Sunday, October 23, 2011


Vladimir Solovyov (sometimes written in English as Soloviev) (1853-1900), was a Russian philosopher, poet and mystic. He is considered by many Western academics to be Russia's greatest philosopher. 
Solovyov had three encounters with Sophia, the Divine Feminine. 
The first encounter occurred in childhood. The second time he was in London, studying at the British Museum, and he saw her under the gold and azure dome of the Reading Room. He saw only her face, but he pleaded with her to see her full form. 

"She asked him to meet her again in Egypt. He went to Egypt and Sophia once again appeared to him in the desert at dawn. This time she revealed herself to him fully, completely transforming him. She also showed him a vision of the Earth transfigured, all of nature, all things, unified within her form as the Divine Feminine. After his return to Russia, Solovyov briefly taught philosophy at Moscow University, but soon left because he disliked university politics. He then moved to St. Petersberg where he wrote and taught. Solovyov taught an engaged Christianity of service and activism, in which the binding power of Sophia - the Mother/Wisdom/Love nature of God - could heal the world. For Solovyov art could be a modern form of prophecy to bring greater awareness of this mystical unity to humanity. Among his many works of poetry, his masterpiece is Tri Svidaniya or "Three Meetings" describing his three mystical encounters with Sophia. In his poetry, his encounters with Sophia are permeated with radiant azure and violet.
Solovyov was a good friend of the great Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoevsky."
- Source Poetry Chaikhana

What is, what was, what shall forever be -
All, all was held here in one steady gaze...
The seas and rivers blue beneath me,
Distant woods, snow-capped peaks.

I saw all, and all was one --
A single image of womanly beauty...
Pregnant with vastnesses!
Before me, in me -- only You.

-Vladimir Solovyev, Three Meetings, 1875

Friday, October 21, 2011

How to Make an Origami Lotus

This could be fun for the kids to try on a wet day. YouTube is full of these wonderful instructional videos these days. So much easier than trying to follow diagrams in a book.
It's in Portuguese, but there are English subtitles. I probably could have found an English video of something similar, but I love the sound of Portuguese. Their word for red sounds like English vermillion.
Strictly speaking, there are no red lotuses, as far as I know; only pink or white. Waterlilies come in many other colours, however. The blue lotus, is actually a type of waterlily. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

Miniature Painting

Graham Brown, Angel Reading, Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 cm, 2011.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Emptiness and Joy

"To enjoy Sahaja Yoga, in Niranand (absolutely without anything else but joy) then one has to know that he should give up all the myths with which he is living. All kinds of myths there are. Some people have myths: “We are very poor”. Some have myths: “We are very rich”. Some have this thing that “We are very unhappy”. Some have that “We are very happy”. All kinds of myths these are. These are all myths. What is the thing is the complete emptiness; complete emptiness. That is joy. This emptiness is filled with joy. Complete emptiness. Then you don’t expect anything from anyone. And this emptiness from within, it actually gives chance to compassion and love to enter into you. Supposing there is something in a pot already, what can you pour into it? What can you give into it? So if you are completely empty within, there’s nothing of this nonsense of the past and the future: the aspirations, the ambitions, all those things, and falsehood. If you just become empty, it is filled in with nothing but joy, and joy of such a eternal nature. You never asked for it; you do not look forward to it. It is there, all the time. And this is what I wish today you people can feel it: the quality is of compassion and love, fearlessness and courage and the complete emptiness. In this emptiness, then, you are not worried about what you have to achieve."
- Shri Mataji's Navaratri talk 1994

Saturday, October 01, 2011


Here are some stills from the beautifully shot BBC documentary series Ganges.
The last image is a photo of a Hindu personification of the river, the goddess Shri Ganga.

I once visited the Ganges at Haridwar. I recall the water seemed to be carrying flecks of mica, which gave it a magical glitter. Splashing some of the water on my head, and soaking my feet,  I found that a cold and various aches and pains I'd been nursing for several days, simply vanished instantaneously. Perhaps is was psychological, but the effect was unexpectedly dramatic. The water was too cold and the current too fast to risk a full emersion, though I did do this on a subsequent trip to the confluence of the Ganges and Jumuna rivers, at Allahabad, where the water is much warmer.

The Self is like the Ganga, which has its source in majestic peaks, originating from the purity of snow, and ultimately merges with the ocean of the universal.
A river has many 'selves' - sources, tributaries, rapids, wide slow meanders, deltas, mouths - yet all these aspects are inseparable from the Self of the entire river. The identity of a river is not altered by its currents and waves.
In Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, the protagonist learns from a river that time is an illusion. From the perspective of an object floating down the river, it seems as if passing things are lost irretrievably; but from the perspective of the river itself, nothing is ever lost. All the past and future are contained within the present moment. This is why meditation is such a powerful thing. Though it seems like it contains nothing, it contains all that ever was and will be.