Category Archives: meditation

Heavenly

Candor – Word of the Day

th.jpeg

Photo: jpinfo.com

 

Heavenly

I heard your footsteps pressing down
on surrendered cypress,
barely,
above the water singing over rocks,
gently seeking home,
just visiting this humble onsen.

I saw you emerge,
floating through the Hinoki,
its resin so sweet,
an offering in praise of your being.
Heavenly,
Cherry blossom pink.

A ritual unfolds.
A pause,
a prayer,
as kimono softens the rock.
Your body supple as a young Sika,
graces the intimacy of water.

An open conversation
I hear with my eyes.
And, though my lips silently babble,
my heart speaks straight,
as my ritual unfolds.
A prayer …

©Paul Cannon

 

The Latin allows for candor to carry the meaning of brilliance, whiteness, radiance, naturalness and much more.

An Onsen is a hot spring, but has also come to include the bath house alongside. A Sika is a Japanese deer which is also a species common across Asia. Hinoki is a small cypress tree.

Paul,

pvcann.com

24 Comments

Filed under life, love, meditation, nature, poetry, romance, Spirituality

Hasten Naught

5 Lines

night-high-speed-time-lapse-of-highway-at-night-the-cars-are-moving-upon-the-inclined-road-very-fast-it-is-rush-hour-and-the-car-lights-are-blurred-and-looking-like-bright-lines_4zqd6hcal__F0014.png

Image found on videoblocks.com

 

 

Hasten Naught

Hasten naught,
the chain is in the doing,
constriction like a vice.
Release is in the juice,
of how I stay and sip my tea.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

9 Comments

Filed under life, meditation, mindfulness, poetry

Seasons Out Of Time

RDP#52-Time

th.jpeg

Savoir Vivre

Arabica claims my soul,
and I fold into myself.
Nursing, caressing ceramic,
contours of the mind explored,
a joie de vivre.

Pleasure fills and shutters me,
with a kind disregard for all.
Shuffling The Daily, scraping chairs,
pling and clicking banished,
My visa is for mellow ground.

Grief, a presence felt, “How was that?”
But how could I explain?
Ambrosia? Words inadequate.
A meditation slowly unfolding.
“Perfect.” I said.

The spell now broken I come ashore,
leaving kairos, chronos pulling
its quotients ever draining.
But I,
I prefer seasons out of time.

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

16 Comments

Filed under life, meditation, mindfulness, poetry, seasons, Spirituality

Into The Mystical

Mystical – Word of the Day

IMG_0133.jpg

The Blackwood River, Augusta, looking north east, one of my mystical places.

Mysticism comes from thε Greek root of μυω, which means to conceal. Mysticism crosses every religious boundary and belief system. That which is mystical is hidden. In the great debates about God from a Christian point of view there is the mystic view that God is both knowable and unknowable at the same time, that as such, there are elements of God that are visible, definable, but that mostly, God is concealed and unknowable.

Many have pursued mystical experiences. Aliester Crowley (1875 – 1947) was one of the most famous occultists of the twentieth century, trying to make connection with a world beyond. Carlos Castaneda trained as a shaman and explored mescalin using peyote as a mystical experience, inspired by the Toltec. Timothy Leary went with the synthetic drug LSD. There are trance groups, fasting practices, musical experiences, ritual practices and more. True tantra, like Tibetan Tantra, was only ever a form of meditative practice whereby the delay of orgasm and the control of orgasm is said to increase ecstatic experience, but for the purpose of prayer and meditation (and should not be confused with “Californian tantra” as I call it, or with Hindu left hand practices). Kabbalah originated as a Jewish mysticism, but now has non-Jewish paths as well. A number of celebrities have dabbled in Kabbala from Elizabeth Taylor to Madonna.

In the third and fourth centuries Christian men and women from Israel, Jordan, Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa went in droves into the deserts to develop a communal and contemplative life. And from John Cassian to Theresa of Avilla, to Thomas Merton, a few Christians became mystics, seeking the unknowable God.

I think the unknowable attracts, and we pursue it, partly to make it known, to unravel the mystery, to bring the hidden into full view, in the main, to experience what is concealed. Most of the writings of mystics that I have read reaffirm that God, Other, the divine, is unknowable, but that in the journey of mysticism, there is connection, ecstasy, love, wholeness, union and more.

For me any sense of the divine comes more through nature and the contemplative. The photograph shows a familiar walking space I take in, some days it is beautiful, some days it just is, but always it evokes a sense of mystery, of the divine in some way. There is something about certain places that does that for me. Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Elachbutting Rock, Boranup Forest, and more, are places that move me deeply, places where I sense an otherness beyond myself or other people. I have felt ecstasy in these places, I have been overcome with joy, they can be erotic (in the pure, emotive sense) experiences, I have experienced deep inner stillness, and sometimes a confusion of feelings rushing in all at once. Such things tell me I am more open in these spaces, yet I also know that my openness is also because I sense something more. This for me is the mystical.

As Van Morrison wrote in his song “Into the Mystic” – “Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.”

I stand in silence
mystical nature envelops
the heron smiles

©Paul Cannon

Van Morrison “Into The Mystic”

 

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

20 Comments

Filed under Alt-Religion, bush walking, Country, Haiku, life, meditation, mindfulness, music, Philosophy/Theology, quote, religion, Spirituality

Time Will Tell

Epiphany – Word of the Day

 

Gillian Welch: Time the Revelator

Aha!

That’s my simple explanation to anyone who wants to understand an epiphany, the moment something is revealed, when the penny drops or the dots are connected. The classic reference is, of course to the series of revelations of Jesus as Messiah in the gospel, and hence the liturgical season of Epiphany to celebrate these revelations.

It was taken and used in literature as personal revelation in matters from the mundane to the profound. The mystic Julian of Norwich, who wrote her “Revelations of Divine Love” in 1395 (reputedly the first known published work by a woman) reveals a series of spiritual epiphanies, perhaps the most often quoted being: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” A profound awareness.

James Joyce polularised the term in his autobiographical work Stephen Hero and in Portrait of the Arrtist as a Young Man, in which he would refer to times when he’d had a deep realisation, or when something manifested more clearly to him.

I really like how Gillian Welch plays with the idea of time as a revelator (see video), as the giver of epiphany, how living and engaging, reflecting and looking back, helps make sense of change and life now. Whereas for Dylan God is the revelator and judge, for Welch Time is. For Welch, time will tell!

I think my first epiphany was that I was part of the fabric of the universe. I freaked my parents out when I was four, I was regularly caught sitting on the window ledge of the second story window where my bedroom was. But I couldn’t help it, the moon and the stars captivated me and held me prisoner in wonderment. Going backwards, I later discovered the world when a maternal uncle gave me a large world wall map to gaze on and realised there was so much that constituted life. And incidentally, I think that order of learning has deeply affected me, because I go to the universe first and the world second.

More recently epiphany is related to my meditation and the contemplative. I never cease to be amazed, even by dew drops on grass! And I’m strangely warmed and satisfied by that.

The whole point of epiphany is that it comes to you, you can’t make it, but you can facilitate it – simply by taking time, time to observe, to engage, to listen, to feel, to receive, to attend.

Paul,

pvcann.com

28 Comments

Filed under life, Literature, meditation, mindfulness, music, Spirituality

Paperbark Writer

IMG_0124.jpg

The paperbarks (Melaleuca – one of the 300 Myrtaceae family) are shedding a little later this year. Another theme of winter is shedding. Some animals shed a summer coat in order to prepare for winter, many plants shed their blooms and slow down in some part, some of our birds fly elsewhere for the winter though we get visitors from other shores. We, perhaps, can live unaware of our own needs. What do we need to shed in order to prepare? Mind you, the converse is also something that we need to attend to, what do we need to gather in, soak up, put on in order to prepare? Self care and nurture are fundamental to well being, body mind and soul. For me the continuity of writing and meditation are part of that nurture. How about you?

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

Paul,

pvcann.com

32 Comments

Filed under bush walking, environment, life, meditation, music, nature, quote, seasons

Bestow Love

via Daily Prompt: Bestow

Sri_Ramana_Maharshi_-_Portrait_-_G._G_Welling_-_1948.jpg

Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950) was a Hindu sage, in fact a Jivanmukta, a liberated sage. Maharshi once said: “Unless one is happy, one cannot bestow happiness on others.” 

Maharshi is saying, obviously, that we can only give what we have within us. So if we carry anger, we share anger, if joy then joy, if hate then we share hate, but if love then love, and so on. We can’t give what we don’t have. Love doesn’t come from hate.

To be proactive, Rumi urges us to: “… bestow your love even on your enemies, if you touch their hearts what do you think will happen?” A purpose Jesus taught with his famous instruction to “Love one another”, including our enemies.

Rumi begs the question, what will happen if we do love our enemies? It’s simply rhetorical, the answer is clear, they will, over time, learn to love. I can see that example in so many people I have had the privilege of meeting and befriending, but also in those who have become known for their acts of selfless love – Martin Luther King Jnr., Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks, Ghandi, Malala, Maximillian Kolbe, Oscar Schindler, Bernadette Devlin, Mandella, Fred Hollows, or this guy:- Doc Hendley, who by his own description is but a humble bartender who had a vision to do something about water.

Hendley isn’t a sports star, or rock star, or movie star, just an ordinary guy bestowing clean water on those in dire need. While in reality he is also bestowing his love and compassion. He got angry hearing about the water crisis in the world, but he translated that anger into positive action (rather than reaction) and fifteen years on there’s a process for helping to provide clean water in the Sudan.

Doc Hendley is a great example to us, that we too, humble as we are, can bestow our love, our happiness, our joy, compassion … on others in meaningful ways. Where I live a local girl, Bella Burgmeister has become an author, motivational speaker, and project initiator, not bad for someone who is eleven. Bella has written on the impact of global warming in her book “Bella’s challenge” and she has iniated a project in our community by convincing city council to invest in thirty lockers for homeless people, a fantastic project. Bella has bestowed her passion and energy and love on our community for the benefit of all.

We can all do something, we can all bestow our love in some way, great or small.

Heartless is my world
my wallet is cold, empty
warm is my embrace

© Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

25 Comments

Filed under history, life, meditation, mindfulness, poetry, quote, Spirituality

I Churn For You

via Daily Prompt: Churn

200021403-001-300.jpg

Image from b-i.forbesimg.com

Lyn’s parents left us a milk separator, and butter paddles, there was even an old milk churn in the shed, but no butter churn. Milk separators do just that, separate the cream/butter fat from the milk. Milk churns are misnamed in my view – they’re just a large metal container for transporting milk. Butter paddles and butter churns do something else, they turn the butter fat from the milk into actual butter, they produce something.

Emotionally we churn. Surely you’ve heard the term butterflies in the stomach, a reference to mild worry. I don’t make a habit of it, my stomach rarely churns, but there are those rare occasions. If I’m going to churn it will be heights. I was fearful of flying, and my first few flights were nerve wracking, but I’m getting better at it. I engaged with abseiling, that was certainly nerve wracking, but I found I could even enjoy it. But with each activity, the night before I would be churning, worrying, mulling it over. By the morning I was no better, often exhausted from all the useless churning because my sleep had been interrupted or prevented by all the worry. Now it’s different, I find a mindful approach is helpful.

All the ancient cultures and religions relate strong emotional fellings to the stomach, hence the term “I have a gut feeling.” A churning stomach is, for many, a far too regular experience. Churning stomach often results from anxiety and stress. While the habit in days gone by (in the West) was to prescribe something, eventually there was a realization that worry was different to stomach ailments or sickness. A churning stomach is simply the body getting our attention that we need to make some adjustments to whatever the body is registering.

The ancient cultures and religions, (and now) modern medicine, suggest more simple, even commensense remedies to help end the churning: Adjusting diet (reducing sugar, caffeine and alcohol, other stimulants, large meals in general), exercising, and ensuring adequate sleep. In addition, and more importantly, a mindful approach is beneficial: adjust your breathing (awareness, calm breathing), relaxation, reduce stress (awareness), meditate, rest, and adjust whatever it is that is the cause of your churning. If we don’t take steps to adjust and change, then why expect anything to be different? For me, rest, creativity (simply writing or painting is a wonderful reframing), exercise, and meditation make all the difference. Stop, breathe, reframe, and arrest the churn.

Paul,

pvcann.com

6 Comments

Filed under Farm, life, meditation, mindfulness, psychology, religion, self-development

Nature As Talisman

via Daily Prompt: Talisman

IMG_1703.jpg

When I was in primary school one boy created a bit of discussion one day because he brought along a rabbits foot, and he explained that this was his lucky charm. I was bemused. I never had one, though I had some favourite things that were sentimental and had I lost them I would have felt out of kilter, but no talisman as such.

I have a book that belonged to my great uncle Davey who died near Arnhem, Netherlands, during WW2, it is somehow a connection to the past. It is a large book, written for adults but yet fits the description ‘ripping yarns’ a bit like the ‘Biggles’ stories for those who knew them. I had a fave knitted red t-shirt that I’d had for years, it had holes in it, fibreglass stains and etc. I still had it when I got married. Lyn threw it out while I was at work one day! We now ask before disposing 😂 I still have a bedside lamp that was modelled on the story and cartoon character ‘Noddy’, I might repair it one day, it’s sentimental. But really, if these were taken from me, I’d grieve a bit, but eventually I’d not miss them, after all they are merely material.

Classical_7-Circuit_Labyrinth.jpg

The labyrinth is for me a practice of meditation, but it is also a symbol of life, reflection and journey. It comes closest to talisman, as I would miss this if it were taken from me, it is important to my rhythm and balance, it is life giving.

But even more than that, the photo at the top, which shows a segment of Billyacatting Nature Reserve near Nungarin, was a regular haunt when I needed to meditate and take time out from long days of driving vast distances. Why is this a talisman? Well, because for me it is life giving and healing. I find natural spaces enable wholeness and awareness more readily than built environs. I come alive in the bush in ways I don’t or can’t in urban spaces. I’m certain I would go on living if I lived in a major city, one like Beijing or Tokyo, LA, London etc., but I wouldn’t thrive, I’d merely survive in such places. But give me the bush and time to walk it, soak it up, commune, meditate, and engage with it, and I am revived, refreshed, and whole. The bird song, the smell of the earth, the blossoms, eucalyptus and other smells, the visual feast, for me the bush, and all that constitutes it, is my Talisman.

What’s your talisman?

Paul,

pvcann.com

19 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, labyrinth, life, meditation, mindfulness, nature, Spirituality

Thought Provoking

via Daily Prompt: Provoke

If you haven’t seen the 2001 movie ‘Samsara’ it is a definite must, for me it has been a thought provoking movie. Don’t confuse it with the doco Samsara of 2012 from the makers of Baraka (a feast for the eyes), or a TV series of that name. This is a simple trailer, but you can find the full movie on Youtube (with subtitles).

The movie title ‘Samsara’ has a particular meaning in Buddhism. It refers to the endless cylcle of birth, death and rebirth, or put plainly – the life of suffering and dissatisfaction (dukka). The movie takes up this theme of suffering and dissatisfaction through the eyes and life of a Buddhist monk called Tashi. Tashi is awakened from a three year solitary meditation period in the mountains, he is now considered an enlightened being. When he returns to the monastery he finds his sexual urges awakening too, and he eventually leaves and marries Pema and runs a farm. But following an infidelity, and news of the death of his monastic mentor, Tashi is wracked by guilt, and eventually decides to leave Pema and his son Karma and return to the monastry. The movie is powerfully emotive, and is both a love story and a spiritual story. If you want to you can stay on the surface with Samsara, but you can also go deeper. Samsara delves into some key issues of life, love. sex, relationship, spirituality, fidelity, and integrity. It is in fact both a sad movie, and one that moves you and offers hope. It carries the message of the need to be careful in discerning one’s path in life, and that self is not always the best reference point in discerning our path.

One of the most thought provoking moments (among many) is the ending, where Tashi encounters a quote on a stone: “How can one prevent a drop of water from ever drying up?” to which the answer is given as: “By throwing it into the sea.” This is taken as a sign that he is drying up and needs to be back in the sea of the monastery. The overall theme is that life in the monstery life is not perfect, but there is more suffering in engaging the life beyond the monastery than inside it. It also speaks very clearly to me that one’s vocational path can become weary, but the grass is not always greener in other places or roles. In one sense, if you’re looking for a happy ending the movie doesn’t resolve well, and yet, if you look deeply into it, it does resolve well because everyone returns to what they believe they are called to be doing. However, the movie dies not condemn nor judge Tashi, but simply observes his choices.

For me the movie speaks strongly of choices yet of discerning the right pathway and being authentic to that pathway (dhamma). Other traditions would talk about sowing and reaping, or – what goes around comes around, or further still – be careful what you wish/pray for. It moved me deeply, I found it hard to rejoin the world for a time after the movie had finished, such was its impact on me. For me it invites the question of – what sea should I be thrown into in order that I not dry up?

Paul,

pvcann.com

12 Comments

Filed under community, environment, history, life, love, meditation, mindfulness, Philosophy/Theology, Spirituality