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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Spring

We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.God is the friend of silence. See how nature, trees, flowers,  grass grows in silence. See the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch our souls. - St Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today. - Indian Proverb.
He (she ) is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. - Socrates.
Open your two eyes and see
The beauty of the cherry tree.
 It is content to be what God made it.
It does not envy apricot or plum one bit.
It is happy to grow where it is planted:
To be just there, even taken for granted.
All it has to do to fulfill its destiny is BE.
There's much to be learnt from a cherry tree. - Eileen Rose McParland
My garden of flowers is also my garden of dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.- Abram L. Urban
Inside each of us is a beautiful flower garden.
This is the garden of the soul. - Sri Chinmoy.
A garden is a sort of sanctuary, a chamber roofed by heaven. - Robert Lorimer
Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the sky. - Kahil Gibran,

Let's Southernise Our Holidays.

For years I have been saying that we have our holidays at the wrong time. Because we follow the Northern Hemisphere and our ancestors, we have Christmas tied to our Summer Holidays, which now actually do not take place during the hottest month in New Zealand. Certainly in Wellington, nothing hots up here till late January and the children are cooped up in classrooms during the hottest month of February.
Of course you can't start school later because soon it would be Easter! And there is another problem. Isn't Easter about celebrating the Resurrection and new life? Here in New Zealand creation is not resurrecting after the cold winter in late March or April. Nor are new lives being born in the animal kingdom. There aren't any baby chicks and bunnies at this time of the year.
Jesus was not born in the summer. It was winter in the Middle East. We should be celebrating Christmas in late June. Or, whenever we have a lot of snow here. Plum pudding and custard and turkey with roast potatoes would then make sense, not to mention the Figgy Pudding!
The other American adopted celebration of Halloween is also out of kilter. We do not have pumpkins ripe in October here. My seeds are not even up yet. This celebration should be in April.
So how would a Southern calendar look, I wonder.
We would of course start with New Year on 1st January. Then in mid-January we would have the summer holidays.  In April, we could celebrate Harvest Festival and at the end of the month Halloween. This would be followed by Christmas in late June. Late July/ August would be the time to celebrate Ash Wednesday and Pancake Tuesday and the weeks of Lent. Then in September, we would celebrate Easter. The church calendar would need to be changed and the whole structure of our society. How exciting!!!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

MEDITATING

On Tuesday evening I led a three hour seminar on meditation.
There are many types of meditation, both Christian and Eastern. I practice one of each. Cover all bases!
The type of meditation that I practice every day is called Centering Prayer. It is an intention type meditation rather than a concentration form which uses a mantra. It was developed by the Cistercian monks in America, led by Father Thomas Keating. I learnt the method from Cynthia Bourgeault, who learnt from Thomas.
In this kind of prayer the emphasis is on letting go. Thomas very colloquially says it is so easy as all you have to do is sit down and shut up.
Yes, you sit on a comfortable chair that supports your back so you can sit up straight, legs uncrossed and arms resting on knees or your lap and gently close your eyes. You choose a sacred word as symbol of your intention to spend time with the Divine Presence and to leave yourself open to the action of this Divine Presence. You begin by saying this sacred word under your breath. When thoughts have cleared the word will just disappear.
When thoughts or feelings return, you gently let go of them and return to the sacred word. Even if you go to sleep, you just let go of it and return to your sacred word. As you become calmer, you will usually experience more period of union with the Divine Presence in the quiet space.
The sacred word should be just a small one, such as peace, holy, Jesus. It is not used as a mantra, of which you never let go. It is used to bring you back to your original intention to give this time to the Divine Presence and to leave yourself open to his/her action.
This type of letting go meditation will after a time, start to influence your life and you will find yourself being led to let go of past hurts, animosities, impatience and other things.
As the tea ad says,"DO TRY IT!"

Friday, 14 October 2011

A LOT TO WONDER AT

This week has provided a lot of food for thought. Yesterday I read two news items about rugby ( is there any other news other than rugby at present?) In one write up the English team were being investigated with possible suspensions forthcoming for their drunken and other behaviors on tour in New Zealand. While the Welsh team were being criticized because they were supposedly not drinking before the semi-finals this weekend. Can you win?
Then there is the shipping. The Rena it now appears intended to crash into the reef! And the Aratere Ferry has been expensively enlarged and refitted and is still a "Spanish Flea!" There are disgruntled passengers already.
On Wednesday I was in the Lansdowne Gardens in Masterton. I strolled down to the aviaries and at first thought they were unoccupied. They looked somewhat derelict. But as I came nearer, I saw the birds. We go on a lot about zoo animals being properly housed in suitable habitats so how about birds? The cages were not very interesting and looked unkempt. The highlight of the visit was when a cockatiel called out to me,"Hello darling!"
I am also wondering when the Wellington rain will stop so that I can put some seeds into my beautifully weeded potagers. I see though that the long range forecast predicts a fine Labour Weekend.