Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Givenness of Things

On September 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa, President Obama and the writer Marilynne Robinson sat down to talk. They recorded a conversation that, in the president’s words, was designed to cover “some of the broader cultural forces that shape our democracy and shape our ideas, and shape how we feel about citizenship and the direction that the country should be going in.” The two had a warm and wide-ranging discussion, later published by The New York Review of Books and posted to iTunes, addressing Robinson’s writing life and Obama’s admiration of her novels; the democratic virtues expressed at Little League games, in emergency rooms, and in school buildings; and their shared sense that once upon a time democracy itself was considered an ongoing achievement. (The conversation has now been appended to the paperback edition of Robinson’s most recent essay collection, The Givenness of Things.) In the midst of some observations about American “goodness and decency and common sense on the ground,” the president arrived at a moment of synthesis, confronting an issue that, he said, “I’ve been struggling with throughout my political career.” continue reading
















Barack Obama was the first American president to officially celebrate Diwali, the festival, observed by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, which marks the victory of light over darkness. Shri Mataji has said that this is the time of birth of Lord Jesus, the Light of the World. Although millions of people celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25, most scholars agree that he wasn't born on that day, or even in the year 1 A.D.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Seamus Heaney on William Wordsworth's One Big Truth

Turner, Buttermere





Behind him lay a childhood and schooltime full of luminous and enlarging experiences around Hawkshead, in the mountains of his native Cumberland. He had grown up visited by sensations of immensity, communing with a reality he apprehended beyond the world of the senses, and he was therefore naturally inclined to accept the universe as a mansion of spirit rather than a congeries of matter. He had also grown up in a rural society where the egalitarian spirit prevailed and people behaved with reticence and fortitude in a setting that was both awesome and elemental. All of which predisposed him to greet the outbreak of the French Revolution with hope and to espouse its ideals:
If at the first outbreak I rejoiced
Less than might well befit my youth, the cause
In part lay here, that unto me the events
Seemed nothing out of nature’s certain course,
A gift that rather was come late than soon.
The natural goodness of man he inclined to take for granted, so it did indeed seem possible that the removal of repressive forms of government and the establishment of unmediated relations between nature and human nature could lead to a regeneration of the world. Certainly, when Wordsworth and his friend Robert Jones went on a walking tour through France in 1790, the summer after the fall of the Bastille, they could not miss the atmosphere of festival and the feeling that the country had awakened.
Read more here

Monday, March 07, 2016

Happy Shivaratri






















Shiva and Parvati riding on Nandi, Ink and gouache and gold c. 1820 - 40


 A man comes to himself
When he wakes from sleep.
Likewise, I have perceived the God and Goddess
By waking from my ego.


When salt dissolves,
It becomes one with the ocean;
When my ego dissolved,
I became one with Shiva and Shakti.


- Shri Jnaneshwara (Dnyaneshwar, Dnanadeva), 13th century

Monday, February 15, 2016

Aquarius and Kundalini


"Lay a virtuous path. 
Teach goodness. 
Feel the Shakti flowing within you."
- Shri Mataji, Sankranti 2008

The Shakti, the manifest power of the all-pervading Divine Self, can be felt within as the Kundalini energy. 

The Kundalini corresponds to the astrological sign Aquarius. Aquarius is depicted by a figure pouring out water from a vessel (Kumbha in Sanskrit) but it also represents the release of spiritual energy.







Aquarius by Jake Baddeley
jakebaddeley.com