Posts Tagged With: Spiritual

 
 

The Gathering Place

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Note:

This was written sometime ago. I would come back to it every now and again to edit and add etc. Perhaps I should have published this at or near the beginning of this blog. But it was intended to show what is behind the title of this post and the actual wooden sign (as shown as the cover picture for this blog). It hangs over the mantle of the fireplace, in the great room of our home. This blog and that sign (a gift from family), represents our home which we also lovingly call– The Gathering Place. This post was written to explain why this place, called the The Gathering Place (our home), is so named, The Gathering Place. For one thing, I believe most people understand what a gathering place is and what it is for. That visual explanation works for this place, this blog and our home as well. But I want you to understand the depth of my meaning for it as well. I thought today, April 17, 2018, was as good as any time to publish it. Cheers! 🙂

-d-

(What’s in a Name)

by Dahni
©️ 2018, all rights reserved

When I was a child, I believed in many things. Then I found out I had been lied to. And I decided right there and then– there was no Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy, no such thing as the Easter Bunny, that people cannot be trusted and there must be, no such person or thing as God. Then I came upon many beliefs about the meaning of life and I just started looking.

Then I found this and that and was told this and that– “Because”, ‘That’s what I was taught”, “Because, that’s just the way it is”,”Come here”, “Go there”, “Look here”, and “Look over there”, and I just kept looking!

I went to the mountains. I went to the desert. I went to the sea. I looked to the stars. I wondered and I wandered. Then I looked to the healing arts. Then I looked to the law. I looked towards anywhere and any place I could find. I turned to the so-called creative arts. I wrote and wrote in journal after journal and would read them from time to time. Then it was discovered I had encircled myself in my own words, trapping me inside them. I burnt them all! The Religion of obscurity and confusion was NOT for me, so I kept on looking.

I went to the valleys of the human kind. I searched the ancients and the currents, their dark arts and their light arts. The Religion of uncertainty, contradiction, hypocrisy and evil, was NOT for me, so I kept on looking.

I returned to the religion of my youth, for some solace and some comfort. I went back to something familiar and discovered the mystery of faith. But faith could not be explained, it was not understood and I could NOT apply it because, I had no faith, not enough faith or I had turned away from the faith. Then I thought, if it cannot be articulated in words it is because, it is not understood. If it cannot be understood, it cannot be applied and there can be no results or consequences. The Religion of faith was NOT for me and I must NOT have been adequate, for the Religion of faith. I found no comfort or solace, so I kept looking.

I thought I must be tried and purified. I must take the chance on luck that by chance I might be chosen. Born to stand upright, to seek and to excel, how could I rise if the fates were not calling me? I was NOT chosen. And the Religion of Fate and Predestination was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

At one time in my life, I considered living a life of self-sacrifice and use my all and everything to suppress my passions, to elevate only logic and reason, much like the ancient Stoics. But that did not seem like much fun to me. The Religion of endless works without ceasing and a joyless existence was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

I saw the dying and the dead. Some of the dying cried out in terror; in fear of the unknown. Some of the dead cried out in losing their lives to the void. They cried out in guilt, for what they had done amiss or had not done, vainly making deals with the unknown, for another chance, more days; more years. I saw them curse when the answers they wanted and needed, did not come and they all died. The Religion of helplessness and hopelessness, was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

I saw and heard the dead eulogized and memorialized. Some were great, near great, just common folk and some were despised. But all of them still had at least a few that sorrowed for them, pretended to cry or were happy at their departure saying, “Good riddance.” And I heard religious leaders proclaim that those embalmed, dead and lifeless before my eyes, were not dead, but alive with God. How cruel I thought and unfair to us that remain. We that are left must continue to bear the slings and arrows of humanity and inhumanity. Even if the dead were hated, they are better off than us poor, pathetic creatures, fragile and miserable. We the left-behind, continued to struggle and even with good intentions, were paving our own roads in hell, in the slim and unverified sliver of hope for, heaven’s door. How much rather better, to go nowhere at all! For to the dead with no coins laid on their eyes (or our eyes), for the ‘Boatman’, without consciousness or conscience, is this not the bliss of ignorance! The Religion of ignorance, favoritism, partiality, inequity was NOT for me and I, I kept looking right there.

Then I looked at the words from the same book these religious leaders read from. I heard them say that the dead which were before me were dead and I could see they were dead. I heard the tears of those left behind. Some were mournful, some pretended and some smiled happily.  And I heard and saw these preachers contradict that the dead were not dead, after they had just read and said they were. And they said they were not dead, but alive and living elsewhere, not needing their shells. And these preachers talked of resurrection and I thought, if these dead were alive, why would God need to return and pick up their dust and bones? Is this not what it means to be raised (resurrected), from the dead? And then I heard my own pastor say, “The whole duty of a minister is to be intellectually informed for their congregation.” I supposed none of this was NOT spoken from some callous hearts; not abject hypocrites, but attempts at empathy, to comfort the mourners? How were we, was I, comforted in knowing the dead were alive and we alive were born to die? And the dead were alive? And the words the leaders read were, the dead were dead and yet they said these were alive! The Religion of stupid and the illogical; false hope and false comfort was NOT for me, so I left, got out and kept looking somewhere, anywhere else!

Then I thought, “Eat, drink and be merry”, cuz’ some tomorrow, I’m gonna’ die anyway, like the ancient Epicureans. But then I thought, surely there is more to life than just feeling and sucking the marrow and all the juice out of life, as much and as fast as I could?! The Religion of burning my candle at both ends, depravity, debauchery, self Indulgence, self-contentedness; total wholly selfishness, was NOT for me, so so I kept looking, but with barely any strength left to continue. It amazes me how fat I can become and yet how weak it makes me so, yes, I kept looking.

Then I discovered people who don’t believe anything (atheists). How mindless, irresponsible, how blissfully ignorant. And I decided that the Religion of nothing, no purpose or reason for the reasons and passions for life or that non-religion was NOT for me, so I kept looking, then nearly crawling, for lack of strength. A mind spent on arguing is one starving, so yes, I kept looking.

Then I discovered the really insane people who can’t decide or even make up their minds as to what they believe or don’t believe (agnostics). And Religion, that Religion or the i-dunno’-religion, the I don’t want to say yes and be wrong and the I don’t want to say no and be wrong either. This without a mind Religion, insanity was NOT for me, so I stayed blind, deaf, and dumb, looking nowhere.

Then I grew really, really grew tired of looking, but more tired of not looking!!!

Then I was found! And my empty hard heart, soul, and mind were pierced and shattered by these words-

“Don’t you know that by his stripes you WERE HEALED?”

Then I came to discover that I already was a Christian; that Christ was already in me, and that the riches of this mystery was, Christ in me, The Hope of glory (future). I found the best of both lifestyles (reason and passion), and the balance of reason and passion for my past, present and future, plus hope for an everlasting life of joy, health and wholeness! I found when I so concentrated on these things- focused, without allowing any distraction in, I was calm and as pure as undiluted and undisturbed water, while the storms of life raged all about me. And my whole life was quickened– physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I have been healed often to the absence of any possibility and without medical explanation. I am alive when I should have died several times that I know of and perhaps more than I know?!

I have been filled according to my appetite. My questions all answered to my satisfaction. I overflow my fullness. I know what and why I believe what I believe and can show the same to anyone that desires to know the hope that is in me. This I can show that they can be filled according to their appetite and their questions answered to their satisfaction and their filling full, can overflow from them too!

I no longer look anymore! Whew, if you only knew how much time, resources and life this saved and saves me!

Then I discovered I have the best possible life going, even if I’ve succumbed to something so foolish and explained away as rapture of the deep and unrealistic euphoria, going nowhere! 🙂

But daily there are proofs and sometimes I prove them to myself and others see them in me too!

Then one day I will discover that I’ve been gathered together– dead, alive; here or there. Then, I’ll one day meet Jesus Christ, in the air!

And now I hope, to see you there! To the some I KNOW. I’ll be gathered together with you!! To all the rest, I hope to see you there!!! Until then, The Gathering Place (our home), is purposed to be like a miniature or mini-gathering together, until the real one or the big one occurs. 🙂

What’s in a Name?

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:25 KJV

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

I Thessalonians 4:16,17 KJV

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

II Thessalonians 2:1,2 KJV

Don’t stop looking, you’ll be found if you want to be!

Oh, and what and where is real comfort?

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

I Thessalonians 4:18 KJV

The Gathering Place,

Dahni

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Mary Did You Know

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Mary, Did You Know?

This is one of my favorite songs. You decide, which is my favorite version of this song below and decide for yourself, which is yours.

Kent Rogers & Winnona Judd

Voctave

Original Music by Buddy Greene and lyrics and originally sung by Mark Lowry

Pentatonic

Clay Aiken

 

Mary Did You Know

(Lyrics)

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God

Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?

This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am

Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

Music by Buddy Greene & Lyrics by Mark Lowry:

‘If Mary Knew’ by Dahni © 2012, all rights reserved

 

Categories: Family & Friends, Inspiration, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Buddha

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

     Buddhist Priest

Buddhist Priest

    

Right before you reach the gate to the temple, the picture on the left is a familiar sight. It is a Buddhist Priest. He is bowing continuously and continually.

He was at the exact same place doing the exact same thing, hours later after we left the temple.

He is holding an alms bowl. Yes. he is begging for money. But he is not poor.

In the United States, we may have seen people begging for money, but they are either really poor or trying to ‘guilt’ people out of their money. But this monk is begging, not because he needs the money, nor is he trying to ‘guilt’ anyone.

By the way, there are at least two things in Japan that are protected and precious, land and shrines! If you purchase property to build or to live there and it has a rice paddy and/or a shrine, you are responsible to maintain them, for as long as you own the property. This also includes, caring for any of the priests associated with the shrine.

But anyway, the priest here, is just simply showing his willingness to be an example of humility, in order to obtain a higher level of consciousness. It is a purification process, much like burning a stick of incense to purify oneself, before entering the temple.

Incense for Purification

Incense for Purification

The dear, deer below is, just outside the gate to the courtyard of the Temple of Buddha. Even though he could walk through and he is probably hoping for one last biscuit from you, before you enter into the courtyard, no dear, deer will pass through.

The dear will not enter into the courtyard of the Great Buddha

The dear will not enter into the courtyard of the Great Buddha

Roofline of the temple courtyard

Roofline of the temple courtyard

The Great Buddha's Temple, Nara Japan

The Great Buddha’s Temple, Nara Japan

 Notice the size of the people in the above picture, in comparison to the size of the  temple! The three sets of double doors are approximately 15′ tall and each pair are around 15-20′ wide. This temple is located in Nara Japan and is the largest wood temple of Buddha in the world. If memory serves me correctly, this was not the original structure, but was it was moved here and re-built, sometime in the 8th century and it still stands today!

The Great Buddha

The Great Buddha

As one walks through the large doors into the temple, it is supported by massive wood beams. The height from the floor to the ceiling is about  30′ feet. This temple was hand-made thousands of years ago. Directly in the center as you walk through the doors is, the focal point of the temple, the Great Buddha.

Directly beneath him are huge petals of the lotus blossom.

The Lotus Petals of the Great Buddha's Pedestal

The Lotus Petals of the Great Buddha’s Pedestal

These are called: The petals of the Lotus Pedestal on the Great Buddha Vairocana. This is the Great Buddha’s celestial or cosmic embodiment. The Vairocana is regarded as the highest form of the three Buddhas, as a god of light, whose reflection throughout the universe is represented as endless. The petals are incised with pure gold in hairline engravings with identical designs, dating from the Nara period (8th century), which depicts the “Lotus-Matrix World-System.

Closeup of engraving

Closeup of engraving

Each petal is divided into two main parts. The upper half depicts a seated Tathāgata (name the Buddha uses when referring to himself) and means, “One who has thus gone” or “One who has thus come.” Those two opposites are interpreted to mean,  “beyond all coming and going.”

He is seated in this upper petal, expounding the truths to eleven Bodhisattvas, those of great compassion that have obtained one of the four highest states of sublime consciousness in this life.

In the lower half there are twenty-six horizontal lines with small Buddha-images and palaces arrayed between them, and below these are seven pairs of lotus petals, each consisting of one petal turned upwards and the other facing downward. Stated simply, this is a pictorial representation of the spiritual world.

Categories: Australia, Buddha, Family & Friends, Inspiration, Japan, Spiritual, The Gathering Place, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Balance, Physics, Concentration, Breathing, Peace and Harmony

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

Lessons you will learn and teach while you dance

Her name is Miyoko Shida [Rigolo]. She is Japanese and presently lives in Paris, France. She is approximately 52 years old. She has taken the last name of her mentor, Rigolo. Her art is called, The Sanddorn Balance.

The Sanddorn balance began over 15 years ago when Swiss theatre producer Mädir Eugster Rigolo developed a balancing act for the stage production SANDDORN. The play is set in knee-deep sand; the only props are the withered ribs of date and coconut palm leaves, which Maedir Eugster collected from the most beautiful beaches in the world. After many years it now enjoys worldwide success on vaudeville, museums, galas, exhibitions, circuses, and Cirque du Soleil among many other venues.

The Sanddorn balance astonishes nearly everyone it touches and has received the highest awards.

In February 2013, Mädir Eugster Rigolo was presented with the Kamiwaza award in Japan. In Japan, Kamiwaza is the title given to a master with superhuman abilities. The award of Kamiwaza meant that the art of Sanddornbalance had truly arrived in the land of Zen: concentration, mindfulness and conscious perception in search of absolute reality convene in the 15-minute-long performance.

This honour solidified the decision Mädir Eugster had made shortly beforehand: For more then 15 years, he was the only person to perform his fragile piece of art. He now teaches his two daughters and consults and trains and inspires many others.

“Now I will pass on this knowledge. I am very happy that I have found people who now share my experiences and will develop them further,” Maedir Eugster explains. “I trust my successors: They will guard this treasure, develop it further and give it a life of its own. The Sanddornbalance bears many secrets, and every single performer can draw one of them out and present it in their own way.”

 Mädir Eugster Rigolo

Some sit in disbelief as the art unfolds. Some refuse to suspend that disbelief and mock such with stupid remarks as, I can think of better things to do with my time or with a feather.” Some think it is a mere trick or ‘magic.’ Though it can be explained by the laws of physics, it negates the concentration, the focus, balance, grace, physical strength and the actor’s ability to pull in the audience, absolutely required to MAKE THIS ALL HAPPEN! And if I have left anything else necessary to do this, I sincerely apologise!

What is this thing, this Sanddorn balance, you are about to see for yourselves? For one thing, it is beautiful! It is as much of a dance as any dance. It is being in the NOW. You can see this in the eyes, expressions, and movements of the dance. There are no doubts, no hesitations, no questions. Every moment is purposed and purposeful, and NEW and NOW, though the same dance has been performed countless times. There is a reason and a purpose for every movement, every expression, and every stick. Not only is the dancer drawn into their own dance, the audience is drawn in as well. Her breathing becomes our breathing; her heartbeat, our heartbeat. It is music. It is a story unfolding and we are not only on the same page, we each are its words.Time is suspended! We are not thinking about what’s for dinner or what we will put on tomorrow or do tomorrow.  We are in the now!

Watching this will center you; anchor you into the moment of sublime beauty. Briefly, our ego is lost to the wonder of this poetry in motion.

What else can this teach us? Everything  and everyone is connected in some way or another. As this drama unfolds, we can see how fragile and yet how vitally important each of these connections really are or we will collapse. This point is illustrated clearly, at its conclusion. But also, not one of us will be quite the same at the end as we were at the beginning. Ahh, yes, every moment of life is unique, to be enjoyed, savored; lived! Thus a great truth is reveled to us or re-revealed within us.

No matter what you may think or believe, life, all of life is, spiritual. Who among us does NOT desire peace and harmony? Zen masters, Buddhist priests, yoga practitioners and many others, spend often, years developing the ‘tuning.’ And yet who among us are also not deeply affected by some measure of peace and harmony, by being drawn into the very ballet  of it, by those who have reached some measure of it?

It all starts with a feather and all we have that we bring into the dance, our sticks and the gravity-glue of all  our stuff we use to prop ourselves up with. Then we let it all go. It is only the feather that remains! I am certain you will understand this more fully, when you get into the dance!

“All the master dancer Miyoko Shida required from me was the technique for the Sanddorn Balance; the expression and interpretation she brings to it is pure Miyoko Shida. I am proud that Miyoko Shida has also now taken the name Rigolo.”

Mädir Eugster Rigolo

 

 

http://www.miyokoshida.com/ – under construction

https://www.facebook.com/miyoko.shida

Categories: Australia, Ballet, Beauty, Dance, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Inspiration, Japan, Life & Death, Mädir Eugster Rigolo, Miyoko Shida, Music, Poetry, Spiritual, The Gathering Place, The Sanddornbalance, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Being God-like

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I Needed and I Knew

by Dahni © 2014, all rights reserved
 
I needed to see God in the midst of so much fear, uncertainty and confusion
and I saw you
I needed God to call my name and give me peace to my restless soul
and I heard you call my name
I needed God to comfort me, to heal my body and my soul
and I felt your hand upon my shoulder
I needed God to give me just a taste of hope
and I tasted the honey in your sweet words to me
I needed God to tell me He loved me
and I felt your warm embrace and your kiss upon my cheek
 
I needed God
and I know, He is with me, whenever you are near
 
 
Oh, There He is!

Oh, There He is!

Show me God! I can’t see Him! Look all around you!

Proving Hours!

Proving Hours!

God has no hands, but our hands of which to give any bread

He has no feet, but our feet, to move among the almost dead

We say that we are His and He is ours

Deeds are the proofs of that not words

and these are the proving hours

Note: There have been many that have claimed authorship of this poem or it has been attributed to others, believed to have written it. From my perspective, I don’t know who wrote it nor do I believe anyone else does either! There are several adaptations or versions if you will. Well, I changed a few words – “them” to “any” on the first line and “proof” to “proofs” in the third line. So, I will close with this of which I am quite sure is the truth, for me and that is, the author is – 

-unknown-

No Need!

No Need!

None will ever need to ask and we will never need to explain, argue, defend or ever tell a single soul. The world will know it is God in Christ in you, by the love you give to them –

without condition, reservation, judgment or hesitation.

God-like3

The Love of God!

-dahni-

“They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” 

 
 
A line from the Christian Hymn, “They’ll Know We Are Christians” (also known as “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love” or “We Are One in the Spirit”). It was written in 1968 by then-Catholic priest, Peter R. Scholtes. It is inspired by The Bible, the gospel of John

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

 The Bible, the gospel of John 13:35, King James Version

God-like5

Anything You Do for Any of My People Here, You also so Do for Me!

Categories: Beauty, Family & Friends, God, Ideas, Inspiration, Spiritual, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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