“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axe-man who destroys it.” attributed to The Buddha
Thanks to my much treasured friend, Mick B. for this wonderful quote. It reminds me also of the visions of a generous nature sharing often stunning beauty amid the dreck of city life: the intrusive metal posts and gates with their rusty chains; the garbage, dust and dirt; the sometimes awkward or sterile architectures housing human beings boxed and stacked twelve or more stories high.
This lush and colorful bird of paradise is thriving in the squalor of a bank parking lot alongside some smelly dumpsters belonging to the bank’s neighbor, a pizzeria.
As we honor the closure of 2014 with celebrations both spiritual and secular, may our spirits rest in “Natural Great Peace” and may that peace perfume the greater world around us.
We usher in this season with one of The Bardo Group’s most popular posts as both a gift and an inspiration.
Meanwhile, on behalf of newly birthed The Bardo Group/Beguine Again collaborative, best wishes for a rich life of mind and spirit in 2015.
Volume 1, Issue 3 of our arts and spirit eZine, The B Zine, will publish on January 6.
“Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags are a common sight in Sikkim. The concept is truly beautiful. Prayers are written on flags and put up. The wind plays its part in letting the flags flutter and the symbolic reciting of the prayers.
I made this painting of prayer flags across a frozen Tsomgo (Changu) Lake on 22 June 2005.” Painting and text belong to: Naresh Kumar Agarwal, a gentleman talented in both arts and technology and committed to using his skills and wisdom in the service of humanity.
♥ ♥ ♥
Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind,
Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thoughts
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace.
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
You’ll have to link through to YouTube to view this beautiful and healing meditation.
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche or Nyoshul Khenpo Jamyang Dorje (Wyl. smyo shul mkhan po ‘jam dbyangs rdo rje) (1932-1999) was such a consummate master of Dzogpachenpo, and such an authority on the teachings of Longchenpa, that his disciples regarded him as Longchenpa in the flesh. He was the teacher of many of the younger generation of lamas, as well as a number of western Buddhist teachers. He became one of Sogyal Rinpoche‘s most beloved masters. MORE
THE B ZINE
BE inspired … BE creative … BE peace … BE
Volume 1, Issue 2
This Month our Theme is
THIS SEASON in the Christian Church is Advent, a time of spiritual preparation for birth of the Christ spirit in the hearts of human kind.
If you are not Christian, you might use this time and these practices as preparation for the birth of your highest Self as represented by the founder or a saint of your own religion or as an awakening to the Essential Spirit within. If you are atheist, you might see this time as preparation for the birth of the very best You. Inspiration and suggested spiritual practice are gifted to us by Terri Stewart, Priscilla Galasso, JD Gore, and Rev. Tandi Roberts.
In this issue we also look back with Corina Ravenscraft at November and its gifts of Gratitude and Remembrance as we cross the threshold into December. Corina’s second feature is a celebration of December.
Jamie Dedes reviews Writing Your Self: Transforming Personal Material by John Kilick and Myra Schneider. Working with this book might be a good way for you to kick-start the fast-approaching New Year. We have poetry from Jamie, Joseph Hesch, Terri Stewart and Myra Schneider and a sampling of Naomi Baltuck’s singular photo stories, both inspired and inspirational.
Other features include a reflections on: an Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Karen Fayeth; life and isolation with Joseph Hesch, World AIDS day with Tracy Dougherty; the presence God with Liliana Negoi; and an artful meditation by the Rev. Tandi Roberts.
You will find team and guest bios HERE along with links to their work and/or websites.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Slowly We Go, Terri Stewart
Prepare Ye – The Way and the Wilderness, Priscilla Galasso
Preparation, Frank Watson
Preparation Ritual, Tandi Roberts
I Knew Advent, JD Gore
For the Love of a Good Cuppa, Karen Fayeth
Lifting Stones, Lilliana Negoi
World AIDS Day, Tracy Daugherty
Rememberance and Forgiveness, Corina Ravenscraft
Seasonal Cheer, Corina Ravenscraft
Swann in the City, Joseph Hesch
Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, Jamie Dedes
Writing Your Self: Transforming Personal Experience, Jamie Dedes
Finding Silence, Myra Schneider
Beneath the Surface, Joseph Hesch
You Just Missed it, Joseph Hesch
The Leaves Still Fall, Joseph Hesch
The Republic of Innocence, Jamie Dedes
Winter Is Here, I Know, Jamie Dedes
Embracing the ‘M’ Word, Naomi Baltuck
The Many Degrees of Spooky, Naomi Baltuck
Virgins No More, Naomi Baltuck
It’s Never Too Late, Naomi Baltuck
Light from Darkenss, Becky Withington
Link HERE to access The B Zine, Volume 1, Issue 1
Header: Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerardvan Honhorst (1622)
Above: Angel Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary, Murillo (1655)
Below: A page from an 11th-century Gospel of Matthew (1:18-21) with Matthew 1:21, (35) providing the origin of the name “Jesus.”
Charles W. Martin (Read Between the Minds) …. Charlie …. “slpmartin” … was the first blogger-poet that I started to follow with some regularity. That was back in February 2010. Charlie had – if memory serves (which it doesn’t always these days) – recently retired and just returned from a trip to Africa – Tunisia, I think – and had shared a few poems about dusty streets and ancient wisdom and social inequities. At the time he was also sharing poems that had been published in his first book, Read Between the Minds.
I was struck by two things in Charlie’s poetry: his unremitting concern for social and political issues and his unique style. Charlie wrote about having lost patience with the poetic forms he was taught in school. He developed a spare and direct style that worked for him. As it happens it works well for readers and is perfectly suited to blogging, where brevity is the popular preference.
As time went on, Charlie created and introduced us to the kick-in-the-pants wisdom of Aunt Bea, whom we all came to love. It wasn’t long before Charlie created two other personalities, each with a distinct voice.
Recently, I read Charlie’s self-published collection: Bea in Your Bonnet, Volume 1, First Sting. As expected, it was pure fun laced with homey wisdom.
Here’s a sample:
when i stopped by
for a visit
she noted that
there had been
a number of
the public need
of these indictments
in her opinion
– Charles W. Martin
Charles W. Martin earned his Ph.D. in Speech and Language Pathology (hence the “slp” in his url) with an emphasis in statistics. His credentials allowed him to pursue a career that included teaching, research and administration in university settings, treating patients and providing administrative leadership in clinical settings.
Charlie worked as a speech pathologist professional in the public schools where he diagnosed and treated communication disorders caused by a wide range of health conditions and contextual factors. Charlie brought passion to each of his professional positions but he was always focused on mentoring his students and improving the quality of life for his clients and patients.
Throughout Charlie’s educational training and career he maintained a devotion to the arts (literature/poetry, the theater, music and photography). He was a published poet before he completed his graduate work. Since his retirement in 2010, he has turned his full attention to his poetry and photography. He publishes a poem and a photographic art piece each day at Read Between the Minds, Poetry, Photography and Random Thoughts of Life.
Aunt Bea’s backstory:
Charlie wrote me saying that “Aunt Bea, my mother’s twin sister, represents all six of the aunts, my mother, and grandmother. Aunt Bea’s voice is one I’ve heard almost every day of my life. The poems are family observations, lessons, and advice given to me and every other family member who had the good sense to listen. Her homespun philosophy most likely will not be found in any collegiate textbooks or for that matter in any local town crier newspaper catering to city dwellers. Indeed, she has a different way of viewing the world – a bit old-fashioned, sassy, and steely at times but a viewpoint which has engaged my imagination and heart.”
Charlie has three books out now including Bea in Your Bonnet: First Sting. They are available through Amazon. Charlie posts daily to his blog and is also a member of The Bardo Group/Beguine Again core team.
“Poetry has the power to make us aware of what is hidden in the shadows…those places that we seldom see or want to see…the poet’s voice scrapes away the facade of an issue and lays bare for all to see what has been denied. By providing a voice to these mute realities, poets have throughout history altered the course of events by enlightening readers and encouraging them to take action to stop wars, halt injustice, and to reach out to their fellow man. Like those poets who have proceeded me, I am motivated by the same desire to bring about the social changes necessary to enhance the quality of life for those around me and around the world and to give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.” Charles W. Martin
poem and illustrations © Charles W. Martin, used here with permission
One Will Always Have Enough Simple Pleasures: my post today on Beguine Again.