Celebrating Christmas with the Juniors: Trench Town’s Stars, Glitter…and T Shirts

This is important. These children are the future of Haiti. And symbolize the future of the world.

Petchary's Blog

What does Christmas mean to the children of Trench Town? As much fun as it’s possible to cram into the school holidays. A little more freedom. And a little more fun.

Trench Town Reading Centre’s Christmas party was warming up when we arrived. Mariah Carey was giving those Christmas songs all she’d got on the music system. The bounce-about was in place. Now, this is a very important item on any respectable children’s party list in Jamaica. In case you don’t know, it is an over-sized inflated object, mostly enclosed. You get in, and start bouncing. It’s hard to keep your balance in it, so you fall all over the place. The smallest children usually have a rough time of it, poor things. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in there and those who bounce hardest last longest.

The scent of fried chicken was so delicious that a small group…

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Radha Krishna Statues – Prem Mandir Vrindavan

Krishna statues. Very amazing. Hugs, Barbara

Photo Trap

Radha Krishna Statues

 Prem Mandir Vrindavan

This monument to God’s love, Prem Mandir, is an elaborately carved, white marble wonder. Each stone of the temple has been hand carved by the hundreds of temple artisans, who have been working on this project since 2001.

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The World in us, Us in the World

Prayer beads

Prayer beads

The world has fed us,

And now it is our turn to feed,

It’s given us the rich soil, from which our bodies and souls grow deeply.

The Mother Earth’s message is a great thunderous roar to humanity

Saying through the signs of disaster and tragedy,

Wake up loved ones, all our selfishness must die.

All of your eyes must see, from the eyes of your hearts.

We are the home of it all

The Earth’s land is our skin

Its rivers, our blood

Its fire, our love

Its winds, our united breath

How do we awaken to feel each plate of grass fold over as we walk by?

To hear the sound of each crashing wave and remember”HOME!”

We caught ourselves in folly and illusion to our roots, and now we dig to find the

Treasure in the depth

To lead us through the darkness to the light…we become the change in which we wish

To see, the rest is simply contagious!

All we have from our moment of birth and death is the moments of God awareness.

So then, spread the Message!

Each breath we take can be a breath of forgiveness and hope, of intention and ablution

To the powers around.

Our sensitivity must grow to feel the world bleeding from underneath our feet.

When the  world bleeds, our hearts bleed, our harmony with the Earth is our only hope.

We should stop to bow, bow down to the deepest ocean floors.

Giving thanks and respect to what has created us.

The Mother Earth has carried all of us, and now it is time for us to take responsibility.

by Jelaluddin Nick Thompkins

Sketch of Sufi meditating

Sketch of Sufi meditating

heartandwingsCreating community and commitment to daily spiritual practice. Each day that our actions benefit our communities, compassion, love, acceptance, are steps along the path of forgiveness to the establishment of peace in every country around the world. Peace is always our destination. Mother Earth has fed and taken care of us for the Milleniums. She is still trying but it is as if we were at war with her. We need to take care of her and treasure what she has given us to help us on our journey. We can’t ignore her because if we do Mother Earth will die and we will be dying too.

Just What is the Winter Solstice

winter solstice

winter solstice

” Welcome everything! Welcome all alike what has been, and what never was, and what we hope may be, to your shelter underneath the holly, to your places around the Christmas fire, where what is sits open-hearted.”  –Charles Dickens, 1851

There is a moment of silence that occurs every year, somewhere between the dawn of Christmas Eve and the setting of the sun on Christmas Day itself–a moment we have all experienced at least once in our lives, maybe more than once. It can silence a great city like London or New York, and it can bring stillness to our hearts, whoever and wherever we may be. It offers the promise of new beginnings, of the clean slate of a new year, and it incorporates the breathless expectancy of Christmas night itself, when a familiar figure enter our lives and changes them briefly. It is a moment such as this that lies at the heart of the Midwinter Solstice.

There are many legends and traditions which have made it down through the centuries and are still with us in the twenty first century. There was a bringer of Christmas fare, the Green Knight. He is woven in and out of King Authur’s court. He would arrive just as the festivities were beginning. He offered a strange game—that someone should strike his neck with his great ax. Only Gawain is brave enough to accept the challenge, and undergoes many trials before the tale ends. For once his head has been severed, the Green Knight is able to pick it up, and await the coming of his challenger—a trick that Gawain is not able to do. The Green Knight is the incarnate spirit of Winter, able to present his frightening challenge as the prelude to a battle for the hand of the Spring Maiden.

“It is only in the past three hundred years or so that a “rational” civilization has turned its back on both the Christian and the Pagan traditions and remembered the Solstice by custom and habit rather than by an instinctual involvement with the turning of the seasons.

                                                                                                                   —Shirley Toulson: A Winter Solstice

The Green Man or the Green Man

The Green Man or the Green Man

“Here at the gateway of the year,

may we strive to make good cheer.

In our revels shall joy abound

and sorrow be cast underground.”

—Caitlin Matthews: Sun Still; Sun Return

It is just before sunrise on a cold December day some three thousand years before the coming of Christ. For those crouched at the heart of the mound it must seem as though light has been banished forever. Then, suddenly, a tiny sliver of sunlight strikes the stone slab at the back of the chamber. Slowly it widens, climbs upward, illuminating a number of mysterious carvings—circles and spirals, zigzag patterns. For the people crouched in the center of the great mound of Brug na Boine (also known as New Grange) every symbol has meaning. But by far the greatest significance is the return of the sun itself. The light that enters the dark womb of the earth brings with it the promise of warmth and life to come.


                                                                                                                 Stonehenge at sunrise