Reality Check


 

 

Welcome to the real world.

 

 

The Milky Way. If we destroy ourselves, what happens to the universe?

The Milky Way. If we destroy ourselves, what happens to the universe?

 

 

 

Dolphins living free until we completely destroy our planet

Dolphins living free until we completely destroy our planet

 

 

 

Twilight on boat launch at Avon. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

Twilight on boat launch at Avon. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

California Poppies. Another gift from Mother Nature.

California Poppies. Another gift from Mother Nature.

 

 

 

Upper Waterfall in Letchworth State Park. The Genesee River has formed a gorge. We must take care of the gifts from Mother Earth.

Upper Waterfall in Letchworth State Park. The Genesee River has formed a gorge. We must take care of the gifts from Mother Earth.

We have to take care of our planet. It is more important than oil, money, arms, greed, jealously, bigotry, injustice, hatred and war. We must take care of Mother Earth. Our planet has changed greatly during just my lifetime. There is a supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park. If it blows, it will destroy most of America. Yet we continue fracking, mining, polluting the earth and the air. We must stop. To choose not to stop is to commit suicide.

 

 

 Great Spirit

 

Great Spirit,

give us hearts to understand;

never to take

from creation’s  beauty more than we give;

never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed,

never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth’s beauty;

never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand that to destroy earth’s

music is to create confusion,

that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;

that to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;

that as we care for her she will care for us. Amen     —U.N. Environmental Sabbath Program

 

 

 

 

Praying for Mother Earth.

Praying for Mother Earth.

 

Only a self-destructive species would do to our planet, what we have done.

Only a self-destructive species would do to our planet, what we have done.

In Praise of the One


Sufi image

Sufi image

“God, I see you everywhere, wherever I gaze—
From the low valleys to lofty mountains,
A sweet song resounds:
“One of God”s great hands
Spanned the heavens,
Creating angels and worms,
Summer’s Breeze and winter’s storm.”
—–Salomon Maimon

The star of David

The star of David

Heart and wings

Heart and wings

The Compassion of Buddha

The Compassion of Buddha

The female aspect of Divinity

The female aspect of Divinity

In all cultures women are raped

In all cultures women are raped

Hands in prayer

Hands in prayer

At the End of the Day


The language of the eyes is tears.

The language of the eyes is tears.

This day has left many in pain, shock, disbelief, horror, and anger. I know I have felt each of these emotions through the course of the day. I have been praying, sending light and strength to the families of the survivors and the families of the victims.

This has been a week that reminds me of the 9-11 attacks. A time where your brain just can’t quite wrap around the truth–the awful truth that little ones have died. There really aren’t any words that can comfort a parent at a time like this, but it is important to put the sacred and pure energy out there to heal and lift up those whose hearts have been broken.

It doesn’t matter who these children were, they were all unique gifts from God and their time here was too short. I think about what they would have wanted their parents to feel and the entire nation. I think they would tell us they are in no pain and they are well. I think this because life is a cycle, it begins with birth and ends in death but that does not end the journey. I believe they would want us all to live in love, peace and harmony. I believe they would want to be remembered in our hearts.

bouquet

rosebouquet

June roses

Photo by Barbara Mattio

May all of the people who have been murdered this week Rest in the Peace of God now and always.

Another Day of Shock and Horror


dearangels

May the angels hold all of these children and aad the fallen adults in their wings and carry them on to the arms of The Beloved

My heart is heavy today as I listen and pray for the victims, their families and friends. I pray also for the survivors and first responders.I don’t believe that I will ever forget the little boy, in fourth grade who said, “We are just glad we are alive.” I also heard a mother say,” My heart is broken into little pieces.”

This is not the blog I planned for today and yet it is the one that I need to speak about. There were also school employees who were also dead. I am beginning to hear of acts of heroism that saved further lives. This bravery speaks to the best in the human heart.

I have visited the social media today and what I read that a few people have written is as frightening as this terrible act. We must not forget that how we respond to terrible events is important to how well survivors heal and how well families and friends can begin the process of healing. It is a process and it is a journey. Having lost someone very dear to me, I understand the process they are facing.

I pray for all of the first responders to this quiet, beautiful little village. They were also brave and selfless and viewed what the rest of us will never have to witness. Thanks to all of them for their quick response.

May the energy and the light of these candles surrounds the grieving parents.

May the energy and the light of these candles surrounds the grieving parents.

Just now, I can only think of the pain and grief of families in this small Connecticut village. I ask that many prayers be lifted up for all of those affected by this terrible event.

Healing hands bring Divine energy to those in pain.

Healing hands bring Divine energy to those in pain.

The Prognosis for Mother Earth


Our planet as it really is

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” —-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Invoking the powers of the Universe or bestowing our blessing on the Earth or other beings is neither a simple benevolent wish nor an act of hubris.. It is an act of creative consciousness. .As we shake off all other desires, we can proceed on our relationship with the whole Universe.

Peace be to earth and to airy space!
Peace be to heaven, peace to the waters,
Peace to the plant and peace to the trees!
May all the powers grant me peace!
By this invocation of peace may peace be diffused!
By this invocation of peace may peace bring peace!
With this peace the dreadful I now appease,
With this peace the cruel I now appease,
With this peace all evil I now appease,
So that peace may prevail, happiness prevail
May everything for us to be peaceful.”
——–Atharva Veda XIX

Prayers and blessings bring us into alignment with the rest of creation. They directly express our intentions and and utter wishes we hope to be achieved. We offer an invocation or blessings and we become mindful co-creators in this unfolding Universe.

“This is what I want to happen,
That our Earth Mother may not be closed in ground corn four times over…
In order that the country may be this way
I have made my prayer sticks into something alive.”
——–Zuni prayer

There is some magic to some prayers. Not the superstitious sort we usually think of, but rather in the ecological sense of the creative flux of all things. Through our blessings and superstitions we acknowledge this network of forces that flows through the world. This awakens the deeper levels, of our consciousness to affect these patterns of change.

It is an act of creative confidence, these invocations and prayers. It empties us of the needs of our personality, our ego, or the demands of our society, we free ourselves to come into a dynamic relationship with the whole Universe.

The color of Earth;  Photo by Barbara Mattio

The Journey of life can take us down beautiful paths

                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Barbara Mattio

                                                                                                                                                           

Our Love Hate Relationship With Mother Earth


Our beloved Mother Earth

” I’m going to plant a heart in the earth
Water it with love from a vein
I’m going to praise it with the push of muscle
And care for it in the sound of all dimensions.
I’m going to leave a heart in the earth
So it may grow and flower
A heart that throbs with longing
That adores everything green
That will be strength and nourishment for birds
That will be the sap of plants and mountains.

—-Rosario Murillo

We have a great gift from the Universe. It is the planet upon which we stand. The crust of our earth is full of rich metals that formed billions of years ago. Is there a directive to use every single molecule for our own needs? I think not. I also realize that we have already injured Mother Earth with our mining, and stripping and building.

There is much discussion these days about drilling more, mining more, electing someone will allow everyone to do anything they want to get energy out of our planet. It is a temptation to want to create jobs and provide cheaper energy. So what is the problem?

Fracking, drilling, mining, and all of the methods used to procure the energy, do just that: give us accessible energy. So, energy voters and neighbors on Mother Earth, why do some abhor this use of Mother Earth? It is because we are harming this beautiful planet which sustains us. Earth is a living entity. She is as alive as you and I are. We cause her pain and injure her ability to heal herself. Some day we may do more damage than she is able to repair and in the future she will die.

If Mother Earth turns from a living breathing planet to a dead cold planet, what will that mean to the sentient beings who live here? We will all die with our planet. I see no benefits to this.

In the book Earth Prayers: The Passion of the Earth, Editors Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon remind us:

“While many of us are aware of the destruction taking place on our planet, it is difficult to integrate this knowledge into our daily life. What do we do when it is not a war that is killing us, but progress? When the problem is not the actions of an evil “other,” but ourselves? We fear the despair such information provokes. We don’t want to feel the grief over all that is lost, nor our own complicity in the damage. This denial of feeling takes a heave toll on us, impoverishing our sensory and emotional lives. Ultimately, it puts us out of touch with reality.

There is an historical tradition of prayer that foresees the ruination of the world because of human transgression. We find it in the Torah, we find it again in the prayers of Native Americans as they witnessed the destruction of their way of life by the European conquerors.

We are hearing it again now, as citizens from around the world express their fears and their grief at what is happening to the Earth.”

We have forgotten who we are.

We have sought only our own security

We have exploited simply for our own ends

We have distorted our knowledge

We have abused our power.

——-Aaron Kramer; U.N. Environmental Sabbath Program

Cuyahoga Falls, OH Photo by Barbara Mattio

Cuyahogua Falls, Ohio; Photo by Barbara Mattio

Being Human


Waves, Myrtle Beach, Photo by Barbara Mattio

Praise to You, O God,

Let us imagine a world without color, without regal red or leafy green, a world that bores the eye with grey

Praise to You, O God for all the colors in the rainbow, for eyes that are made for seeing, and for beauty that “is its own excuse for being.”

Let us imagine a world without sound, a world where deathly silence covers the earth like a shroud.

Praise to You, O God, for words that speak to our minds, songs that lift our spirits, and all those souls who know how to listen.

Let us image a world without order, where no one can predict the length of the day or the flow of the tide. Imagine a universe where planets leave their orbits and soar like meteors through the heavens, and where the law of gravity is repealed at random.

Praise to You, O God, for the marvelous order of nature, from stars in the sky to particles in the atom.

Let us image a world without love, a world in which the human spirit, incapable of caring, is locked in the prison of the self.

Praise to You, O God, for the capacity to feel happiness in another’s happiness and pain in another’s pain.

As the universe whispers of a oneness behind all that is, so the love in the human heart calls on people everywhere to unite in pursuit of those ideals that make us human.

As we sing of One God, we rejoice in the wonder of the universe and pray for that day when all humanity will be one.

–Rabbi Henry Cohen

The color of Earth; Photo by Barbara Mattio

Singing the Blues; New Orleans; Photo by Barbara Mattio

An Attitude of Peace


There are people from every religion who believe in peace. There are prayers that are part of every culture, every religion that are lifted up for the cause of peace.

Zorastrrian prayer for peace:
“We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world; that understanding triumph over ignorance, that generosity triumph over indifference, that trust triumph over contempt and that truth triumph over falsehood.”

A Jewish prayer for peace
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the Most High, and we shall beat our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall we learn war anymore. And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.”

A Baha’l Prayer for Peace
“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness and a home for a stranger. Be eyes unto the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.”

A Sikh Prayer for Peace
“God adjudges us according to our deeds, not the coat that we wear; that Truth is above everything, but higher still is truthful living. Know that we attain God when we love and only that victory endures in consequence of which no one is defeated.”

A Hindu Prayer for Peace

O God, lead us from the unreal into the real.

O God, lead us from darkness into light.

O God, lead us from death to immorality.

Peace, peace, peace unto all.”

A Buddhist Prayer for Peace
” May all being everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid. and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness- the children, the aged, the unprotected, be guarded by beneficent celestials. And may they swiftly attain Buddhahood..

A Sufi Prayer For Peace

“Send Thy peace, O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting, that our souls may radiate peace.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may think, act, and speak harmoniously.
Send They peace, O Lord, that we may be contented and thankful for They bountiful gifts.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that amidst our worldly strife we may enjoy Thy bliss.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may endure all, tolerate all in the thought of Thy grace and mercy.
Send Thy peace, O Lord,that our lives may become a divine vision, and in Thy light all darkness may vanish.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, Our Father and Mother; that we Thy children on earth may all unite in our personhood.”

Each spiritual path leads us to the Divinity. A different facet of Divinity. Does it have to look like the people around us, is Divinity energy, is it all-powerful, does it love us and want to experience life through us? Wherever in this great big world we live in, let us understand that there is One World, One Life and One Love. Let us each do all we can to remember this each day; that we all want the same peaceful world. And may that peace come to all countries and religions and races. May we learn to love the way we are loved by Divinity. May we not see anything besides Divinity within each other and may we build a peaceful world where love is all.

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Everyone can have Peace


We all want peace in our world. My hope would be that one day every sentient being will live in peace and light. We hope for it and we pray for it. Doesn’t seem enough. You can’t make people be peaceful.

I believe that creating peace in the world begins with each of us. Yes, I know it sounds like a cliche, but it is true none the less. We all have reasons in our lives that cause us not to have peace.

The past is one set of problems. Statistically, 30% of the average persons’ time is spent thinking about the past. What has happened to us, what we feel guilty about that perhaps we can’t fix. We have old tapes that run from the past and create triggers in the present. People push the triggers and our bodies and minds remember. Meditation is a big help and thousands of us are today using meditation as a means of being centered and balanced. The inner landscape also brings us into communion with the Divine. Quantum scientists now tell us that every cell in our bodies carries all of our memories.
That is staggering to me. They also state that with just 1 human cell that they can recreate the entire Universe. Why? We are all within each other. I am in the butterfly and the butterfly is within me. The Beloved is within me and I am within the Beloved. It is recommended that everyday, you make some silence and with intent give your past to the light. To the Universe, God, Goddess, Divine Energy. Whatever you are comfortable calling it. But doing it does loosen the “ties that bind” us to the past and the negativity which is part of why we lack inner peace.
If each sentient being would do this everyday, we would each have peace within our souls. That peace would radiate outward spreading peace to all who come into our own world. As they feel more peace, it will radiate from them to others in their worlds. The pattern happens millions of times over and over and the result is World Peace.
I don’t mean to make this sound like some easy peasy gimmick The first time I gave my past to the light—just having the intention and saying the words, I felt something loosen in my chest. It was a physical response to what my mind was doing. There is no magic formula for world peace, but each day, it can begin with each of us.

“Dear God,
I won’t spend one more day in fear,
Today I will not be limited by negative thoughts,
I will recognize the beauty you have surrounded me with,
Today I will be free of unrealistic expectations of myself and others.
Today I will stay in the present moment and practice gratitude for all
of my blessings, large and microscopic.”
—-Barbara Mattio
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