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Having Come This Far...

Friday, September 16, 2011

I loves me some James Broughton. He knows where I live and doesn't bother to knock -- just goes on in -- enlivening my spirit, making me smile...or tear up...or laugh out loud, as he speaks to me on so many levels. And if that isn't good for *Healthy,* I want to know what is!!!???

I've been working over the last week with my concern for a psyche gone amuck (not mine -- this time -- luckily). I therefore today offer a special thanks for the grounding my accruing knowledge of self-care and spiritual practices over the years have given me ("I've climbed all the summits I need to" as "I cherish my wounds and their cures/and the sweet enervations of bliss") -- and I lift up the delicate soul of my precious friend who is struggling, hopeful that she will too will come upon and cherish her cure.

My life continues unimpeded, and I'm working at being the best I can be, given what has gone before and what my energy and inspiration enable me to play with as I finish it out.

Now -- hear hear! of "thresholds, ladders and stones, detour and ditch, sunburns of love" other words, the story of my life, as told by James Broughton:

Having Come This Far

I've been through what my through was to be
I did what I could and couldn't
I was never sure how I would get there

I nourished an ardor for thresholds
for stepping stones and for ladders
I discovered detour and ditch

I swam in the high tides of greed
I built sandcastles to house my dreams
I survived the sunburns of love

No longer do I hunt for targets
I've climbed all the summits I need to
and I've eaten my share of lotus

Now I give praise and thanks
for what could not be avoided
and for every foolhardy choice

I cherish my wounds and their cures
and the sweet enervations of bliss
My book is an open life

I wave goodbye to the absolutes
and send my regards to infinity
I'd rather be blithe than correct

Until something transcendent turns up
I splash in my poetry puddle
and try to keep God amused.

~ James Broughton ~
(Packing Up For Paradise: New and Selected Poems 1946-1996)

About crazy-wisdom teacher Broughton:

Hafiz says:

A poet is someone
Who can pour Light into a cup
and raise it to nourish your
beautiful parched holy mouth

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIANTPANDA 9/20/2011 11:19AM

    Wow! I always love your blogs! James Broughton is new to me but I'm familiar with Hafiz. I needed this today!

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2BMYOWN 9/20/2011 12:23AM

    I always come to your page when I need rejuvenating....and it always works, funny about that. LOL I'd like to blow that picture up and just live there......

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FRACTALMYTH 9/19/2011 2:07PM

    OHHHHHHHHH.... LOVE that last stanza of the Broughton... absolutely brilliant! I am also a huge fan of thresholds :D

As for my peacocks... yes... I admit to spending much time just staring at my page background and glorying in the joyful appreciation of a Creator who could and did imagine such magnificence into being... I was also contemplating just this evening how perfect and jewel-like they were in their stillness and silence - and how the real thing - while so much more vibrant, was also a vain, noisy, greedy, unbearable animal to live with. Thank God for being a God with a sense of humour!

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HIPPICHICK1 9/19/2011 10:46AM

    I emoticon this!

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COSMIC_ENERGY 9/18/2011 3:11PM

    Isn't it great that we can use our own jouney to reach others on theirs?

PS - Vegan Mainstream just asked for ANYone's vegan blog (so I submitted). No award winning to it, More like take a chance and "just do it!" ;-)

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KELLEEH 9/17/2011 5:23PM

    Love it! Thank you!

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JESPAH 9/17/2011 9:29AM

    Ah that was calming stuff I needed as I begin to contemplate ... the plumber.

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GOANNA2 9/16/2011 11:35PM

    Love everything you post.
Thanks for calming my soul Maha. emoticon

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DDOORN 9/16/2011 11:24PM

    Love 'em both, the Broughton and the Hafiz!

Blithe draws me like a moth to the flame...! Yearn for more and more of that in my life!


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WATERMELLEN 9/16/2011 10:36PM

    Broughton is new to me: love it, and thank you for the intro!!

I'd far rather be blithe than . . . just about anything! Great word, blithe!!

Hail to thee, blithe spirit!!

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PUDLECRAZY 9/16/2011 5:56PM

    I always love the selections you choose to share with us, Maha. Your choices are so often just the words, the sentiments I need to hear.

Thank you.

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CAMDENCYCLIST 9/16/2011 4:08PM

    thank you for sharing these beautiful words and the amazing picture!

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DAISY443 9/16/2011 2:31PM

    The words of James Broughton touched my soul. He knows me and spoke for me (figuratively speaking of course!) I was in need of a reminder of how I got here and now!

Hugs, my friend!

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TEE803 9/16/2011 2:21PM

    I second Lynnie's emotion! Very nice!

emoticon emoticon

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LYNNANN43 9/16/2011 12:56PM

    You have enlightened my world once again, Maha! emoticon

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EMRANA 9/16/2011 11:43AM

  I'm so glad your friend has you to help her through.

Lovely blog, as always.

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RIDMYCOCOON 9/16/2011 11:29AM

    Simply Wonderful! and thoroughly enjoyed emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/16/2011 11:30:55 AM

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PEACEFULONE 9/16/2011 11:03AM

    emoticon emoticon
That really hits home for me, but instead of splashing in poetry I play in the dirt in the garden. Beautiful photo.

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    love the picture!!!!

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SOULFISH80 9/16/2011 10:17AM

    I have never heard of him. Excellent, thanks for sharing!!

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    I always know where to find some good inspiration. From you!

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I don't say he's right. Neither do I say he's wrong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The exquisite wisdom of one of my teachers, Mary Oliver, takes my breath away:

The Kingfisher

The kingfisher rises out of the black wave
like a blue flower, in his beak
he carries a silver leaf. I think this is
the prettiest world -- so long as you don't mind
a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life
that doesn't have its splash of happiness?
There are more fish than there are leaves
on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher
wasn't born to think about it, or anything else.
When the wave snaps shut over his blue head, the water
remains water--hunger is the only story
he has ever heard in his life that he could believe.
I don't say he's right. Neither
do I say he's wrong. Religiously he swallows the silver leaf
with its broken red river, and with a rough and easy cry
I couldn't rouse out of my thoughtful body
if my life depended on it, he swings back
over the bright sea to do the same thing, to do it
(as I long to do something, anything) perfectly.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(House of Light)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 9/20/2011 12:18AM

    I have sadly never been a poetry buff.......after reading some of your blogs,I'm thinking somewhere along the line, I was really remiss in that! LOL Thanx, Maha!

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JESPAH 9/15/2011 9:10AM

    When you can't have fish, have a nice salad. ;)

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KALIGIRL 9/15/2011 8:39AM

    Ahh - life... could be good, could be bad...

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DDOORN 9/14/2011 11:21PM

    Not sure it "fits" but Oliver's verse brings to mind an old favorite of mine by Cassandra Wilson:


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WATERMELLEN 9/14/2011 8:59PM

    Love this! There is a particular spot on my golf course where I often see a kingfisher diving for dinner: they land with such an explosive bang, and they do make such a "rough and easy cry" (except, I expect, when their beaks are full!!)

Thanks, Maha!!

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    One of my favorites.

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1HAPPYWOMAN 9/14/2011 8:18PM

    Wow! Your blog reminded me of how much I love poetry.... It's one of those loves that I've lost touch with lately, but no more! Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

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SOULFISH80 9/14/2011 7:39PM


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TEE803 9/14/2011 3:49PM

    You always post the most happy, inspiring things...Missed you and your soothing blogs!


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HIPPICHICK1 9/14/2011 12:59PM


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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/14/2011 12:41PM

    She's a brilliant poet. I even got to hear her read at a poetry reading once. She's wonderful!

Thank you for posting a poem!

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RIDMYCOCOON 9/14/2011 12:26PM

    I hope an extraordinary and splashy day for you today MAHA! Thanks for the lift in spirits emoticon

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DAISY443 9/14/2011 12:12PM

    Lessons from Mary Oliver are worth learning! (And the Kingfisher, too!)

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    love it!

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DEBRA0818 9/14/2011 11:26AM


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Say Something Nice!

Friday, September 09, 2011

I REALLY needed this today -- nothing profound or earth-shaking, just...NICE!

A few folks at Improv Everywhere constructed a custom wooden lectern with a megaphone holster and an attached sign that read: "Say Something Nice." The lectern was placed in public spaces around New York and then left alone. What would happen when passerbys were given the opportunity to amplify their voices to "say something nice"?

Watch and find out:



Brought to us by:
"...a collection of inspiring videos accompanied by simple actions every viewer can take. We invite you to get involved."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 9/14/2011 12:18PM


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2BMYOWN 9/14/2011 3:27AM

    Don't you just love people? I absolutely adore stuff like this.......thanx for sharing this, Maha! It was downright fun!

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    so wonderful!

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KALIGIRL 9/13/2011 10:08AM

    Very awesome!

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SOULFISH80 9/12/2011 11:25AM

    This made me so happy I shed a little tear, then shared it on facebook, thanks so much.

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    Good stuff

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    Great motivation!

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FLORIDASUN 9/10/2011 4:20PM

    LOVE this...what an inspiration you are my darling friend..always upward and onward! Love you! emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 9/10/2011 11:31AM

    Ok, I'm setting one up in front of the shelter:)

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JESPAH 9/10/2011 11:17AM

    Oh how cool! :)

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SUNNY332 9/10/2011 9:19AM

    I have a plaque on my back porch that say "Kindness Matters" and I am a true believer that no matter what is going on, we can still be nice.

Great post today!

Huggers, Sunny emoticon

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GOANNA2 9/10/2011 1:51AM

    Lovely, thanks for sharing Maha.

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DOR2BFIT 9/9/2011 11:41PM

    Love this! Shared it on facebook too! emoticon

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DDOORN 9/9/2011 10:37PM

    Thx for sharing the smiles...! Duly forwarded to many! :-)


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WATERMELLEN 9/9/2011 9:12PM

    Very fun!

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RIDMYCOCOON 9/9/2011 7:37PM

    Fantastic!!! emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 9/9/2011 3:36PM


I love the music link you sent, as well

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HELLAS2 9/9/2011 1:23PM

    great idea

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DENISEUTAH 9/9/2011 12:22PM

    you made me smile!

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KELLEEH 9/9/2011 12:09PM

    This was cool. Thanks for sharing.

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MISS_VIV 9/9/2011 11:57AM

    I needed it today . . . . so I shared it on Facebook right away.
So glad to see it again this morning.
You are a dear for introducing me to KARMA TUBE


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The Hidden Power of Smiling

Sunday, September 04, 2011

I'm in the white tee with my smiling yoga sistahs!

I am a smiler, always have been, prolly always will be. It's part-and-parcel of the fabric of who I am. I will never forget what Thich Nhat Hanh says about it, because it has informed my behavior and made me more convinced than ever about the value of a genuine smile: "A smile can be the source of your joy, or your joy can be the source of your smile." (I have also posited that another's smile can be the source of my joy, or their joy can be the source of my smile.) So it's especially heartening to hear and read this information on the efficacy of smiling!

Thay smiling at the "mindfulness bell"


Ron Gutman talks on TED about the power of smiling (7 minutes)

Smile, smile, smile!

From an article by Gutman on DailyGood: News That Inspires --

"Recently I made an interesting discovery while running-- a simple act that made a dramatic difference and helped carry me through the most challenging segments of long distance runs: smiling. This inspired me to embark on a journey that took me through neuroscience, anthropology, sociality and psychology to uncover the untapped powers of the smile.

"I started my exploratory journey in California, with an intriguing UC Berkeley 30-year longitudinal study that examined the smiles of students in an old yearbook, and measured their well-being and success throughout their lives. By measuring the smiles in the photographs the researchers were able to predict: how fulfilling and long lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardized tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. The widest smilers consistently ranked highest in all of the above."

Purdy amazing, eh!

To finish the article:

"I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 9/14/2011 3:23AM

    What an absolutely neato blog!!!! I've never heard that, how could I have missed this??? LOL I gotta go check out your links now, dang it.....but I'm smiling while I do it!

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ERINMARIE424 9/9/2011 8:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GIANTPANDA 9/7/2011 8:57PM

    Thank you for reminding me about an important lesson--smiling even when the going gets tough. When I was at a Zen meditation workshop, I was constantly told to put a small smile on my face. And people who meditate smile with their whole bodies, especially their eyes.

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    oh this is supremely amazing!!!!! emoticon

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    My favorite face and used very often on my own face!

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PEACEFULONE 9/6/2011 9:25AM

    Great blog! I always have loved the expression, "If you meet someone without a smile, give them one of yours." And years ago I read this advice, "As you age it is inevitable, you will get wrinkles, let them be smile lines and not frowns."

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DAISY443 9/5/2011 6:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTBIRDY 9/5/2011 4:31PM


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HIPPICHICK1 9/5/2011 12:45PM

    I'm a smiley gal too.
Thanks for all the links. The TED talk was great!

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DDOORN 9/5/2011 12:01PM

    Another "smiler" here too...powerful medicine there! :-)


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KELLEEH 9/5/2011 11:08AM

    The yearbook study sounds fascinating!

Thanks for the inspiration!

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DONNABRIGHT 9/5/2011 10:29AM

    Awesome blog - thanks for sharing!

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DR1939 9/5/2011 9:33AM

    When I was in grade school I walked to my piano lessons. To entertain myself I tried to see how many people I could get to return my smile. I learned then that a smile was an important thing to own. emoticon

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SUNNY332 9/5/2011 8:56AM

    You are never fully dressed without a smile...

My Mother used to say that as I was leaving the house. I still think about it when I see someone else smiling.

Take care and thanks for a great post.

Keep smiling...


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JESPAH 9/5/2011 7:26AM

    They (helfino who they actually are) say that even if you're feelin' down, smiling can lift you up. Very true - the power of biological/social suggestion, I suppose.

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MAZZYR 9/5/2011 7:23AM

    So true. Smiling is part of who I am. And it feels so good.

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SOULFISH80 9/4/2011 11:17PM

    Thanks, sometimes I forget this simple truth.

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WATERMELLEN 9/4/2011 9:39PM

    Agreed! And . . . because smiling in and of itself makes us feel happier, I've read that people who've had Botox and lose their ability to smile naturally (their whole face, including eyes . . .) actually experience less happiness.

Not worth it! I'm sticking with my wrinkles: I've earned every one of them!!

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PUDLECRAZY 9/4/2011 8:49PM

    Thich Nhat Hanh and Mother Theresa, whose smiles and souls can/could illuminate the entire world. Amazing spiritual leaders, both. And you, my dear Maha, can also illuminate and radiate into the world your smile and your spirit.

Lovely blog.

Comment edited on: 9/4/2011 8:49:50 PM

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JUSTDUCKY1405 9/4/2011 7:56PM


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MISS_VIV 9/4/2011 7:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Follow your bliss

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I was just talking to a good friend this morning who is frustrated and sad and feeling alienated from self and family. Afterwards I began reflecting on how we can find that place of quietness within in spite of what's whirling outside of us. And one of my important teachers and heroes, Joseph Campbell, immediately came to mind. I read and reread a text of his that I have posted here at home. It is so powerful and full of guidance that I decided to share it with my special SparkFriends. Read and be inspired!

The divine manifestation is ubiquitous,
Only our eyes are not open to it.
Awe is what moves us forward.

Live from your own center.
The divine lives within you.
The separateness apparent in the world is secondary.
Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen,
but experienced, unity and identity in us all.

Today the planet is the only proper "in group."
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.

You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
The return is seeing the radiance is everywhere.
The world is a match for us.
We are a match for the world.
The spirit is the bouquet of nature.

Sanctify the place you are in.
Follow your bliss....


More from Campbell:

When you follow your bliss
doors will open
where you would not have thought there would be doors;
and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.


The way to find out about happiness
is to keep your mind on those moments
when you feel most happy,
when you are really happy--
not excited, not just thrilled,
but deeply happy.

This requires a little bit of self-analysis.
What is it that makes you happy?
Stay with it, no matter what people tell you.
This is what is called following your bliss.


If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are -- if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.


Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 - October 30, 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: "Follow your bliss."
(I highly recommend that you read the entire Wikipedia article, an excellent biographical summary of this erudite and charismatic everyman.)

I *met* Joe Campbell in 1989, when a special friend gave me the six-hour, The Power of Myth, set for Christmas (check it out below this paragraph). I was living at a yoga ashram at the time, and I would invite friends over for popcorn and one of the videos. We went on-and-on afterwards, talking about each one of them at-length. Great gift! Great memories! I have watched the programs countless times by now, and learn new things EVERY single time I watch them. I later had the privilege of seeing him do one of his multi-media presentations at the Palace of the Legion of Honor (a fine arts museum) in San Francisco. I now own more tapes, several of his books, the official biography (Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind, by Stephen and Robin Larsen), and his Mythos tapes, narrated by Susan Sarandon.

This DVD has six one-hour interviews
and some great special features
(and I see it's available for $28.85).
s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1314721251&sr=1-1 Editorial Review:

"Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth is essential viewing for anyone old enough to appreciate its vital teachings. One of the greatest interviews ever recorded, this six-part, six-hour encounter between teacher- mythologist Campbell and student-journalist Bill Moyers (recorded in the two years preceding Campbell's death in 1988) covers a galaxy of topics related to Campbell's central themes: Mythology is humanity's universal method of seeking the transcendental, and "follow your bliss" is the timeless formula for spiritual satisfaction. Campbell himself is the embodiment of these themes, an erudite scholar and quintessential storyteller, recalling a wide spectrum of myths from throughout history (Japanese, Native American, Egyptian, Mayan, and many more) to illustrate humankind's eternal quest to grasp the mysteries of creation. Historical artifacts and illustrations bring these timeless stories to life."

More of his work:

, etc.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULFISH80 9/4/2011 11:22PM

    I have a few of his videos saved on netflix and haven't viewed them yet, now I will make it a priority. Thank you.

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KAKIPOPUP 9/4/2011 3:59PM

    emoticon back - so glad to see you again -

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2BMYOWN 9/2/2011 10:45PM

    LOTS to be said for following your bliss. I think it all comes down to that old saying, that you can never control what happens to you at any given time, but you CAN control how you choose to react to it. If you keep your own bliss alive in the midst of all the chaos, I'd say you've arrived! LOL

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RIDMYCOCOON 9/2/2011 11:22AM

    I will be digging into this. I am going to the library today to return some books. I will pick one of these up at once. I am so glad I read this before I left.

Thank You Thank You emoticon

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ASHERAH38 8/31/2011 4:35PM

    Thanks! I so enjoyed this. I am checking with my local library to see if they have any of his works.

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    I love the words: "We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy" and "...doors will open
where you would not have thought there would be doors;
and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else."

The real world is full of sorrows, yet we can find joy in the midst of it! And because I am not you or anyone else, MY doors are there just for Mwa!
emoticonGreat reminders!

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DDOORN 8/31/2011 12:28PM

    A most timely share...had lost my way for a few days, but am re-grouping and Campbell's words are so helpful to remind me of what I already know, but life has a way of knocking our self-knowledge out of commission deer in the headlights!

Whew, good to be finding my way again!


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DARKTHOR 8/31/2011 11:13AM

    Thank you for this. I've added some of his videos to my Netflix cue, so I'll be checking them out in the future.

True beauty lies within us all. The more attuned we become with it, the more it shines through our eyes, our mouths and our very selves for others to be inspired to find their own inner beauty.

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JESPAH 8/31/2011 9:17AM


Didja know there's a song (it's an instrumental) called Follow Your Bliss? By, of all people, the B52s (as in, the folks who sang Rock Lobster and Love Shack).

Here 'tis, with some lovely nature photos:

By the way, I think one of the more important words in that three-word phrase is "YOUR". No one else's bliss. Just your own.

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SUNNY332 8/31/2011 8:49AM

    What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.

- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

When I worked in Psychiatry, We often had groups on what makes someone really happy. Gyatso hit it on the nail here. Being useful helps us to lead full lives and be happy. Hope your friend reaches outside of herself to someone else who needs a hand up. Helping someone else always comes full circle. We can not help others without helping ourselves.

Be Blessed my friend! I am glad you are back!


Comment edited on: 8/31/2011 8:50:28 AM

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KALIGIRL 8/31/2011 8:39AM

    Here's to living from our center and remembering the divine within each of us.

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GENKI_WARRIOR 8/31/2011 3:05AM

    Thanks Maha xox

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 8/30/2011 11:27PM

    This really spoke to me. Oh you have no idea how bad I needed this tonight. Thanks for sharing this inspiring piece of work

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WATERMELLEN 8/30/2011 8:10PM

    Well of course I wanted to know more: and this is jam packed with wisdom and resources, thank you!!

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KELLEEH 8/30/2011 7:54PM

    Thanks for the info! I have read and enjoyed several of Joseph Campbell's books, but I do not have the DVD. Sounds great.

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SLASALLE 8/30/2011 5:12PM

    Maha is back!!! Thank you, my friend. So good to read your blogs again!!! xoxoxo

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PUDLECRAZY 8/30/2011 5:05PM

    Sigh, another lovely blog from Maha!

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DAISY443 8/30/2011 2:51PM

    "The way to find out about happiness
is to keep your mind on those moments
when you feel most happy,
when you are really happy--
not excited, not just thrilled,
but deeply happy. "
This explains something I have sometimes felt but could not understand. Thank you for sharing!

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LYNNANN43 8/30/2011 2:50PM

    Thanks for sharing, Maha! How beautiful. emoticon

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EMRANA 8/30/2011 1:03PM

  Lovely. I'd heard the first but not the second two, and they make my heart happy, knowing that I am moving closer to our ashram. OM Shanti.

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MENT2BE 8/30/2011 12:12PM

    Thanks for this BEAUTIFUL reminder!!!

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CATS_MEOW_0911 8/30/2011 12:11PM

    What a beautiful excerpt...I will have to read more of his writing. I especially love:

"What is it that makes you happy?
Stay with it, no matter what people tell you.
This is what is called following your bliss."

Thank you for sharing. Hope you don't mind me sharing your blog.

Comment edited on: 8/30/2011 12:13:52 PM

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GIANTPANDA 8/30/2011 12:09PM

    Thanks for posting this. What Joseph Campbell said about bliss is so moving and inspiring, especially when one hears the interview.

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