The Looking Glass Waterfall


I searched and searched and searched

and I could not find Thee anywhere

I called Thee aloud, standing on the Temple.

I rang the Temple bell

with the rising of the sun

I bathed in the Ganges in vain.

I came back from Ka’ba disappointed;

I looked for Thee in heaven,

my Beloved, my Pearl, but at last I have found Thee

hidden in the shell of my heart.

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

 

Looking Glass Falls, Pisgah National Forest. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Looking Glass Falls, Pisgah National Forest. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

 

 

Fir trees, what are you?

We are the souls of the sages

who preferred vigil in the solitude to the busy life of the world.

 

Fir trees, what are you? We are hands from heaven,

stretched out to bless the earth continually.

 

 

Fir trees,what are you made for?

We are the temples

made for those who worship God in nature.

 

Fir trees, what are you doing in this forest?

We are the souls on the cross,

patiently awaiting

the hour of our liberation.

 

Dry wood, why do they burn you?

Because I no longer can bear fruit.

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

 

 

 

Mighty rocks have slid down the mountain side. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Mighty rocks have slid down the mountain side. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

 

Mountain wild flowers. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Mountain wild flowers. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

 

Tulip, why have you opened your lips?

To tell you what I have learnt in silence.

What did you learn?

To make of oneself an empty cup.

 

Orchid, what do your petals represent?

Graceful movements of dance.

what does your dance express?

The earth paying homage to Heaven

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

 

Water is the elixir of life. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Water is the elixir of life. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

The path of freedom

does not lead to the goal of freedom;

It is the path of discipline

which leads to the goal of liberty.

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

 

 

The Looking Glass pool. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

The Cliff face beside Looking Glass Falls. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 201

 

 

The falls through the trees. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

The falls through the trees. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

 

 

Make your heart as soft as wax

to sympathize with others,

But make it hard as a rock

to bear the hard knocks of the world.

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

Entering Pigsah National Forest. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Entering Pisgah National Forest. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

All Quiet on the Western Front


 

All Quiet on the Western Front

The silence spreads. I talk and must talk. So I speak to him  and say to him. “Comrade, I did not want to kill you. If you jumped in here again, I would not do it, if you would be sensible too. But you were only an idea to me before, an abstraction that lived in my mind and called forth its appropriate response. It was that abstraction I stabbed. But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do thy never tell us that you are just poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony—forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy? If we threw away these rifles and this uniform you could be my brother like Kat and Albert. Take twenty years of my life comrade, and stand up—take more, for I do not know what I can even attempt to do with it now.”

—Erich Maria Remarque

 

” Think of what a world we could build if the power unleashed in war were applied to constructive tasks! On-tenth of the energy that the various belligerents spent in a war, a fraction of the money they exploded in hand grenades and poison gas, would suffice to raise the standard of living in every country and avert the economic catastrophe of worldwide unemployment. We must be prepared to make the same heroic sacrifices for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.”

—Albert Einstein

 

You have to work for peace.—Barbara Mattio

 

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Cathedrals of Eternity


Galstonbury Tor, Sacred Spiral Hill

Galstonbury Tor, Sacred Spiral Hill

The nature of sacred places is comparable to the nature of the divine in that nothing is unrelated to them. Our life’s destination is not a place, but a new way of looking at things.

Sacred places are perceptions of reality

Sacred places are not locations but events where all time is eternal time

Sacred places are sites for remembering

Sacred places are renewed crucibles of consciousness

Sacred places are an encyclopedia of self-knowledge

Sacred places are time capsules from ourselves to ourselves

Sacred places are portals to eternity

Sacred places are a geography of the imagination

Sacred places are centers of the sacred and profane

Sacred places are realms of things to come.

 

“River banks lined with

green willows, fragrant

grasses:

A place not sacred?

Where?”

——-Sayings of the Masters

 

“I’m too religious to believe in religion. You don’t have to believe in a sacred world. It slaps you in the face. It is everywhere.”

                      —-an eighty year old Hungarian friend to Gretel Ehrlich, poet and novelist

 

“We all move on the fringes of eternity and are sometimes granted vistas through the fabric of illusion.”

                        —Ansel Adams, photographer

 

“To acquire the awareness of the Divine, one need not journey to any special region or place. It is enough if the eye is turned inwards. I the Bhagavadgita, the Inner Reality, the Atma, is described as “splendorous like a billion suns.” But man has not become aware of the light or power within.”

—Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Indian avatar

 

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“We have seen, you and I, the laughing sirens of the trees.

We have been fortunate because, it is said, they are rarely seen, if ever, that they never venture beyond the forest of pine and cedar but stay in the shadows of the thicket of the wood. It is said that these women you have seen cannot think for themselves, that their minds are not their own. It is said, that the women you have seen before your eyes go through life with no intent but to frolic, to make merry and to laugh. It is said that the young who fall and are seduced into their camp return not unto their own but stay with the creatures who think not and cannot reason to know what is good and what is evil. It is said that if in your ramblings you hear this laughter in the wood behind a tree, tarry not, but turn and go the other way. It is said that this is difficult to do when one is young.

—-Laughter Behind the Trees, from the                                                                                                    Tloo-Qwah-nah Ceremony, told by George Clutesi, Nootka writer and artist.

 

 

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“Here, my brothers, are the roots of trees, here are empty places; Meditate.”

—Ancient Buddhist Philosopher

 

Tree Awakening

Tree Awakening

“There is in India a tree whose property it is to plant itself. It spreads out mighty 

arms to the earth, where in the space of a single year the arms take root and put

forth anew.”       —Pliny (A.D. 70), on the wondrous Banyan tree

RainbowOverAsheville-3-14-2016

  Rainbow over the French Broad River, Arden, NC

  Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2016

 

“Stones, plants, animals, the earth, the sky, the stars, the elements, in fact everything

in the universe reveals to us the knowledge, power and the will of the Originator.”

—Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazzali, Persian                                                                               mystic, 1058-1111.

 

Old Man of the Hoh

Old Man of the Hoh

War and Peace


” Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”

—Ernest Hemingway

 

Peace, shalom

is not

 

the absence of difficulties

but

the handling of difficulties

without

loss of balance

Shalom is not the absence of tension

but the acceptance of it as part of the Way.

Shalom is not the absence of war

but the careful waging of war

without losing one’s balance.

Shalom, is not passive non-violence,

but active confrontation with truth.

 

Shalom is the ability to see the grain of life

and act in accord with it;

to discover that effortless effort,

action in tune with the Way of Universe,

is the secret of both peace and power.

 

—Rabbi Shapiro

 

 

“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”

—John F. Kennedy

 

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Rumi’s Legacy


Rumi Followers Fight To Keep Turkey From Cashing In On Mystic’s Legacy

Posted: 01/20/2015 8:40 am EST Updated: 5 hours ago
RNS-RUMI-RECLAIM a

ISTANBUL (RNS) Each Sunday, visitors line up outside of the old Sufi lodge, now a museum, in Turkey’s tourist-filled Galata district, informational pamphlets, cameras and $20 tickets in hand.

The site is but one of the many places tourists flock for performances by the country’s famed white-robed whirling dervishes.

Cafes, hotels and former Sufi lodges reinvented as tourist attractions, like the one in Galata, have all cashed in on the ritual’s popularity.

The “sema” ceremonies, as they’re called, promise attendees a peek into a 750-year-old practice that is as graceful as it is spiritual.

Yet as more ceremonies spring up, excitement has been met by skepticism by descendants of the very 13th-century mystic who first popularized it.

“It’s becoming like a show,” said Faruk Hemdem Celebi, a 22nd-generation descendant of the famous poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi, Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273). “There are people doing this now to make money and attract tourists.”

rumi
Faruk Hemdem Celebi is a 22nd-generation descendant of Rumi and president of the International Mevlana Foundation. Behind him hangs a picture of his father and predecessor as the alleged hereditary leader of the Mevlevi order. Religion News Service photo by Michael Kaplan

Rumi was a highly revered Persian mystic who preached inclusivity and respect for all. His poetry and writings on divine unity and love have attracted a global following.

Celebi, who leads the International Mevlana Foundation, believes that Rumi’s practices have been wrongly appropriated for profit.

Last month, he announced the launch of a campaign to reclaim Rumi’s practices.

Through familial lineage, Celebi claims to be the heir of the Mevlevi (meaning “My Master”) order, which was founded by Rumi’s followers after his death and includes a collection of disciples who follow Rumi’s teachings.

Celebi is working to bring Rumi’s name under his foundation’s control. He has trademarked 10 terms related to the Sufi saint. But that has, so far, failed to stop its appropriation.

Celebi said he has meetings coming up with some high-ranking government officials, including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, to discuss how the foundation can have more say in decisions related to Mevlana traditions, and particularly sema.

Istanbul’s Galata district is not the only site for Rumi’s practices.

Thousands of people gather in a sports arena in Konya — the site of Rumi’s shrine, about 450 miles southeast of Istanbul — each December to commemorate the saint’s death through a week of dancing and whirling. (Rumi died in Konya in 1273.)

Legend has it that Rumi, a devout Muslim, was walking through Konya’s gold district when, upon hearing the rhythmic hammering of goldsmiths and their chanting of God’s name, the religious scholar broke out into ecstasy. His body slipped into a trancelike state as his hands raised toward the sky, his body whirling until he reached oneness with the divine.

The whirling has grown into an iconic form of “dhikrullah” or “remembrance of God” — practiced primarily by Rumi’s followers. With each turn, practitioners repeat God’s name.

“It’s a very powerful, meditative experience,” said Ismail Fenter, an American dervish who belongs to the Mevlevi order. “To turn it into dance or into public exhibition … it just cheapens it,” he said.

Today’s Mevlevi leaders grew up at a time when Sufi orders were illegal under Turkey’s strict secular code. Sufi dens were shut down and religious whirling was outlawed in 1925, but reintroduced to the country in the 1950s, strictly for tourism.

It was then that religious whirling turned from a private form of meditative remembrance of God into a public and profitable national artistic display.

The length of sema ceremonies has been truncated to cater toward tourists, and some of the traditional requirements — such as studying for years in Konya to become a dervish — have been dropped.

The Mevlevi order has been trying to rein in the group ever since. While Mevlevi leaders welcome the admiration for Rumi, some are skeptical of the way his message has been interpreted.

“People in America find emotional highs, and Rumi becomes an emotional high,” Fenter said. “But they don’t all understand the part about Islam … and it doesn’t completely make sense without that.”

Many people, however, believe that the popularity of Rumi’s teachings and traditions has outgrown the control of any single family, even if the family claims to be rightful heirs of the saint.

“Rumi has inspired a lot of people and has given comfort and wisdom,” said Margaret Rose, an American expatriate living in Istanbul who has attended a number of whirling ceremonies. “It doesn’t seem offensive; it seems to be done in a respectful way.”

Rose said she would be sorry to see restrictions put on the ceremonies, which she considers a cultural treasure.

“It’s very spiritual and I felt like you could get a glimpse of this ceremony that might have otherwise been private,” she said. “I felt lucky that I got to see it.”

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What do Women Think About?


Hello to everyone. I am going to share ideas and thoughts from women who are famous in some way. I was thinking about thinking and decided to share some very good thoughts. What do you think about what these women are thinking about?

 

“One can not be an American by going about saying one is an American. It is necessary to feel America, like America, love America and then work.”   —Georgia O’Keeffe, American artist  (1887-1986

 

“One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness — simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.”   —George Sand, French writer and novelist  (1804-1876)

 

“I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively.”  —Golda Meir, Ukrainian-born Israeli leader. (1898-1978)

 

“I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger.”   —Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist (1820-1913)

 

“Common sense is seeing things as they are; and doing things as they ought to be.”  —Harriet Beecher Stowe, American writer and activist  (1811-1896)

 

“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.”  —Helen Keller, American essayist  (1880-1968)

 

“Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.”  —Jane Addams, American activist  (1860-1935)

 

“Action is the antidote to despair.”  —Joan Baez, American folk singer  (1941-    )

 

“We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”  —Julia Ward Howe, American activist, founder of Girl Scouts of America  (1819-1910)

 

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  —Lucille Ball, American comedienne  (1911-1989)

 

 

Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball

 

 

 

Joan Baez

Joan Baez

 

Jane Addams

Jane Addams

 

 

 

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

 

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

 

Golda Meir

Golda Meir

 

 

George Sand, French writer

George Sand, French writer

 

 

 

 

Georgia O'Keeffe, artist and painter

Georgia O’Keeffe, artist and painter