November 2015

"What I Believe is Who I am" by Rebecca Braun


I Am

I am
The mantra is clear.
I am
Connecting to spirit.
I am
 
My Source is Light.
I am
The Creator lifts me higher.
I am
To believe in myself.
I am
I must trust the possibilities.
I am
 
No longer a victim.
I am
Shedding the labels.
I am
Pulling away the veil.
I am
Washing away denial.
 
Passion is Source.
I am
Action is paramount.
I am
Patience is crucial.
I am
 
Giving to the Universe.
I am
Opening to my True Self.
I am
Grateful for this Life.
I am
Willing to serve.
 
I am


© Copyright 2015 Rebecca Braun. All rights reserved.


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"RITUAL" — Zen Story

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—Painting — “Blue Cat Painting” by Deb Harvey
When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, a cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. One day the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.




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Sripad Valmiki Muni

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Previously Valmiki, having the name Ratnakara, was living in the forest, and to maintain his family he would kill and rob passers by as they went through the forest. Some days he would come back with not very much, to which his demanding wife would reply to his entrance, "Is that all you've brought?" "Be patient dear, tomorrow a group of rich merchants will pass through the forest and I will relieve them of their wealth, " he would dutifully reply.

One day the seven great sages (Sapta Rishis) passed through the forest. Ratnakara stopped them with his usual demands for their wealth or their lives. The sages replied that they were actually in the renounced order, and did not possess any material wealth. They then asked the robber why he robbed as a profession. Ratnakara replied that he had to maintain his family, and robbery was his only option as a means of livelihood. The sages asked him if his family, who live on the fruits of his sinful activities, would partake of the results of his sins also, that he comited by putting his victims through various ordeals, and told him to go and ask them and then come back with their answer.

 Ratnakara seemed to think they would be with him completely, however when the robber asked his wife and son if they would also share in the resultant reactions to his sins as well as the fruits, they both replied, No! You are the sinner. Why should we share your sins?"

 Devastated at the replies from his so-called loved ones, in tears he returned to the seven great sages. Throwing himself at their feet he begged for their mercy and forgiveness. The sages told Ratnakara to chant the holy name of Rama, but Ratnakara stated that he had always preferred to chant Mara, or death. Anyway, those Saptarishis, who are full of compassion told him to just sit there and recite Mara continuously. As he chanted 'maramaramaramara' continuously like that, the holy name of 'ramaramarama' gradually became manifest. Sitting and chanting in this way in deep absorption on the holy name of the Lord, he sat for months and years, until finally his body became covered over by a 'valmik' (ant hill).

One day, many years later, the seven great sages returned and called to the now reformed robber. Bursting from the ant hill, the pleased sages gave him the new name Valmiki. By the constant and intense devotion of Valmiki Muni, best among the 'Rshis', he had meditated on the holy name of Lord Rama, even at first unknowingly, but the potency of the holy name acts whether chanted knowingly, unknowingly, or even in a mocking way.

 Valmiki, now surcharged with spiritual potency, became respected everywhere by saintly devotees of the Lord. At this time, Narada Muni came to see Valmiki. Valmiki, accepting Narada as his eternal spiritual master, enquired from him as to who among men is the most perfect. Narada Muni said that King Rama, the King of Ayodhya, is the most perfect person, for He is the Personality of Godhead Narayana Himself. Then Narada Muni narrated the full story of the Ramayana - the wonderful life story of Lord Rama, after which he took his leave.

 Valmiki thought of nothing else, for he was always absorbed in thoughts of the saintly Lord Rama.


SOURCE:
http://www.salagram.net/Valmiki.html
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Buddha Tells a Parable

cliff hanger
---From Jeremy Matlock’s Website


Gautama Buddha, The Dhammapada

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. One the vine sustained him.  Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.
How sweet it tasted!
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"The Stars" by Morton Marcus

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“Painting Stars” by Harri Williams

The Stars
by Morton Marcus

The stars are grains of salt
thrown over God's shoulder.
They fly from us and we fly after.

But the heart, that dark star,
the heart, that heavy planet,
is all we can know of heaven.


SOURCE:
Morton Marcus Verse Daily


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