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In Love with a Monk

 

 

I have read so many of his books, and also of his fellow monk/friend Abbot Father Basil M. Pennington, who furthered the cause of contemplation and Centering Prayer among Catholics. Two holy, manly clergy who were not afraid of the silence and not afraid to push past limits imposed on the spirituality of Catholics. I love them both and became a friend in life of Father Basil.

Both met sudden, unexpected deaths; Father Merton, electrocuted by a wire that touched water in his bathroom in Bangkok and Fr. Pennington in a car accident where another car raced through a red light at an intersection crashing into the car in which he was passenger and killed him instantly.

 

I am one lucky soul as my writing mentor/guide/soul-infused light Janet Conner is going to plan a writer’s retreat, at my suggestion, at the home of Thomas Merton,  Gethsemani outside Louisville Kentucky next summer. Because by her own admission, she is in love with him too.

 

 

 

Count me there!  Yes. Yes.

 

Peace in every step….Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Communing, reflecting, writing

 


Pretty sure to spend some time in here

 

I will bring the healing graces of Reiki
to “rain down upon us from the heavens above
granting all good things”

 

Below as guest blog is a short account of a wondrous soul taken from the monastery website. ”

“Thomas Merton, known in the monastery as Fr. Louis, was born on 31 January 1915 in Prades, southern France. The young Merton attended schools in France, England, and the United States.

 

At Columbia University in New York City, he came under the influence of some remarkable teachers of literature, including Mark Van Doren, Daniel C. Walsh, and Joseph Wood Krutch. Merton entered the Catholic Church in 1938 in the wake of a rather dramatic conversion experience. Shortly afterward, he completed his masters thesis, “On Nature and Art in William Blake.”

Following some teaching at Columbia University Extension and at St. Bonaventure’s College, Olean, New York, Merton entered the monastic community of the Abbey of Gethsemani at Trappist, Kentucky, on 10 December 1941. He was received by Abbot Frederic Dunne who encouraged the young Frater Louis to translate works from the Cistercian tradition and to write historical biographies to make the Order better known.
The abbot also urged the young monk to write his autobiography, which was published under the title The Seven Storey Mountain (1948) and became a best-seller and a classic.
During the next 20 years, Merton wrote prolifically on a vast range of topics, including the contemplative life, prayer, and religious biographies.

His writings would later take up controversial issues (e.g., social problems and Christian responsibility: race relations, violence, nuclear war, and economic injustice) and a developing ecumenical concern. He was one of the first Catholics to commend the great religions of the East to Roman Catholic Christians in the West.

Merton died by accidental electrocution in Bangkok, Thailand, while attending a meeting of religious leaders on 10 December 1968, just 27 years to the day after his entrance into the Abbey of Gethsemani.Many esteem Thomas Merton as a spiritual master, a brilliant writer, and a man who embodied the quest for God and for human solidarity. Since his death, many volumes by him have been published, including five volumes of his letters and seven of his personal journals. According to present count, more than 60 titles of Merton’s writings are in print in English, not including the numerous doctoral dissertations and books about the man, his life, and his writings.”

Brother Patrick Hart, OCSO

 

http://www.monks.org/

 

 

 

 

How To Bring More Love to Our World

Guest Blog from Suzanne Murray, author, writing coach, EFT & Creative Coach
October 14th, 2017

http://www.creativitygoeswild.com

I don’t think any of us will question that these are tough times that can leave us feeling a bit helpless to have a positive, creative impact in our lives and the world. If we view the world solely from our rational mind, we limit our understanding to what has happened in the past or what we think might happen in the future. We limit our connection to the grace available in each moment and to the potential for miracles. We limit our capacity to love our world.

Science now shows us, based on a study of the earth’s magnetic fields done by NASA, that what we hold in our hearts radiates out to the whole world. It turns out that our hearts have a magnetic field five thousand times more powerful that the one generated by our brain and it is in communication with the magnetic field of the earth.

This means holding love and appreciation in our hearts and feeling it going out to people and places in need actually has an impact. We can do this for people on the other side of the world from us, people in the midst of natural disasters, those in front of us in the line in the grocery store as well as to the earth herself.

I have a great fondness for tree squirrels and sometimes hold my affection for them in my heart and send that love to people and places in need. Recently I was doing this while sitting in my car in the park. I notice a gray squirrel loping in my direction and watched him come right up under my window, sit up and stare straight at me, as if to say, yes! So find what works for you. Play with it. I was delightfully surprised by what felt like squirrel love.

Our heart’s connection to a larger field of awareness may explain how we know things beyond our mind’s ability to understand how we know. We just know. We feel it in our gut, in our bones. This voice of our intuition or inner knowing that doesn’t make sense to our mind.

We tend to let our minds talk us out of the guidance that comes from that kind of knowing because it takes us out of our comfort zone into the unknown. Yet now more than ever we need to tap these expanded capacities for creative problem solving and innovation to be the change for our own lives and the world. We can to bring our heart felt love into our own energy field and the field of the world.

How To Fight

 

I saw this title on Amazon and what amazed me was the name of the author — Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the best known Zen teachers in the world today and a pacifist who encourages  Peace is Every Step.

In very brief meditations, he offers insights on how to turn our disagreements and conflicts into opportunities for growth and compassion.

If we see killing something or someone as a violent thing, this author has a comment on the violence of killing.

He says the Buddha was asked if there were anything he would kill.. “Yes”, said the Buddha. “Killing anger removes suffering and brings peace and happiness. “We ‘kill’ our anger by smiling to it, holding it gently, looking deeply to understand its roots and transforming it with understanding and compassion.”

And I wonder how long does that take and just like the 70 x 70 times we must forgive our fellow human beings and self, how often must it be repeated.

 

I think of Yoda as the Thich Nhat Hanh of Star Wars!

 

There is another practice of repetition. If smiling at our anger is too difficult for the moment, we can turn to an easier, softer way as long as we are willing to release our anger. We can employ, short and sweet phrases that are called mantras, saying them aloud or softly to ourselves.

He lists six mantras.

  1. I am here for you.
  2. I know you are there and I am happy.
  3. I feel your pain and I am here for you.
  4. I am suffering, please help.
  5. This is a happy moment.
  6. You are partly right.

I see the power in the sixth statement in particular.

I like this way of fighting.

 

 

We need to come together and have an open, honest conversation about this.”

We hear that often on the television or speaking circuits in the noisy ways of the world these days.

There are two problems with this statement:

As a whole, we are not very practiced or adept at “coming together” when there is an issue at hand that has strong opinions about it.

Secondly, there are very know how to have an “open and honest” conversation about complex attitudes and actions in our changing world. Even with good intentions to be open, and even thinking we “are honest”, we all bring multi-factored bearings to the issue at hand.

We need to be able to hear ourselves and the other.

Or we end up like this!

Yep! A tug of war.

There are professionals who have all kinds of input, however, and  renewed scientific and human behaviorist practices that can help move us humans forward in the art and necessity of wholesome communication.

Heart Math Institute and the studies of Doc Childre is one such place. When I studied with Barbara Marx Hubbard in Conscious Evolution, I found the practice of Heart Resonance, bringing the resonance of your own heartbeat in sync with the pulse of the world a fascinating endeavor.  I was also introduced to a radically different type of group resolution communication that focuses much more on listening and speaking uninterrupted while others listened, and doing this many times over for the same issue to be resolved, to see how individual consciousness could meld and become one unified consciousness that felt right to move forward on.

Radical, indeed! No debates, no shouting, no “going home with my ball.” There are some experiments with this in religious communities and organizations, but to my knowledge, I have not seen it hit the big time in News or Documentaries for the mass public.

We are still going about, making our noise, and hoping for some instances of connection.

 

HeartMath provides tools that connect us with the heart of “who we truly are” for living healthier, fulfilling lives and building a brighter future.

Since 1991, the HeartMath Institute has researched and developed reliable, scientifically based tools to help people bridge the connection between their hearts and minds, and deepen their connection with the hearts of others.

 

Practical solutions to help you lower your stress, revitalize energy and resilience and restore your mental, emotional and physical balance.

 

Heart connections with family, friends, co-workers – even pets – enrich our lives. Deepen your heart connections. Add flow and energy to your field environment.

 

Global Coherence Initiative unites people in heart-focused care and intention, facilitating a shift in global consciousness toward balance, cooperation and peace.

 

The mission of the HeartMath Institute is to help people bring their physical, mental and emotional systems into balanced alignment with their heart’s intuitive guidance. This unfolds the path for becoming heart-empowered individuals who choose the way of love, which they demonstrate through compassionate care for the well-being of themselves, others and Planet Earth.

 

Their Cause: Activate the heart of humanity

HeartMath Institute is committed to helping activate the heart of humanity. We believe that when we align and connect our hearts and minds and connect with others, we awaken the higher mental, emotional and spiritual capacities that frequently lie dormant. HMI aspires to always conduct our operations with passion, compassion and a heartfelt desire to transform lives. This is in keeping with our desire to help usher in an era of ever-expanding heart intelligence.
HeartMath’s research, training and technologies are aimed at guiding all of humanity toward realization of its full potential and to rely on the qualities of the heart in its role as caretaker of future generations and our planet.

Tom and I are fans of Hawaii 5 O. Me, more for the scenery than some of the stories, but we watch the show fairly often. It is where the “Book ’em Danno” line came from. We  visited the beautiful islands of Hawaii on our 40th wedding anniversary in 2007, and now I have met beautiful Emma Thompson, who creates wondrous healing herbs and essential oils from nature there.

Several years ago, I started this website blog with the intention of highlighting books that interest me, or that I have read, or that I know the author that wrote them or also the authors I am having wonderful conversations with who are writing wonderful books.

This fell to the wayside for many reasons and many moves since I started it.

However, it is back now!

I intend to learn how to build audience for this site and also to take submissions for guest blogs and information on the writing life.

Feel free to contribute to me at   sue.hajec@gmail.com

https://bookmdanno.wordpress.com/

 

Here is my entry for today on http://www.bookmdanno.wordpress.com

 

 

REIKI, LOVE, JOY and PEACE
October 11, 2017 by napkinwriter | Edit

New Reiki Book
Great Holiday Gift Idea!
Reiki Love, Joy and Peace
A Reiki Healing Anthology
by William Lee Rand
$29.95
Full Color Trade Paperback
336 pages – 8 1/2″ x 10 7/8″
The 67 articles in this anthology were written by William Lee Rand, one of the world’s foremost practitioners and teachers of Reiki. They first appeared in the Reiki News Magazine and will provide you with unique insight into every aspect of Reiki practice. Also included are the adventures William experienced as he traveled to the ends of the earth to promote world peace. This is a great book to thumb through and read the articles you feel guided to read. This book will provide inspiration and instruction on how to get the best out of your Reiki practice.
Purchase in web store and save 10%
U.S. Residents Special Shipping Rate!
We’ll ship this book for $7.20 to anywhere in the contiguous U.S.
The International Center for Reiki Training

center@reiki.org
http://www.reiki.org/

 

 

Stones Can Talk!

I needed a day off from the art of writing so I am being domestic and catching up on house tasks and then I stopped by the computer and played a game with stones.

I selected two and this is what they say about me.

Turquoise always catches my eye, so I chose Howlite first.

 

Howlite is a great tool to have during meditation because it can help you focus your mind. It can promote serenity of mind and remove any kind of distracting thought.

It will help you get rid of your stress and anxiety because Howlite is also a powerful calming stone.
If you’re attracted to this stone, keep your mind open for messages from the “other side.”

These messages may come from other worldly beings or passed relatives and loved ones.
Keep a dream journal and be aware of visions or synchronicity.

If you chose this stone, it indicates that it’s time to let go of something that no longer serves you.
You feel the leopard can’t change its spots, but I beg to differ.

You can change if you really set your mind to it. It’s a choice that only you can make – no one can make it for you.

Even if you feel that life has thrown you a curve ball and this is your lot in life, don’t give your power to someone else.

When you allow others to take the reigns of your life, you give them the power to create your life.
Instead, take the reigns and create the life you want.

The second stone I chose was Opalite.

Opalite is subtle yet highly energetic. It is ideal for meditation. Opalite improves communication on all levels, especially the spiritual.

You want only freedom in life from the hustle and bustle of civilization.

You feel the need to disconnect and find peace somewhere where your senses and inner thoughts rein supreme.

If you chose this stone, it indicates that you have weathered the storms and you are now much stronger and wiser for the experience.

You do wear the scars however but this is something that doesn’t need to be permanent.
Like the plaque on the stone, it can be washed off.

You are a sensitive and gentle being and protection has been necessary for you and is necessary for you.

 

 

 

 

Reading for Pleasure

http://www.sneemstorytellingfestival.com. Credit: Dominick Walsh Photography

 

I read for pleasure all the time. Reading is the most pleasurable choice time I have. I share Madisyn Taylor’s thoughts on this wondrous activity.

 

GUEST BLOG FROM Daily Om

Reading for Pleasure

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Each time we read for enjoyment, the empathy awakened within us creates entire landscapes in our mind’s eye.

Every book has the potential to touch the human soul deeply, arousing patterns of thought that might otherwise have lain dormant. The pleasure we derive from the written word is unique in that we must labor for it. Other forms of art provide us with stimulus and ask nothing more than our emotional response. Reading is an active pastime that requires an investment of emotion as well as our concentration and imagination. The words we read are merely a starting point for a process that takes place largely within our minds and hearts.

There are few activities as comforting, relaxing, and healthy as perusing the pages of a good piece of fiction or nonfiction. Curling up with a book and a cup of tea is one of the simplest ways we can remove ourselves from the confines of reality in order to immerse ourselves in the drama and intrigue of the unfamiliar. The pleasure of transcending reality is only one aspect of the reading experience, however. Each time we read for enjoyment, whether we prefer the fantastic nature of fiction, the empathy awakened within us by memoir, or the instructive passion of nonfiction, we create entire landscapes in our mind’s eye. The books we choose provide us with the inspiration we need to accomplish such a feat, but it is our own creative reserves that empower us to use our imaginations for this unique and beautiful purpose.

The tales you lose yourself in can lead you on paths of discovery that take you out of your own life and help you see that existence can unfold in an infinite number of ways. You can learn so much from the characters and mentors who guide you from page to page. Your emotions are awakened each time you read, allowing you to become vessels of the passion that pours forth from line after line of print. Ultimately, the books you absorb–those that touch you deeply–will become a part of who you are, providing you with a rich and thrilling world within that you can revisit anytime you wish by simply closing your eyes. If you haven’t read a book for pleasure lately, try and allow yourself the time–you deserve it.