Tag Archives: Spirituality

FAITHfully Yours – Anne Frank & Reflection

 “One hour’s reflection is preferable to seventy years of pious worship

Baha’u’llah

“How noble and good everyone could be, if every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the while day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realising it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn’t know it must learn and find by experience that: “A quiet conscience makes one strong!”

Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition

Cat ‘n Mouse journaling by Peggy

“Prayer is like the spirit and material means are like the human hand. The spirit operateth through the instrumentality of the hand. 

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Baha’i World Faith

___________________

One Human Family 

The conviction that we belong to one human family is at the heart of the Bahá’í Faith. The principle of the oneness of humankind is “the pivot round which the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve…”

http://bahaiteachings.org/

bahai-faithwww.bahai.org/

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day-or-so something related to or inspired by Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

The hashtag is #bahaiblogging.

FAITHfully Yours – Patience

“We must not only be patient with others, infinitely patient, but also with our own poor selves.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith

Judgement by Peggy, originally published on Pawsitively Tuesday

A Tidbit 

The “Founder”, Bahá’u’lláh

(1817-1892)

Bahá’u’lláh—the “Glory of God”—is the Promised One foretold by . . . all of the Divine Messengers of the past. Bahá’u’lláh delivered a new Revelation from God to humanity. Thousands of verses, letters and books flowed from His pen. In His Writings, He outlined a framework for the development of a global civilization which takes into account both the spiritual and material dimensions of human life. For this, He endured 40 years of imprisonment, torture and exile.

http://bahaiteachings.org/

bahai-faithwww.bahai.org/

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day-or-so something related to or inspired by Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

The hashtag is #bahaiblogging.

FAITHfully Yours – The Truth of Thought

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” In other words, thoughts are most certainly things”

Gandhi

Independent Search for Truth by Peggy

Food for Thought

Baha’is believe in the independent investigation of reality, and encourage everyone to question dogma, tradition and superstition by embarking on a personal search to discover the truth

http://bahaiteachings.org/bahai-faith

www.bahai.org/

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day (or so) something related to or inspired by Baha’i Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

the hashtag #bahaiblogging

FAITHfully Yours on this day of giving Thanks

“Shed the light of a boundless love on every human being whom you meet, whether of your country, your race, your political party, or of any other nation, colour or shade of political opinion. Heaven will support you while you work in this in-gathering of the scattered peoples of the world beneath the shadow of the almighty tent of unity.”

Baha’u’llah, The Baha’i World Faith,

Woofer, Boundless Love, by judy

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” 

The Dalai Lama

“But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

 1 Corinthians 13:13

Sending all of you much love,

judy

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day-or-so something related to or inspired by Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

The hashtag is #bahaiblogging.

FAITHfully Yours – Courage to Love

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength…loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Taoism

Courageous Love is the Gift, by Peggy

The Baha’i Faith is the world’s second-most widespread religion after Christianity, spanning the globe and working to unite it. Baha’is have no clergy or churches, gathering together in democratically-led communities and welcoming everyone.

The millions of Baha’is in the world come from every ethnicity, nationality, tribe, age, racial group, religious background and economic and social class. Diverse Baha’i communities exist just about everywhere. 

http://bahaiteachings.org/bahai-faith

www.bahai.org/

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day (or so) something related to or inspired by Baha’i Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

the hashtag #bahaiblogging

FAITHfully Yours – Reflect on this

One hour’s reflection is preferable to seventy years of pious worship

Baha’u’llah, Baha’i World Faith

Refection, Woofer Sitting Pretty by judy

A Morsel of Baha’i

Baha’is follow the teachings of Baha’u’llah, (the Glory of God) who proclaimed the Baha’i Faith during the middle of the 19th Century, and who taught world peace, the oneness of all humanity and the essential unity of all religions.

http://bahaiteachings.org/bahai-faith

www.bahai.org/

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day (or so) something related to or inspired by Baha’i Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

the hashtag #bahaiblogging

FAITHfully Yours – How to help your friends become “angelic”

 “If we take people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat them as if they were what they ought to be, we help them to become what they are capable of becoming”

Angelic Meowie by judy, originally posted on CATNIPblog

Goethe 

A Baha’i Bit

Essentially a mystical Faith, the Baha’i teachings focus on the soul’s relationship with the eternal, unknowable essence of God, and recommend daily prayer and meditation to everyone. 

Baha’is believe that the human spirit lives eternally, and so endeavor to illumine their souls with spiritual attributes—kindness, generosity, integrity, truthfulness, humility and selfless service to others.

http://bahaiteachings.org/bahai-faith

www.bahai.org/

The HeART of Spiritual POWER

Want to see more collaged Contemplation Cards?  The theme was Power. Click here The HeART of Spirituality

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Proverbially Curious

Don’t remember how I found Susan Wojtkowski’s blog I only remember the title of her blog irreversibly moi made me laugh, her love of rescue dogs made me smile and her online classes kept calling to me.

So I signed up for Art Journaling Through Proverbs.  The price made me happy and the novelty of journaling inspired by proverbs (with which I’m not very familiar) made me interested.

My first journal page

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Proverbs 31: 20-22. Journal page, collage, paint & pastel

I’ll share what we do and the Proverb we are focusing on.  So stay tuned for some more of my heART!

P.S. There’s still time to join the online class.  Here’s Susan’s description:

“Our first class/group course of 2016 is a journey through the Book of Proverbs!  If you enjoy art journaling (or would like to start) and want to spend time in the Bible this year, this group is a great way to go.  We will enjoy artsy fellowship in a private, fun and comfortable Facebook group while learning new art journaling techniques and discussing how to apply Proverbs in our daily lives.  Read on below for more details about this great group class that kicks off on February 1st!”

 

The HeART of Spirituality

Too pooped to pop!  It was worth it!  I facilitated a HeART of Spirituality workshop at the Tapestry Unitarian church.  It’s my first post-retirement creative expression workshop.  Not sure if it’s the last . . .  

After so many years of having the luxury of giving workshops in my own office – with the set-up in place and all the materials on hand – I’d forgotten how much prep there is in doing a workshop off-site.  (I’ve also forgotten lots of other things . . . like what I had for breakfast).

Here’s a small sample of what we did and a few of the INCREDIBLE prayer/contemplation cards created by the participants (Unfortunately not all the photos I took “took”.)

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Take a look at a few of the Prayer/Meditation/Contemplation Cards!

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After making the cards Reverend Kent Doss led participants in a Wisdom Circle discussion of what spirituality means, how we define it and experience it in everyday life.

“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.”  Pope John Paul  II

“If a man engages with all his power in the acquisition of a science or the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshiping God in the churches and temples.”  Abdu’l-Baha 

Baha’i World Faith

 “Art exists for its role of permitting men to escape their human condition, not by fleeing it,
 but by possessing it. All art is a means of taking hold of human destiny.” Andre Malraux

A special thank you to Judy Clemmer for her help cutting out HUNDREDS of pictures and providing supplies.

 

 

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick.

“Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next.”

`Abdu’l-Bahá (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), p. 27.

Max, 1989 -2012

Missed the beginning?  Click here:

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

I haven’t a clue why I decided he was mine.   I just remember turning around, pointing to his enclosure –  “I want that one.”

“You sure?”  My husband’s a bit stunned.

(Small decisions, like what color to paint the wall, incubate in my mind for a long time.  Whereas, buying my first new car, purchasing a house, picking a dog  – these kind of decisions are generally impetuous, emotional  with no basis in logic or fact.)  

“Yes, That one.”  There was no turning back.

The shelter was closing.  If I wanted to adopt I had to return and take him into the play yard to see IF HE LIKED ME  . . . or not.   IF he responded positively THEN  I could then fill out an application to adopt which they would THEN review.

Now I’m getting nervousWhat if he doesn’t like me? What if the shelter volunteers don’t think I am a fit dog owner?  What if someone better comes along and gets him?

The next day he and I have our first face to face.  Literally.  To enter the  large fenced in play yard there’s a very high steep step.  He has very short legs.  I’m told to lift him up the step.  Eyeball to eyeball , he licks  my face and I laugh in delight.  The more I laugh the more he licks.  This dog LOVES me!

In the play yard it’s a variation of “the pillow or me” –  He runs to the fence, barking at something unseen (at least to me)  that needs to be barked at,  runs back to me, licks whatever part of my body he can reach before dashing back to the fence for more barking.  Back and forth, back and forth, he’s as possessed with barking at the fence as he was humping the pillow. I can’t stop laughing and he can’t stop running back and forth, barking and licking, licking and barking.  I was in love.

Apparently the shelter volunteer decided I passed the “likeably test”.  I was allowed to fill out an application to adopt. Now I’m nervous again. Answering questions like:

  • Do I allow pets to sleep with me?” – if I answer “No” they’ll think I’m not a cuddly person.  “Yes”, I don’t care about hygiene.
  • Are there other pets in the household?  No – he’ll be lonely.  Yes – he won’t  get as much attention as he needs.
  • How many hours a day am I at home?  If I’m always at home I’m not interesting enough person to merit adopting such a wonderful dog –  If I work, he’ll be neglected.   If I don’t work I have no means to support him . . . . .

Suddenly truth doesn’t matter. What matters is figuring out what they are looking for so they won’t give MY dog to someone else. Takes me forever to answer the application.  Finally I go with the truth.  I don’t like myself if I lie.  But the truth is I am more  fearful they’ll make home visits, find I lied and take him away.  My mind was crazed with love.

My heart sinks when they announce my application will be REVIEWED. (This is no “APPLICATION”.  This is a life review for top-level security clearance)    He’s scheduled for neutering at the end of the week.  Nothing will  be decided until then.

Would you tell me a bit about him?”  I ask hesitatingly not wanting them to think I’m nosey.

  • About 10 months old.
  • Picked up by Animal Control roaming the streets in a far away city.
  • No identification.
  • Put in a kill-shelter.
  • Rescued the day before he was to be euthanized.
  • Shelter volunteers  named  him Homer.

HOMER! ! !  Trying to keep a blank expression on my face so as not to upset the shelter volunteer,  my mind races.  (I can’t call him HOMER!  He doesn’t look like a Homer, act like a Homer.  Homer is a loser name.  No Homer I’m aware of has ever made it big, except Homer of the Illiad and the Oddysey – ay yi yi – painful flashbacks to struggling with the classics in college.  Homer isn’t quirky, lively and no respectable Homer would EVER hump a pillow.)

Little did I know then how classic  “Homer” really was.

Coming! Homer and the Wicker chair – the plot thickens

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 
 

Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, starring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.  

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing this series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.

MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANIMALS

 

“It is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.” 

Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Next, Chapter 1 – 

How Max picked me for adoption

 

Elusive Illusions

“…Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart…” Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat, Pray, Love”

This is all probably too convoluted for a post but here goes a try.

Haiku-Heights posted the Saturday prompt  -” illusion”.  I spontaneously  and quickly wrote the Haiku below and then have labored how to express what prompted me BEHIND the “illusion” prompt.

I always smile inwardly when I hear “We need to live in the moment”.  Think about it!  We can ONLY LIVE IN THE MOMENT.    It’s just our conscious mind busy IN THE MOMENT worrying or thinking about the past or the future  – our ego defining what we want, what we need.  Our ego deciding what is fair and thereby defining who we are. 

Translation: Our perception of time and who we are, everything we think about ourselves is an illusion…it is our ego at work.

We are creatures of two worlds.  We make our way through this physical plane while having an innate sense of an invisible realm – something outside our conscious ego. I think that the sense there’s something “more” comes as a sense of longing. A yearning which we try to fill with relationships, possessions, things of the world. But no matter what STUFF we try to fill it with, the void is still there.

Translation: Reality is in the background patiently waiting for us to turn our focus inward, beyond our thoughts. When we choose to focus on this moment, and Be CONSCIOUSLY Present (like when we meditate) we can get a glimpse … of our real self, our spirit and let go of our ego. (Easier said than done)

As I grow older the void grows smaller the more I consciously  try to live less from ego and a more spiritual life.  Hopefully, that too isn’t an illusion.

Believe it or not                                                                                                                                                                        

Everything’s an illusion

Except God in all

 

It’s no illusion
All are connected
Accept God or not

…If you can recognize illusion as illusion, it dissolves. The recognition of illusion is also it’s ending. Its survival depends on your mistaking it for reality. In the seeing of who you are not, the reality of who you are emerges by itself…” -Eckhart Tolle,( A New Earth)

“When you wish to reflect upon or consider a matter you consult something within you….Surely there is a distinct power, a distinct ego. Were it not distinct from your ego you would not be consulting it. It is greater than the faculty of thought. It is your spirit which teaches you, which inspires and decides upon matters. ” (Abdu’l Baha’i: Baha’i Scriptures, p. 365)

“Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.” Hans Margolius

Artwork by M.C. Escher

 

 


Perfect Rainy Day for Celeste Cooper (and my bug)

Not a lot of people believe me when I tell them I wait for rain to wash my car.  I pull it into the driveway and when it’s wet enough I sponge it off, pull it into the garage and dry! Lickety split.  It’s raining right now in sunny southern California.

*Celeste, http://www.thesethree.com/ lives, works and writes in sunny Arizona where, when the rain falls, lightening booms.  I thought about Celeste today because both her poem and prose speak of rain.

Celeste Cooper

I Am But a Visitor Here©

by Celeste Cooper

I fondle the threadbare cloth, as I don the table,
Honoring the calls of nature, thankful I’m able.

The evening mist whispers,” Listen, hear my name,”
Interrupted by thunder, earth trembles, making its claim.

Learned chipmunks frolicking, hurry, to tidy their throne,
Drumming rain upon an awning, nature sways to the tone.

Hummingbirds arguing, swooping the found red feeder,
Obliviously provoking, rejecting, “who is their leader?”

Merely hobos we are, here, the land inborn by time,
Crickets melodically join in song, all claiming it’s mine.

Lightning enlightening the sense of my presence here,
Nature’s orchestra, the teacher, those willing to hear.

Strings strumming from the river, float up as a gift,
Deer blindly oversee meadows against the cliff.

Portly pine bellowing scent, permeating the park,
Nature quiets its soul, timidly soothed by the dark.

Flames speak, stimulating thoughts that are clear,
The campfire is laughing, “You are temporarily here.”

Brazen promise seen through the bifocals of time,
This inheritance, nature summons, proclaiming its mine.

Enchanted by this instruction, the beauty, I endear
The fact of the matter, “I am but a visitor here.”

Every Day a Gift ©

“I will meet each day with a grateful heart. It is through admission that I am able to have positive expectations. I accept the reality of temptations that could deconstruct my day. I understand that as the sun meets the rain, the rising up of peace will meet my pain. I am mindful of thought blocks and keep expectations in line with my reality. I will honestly greet positive with paper and affirm each day as a blessing not to be wasted.”
 
*Celeste Cooper, author, Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: the Mind-Body Connection (co-author, Jeff Miller, PhD)
Celeste is a retired advanced trained registered nurse.  She cared  and mentored others, and practiced as a clinical educator who wrote and implemented continuing education programs.
She has experienced personal struggles trials, setbacks, and successes as the result of illness, which brought her ambitions to an abrupt halt.
Celeste advocates for education, change, awareness, and research, and her goal is to share ways to overcome obstacles and turn “road blocks” into a “road trip” full of opportunities.
 
Find LOTS of good information about Fibro, CFS and Myofascial pain, her book (and tips for journaling as A Way to Connect Your Body-Mind-Spirit) on Celeste’s web-site – http://www.thesethree.com/
 
Time to wash the car before the rain stops.
Wear sunglasses in the rain, never know when the sun will come out!
 SEE! A perfect day for car washing and Celeste’s wonderful poem and prose.  Whata combination . . .