Monthly Archives: November 2014

… silent blessings …

I’m sure I’m not alone in practising daily silent blessings. What, you may ask, does she mean by blessings?

Sylvia Selzer’s photo of the Angel of the North is the most poignant image of an angel I’ve come across.

 ‘The Angel of the North’ – photo by Sylvia Selzer

In my small world, ever since I can remember, I felt guided.  As a child I had a lucid vision of an angel, possibly an aspect of me – or us – existing in another dimension. My upbringing was not religious, but I developed a deep appreciation for beauty – of movement, sound, rhythm, light, colour, form – as well as a healthy disrespect for hypocrisy.

Then, during the 1980s I was ordained as a Cherag  – the Sufi term for someone who performs worships and conducts ceremonies. I questioned the honour. Performing is not my strength. The response of my Sufi teacher – Fazal Inayat-Khan – was heartening: ‘You’re a light-bringer (which is what Cherag means,) and whether or not you formally worship is irrelevant. You have the capacity to bless. Go and bless the world.’

It works like a pebble thrown into a still pond, along with a loving desire, which then ripples outwards.

To bless can become a habit.

You may ask – who’s she to dish out blessings? And anyway, what can it possibly achieve other than making her feel good? Precisely, it makes me feel good.  I don’t seek evidence – measure, weigh or put value on the practice. Being no saint, I also have plenty of less generous habits. But as regards blessings – think about it, what’s there to lose?

It is not the road ahead that wears you out – it is the grain of sand in your shoe.’     Proverb

The Angel of the North is a contemporary sculpture, designed by Antony Gromley, located in Geteshead, Tyne and Wear, England. Sylvia Selzer’s photo of ‘The Angel of the North’ is the most poignant image of an angel I’ve come across.

Advertisements

18 Comments

Filed under Blog

… not now – later …

my little hero

my little hero

Each new generation tends to be smarter. While living in rural Somerset, I observed our four-year old son’s play-acting in the garden from the kitchen window while washing pots. He explored his sharp-shooting skills with wooden blocks, building, destroying, building, destroying, building; and so on … it was his new idea of fun. His aiming was good.

Pots done, I attended to the next task, fetching the milk from the street-hatch, left there by Hope, our farming neighbour. She had poured three pints of milk into a bowl and covered it with a cloth. The cream had risen to the top, ready to be skimmed off, which led on to the next task, preparing the dessert for a birthday meal. At this point my son came rushing into the kitchen, wanting me to witness and applause his new sharp-shooting skill. My brain cells were committed to preparing walnut ice-cream.

I said, ‘Not now, later!’

This trick normally worked for a while, but that day he stood his place, watching me with a quizzing look.

‘When does now end?’ he asked.

Casting my eyes to the ceiling for help, I said, ‘Actually, now never ends,’ realising instantly I was in trouble. The child’s superior grasp of logic would demand, at least, a meaningful explanation, and I could loop myself into philosophical twists. My son had no need to query my shrewd answer, he went one better.

‘So when does later start?’

Time to admit defeat. Drying my hands, I said, ‘Now.’

*    *    *

The memory of the incident inspired me to draft a poem … NOW

by Daphne Joe Grant

Illustration by Daphne Joe Grant

Now is the in-breath

Now is the elusive arc

Now is the outbreath

 

Over and over

Out of nowhere pops the now

Or so we presume

 

When will we find you?

Why not tell us your purpose?

Where are you hiding?

 

Now is a trickster

Not taken in by mind-games

Now laughs inside us

 

Our time must be round

Or turn through a dark tunnel

Orbiting the now

 

Waste now and lose her

Weft now to now and she’ll dance

Wed now and be her

 

Now has no answer

Now is what is truly known

Now breathe her and bow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjwBWE64fG0 Interesting talk by Rupert Spira on perception.

A focussed mind helps us to achieve stuff, but is also easily hijacked by the rat-race, the relentless rush towards meeting deadlines in competitive environments, where no children interrupt and make us pause.

Apparently 10.4 million days are lost annually to work-related stress in the UK alone. And it costs businesses in the US $300bn (£187bn; €237bn) a year. No wonder the ‘Here and Now’ theme is in vogue again, even with hi-tech status. Take a biosensor device, called Pip 🙂 … http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29742908

There is another kind of stress, less talked about, affecting those who work hard for a living, as well as those who lost jobs, or get by on little, or anyone reflecting on human qualities, while witnessing a growing social polarity … as poignantly shown in this image …

http://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/the-fence-between-a-world-of-need-and-a-world-of-excess/

16 Comments

Filed under Blog