Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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The brave journey of becoming

Gleanings about art and life, found here and there:

Wassily-Kandinsky-Painting-022A book, once it is printed and published, becomes individual. It is by its publication as decisively severed from its author as in parturition a child is cut off from its parent. The book ‘means’ thereafter, perforce — both grammatically and actually — whatever meaning this or that reader gets out of it.

~ James Branch Cabell

Make beauty and vulnerability your allies in your brave journey of becoming.

~ Craig Paterson Wassily-Kandinsky-Painting-029

Though I cannot predict what I shall be able to do, I hope to make a few sketches with perhaps something human in them …

 ~ The Letters of Vincent van Gogh – 4 September 1880

… 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 must be blind to distinctions between ‘recognized’ and ‘unrecognized’ conventions of form, deaf to the transitory teaching and demands of his particular age. He must watch only the trend of the inner need, and hearken to its words alone.       ~ Wassily Kandinsky

Artwork by Wassily Kandinsky


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Feeding the Holy, crafting a spirit

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Photo: Thad Ring

So many thoughtful souls keep us company when we’re on a path of creating.

“Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem,” said Rollo May.

Kurt Vonnegut said, “The practice of art isn’t to make a living. It’s to make your soul grow.”

“People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore,” Anna Quindlen has noted. “It’s so much easier to write a résumé than to craft a spirit.”

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Photo: Lara Kearns

“Weaving, writing and painting our stories into the things we create is a way of feeding the Holy in Nature, which has kept us fed and alive,” says Toko-pa. “And as we put all of our lostness and longing into the beauty we make, we do so knowing that we may never hope for more than to pass on these heirlooms to the young ones so they may find their way home across the songlines, as we have been found by those who made beautiful things before us. If even one generation is denied their inheritance, the story and the way home may be lost.”

As it is said in West Africa, ‘When an elder dies, a library burns to the ground’.”

And finally, this beautiful encouragement from Craig Paterson: “Whatever difficulty you may be working through today, find a point of solace in art. Let it be both comfort and crucible, to rest your weary heart and to transform the dense dark matter of your troubles into something new and clear. Make beauty and vulnerability your allies in your brave journey of becoming.”


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Pearls of great price

“Were ye to discover the hidden, the shoreless oceans of My incorruptible wealth, ye would, of a certainty, esteem as nothing the world, nay, the entire creation.

“… My holy, My divinely ordained Revelation may be likened unto an ocean in whose depths are concealed innumerable pearls of great price, of surpassing luster.

“ … This most great, this fathomless and surging Ocean is near, astonishingly near, unto you. Behold it is closer to you than your life-vein! Swift as the twinkling of an eye ye can, if ye but wish it, reach and partake of this imperishable favor, this God-given grace, this incorruptible gift, this most potent and unspeakably glorious bounty.

“Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves—a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being.

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Image: Cary Enoch Reinstein / enochsvision.com

Ye would find yourselves independent of all else but Me, and would perceive, with your inner and outer eye, and as manifest as the revelation of My effulgent Name, the seas of My loving-kindness and bounty moving within you.

“ … Obstruct not the luminous spring of thy soul with the thorns and brambles of vain and inordinate affections, and impede not the flow of the living waters that stream from the fountain of thine heart.”

~ Bahá’u’lláh

 


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The state of mind that approaches prayer

It's A Long Way Down 374

Photo: Kathy Gilman

Gleanings found here and there:

The important thing is to work in a state of mind that approaches prayer.

~ Henri Matisse

It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.

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Photo: Saffron Moser

~ Wendell Berry

The practice above all practices is to relinquish the immature desire to be taken care of (by our parents, spouse, government, guru, church, etc.), and to parent our own originality. To give ourselves the support that we may never have received.

To get behind the creation of one’s life is to recognize your influence in ‘the way things are,’ and nurture your vision with protective discipline until it is strong enough to serve in the world on its own.

~ Toko-pa

Wertskyline10628299_827947707229100_5000927020300862535_nWe must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for in our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.

~ Hermann Hesse

The mind asks, the heart is the answerer.

~ Elizabeth Peru


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Questions asked the wrong way

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Photo: David Campbell / http://gbctours.com

Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.
~ Alan Watts

The feminine is the matrix of creation.

The choice is simple. Can we remember the wholeness that is within us, the wholeness that unites spirit and matter?

Or will we continue walking down this road that has abandoned the divine feminine, that has cut women off from their sacred power and knowledge?intuition

If we choose the former we can begin to reclaim the world, not with masculine plans, but with the wisdom of the feminine, the wisdom that belongs to life itself.

If we choose the latter we may attempt some surface solutions with new technology. We may combat global warming and pollution with scientific plans.

But there will be no real change. A world that is not connected to its soul cannot heal. Without the participation of the divine feminine nothing new can be born.

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Photo: Eric Olson

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

The feminine is the love of nature, and a belief in the body as a part of nature as we see it outside in the woods or rivers.

The feminine takes time for spontaneity and slow time, honors inner reality, and gives values to feelings without brutally repressing them as “sissy” or meaningless.

Rivulet

“Rivulet” by Judy Hughey Wright

Those living the feminine way choose to do something because it’s of genuine worth, and because they love it, and can therefore put their energy into something honestly.

Whether a man or a woman, they’re guided by the question: Is this of value to me personally? Is this worth putting my energy and effort into it? Is this who I really am?

This path is different from hammering through something, even though one’s heart isn’t in it. But living from the heart in this culture takes courage.

  ~ Marion Woodman

… the soul of this world is the subtle growth of spirituality, heavenly morals, divine favors and sacred powers.

~ ‘Abdul’-Baha


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The gold in the hours

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Artwork: Judy Wright

“This is one of the most singular experiences, waking on what feels like a good day, preparing to work but not yet actually embarked. At this moment there are infinite possibilities, whole hours ahead.

Her mind hums. This morning she may penetrate the obfuscation, the clogged pipes, to reach the gold. She can feel it inside her, an all but indescribable second self, or rather a parallel, purer self. If she were religious, she would call it the soul. It is more than the sum of her intellect and her emotions, more than the sum of her experiences, though it runs like veins of brilliant metal through all three. It is an inner faculty that recognizes the animating mysteries of the world because it is made of the same substance, and when she is very fortunate she is able to write directly through that faculty. Meme1959335_758163877584949_5796047359521828465_n

Writing in that state is the most profound satisfaction she knows, but her access to it comes and goes without warning. She may pick up her pen and follow it with her hand as it moves across the paper; she may pick up her pen and find that she’s merely herself, a woman in a housecoat holding a pen, afraid and uncertain, only mildly competent, with no idea about where to begin or what to write.

She picks up her pen.” 

~ excerpted from The Hours, by Michael Cunningham


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The heart of wonder

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Photo: Jon Ring

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

~ John O’Donohue

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Photo: Saffron Moser

 

I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit.

When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all encumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms.

So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.

~ Henry David Thoreau


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Receiving the grace – willingly

Rivulet

Painting: “Rivulet” by Judy Wright

Writing about people helps us to understand them, and understanding them helps us to accept them as part of ourselves. ~ Alice Walker

What we write today slipped into our soul some other day when we were alone and doing nothing. ~ Brenda Ueland‪

Rogue River Adventure

Painting: “Rogue River Adventure” by Judy Wright

The beauty of spirit will be visible in the presence and actions of souls all around me today. Focusing on and recognizing this is a choice that will be accessible to me throughout the day and help me feel happier, and more hopeful.

Today I remember that real happiness arises from a heart ready to receive – and recognize – the divine grace that’s the source of all life. It offers itself to me in every moment, but requires my willingness to meet it on its own terms.

My yearning for it underlies all my desires, yet a thousand worldly things can distract me from it.

312q7DGYsbL._SL110_~ from Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details

 

 


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With our own eyes, and our own hearts

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Art by Lisa Congdon from “Whatever You Are, Be a Good One.” Learn more about her work here: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/04/01/whatever-you-are-be-a-good-one-lisa-congdon/

 

Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.

~ Carl Jung

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

~ Albert Einstein

If you desire faith, then you have faith enough.

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Would it surprise you to learn that optimism is not a synonym for positivity, nor an opposite of negativity? Optimism transcends both. … Being optimistic ultimately means that an individual expects the best possible outcome from any situation. Such a person’s mindset and heart-set responds to whatever arises in the moment—uplifting or challenging—knowing that within it is a grace, an opportunity for their soul’s evolutionary progress.

Have you caught it yet?

~ Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith 

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What is the freedom and power of seeing and understanding with our own eyes?

Learn more about the gifts of this divine possibility at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thine-Own-Eyes-Imitate-Investigate-ebook/dp/B00I1JPC7I/ref=la_B00IS9LEZA_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404764134&sr=1-4


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The ink of light

 Shortly after my father died, I found some correspondence we’d exchanged years before. The letters gave me an observer’s view of my life at an age when I’d been blind to a number of things, ones I very much want to understand now. It was a gift to see those letters again.

Then, while cleaning out a drawer, I found the “Secret Friend” letters. Back when our children were small, they’d receive a postcard or letter every few weeks signed only with a small smiley face and the words “Secret Friend.”

Most often, the message offered encouragement, compliments or noted something positive that they’d done or that had happened in their life. Sometimes, if they were facing something difficult or had had a disappointment, it shared sympathy and support about that.

It was quite a few years before our daughter picked up on the fact that the writing on those cards and letters looked a lot like the neat block-printing on her father’s engineering plans. Even then, she was kind enough not to point this out to her younger brother right away.

In addition to their appealing element of mystery, those little pieces of correspondence offered a periodic reminder that someone out there had the recipient’s interest and happiness in mind, and wished the best for them.

They were also a reminder for me that there is something powerfully important in the written word that seems to transcend every other communication experience. Each time I travel, and return to more exchanges via the written word, I appreciate this more deeply.

It’s undoubtedly no coincidence that the founder of every major religion brought a book, each its own kind of letter to humanity. “Write all that We have revealed unto thee with the ink of light upon the tablet of thy spirit,” Bahá’u’lláh encourages humanity, soul-by-soul. “Should this not be in thy power, then make thine ink of the essence of thy heart.”

312q7DGYsbL._SL110_Adapted from Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details –

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