Sanity Savers 10: Noticing


(Noticed this tree noticing the first flowers)

Leafing through The Great Work of Your Life (see previous post) for quotes I want to share about Dharma as our soul’s highest calling...

Stephen Cope refers to the Gnostic Gospel of Saint Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, it will destroy you.” And he adds a codicil of his own, “If you bring forth what is within you, it will save the world.”

“How do we discern our dharma? How do we discover the magnificent inner blueprint?… 1. Trust in the gift, 2. Think of the small as large, 3. Listen for the call of the times…” (p. 23)

In the background I notice Kate Bush on the radio,

“And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building…”

Back to Stephen Cope, “The first encounter with dharma is very often like falling in love. When we see our dharma–smell it, feel it–we recognize it. It is chemical. Undeniable.” (p. 141)

And, “Having first named and claimed our dharma, we next begin to systematically organize all our life’s energies around our calling. The dharma gradually becomes a point of radiance that focuses and unites our life force. Our lives begin to move into orbit around our vocation.” (p. 89)

“When a person is devoted to something with complete faith,” said Krishna to Arjuna, “I unify his faith in that form.” (p. 103)

Let us notice what we love in our world, in our times, follow it with complete faith and run up that hill, run up that building…

To be continued xxxxx Aliss

Sanity Savers 9: Real Books


My mind and writing are occupied by my next interview, haven’t been able to blog this week, but want to share this, if in brief: the perfect book for this moment in history, a good read, lifts the spirit and  guides thinking. Author Stephen Cope of the Kripalu yoga center and learning institute, recounts episodes from the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna helps hero Arjuna meet his destiny. Each step in the journey is illustrated with the life stories of people who have met their destinies: Jane Goodall, Walt Whitman, Susan B. Anthony, John Keats, Harriet Tubman, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Frost, Camille Corot, Marion Woodman, Ludwig von Beethoven, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and private individuals from Cope’s circle of acquaintances. Main chapters: Look to Your Dharma, Do It Full Out, Let Go of the Outcome, Turn it Over to God.

Quotable quotes to come… xxxxx Aliss

Sanity Savers 5: Celebrate!

dsc03231Today is February 2, Ground Hog Day, Candlemas, La Chandeleur!

Dinner tonight: buckwheat crêpes with cheese, ham, fresh mushrooms sautéd in butter and garlic, maybe an egg, and a glass of hard cider… A blend of pagan, religious and culinary traditions:

“Among the Celts, the pagan celebration of Imbolc occurred on the first of February. This was in honor of the goddess Brigid and was associated with purification and fertility at the end of winter. Peasants would carry torches and cross the fields in procession, praying to the goddess to purify the ground before planting.

In churches, the torches were replace by blessed candles whose glow was supposed to take away evil and symbolize that Christ is the light of the world. They would then take the candles to their homes to bring protection to their homes. In 1372 this celebration would also be associated with the purification of Mary at the Temple (similar to the churching of women).

Crêpes with their round form and their golden color are reminiscent of the sun, an appropriate symbol during Candlemas, as this is the time of the year when the days get longer. It is also the time of year when the winter seeds begin to grow. The people therefore used left-over flour to make these crêpes, symbolizing prosperity for the coming year.”

“In the United Kingdom, good weather at Candlemas is taken to indicate severe winter weather later: ‘If Candlemas Day is clear and bright, / winter will have another bite. / If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, / winter is gone and will not come again.’[22] It is also alleged to be the date that bears emerge from hibernation to inspect the weather as well as wolves, who if they choose to return to their lairs on this day is interpreted as meaning severe weather will continue for another forty days at least.

“In the United States, Candlemas coincides with Groundhog Day, the earliest American reference to which can be found at the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College. The reference implies that Groundhog Day may have come from a German-American Candlemas tradition:

Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.

— 4 February 1841—from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris’ diary, [2]

In France and Belgium, Candlemas (FrenchLa Chandeleur) is celebrated with crêpes.”

“In addition, the Festa candelarum in Rome commemorated the search for the Goddess of Light Persephone kidnapped by the King of the Other World Hades, by her mother the Goddess of Life Demeter. As Persephone was no longer in our world, darkness was everywhere, so her mother used a torch in her search, and in the end obtained that her daughter would be on Earth and Olympus for two thirds of the year (the light period), and in the Other World (Hades) for the other third of the time (winter season). The festival of candles symbolizes the return of the Light.

February takes its name from the Latin verb februare which means ‘purification’. Christianity has therefore placed the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin at this time. The purification in question is the departure of the ‘winter darkness’. The myths of Sleeping Beauty or Theseus and Ariadne (for example) relate to the release or liberation of the light (Dawn of the year) by the ‘solar knight’.”

Bon appétit!

xxxxxx Aliss