Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Buddha's Thoughts

I found this quite beautiful, and I love the meditative music!

Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Better than a thousand words is one word that brings peace.

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.

To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.

We are what we think.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the Sun, the Moon, and the Truth.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it from without.

With our thoughts we make the world.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle; happiness never decreases by being shared.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to Truth: not going all the way, and not starting.


Shakura Cathryn

May All Beings Be Well, May All Beings Be Happy, Peace, Peace, Peace. ~Buddhist Blessing

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ein Sof - The Repair of the World

Ein Sof [There is no place that is not God]

The Repair of the World

A Kabbalistic Creation Story

In the beginning
before there were any beginnings or endings,
there was no place that was not already God.
We call this unimaginable openness: Ein Sof,
Being without end, world without end, Ein Sof.

Then came the urge to give life to our world and us.
But there was no place that was not already God.
So Ein Sof breathed in to make room
like a father steps back so his child will walk to him.
We call this withdrawing Tzim Tzum.

Into the emptiness Ein Sof set vessels and
began to fill them with divine light,
like a mother places bowls
in which to pour her delicious soup.
We call these bowls Kaleem.

As the light poured forth, a perfect world was being created.
Think of it, a world without greed and cruelty and violence.
But then something happened.
The Kaleem shattered.
No one knows why.
Perhaps the bowls were too frail,
perhaps the light too intense,
perhaps Ein Sof was learning.
After all, no one makes perfect the first time.

With the shattering of the bowls,
the divine sparks flew everywhere.
Some rushing back to Ein Sof,
some falling, falling, trapped in the broken shards,
to become our world and us.

Though this is hard to believe,
the perfect world is all around us,
but broken into jagged pieces,
like a puzzle thrown to the floor,
the picture lost, each piece without meaning,
until someone puts them back together again.

We are that someone.
There is no one else.
We are the ones who can find the broken pieces,
remember how they fit together,
and rejoin them.
And we call this repair of the world
Tikkun Olam.

In every moment with every act,
we can heal our world and us.
We are all holy sparks, dulled by separation.
But when we meet and talk and eat and make love,
when we work and play and disagree
with holiness in our eyes,
seeing Ein Sof everywhere,
our brokenness will end.

Then our bowls will be strong enough to hold the light,
and our light gentle enough to fill the bowls.
As we repair the world together,
we will learn that there is no place
that is not

(Naomi Newman, 1994)


Shakura Cathryn
“Every person: God.
Every animal, every plant: God.
Everything: God, God!
The slightest contact is worship.”
~Ivan M. Granger

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Well-Planned Retirement

I received this from a friend – it was forwarded to her by someone else. I think it’s pretty cool! This is one enterprising individual!

*I have since found out that this is not true -- but it's such a good story I think I'll leave it here just for the fun of it!

From The London Times:
A Well-Planned Retirement

Outside England's Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, its parking fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant. The fees were £1 for cars ($1.40), £5 for busses (about $7).

Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing a day of work, he just didn't show up; so the Zoo Management called the City Council and asked it to send them another parking agent.

The Council did some research and replied that the parking lot was the Zoo's own responsibility. The Zoo advised the Council that the attendant was a City employee. The City Council responded that the lot attendant had never been on the City payroll.

Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain (or some such scenario), is a man who'd apparently had a ticket machine installed completely on his own; and then had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about $560 per day -- for 25 years. Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over $7 million dollars!


And no one even knows his name!

Shakura Cathryn
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on* or by imbeciles who really mean it." ~Mark Twain (*Apparently that's true~! LOL!)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mermaid or Whale?

Mermaid pic from:
Whale pic from:

Thanks to my friend Diane for this one…

Recently, in a large French city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said:

A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym:

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex? Therefore they don't have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who's skin is all scaly and smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me... I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my grandkids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a latte with my friends. With time, we gain weight because we
accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, "Good gosh, look how smart I am"!

Shakura Cathryn
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Of course, it may be necessary, from time to time, to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." ~Miss Piggy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cast All Your Votes for Dancing

Image from

Cast All Your Votes For Dancing

I know the voice of depression
Still calls to you.

I know those habits that can ruin your life
Still send their invitations.

But you are with the Friend now
And look so much stronger.

You can stay that way
And even bloom!

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions' beautiful laughter.

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From the sacred hands and glance of your Beloved
And, my dear,
From the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel.

You are with the Friend now.
Learn what actions of yours delight Him,
What actions of yours bring freedom
And Love.

Whenever you say God's name, dear pilgrim,
My ears wish my head was missing
So they could finally kiss each other
And applaud all your nourishing wisdom!

O keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions' beautiful laughter

And from the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Now, sweet one,
Be wise.
Cast all your votes for Dancing!
~ Hafiz ~

OH! This is so poignant for me today, for several reasons. We are dancing with the sun here, trying to get our solar power back online. That will probably take quite awhile. And there are personal reasons for additional heart-touching aspects of this poem for me. I will reserve those personal things in my heart.

Sufis call God the Beloved, or the Friend, for the belief and experience is that God is all aspects of Love – Love, Lover and Beloved. But this poem can also be understood in the context of the love we have for special people in our lives. I am experiencing it both ways now.

With Love and Blessings and Gratitude,
Shakura Cathryn
"Choose happiness and joy in the face of life's challenges and always have a grateful, appreciative heart. Be still - hold a holy and whole vision - and dance!" ~Brooke Medicine Eagle