What is the Importance of a Tree?


A few days ago, when I went to the Light Center because I was ill, I was thinking about the mountains. The trees were soaring over head and the air was so clean and fresh. I thought about how amazing it must have been to have traveled here 100-200 years ago. I was looking at the trees and wondering how long they had been there. Below are some of the pictures I took.

Veterans of Foreign Wars asked the government to set aside a fitting stand of trees to the memory of Joyce Kilmer. Kilmer was both a WWI soldier and a poet.  He is remembered most for his nature poetry and his poem “Trees.”

 

Trees

 

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet

flowing breast.

 

A tree that looks at God all day

And lifts her leafy arms to pray.

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair.

 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain.

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

—Joyce Kilmer

 

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Evergreens. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

Evergreens. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

“Let my mind bear sweet fruit and

fragrant flowers,

as this tree is planted of the soil of Thy spirit.

—with branches downwards:

 

I see Thy hand

blessing me

—-rising upwards.

 

in the night:

My heart stands in waiting and hope

as the trees stand through the darkness of night.”

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

 

The trees give us clean air and shade in the summer. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

The trees give us clean air and shade in the summer. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

“How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!

The heavens declare Your glory,

the arch of sky display Your handiwork

In Your love You have given us the power

to behold the beauty of Your world

robed in all its splendor

The sun and the stars, the valleys and hills,

the rivers and lakes all disclose Your presence.

The roaring breakers of the sea tell of Your awesome Might,

the beasts of the field and the bird of the air

bespeak Your wondrous will.

In Your goodness You have made us able to hear

the music of the world. The voices of loved ones

reveal to us that You are in our midst.

A divine voice sings through all creation.”

—Jewish Prayer

 

 

The tree seem to scrape the sky

The trees seem to scrape the sky. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Meditation


As I have declared before, we are all children of the Universe. We are interconnected. I am in the butterfly and the butterfly is in me. We are not only connected to each other but to every living thing. This meditation was written a long time ago and it helps us to recognize on the inner landscape, out true relationship with all that is living. I hope you will try it and see if it makes a difference.

 

“I am in everything and everything is in me.” —-Khabira

 

The beauty of spring in Western North Carolina

The beauty of spring in Western North Carolina. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Mediation

I started as a mineral

Then I became a vegetable,

then an animal,

then a human,

and I will continue in the heavenly spheres

—Rumi

 

Vibration, molecules, crystal,

I am the bounty of my heavenly condition manifested.

My heavenly counterpart seeks to be.

I was born out of the encounter between heaven and earth.

My consciousness was vibrating like a harp.

 

My thoughts are the thoughts of the universe

I sought to awaken beyond my human condition —

And as I awoke I discovered the universe within me —

Free from myself.

 

I begin to look into the calls of the crystal

Visualize the life force within the crystal;

the molecules, electrons whirling, sparkling —

being the expression manifesting the language of the universe

frozen in a crystal

 

Throbbing at the subatomic level

Imagine the rigor involved

Some electrons escape by following light

Then they fell back for lack of energy

They Danced.

They Sparkled.

 

Now get into the consciousness of a flower

A bud, opening up —

one petal at a time

Then the petals begin to fall off

and it dies

But, oh, the moment of glory —

the seed remains;

the perfume extracted —

and then the air

The only way it can express is by form, color, fragrance

for but a moment of glory

 

What leap forward for the state of the animal —

Respiratory system, circulatory system, et cetera —

taken eons of time.

Now the need to manifest not only in form but more —

The support system is more elaborate.

Each animal manifesting its divine qualities.

Now emerging as a human being.

Not only aware of stars but —

visualizing them as radiant luminaries with life systems,

more advanced than ours —

light years away.

Reaching into thinking of the universe

Not only receiving the light of the stars but —

perceiving their thinking.

 

We are awakening to all levels of the universe

Discovering the qualities

Begin to feel it in the animal

 

Compassion, love, et cetera.

More qualities. More of the universe.

And as more comes through

you become more cosmic

 

What is more, we are able to feel

that emotion of the universe that became

the crystal

the plant

the animal

 

Can you feel it?

 

If you can grasp the countenance of your being —

it is an effort to express that splendor.

 

Now hoist yourself to the levels of your being —

exploring the metaphors of your being;

New thoughts emerge —

prompted by emotion

(Not random thoughts

but thoughts provoked by

the intensity of the emotion)

 

Be kind to your soul.

The emotion of your soul

is prompted by

intuition

 

You are born out of that Divine Nostalgia

Accept your Divine Being.

You have seen how far you have come

to be a human.

It is now time to awaken

to one’s own Divinity —

by being aware of

the Divine Nostalgia

that spurs us to

our Divine Power

 

Instead of thinking of yourself

as a person —

think of yourself

as the fulfillment of

the Divine Purpose;

Like one of the sketches of Leonardo di Vinci

that leads up to the final picture.

 

In us is God’s fulfillment —

How great is my glory —

This does not mean

the individual

but is more cosmic.

 

For, when you discover

Yourself in the Universe

You discover the Universe in You

—–Sakina

 

A water Lily Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2016

A water Lily
Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2016

Higher Ground


The light center we took a day trip to, a couple of weeks ago, is dedicated to prayer for personal and planetary transformation. It is in Black Mountain, NC. It is open 24/7 for prayer and meditation. It is owned and operated by the United Research, Inc.

 

The building is circular and there is a room which is set up with lights and comfortable chairs. A panel of light surrounding the room below ceiling height is programmed to shine one color at a time for four minutes, with one minute of darkness in between each color. The seven colors begin with red, continue with consecutive hues of the rainbow, and end with white light. There are so many people who have prayed and meditated here that there is a very strong energy of peace and of togetherness.

 

We can all pray for transcending peace where we are and along the lines of our spiritual path. Or you can simply talk to God as you know him/her/it. There are some things which can make our prayers more powerful.

 

They include: releasing all of your past, all negativity, fears, relationships and judgements to the light.

Understanding you are a light being, a child of the Universe.

Knowing that you can radiate light from your light center to everyone.

Knowing that you can radiate light from your light center to everything.

You are in a bubble of light and only Light can come to you and only Light can be there.

You can thank God for everyone in your life, for everything in your life and most importantly for yourself.

 

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Peace is not the product of terror or fear.

Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.

Peace is not the silence result of violent repression.

Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.

Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity.

It is right and it is a duty.

—Oscar Romero

 

 

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 Ask for the hope we all need. Pray leaders will stop playing politics and lead this world to peace.


Ask for the hope we all need. Pray leaders will stop playing politics and lead this world to peace.

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.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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