18 July, 2021

Celtic Icon or Mandala- Refloection s on Love




THE CELTIC ICON

Further Reflections on Love

Some further reflections on  LOVE and Celtic Spirituality

To begin, a short poem which demonstrates the Celtic fondness and focus on the power of Three


The Power of Three - A Short Celtic Poem

Three folds to the cloth, yet one napkin is there, 
Three joints to the finger, but still only one finger fair; 
Three leaves of the shamrock, yet no more than one shamrock to wear, 
Frost, snowflakes and ice, all in water their origin share, 
Three persons in God, to One God alone we make prayer.
  ( Source:- E.Hull ed, The Poem Book of the Gael, Chatto & Windrus, London , 1912)


Beware Over - Simplification  

We must beware of an over romantic view of Celtic Spirituality., particularly the Spirituality of Ireland and Great Britain. These are two Islands set on the edge of Europe  and facing the great Atlantic Ocean. Consequently,   the people  lived in a harsh and  damp climate.  Their culture (particularly in  Ireland and Scotland) was pervaded by a strong sense of the power of evil versus good , light versus darkness and of the consequent need for austere and simple living.


There are some who also over-simplify the differences  between Roman and Celtic Christianity. They offer a stark contrast between a Church dominated by a hierarchical Rome and a  monastic and Communal based  Church in  Britain and Ireland. Furthermore, a simplistic contrast between unholy and holy men, differences in the monastic  tonsure ( hair style) and the precise  dating  of Easter. But these were in many cases too simple. The main differences were more cultural and perhaps also based on the Celtic experience of a non-dualistic God, which has similarities with Hindu and Eastern  Philosophy 

While many Celtic knots are popular designs as tattoos, the one most often seen is the Trinity Knot, also known as a Triquetra. But what does the symbol mean and what significance does it hold? 
 
It almost depends on who you ask, because it holds meaning to both Christians and non-Christians, but their definitions differ based on personal beliefs. Christians believe that the three points represent the three elements of the trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ( the Great Spirit of the Aboriginal Peoples)
   
On a more spiritual level, it has also been known to symbolize life, death, and rebirth. There are also several other meanings that basically boil down to one thing: three separate entities that are inter-connected in a constant flow of energy and love.
 
An Initial Post that may be continued later

 

 Wisdom for Today's Times

 There is a vast treasure of wisdom handed down from our ancestors. They too, had to face pestilence, famine, war and pandemics.  They survived and we are here to acknowledge their courage and wisdom.

The following is a short quote from Daoism - a wisdom tradition that emerged from China. Perhaps it has a message for us today ?


 

THE PEACE

OF LIBERATION

 

Without going out of my door I can know all things.

Without looking out of my window I can know the ways of heaven.

For the further one travels, the less on knows.

The wise one therefore , arrives without travelling,

Sees all without looking, does all without doing.

From the : - Dao Te Ching 

 

04 January, 2021

 THE WISDOM OF SUTRAS

Sutras or 'pithy' sayings are pearls of wisdom . Here are two from Eastern Spiritual Traditions

' Every day the Priests minutely examine the DHARMA ( The WAY) and endlessly chant complicated SUTRAS ( Threads of Wisdom)

Before doing that, though, they should learn how to read love letters sent by the Wind, the Rain , the snow and moon'

Master Ikkyu ( Zen Buddhist 14th Century)

 

Clouds appear free of care and carefree drift away

But the carefree mind is not to be 'found'

To find it, first stop looking around

 Master Wang - An - Shih  


30 December, 2019

SUCCESS - A Paradox

THE SUCCESSFUL PARADOX


So often in modern life we are judged by our successes, whether that be in sport, our job, our career, our relationships etc. The impetus and cultural 'message' is to ' Seek Success'.

The same message is often given to ,or taken on by,  the Spiritual Seeker. 

However, the wisdom of the sages reminds us that there is a strange paradox to success. The more one seeks it the less likely one is to find it. 

This paradox is eloquently shared by Viktor Frankl in his great work - Man’s Search for Meaning. and an excerpt is shown below. However, to follow his advice takes patience and a great deal of humility!

  

30 September, 2019

A Life Lesson from Autumn

AUTUMN - A SEASON OF CHANGE
 
Life is constantly changing and these changes can be a mixture of challenges and opportunities. As we mature these changes face us with new challenges. I find this quotation helpful and therefore share it. I hope that you too, may find it helpful.

 

16 August, 2019

LOOK TO THIS DAY

THE IMPORTANCE OF EACH DAY

Both Ancient Wisdom and modern Neuroscience and Psychology, remind and advise us of the importance of remaining in the Present Moment.  a wise truism is ' The Present Moment is the ONLY Moment' 
 Modern life and its values has lured us into a false state. This is a state that emphasises constant noise, movement and  ( so called) progress. The end result is a pandemic of mental illness, DIS - ease and restlessness.Staying in the Present Moment ( a difficult practice of Mindful Presence) is an antidote to this dis-ease.  
  
The great Spiritual Traditions advise us to begin each day anew and with a simple spiritual pracgtice that involves a sense of both GRATITUDE and JOY.  Thus they advise some form of daily Spiritual ( Sadhana) or Practice. 

In the Hindu tradition, this is often a dawn ceremony of the AARTI flame, a way of greeting each day. I would like to share a poem from the Indian Sage Kalidasa,  that succinctly reminds us of the importance of EACH day and of staying in the Present.   It is a lovely SALUTATION to the Rising Sun.

This is a poem that I have previously posted. However, our world and our human family perhaps benefit from  regularly reminding ourselves that EACH DAY is a precious gift to be cherished, en-joyed and savoured with GRATITUDE.

15 August, 2019

PEACE IN EVERY STEP

A SHORT REFLECTION ON PEACE

A short reflection on the 'Dove of Peace' so desperately needed by out Human Family. It emphasises the twin wings of KINDNESS and COMPASSION ( both for SELF and OTHERS)

So much of our hatred , lack of tolerance and prejudices, originate inside our hearts and are often projected out on to others; particualrly of the poor, marginalised and those of 'difference'.

I Trust you find this short reflections  both challenging and helpful