Friends on the Journey
"Rather than looking at people as sex objects or work tools, we can see them as sacred. We can enter the Holiest of Holies through their eyes. Rather than seeing them as an 'it,' they can become a 'Thou.'"
Hello Dear Friends and Family of Mari Hall and Wisechoices
It is June already and the children are out of school. Gracious where has the time gone?
On the 21st of this month we mark our 10th Anniversary bringing you the 21 day Usui Virtual Retreat and in honor of this occasion I have written the three meditations we will be using. I will send out the Usui Retreat notices closer to the 21st. For information about the focus of the meditation and practice suggestions you can follow this link to our Usui Retreat pages, http://www.wisechoices.com/usui.asp…Please ask your friends and family to join you. It is fine to spend a few minutes a day or a week, what ever your schedule will allow. I always look forward to this time to get quiet and focus.
I am hoping a little later in the month to have a special surprise to share with you. I have my fingers crossed at this point! Stay Tuned please.
This month has been a mixture of welcoming new babies into the family and of saying goodbye to dear friends who have transitioned. Tears of joy and sadness have been shed. Death and birth…the never ending cycle of life and on many levels. One thing for sure we are brave spirits and friends on the journey of life and I am so glad to be walking this path with you.
Here are some lovely articles for you, evoking, uplifting and provocative...which one will resonate with you? Enjoy them!
Love and Blessings,
The Path of Archery
The importance of repeating the same thing
An action is a thought that manifests itself; a small gesture denounces us, so we have to make everything perfect, think about the details, and learn the technique so that it becomes intuitive. Intuition has nothing to do with routine but rather with a state of spirit that lies beyond technique.
So, after practicing a lot, we no longer think about all the necessary movements: they become part of our very existence. But for this to happen, you have to train and repeat.
And as if that were not enough, you have to repeat and train. Watch a good blacksmith working the steel. To the untrained eye he is repeating the same hammer blows over and over again.
But those who know the importance of training know that each time the hammer is raised and then lowered, the intensity of the blow is different. The hand repeats the same gesture but as it approaches the iron it knows whether to touch it harder or softer.
Look at the windmill. Whoever sees its vanes just once imagines that it always turns with the same speed, always repeating the same movement. But those who know windmills know that they are conditioned to the wind and change their direction whenever necessary.
The hand of the ironsmith was trained after the gesture of hammering was repeated thousands of times. Windmill vanes can move fast after the wind has blown a lot and polished their gears. The archer lets many an arrow pass far from the target because he knows that he will only learn the importance of the bow, posture, the string and the target after he repeats his gestures thousands of times without being afraid of making a mistake; until he reaches the moment when he no longer needs to think about what he 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 intention projected into space. Once it is fired, there is nothing left for the archer to do except accompany its path towards the target. From that moment on, the tension necessary for the shot has no more reason to exist.
The archer therefore keeps his eyes fixed on the flight of the arrow, but his heart is at rest and he smiles.
At that moment, if he has trained enough, if he has managed to develop his instinct, if he has maintained his elegance and concentration throughout the whole process of the shot, then he will feel the presence of the universe and he will see that his action was fair and deserved.
Technique makes both hands always ready, breathing always precise, eyes able to fix on the target. Instinct makes the moment of the shot perfect.
Whoever passes by and sees the archer with his arms open and his eyes following the arrow will fancy that he is stopped. But the allies know that the mind of the one who fired the arrow has changed dimension and is now in contact with the entire universe: the mind goes on working, learning everything of a positive nature that the shot has brought, correcting any mistakes, accepting his qualities, and waiting to see how the target reacts when it is struck.
When the archer stretches the string, he can see the whole world inside his bow. When he accompanies the flight of the arrow, this world comes close to him, caresses him and makes him relish the perfect sensation of having fulfilled his duty.
A Warrior of Light, after fulfilling his duty and transforming his intention into gesture, need fear no more: he has done what he had to do. He has not allowed himself to be petrified by fear, for even if the arrow fails to reach its target, he will have another opportunity, because he has not been a coward.
From a mother to her daughter
In the whole wide world there is no-one like me. I am the owner of my body, my thoughts and my ideas. The images that my eyes contemplate belong to me and I need to know how to choose them. I possess my own fantasies, my dreams, hopes and fears. Since I am owner of myself, I have to know myself intimately. There are aspects of myself that confound me, others that I do not know. But whether or not you agree with all that I am, this is authentic, this represents the moment that I am living.
From an Anglican bishop in the year 1100
When I was young and free, I dreamed of changing the world. In maturity I discovered that the world would not change, so I decided to change my country. After some effort I ended up understanding that this too was impossible. At the end of my years I tried to change my family but they went on being the same as they were before.
Now on my death bed I discover that my mission was to change myself. If I had done that, I would have been able to change my family. Then, with a little luck, that change would affect my country, and then – who knows – the whole wide world.
Midrach Rabba on Ecclesiastes
When men come into the world, their hands are always closed as if they wanted to say: the whole world is mine and I am going to hold on to it.
When men leave the world, their hands are always open as if they wanted to say: I have nothing in my power, all that I can take are my memories, and all that I can leave are my examples.
Kahlil Gibran to Mary Haskell
We are both trying to touch the limits of our existence. The great poets of the past always surrendered themselves to Life. They were not looking for some determined thing, nor were they trying to unravel secrets: they simply let their souls be overwhelmed by emotions. People are always seeking security, and sometimes they manage to achieve it: but security is an end in itself, and Life has no end. Poets are not those who write poetry, but all those whose heart is filled with the sacred spirit of Love.
Epictetus to his disciples
Two things can happen when we meet someone: either we become friends, or we try to convince the other person to accept our convictions. The same happens when the ember meets another piece of coal: either it shares its fire with it, or it is suffocated by its size and ends up extinguished.
As we are generally insecure at a first contact, we try indifference, arrogance or excessive humility. The result is that we stop being who we are and things start heading towards a strange world that does not belong to us.
Kandinsky on painting
Painting is an art. And art is a power that should be aimed at developing the soul. If art does not do this job, the abyss that separates us from God is left without a bridge.
The artist owes his talent to God and has to settle this debt. To do this, he has to work hard, know that he is free in his art but not in his commitment to life. Everything he feels and thinks is part of the raw material with which to improve the spiritual atmosphere around him.
Beauty, whether in art or in a woman, cannot be empty; it has to be at the service of men and the world.
The Truth of Interdependence
Picking a leaf off the ground and contemplating it as an object in and of itself is very inspiring. Its shape and color, the way it feels in your hand, its delicate veins and the stem that once held it fast to the branch of a tree-all of these qualities reveal a leaf to be a miniature work of natural art. As we contemplate this small object more deeply and consider where it came from and what purpose it has served, we find that the leaf is one small but essential part of a system that harnesses the energy of the sun, plumbs the depths of the earth, and in the process brings into being the oxygen many living things rely on to live.
A leaf transforms the elements of its environment-sunlight, carbon dioxide, rain-into nourishment for its tree. This beautiful, nearly weightless, ephemeral piece of nature is a vital conduit to the branch that is a conduit to the trunk that is a conduit to the roots of the tree. The roots, in turn, draw nourishment from the earth to feed the trunk, the branches, and the leaves. The living beings that inhale the oxygen that comes from this process exhale the carbon dioxide that feeds the leaves through which the tree is fed. It is difficult to know where one cycle ends and another one begins.
One of the many gifts that nature offers us is a clear demonstration of the interdependence between all living things. The person who exhales the carbon dioxide, the clouds that produce the rain, the sun that gives light, the leaf that transforms all these things into sustenance for a tree-not one of these could survive without being part of this cycle. Each living being is dependent upon other living things for its survival. When we look at the world, we see that this is not a place where different beings survive independently of one another. Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a spinning kaleidoscope of relationships. We need each other to survive and thrive.
Remembering Who We Are
Most of us are familiar with the idea that we are not human beings having spiritual experiences; instead, we are spiritual beings having human experiences. We hear this and even though we may experience a resounding yes in our bodies, we may not take the time to really acknowledge the truth of these statements. Integrating this idea into how we view ourselves can broaden our sense of who we are and help us appreciate ourselves as brave spirits on an important mission to learn and grow here on earth.
As spiritual beings, we are visitors in this physical realm. The fact that we came here and lost all memory of what happened to us before we were born is one of the many reasons that it takes so much courage for a soul to incarnate on earth. This is why spiritual inquiry so often feels like a remembering-because it is. Remembering that we are spiritual beings is part of the work that we are here on earth to do. When we operate from a place of remembering, we tap into the wisdom that our spirit accumulated even before we stepped into this lifetime. Remembering who we are can give us the patience to persevere when we become overwhelmed or frustrated. It can give us the courage to work through the most daunting challenges and help us trust the ancient wisdom we carry that is offered to us by our intuition.
We have chosen to be on earth because there is something we want to learn that can only happen by inhabiting a body. Some of us are here to repay a debt, learn about love, or teach forgiveness. Most of us are here for a combination of reasons, we carry this information in our souls, and all we have to do is remember. As you go through your journey, try not to forget how brave you are, being here now. Honor yourself.