A Montage: Light and Spirit (reblogged from AjayTao and Findingmy inner courage)

 

innocent

A innocent smile – Ajaytao

A smile of encouragement 
at the right moment may act 
like sunlight on a closed-up flower
it may be the turning point 
for a struggling life

Unknown

 

 pink rose

A pink rose – Ajaytao

morning dew
the subtle sigh
of a rose

Ernesto P. Santiago

 

canvas

Canvas of nature – Ajaytao

Don’t look for God in the sky
look within your own body

Osho

 

Within The Light That Does Get In

25TuesdayMar 2014

1 L 2 R

3 C

Posted by findingmyinnercourage

There is imperfection in everything. It lives everywhere in our lives; a break, a crack, a fault. We all find imperfections at some point, even if it’s in the smallest of cracks. Imperfection is not bad, it’s merely room for growth.

A cracked window offers a dark room light where one can start to see where we are meant to go next. For those of us who acknowledge our imperfections we learn to appreciate the lifeline to which we cling. Within the light that does get in we feel a love so pure and outreaching, leading to a healing within ourselves.

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

– Leonard Cohen

glowing

Glowing butterflies – Ajaytao

The flower is
the stem’s cry 
of beauty 
to the universe

Vassilis Comporozos

crown

Crowning glory – Exquisite beauty – Ajaytao

Crowning glory – Exquisite beauty – Ajaytao

Simplicity is the final achievement
After one has played a vast 
quantity of notes and more notes
it is simplicity that emerges 
as the crowning reward of art

Frederic Chopin

stars

White Mussaenda flowers – Ajaytao

White Mussaenda flowers – Ajaytao

A broken light bulb
It’s dawning
The naked street
A butterfly

Vassilis Comporozos

those-who-know-tao-te-ching (1)

 

***

Thank you, AjayTao and Findingmyinnercourage.

May We All Let in the Light for Better Endings

 

 

The Light in Your Eyes

 

Forest road. Landscape.

 

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the Door where It began,

Now evermore the Road doth lead

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with weary feet

Until it joins some larger Way

Where many paths and errands meet,

And whither then?

I cannot say.

– J. R. Tolkien

spectrum_3-021114-ykwv1

Light is a good measure, and an apt metaphor, for Awareness, which brings “all good things” to those who express a positive attitude from maintaining an uplifting spiritual and/or a healthful mindfulness practice. Light radiates through the eyes and actions of those who are ‘lit,’ regardless of whatever health conditions they may be dealing with. This can be anybody.

From my life maps coaching practice, I find as a general principle that attitude matters greatly in how we go through life, and that attitudes derive often in large part from a person’s mindset and focus. Two people experiencing similar life circumstances might have polar-opposite interpretations and responses because of their outlooks on life.  This sometimes depends on whether they hold an optimistic or a pessimistic view of life, based on their beliefs as well as experience.

3050-1013-B0481

John (pseudonyms used), for example, who maintained a “practical,” non-spiritually oriented belief system, regarded a series of downturns from being laid off, deaths of his father and grandmother, and a car accident as increasingly debilitating, meaningless events. His Life Metaphor of “Life is like a tree with its roots stuck in the dirt next to a flowing stream” encapsulates John’s own ‘stuck awareness,’ as does the fact that he had felt paralyzed in his right shoulder after his car accident, although doctors could not find anything physically wrong with his shoulder.

Contrast John with Ambrosia, whose chronic intestinal condition found her, one night, “touch and go” in the hospital. Doctors told her it was not certain she would survive the night. When I asked Ambrosia to rate the impact of that perilous night at the hospital, without hesitation she beamed, “+5!” (the highest possible positive rating).

“But, why?” I asked.

“Because I had a vision that night that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. My spiritual Guide appeared. He told me I could leave, if I wanted to, but there was much more for me to do here of I stayed. I told him, “All that glitters is not gold.” He answered, “but anything can be.” Then I told him I would stay only if I could get back the passion for living I once had. He said I could.”

Ambrosia survived the night and she gradually healed. She has indeed regained her passion for living, and her health condition has led her to find many healthful dietary aids and supplements. She practices spiritual contemplation and yoga, daily. She mostly walks wherever she needs to go, not owning a car. She is active as a leader in her spiritual community and serves as a compassionate role model for many. I see the light in her eyes that I did not see so much in John’s.

So, Lighten up, in whatever way works for you to experience Life, and Love, to its fullest.

And then, go take a look in the Mirror.

round-vintage-baguette-frame-913-1431

 

 

Tuning In and Giving Forth: Benefits of Your Spiritual Practice

 

transparent-leaves3-01-111413-2720

 

There are so many beautiful pathways of Spirit, available to all states of consciousness.  I like to realize how we are each of us exactly where we are meant to be, right now, to benefit from all of the lessons and blessings of Divine Love and Spirit. All we have to remember to do, and to have a method for doing, is to Tune In, so then we fill with Divine Love as the Life Force of creation, and then we may also Give Forth in service and divine love to others. It is a reciprocal relationship, the giving and the receiving as One, like a heartbeat, a Breath.

My purpose with this blog is to provide “personal growth and development” opportunities and insights about or toward anyone’s Better Endings. As such, I want to support and validate everyone’s approach to spirituality this week, as a primary focus for establishing growth and development in our lives.  (For those whose understanding of life and the Universe is more secular, agnostic or even “non-spiritual”, facilitating an existential ‘Aha!’ or a phenomenological focus on creative re-envisioning will do!)

For Tuesday’s Prompts List, I invite you to contemplate, meditate or pray upon, talk about, or create art around one or more of the following topics in relation to the BENEFITS you receive from Tuning In and from your interaction with Spirit/ the Life Force/ Divine Love. I invite and welcome your expressions if you would like to share them with others:

medical_11000118787-1013int

The Prompts:

In what ways do you or have you or might you Benefit from the following forms of spiritual practice:

  • Inner Guidance (incl. via Spiritual Teachers, Masters, Guides)
  • Outer Guidance (e.g. waking dreams or attending spiritual talks or reading)
  • Lucid Dreams & Visionary experience
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • True Contemplation/ active imagination
  • Writing
  • Chanting/ Mantras
  • Prayer
  • Song, Art, Poetic Expression, Photography, Movement, Dance, Music
  • archetypal dialogue
  • Signs/ synchronicity
  • Healing/ “alchemy”
  • Illumination
  • Prescience
  • Exploration of Higher Realities/ Parallel Worlds/ Heavens
  • Near-Death or Out of Body Experiences
  • Faith
  • Divine Love
  • Congregational sharing/ Family
  • Relationship with and in Nature
  • Communion/ Unity with Spirit and the Divine
  • Surrender
  • Vision Quest
  • OTHER…

2833579fbf3b66a794f

******   ******

As a Tuesday bonus for readers, I share below a poem that moved me (re-blogged from iithinks.wordpress.com) and that reminds me of Rumi’s intimate communication with his own spiritual Master and with God. Here is a pure expression of gratitude for all that Spirit brings.

MY LIFE: TEARS OF GRATITUDE

(http://iithinks.wordpress.com/)

tears
Each tear trickling down my face
Splashes on the ground
and explodes in gratitude towards you
Darkness consumed my world
Broken and shattered by fear
No matter if I looked within myself or without
I cried that night for death
An escape that seemed so sweet
From the prison holding me captive by my fright
Instead, in your all encompassing mercy
Your love descended and you grasped my hand
And led me gently to the key unlocking truth, beauty and light
You brought me the latihan of Subud
But I was unsure of what to do and how to be
Then the angels sang a song of truth that captivated me:
“In facing He who has All
There is nothing that Man can do
Except empty himself in patient surrender”
On that day, my virginity was cast aside
I was impregnated with your divine power
And for the first time in my existence, my Inner Self came to life
Everything I thought I knew
Was burned to the ground, turned ashes and dust
What else could happen in an experience of your reality?
But it was also an illuminating light
Bringing clarity, understanding and the knowledge of Unity
Here I saw beyond right and wrong and all other forms of duality
I began to accept all that was born of your sacred divinity
Any who climbed the multiplicity of your paths using aught but sincerity
And I began to understand my own way of worship: Its rights and wrongs
Most of all, in my darkness
I was showered with your breathtaking and indescribable Love
It descended from the heavens above and poured forth from the heavens within
Although the darkness still lives with me, it is not of me
Now I am those moments of Peace, moments of Love, moments of Reality
In the end, I have been given that which sustains and nourishes me: hope in your divine mercy
What, oh Sacred Love, have I done for all this?
I know no explanation can be demanded of your overflowing Grace
My forehead kisses the ground in prayer and I simply ask that you always stay
Each tear trickling down my face
Splashes on the ground
and explodes in gratitude towards You
http://iithinks.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/my-life-tears-of-gratitude/

“Beautiful People Here” (parking lot attendant, Denver Coliseum, Mar. 22, 2014)

Feathers

As I sit to write an introductory post for a Better Endings week about Spirituality, I am in a bleacher seat at the Denver Coliseum, attending the Denver March Powwow. One of the largest Native American powwow venues in the country, people from many tribal communities and many other backgrounds come to Powwow, in part, to recharge their spiritual batteries.

Grand Entry. Drumming circles surround the gymnasium that fills with dancers in regalia from all age groups and genders, creating a Spiral, the Sacred Circle of Life. Feathers, colors, blankets, shawls, buckskin, moccasins, beads, VOICES, and RHYTHM: the heartbeat of the Earth, vibrancy of Spirit. Grandmothers enter: “Keepers of Mother Earth”.

spiral rubber pattern

The last time I was here, two years ago, I came with Juanita, who enjoyed telling people, “I am only 92!”  She hadn’t been to the Denver Powwow for many years but in her youth, in 1954 (my birth year), Juanita interviewed all  Native American families in Colorado Springs for a city history book, and she gained many friends. Here at the Powwow Juanita told me she could see and hear the voices of the elders who had passed Beyond, still attending Powwow.

Juanita passed herself, just two weeks after Powwow. Ke:shhi (‘Hello”, in Zuni), Juanita. K’ettsanishhi do’ andewadu (‘May you go happily’).

Spirituality is Universal. No single religion or philosophy has a monopoly on Divine Love or Truth.

White Finger Starfish

***

As I stand in line now for the one frybread stand (in a line that may take over an hour to arrive there), I invite YOU this week to write or to somehow express what Spirituality means, to you, or about how Spirituality has helped you. I will save all Comments to this effect and post them together on Thursday along with re-blogs on the topic which I also invite you to send.

Spirituality is a Better Ending in and of Itself. In whatever form you “Hook Up” and “Tune In” to Spirit, and whatever you may name It and the Divine, we will celebrate the Pulse of Life, Divine Love and awareness all this week at Better Endings.

spiral

As a lover of Rumi, who lived and breathed the universality of spirituality, I share from his poetic illumination:

WORD FOG

Words, even if they come from the soul, hide the soul,

as fog rising off the sea covers the sea,

the coast, the fish, the pearls.

It is noble work to build coherent philosophical discourses

but they do not block out the sun of truth.

See God’s qualities as an ocean.

The world is foam on the purity of that.

Brush it away and look through the alphabet to essence,

as you do the hair covering your beloved’s eyes.

Here is the mystery:

This intricate, astonishing world is proof

of God’s presence even as it covers the beauty.

One flake from the wall of a gold mine

does not give much idea what it is like

when the sun shines down inside

and turns the air and the workers golden.

 – (Rumi: The Big Red Book, Coleman Barks, transl.:149-150)

Prayer Flags

“The Prologue to Compassion”, by Joshua Bertetta

Story of the Week on Habitual Better Endings:

 summer_1100012512-1013int

It commenced with an inconsiderable light, an untinged light

It was perhaps part of what was, and what was was only black.

The light was with the black you see, and the light was the black.

And through this light that was the black and with the black, things came to be.

A light breeze scattered flecks of this light. A brief pause let the flecks settle and the wind returned to the inconsiderable light, only to pause again and again go forth to scatter flecks of light. And bit by bit this helpful little laawan broadcasted the light across the black. Bit by bit, the specks sprouted and in spouting, grew a little more with each breeze and each breeze, bit by little bit, continued depositing the little specks of light. Back and forth, back and forth, the busy little wind worked tirelessly, without haste, never whining, though it seemed its task would never cease.

Now as this little wind busied itself, “things” took “shape.” It wasn’t so much that things themselves were made per se, but something more akin to the idea of things took shape, for still, these “things” remained unlit. Until, that is, the wind draped color over the ideas, thus bestowing upon them their shapes. These were not your ordinary run of the mill colors, however, for the breeze did not bother itself with the blues and the reds and the yellows and the greens: no, it beheld the illuminateds and the lucents, the prismatics and iridiants, the opaques and the opalines.

Such provided the environment for the makings of things and things thus did form. First the dragonfly, then the flowers for the dragonfly, the grasses for the flowers, and the ground for the grasses. The water and the air. All pouring their colors and their shapes in tandem with the swashing wind. Hills unrolled in the distance, and trees.

Everything created in and by the light that was the dark and was with the dark.

Flowers giggled diamonds; the diamonds sirulated into butterflies and those butterflies, those luxuriant and splashy butterflies, dripped polygonal pollens and gave lines to birds.

Soften its features did the wind with its gentle comings and goings. This wind, this breath, this breath, just breathe, just breathe, just breathe.

And in that just-breathing did the breath find life; in finding life did the breath find flesh and in finding flesh the breath found itself, fulgurating, reflected in and by the light itself—the light that was the water, that was the ground, the dragonflies and butterflies, the fish, and all the flowers—all of it, every single little speck of it, the light that was the black and was with the black.

What it was it just was and in being was, it kept on being. Being what it was…what it was…it was is. It is what is. Being. Am. What was was was. What is is. What am.

The wind: Be.

The light: Am.

Being and am-ing, am-ing and being; so the wind, the breath, the breath moving in, the breath moving out, passing in, passing out, the breath that am the flowers and the fish, the butterflies and the dragonflies, the ground, the water, the light itself finding itself in the flesh finding itself in the breath, in am.

And thus began the knowing and with the knowing the naming and the first name was the wind’s name:

Rahim.

lotus

Bio: An aspiring novelist, Joshua Bertetta holds a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute and teaches in the Religious Studies Department at St. Edward’s University. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife and three boys, His blog website is: http://storyofthefour.wordpress.com and he has a facebook group dedicated to his work at http://www.facebook.com/storyofthefour. Contact info: joshuabertetta8306@gmail.com