Grasping at Self

Many spiritual people believe that sickness, of the mind or the body has little to distinguish them from one another. As the years go by, and they do so quickly, we experience ailments. These ailments trigger our anxieties. Not feeling well is actually a magnet for anxiety. It reminds us of our frailty and mortality. Being aware of our mortality can often assist us in being in the now moment. Minor illnesses can help us to remember we are human.


The mind has a more difficult time healing the physical body than it does the emotional body. Neurologists are beginning to do case studies of the subconscious and the part it plays in healing the physical body. In some cases, the mind alone can heal physical sickness, even where conventional medicine has failed. I have personally experienced it.


In addition to Neurologists, Buddhists also believe that the mind can heal the physical and emotional body. For all of us, sickness can provide an opportunity to slow down, let go, and appreciate life even in the midst of suffering. Sickness can be a broom we are given to sweep our lives clean of the accumulations of negative attitudes and emotions.


Many of us have experienced tragedies in our lives and for some of us there have been multiple tragedies.These can cause real sickness. Conventional medicine often can not cure these illnesses. Doctors do all they can to the best of their abilities but nothing completely works. But by using the subconscious to help, the emotions and the physical body can be used to release the past from its control of the present.


When we experience tragedy, physical or emotional, even if we go to therapy and “work it through” often the subconscious continues to hold on to it. The mind’s conscious level has let go of the incidents but the subconscious still has a grip and it can be strong. It can make you very ill, even for years.


I am excited that conventional medicine is beginning to study how our minds make all of this happen. I am excited that there are doctors who are studying this with their patients. This is more than “thinking positive.” Positive thoughts make anything somewhat better and easier to tolerate. Meditation can help. For instance, I found that Transcendental Meditation often helps with chronic pain. It also helps to remember that sickness is impermanent.


Neurologists have found that talking to the subconscious can help. Reassuring it that you are safe, whatever has happened in the past will not occur again and if it did; you would handle it differently. Chanting ” Thank you” for your body a hundred times several times a day can make big changes.


Take good care of yourself and your body. Eat healthy, exercise and remember there is no blame in the work of healing. Do not grasp at self as this can cause illness and suffering. Remember that a good joke can help with healing. Be open to any approach which might help. This should definitely include conventional medicine as well as alternative forms of healing. Also remember that balance in life helps us to heal and to remain healthy.


Be kind to anger, fear, or discouragement as they arise. Even if they are strong or persistent, be patient with them and it helps to bring them into balance. This assists the body in its healing.








Botanical Garden, Asheville, NC. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Botanical Garden, Asheville, NC. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

A new transliteration

I have found this new translation of the Lord’s Prayer. It was originally in Syriac Aramaic and now it is in English. It is felt that Syriac Aramaic is the closest to what Jesus spoke. Jesus would have spoken Hebrew or Aramaic. All translations are limited, but there has been an attempt to retain some of the Aramaic rhythms.


Syrian Aramaic


“Abwoon d’bashmaya

Nickaddash shmuokh

Teete malkootakh

Nehve zviyanuch ayekana of bashmaya off b’ar’ah

Havlan lakhma d’soonkannan

Washbooklan khowvine wakhtahine ayekana soff chinnan shuokin I’khaiyouine.

Wela tahlan linisyuna

Ela patssan men bisha

Metool d’lokhhe malkoota wakhaila weteshbookta l’olam aimeen.”



English Translation

“O Thou, the Breath, the Light of all.

Let the light create a heart-shrine within.

And you Counsel rule ’til Oneness guides all.

Your One Desire then acts with ours, as in all light

so in all forms.

Grant what we need, each day, in bread and insight.

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of other’s faults.

Don’t let surface things delude us.

But keep us from unripe acts.

To you belongs the ruling mind.

the life that can act and do.

the song that beautifies all.

from age to age it renews.

In faith, I will to be true.”  —–Amen


My meditation or prayer tonight is:

On The Silence and Stillness in Nature

Through the silence in nature

I attain thy divine peace.


O sublime nature

in they stillness let my heart rest.


Thou art patiently awaiting the moment

to manifest through the silence of sublime nature.


O nature sublime, speak to me through silence

for I am awaiting in silence, like you, the call of God.


O nature sublime,

Through the silence I hear thy cry.


My heart is tuned to the quietness

that the stillness of nature inspires.


O nature sublime, pregnant of  divine spirit,

manifest as a prayer, which rises from my heart.


Speak, God, in silence,

this moment my heart is in tune with the stillness of thy nature.


Though the ever-moving life is my nature,

thou art my very being, O stillness.

Namaste, Barbara


Zen400swprodshutterstock_168559829 copy

Eastern Thoughts

Many of us enjoy reading the poetry of Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir and others. I always feel as if I have been in the presence of God. Whatever form of the Divine you follow, their words take us into his/her presence. This is the same kind of experience. I hope you can enjoy these beautiful Zoroastrian words.


In Thy image let me pattern my life, Oh Ahuramazda,

Let me awake with Thy name on my lips,

In my eyes let me ever carry Thy image,

To enable me to perceive Thee and

Thee alone in everyone else.


Let my mind never waver elsewhere except

to hold Thee in mind.

Let me ever sing songs of praise for Thee.

Let me dance with joy ever in Thy presence.

Let me await Thee patiently for Thy coming

Let that be my everlasting joy.

To be with Thee forevermore.


I await Thee, Thee and Thee alone.

I seek none but Thee.

I long for Thee, I yearn for Thee.

Bless me with Thy vision and let me hold

That enchanted Vision every in my memory,

To Thy Glory, Oh Ahuramazda.


Teach me to knock, teach me to sing, to clim

So that the door may open with sweet music,

That will lull me to the world of creation,

World of geniuses, who all sing one song,

the song of Praise to Thee.


Oh Ahuramazda, I long for Thee,

I await Thee in patience, when shall I perceive?

When shalt Thou bequeath?

I patience I kneel and bow.

I await in silence, in expectation.


Have mercy on this aching heart.

Transform me with Thy Divine Touch.

My aching heart calls out to Thee.

My anguish can only cease with Thy Divine Touch.

I await Thee, I surrender to Thee.

I look forward to They coming in silent meditation.

–A Zoroastrian Prayer which is recited before meditating





The Dove of Peace.

The Dove of Peace.

Unlock Your Creativity

There is a new art medium that helps artists to focus and to get into the zone. It is a way of combining meditation and creativity together and it opens you up to increase your artistic flow.

“Keep creating and it will change your life.” —Beckah Krahula

This medium is called Zentangle and it totally combines your creativity and your meditation. There are not a lot of supplies needed. The process of creating a Zentangle teaches us to become comfortable letting your instincts out and following them where they would lead you. It also teaches you to see your work from every angle. You learn to acknowledge all the possibilities in your work. Not having a planned goal can take the stiffness or rigidness out of your art. Once you begin to tangle, you can just let go.

They say to do small projects. They call them tiles and they should not be any bigger than a tile. The official and real Zentangles are the size of a ceramic tiles. These are the rules, but since I don’t do well with rules, I do small ones and large ones. Whatever I feel like doing.

Tiepolo tiles are the official and original Zentangle tiles. You can tell if they are real because there is a red block on the back of the tile with a Zentangle inside of it. It is also recommended that you use a heavy paper. Many artists use a black tile for the contrast it provides.They also recommend a sketch book to practice every day. I like doing mine in a sketch book. Tangles can also be used in sketches to increase the beauty of the scene.

Because this is a meditative art form it is good to practice it every day. Many artists will do a Zentangle to sort of warm up. To get into the right place and let the creative energy just flow out. Then you can go on to your regular medium completely focused and ready to just let go. Some people use tangles as a form of self-expression or to unwind at the end of a stressful day.

I have found that I like to do them to prepare for working on a painting and simply as a meditative exercise. It calms and de-stresses. The sheer fun of just moving your arm on the paper and freely allowing your emotions to come to the surface is therapeutic.

I find that this form of art leads to inner peace, compassion and a positive outlook. What a wonderful way to change the structure of your day. And I can still meditate and I can feel love and joy just radiate from my soul.

Allow your creativity to lead you farther and farther down the path of your life’s journey. I bet you will see a person smiling at you from the mirror more often.

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio

Namaste and happy tangling.

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio. Copyrighted 2014

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio. Copyrighted 2014

What is in a name?

The beginning of a new year is exciting and filled with some apprehension. I am notorious for facing the new year with trepidation and glee. Yes, I realize that I sound strange. But there are reasons for both responses.


This year I know that if you were to draw a picture of me, you would see one funny looking woman. In 2015, I am looking forward to the possibility of adventure, new friends, new experiences and also leaving old friends, leaving the one grandchild that lives here, and leaving the culture that I love so much. It will be good, but I expect bumps along the way. If things unfold as I imagine them, we will be living in North Carolina this year. But it might be next year or not? No it is coming. An end to winter. Sixty four years on the Great Lakes is quite enough for any one. The doctors are pushing for the move because of my health. We are at the point that we are both taking steps to bring this to fruition, while trusting that the things that must happen will without our interfering. Depending on the universe in this is something I am working very hard on.


What I am ready for is to move, to spend more time in the sunshine. I am ready to be nearer to some of the other grandchildren. I am ready for new adventures and I am ready to be astonished.What I am not ready for is the details of making this come together like a puzzle. I dislike puzzles. So I am doing practical things, praying, believing, anticipating and dreading all at the same time. So I ask all of you, to say a prayer for my sister and I to be within the perfect order of the universe. Which brings me to:

Prayer is an Egg


On Resurrection Day God will say, ” What did you do with the strength and energy

your food gave you on earth? How did you use your eyes? What did you make with

your five senses while they were dimming and playing out? I gave you hands and feet

as tools for preparing the ground for planting. Did you, in the health I gave,

do the plowing?” You will not be able to stand when you hear those questions. You

will bend double, and finally acknowledge the glory. God will say “Lift

your head and answer the questions.” Your head will rise a little, then slump

again. “Look at me! Tell me what you’ve done.” You try, but you fall back flat

as a snake. “I want every detail. Say! Eventually you will be able to get to

a sitting position. “Be plain and clear. I have given you such gifts. What did

you do with them? ” You turn to the right looking to the prophets for help, as

though to say, I am stuck in the mud of my live. Help me out of this! They

will answer, those kings, “The time for belonging is past. The plow stands there in

the field. You should have used it.” Then you turn to the left, where your family

is, and they will say, “Don’t look at us! This conversation is between you and your

creator.” Then you pray the prayer that is the essence of every ritual: God,

I have no hope. I am torn to shreds. You are my first and last and only refuge.

Don’t do daily prayers like a bird pecking, moving its head up and down. Prayer is a egg.

Hatch out the total helplessness inside.”

—By Rumi


Both Wings Broken


Love draws a dagger and pulls me close.

Lock and key. Bird with both wings


broken. The love religion is all that’s

written here. who else would say this?


You open me up wide. Or you tie me

tighter. The ball waits on the field


to be hit again. You push me into fire

like Abraham. You pull me out like


Muhammed. “Which do you like better?”

you ask. All the same, if it’s your hand,


troubles or peace. Friends become enemies,

faithful faithless. Some knots tighten.


some loosen. Unruly tangle of caution and

rebellion, ropes and uncombed hair, no one


can tell. Then comes the sure attention

of a mother’s hand for her hurt child.”

—by Rumi





Praying at the Wailing Wall.

Praying at the Wailing Wall.

 “Hear oh Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is One.” — most important prayer in Judiasm


Prayer and meditation

Prayer and meditation




Sandlewood prayer beads

Sandlewood prayer beads


 “Go in Beauty, Peace be with you, Til we meet again in the Light.”

Prayer and meditation.

Prayer and meditation.


 “May the long time sun shine upon you. All love surround you. And the pure light within you. Guide your way home.”


Prayer of Tibetan monk

Prayer of Tibetan monk


 “Tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath.”  —Kabir


Pray together to increase the power

Pray together to increase the power


 “Oh music, In your depths we deposit our hearts and souls.

 Thou hast taught us to see with our eyes and hear with our hearts.” —Kahil Gibran


Deep in prayer

Deep in prayer


“Flowers and bees may be different, but the honey is the same. Systems of faith may be different, but God is One.” —Rig Veda


Man at prayer

Man at prayer

A Desperate World

No matter where you live on our planet, the countries are filled with hatred, selfishness, a lack of compassion and empathy. People who are marginalized in their countries are angry and want change. They lack the education or the will to use positive tools to bring justice and peace to the world. Guns, hatred, meanness, rifles, bombs, and attacking perfect strangers will not make your life better or happier.

Every person wants to make their life better.  You need to do this. You can do this. You don’t need to cause pain and suffering if that is what is in your life. Your life can be improved. Many people have done just that.


The desperate  state of the world calls us to action. Each of us has a responsibility to try to help at the deeper level of our common humanity. Unfortunately, humanity is too often sacrificed in defense of ideology. This is absolutely wrong.


Political systems should actually benefit human beings, but, like money, they can control us instead of work for us. Humankind must seek harmony among nations, ideologies, cultures, ethnic groups, and economic and political  systems.When we truly recognize the oneness of all humankind, our motivation to find peace will grow stronger.


In the deepest sense we are really sisters and brothers, so we must share one another’s suffering. Mutual respect, trust, and concern for one another’s welfare are our best hope for lasting world peace.


Of course, national leaders have a special responsibility in this area, but every individual must also take the initiative, regardless of religious belief or political affiliation. Just by being human, by seeking to gain happiness and avoid suffering, you are a citizen of this planet. We are all responsible for creating a better future.


To achieve a friendly attitude, a warm heart, respect for the rights of others, and concern for their welfare, you must train the mind. All forms of meditation cultivate an attitude of compassion and calm. It creates a state of mind particularly crucial in human society today for its power to yield true harmony among nations, races, and people from diverse religious, political and economic systems.  WE ARE ALL ONE!








My neighborhood pond, Autumn.   Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

At my development.Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014



What the world needs now

What the world needs now