Monday, May 23, 2011

Praying for Murphy – International Dog Star

We were told a number of days ago that our beloved old dog Murphy has cancer of the lymph nodes.  When we discovered this it was because he could hardly move and found it difficult to get up unto the couch which is his favourite place to be.

So he is now included in my prayers. This will test my relationship to the power that I begin to feel ever more connected too.  The power of prayer is intimately connected to the degree of confidence that one has in the process.  The more confident one feels the more one will manifest the results asked for. 

Our dog Murphy – international dog star – is old.  I do not pray that he will live in a body for another large number of years. My prayer is that when it is time for him to leave the form he is as Murphy that he will do so in comfort surrounded by those he loves and who love him and that we be graced that moment and that time together.

From my little understanding of the process called prayer it is the learning of confidence in one’s connection to the ultimate creative power.  If the prayer does not manifest as asked for then does this mean that the Source (or whatever name you prefer) wasn’t listening or was taking another call?

For this writer the answer is “No.”  The prayer does not manifest because I lack faith, lack confidence in the process – and it is a process.  I simply commit to leaning greater confidence in this process and make it a skill like any other.  Faith, as I use the word here, does not mean faith in a dogma but faith in a process.

In this prayer for our dog Murphy I begin with intention.  The clearer the intention the better and the more heartfelt the intention the better.  Heartfelt does not mean that you are full of emotionality but full of clarity and compassion.  This is the practice of detachment.  Detachment does not mean absence of emotion but means surrender to the process.

What I need to do first is to let go of my personal needs and focus on the needs of the one being prayed for.  One thing I am certain of -  I am certain that Creation does not create with the intention of meaningless suffering in whatever form.  I am certain that the Creative power to which I connect gives what I ask for. 

So I start with a clear intention that our old dog Murphy experience his remaining days in relative comfort and that he be given relief from pain.  This is a prayer that I have relative confidence in.

I could ask that there be a miracle and that he be cured of the lymphoma.  Part of me feels a certain confidence in asking for this but I decide to leave open the way in which the healing source will do its work.  My work is to focus the intention into manifestation and to develop the confidence in asking and as importantly the confidence in receiving.

This request to the Source of Creation has already been made available because it has been asked for.  This healing of our dog has already happened on the quantum level – the world beyond form because I have asked.  It is now up to me as co-creator with the Source to move the effect from what quantum physicists call the non-local  – meaning everywhere – to the local – meaning the form that exists as Murphy – the international love pooch.

In my study of the prayer process one focuses not on the elimination of disease but the deeper reality of Oneness.  The difficulty, personally speaking, is to be able to hold with enough intensity and beyond doubt the power I am engaging with. 

This is why prayer seems to go unanswered.  It is never unanswered at the quantum level but is unavailable because we as individuals, and I include myself here, have so little confidence in the process – most of which is invisible until, and if, it manifests as a result in the world of time and space.

This is why prayer is so challenging to those who engage in it with a commitment to a daily practice.  It is similar to the art of meditation.  One learns how to pray by learning how little one knows about how to pray.  We tend only to pray in time of personal crises.  This clouds the power of the process with ego demands and is usually filled with some degree of fear.

The most important aspect of prayer that I find personally empowering is the daily practice of giving thanks for all the gifts I have been given during the day.  Thanks giving then becomes a habit.  It becomes an attitude of mind and more importantly from a prayer point of view an attitude of expectation. 

Thus, when I engage in a prayer practice it is not an engagement that seeks to attain some material result but to be given the ability to open and receive the energies that manifest states of being that Creation creates from.  These are the energies of Love and on a personal level include compassion and patience.

Whatever I might do to assist my beloved dog Murphy I will do.  I will use the blessings of modern veterinary medicine and I will give thanks for the relief it gives him – which is already manifest.  I will invite the power of the light of Christ to create within his body a disease free experience of the time and space he has remaining to him in his body. 

When I invite this healing light that I refer to as Christ I am not identified with any religious denomination.  I am identified with my connection to the One Mind that creates each and everything from its longing to be the knowing of Love in form.  I am not apart from that power except to the degree I feel apart from it. In this dominion of time and space most of us feel very much apart from, and not part of, the whole of this eternal movement of Love in form.

So I will ask and be given.  What will manifest in form is up to me and the degree of confidence I learn to acquire in the movement from the quantum level to the physical level.  This is a learned art.  I am not a master of this art but it is my intention to become a master.  Then, when I say to the mountain of doubt that is in my mind, “Move,”  it will move. 

This is not an arrogance but a claiming of my birthright as a human being – the sound of Love (hu) in the form of man.  Presently I am an apprentice to this invisible power.  To the degree I am humble then grace will give me this power to be used only in the service of Love and never for my personal self aggrandisement – which has happened in the past.

In whatever way you engage with this process of connecting the finite to the infinite, the form to the formless, the movement of light into the frozen light called matter pray each day in the way that the mystic Miester Eckhart did when he said:-

“If I could only say thank you once then that would be enough.”

You needn't make this practice some sort of formal prayer.  You don’t even need to call it prayer. Let me, however, invite you to engage with the daily practice of saying thank you at the close of day.  This will open your mind and your heart to the daily experience of expansion into the way that the fullness of creation loves to express through you.

Then, when you pray in a crisis, you will be used to getting what is asked for but you must detach from your personal agenda and always pray for the highest good.  This might not suit your ego.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Ugly Ducking comes Home

The Chieftains Candle - Pittee

When I sing before the fire at the Benwiskin Centre I will at some stage during the evening ask if there are any songs that people would like me to sing.  On occassion there are songs requested that I do not know.

Recently at one of the drumming workshop one participant kindly agreed to send me the gift of a CD by an artist whose work I did not know.  These arrived in the post together with a lovely card and a blessing.  Included in this card was part of a poem I love.  It is by the mystic poet Mary Oliver entitled "Wild Geese."

Here are some of the wonderful lines of this poem.

"Meanwhile the wild geese
high in the clear blue sky
are heading home again."

Wild geese have a special meaning in Irish history.  It was a time of abandonment.  It was a time when the Chieftains of Ireland went into exile in other lands.  Abandonment is one of my key life themes.  I am the one who identifies with the story of the ugly duckling who feels he does not belong but holds true to an inner knowing that is later revealed.

High in the clear blue sky of direct awareness the ugly ducking is heading home to the awareness of the beauty that he is and is alway destined to become.  This is why I love storytelling.  I get to go home to the real home where I truly belong and can never be abandoned - the home of the heart in at-one-ment with the longing and belonging of the soul.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Invitation of Poetry

Love locked Out - Merrit

Poetry is for this writer and storyteller one of the seven ways to living a wonderful life.  Poetry is the language that invites you to live the wondertale that you are here to tell - not so much in words but as the presence of beauty that is beyond form.  It is the one language that will allow you to travel to infinite worlds of potential.

Do you feel yourself to be beautiful?  Do you walk in beauty as the Navaho blessing invites you to do?  This writer is not simply writing here about being glamorous - but being in direct connection with the essence of who you are.  Moving as the grace note you are here to play as part, but never apart from, the pressence of the universal intelligence that your are.  This universal intelligence is Love.

Most people, most everyone I know does not consider themselves to be beautiful.  They will defend this idea saying that it is a kind of arrogance.  Yet look at little children playing for no reason at all and experiencing delight in their natural creative expression.
That is until such time that they are taught such creativity needs to be productively channelled into making something functional.

I tell stories about the Tuatha de Danaan - the beautiful people - who in the myths of Ireland are driven underground.  This story, like all mythology, is not just some old story.  It is an ever present story of the way we treat ourselves with our conditionality and our inner critic who loves to tell us how inadequate we are.  We are the sleeping beauty asleep in the high tower of the intellect that thinks that intellectual knowledge means you understand who you are.

Poetry is the language of the heart that knows beauty.  That is why in all the circles I have attended at the Benwiskin Centre I leave a book of poetry on the table in front of the fire.  These books invite you into the fire that burns no wood.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Riddle of the Pathless Path

Each time I enter the semi circle that is gathered around the fire at the Benwiskin Centre I tell a story.  More often than not this is a new story that has come from a line of a poem that has or is presently inspiring me.

Included in these stories there is sometimes a riddle.  I am a riddle maker.  Children and adults love riddles but these riddles are not simply entertainment.  They are written to invite the listener into the direct experience of the greatest riddle of all - that although you feel separate from most everything that in truth you are forever One.

This is why the master storyteller Jesus Christ used parables.  They have to go beyond the rational mind which barrs entry to the experience of non-duality - that which is not either/or but both this and that at the same time.

Riddles and parables have  been important divices throughout the journey of the spirti.  The greatest riddles are those of the Zen koan such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping.  This riddle, however, isn't much fun for children and would in all likelihood send participants of a drumming workshop to have an early night.

So the riddle I am working with goes something like this. 

"Go to the placeless place and follow the forgotten path to the door of twixt and in between.  There enter the circle of gold and make the two one.  Do all of this without doing all of this and the light will return."

Answers can be sumitted via the comments on this page.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Burfday to Me

Today is my 61st birthday.  I thank God for this most amazing day and for everything that is YES.  I feel blessed beyond measure.  The card from my partner Bee included the following lines.

"A child is born in  a broad landscape
--- when the bird sang its song
on the stone threshold."

Jean Fullain

This card has as its outer design the images of dragonflies - the symbol of transformation.  It is hard for me sometimes to believe that I have lived as long as I have and to be so blessed - this truly is a transformation from the young man who felt so alone and unloved so many years before.

In my writings and in the stories I tell there is the continual invitation to the experience of threshold.  The stone threshold can represent the world of matter - our existance in time and space - while the singing bird is always a representation of the soul and its longing for our at one ment with Love.

Sixty one years today two children were born to my mother (I am a twin).  We were born in a narrow landscape of a small Irish village.  We were three months premature and not expected to live.  That we did, is in large part due to my beloved grandmother.  She sat by the fire and dozed for three months feeding us at regular times with Cowgate milk and brandy from a dropper.

She continued to say YES to us all through her life and for her, especially on this most amazing day, I remember her with Love and affection and say, "Thank God for you my grandmother Sarah Dobbin."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I might as well try and Catch the Wind

Waterhouse - Windflowers

I sit by the fire and pick up the white guitar and start to pick out a melody. The chord is an F Minor 7th cord that gives the intro of the song a kind of haunting refrain. I begin to sing this song about the impossibility of Love as reflected in the lines: -
“I might as well try and catch the wind.”

In this song the singer songwriter expresses the hearts longing – it is my longing – it is the longing expressed in the words

“Standing in your heart is where I want to be and long to be.”

This longing is the longing of the mystic heart to be the knowing and presence of Love. All mystics and all seekers are longing to be at one with the heart of creation that the heart knows is the only placeless place of real contentment and joy. It takes courage to long for what is formless, invisible, and immortal. That is why courage as a word means, “to enter the heart.”

Longing is a very Irish sentiment. It appears in our music and in the landscape, particularly the landscape of the West of Ireland. People come to Ireland for many reasons but those who connect deeply with the landscape connect to what the great Irish poet W. B. Yeats called “the deep hearts core.”

In Irish mythology there are stories of the timeless land of Tir Na Nog. This is an understanding of your timeless nature – your forever young nature. In Christian terms this is the experience of eternal life which paradoxically speaking you know when you are not. This is the riddle of existence and is as difficult to attain as trying to catch the wind yet it is what the heart longs for.

Sitting by the fire I continue singing and play a chord that is a drone chord. Its sound invites the hearts longing into its direct awareness of our timeless nature. The song, Catch the Wind by Donovan could be considered an unrequited love song but for this singer, sitting by the fire, the invitation goes so much deeper. Although it is a kind of sad lament there is a beauty in expressing this longing for the paradox of existence that once known it is never forgotten.

This is the opening song of a long night of heartsongs that takes me, and takes the listeners deeper, into the fire that burns no wood. Then as the night progresses we might, as told in a line from another song by the same singer songwriter find ourselves experiencing: -

And at the midnight hour they jumped into the fire.
And in that fire they will stay forever and a day.
For the fire O Lord is the fire of Love
Just like the peaceful dove.

So we do what we have done for thousands of years. We gather around the fire to listen to stories and songs that give us a sense of meaning and empower us for the difficult work of living life in form. This allows us to feel a real sense of community gathered together around the hearth and the heart and to connect to our Ruách rhythm – the rhythm of our spirit and of our inspiration.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rhythms of the Earth Celebration

Rùach Rhythms presents

"Rhythms of the Earth.

Celebration of Duir Oak wisdom"

"Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven" - Rabindranath Tagore

The oak speaks to us of strength. It invites us to feel grounded and celebrate our connection to the earth. We can then take this strength and sense of being connected into our day to day living. In this way we can spread our arms wide and connect earth and sky.

The oak is long lived and invites us to remember the beauty of our timeless nature and our connection to the state that we in Ireland refer to as the Land of the Forever Young.

Come and enjoy the celebratory experience of drumming within a circle of people trusting the inner wisdom that gives them strength of direction. Included with this experience you will enjoy the following:-

Storytelling around the fire that connects you of the wisdom that is within you.
A sense of fun and celebration of the rhythm of your life.
Singing in a circle and around the fire that reminds you that life wants to sing through you.
A real sense of community, hospitality and support.
This weekend workshop allows you to take time out and celebrate your innate wisdom.


Start Time: Friday, June 18th, 2010 at 6:30pm End Time: Sunday, June 20th, 2010 at 11.00 am

 Location is the Benwisken Centre near Sligo. Dormitory accommodation and vegetarian meals will be provided. Drums will be provided.


Cost including vegetarian food and dorm accommodation is €160.00. Concession is €120.00 on a sliding scale of ability to pay.Booking contact

Debbie on 087 6326610 or 094 9860495

or email
With Blessings