Posted in 000 Poets, 100, General Interest, Musicians, Spiritual, Spiritual Practice, Terri Stewart, TheBeZine

Climate Care as Spiritual Practice

Editorial Note:  With this piece by Terri Stewart (Cloaked Monk) we announce our focus for 100,000 Poets (and others) for Change 2016, environment and environmental justice. We continue our Facebook group discussion page. Let us know if you would like to be included in that.

Terri is also the lead for the upcoming November issue of The BeZine. The theme for that zine issue, which will publish on the 15th of November, is at-risk youth. 

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Caring for all that is can be an overwhelming job! If I think of the things within my control and trying to do the best I can, maybe I can do it in bite-size chunks. After all, I will never be able to invent some magical thing that converts pollution to life-giving energy. But I can compost!

Call on the animals to teach you; the birds that sail through the air are not afraid to tell you the truth. Engage the earth in conversation; it’s happy to share what it knows. Even the fish of the sea are wise enough to explain it to you. In fact, which part of creation isn’t aware, which doesn’t know the Eternal’s hand has done this? His hand cradles the life of every creature on the face of the earth; His breath fills the nostrils of humans everywhere. Job 12:7-10, The Voice-A Storyteller’s Bible

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Climate-care, earth-care, creation-care, creature-care, caring is a deeply spiritual practice. How we approach the other starts with our interior orientation. If we practice expansive spirituality, we will be filled with gratitude, mindfulness, and joy. If not, we will be led to a diminished experience.

I wonder how we could reconnect, simply, through ritual, to creation? Perhaps a mini-ritual?

1. Set your sacred space

What are you trying to connect to? Earth? Cosmos? Stars? Bunnies? Create an easy environment where you can let your gaze gently rest on a photo, object, or even the real thing!

2. Set your intention

What do you need at this moment? For example, “I am here to connect to the earth in a way that honors the createdness of us all.”

3. The body of the ritual

Combining your intention with a ritualized act. For example, if you were sitting outside on a lawn chair, offering honor to the cosmos during the day, you could gradually look around honoring each creation you see. “Blades of grass, I honor you. Cedar trees, I honor you. Beloved cat, I honor you!”

4. Closing ritual

A signifier that it is finished. Perhaps, if you were outside in the grass, you could bring a handful of grass seeds to add to the growth. Then you could sprinkle the grass seeds in all directions, offering life. 

Be creative! This framework for ritual was created by my friend, Deborah Globus. Her avatar is LaPadre. She’s awesome!

Shalom and Amen!

Terri Stewart

by Terri Stewart

© 2014, words and illustration, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved

terrisignoffblog

Posted in Charles W Martin, poem, poetry

buddy can you lend…

buddy can you lend

how well
do you
need to know
a soul
to
care
do you
need to be
on
a first-name basis
or
have shared
some common
moment of
pain
or
epiphany
or
is
your
faith
enough

678ad505453d5a3ff2fcb744f13dedc7-1product_thumbnail.php41V9d9sj5nL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_CHARLES W. MARTIN (Reading Between the Minds) — earned his Ph.D. in Speech and Language Pathology with an emphasis in statistics. Throughout Charlie’s career, he maintained a devotion to the arts (literature/poetry, the theater, music and photography). Since his retirement in 2010, he has turned his full attention to poetry and photography. He publishes a poem and a photographic art piece each day at Read Between the Minds, Poetry, Photograph and Random Thoughts of Life. He is noted as a poet of social conscience. Charlie has been blogging since January 31, 2010. He has self-published a book of poetry entitled The Hawk Chronicles and will soon publish another book called A Bea in Your Bonnet: First Sting, featuring the renown Aunt Bea. In The Hawk Chronicles, Charlie provides a personification of his resident hawk with poems and photos taken over a two-year period. Charlie’s lastest book, When Spirits Touch, Dual Poetry, a collaboration with River Urke, is available through Amazon now.

Posted in Art, Peace & Justice, teacher

From Weaponry to Livingry …

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Note: The origin of this artwork is unkown. If it is yours, please let us know and we will credit or take it down, whichever you’d like.

Posted in Essay, Guest Writer

PERSPECTIVES ON CANCER #8: A Gift from Cancer

Dilys Wood

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A GIFT FROM CANCER

by

Dilys Wood

Some friends of mine who suffered cancer and did not survive in the longer term were, as it happens, exceptional people with a special gift for sharing. That’s how I come to know that there can be shared happiness even when a friend is diagnosed with a serious illness. When time is short, inhibition may fly out of the window. You may feel ‘licensed’ to talk freely about every aspect of both your lives.There are no excuses for not doing the things you meant to do together. Boring daily chores just have to give way to what, at normal times, might seem a whim.

In fact, the more ‘whims’ your friend has the more delighted you feel to be able to help, even though, when someone is getting weak, there can be problems. If not used to being a caretaker, you sometimes feel stupid, inadequate and guilty. A few weeks before her death, I took a friend abroad and was in tears of despair at Heathrow airport because I hadn’t allowed for her slow walking and general debility. Why hadn’t I booked help? When we reached our hotel in Amsterdam, I was tired and she was ready for an enjoyable evening. I’d learnt the lesson that energy levels in a cancer patient can be unpredictable: a remarkable will-power may come into play, with a passionate desire to do new things, go places, indulge a little lavish spending, even when out of character.

Within a week or so of her own death, a friend learnt that an aunt was housebound and set off to see her. It should not have been possible for her to take that journey by car, train, tube and bus, but she did it on her own. When she told me the details it was obvious she had had one of the happiest days of her life. This friend was one who talked about everything under the sun, including questioning everyone, from priests to shop-assistants, about their idea of eternity.

Another friend greeted everyone on the street with, “I’ve got terminal cancer”. Far from resenting this – and despite the fact that she had just moved house – her neighbours were soon actively helping in every possible way, visits, shopping, lifts in their cars, re-plumbing her washing-machine. By contrast, I was unhappy when the close family of a dying friend banned visitors from the house in her last fortnight. Did she feel that “closing out” was harsh, as I did, or was it the right decision?

For another friend, dying in a Hospice, things were different. Lying in the bay-window of a large sunny room she was dying in a combined greenhouse and luxury hotel. Surrounded by a mass of cut-flowers and house-plants, her bedside table groaning with fruit and chocolate, she was eager for visitors, warm, loving even while hallucinating. I will never forget her friendly indignation as she pointed to the vision we couldn’t see, “Look a tiger, apricot stripes!”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dilys Wood ~ Dilys is poet, editor and founder of Second Light Network of Women Poets. She has edited four anthologies of women’s poetry, mainly with Myra Schneider and has published two collections of poetry, Women Come to a Death and Antarctica. She is a great advocate for women poets, especially those who come to the art and craft of it late in life. Dilys mother died of cancer.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

INTO THE BARDO·

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