“The earth is at the same time mother,
She is mother of all that is natural,
Mother of all that is human,
She is the mother of all, for contained
In her are the seeds of all.
The earth of humankind
Contains all moistness,
All geminating power.
It is in so many ways fruitful
All creation comes from it
Yet it forms not only the basic
Raw material for humankind,
But also the substance
Of the incarnation of God’s son.
—Hildegard of Bingen
Within our hearts and souls, we vibrate with the life we are living on this planet. We vibrate on our journey. Our lives are like a song, the secret to the beauty of music is the notes…and the spaces between the notes, while we walk our path, or play a violin, or piano. The voice of God/Goddess/It is found within the vibrations. This is the essential sound, it is the vibration of the Universe and the sound of creation.
“But few will hear the secrets hidden within the notes.” –Rumi
Chanting brings audible sound into a refined state. It is as if there were a hidden peephole into the inner landscape. The sound moves us, but it is the silence of the inner landscape that truly moves us.
“Listen far beyond hearing, and call the unheard.” –Loa Tzu
When we turn to the music within us, we enter through the peephole into another reality. This one is filled with the loving presence of the souls of our ancestors and the souls of our offspring not yet born.
“If you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth,
Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is inside you…
The music from the strings no one touches.” –Kabir
According to Jewish, Kabbalistic tradition, in the act of Creation the numinous light of God poured forth into vessels that were meant to receive His creative force. But the vessels couldn’t contain the awesomeness of God’s light and shattered, and the world is made up of their shards. Our job as evolving souls is to find and reclaim the hidden light. –Excerpted from the Khaballah
” Shout unto the Lord, all the earth,
Break forth and sing for joy, yea sing praises.
Sing praises unto the Lord with the harp…Hallelujah!
O Lord my God, Thou art very great…Hallelujah!
I will sing praise to my Lord while I have any being…Hallelujah! ” —King David
Chant and sacred sound are gifts of Spirit. To join with a community of others on many different paths is the rising of ecstasy of the inner landscape.
Joseph Campbell brought to light many years ago, the importance of ritual in the life of human beings. In his opinion, we all need rituals and I agree. Rituals may not be extremely structured and they may be performed every day at a certain time for many years. It has been an important aspect in my life to practice meditation, chanting and prayer.
From the Native American Indians to the Jews to the Buddhists, and Sufis and Muslims, there are practices which when done daily with ritual can keep us connected to our spiritual center and the path we choose to follow. There are some days you are centered and the praise, and the knowing flow between you and The One. My eyes are closed right now as I type and I can feel my center flowing words from my hands to this monitor. Watching the breath is another important practice as it keeps us balanced and within the perfect order.
The beauty of chanting is that it is very easy to reach a state of absorption. Your mind follows you into the chant and you become the chant. Chant evokes the living, vibrational reality of these core truths: devotion, stillness, praise, and oneness.
” You’ve been walking the ocean’s edge,
holding up your robes to keep them dry.
You must dive naked under, and deeper,
a thousand times deeper…” ——Rumi
” This is how I would dive into the love I have for you: as pieces of cloud dissolve in sunlight.” —Rumi
Mirabi was a Hindu saint, who gave up her privileged life of wealth and ease to wander in search of the Hindu god, Krishna. She wandered from village to village barefoot singing, dancing nand chanting. When a seeker’s longing is pure, the Divine is always there.
” My friend, the stain of the Great Dancer has penetrated my body.
I drank the cup of music and I am hopelessly drunk.”
” And having tasted the nectar of God’s love, Mirabai is His forever:
Like a bee trapped for life in the closing of the sweet flower,
Mira has offered herself to her Lord.” —Mirabai
While I am celebrating Labor Day and it’s often forgotten beginnings, I am also looking at what is happening around the world and here to women. There are honor killings, little girls are being sold for their bodies, rape is on the rise in America as well as most other countries. Abuse is rising and I mean physical as well as emotional abuse. Women and children are dying due to Domestic Violence. Children are being molested every day. Sex offenders are being trusted to register. Not any help to the person they kidnap and molest. There are people who are kidnapping our young teens and selling them for their bodies and they are left to rot in brothels all around the world.
My point is that while we have to have positive thoughts, meditate, pray and work for peace in this world, we also have to fight to stop the treatment that women and children are experiencing here in America and around the world.
This is not a time to be silent. It is not a time to conform. This is a time to reach out a hand and help. It is time to volunteer for a shelter, a time to donate to a children’s after-school program. It is time to tell your friend that you can’t agree with her opinions. She is welcome to them but you don’t share them.
It is a time to remember the example of Martin Luther King Sr., Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy, Ghandi and Rosa Parks. It is time to speak up, stand tall with dignity and remember that passive resistance freed India from being a British colony to being a country in its own right.
Positive change takes energy, passion, love, and determination. We are all capable of change and we have changed things before, it is time to do it again.
Write to your Congress people and Senators, on the state as well as the national level. Look in your communities for shelters, Rape Crisis, Planned Parenthood or youth groups. Look at what they need and find what you can do to help and make a change. We all must work to make this a better world. There are millions of women and children who need our help and need us to care.
I see or I hear
that more or less
that leaves me like a needle
in the haystack
It is what I was born for—
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world—
to instruct myself
over and over
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant—
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations,
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself, how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
the untrimmable light
of the world
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?”
This poem is taken from one of my favorite poetry books, “Dancing With Joy.” For me reading poetry is akin to meditation. It is slowly drawing up that long slow breath and holding it for those moments of balance, and then the slow gradual exhale. Then the energy begins to flow and you dance with the Divine.
Here we are and where I live, it is the middle of the night. I worked on a painting earlier. At some point during my session I reached the zone. I believe it is an interesting place. It is where creativity and spirituality meet and become one.
“Paradise is at your own center
unless you find it there
there is no way to enter.
The Buddha says, “We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.” The creative person has a capacity for experience. It is our ability to not just look at something, but to really see it. Is what we see exactly what we will paint, draw or sculpt? No probably not. There is a place within ourselves where the artist meets with the Divine. This is the place where the created and the creator blend. The blending of the two conditions is the place where we do not move our hands anymore to compose a song, write a novel, arrange flowers in a vase or paint what your soul experiences.
Due to economic restraints schools are reducing their art and music classes. Reading and math and science are totally necessary. What they don’t teach our children is not just to look but to really see..
Not seeing is becoming rampant is our culture.There are some who that when humans do not “really see” what they look at, Then they lose the ability to look at other humans and care about their sufferings or sorrows. They lose the ability for compassion.
When I draw a flower, it is not the little “I” or the ego which is expressing itself, it is the flower that is being able to express itself.When the creativity inside meets with The One, then we are really one with the Universe. We are part of the Creative Process which unfolds continually in Nature.No matter what your medium is, you become part of the cosmic consciousness. The eyes really see and the hand moves and we are in a state of grace. Here we stop looking at and begin firsthand seeing. At this moment, you find the artist you are looking for.
Angelus Silesius wrote the first Western haiku.
“The rose is without why
it blossoms because it blossoms.”
So exactly what am I attempting to say? I am saying that for creative/artistic people there is a point when their medium becomes meditation. It is actually meditation in motion. The hand and eye work in tandem. Quiet and solitude are not the place where art and meditation meet. So if you haven’t seen the artist within for awhile,simply start living the “artist within.” Peace will descend and your work will pour out of your hands. M.C. Escher did a plate of his hands and it is my favorite. The amazing energy which flows from his drawing makes you know you are standing in the presence of Divinity.
Just be yourself, the unique and creative person that was created out of star dust and allow the creativity to flow out of your soul and into your work.
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