Tis the Season


Celtic Women is one of those musical experiences that are wonderful any time of the year by they really shine at this time of year. I hope you all enjoy the music and I wish you all much happiness, hope, kindness, compassion with a huge mixture of laughter this season.


May all of our hearts be filled with the joy of the music.

Blessed be, Barbara




Happy Holidays from the Celtic Women

Happy Holidays from the Celtic Women





Sunday night was the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Many people know the story of the eight days — that there was only enough oil left in the Temple to light the Eternal Flame for a single night, not enough to burn for the eight days it would take to produce more oil. But the oil lasted until more could be made, and the Miracle of Lights is still celebrated by Jews across the world.


What people forget is why the Hebrews found their temple without oil.  It had been ransacked by the Syrians, who were trying to oppress the Jews, to force them to forsake their God for the Syrians’ many tribal gods.  Thousands of years ago, fighting in the Middle East to kill those who believed differently.

But the Jews survived.  Their faith sustained them, and when they defeated the Syrians, their first thought was not revenge or retaliation, but rededication of their desecrated Temple; rededication to their God.

An interesting tale in this day and age, and perhaps more relevant than it has been in many years.




On Hanukkah


O God, what can I say now that Israel

Has bared its neck to its enemies?

–Joshua  7 : 8


My God and Sovereign, The lights shimmer

So cheerfully in our houses tonight —

These lights that we kindle as evening falls,

Their gentle glow recalling the time

When your merciful light shone down on us

In the midst of a night of oppression and danger.


As the terrifying hand of King Antiochus was raised

Against your people, as it oppressed us and abused us,

As the Syrian king, in his stubborn frenzy,

Tried to compel us to deny our faith

And turn our wholesome honor of God into idolatry —


As he desecrated the temple

And disgraced the holy tabernacle,

You called forth might, glorious warriors

And champions of right from among your people,

You se up the noble sons of Mattathias

At the heed of that small band of Maccabees

And lent them victory and triumph

Then our ancestors came into your temple,

Purified the holy spaces

That the barbarians had desecrated,

Kindled the lights at the holy places,

And dedicated this day

As a day of liberty and celebration for all time.


In the shimmer of these lights we remember those days

When absolute faith and childlike love you,

Exalted Eternal One, returned again

To the faltering, weary hearts of your people,

When our holy religion inspired their hearts once more

And burned within them

With Heavenly strength and purity

In all its shining nobility.


May these little lights,

Which serve as a testament to that great epoch,

Also beckon us to rekindle the holiest awe, love,

And trust in you , Eternal Parent, in our own hearts.

May we always nurture these holy feelings,

So we do not grow weary or falter

When misfortune and trouble enter our lives.

And when we are faced with difficult tests,

May we honor your will with dedications and piety,

Patiently bearing whatever we have been given,

Never crying out in doubt,

“There is no help for us in God.”

You place burdens on us

And relieve us of our burdens,

You change darkness into light and mourning into joy.

May you make our hearts strong and vigorous,

That we may always act with complete devotion

And firm commitment to you and your holy works,

Proving ourselves to be courageous warriors

And champions of your diving command.  Amen

–Author Unknown




Giving Thanks


We, in America, are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is tomorrow but I have company coming in for the feast. So I will not be blogging tomorrow. Every person on Mother Earth will be on my mind and in my heart.




I would like to wish all of my American readers a very joyful and happy holiday.

To my readers around the world, I would like to wish you a safe, healthy and happy weekend. May all put aside differences and focus on gratitude and the miracle of being alive. I wish to thank all of my readers for your loyalty and your wisdom as you leave your comments. You have all blessed me greatly.


We give-away our thanks to the earth

which gives us our home.

We give-away our thanks to the rivers and lakes

which give-away their water.

We give-away our thanks to the trees

which give-away fruit and nuts.

We give-away our thanks to the wind

which brings rain to water the plants.

We give-away our thanks to the sun

who gives-away warmth and light.

All beings on earth: the trees, the animals, the wind

and the rivers give-away to one another

so all is in balance.

We give-away our promise to begin to learn

how to stay in balance with all the earth.

—Dolores La Chapelle


The joy of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The joy of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

True Nature

Our minds have a true nature and it is enlightenment and peacefulness. So what happens to us as life continues in its flow? The oceans are calm and clear until they are stirred up by a storm or several storms. So what stirs us up?


When we mentally grasp onto things, problems or trials and cling to our wants, desires and worries, we lose our enlightened freedom and healing power. When we do this, we gain stress and exhaustion, suffering and overexcitement. It is as if a storm were sweeping the surface of the ocean.


Buddhists call this grasping at self. And we do and the harder we grasp, the more stressed and traumatized we become. Our minds do have the power to be joyful and to blossom into peace and contentment. We, our minds, are what makes the difference. Our minds can heal us or can make us very ill emotionally and physically.


Rich and poor alike can suffer from stress caused by external worries. Even millionaires suffer from anger, despair, and depression. They really do not get to enjoy true rest and peace, but they worry about how to keep what they have. They can’t enjoy who and what they are but are living for what they desire. Making money does not enslave us, but giving our lives over to what we are attracted to does.


Poor people become trapped by the struggle of life. They struggle to pay bills, keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. These are all important things. Often they can’t even enjoy the little they have for fear of incurring more pain.


Mother Teresa told a story about a small boy who was brought to the missionary sisters in Calcutta.  They gave him a piece of bread and he hungrily ate half. He refused to eat any more. The sisters asked him why he wouldn’t eat more and he said because he might not get any more. The sisters assured him he could have more and he quickly ate the other half. This orphan was clinging to that half piece of bread because he understood what starvation felt like and that half slice was all he thought he had between him and starving.


We accumulate items for our homes but take little care of our minds and bodies. A Tibetan monk  told a story of a friend of his who was chopping wood and he lost control of one chop and it cut through his new leather shoe. His foot was uninjured and that was good. The monk looked at his friend and expressed his gratitude about his foot and then said that if his friend hadn’t had the shoes on, he would have cut his foot. The monk’s friend looked at the monk and declared that if he hadn’t had on his new shoes, he would have injured his foot but it would have healed. The shoe would not heal.  In a poor country like Tibet, shoe leather is valued.  It is a funny way of looking at things, but we often put material objects before our minds and bodies.


Relaxing our hold on self brings us peace of mind, and with peace of mind nothing can harm us. Even if we suffer, the right attitude will help us carry our emotions more lightly. Simply by opening our minds, we can be surprised by our own inner strength.


Neurologists are working hard to understand how the mind works and they are making real progress. Letting go of things and the people who are toxic in our lives does make a difference. The difference is being free to discover and enjoy the wonders in the world and in our lives.


Meditation does help us with the letting go and it helps us to hold on to love, peace, enlightenment and compassion. There is no one right way of meditation, but it is the act of opening oneself up to experience Divinity that enables us to let go of what is causing us suffering.


Along our journey in this life, we can serve others, create organizations which will help others, provide protection, give gifts, say prayers, and pay respect to others and to Mother Earth.


“When you speak, speak with ease, relevance, clarity, and pleasantness,

Without desire and hatred,

In gentle tones and at moderate length.

When you look, look with honest and loving eyes, thinking:

‘By depending on this kind person

I will become fully enlightened.’ ”



“God said to Moses, ‘You saw the moon rise from your chest.

I filled you with Divine light. I am God, Yet, when I got sick,

you never visited me!’

Moses said, ‘Transcendent one, I don’t know what you’re

talking about. Please set me straight.’

God repeated, ‘When I was sick, you never came.’

Moses said, ‘Perfect One, You have no imperfections! I don’t

understand. What are you talking about?’

God said, ‘One of my lovers was ill, and you ignored it.

I am him. His sickness is my sickness. Think it over.’ ”

   —Rumi, from Rumi Wisdom






The suffering of humankind. The storm sweeping the ocean. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The suffering of humankind. The storm sweeping the ocean. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015


The peacefulness and beauty of the beach. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The peacefulness and beauty of the beach. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Life is Important

A few days ago, I posted a piece about ISIS deliberately impregnated a nine year old girl. This little girl experienced rape and trauma to her little body. Today, ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city. I want to thank you all for your comments on my initial post. Please add your prayers to your comments.


There are many people in the world who have lost their respect for human life. All life is created by Divinity. All life, human or otherwise, is precious and does not deserve ill-treatment. Impregnating a woman or a girl is power and control. It is humiliating the female and wanting her family to shun her. This is a way to destroy the life of the female and to devastate her family. It also raises a new generation that would be damaged emotionally by the circumstances of their lives and families.


Now that ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city, the city may collapse. If it does, there are thousands of lives at risk. Men and women captured and tortured and possibly killed as so many others have been. Women and girls raped or gang raped. Why? Because they are different, they call their God a different name.


Yet, down through history, the different names of a Divine Being have separated human beings from each other. These Divine Names are the reason for wars, atrocities, rapes, and mass murders. Hundreds of humans have died throughout the centuries because civilizations and countries have at times lost their respect for human life. WWII is one example. Millions of people were killed because of who they were but also because of who and what they weren’t.


For people to rape and impregnate children, there is a disconnect between their minds and their emotions. Many are psychopaths and feel no emotion. Not just people in ISIS but even some American citizens. The elderly have no use or meaning to these people and neither do women of any age. A world where life has no meaning is a terrifying and devastating place for us to be in.


Life is important. It has meaning that many don’t want to acknowledge. The meaning of life carries us to kindness, compassion, love and joy. These attributes carry us to peace. A lack of these attributes carries us to war. What is war good for?  NOTHING.

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.




joyful song

joyful song


Quiet yourself.

Reach out with your

mind’s skillful hand

Let it go inside of me

and touch


Don’t be shy, dear.

Every aspect of Light

we are meant to know.

The calm hand holds


than baskets of goods

from the market.

The calm soul knows


than anything this


can offer from here



–By St. John of the Cross, taken from Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

St. John of the Cross has been long recognized as one of the world’s great mystical poets. His verse reveals a profound, tender experience of divine communion.


A heart of love

A heart of love