Let Me Walk in Beauty

From Self Reliance Book


“What you believe you become.

Believe in beauty, for the Earth Mother is covered

with beauty.

Believe in love, for your Earth Mother and Sky Father love you.

Believe in magic and you release your soul from the prison

your mind tries to build around it.

Above all, don’t be afraid.

The Great Spirit provides all that is needed.”

—Sun Bear


Sun Bear, Chippewa Tribe

Sun Bear, Chippewa Tribe



Thy Sacred Dwelling


“Why have I two eyes if not to behold Thy glorious vision?

Why have I two ears if not to hear Thy gentle whisper?

Why have I the sense of smell if not to breathe the essence of Thy spirit?

Why have I two lips, Beloved, if not to kiss Thy beautiful countenance?

Why have I two hands if not to work in Thy divine cause?

Why have I two legs if not to walk in Thy spiritual path?

Why have I a voice if not to sing Thy celestial song?

Why have I a heart, Beloved< if not to make it Thy sacred dwelling?”

—Hazrat Inayat Khan


Weeping Cherry Tree Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2006

Weeping Cherry Tree Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2006


Global Peace

“Man Must first create peace within himself if he desires to see peace in the world;

for lacking peace within, no effort of his can bring any result.”

— Hazrat Inayat Khan


The Healing Heart

Sympathy—a china doll sheds a tear

and a piece of the Great Wall comes down.


Synchronicity—at the same time, in New Your City a lover’s heart mends a tear

and a flower breaks through the concrete.”

—Hadj Pearlman


Painted Sky Orchid. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2013

Painted Sky Orchid. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2013


Let Me Walk in Beauty

“O Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds,

and whose breath gives light to all the world,

Hear me—I come before you, one of your children,

I am small and weak.

I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty,

and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things that you have made,

my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise, so that I may know the things

you have taught my people,

and the lesson you have hidden in every rock and leaf.

I seek strength, not to be superior to my brothers and sisters,

but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself.

Make me ever ready to come to you,

with clean hands and straight eyes.

So when life fades as a fading sunset,

my spirit may come to you without shame.”

—Yellow Hawk Sioux Chief


Yellow Hawk, Sioux Chief

Yellow Hawk, Sioux Chief


It is true that many of us have been traumatized by life. Some a few times and others many times. There are times that a person feels like they just can’t get up again. Some commit suicide and some soldier on. Some go through life broken, perhaps bandaged up and some having buttons that when pushed, trigger violent verbal responses that you are amazed are coming out of the person.


Trauma leaves very deep scars. Physical trauma leaves exterior scars, but the emotional scars leave deep scars. Therapy helps. Medication may help.Some scars keep you from loving and committing another because you feel vulnerable. Some scars keep you from loving yourself.


” Love is the way messengers from the mystery tell us things.

Love is the mother.

We are her children.


She shines inside us,

visible-invisible, as we trust

lost trust, or feel it start to grow again.”



Do You Love Me


“A lover asked his beloved,

Do you love yourself more

than you love me?


The Beloved replied,

I have died to myself

and I live for you.


I’ve disappeared from myself

and my attributes.

I am present only for you.


I have forgotten all my learnings,

but from knowing you

I have become a scholar.

I have lost all my strength,

but from your power

I am able.


If I love myself

I love you.

If I love you

I love myself.”



Love is not easy. No matter how long you know a spouse, partner, friend or even children. It can be the most joyous thing to ever happen to us and it can be the most mistaken and destructive. A doctor once told me that a broken heart can be really broken and he meant it the physical sense. I am not sure but I think he is right. When my husband died, my heart broke and I could feel it.


There are so many people and situations which can hurt us temporarily or for a long time. Turning our minds and hearts to meditation, positive thinking, forgiveness mixed  with gentleness, compassion, kindness and caring can repair the mental and emotional damage.


It takes work to convince a person you care for them and you are there for them, but it is worth the effort. In America, in the twenty first century many people live alone. Trust issues, a lack of love and terrible fear of being vulnerable can stop the circle. The broken heart, trusting a person or God (however, you think of God ) is one of the important life lessons.


Just one more thing, deciding to stay alone, you don’t need people, you don’t want people around very often enforces the buttons and issues from the past. Neurologists are working on the parts of the mind that hold on to those past hurts, pains and suffering.


” When the effort passing step by step,

Experiencing stages, recognizing states, ‘

Becomes so filled with love and

light and compassion,

Then it recognizes this love and light

and compassion on every side.

And there is nothing to which one is unattached,

When the love transcending self recognizes

self no longer,

When the compassion transcending self feels

equally the pain of all,

When the mercy transcending self sends

blessing and healing everywhere,

When self becomes love and there is nothing

left to love…

O that transforming wonder of redeeming light!

O that bliss of transcendental bathing!

O that wondrous calm of the life of life!

When time is gone and  bodies are no longer,

The dark night of sleep is ended,

The dark sleep of night is gone;

The eye perceiving pierces all veils

And only suffering is dead.”

—excerpt from In the Garden by Sufi Ahmed Murad






My religion is LOVE

My religion is LOVE



Is Gratitude Trivial?

I saw the Neurologist this morning. We had an unusual conversation. We talked about gratitude. I learned some interesting facts. Most of our conversation was taking place around the concepts of past, present and future. They are doing more and more research on the way the mind works.


I think this is a very important direction for neurology  to go into. So little is really known about how our minds work. How do each of us learn best?  How do we survive trauma and violence? What can we learn about how to deal with mental illness and the part it plays in violence in our world? Why are some people drawn to violence and some completely repulsed.


They know some victims of violence, have a brain that rewrites itself. It goes around the areas damaged by the pain, trauma and fear in the past. But do they all rewrite the same? Probably not, because some abused children become serial killers and some are good citizens who care about others.


Writing is one thing that scientists suggest as a way to deal with the traumas in our lives. When you sit down to write and put pen to paper, what comes out is the real truth and sometimes what we aren’t aware of on a conscious level. Free writing is putting pen to paper and just write without stopping. Write for thirty minutes. If you hit a block, write stuck, stuck, stuck until the words begin to flow again.


Scientists are doing case studies about going back to basics. To start at the very beginning. To go into a meditative state. Breathe in and out slowly and put your awareness on how the breath flows, how your heart is beating and how your lungs are taking in air and pushing used air out. As you finish the outbreath and are beginning to take your next in breath say thank you with an open heart. The thank you is for the fact that your body works. There may be parts that are not working right, but the basics work. Your body will take you where you need to go. Even if it constantly hurts, it is still working and you are here. So thank you is all that is required from you. It is pretty easy, yet it effects your mind and how your subconscious works.


The subconscious mind lets go of pain, trauma and fear. The future becomes brighter and manageable. The scientists have determined that chromosomes elongate and we begin to feel younger. I don’t think any of us would mind feeling younger.

Namaste to everyone.





Feeling a little bit younger is good.

Feeling a little bit younger is good.



I Know we can Change the World

We all have been talking about peace and freedom a lot. This is the energy we should not lose. It is important to build on it. The ability to forgive, to seek peace, to walk with acceptance in their hearts, and to practice reconciliation, I believe, comes from a loving relationship with The Beloved within.

Life is a constant challenge and it is changing all the time. These stresses people live with every day are growing in size. I think this is a big part of why there is so much anger and hatred. There are so many people dying violently, for many different reasons, that there is an abundance of negativity in the world. Kindness is becoming extinct. Judgement and hate are growing quickly.

We, the people who care and see what is happening need to try to steer our society in a different direction.  We need to be journeying to peace and freedom. It would be wonderful if it could just be here one morning when we wake up. I so want that to happen, but it won’t. It will take effort, paying it forward, giving kindness and acceptance to the grumpiest and meanest of human beings.Why? Because the positive aspects of life are not being taught to kids and many people are just not bothering with even normal manners.

I think the change that needs to happen in our time is that people need to turn inside and connect with The One. No matter which path you walk to God/Goddess, you can’t hate or be unaccepting. We need a revolution of love. We need to know we can’t say we are spiritual beings and judge the person without a job, the person getting food stamps. We can’t say we love the Beloved, when we can’t love our brothers and sisters in the family of man. We can’t say we love God when we will say and think negatively. We can’t find the answer without having a relationship with divinity.

” You can’t find the answer in the mind. As soon as you knock at the door of the heart. The heart becomes a living receptacle, and your whole being becomes one immeasurable heart transfigured by love/ quickened by love and vibrating with the force of love. See how the answers disappear from your mind? Watch your mind scuttling itself before the immensity of the power of the heart so that you have lost all sense of it being your heart. It is no longer your heart since it has become the heart of the Divine Beloved.”

——Excerpted from Toward the One by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

Chanting for happiness,peace and tolerance is one thing we can do to connect with the Divine

Chanting for happiness,peace and tolerance is one thing we can do to connect with the Divine


 We can change life by living in the present, by being forgiving, by being kind, chant, pray, and connect with the God inside.                         

                                                   Light your candle and spread the flame to everyone you know with love in your heart.                  

The Path of the Heart

The meaning of Namaste

The meaning of Namaste

Of all the paths to God, there is one called the path of the heart. The thing of primary importance is to seek God in the heart of mankind. There are three ways of seeking God in the heart of mankind.

The first way of seeking is to recognize the divine in everyone; then to be considerate towards every person with whom we come in contact in our thought, speech and action. The second way is to think of the feelings of someone who is not with one at the moment. Humans often think of those who are present but often neglect to feel for someone who is out of sight. The third way of seeking the Divine is to recognize in one’s own feeling the feeling of God, to realize every impulse of love that rises in one’s heart as a direction from God, to realize that love is a divine spark in one’s heart, and to blow on that spark until a flame may rise to illuminate the path of one’s life.


And Rumi said

“All that comes from God is for all souls. If they are worthy, they deserve it; it is their reward; if they are unworthy, they are the more entitled to it. Verily, blessing is for every soul; for every soul, whatever be his faith, or belief , belongs to God.”   —excerpted from Hazarat Inayat Khan

“The heart is a receptacle on earth of the divine spirit, and when it holds the divine Spirit, it soars heavenward; the wings picture its rising.  The crescent in the heart symbolizes responsiveness. The crescent is a symbol of responsiveness because it grows fuller as the moon grows fuller by responding more and more to the sun as it progresses. The light one sees in the crescent is the light of the sun. As it gets more light with its increasing response, so it becomes fuller of the light of the sun. The star in the heart of the crescent represents the divine spark which is reflected in the human heart as love, and which helps the crescent towards its fullness.”—-excerpted from The Unity of Religious Ideals.

The Heart and Wings

The Heart and Wings

The living thing in the heart is love. It may come forth as kindness, as friendship, as sympathy, as tolerance, as forgiveness, but in whatever form this living water rises from the heart, it proves the heart to be a divine spring. True religion  lies in the opening of the heart, in widening the outlook, and in living that religion which is the one religion.

God and the god ideal may be explained as the sun and the light. As there are times when the sun becomes covered by materialism. But if for a moment the cloud covers the sun, that does not mean that the sun is lost; and so the God-ideal may seem to have disappeared in the reign of materialism, yet God is there just the same. The condition of the world is like the ever rising and falling of waves. Sometimes it seems to rise and sometimes to fall, but as with every rising and falling wave the sea is the same, so, with all its changes, life is the same.  Thus we can’t give up on this world because the God-ideal is ever present and ever changing.

The Carribean Ocean at sunset

The Carribean Ocean  Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio


Waves in ocean Photo and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Waves in ocean Photo and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

The Big Heart

War destroys the childhoods of children.

War destroys the childhoods of children.

” Big heart,
wide as a watermelon,
but wise as birth,
there is so much abundance
in the people I have
Max, Lois, Joe, Louise,
Joan, Marie, Dawn, Arlene,
Father Dunne,
and all in their short lives
give to me repeatedly,
in the way the sea
places its many fingers on the shore,
again and again
and they know me,
they help me unravel,
they listen  with ears made of conch shells,
they speak back with the wind of the best region.
They are my staff.
They comfort me.

They hear how
the artery of my soul has been severed
and soul is spurting out upon them,
bleeding on them,
messing up their clothes,
dirtying their shoes
And God is filling me.
though there are times of doubt
as hollow as the Grand Canyon,
still God filling me
He is giving me the thoughts of dogs,
the spider in its intricate web,
the sun
in all its amazement,
and a slain ram
that is the glory,
the mystery of great cost,
and my heart,
which is very big,
I promise it is very large,
a monster of sorts,
takes it all in—–
as in comes he fury of love.”
——–Anne Sexton, feminist writer and poet

Bass Museum sculpture Photo and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Bass Museum sculpture; South Beach, Florida
Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

The Heart of the Divine

The heart is a receptacle on earth of the divine Spirit. When it holds the divine spirit it soars heavenward. The divine spark which is reflected in the human heart is love.

We need to seek God in the heart of mankind. When we recognize the divine in everyone, we have taken the first step. We also need to be considerate to everyone with our thoughts, actions, and speech.

As you meditate, and visit the inner landscapes, recognize in your own feeling the feeling of God. Know that every impulse of love that rises in your heart is a divine direction from God. This love is the divine spark in your heart which will ignite a flame to rise to illuminate your life’s path.

The living thing in the heart is love. It may show itself as kindness, friendship, sympathy, tolerance or forgiveness.

True spirituality lies in opening the heart, in widening the outlook, and in living your own spiritual path. Every sentient being on earth loves life above all else. The smallest insect, whose life lasts only an instant, tries to escape any danger in order to live a moment longer.

So if we now look at the world and the wars and hatred, bigotry and violence, we have to understand that the heart of humankind is created to be filled with the loving ecstasy of Divinity. Everyone has the same loving connection to Divine love within the heart.

“Because of the beloved my heart is happy,
my soul illuminated.
From the beloved’s greenery hundreds of
blessed rivers are flowing to the rose gardens.

In order to enter into your rose
the soul makes peace with the thorns.

Choose love. Choose love.
Without this beautiful love,
life is nothing but a burden.”

photo by Barbara Mattio

The Mysticism of the Heart

There is a difference between religion and spirituality. Spirituality exists without a structure of dogma or fear.

To appreciate a painting you have to stand in the place of the artist. Assumptions can be made, but without entry to the artist’s heart, we can not completely understand what the artist intended.

Eastern poets and gurus or murshids, understand that ecstasy is being sensitive to the condition of the spirit of the universe. Something like placing one’s hand on the pulse of God. Thoughts that spring from a soul on fire, fill the soul with joy, love, and thrilling inspiration. The awakening; of the consciousness of humanity to the divinity in man, is our inheritance of the Divine immense perfection.

” When a glimpse of Our image is caught in man (or woman) when heaven and earth are sought in man,then what is there in the world that is not in man? If one only explores him, there is a lot in man.”

“I have loved in life and I have been loved. I have drunk the bowl of poison from the hands of love as nectar, and have been raised above life’s joy and sorrow.

My heart, aflame in love, set afire every heart that came in touch with it. My heart has been rent and joined again; My heart had been broken and again made whole;

My heart has been wounded and healed again;

A thousand deaths my heart has died, and thanks be to love, it lives yet. I went through hell and saw there love’s raging fire, and I entered heaven illuminated with the light of love.

I wept in love and made all weep with me;

I mourned in love and pierced the hearts of men;

And when my fiery glance fell on the rocks, the rocks burst forth as volcanoes.

The whole world sank in the flood caused by my one tear;

With my deep sigh the earth trembled, and when I cried aloud the name of my beloved, I shook the throne of God in heaven.

I bowed my head low in humility, and on my knees I begged of love,

‘Disclose to me, I pray thee, O love, thy secret.’ She took me gently by my arms and lifted me above the earth, and spoke softly in my ear,

My dear one, thou thyself art love, art lover, and thyself art the beloved whom thou hast adored.”

—- Hazrat Inayat Khan

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Photo by Barbara Mattio