Thursday, 12 January 2012

More peaceful wild for you

Just a nice picture for you - sometimes it's the heron and the placid calm water that eases you into the present moment, sometimes it's the wild winter sky, rough seas and distant hills that'll do it.

"The Peace of Wild Things" - anxieties, mindfulness, being in the wild.

Poem for you below.
We're a bit short on wood drakes around here, but we have got herons and other triggers into a state of mindful calm. The thing about people knowing you are using mindful meditation is that sometimes they expect you to be a Buddha all the bloody time. Well, being mindful doesn't mean you never wake into fears of chaos and despair, but it sure does help to deal with it all.

And looking at this stuff helps, too - provided you are actually there, in the moment, in the place, so it can work on you.

Thanks to the impactED nurse for alerting me to the poem.

Pax vobiscum.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry

Sunday, 8 January 2012

For meditation, contemplation, or for a funeral

Over on the Good Funeral Guide, Charles often posts really interesting and powerful songs, mostly for possible use in a funeral, but also some of them are simply life/death songs.

But sometimes, you don't need any words.

This track could be used for meditation, for reflecting on . . . whatever comes to mind, or for a funeral. It was just chosen as one of her musical private passions by Tama Rojo, one of the finest ballerinas of her generation on BBC Radio 3.

But watch out, it is powerful sad!

O God, she's just chosen DuPres playing the Elgar cello concerto. Overwhelming. Can't see straight...

I think I'd better go and play something by Bonzo Dog for a bit of silly cheer-up.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Time/lessness: some quotes for you

Don't know about you, but I can get impatient with people who use quotes in order to present themselves as wise, or to demonstrate the breadth of their reading - in other words, ego games. Also, a string of brief quotes can cause one to glaze over.

I will now run all those risks, and say that these little quotes, jotted down decades ago by me and recently re-discovered (do you have a clear-out after 12th Night?) seem to me to be really worth considering, each one, in no rush. If only I could say I had been living by them for those decades!

They relate to the transitory nature of the present moment, which is yet our nearest moment to eternity. Because (vide the picture) "Time like an ever-rolling stream/Bears all its sons away..."

If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration, but timelessness, the eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.

All the people I meet make faces as if they were going to live for ever.
(don't know)

The shell of a cicada
It sang itself
utterly away

Quite apart from all religion, there are the plum blossoms, the cherry blossoms
(Nan pu ko)

Nothing endures, nothing is precise and certain (except the mind of a pedant.) Perfection is the mere repudiation of that ineluctable, marginal inexactitude which is the mysterious quality of Being.
(HG Wells)

'I have now seen the truth in this one instant,' Yang Shan said. 'But how can I apply it in everyday actions?'
The Master replied 'All that is important is that you see things correctly. I don't talk about your everyday actions.'
(don't know the source)

However hard you search for it, you will never grasp it; you can only become it.

Heaven and earth and self -
of one root,
the Ten Thousand Things -
they and myself are one body.
(ZaZenron - not to be confused with Da Doo Ron Ron,
who lived much later...)

If you want to see into it, see into it directly. When you begin to think about it, it is altogether missed.
(don't know - East Asia, for sure)

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is - Infinite.
(Blake - and don't blame him because too many of my generation thought they could do that with the wrong chemicals...)

Life comes to an end at the previous thought; it is resurrected in the subsequent thought.
(Shan Tao - remarkably, that is what neuroscience
seems to be saying too - and maybe it's in that gap
between the two thoughts that we can enter the
timelessness of mindful contemplation.)

I hope that between the moments of ecstasy and agony in your life, you can find eternity in moments of mindful contemplation.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Discussion about Funeral Rituals

Have you visited the Good Funeral Guide recently, or at all? If not, and if you have an interest in ritual, especially funeral rituals (and you know you do, really you do, go on, go on, go ON), then hi thee thither/get over there now. And all you have to do is stick the jolly old cursor over the title above, and click. Even in the depths of January (darkness, storms, rain, Christmas bills, tax returns...) you can manage that.

This plug has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have been honoured by having a humble (!) offering of my own posted up there for the world to see. Hooray, hooray. Thanks GFG. Once again, you show your excellent taste and timeless wisdom.

X to the GFG
from Gloria

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A Happy New Year:Karine Polwart, " Rivers Run"

Sometimes it is possible, whatever contentments are to be found one's own life, just to get down about the state of the world, yes? The planet's environment, and - oh, let's just say the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

If you feel a bit like that, as we totter out of the insanities of 2011 and into, no doubt, the madnesses of 2012, here's a song for you. I believe Ms P wrote it for her son. I find it fits grandsons too. In fact, it just fits people.

I wish you a Happy New Year.

Gloria M. x

(Thank you KP)

Rivers Run

This weary Earth we walk upon
She will endure when we are gone
While kingdoms come and kingdoms go
Rivers run and rivers flow

You know I don't believe it's true
That in this world there's nothing new
For darling you have just begun
Rivers flow and rivers run

And if those rivers should ever run dry
Somewhere the rain will still fall,
Will still fall from the sky

When I'm beguiled by the fear
That darker days are drawing near
My darling, you seduce the sun
Rivers flow and rivers run

And if the rivers.

This wounded Earth we walk upon
She will endure when we are gone
But still I pray that you may know
How rivers run and rivers flow

And if the rivers.

So I cross my heart and hope to live
Just long enough that I can give
It all to you, my darling one
Rivers flow and rivers run

Words & Music: Karine Polwart (Bay Songs Ltd 2007)