Monday, January 22, 2018

The Way of the Bow



The importance of repetition

An action is a thought made manifest.

The slightest gesture betrays us, so we must polish everything, think about details, learn the technique in such a way that it becomes intuitive.  Intuition has nothing to do with routine, but with a state of mind that is beyond technique.
So, after much practicing, we no long4er think about the necessary movements: they become part of our own existence.  But for this to happen, you must practice and repeat.

And if that isn’t enough, you must repeat and practice.  Look at a skilled farrier working steel.  To the untrained eye, he is merely repeating the same hammer blows; but anyone who follows the way of the bow, knows that each time the farrier lifts the hammer and brings it down, the intensity of the blow is different.  The hand repeats the same gesture, but as it approaches the metal, it understands that it must touch it with more or less force.

Look at a windmill. To someone who glances at its sails only once, they seem to be moving at the same speed, repeating the same movement; but those familiar with windmills know that they are controlled by the wind and change direction as necessary.

The hand of the farrier was trained by repeating the gesture of hammering thousands of times.  The sails of the windmill can move fast when the wind blows hard, and thus ensure that its gears run smoothly.

The archer allows many arrows to go far beyond the target, because he knows that he will only learn the importance of bow, posture, string and target, by repeating his gestures thousands of times, and by not being afraid to make mistakes.
And then comes the moment when he no longer has to think about what he is doing.  From then on, the archer becomes his bow, his arrow and his target.

How to observe the flight of the arrow

The arrow is the projection of an intention into space.
Once the arrow has been shot, there is nothing more the archer can do, except follow its path to the target.  From that moment on, the tension required to shoot the arrow has no further reason to exist.  Therefore, the archer keeps his eyes fixed on the flight of the arrow, but his heart rests, and he smiles.

If he has practiced enough, if he has managed to develop his instinct, if he has maintained elegance and concentration throughout the whole process of shooting the arrow, he will, at that moment, feel the presence of the universe, and will see that his action was just and deserved.

Technique allows the hands to be ready, the breathing to be precise, and the eyes to be trained on the target.  Instinct allows the moment of release to be perfect.
Anyone passing nearby, and seeing the archer with his arms open, his eyes following the arrow, will think that nothing is happening.  But his allies know that the mind of the person who made the shot has changed dimensions: it is now in touch with the whole universe.  The mind continues to work, learning all the positive things about that shot, correcting possible errors, accepting its good qualities, and waiting to see how the target reacts when it is hit.

When the archer draws the bow-string, he can see the whole world in his bow.  When he follows the flight of the arrow, that world grows closer to him, caresses him and gives him a perfect sense of duty fulfilled.

A warrior of light, once he has done his duty and transformed his intention into gesture, need fear nothing else: he has done what he should have done.  He did not allow himself to be paralysed by fear. Even if the arrow failed to hit the target, he will have another opportunity, because he did not give in to cowardice.


By Paulo Coelho

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hands on My Shoulders



“He spake well who said that graves are the footprints of angels”.
           
                                  - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I was just an ordinary nine-year-old kid enjoying my summer vacation.  My family and I lived in a small town called Lakewood.  I was walking to my friend’s house about two blocks from my home, and thinking about my grandmother; she had passed away a few years earlier.

My grandmother was a small, silver-haired lady with glasses and a warm, pleasant smile.  She had a gracious spirit and always spoke in a calm and peaceful tone.  I always felt loved, safe and secure around her.  I saw my mother cry for the first time when my grandmother died.

As I walked, I suddenly became aware of all the sounds around me – people talking, cars going by, and birds chirping. I also smelled the honeysuckles in the air, they were in full bloom.  I turned onto the block of my friend’s house.  As I approached his driveway I felt a strange gust of wind.  Not from side to side, but from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.  It seemed as if someone had overtaken me.  I stopped just before my friend’s driveway.  I felt a sense of calmness and peace, and a heightened awareness.  I could not move or hear anything around me, but I could see everything.  It felt like someone had covered me with wings.  Then I felt as if someone placed their hands on my shoulders and pulled me back slowly three steps.

A moment later a car backed out of the driveway right in front of me.  I hade barely stopped short of walking into the car’s path.  I realized that the driver would not have seen me if I had continued walking, and this was long before cars had beeping warning indicators for the driver when they backed up.  As the car backed onto the street and pulled forward, I felt the hands on my shoulders lift and a gust of wind – this time from my feet to the top of my head.  I could move freely again.  I turned around to see the person who saved my life, and saw no one.

I ran home to tell my mother what had happened to me.  When I told her the entire story, she was relieved I didn’t get hurt.  My mother told me that God had dispatched an angel to save my life. She held me and kissed me, and cried with tears of joy.

All through my life, I have felt the presence of God.  I believe the angel who came to me that day was my grandmother, dispatched by God to save my life.  I will never forget the feelings of peace, joy and love that were at the heart of my experience.


-      Reverend Anthony D. Powell

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Moon in Capricorn! Tuesday January 16, 2018!

The first New Moon of 2018 is exact tonight at 6:17pm PST.  It's in the sign of Capricorn, where there is still an enormous stelium (gathering) of planets.  If you tuned into any of my astrological overviews for 2018, then you know that the Capricorn mansion is where the big news is for the next few years.  Saturn, the Great Teacher, is in his home turf of Capricorn, and in 2020, he will meet up with Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld and spend that entire year dancing in this sign, destroying old structures right and left.  You think things in the world have gone mad now, just wait a few years as they continue to escalate? This New Moon has the power to initiate you into the elevated consciousness capable of not only navigating this potentially frightening territory, it will help you find your true Dharma - the quality that you are responsible for bringing into the world in order to assist the mighty Ascension that is happening at this time.  Yes, it's that important.

Capricorn is all about creating long term goals; intentions that require a journey to unfold properly.  Built into this is patience and foresight; this is the power of this particular archetype.  And this moment has a lot of additional energy built into it with a whole slew of planets in this sign.  Saturn is here, of course, bringing a sense of structure and responsibility to create the future you desire.  Mercury is in the house, and with his participation in this New Moon, every move he makes for the rest of the year will have the intentions you sent now built into his voice.  And the biggest blessing of all, Venus is right next to the New Moon, separated by only one degree.  We are being led by the Heart, and when we feel into the manifestation process, it has much more efficacy to manifest into form.  But perhaps the big story is the Sextile between Pluto in Capricorn and Jupiter that is part of this New Moon moment.

One of the hallmarks of Jupiter's traversing of the sign of Scorpio this year will be the Sextile with Pluto that the Great Expander will make three times between now and September.  As Jupiter teaches us how to embrace a life filled with true Abundance, we will need some tools along the way to effectively create the prosperity and good fortune that it is his great delight to provide us with.  Pluto offers the opportunity to purify, and change anything that inhibits our capacity to expand.

This New Moon features the first of the three passes of a Sextile that Jupiter will make with Pluto.  Once Jupiter goes retrograde, they will meet up this way again in April.  A third iteration of this transit will happen in September, and when it is complete, if we have picked up the tools to do the work to create more of anything in our lives, nothing will be the same.  This is one of the reasons why it's so important to have a daily spiritual practice and to be working at elevating your consciousness at this time.  This transit is wildly expansive, but it is generated by a geometry that will pass you right by if you are not actively working with it.

New Moons bring new cycles.  Capricorn invented the notion of having goals.  The presence of this Jupiter/Pluto Sextile inside the energy of this next New Moon bodes well for anything you are looking to expand this coming year, from new business ideas, to just increasing your consciousness through spiritual practice.  Because this Pluto/Jupiter Sextile repeats all year, the intentions set now will be woven through the many months to come.  Thing big, and think long term.

There is another set of planetary transits created by Mars that is adding to the power of the day.  A Trine between Mars in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces brings a flood of healing energy to everything you focus on right now.  Mars governs the choices we make and how we are embodying our consciousness in any given moment.  That energy infused with a wave of Chiron's capacity to turn any wounded experience into one of mastery is a great boon to this New Moon.  At the same time, Mars is also forming the Inconjunct, or Great Eliminator angle with Uranus.  Sudden changes in destiny are possible with this setup.

And though this isn't geometrically connected to today's lunation, also exact today is a Conjunction between the North Node and the asteroid Ceres.  The North Node is all about time, the future, and our movement into it.  It is a little like a way pointer into the life we are creating day by day.  Ceres is the Goddess of grain, harvest and fertility.  The coming together of these two points at the same time as the New Moon is hopeful and optimistic.  Intentions set now have this sense of a future where we can feel bountiful and fed by the life we are creating.  Don't be held back by any sense of unworthiness or feeling like the desires you have are bigger than your capacity to generate.  The activity of Mars in tandem with Venus, and what Ceres and the North Node are doing, make this a miracle-making New Moon.  All of this in perfect timing to lead us to the Full Moon in two weeks that is both a Blue Moon and a total Lunar Eclipse.  We are up to big things this year, so come along for the ride with all your dreams in tow.

 Dr Michael Lennox

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Love Cannot Be Wasted!

For a long time, I thought that the love that I dispensed to various people had been wasted. A kind word that was brushed off, trying to change myself to make a boyfriend not pursue other women, bending over backwards for a selfish friend, giving food to a hungry person.

If you don't get thanked, treated with respect, or even acknowledged, it can feel like a slap in the face. I tend to get cynical, thinking, why do I even try? It was this quote that made me realized that my love was not wasted:

"Love cannot be wasted. It makes no difference where it is
bestowed, it always brings in big returns."

Doing our best to love someone is not the problem. Even though some of these relationships were unhealthy, I believe that we get what we give out. That means that even though these people may not have deserved my love, I sent my love out into the Universe, and I will get it back. Maybe not immediately, or in the way we think it might, or even in the person we think it might, but our love will always be returned. Love yourself, and love others today.   

(A friend)