Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve - Still Beautiful, Still Pertinent, 498 Years Later

Dear Friends, 

This was written on Christmas Eve, 1513. Every year I read it again and marvel at how meaningful it is now. I couldn't say anything better. And so, I share this with you who are my friends and Beloveds....

I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. 
Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

And so, at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.

~ Fra Giovanni ~

I wish you all a Holy-Days Season full of blessings, shared with people you love, and a happy and prosperous New Year!
Shakura Cathryn
"Earth is crammed with heaven." ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank You. Thank You. Yes. Thank You.

Greetings, Friends and Family,

One of my favorite off-planet teachers said this:

"Thanksgiving is part of acceptance. Sometimes people wonder for what do they have to be thankful. The highest form of thanksgiving is not merely being thankful for those things we judge to be good, but being thankful for the  opportunities for growth in all things." ~Michael channeled by Shepherd Hoodwin

I am sincerely grateful, at this stage of my life, to be able to say THANK YOU for everything that has happened to me. All of them. The painful ones as well as the sweet and joyful ones. Everything and every person has been a source of something that has brought me a more expanded understanding of Love, Truth, Harmony and Beauty, and a greater ability to appreciate and savor the sweetness of life.

There are a couple of songs that express my feelings of gratitude pretty well. I invite you to have a look and listen to these videos….. 

I love the lines in this that say "Thank you for the sorrow that made me," and "Thank you for the beauty that saved me."

I thank each of you all for the part you play in my life, and for the contributions you make to the Universe. You are appreciated!

I wish you all a Wonderful Thanksgiving~!

Love & Blessings,
*Shakura Cathryn
(*Shakura means Grateful Woman)
 "The man with old shoes felt bad, until he met the man with no shoes, and the man with no shoes complained until he met the man with no feet! The man with no feet dances in his dreams! For he dreams things many could never imagine! He dreams he has feet." ~Eric Gibson

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Microscopic Images - Heartful Vitamin C

My husband Tim found this amazing website of microscopic images….. this one is really amazing to me! This is a microscopic image of Vitamin C crystals. Look! They have double hearts – hearts within hearts. No wonder it’s good for us! Go to the website to see many other wondrous views into the microscopic wonders of life. (I turned this image 90 degrees so they would be “standing up.”
Shakura Cathryn
"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." ~Albert Einstein   

"I want to know the thoughts of GOD. All else is just details." ~Albert Einstein  

“When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” ~Buddha

Friday, October 7, 2011

Nikon Small World Gallery - Microscopic Photography

My husband sent me a link to this gallery of microscopic photography and I've spent quite a while in awestruck wonder, looking a the amazing complexity of things that are way too  small for our eyes to see! Here are some of my favorites......

Acetaminophen Crystals 

Ascorbic Acid Dissolved in Alcohol

Crystals of Influenza Virus

Down Feather 

Green Algae

Micro Leaf Beetle on a Pin Head

Newly Fertilized Killifish Embryos

Rat Neurons


Sugarcane Root Cross Section

Tiny Shell 

Wing Scales of Sunset Moth

And this is just a few... there are so many wonders to see on this website! 
What an amazing world we live in!

Shakura Cathryn
"Nature is the art of God." ~Dante
 "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~Albert Einstein  
"The Earth is not caught in a dilemma of right-wrong or good-bad. When you look at nature, it is a beautiful symphony of creation." ~Alana

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 911 - Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero

Where was God on 9/11?

I watched this remarkable special Frontline program on PBS a few nights ago. I was hoping it would be re-broadcast today, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but it is not on the schedule of my PBS station. However you can watch it online - here or at

It's a fascinating study of human nature, about how various people's faith / religion / spirituality was either damaged or strengthened by the events of 9/11. I found it both very interesting from a scholarly perspective, observing human nature, and very heartful and touching from the perspective of compassion. It is a two hour documentary - worth every minute, IMO. It takes a few minutes to load, but loaded a lot more quickly than I expected. Click on the picture or on the link below the picture. Open it up to full screen.

Watch the full episode
Blessings to all on this anniversary 9.11,
Shakura Cathryn
"We are travelers in a cosmic journey - star dust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. But the expressions of life are ephemeral, momentary, transient. Buddha once said "This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky." We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, light heartedness and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile." ~Deepak Chopra

Friday, August 19, 2011

Diverging Paths - Some Thoughts about Community

There are three major sources of Support, Wisdom, Love, Truth and Beauty in my life…. sources of Communion in the secular sense of the word. They are the Dances of Universal Peace, the Michael Teachings, and my own local  “home” community. And going on simultaneously in all three there have recently been very similar events taking place, all within the context of online communications via Yahoogroups, including a local yahoogroup that I moderate, a Ning community, and some overlapping activity in Facebook discussions. These three similar situations all involved one member who was communicating in ways that others found to be rude, abusive, arrogant and manipulative. The ones who were behaving in those ways also felt that they were “right” in what they said, and that the responses they received from others were – yes – rude, abusive, arrogant and manipulative. We are such mirrors for each other!

In all cases, the final outcome of the situations have been that the person perceived by others in the community to be behaving abusively had to be removed from those groups, because they refused to honor the requests from others for attitude adjustments, mediation, or simple good manners – the Golden Rule of treating others as one wishes to be treated.

It has been a challenge for those making the decisions to remove those persons from the groups because in all cases, the desire or goal of all three groups is the development of unity, cooperative community sharing, and the raising of consciousness. We are all practicing Agape to the best of our ability. So we are faced with the conundrum of how to treat one who is behaving like a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum, realizing that those persons are probably very unhappy, possibly psychologically damaged individuals who need healing, and the necessity – and indeed even the right – to protect ourselves and the extended family of our community – from further anger, hurt, disharmony, and emotional abuse.

One person used the analogy of having a nice party in your home, and in comes someone who starts fighting with your guests, yelling insults and denouncing or even threatening the other people there. In that case we would all most likely choose to escort that person to the door, in order to protect ourselves and our families from an abusive and perhaps even dangerous person.

Some people felt that those angry people should be allowed to continue to “rant on” in the name of freedom of speech. But what good would that do? It would simply bring everyone in the community into a state of disharmony and discomfort.

I believe we are called upon to love every being to the best of our ability. I believe that means we wish that person well, hoping they will find their way to being happier, more easy-going people, and we offer to help if they are open to being helped. I believe it’s appropriate to pray for those who are angry, belligerent and rudely abusive. That would be the practice of unconditional love. I don’t believe unconditional love means unconditional acceptance of all behaviors. I believe we have the right to remove abusive people from our homes, our families or our community groups, for the greater good of the whole.

Those who are behaving in ways that are damaging to others may not realize what they are doing, but they are, nevertheless, adult human beings, and free-will beings, who have made choices that have damaging consequences for themselves and others. They are responsible for their own choices, whether those choices were made consciously or unconsciously, based upon previous psychologically damaging events in their own personal history.

These days we are trying to behave in loving ways towards all people – but in practicing that goal, many of us have lost the ability to establish healthy boundaries around ourselves. It’s OK to say NO! I will not allow myself (family/community) to be treated abusively!

That is the reverse image in that mirror of life.

Sometimes tough choices must be made and we must take responsibility for our own well-being, instead of allowing ourselves to be the victims of another person’s hostility.
Shakura Cathryn
"Everyday ask yourself the question, 'Do I want to experience Peace of Mind or do I want to experience Conflict?'" ~Gerald Jampolsky
"To be right or happy, that is the question. Neither can be a mistake, but only one can bring True Peace." ~Author unknown to me.
"The highest expression of love is respect." ~Hazrat Inayat Khan
"The universe is like a dome: it vibrates to that which you say in it, and echoes the same back to you.” ~Hazrat Inayat Khan