Archives for March 2016

St Joseph’s Party 2016

Easter 2016 – the sun rises again

“The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.””
John Muir

“He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sunrise”
William Blake

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.”
Walt Whitman

“Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise”
George Washington Carver

“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?”
E. M. Foster

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.”
Bern Williams

“Sunrise doesn’t last all morning, a cloudburst doesn’t last all day, seems my love is up and has left you with no warning. It’s not always going to be this grey. All things must pass, all things must pass away.”
George Harrison

“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise.”
Clement of Alexandria

Rabindranath Tagore


Einstein and Tagore, 14 July 1930

“Spiritual life is the emancipation of consciousness. Through it we find immediate response of soul everywhere. Before we attain this life, we see men through the medium of self-interest, prejudice or classification, because of the perpetual remoteness around us which we cannot cross over. When the veil is removed, we not only see the fleeting forms of the world, but come close to its eternal being, which is ineffable beauty.
Some seek for the evidence of spiritual truth in the outside world. In this quest one may stumble upon ghosts or some super-sensual phenomenon of nature, but these do not lead us to spiritual truth, as new words in a dictionary do not give us literature.

So busy used I to be under the belief that I was indispensable, that I hardly dared to wink.
My doctor now and again would warn me, saying: “Stop, take it easy.”
But I would reply: “How will things go on if I stop?”
Just then my health failed me, the wheels of my car broke down and it came to a stop beneath this window. From here I looked out upon the limitless space. There I saw whirling the numberless flashing wheels of the triumphal chariot of time,–no dust raised, no din, not even a scratch left on the roadway. On a sudden I came to myself. I clearly perceived that things could get along without me. There was no sign that those wheels would stop, or drag the least bit, for lack of anyone in particular.
But is this to be admitted so easily as all that! Even if I admit it in words, my mind refuses assent. If it be really quite the same whether I go or stay, how then did my pride of self find a place in the universe, even for a moment? On what could it have taken its stand? Amidst all the plentifulness with which space and time are teeming, it was nevertheless not possible to leave out this self of mine. The fact that I am indispensable is proved by the fact that I am.

THE question is: “In which Truth is my entity to realise its fullest value,–in Power or in Love?” If we accept Power as that truth we must also recognize conflict as inevitable and eternal.”

Thought Relics by Rabindranath Tagore

In the restaurant

(story sent by Anshul Maheshwari)

A son took his old father to a restaurant for an evening dinner.
Father being very old and weak, while eating, dropped food on his shirt and trousers.
Other diners watched him in disgust while his son was calm.

After he finished eating, his son who was not at all embarrassed, quietly took him to the wash room, wiped the food particles, removed the stains, combed his hair and fitted his spectacles firmly. When they came out, the entire restaurant was watching them in dead silence, not able to grasp how someone could embarrass themselves publicly like that.

The son settled the bill and started walking out with his father.

At that time, an old man amongst the diners called out to the son and asked him, “Don’t you think you have left something behind?”.

The son replied, “No sir, I haven’t”.

The old man retorted, “Yes, you have! You left a lesson for every son and hope for every father”.

Where God lives

On one hand we know that it is important to seek God.
On the other hand, life distances us from Him – because we feel ignored by the Divine, or else because we are busy with our daily life.
This apparent double law is a fantasy: God is in life, and life is in God.

Relax. When we start our spiritual journey, we want so very hard to speak to God – and we end up not hearing what He has to tell us.
That is why it is always advisable to relax a little.
It is not easy: we have a natural tendency to always do the right thing, and we feel that we are going to improve our spirit if we work at it non-stop

But if you relax and keep moving, if we manage to penetrate the sacred harmony of our daily existence, we shall always be on the right road, because our daily tasks are also our divine tasks.
And God is there.

I don’t want to offend you (Islamic tradition)

During his pilgrimage to Mecca, a holy man began to feel the presence of God.

In the midst of a trance he knelt down, hid his face and prayed:
“Lord, I ask for only one thing in life: that I be given the grace of never offending you.”

“I cannot grant you that grace,” answered the Almighty. ‘If you don’t offend me I shall have no reason to pardon you.

” If I have no need to pardon you, soon you will also forget the importance of mercy towards others.

“So go on your way with Love and let me grant pardon now and again so that you don’t forget that virtue as well.”

_______________________________________
Durante su peregrinación a La Meca, un hombre santo comenzó a sentir la presencia de Dios.

En medio de un trance, se arrodilló, escondió su rostro y oró:
“Señor, te pido una sola cosa en la vida:. Que se me dé la gracia de nunca ofender Usted”

“No puedo conceder esa gracia”-respondió el Todopoderoso. “Si no me ofendes no tendré motivos para perdonarte.

“Si no tengo necesidad de perdonarte a ti, pronto también te olvidas la importancia de la misericordia hacia los demás.

“Así­ que sigas tu camino con amor, te perdonaré de vez en cuando, y tu perdonarás a los otros.”

30 sec reading: why tell stories

The great Rabbi Israel Shem Tov, when he saw that the Jews were being mistreated, went into the forest, lit a holy fire, and said a special prayer, asking God to protect his people.
And God sent him a miracle.

Later, his disciple Maggid de Mezritch, would go to the same part of the forest and say:
“Master of the Universe, I do not know how to light the holy fire, but I do know the special prayer; hear me, please!”
The miracle always came about.

A generation passed, and Rabbi Moshe-leib of Sasov, during some dire times, went to the forest, saying:
“I don’t know how to light the holy fire, nor do I know the special prayer, but I still remember the place. Help us, Lord!”
And the Lord helped.

Fifty years later, Rabbi Israel de Rizhin, in his wheelchair, spoke to God:
“I don’t know how to light the holy fire, nor the prayer, and I can’t even find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell this story, and hope God hears me.”
And the Lord helped. ‘”

That’s why I adore storytelling; stories are how we learn. The progenitors of the world’s religions understood this, handing down our great myths and legends from generation to generation

As someone said: “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple


___________________________
ESPANOL AQUI > Cuando sea una mujer mayor, vestiré de morado
___________________________

by Jenny Joseph

WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN I SHALL WEAR PURPLE
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Pilar


__________________________
EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI > Pilar
EM PORTUGUES, CLICAR AQUI> Pilar
__________________

If one person really wants us, everyone does. But, if we’re alone, we become even more alone. Life is strange.
“Have you ever heard of the book called the I Ching?” I asked her.
“No, I haven’t.”
“It says that a city can be moved but not a well. It’s around the well that lovers find each other, satisfy their thirst, build homes, and raise their children. But if one of them decides to leave, the well cannot go with them. Love remains there, abandoned – even though it is filled with the same pure water as before.”

Love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation.

Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life.
We have to take love where we find it, even if it means hours, days, weeks of disappointments and sadness.

“You shouldn’t have asked,” I said. “Love doesn’t ask many questions, because if we stop to think we become fearful. It’s an inexplicable fear; it’s difficult even to describe it. Maybe it’s the fear of being scorned, of not being accepted, or of breaking the spell. It’s ridiculous, but that’s the way it is. That’s why you don’t ask-you act. As you’ve said many times, you have to take risks.”

Wait. This was the first lesson I learned about love. The day drags along, you make thousands of plans, you imagine every possible conversation, you promise to change your behaviour in certain ways – and you feel more and more anxious until your loved one arrives.
But by then, you don’t know what to say. The hours of waiting have been transformed into tension, the tension has become fear, and the fear makes you embrassed about showing affection.

Love is like a trap. When it appears, we see only light, not its shadows.


Pilar
is the main character of “By the river Piedra I sat down and wept”

Help me to find this man

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click in the image to enlarge

Dear friends
In 1982, my wife and I decided to start travelling without any specific place to go, wandering around and visiting many countries for several months. In January 1982 we ended up in Praha (it was during the communist regime).

Sunday morning, January 24 in the The Golden street of Alchemists, we saw a lone person drawing. It was winter, freezing cold, but this young man was there, following his call (today there are many dozens doing the same). My wife and i were the only ones walking in this street. I decided to buy one of his drawings. He was so happy that he decided to draw my wife for free.
I was a little bit embarrassed, but while watching him doing this, I thought: “this is an example for me. A lesson of a lifetime, I must never forget this moment. Nobody is here, nobody is buying anything , but this does not stop him to do what he wants to do.”

At the end, I gave him TWO GIFTS, the only things that I had in my pocket.

I wish I can meet him again in March 19, when I will hold my annual party, this time on Praha. He is probably doing something completely different now. When we met him, he was around 25 years old. He will be my guest of honour. I will know if it is him because he MUST identify the two gifts I gave him.

UPDATE 19 MARCH 2016- Thank you my My Czech friends!

ivan1

Happy International Women’s Day!

Montsegur, 1989

Monica and I reached the foot of the Montségur Mountain one August evening. We stood in the place where 220 Cathars were buried alive in 1224.
We had planned to climb it the following day.

The weather was overcast, with clouds so low that we could not even see the ruins at the top of the gigantic rock. Just to provoke Monica, I said that it might be interesting to make the climb that very night.
She said no, and I was relieved, imagine if she had said yes!

At that moment a car drove up, the same make and color as mine.

An Irishman stepped out and asked us as if we were from the region, from what point the rock could be climbed. I suggested that he make the climb the next morning with us, but he was determined to go up that very night.
He wanted to see the sunrise from up there, claiming that perhaps he had been a Cathar in a past life.
“I wonder if you could lend me a lamp?” he asked.

I went to the hotel in the village where we were staying and borrowed a lamp, the only one they had.
“¨It is a sign – we need to climb this rock now.”

Monica seemed scared, but I said that we have to go ahead. ‘Signs are signs’, I said.
The newcomer asked where the path was. I told him it did not matter and to just start going up.

And for some time, (I cannot remember how long) the three of us climbed a mountain that we did not know, at night, and with the fog that only allowed us to see a few yards ahead of us.

Finally, we were above the clouds; the sky filled with stars, the moon was full, and standing before us was the gate of the fortress of Montségur.

We entered and contemplated the ruins. I looked at the beauty of the firmament, wondering how we got there without any accident, but then I thought that it’s better not to ask any questions and just admire the miracle.

For the next few years, I sent several letters to the mysterious Irishman, but he never replied back.
I have returned to Montségur and climbed the mountain several other times, but have never again managed to find the path that we used that August night in 1989.

_______________________________________

(one week after this experience, I met Brida O’Fern in the Pyrenees Mountains, and it happens that she was a Cathar in her previous life. Her story is in my book BRIDA )

Character of the week: Lao Tzu

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Rejoice in the way things are.When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.

Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.

The words of truth are always paradoxical.
Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful.
Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.


Lao Tzu ( also Lao Tse) was a mystic philosopher of ancient China, and best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching.