Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love, it will not lead you astray” ~ Rumi
To welcome the new year, we’re bringing you an amazing performance from two American banjo player legends, Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck. They perform Hao Huo Hong literally meaning Good Flower Red.
The lyrics speak about the small red flowers that make up the blossoms of the pears trees on the mountains above the Yan River. Abigail Washburn relates the song’s history and the significance of the red flower in China:
“Hao Hua Hong is an age-old folk song from the native Buyi people who live in the high mountain forests of Guizhou. I learned the song from a record of the artist Gong Linna called Traditional Chinese Folk Songs. Every time this song would go by as I listened to her record I was moved by the quality of her voice and the idea of one small red leaf making a mountain to look of fire.”
When you know your mission, be astonished by what God has done, and never stop treasuring it.
This week I was asked twice what Buco means in the dish, Osso Buco. Buco is the bone marrow that offers the flavor to the meal, the richness.
On this feast of Mary the mother of God, I would like to emphasize specially the word today’s Gospel associates with her: treasured. “Mary treasured these things and reflected on them in her heart.” She pondered them, turned them over, sought out their causes, saw their implications, allowed them to work their way into the marrow of her bones.
May the Mother Mary, God’s finest human creation, guard and keep this year, and bring the peace of her Son Jesus to our hearts and to our world.
You have to find the place
of no effort within yourself.
But don’t employ the mind for this.
Your mind itself implies effort
and it will try to ‘do’ no effort—and to ‘be’ nobody.
This itself takes great effort and, in fact, is impossible.
But even ‘great effort’ and the one apparently making it
are seen in a space of no effort.
In the ‘no-effort’ place—you are.
Two weeks ago I noticed this enormous insect at the entrance of Fafa, then this week he hung out around the fern at the yellow triangle door. Finally looked up to find it was a Praying Mantis, mantis means prophet in Greek. Here’s some info I’ve compiled about our visitor while he stayed for a time.
If you know anything about the praying mantis, it will come as no shock that this insect is the paramount spiritual symbol of stillness and patience. The praying mantis takes its time in all that it does. It takes care to pay diligent attention to its surroundings, and moving through life at its own pace. It serves as a reminder for humans to slow down in our chaotic, fast-paced lives.
The praying mantis also teaches us how to still our bodies and go within our own mind. By doing this, we can connect with ourselves, drawing up greater physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual power. This stillness and concentration is a form of meditation, a practice that the mantis places much importance in.
Wisdom emerges when we are still and quiet, sensing and feeling rather than thinking critically. It comes with experience, age, and being, rather than traditional schooling. It cannot be obtained through arrogance.
The praying mantis meaning has a variety of traits: temperance, quietness, awareness, calmness, clairvoyance, patience, mindfulness and innovation. These insects are well known for their pre-strike pose, which is a popular symbol of balance and patience in and of itself.
In fact, the Chinese honor the praying mantis for its elegant, mindful, and contemplative movements. By reminding ourselves to have patience with ourselves in our own movement, we, like the mantis, can grow in our wisdom. They remind us to have patience in acquiring the things we want and to remain balanced throughout the duration of the wait.
If a praying mantis strikes too soon, its prey gets away. Because of this, it has evolved to be patient: so patient, in fact, that it will not budge unless it is 100% positive that it is the correct thing to do. This acts as a direct message to us, reminding us to contemplate our movements just as carefully and precisely.
When our timing is off, we may generate an unnecessary (and unpleasant) struggle or blow an opportunity entirely. Through stillness, awareness, and balance, we can hear and recognize the perfect moment. We must listen to the voice that speaks to us with openness, not fear. If we have patience, the right moment will come, and we will succeed.
Man is a unity of body and spirit which makes him utterly distinct from the rest of creation. “Man is not merely an evolution but rather a revolution,” muses G.K. Chesterton.
What makes humans so special
Made like God
Saved by God
Often, the September Moon is also called the Harvest Moon, but this year the Harvest Moon occurs in October. The Harvest Moon is the Moon that falls nearest the autumnal equinox; this full Moon provides the most light at the time when it’s needed most—to complete the harvest!
Technically speaking, however, the moonrise for the September 2017 and October 2017 full Moons are very close this year. For several days after both full Moons, the Moon rises a shorter-than-usual time after sunset, creating more light during harvest time. During both months, the Moon will hang large after sunset, casting its beautiful light on our fields of grain.