Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Beloved

My Beloved, please ask everyone to notice how
the One Being sends rain from the sky
and immediately the fields green.
The One's sight and sense cannot be fathomed,
so subtle, nurturing, mysterious
bringing the seed-self of all beings to fruition.

~Sura 22.63, Quarain

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Beautiful Rose Mirror


Just look at this beautiful mosaic mandala art mirror by Lynette Smith!
Wow! Beautiful

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Sufi Story about Competition

Once upon a time, a sultan set up a competition with a very rich prize for the most accomplished visual artistry. He invited teams from around the world. Both China and Greece sent delegations of artists. Each side could order whatever materials it wanted, and the wall of a room was provided for each to do its work. A curtain separated the two rooms.

The Chinese team asked for a plethora of paints made from many different plants and minerals, which provided an unimaginable array of colors. The Greek team asked only for materials for sanding and polishing.

When the two teams were finally ready, the Chinese unveiled their wall first. They had used every color of the rainbow, in a most harmonious design. The sultan was dazzled. Then the Greeks unveiled their work, throwing back the curtain between the two rooms. They had used no paint, but had polished their wall to such a degree that it reflected the work on the Chinese side. Through the play of light and air, the Chinese design seemed to move, and was even more fantastic and beautiful.

~Neil Douglas-Klotz

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Gems From Mandala Oasis

From Cheryl A Finley at Mandala Oasis we have these beautiful mandalas:

Peace... blooming out all over

Spiritual Insight

Harmony and Flow

Venus Flytrap

Ancient Portal

Powerful Beyond Measure

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Listen to me carefully

“Listen to me carefully,” I commanded. I walked him through it once again “Where you feel holding, let go. Where you sense strain, be easy. Where you are moved to push, hold back. When you find something that feels open and easy, stay there and breathe into it. "

~from Diary of the Lady Beloved by Grace Gibson

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Religion?

Religion means "to bind back." Its purpose is to turn us back into ourselves, to the well inside from which we are endlessly creative. God is a well that does not run dry. Religion is the process by which we constantly check in with God, as a child checks in with her mother. Once she feels secure, she is free to roam and wander. So do we need the constant reassurance that we are loved and protected, guided and watched over. There we have the strength and self-esteem we need to show up fearlessly in a fearful world.

~Marianne Williamson

Monday, July 14, 2008

An Unusual Mandala for Coloring


Here's an interesting mandala for you to color.
Click to enlarge, then download, print, and color.
Have fun!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Seed of God

The seed of God is in us.

Now

The seed of a pear tree
Grows into a pear tree;
And a hazel seed
Grows into a hazel tree;

A seed of God
Grows into

God.


~Meister Eckhart

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Green Peace

Joy Mandala Desktop Wallpaper

Here is a desktop wallpaper created especially for you. Add some serenity to your workspace, and download the full size image here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I looked for myself

I looked for my self,
but my self, but my self was gone.
The boundaries of my being
had disappeared in the sea.
Waves broke. Awareness rose again,
And a voice returned me to myself
It always happens like this.
Sea turns on itself and foams,
and with every foaming bit
another body, another being takes form.
And when the sea sends word,
each foaming body
melts back to ocean-breath.

~Jelaluddin Rumi

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Meditation for Starting Out in the Journey

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!


With one hand lightly on your heart, breathe easily and gently, feel the awareness of breath and heartbeat creating a clear, spacious place inside. Breathe with the sound of the word bismillah (BiS-MiL-LaaH). When we remember to connect our heart to the Heart of the Cosmos, we recall that, as the Sufis say, "God is your lover, not your jailer."

~Neil Douglas-Klotz

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Beginning

The Sufis often begin something new by breathing the Arabic word "bismillah", which can be translated poetically:

We begin by remembering
the sound and feeling of the One Being,
the wellspring of love.
We affirm that the next thing we experience
shimmers with the light of the whole universe.

~Neil Douglas-Klotz

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sunday, July 06, 2008

It is too clear

 

It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.

- Zen Saying

Saturday, July 05, 2008

For Your Coloring Pleasure


Here's an interesting mandala to color,
Click to enlarge, then download, print, and color.

The artist is unknown to me.
If you created this mandala, or know who did, please let me know so I can provide credit and a link.

Have fun!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth!


Poi Circles, originally uploaded by hendriko.
Long exposure shot of poi artist Nick Woolsey from playpoi.com.The pattern Nick is spinning here is known as compound circles or flowers. For more information on this pattern see Nick's video tutorial "The Secret of Poi Flowers".

The trouble with the future is that it usually arrives before we are ready for it.


~Arnold Glasow

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Squaring the Circle Revisited

The mosiacs from the Squared Circle group at Flickr tweaked my curiosity and I started wondering if a Mandala really does qualify as a "squared circle." My internet search for the meaning of this phrase landed me at Wikipedia from which comes the following explanation:

squaring the circle

"Squaring the Circle is a problem proposed by ancient geometers. It is the challenge to construct a square with the same area as a given circle by using only a finite number of steps with compass and straightedge. More abstractly and more precisely, it may be taken to ask whether specified axioms of Euclidean geometry concerning the existence of lines and circles entail the existence of such a square.

In 1882, the task was proven to be impossible, as a consequence of the fact that pi (π) is a transcendental, rather than algebraic irrational number; that is, it is not the root of any polynomial with rational coefficients. It had been known for some decades before then that if π were transcendental then the construction would be impossible, but that π is transcendental was not proven until 1882. Approximate squaring to any given non-perfect accuracy, on the other hand, is possible in a finite number of steps, as a consequence of the fact that there are rational numbers arbitrarily close to π.

The term quadrature of the circle is sometimes used synonymously, or may refer to approximate or numerical methods for finding the area of a circle."

Well, that started out simply enough, and then it went right over my head. Math was never my best subject.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Sufi Story

One day a neighbor found Mullah Nasruddin sitting in a tree in his garden, in the process of sawing off the limb on which he was sitting.

"Mullah, you'd better stop, otherwise you'll fall down," said the neighbor, then went back inside his house. Sure enough, Mullah kept sawing, the limb broke, and he fell. Mullah ran next door and pounded on his neighbor's door.

"O, great one, please forgive me," said Mullah, "I didn't know I had a psychic for a neighbor! Could you please predict what will happen to me tomorrow?"

The neighbor tried to deny that he could predict the future, saying that what he had told Mullah was just common sense. But Mullah wouldn't listen and kept after him. Finally, the neighbor became exasperated and said, "Mullah, for heaven's sake, for all I care you can drop dead tomorrow!"

The next morning, Mullah woke and said to his wife, "Our neighbor is a psychic and he told me that I would drop dead today, so I have to prepare." He took his donkey along for company and went to the graveyard, then dug a grave for himself and lay down in it. As the day ended, he was still lying there and thought, "I must be dead now. This isn't really so bad!"

Then a pack of dogs came by and started harassing his donkey. The donkey began to bray and make a racket. Finally, Mullah yelled from the grave, "You dogs - get out of here! If I weren't dead I'd get out of my grave and give you a thrashing!"

Saturday, June 21, 2008

There is no need to run outside
for better seeing,
Not to peer from a window. Rather abide
at the center of your being;
for the more you leave it, the less you learn.

~Lao Tze

Friday, June 20, 2008

Maze Mandala for Coloring



Here is an unusual mandala for your coloring pleasure.
Click to enlarge, then download, print, and color.

The artist is unknown to me.
If you created this mandala, or know who did, please let me know so I can provide credit and a link.

Have fun!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Labyrinth Mural


The 100' wide by 22' tall "Labyrinth of Lifelong Learning" mural covers the north wall of our Seniors' Education Centre at 270 Sherbrook Avenue. The labyrinth represents a symbolic pathway depicting the many faces of our community and our common humanity.

mural4infront


Anne Nesbitt, a long-time CRM instructor, inspired the concept with her labyrinth design. Well known mural artist Charlie Johnston of C5 Artworks designed and oversaw the painting of the mural.

muralscaffolds


The "Labyrinth of Lifelong Learning" mural project has been a very satisfying project from start to finish, with wonderful co-operation and support from West Broadway groups and residents. Many tourists, passers-by and members stopped to chat, comment on the work, and express their appreciation for the initiative taken by Creative Retirement to beautify the neighbourhood.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Exploring Energy Flow

To demonstrate how energy flows where attention goes, and how thought affects physical energy, pick up a chair by its seat and feel the weight of it. Then put it back down. Now focus your attention on the very top of the chair's back and pick it up by the seat again. if your focus is good the chair will feel lighter. Regardless of how you want to explain it, the practical fact is that if you have to lift anything you will find it easier to do if your attention is focused on the very top of the object or even in the air a foot above it.

~Serge Kahili King

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Attention Goes Where Energy Flows

Attention is quite naturally attracted to bright lights, shiny objects, and loud noises, but we may not realize that the common factor of all three is their energy intensity. Attention is attracted to any strong source of energy that stimulates any of our senses, even those subtle senses of which most people are unaware.

Certain people, because of their emotional intensity or sensory focus, have such a strong aura or energy field that they automatically attract the attention of others whenever they come into view. On a larger scale, some geographical areas - usually areas of high earthquake activity or potential - have a higher energy intensity than others, thereby attracting greater populations, which increase the energy even more.

Much is written nowadays about sacred power spots, but I think their power is a passive one that allows you to relax and destress from the really active power spots of urban centers. The tingling sensations and psychic phenomena experienced at such places occur as you begin to relax and your bottled-up energy from the more highly active place you came from begins to flow. Human beings are such energy generators themselves, howvever, that if a lot of them move to a nice, quite, passive power spot, they can soon turn it into an active, dynamic, and possibly stressful power spot.

~Serge Kahili King

Monday, June 16, 2008

God




God created all things in such a way
That they are not outside himself,
As ignorant people falsely imagine.

Rather,
All creatures flow outward, but nonetheless remain with God.

God created all things in this way:

Not that they might stand outside of
God, nor alongside God,
Nor beyond God.
But that they might

Come into God
And receive God
And dwell in God.

For this reason everything that is

Is bathed in God,
Is enveloped by God,
Who is round-about us all, enveloping us.

~Meister Eckhart

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This is interesting

Map of Jericho


I grew up on stories about Joshua and the Battle of Jerico, so I found this particular labyrinth image really interesting. Is it true? I have no idea. What I do know is that it was painted by Elisha ben Avraham Crescas in the 14th century Farhi Bible, and that it is titled "Map of Jerico".

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How To Draw A Labyrinth

From Geomancy.org comes a great little tutorial on the why and the how to draw labyrinths.

Here's a teaser: I know this is cyberspace, but I beg you to draw some labyrinths with paper and pencil (you remember those crude stick-like writing implements?). The construction of a labyrinth is a lesson in sacred geometry. If you do it just with your brain and not with your hand, you won't really gnow what it is all about.

Please draw this labyrinth at least ten times! Look for the feeling you get when you draw a labyrinth and that point when you don't have to think about it any more, and your hand gnows what to do 'by itself'. Gnowing is consciously using both your analytical/left-brain and your intuitive/right-brain assets equally.


Need to see that animation in slow motion? Here ya go:


Friday, June 13, 2008

Prayer of the Chalice

Father, to Thee I raise my whole being,
a vessel emptied of self. Accept Lord,
this my emptiness, and so fill me
with Thyself-- Thy Light, Thy Love,
Thy Life-- that these precious gifts
may radiate through me and over-
flow the chalice of my heart
into the hearts of all with
whom I come in contact this
day, revealing unto them
the beauty of
Thy Joy
and
Wholeness
and
the
Serenity
of Thy Peace
which nothing can destroy

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Chalice Labyrinth

Lone Eagle Labyrinth

The Chalice Labyrinth is a 6-circuit design from the classical tradition with labyrs added to increase directional changes and to give the design the appearance of a cross (Chartres tradition). The entrance is also enhanced to resemble a "chalice" that is supporting the meditative area at the center of the labyrinth. Lastly, this design incorporates an enlarged center area to accommodate more walkers.

Please note the sacred geometric connotations in the bottom portion of the design:

- the 3 left circuits (representing heaven) meeting
- the 4 right circuits (representing earth) at
- the entrance chalice (representing the Christ consciousness)

Another interesting facet of the Chalice Labyrinth is that the walker completes the three outer circuits of all four quadrants before walking the three inner circuits. Metaphysically, the seventh chakra in the Chalice Labyrinth is the labyrinth's center.

The Chalice Labyrinth could be a viable option for those who want the simplicity of the classical design but also the beauty and directional switches (labyrs) of the Chartres labyrinth design.

Chalice Labyrinth Diagram

The Chalice Labyrinth design is offered freely to anyone who wants to reproduce it. A comprehensive tutorial can be found here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another Visiting Labyrinth

Labyrinths are not difficult to create, here is a nice one from Knowth.com

labyrinth-garden


Garden Labyrinth with standing stone, the larger stones in the ground (at the front in the photograph) mark the setting sun at the winter solstice, equinox and summer solstice. Three stones on the east of the labyrinth (at the back in the photograph) mark the rising sun at the winter solstice, equinox and summer solstice.

labyrinth-closeup


When the Garden Labyrinth was first constructed, the paving bricks were placed on the grass, maintenance was time consuming, so the paving bricks were sunk to be flush with the ground.

rainbow


The design is a classical 7 circuit labyrinth. The centre was changed so that there are no straight lines, like the entrance stone at Newgrange.

labyrinth_snow

This is how it looks in winter.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On Walking A Labyrinth

There are two basic principles:
  1. On the labyrinth, everything is metaphor.
  2. There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth.


Walking the labyrinth is quite personal. There are many different reactions to a labyrinth walk—joy, contemplation, revelation, sadness, elation, etc. Be unselfconscious and give yourself permission to let your reaction be expressed as it chooses—crying, laughing, dancing, singing. There should be absolutely no judgement or embarrassment associated with a labyrinth experience. Don’t be surprised by your reaction. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth. Trust Spirit.

With the labyrinth, everything is metaphor—sound, waiting, thoughts, smells, body feelings, witnessing others, etc. Let the experience be what it will be.

The labyrinth is a two-way path. The walk is interactive. Do what feel natural. Follow your own pace. If you lose your way, that’s OK. Think of it as metaphor. It is OK to pass and to be passed. You may want to stop, especially at the switch-back turns. When on the labyrinth, it is important to be considerate. In the center you may want to visit each of the pedals, you may sit or lie down, and can stay for as long as you wish. There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth.

A labyrinth walk is often considered a three fold path. Walking the labyrinth is a time of release, quieting, emptying, shedding (Purgation). Standing in the center is a time of awakening, receiving, opening (Illumination). And the journey out is a time of return, integrating, strengthening (Union). It is the metaphoric path home. Again, on the labyrinth everything is metaphor.

Take your shoes off unless you need them for support or medical reasons. You may want to approach the labyrinth with a centering thought or a question. You can ring a bell, wave a scarf, listen to music, or do what ever during your walk. It is common to make a ritual bow before beginning. When finished, it is again common to acknowledge the labyrinth.

Processing your experience is mostly personal. Keeping silence for a time is one way to do this. Be with your experience, your feelings (especially how you feel in your body), and your thoughts. It may be hard to express your reaction or experience in words so process things internally and symbolically. If you can, you may want to draw or write in a journal.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Consciousness

Consciousness thus proceeds from the more limited to the more comprehensive, from lesser to greater intensity, from lower to higher dimensions, and each higher dimension includes the lower ones by coordinating its elements in a wider and more intricate structure of relationships. ... Thus the reality of a lower dimension is not devaluated or eliminated by the higher one, but only relativized.
~Lama Anagarika Govinda

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Here's a Labyrinth Template to Play With

medieval labyrinth chartres cathedral france

You can visit the Flickr page to download the image full size, or you can click on this link.

Not quite sure how to use something like this, or how to color it? Here is an interesting image that might give you some ideas. It's from Heart Sounds.

heart sound labyrinth

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A short history of the labyrinth

The classic eleven circuit labyrinth was laid on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in about 1201. The oldest labyrinth associated with Christianity dates from the 4th Century and is found at Repartus, Orleansville in Algeria.

labyrinth - church


A labyrinth represents a spiral approach to the Divine, through the three-fold act of release (Purgation), awakening (Illumination), and return (Union). It intentionally evokes the character of a pilgrimage, in the Christian sense a pilgrimage to the Celestial City or Jerusalem. Everything that happens on the labyrinth is metaphor and so it serves as a metaphorical doorway to personal enlightenment. The labyrinth itself is an outward expression of the inward symbol of wholeness.

The classic Chartres labyrinth is an eleven circuit labyrinth which means it is made up of eleven concentric circles connected by thirty-four turns, twenty-eight of which are 180° switch-backs. There are ten axe-like labyrs which occur on the labyrinth. When viewing the labyrinth from above you’ll notice that the labyrs emanate from the labyrinth’s center to the right and left and out the top, thereby forming a Cross with the entry/exit path at the bottom.

The center of the labyrinth is a rosette, the symbol of Mary. It is also evocative of the lotus from Eastern traditions. This rosette has six pedals. One medieval tradition associated the pedals with mineral, vegetable, animal, human, angel, and unknown. The pedals may, however, represent many things collectively or personally.

Around the outside of the classic Chartres labyrinth are one hundred and fourteen lunations—113 cusps and 112 foils—(1 cusp and 2 foils are absent at the labyrinth gate). These are thought to represent the 28½ day lunar cycle and may have been used for as a calendar. The bones of the labyrinth are an invisible thirteen point star.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A labyrinth Poem

Rows of ragged rocks outline a path for healing?

Brown, decaying leaves hug the winter ground – a blanket to transform?

The labyrinth awaits the sojourner--
almost calls her name--
Will you enter my simple boundaries
and journey my paths
One Step at a Time?

Straight ahead, yet winding and crooked
The curled road beckons to be trod --
reinforcing the uplifted
blessing the downtrodden
Maybe tears, maybe joy, maybe peace
One Step at a Time.

All who are heavy laden, come stand at the gate
All who are fragmented, place one foot down
and the other in front
All who find wonder in the commonplace,
Come travel the narrow rows
One Step at a Time.

Give up your burdens, your middle of the night worries
Lay a care on a silver, craggly rock as you pass
and move on to the next,
the monotony will soothe you
One Step at a Time.

Moving inward,
The trail winds in and out
Muscles untensing,
The walker’s job seems easy,
The cares tumble down
and hit the ground with imagined force
lightening the load on contact
One Step at a Time.

Step 48, step 49, many more follow
while curling toward center like a
snail into its shell
Motionless at last,
a wooden cross is sighted,
God’s presence overwhelms
and envelopes the inner sanctum--
His peace now a cloister
on the journey half over
One Step at a Time.

The pause to discover
new perspectives to ponder
fresh eyes, lightened heart
the world is a wonder
with steps unencumbered
the pilgrimage rewinds
One Step at a Time.

The breathing is slower
the feet touch down lower,
and easier on the road well-worn
The unknown, now familiar
the end is the beginning
the sad is now glory
All happening unexpectedly
One Step at a Time.

A twist inward
A transformation outward
A fresh view from fatigued eyes
All part of a simple design
of much complexity
with the whole greater
than the sum of the steps
All the while traveling
One Step at a Time.

Suzanne Moody
March 1999
Macon, Georgia

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Visiting Labyrinths

Rocky Valley labyrinth Tintagel

People have been creating and walking labyrinths for thousands of years. Here are is a small collection of labyrinths from around the world.

Dalby City of Troy turf maze
"The City of Troy", a roadside turf labyrinth in the Howardian Hills of Yorkshire, England.

Labyrinth vor St Lambertus, Mingolsheim
Labyrinth vor St Lambertus, Mingolsheim

Memorial Labyrinth

The Boston College Memorial Labyrinth. In memory of BC Alumni who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

serenity studios labyrinth
Serenity Studios, a private labyrinth retreat.

The Labyrinth in Holy Spirit Seminary
The Labyrinth in Holy Spirit Seminary

gracefield labyrinth
Gracefield Labyrinth

AKDW labryinth
AKDW Labyrinth

If you are interested in visiting a labyrinth, there's a nifty little website with a Worldwide Labyrinth Locator. Here's a direct link: Verditas labyrinth Society.
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