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A State of Permanent Joy

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eknath Easwaran's Thought for the Day for today touched me deeply. It is definitely soul food for the mystics among us:
And what rule do you think I walked by? Truly a strange one, but the best in the whole world. I was guided by an implicit faith in God's goodness; and therefore led to the study of the most obvious and common things. For thus I thought within myself: God being, as generally believed, infinite in goodness, it is most consonant and agreeable with His nature that the best things should be most common.
-- Thomas Traherne

A state of permanent joy, hidden at the very center of consciousness, is the Eden to which the long journey of spiritual seeking leads. There, the mystics of all religions agree, we uncover our original goodness. We don't have to buy it; we don't have to create it; we don't have to pour it in; we don't even have to be worthy of it. This native goodness is the essential core of human nature.

We are made, the scriptures of all religions assure us, in the image of God. Nothing can change our original goodness. Whatever mistakes we have made in the past, whatever problems we may have in the present, in every one of us the uncreated spark in the soul remains untouched, ever pure, ever perfect. Even if we try with all our might to douse or hide it, it is always ready to set our personality ablaze with light.
-- Eknath Easwaran

Easwaran's commentaries tend to make use of texts of mystics from the world's great religions, today's being that of a Christian mystic:

Thomas Traherne, priest and poet

Thomas Traherne, 1636 - 1674, was an English priest, poet and prose writer, educated at the University of Oxford. His great theme is the visionary innocence of childhood, and in this respect he has been compared with William Blake and Walt Whitman. His style, too, bears resemblance to these authors in its incantatory rush, repetitions, and disregard for the rules of standard English. His poems, such as the often-anthologized "Shadows in the Water," suggest that adults have lost the joy of childhood, and with it an understanding of the divine nature of creation. In his writing, Traherne sought to reclaim this joy in the world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOKEYOKEY 8/31/2010 9:05AM

    Hello, Maha -- Thank you so much for posting this inspirational material. I am learning so much from you and your guides!


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KALIGIRL 8/31/2010 8:45AM

    Here's to uncovering our original goodness.

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DENI_ZEN 8/30/2010 10:09PM

    Ahhh...these thoughts of Easwaran's (and Traherne's!) bring back some very warm, soothing memories, Maha - thank you! I'm reminded of a gray, early winter afternoon after a frustrating doctor's appointment about 20 years ago. I'd gone to our used book store, which sits at one end of a lakeside plaza, and gulls were crying out, circling overhead. When I emerged with a book, it was Easwaran's "Words to Live By," which I read and reread many times before giving it away. Then, as now, there was bottomless comfort in his words :) Thank you! - Sandi emoticon

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SHERYLDS 8/30/2010 7:32PM

    Great blog. Thank you. Food for the soul

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JERSEYGIRL1950 8/30/2010 6:24PM

    I have learned this lesson in many ways over the last 6 months..and i feel i'm a better person because of it..always an ispiration my friend emoticon

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THE_SILVER_OWL 8/30/2010 12:17PM

    How blessed I am to have you in my life. You ALWAYS manage to make me think, find inspiration, joy in the smallest of things, and a true appreciation for life.

Thank you from my deepest self...

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ROBINSNEWNEST 8/29/2010 2:54PM

    Love, Love this "thought for the day." Thank you for sharing! I'm going to re-read it to take it in again. My world is better knowing you're in it, Maha. Goodness..


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JEANNETTE59 8/29/2010 2:43PM

  Blessed be!

It is for us to fan that spark, to use our gifts not to prosper ourselves, but to heal a wounded world emoticon

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TIPPINGPOINT 8/29/2010 2:12PM

    Good Words to Live By
and Easwaren makes them up to date and clear, it did me good to read this today

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COSMIC_ENERGY 8/29/2010 2:11PM

    I love remembering we never lose our perfection as we were created--we sometimes forget, disbelieve, or push it away--but it is always there waiting for us to 'see' purely.

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WHATAGRL42 8/29/2010 1:03PM

    Needed this: Thanks Maha. Now I just need the roadmap and compass....

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CARRAND 8/29/2010 12:28PM

    Lovely thoughts.

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DDOORN 8/29/2010 8:44AM

    Thank you for sharing...I've always had an intuition that spiritual belief systems, at their best, share a common ground which is all too often unrecognized by many!


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MEDDYPEDDY 8/29/2010 1:34AM

    "visionary innocence of childhood" - hmmm...interesting! Thanks.

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Mother Teresa:A smile, the beginning of love....

Friday, August 27, 2010

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.
-- Mother Teresa

This is Mother Teresa's 100th birthday year (August 26, 1910 - September 5, 1997). KarmaTube has done it again... how can I NOT share this in celebration of this unique and wondrous saint who walked among us, totally giving her life in loving service???

I will offer at least one small act of kindness for someone today in the name of unconditional love, to honor her work and life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBINSNEWNEST 8/27/2010 10:37PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this...

"I will offer at least one small act of kindness for someone today in the name of unconditional love, to honor her work and life." I'm in.


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CARRAND 8/27/2010 6:49PM

    Wonderful post. I will try to do at least one small act of kindness every day.

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JEANNETTE59 8/27/2010 3:48PM

  Proof that gentleness and strength can truely go hand-and-hand emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/27/2010 1:05PM

    "I will offer at least one small act of kindness for someone today in the name of unconditional love, to honor her work and life."

I will join you sister!

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SLASALLE 8/27/2010 12:29PM

    You know full well my thoughts on this one, my friend. While I cannot offer my life, I CAN do as much as is possible!

Hope school is going well and that you're not already enmeshed in tons of homework!


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MISS_VIV 8/27/2010 10:19AM

    Thank you for posting. One act of kindness and unconditional love will light the way to peace.


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ONEDROP09 8/27/2010 10:10AM

    Thanks for posting. We all need a reminder.

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KRISKECK 8/27/2010 10:06AM

    Thank you, Maha, that was so so lifted my spirits!

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STILLPOINT 8/27/2010 9:37AM

    Wow Maha. Thank you so much for posting this.

In this life, we cannot do great things, we can only do small things with GREAT LOVE.

Mer emoticon

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For Your Health's Sake, Please Read This

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I just got the latest e-newsletter from Organic Consumers Association.

Since it takes so little time to transfer the primary information into a blog format, I decided to take that time to pass this, to me, urgent material on.

How many acquaintances, friends and loved ones do YOU have who have had cancer??? I have MANY more than I can count on both hands, beginning with my beloved father who died of lymphoma and maternal aunt who died of breast cancer.


1. Eat Organic to Avoid Cancer

A landmark report released earlier this year from the President's Cancer Panel, "Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk, What We Can Do Now," recommends eating organic food as a strategy to reduce cancer risk.

Though the "O" word itself is scarce, the authors referenced organic food in everything but name.

"Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers Similarly, exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic runoff from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications," the report states.

Food produced without antibiotics, hormones, or toxic agrichemicals is, by definition, organic. Certified organic farms are inspected at least once a year and subject to surprise visits to make sure the harmful chemicals and drugs referred to in the President's Cancer Panel report are not being used.
2. Subsidize Organic - Not GMOs and Junk Food - to Reduce Obesity

Fast-food restaurants charge low prices for "value meals" of hamburgers and french fries because the government provides billions of dollars in subsidies for the genetically engineered corn and soybeans used for animal feed and vegetable oil, says Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"We have made it more expensive to eat healthy in a very big way," says Dr. Popkin, who has a doctorate in agricultural economics and is the author of a book called The World Is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race.

The inflation-adjusted price of a McDonald's quarter-pounder with cheese, for example, fell 5.44 percent from 1990 to 2007, according to an article on the economics of child obesity published in the journal Health Affairs. But the inflation-adjusted price of fruit and vegetables, which are not subject to federal largess, rose 17 percent just from 1997 to 2003, the study said. Cutting agricultural subsidies would have a big impact on people's eating habits, says Dr. Popkin.
3. Truth in Labeling - "Warning: Eat This, You'll Get Fat & Sick"

Full Disclosure of Hidden Dangers

It takes a food chemist to translate the eight-syllable words commonly found on ingredients lists into plain English, but many of the most dangerous substances found in food today are additives, contaminants, or packaging and processing aids that don't get listed on the label, such as Acrylamide, Bisphenol A, and more. Here is a more complete list:

Health Warnings on Junk Food

Leading public health experts around the world are warning that fatty foods should carry official health warnings, similar to those on cigarettes.

The U.K. is instituting front-label nutrition summaries at the insistence of scientists like Professor David Hunter of Durham University who urged:

"The problem of obesity needs to be tackled by strong action from the government. There are many products which contain such high levels of fat and other ingredients that they are contributing to health problems. Rather than banning foods it would be a system of food labeling and working with the food industry to phase these products out. [Removing unhealthy foods from sale] would be in the interests of industry as well. After all, consumers can't keep buying their products if they are unwell or even dead."

-- Professor David Hunter, Durham University, Britain
4. Junk Food Taxes - Scientists & USDA Say Taxes Can Cut Obesity

To pay for the enormous public health damage caused by junk food, OCA supports a heavy tax on junk foods and beverages, similar to taxes already in place for toxic tobacco products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service found that a 20 percent increase in the price of high-calorie, sweetened beverages, such as soda and sports drinks, could result in a decrease in the daily calorie intake of beverages by 37 calories for an average adult and 43 calories for children. That translates into an average reduction of 3.8 pounds over a year for an adult and 4.5 pounds for a child.

Similarly, research published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine estimates that an 18 percent tax on pizza and soda could push down U.S. adults' calorie intake enough to lower their average weight by 5 pounds per year. The researchers concluded that taxes could be used to offset and reduce the health care costs of obesity, estimated $147 billion a year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_SILVER_OWL 8/30/2010 12:12PM

    Great information. Our family has been eating predominately organic, whole foods for several years. We make most meals from "scratch" using little or no processed ingredients.

YES - it takes longer
YES - it is more work
YES - it does cost more


most important...



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MEDDYPEDDY 8/29/2010 1:50AM

    I just had an adventure with organic chicken - it became mor eexpensive than any other food so I don´t know if I can continue choosing it - there is of course the alternative not to eat chicken at all.

I eat organice carrots because they taste much better than ordinary, that for me would be the most important reason to choose organic. It will be interesting to see if the organic chicken was worth the diferent in energy inpu...

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KALIGIRL 8/27/2010 8:19AM

    emoticon important info for us all!

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CARRAND 8/26/2010 11:51PM

    All good information. Thanks for passing it along.

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    Your connections and wealth of information amaze me.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/26/2010 9:51:20 PM

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    Thanks for posting this. It was so good, I subscribed!

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JEANNETTE59 8/26/2010 7:18PM

  emoticon for sharing great info that everyone should read emoticon

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LYNNANN43 8/26/2010 6:31PM

    emoticon MAHA for passing this on!


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PUDLECRAZY 8/26/2010 5:59PM

    You betcha! Organic is the best. After that, food that isn't 'designer' food. After that, food without additives.

It is hard to avoid processed food - it really has to be a mission. It requires spending time checking labels at the store, time at home with food preparation since it hasn't been pre-prepared, and for many people, time learning how to prepare foods.

One of the tips I learned long ago, I don't remember where I learned it, is to utilize the outside edges of the groceries stores and avoid the middle aisles as much as possible. The edges are the produce, the dairy, the fresh foods, while the processed foods are in the middle.

Convenience foods ARE convenient - that's why we love them. It's not for the taste, that's for sure. But at what cost in the long run?

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Are We Listening?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh my! Diane Ackerman purdy much says it all...the anguish...the feelings of cosmic loneliness...of indelicacy...of fragility...of giant dreams....

I am feeling very pensive...and this piece of Ackerman's reflects it deeply and accurately.



As our metal eyes wake
to absolute night,
where whispers fly
from the beginning of time,
we cup our ears to the heavens.
Avid, we are listening
on the volcanic lips of Flagstaff
and in the fields beyond Boston
in a great array that blooms
like coral from the desert floor,
on highwire webs patrolled
by computer spiders in Puerto Rico.
We are listening for a sound
beyond us, beyond sound,
searching for a lighthouse
in the breakwaters of our uncertainty,
an electronic murmur
a bright, fragile I am.
Small as tree frogs
staking out one end
of an endless swamp,
we are listening
through the longest night
we imagine, which dawns
between the life and time of stars.


Our voice trembles
with its own electric,
we who mood like iguanas
we who breathe sleep
for a third of our lives,
we who heat food
to the steaminess of fresh prey,
then feast with such baroque
good manners it grows cold.
In mind gardens
and on real verandas
we are listening,
rapt among the persian lilacs
and the crickets,
while radio telescopes
roll their heads, as if in anguish.
With our scurrying minds
and our lidless will
and our lank, floppy bodies
and our galloping yens
and our deep, cosmic loneliness
and our starboard hearts
where love careens,
we are listening,
the small bipeds
with the giant dreams.

~ Diane Ackerman ~
(Jaguar of Sweet Laughter)

Diane Ackerman, 61, is an American author, poet, and naturalist known best for her work A Natural History of the Senses. Her writing style, referring to her best-selling natural history books, can best be described as a blend of poetry, colloquial history, and easy-reading science. She has taught at various universities, including Columbia and Cornell, and her essays regularly appear in distinguished popular and literary journals.

She received her Ph.D.from Cornell University in 1978, where her dissertation advisor was Carl Sagan. Ms. Ackerman has received a D. Lit. from Kenyon College, Guggenheim Fellowship, Orion Book Award, John Burroughs Nature Award, and the Lavan Poetry Prize, as well as being honored as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library. She also has the rare distinction of having a molecule named after her --dianeackerone. She has taught at a number of universities, including Columbia and Cornell. Her essays about nature and human nature have been appearing for decades in The New York Times, Smithsonian, Parade, The New Yorker, National Geographic and many other journals, where they have been the subject of much praise. She hosted a five-hour PBS television series inspired by A Natural History of the Senses.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULCOLLAGESUE 8/25/2010 10:20PM

    That is so neat! One of those poems that catches my awareness, eliciting presence and an "oh, yeah." Wow. Thanks so much for taking the time to educate and bless us.

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GOANNA2 8/25/2010 4:57PM

What a wonderful woman she is.
Thanks for sharing and wishing you
happy studying ahead fellow student Maha.
Namaste emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/25/2010 1:09PM

    Wonderful pieces, fascinating woman and perfect summation:
"we are listening, the small bipeds with the giant dreams"

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SPARKLOVE 8/25/2010 12:16PM

    Diane Ackerman is very pretty! Thanks for sharing. Joy

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MISS_VIV 8/25/2010 10:39AM

    When I read the poem, earlier on Panhala -- I immediately thought of you.
You are awesome and your recent mysterioius magical tour was perfect.
As you hit the books and the 'high notes', have a glorious day and stay just as
beautiful as you are.

Much love emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SWEETLIPS 8/25/2010 10:36AM

    This is so awesome, really awesome! emoticon

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ROBINSNEWNEST 8/25/2010 10:17AM

    Oh, this made me weep...

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Things to Think

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

With classes just around the corner, this poetry selection from Panhala especially touched me this morning. I hope I learn to think that way and that my university experience supports this process! Robert Bly is definitely high on my list of heroes.


Think in ways you've never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you've ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he's carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you've never seen.

When someone knocks on the door,
Think that he's about
To give you something large: tell you you're forgiven,
Or that it's not necessary to work all the time,
Or that it's been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

~ Robert Bly ~
(Morning Poems)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECOMINGONE 8/25/2010 7:47AM

    A poetic reminder of a universal truth ... so easy to forget. Thanks for the reminder.


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DENI_ZEN 8/24/2010 9:06PM

    A beautiful, placid image and a soothing poem with so much exciting possibility contained within! Thank you, dear Maha, for yet another gift :) - emoticon

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LAGREBE 8/24/2010 6:06PM

    That helps!

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STLRZGRRL 8/24/2010 6:04PM


I suppose you think *I* need to read this?

Don't you ever get sick of being right, Maha?


(It IS always about me-me-me, right?!)

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SLASALLE 8/24/2010 5:48PM

    Methinks you should print this out and post it on your computer!!! As always, thanks for sharing.

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    emoticonWhat a reverberating last line!

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ROBINSNEWNEST 8/24/2010 12:10PM

yes. emoticon

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JULIEO100 8/24/2010 11:25AM

    This was emoticon! Thanks for sharing it! God Bless you, my friend!!!!!

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