Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Uncarved Block

Balanced rock in Arches State Park Utah - photograph by Tim Pearce

used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence

One of the basic principles of Taoism is P'u, the Uncarved Block. The essence of the Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is changed.

Everything has its own place and function. When you know and respect your inner nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don't belong.

From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times.

As Piglet put it in Winnie-the-Pooh, "Pooh hasn't much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right."

"Just How do you do it, Pooh?"

"Do What?" asked Pooh.
"Become so Effortless."
"I don't do much of anything," he said.
"But all those things of yours get done."
"They just sort of happen," he said"

Benjamin Hoff - The Tao of Pooh

ISBN-10: 0140067477
ISBN-13: 978-0140067477

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Sun Stands Still

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Sunrise
- photograph by Simon and Vicki
used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 Generic licence

''Solstice'' is derived from two latin words: ''sol'' meaning sun, and ''sistere,'' to cause to stand still. As the summer solstice approaches, the noonday sun rises higher in the sky on each successive day. On the day of the solstice, it reaches its zenith, and it appears to have stood still.

People have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer: the Summer Solstice, Midsummer, St. John's Day, or the Wiccan Litha. Today, the day is still celebrated most notably in England at Stonehenge and Avebury, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice.

Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when dancers would leap through the flames, Aromatic herbs such as St. John's Wort were said to be burned on the fires.

Midsummer Eve was traditionaly a time for fairies to cross over from the Otherworld. Dancing around bonfires is said to attract them!

Making flower headdresses is an ancient tradition for this day, with wreathes of sacred plants and herbs hung on houses for good luck and prosperity.

When the Summer Solstice was incorporated into the Christian calendar, it became the feast day of 'St. John the Baptist'.

For druids the Summer Solstice was symbolic time of the wedding between Heaven and Earth. The Goddess as Earth Mother and God as Sun King. The Midsummer moon was called the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice. June is still a traditional time for couples to marry.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Sunshine of Our Love

Sunshine Butterfly - photograph by hocusfocusclick
used under the Creatuve Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic licence

Is not love like sunshine, it is given freely, and shines down upon us from the heavens, whether we feel the rays upon our face, or need to hide away in shadow. A true wish for the happiness of others can only ever be unconditional.

When we meet our true friends, after a long absence, there is always joy in our hearts, for friends genuinely care for one another. We share our tales of travelling through life, and really want to know how things have turned out. I have recently made contact with some friends, that I have not seen for maybe fifteen years at least, and yet it is like only a moment has passed. We connect within an instant.

There are times in our lives where we literaly dissolve inside. We are in a chrysalis, underneath our old hardened skin. Inside our hearts may be broken, or our dreams shattered, and we must grieve for the unavoidable pain. We are in transformation, how we think and feel about ourselves is in change. We dissolve and the anguish can be painful. Yet when something terrible is happening to us on the outside, something wonderful inside is being born.

And in time, the beautiful butterfly will return...

And the sunshine of our friends, will still be there waiting for us.

How does god manifest love, if not through our loved ones and friends?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Sunny Days and Ice Cream

Ice Cream - photograph by Sarah G
Used under the Creative Commons Attibution 2.0 Generic licence

It has been a beautiful sunny day here in England.
That rare summer event!

If you are an overseas student and ever wonder when all those sunny pictures of your university were taken, that they put in the brochure - well it will probably have been the one day in the year, like today!

Isn't that the greatest ice cream ever, in the picture. I think I'll have to go and search for one...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Moon and Geese

Moon and Geese at dawn - photograph by Viki's Nature
Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic licence

Some nights stay up till dawn

as the moon sometimes does for the sun.

Be a bucket filled, pulled up the dark way of a well

then lifted out into light.

Something opens out wings,

something makes boredom and hurt disappear.

Someone fills the cup in front of us,

we taste only sacredness.

~thirteenth century Persian poem


Daisies - photograph by photographic poetry
Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 Generic licence

Over the shoulders and slopes of the dune I saw the white daisies go down to the sea, A host in the sunshine, an army in June,
The people God sends us to set our heart free.
~ William Bliss Carman

I wish upon you a daisy blessing, may your path be paved in shining white and gold.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Fairy Queen and Silver Pond

Silver pond by by cosmonautirussi
Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 generic licence

The water fairy leads us down through the roots, to the spirits of the depths, and the sources of dreams beneath the threshold of consciousness.

I have bathed in the clear cool waters, refreshed, cleansed.

It is so very hard for me to leave, the joy you given me, the love you have shown. The shining jewels beneath, as I gaze into your reflective depths. For one brief moment, you became my very own fairytale, the stuff of stardust. But you live on your side of the pond and me on mine, each of us within our own magic kingdom. The steps I have taken alongside you on our brief enchanted path, have been full of wonder. But I dare not linger, too long, least you should suffer some fairy tale curse, from a broken promise.

In my heart I simply want to stay forever, but to live, we must constantly take our leave. The beginning of every path is at the same time the end of another.

I leave a trail of tiny flowers, in words and pictures, for you to follow in my waking dreams.

Farewell, my bright and shining companion, until we meet each other on the road ahead, when our star clad paths shall cross again.