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GUEST BLOG by Julia Lim

Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being.” Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self-discovery and reflection.

The word “ikigai” is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. The word is also used to refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. It’s not necessarily linked to economic status or daily state of things.

Even if a person feels that today is dark, but has a goal, he may feel ikigai. Behaviours that make one feel “a reason for being” are not actions which individuals are forced to take – these are natural and spontaneous actions.

In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”; that is, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner referenced ikigai as one of the reasons people in the area had such long lives.

Primary text source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikigai

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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/

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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/

 

 

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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.

 

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Now we live the days of…aftermath. The reults of unleased fury of wind and rain. The demolished homes and properties that must be repaired or rebuilt. The in between space of lack and need of daily living routines that are comfortable and safe Well, maybe safe, but very needy. A sense of ruin covering over what used to be a satisfying way of life.

The call to resilancy and reaching down deep to deal with and transform the destruction thust upon many is on stage and necessary for the human spirit. The human spirit that serves where it can. Then many aid and energy power workers going beyond duty’s call to restore as much to as many possible in ravished conditions. The call to faith and trust, once again, in the Higher Power beyond and through this all.

At a time like this it is most difficult to “lean into His goodness” but you hear it in the voices of the affected victims and the helpers alike. They speak, not only of frustration and need and awesome disbelief of the show of nature’s power, but also of “coming back” and that sense of hope and determination does indeed call for a trust and a faith in the unseen.

This is Napkinwriter”s share of my quiet time prayer journal page this morning. Between these lines printed on the page, I inserted my own prayer requests for family and friends’ needs.

These words  from My Prayer Journal Mornings with God, were gifts to me. I lend them to you.

 

“Trust in the Lord

You will never regret putting God first. Lean into His goodness. He wants to bless you with good gifts. He is your loving Father.”  (I also lean into the Mother God Divine Feminine and Mary.)

Father, I lean on my own understanding, don’t I. Help me to trust that You know what is best. Often I make plans and attempt to figure things out when I should submit it all to You in prayer. Bring to mind, as I sit quietly before You now, the times in the past when You have come through for me. Give me faith for my future, knowing it is in my Father’s hands. Amen.

‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’  Proverbs 3:5-6″

I carried that Proverb on my daily planner and appointment keeper when I was busy in the business world. I carry that proverb in my heart now as I continue the life that is mine to live in this world.

 

 

 

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August 21, 2017

On this date, several years ago another miracle occurred in my life. I gave birth to my second daughter. I love her with all of my heart. I have snuggled with her, played with her, laughed and cried with her. I have witnessed her two miracle births and wondrous young children, my grandchildren.

This is a fully open heart occurrence in my life; one that beats through every moment of my life with gratitude and sheer wonder — yes wonder — that the life given me is filled with the awesomeness of being a tender-hearted mother, who enjoys life focused on family.

This is what love is…not always understanding, not always quiet, but always resolving how we are in relation to one another and how the love that beats below the base line centers us and creates our purpose.

Today in a few hours, MOTHER EARTH will experience a Total Eclipse of the Sun.  This mother has been having a tough time of it lately.

She knows and I know that much of humankind have open, loving hearts and intentions that serve her lands and waters with respect and care. But the SHADOW side of humankind is right now getting all the attention.

SHADOW likes to argue, cause ruckus, destroy, intimidate, hate…yes even take pride in being hateful…claiming the right to BE hateful….SHADOW’s time appears to be NOW in the turning of the planet.

I am not versed nor educated in the astrological physics, but I think I understand that there is a principle that’s been in existence since the Big Bang and that is that our Universe is continually expanding.  I have studied further that we are in the universe and that the universe is in us. Meaning that the same atom particles of the exploding stars are the same materials found in the human body that have existed since the beginning of time. (or was there a beginning?)

So, today, I want to think about this. If the universe is expanding and I am expanding, I choose to expand with all that looks and feels like LOVE.  I choose to leave behind and cut myself away from the shadow of anything that inhibits that free flow of love within me so that this expression can enhance my own life and the life of others.

THAT MEANS, to me, to continue to do things I’ve been learning all along to do: forgiveness of self and others is primary. Then working in harmony to accomplish what is mine to do. I can think small in order to accomplish big things…a simple smile, a word of grace, establish orderly living, and free myself for time into creative endeavors I feel called to.

This will be my Total Eclipse of the Heart. My intention for living in this manner. I hope, that like the sun that will once again shine through after the passing of the shadow moon, my life will contribute to the light of the world.

I do believe the darkness will never overcome this light.

 

 

GUEST BLOG:

from

Mark Kolack.

THIS ECLIPSE IS AN EJECT BUTTOM FROM UNIVERSE

Beloveds,
Tomorrow between 1:22pm – 4:17 pm Florida time, peaking at 2:54pm on August 21, 2017, people across the USA will see the Sun disappear behind the Moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature to drop rapidly, and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the Moon. On this day, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse.

This is the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental USA in 38 years. It is the first Total Solar Eclipse in 99 years to be visible in its totality across the lower 48, and the first in 1500 years to be ONLY visible in totality across this region.

What does this eclipse mean? Reset: this celestial event will wipe the slate of your life, past, shadow, clean and set a new direction in your life parallel to what intention, vision, direction you set for it. What we visualize and focus on will be set into motion for years to come!
Make the choice to go deeper: admit what you really want and believe you can have it: face what you have been running from, good and ‘bad’ and embrace them both so they manifest and dissolve respectively. Ask God as yourself to free you and to fulfill your heart’s desires. Pray this into the vortex between 1-4pm.

On a psychological / metaphysical level a Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) blots out the conscious mind and allows the unconscious (INTUITION, as well as repressed emotion) to emerge. This is one of the best uses of the energy of a TSE: allow your ego to be blotted out and allow your Divine Knowing/Intuition to be revealed! We do this through prayer and affirming that this is what you are intending, what you are doing, and then it is what is happening! Then ask and listen and reflect.

On the flip side, any skeletons in your closet will dance when the moon (unknown, subconscious, repressed shadow material) takes over, but this is for the best. Dance with your shadow remembering that what you choose to release under an eclipse will disappear forever. It’s an eject button from the Universe.

This is a time for centering, visualizing, believing, asking, affirming, decreeing, commanding, surrendering and being grateful. Imagine if you were given a series of wishes from a beneficent genie: and all she required was that you got real with yourself, touched your heart; admitted what hurt you, asked to have it removed: and then asked for what your heart truly desired:

This is what this eclipse is: on a grand planetary scale of personal and epic proportions. Get real. Admit what’s up with yourself. Pray and affirm it into the eclipse vortex. Then go in peace.

We are going through the eye of the needle into the New World tomorrow. Don’t bother packing. Only self-love can fit. Leave the rest. Unhook your seatbelt for maximum effect!

Fly!
Eternal Love and Blessings,
~mk~

 

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