed and meditated here that there is a very strong energy of peace and of togetherness.

 

We can all pray for transcending peace where we are and along the lines of our spiritual path. Or you can simply talk to God as you know him/her/it. There are some things which can make our prayers more powerful.

 

They include: releasing all of your past, all negativity, fears, relationships and judgements to the light.

Understanding you are a light being, a child of the Universe.

Knowing that you can radiate light from your light center to everyone.

Knowing that you can radiate light from your light center to everything.

You are in a bubble of light and only Light can come to you and only Light can be there.

You can thank God for everyone in your life, for everything in your life and most importantly for yourself.

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

Peace is not the product of terror or fear.

Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.

Peace is not the silence result of violent repression.

Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.

Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity.

It is right and it is a duty.

—Oscar Romero

 

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

 

 

 

 Ask for the hope we all need. Pray leaders will stop playing politics and lead this world to peace.


Ask for the hope we all need. Pray leaders will stop playing politics and lead this world to peace.

Daytrip


Saturday we took a day trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was lovely and we set out for Bat Cave, NC which was a lot of fun and then we drove to Black Mountain and went to the Light Center. I have been there often but it was Amy’s first time. It is used for healing and meditation. Then we drove into Black Mountain and had dinner and drove home to Arden.

It was such a lovely day and even though most of the leaves have dropped there were still bits of color. Here are some of the pictures I took. I hope you enjoy them.

 

The Light Center. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The Light Center. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

DSC_0217

A lovely day on the parkway. Photograph and copyright  by  

                     Barbara Mattio 2015           

                                                                              

The day is beginning to end. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2016

The day is beginning to end. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

A flat stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

A flat stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

Chapel in a little knoll. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Chapel in a little knoll.
Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

Losing the light. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Losing the light. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

North Carolina is the evergreen state and I am really glad there are so many here. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

North Carolina is the evergreen state and I am really glad there are so many here. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

 

Photograph  and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Some areas still have a little bit of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Some areas still have a little bit of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

DSC_0149

  Bat Cave NC is very old. There is the cave and the bats come out at night and  they feast on mosquitoes in the stream. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio   2015

 

 

 

Bat Cave's general store. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Bat Cave’s general store. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

 

The bat cave store is filled with many oddities that I haven't seen since I was a little girl. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The bat cave store is filled with many oddities that I haven’t seen since I was a little girl. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Local color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Local color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

 

The brooks are all running full. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The brooks are all running full. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Kahlil Gibran


Khalil Gibran is the author of The Prophet and is known through the world as the immortal Prophet of Lebanon and the Savant of the time. He wrote in Arabic and his works have been translated into English and other languages. I hope you enjoy what I have selected.

Song of the Rain

“I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven

by the gods. Nature then takes me, to adorn

Her fields and valleys.

I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the

Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn

To embellish the gardens.

When I cry the hills laugh;

When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;

When I bow, all things are elated.

The field and the cloud are lovers

And between them I am a messenger of mercy.

I quench the thirst of the one;

I cure the ailment of the other.

The voice of thunder declares my arrival;

The rainbow announces my departure,

I am like earthly life, which begins at

The feet of the mad elements and ends

Under the upraised wings of death.

I emerge from the heart of the sea and

Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in

Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and

The trees in a million little ways.

I touch gently as the windows with my

Soft fingers, and my announcement is a

Welcome song. All can hear, but only

The sensitive can understand.

The heat in the air gives birth to me,

But in turn I kill it,

As woman overcomes man with

The strength she takes from him.

I am the sigh of the sea;

The laughter of the field;

The tears of heaven.

So with love—

Sighs from the deep sea of affliction;

Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;

Tears from the endless heaven of memories.”

bjwordpressdivider

wpid-img_20150217_101759.jpg                                    Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2014

My Soul

My soul is my friend who consoles me in misery and distress of life. He who does not befriend his soul is an enemy of humanity, and he who does not find human guidance within himself will perish desperately. Life emerges from within, and derives not from environs.

I came to say a word and I shall say it now. But if death prevents its uttering, it will be said by Tomorrow, for Tomorrow never leaves a secret in the book of Eternity.

I came to live in the glory of Love and the light of Beauty, which are the reflections of God. I am here living, and the people are unable to exile me from the domain of life for they know I will live in death. If they pluck my eyes I will hearken to the murmurs of Love and the songs of Beauty.

If they close my ears I will enjoy the touch of the breeze mixed with the incense of Love and the fragrance of Beauty.

If they place me in vacuum, I will live together with my soul, the child of Love and Beauty.

I came here to be for all and with all, and what I do today in my solitude will be echoed by Tomorrow to the people.

What I say now with one heart will be said tomorrow by many hearts.

—khalil Gibran

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

Zen400swprodshutterstock_168559829 copy

 

Song of the Open Road


 

Song of the Open Road

 

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Health, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

 

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,

Strong and content I travel the open road.

 

The earth, that is sufficient,

I do not want the constellations any nearer,

I know they are very well where they are,

I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

 

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,

I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,

I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,

I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

 

You air that serves me with breath to speak!

You objects that call from diffusion my meanings

and give them shape!

You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!

You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!

You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!

I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.

 

All seems beautiful to me,

I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me

I can repeat over to men and women,

I will recruit for myself and you as I go,

I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,

I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,

Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,

Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.   —excerpted from Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

 

 

Acrylic painting of courtyard in the French Quarter. Painted and copyrighted 2009

Acrylic painting of courtyard in the French Quarter. Painted and copyrighted 2009 by Barbara Mattio

 

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

 

 

The Bahamas. Photograph taken and copyrighted 2013

The Bahamas. Photograph taken and copyrighted 2013

 

 

guarda5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom Writers


Freedom writers teacher, Ms. G.  Freedom Writers Teacher and role model (still from the Movie)

A little while ago, I wrote about a teacher in Long Beach, California who was teaching English to kids who had problems of some sort. I had watched the movie and discovered the book. It is available in bookstores and on Kindle and Nook. Ms. G. taught freshman and sophomore English. Well I am now reading the book which is an anthology of the student’s work.  The students were told to write in their journals, and the anthology includes various entries from each of their journals.

To encourage participation without the possibility of humiliation, the journals were all anonymous, but the entries were numbered.

The students wrote about what was happening with their families and their lives, and why their English class in Room 203 with Ms. G became Home; for some of them a second Home, but for many, it was the only Home they had.

Some of them wrote about going home from school and opening the mail and finding an eviction notice.  Others wrote about the fact that there was no food in their house, and no money to buy food.  They wrote about being molested or physical beaten by their mother’s significant other.  They wrote about watching their mothers being beaten, and trying to pull the abuser off their mothers while blood is running off their mother’s head.

Some of them wrote that they lived in very bad sections in Long Beach.  , some children would stay late at school to finish their work, but because they lived in such dangerous areas it wasn’t safe to be out after dark, particularly for the girls.  Ms. G would wait until the children left and even though she did not herself live in Long Beach, she would personally drive each child home to keep them safe.

More than one student wrote about how hard it was to keep their minds positive, to keep hope in their hearts, that they would get good grades, and be able to do everything that they wanted to.  They were surrounded by negativity, and that was what made it so hard.  Everywhere they looked, there was negativity.  This negativity was where the violence and the gang life style, and the intolerance and bigotry that surrounded them came from.

The students learned through Ms. G’s class to respect themselves and to believe in themselves.  They wrote of seeing the whole world differently after reading books, biographies like Zlata’s Diary, that showed them that other people have gone through really difficult times and survived, and got stronger, and turned themselves into better people.

The students wrote about how reading opened up the world to them, and they learned about what was possible, not matter where you lived or what kind of background you had, you could be a person who gave backed to the world.  You could make your life be how you wanted to be, instead of what the world said it had to be.

One student even wrote how her mother ever gave her curfews or rules to follows, so she got the idea that she should give herself curfews, because she didn’t want people to know that her mother was neglecting her.  She felt like she had raised herself, and that it wasn’t easy.

After they had compiled their journals, choosing the pages to submit, Ms. G had the compilation turned into a book.  Ms. G then contacted the Secretary of Education, and told him about her students and their projects, past and present, and about the book created from their project.  He invited them to come in person to bring him the book.  Ms. G and the students earned the money for the trip to Washington, DC, and got to meet the Secretary, who was very impressed with their book.  SOme of the students were blown away just walking up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  When they reached the Washington Memorial, they encircled the monument, held hands, sang and said prayers.

Some of the students wrote about that trip, and how they felt so light and full of hope joined together around the Washington Monument.

When they returned to Long Beach, they found out that another student in their school, not a Freedom Writer, had taken a trip to Vegas with friends, and while their brutally raped and murdered a 7 year old girl, while another student watched and did nothing to stop it.  The students wrote about the difficulty of balancing the positive energy from the trip with the horrific news that someone they knew had raped and murdered a little girl.  It was a difficult time but they made it through together, and when the media came to the school looking for headlines about the murder, they went out against school regulations, and sang and talked to the media not about the horror perpetrated by one student, but about what the 150 or so of them had accomplished instead.

The negativity that surrounded these students is what is causing the distrust, distress and violence in the world today, but this wonderful teacher and her courageous students stand as a shining example of what positive energy, hope and understanding can do to make the world a better place.

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

Who

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

Freedomwriters

 

guarda5

The source of Joy


The Art of Music Brings Joy to the Soul

The art of music

” No one knows what makes the soul wake
up so happy! maybe a dawn breeze has

blown the veil from the face of God.
A thousands new moons appear. Roses

open laughing, Hearts become
perfect rubies like those from Badakshan. The

body turns entirely spirit. Leaves
become branches in this wind. Why is

it now so easy to surrender, even for
those already surrendered? There’s no

answer to any of this. No one knows
the source of joy. A poet breathes

into a reed flute, and the tip of
every hair makes music. Shams sails

down clods of dirt from the roof, and
we take jobs as doorkeepers for him.”

—–Rumi; translated by Coleman Barks
from Dancing With Joy

photo by Barbara Mattio copyrighted 2013

photo by Barbara Mattio
copyrighted 2013

Whirling dervishes of light

Whirling dervishes of light