Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Fire that Takes no Wood

I went out to the hazel wood
Because a fire was in my head

W.B. Yeats ? The Song of Wandering Aengus

These lines open Yeats? great poem of the hero?s journey. This going to the hazel wood is undertaken by the outsider. This is the outsider who longs for the source of magic and miracle within.

The hazel wood is a place of sanctuary. It is a place of initiation. You are invited to be an initiate of the threshold places of the heart. This often takes you into a dark wood.

The fire in the head is a creative longing. It is the longing to be. To be is to be creative. You cannot not be creative, but you are given the choice in how you will express this creative fire that burns within you.

Many of us have lost the ability to feel the fire that burns within us to express love in action. We may lose it through grief or disappointment or listening to our internal critic rather than the voice of purpose and wisdom within.

Our fire has become the fire of ?doing? our life, where we get burnt out. It is a limited fire that consumes itself. We do not tend at the fire that needs no wood. We have forgotten what it is to sit and feel or creative, to be enveloped in its invisible embrace that warms the heart.

Through spiritual direction and soul friendship you can learn to tend the fire that needs no wood. The fire in your head is the natural call to creative expression as love in action. It never goes out. Except that most of us forget that this every creative potential is available to us if we enter the Deep Hearts Core.

This Irish Mystic Storyteller has a longing. It is the longing to share the invitation to the beauty at the deep hearts core. This is why I have recorded a weekly podcast that is given that name. The Deep Hearts core is the last line from W. B. Yeats? poem entitled The Lake Isle of Innisfree.

In the Deep Hearts Core Podcast this Irish Mystic Storyteller unfolds the invitation, not only from the poetry of W. B. Yeats, but from Irish mythology, Irish folk song and modern day song lyrics. This is an invitation for you to learn to allow your personal song of beauty to be sounded within the world and delight not only you but also others who see you living it.

So if you want a weekly input of inspired invitation to the beauty of who you are simply go to the following link and download the podcasts that interest you or sign up for a regular free subscription.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Story of Global Land Grabbing

John Vidal the Environment Editor of the Guardian writes

?The acquisition of farmland from the worlds poor by rich countries and international corporations is accelerating at an alarming rate, with an area half the size of Europe?s farmland targeted in the last six months, reports from UN officials and agriculture experts say.?

In the Guardian article entitled ?Fears for the world?s poor countries as the rich grab land to grow food? we are told

?Outsourcing food production will ensure food security for investing countries but would leave behind a trail of hunger, starvation and food scarcities for local populations. The environmental tab of highly intensive farming ? devastated soils, dry aquifer, and ruined ecology from chemical infestation ? will be left for the host country to pick up.?

Here we see more of the same by the forces of global capitalism hell bent on ensuring that they maintain their highest levels of return on capital employed. They have used up most all the capital resources that exist in their own countries having devastated the soil and water and now they are moving to countries where they can charge for their chemical quick fix that creates deserts.

As an accountant one of the first principles of sound business management one learns is that you do not erode your capital base. It is out of this base that you earn revenue to sustain your business for the long term future. If you find that you are using capital this is indicative of mismanagement. Not so it appears if the capital base is the soil on which we are all dependant to sustain life.

Return on capital employed is the driving force of corporate life. The higher the better. Chief Executive Officers of large corporations will no longer be Chief Executive Officers if return on capital employed is not increasing and damn the consequences. This increased return is reflected in rising share prices that are the be all and end all of the God called market forces.

Who pays the consequences? In the short term the poor and in the long term every one of us. Why does this happen. In simplistic terms it is because we in the Western world are not prepared to pay the cost of producing food in a way that is sustainable. We have become so used to cheap price food that we no longer accept prices that would reflect the full cost of production.

The result is that food is produced as cheaply as possible and as intensively as possible. When the resources of the land have been burned away through intensive chemical use the corporations move on to buy up other land resources by which they can maintain their one measure of success ? return on capital employed. No one stops to ask what happens when the capital base is fully eroded.

As a storyteller and writer on Irish mythology this fixation on ever increased return on capital employed would be recognised as a poisonous story. In a fairy story this market force would be represented by a poison apple. We are now a global village and this poison is set to come back to us in the West. We have allowed undemocratic forces to use resources that belong to us all in a self interested way.

Due to self interest we have refused to be stewards of the land in the interest of future generations. Sustainable food costs. It costs energy in the form of money. If that energy is not expended in the form of money it costs in other ways. The present system of ever cheaper food production costs lives. The price paid is that of hunger and starvation but not for you or me ? or at least not yet. It costs the lives of the most vulnerable in our global village.

Still the good news is that the FTSE index will in the short term have risen in the knowledge that the God of the market place will be for a little while appeased. At least until the land runs out.

Tony Cuckson

Quotes taken from the Guardian Friday 3 July 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Living the One Glorious Life

How does one as an Irish Mystic Storyteller begin to craft a story. One way is to pay attention to that which excites you and to be faithful to that feeling wherever it invites you to go. It also requires commitment and the ability to trust the process. It means learning to be comfortable with "not knowing."

Sometimes a story will simply happen and you have it down on the page very quickly. At other times the story is a kind of birthing. It will simply happen if you pay attention to simply getting out of the way and not being over anxious. In Zen such and attitude is summed up in the beautiful wisdom saying "Don`t push the river."

Pay attention when ideas keep coming back that you have resisted. Sometimes you will spend time with a story, even work very hard at a story, and it comes to nothing. Actually, what happens is that the story is flowering in a different way and will bloom through another story if you trust the intention.

When you feel excited, more than your head is involved. Excitement is the equivelant of the yellow brick road that takes you to the wonderland of Oz. Follow the yellow brick road. This is a metaphor for the wisdom road within you. It is the invitation to travel the beauty of the real story you are here to share.

Your real story is far more magnificent and more glorious than you might ever imagine. Trust this beauty to express as excitement within the body and live the one glorious life you have come here to be. You are the real wonder tale waiting to be told.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What Brings you Alive

This Sunday morning I am planting bulbs that will add colour to the garden during the winter and the spring.

I am also planting seed in the form of inspiration. I have the seed of an idea that I am drawn to manifest. This is a work of appreciation.

I appreciate the work of the Irish poet W.B. Yeats. It is his poetry that speaks to my deep hearts core. It is he who called me to return to my native land. He still keeps calling me to be an invitation to the peace that comes dropping slow.

So I am intending to writ a book. It is a book about an Irish pilgrimage through the poetry of W. B. Yeats. I hope, therefore, to share this journey and invite others to journey to their own deep hearts core.

This journey through the poetry of W.B. Yeats is part of my essential story. It is the essence of who I am becoming. We are all telling a story. In every moment you are radiating the story of your life.

Have you ever asked the question, "What am I radiating?" Most of us radiate a belief that mystics of all traditions and all times tell us is false. This is the idea that we are living as a separate sense of self within time and space and body.

At the deep hearts cores this false identity of the separate sense of self is the core of suffering. Once it is seen, is realized as the illusion it is the life becomes more abundant.

There is less resistance and less grasping but the radiance of who you are is allowed to flow through a body and mind that knows the experience of real peace. This is more than peace that is an absence of conflict. This is the kind of peace that W. B. Yeats tells us comes dropping slow.

David Whyte the English poet and writer of "Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity" is known for the beautiful line that says, "Anyone who does not bring you alive is too small for you."

W. B. Yeats brings me alive. He invites real questions. He invites me to the Quest I am On. This is the call to adventure at the deep hearts core.

Who brings you alive? Do you spend time with them? Do you imbibe their presence? What kind of stories do they invite into your heart?

Most of the stories of our modern day culture are stories that are poisonous. They are imbibed because everyone takes it as normal to be a separate individual living in a body in time and space. Thus you as sleeping beauty have eaten of the poison apple whose core is rotten.

All the mystics of all times and traditions are the ones who know and have lived the life beyond the illusion of separateness from Love. They bring you truly alive.

Except that in the words of another poet Derek Walcott who writes in the poem Love after Love, you have to peel the image of the mirror and feast on your life.

Peeling the image of who you think you are of the mirror of your life situation and a sense of separateness from Love is painful. It involves a deep letting go so that the banquet that you are can be revealed.

This is the banquet that gives you real nourishment. It is a storehouse of revelation. It is not the store at the Mall that simply compensates you for what you are really missing which is the sense of being truly alive to the invitation at the deep hearts core.

Whatever it is that brings you alive then spend time with this. This is quality time. It can lead you to the timelessness of your true nature.

Friday, September 11, 2009

And Peace Comes Dropping Slow - Remembering 9/11

Today is 11th Sept. It is a day of remembrance for people all over the world. For most people it is a day of sorrow and for others a day of celebration.

On this day I like to share a vision of what could be. Sometimes I write this and sometimes I take the writings of others. One writer I love is an American woman called Ganngaji - born Toni Roberson who grew up in Mississippi. Here is an extract from "Choosing Peace" from "A Diamond in Your Pocket - Discovering your True Radiance."

"Unless all of us take the responsibility for our own inner peace, the wars will continue. We cannot wait any longer for someone else to change. We cannot wait for someone else to forgive us so that we can forgive them. We cannot wait for someone else to say they are sorry. Peace cannot be postponed.

Recognize that to whatever degree the war is going on in your own mind, it is based on one thing: the firm belief that you are a separate entity, separate from your parents, your children, your lover, your enemy.

All wars are based upon the ignorance of our true nature and the illusion of separation. When you firmly believe that you are separate from totality, separate from peace, separate from love, you protect yourself. That protection takes many forms involving personal and territorial identification. The horror is that if what you are protecting is the thought of who you are, it does not, in reality, even exist. It is only a thought, and whenever a thought is honestly investigated, it is found to have no inherent reality. Yet this thought of who you are has immeasurable power, because it becomes the filter of all experiences of reality.

As a consious human being, you have the opportunity to discover that never, not even for an instant, is it possible to be separate from Love, from the source of everything, from God. Once you discover this directly, you then brodcast it with every breath you take. Whether you speak of this discovery or you never speak again, you will broadcast it through the natural radiance of your being. In your willingness to take the chance, to accept that invitation, you will naturally share that peace everywhere."

Tell me that is not a most beautiful of invitations. Note that Ganaji says " Once you discover this directly------" This direct discovery is so essential. It is not a question of belief but an experience of radiance. You know it because you are it. Belief requires a believer separate from the experience. A believer is not one who is the experience of direct knowing.

Gangaji also invites each one of us to take responsibility for our own mind. Listen to your mind. On this day of remembrance sit still for 10 minutes and listen to the way your mind is forever on. This is not peace of mind. This is not attunement to the source. This is not stillness knowing that it is Love.  If this is your mind then you have no peace to offer.  You have no still point centre from which radiance happens.

This monkey mind is not your natural radiance of being. You on this day of remembrance can commit to this radiance of being. Then the tragedy of 9/11 can become the invitation to Heaven on Earth. It only happens when you are willing to become the invitation to the radiance at your deep hearts core.

Today share this invitation. Share this invitation tomorrow. Share it everyday in whatever way you are called to be the radiant pressence of Love in form. Then when you know directly that you are the living presence of eternal Love you need have no fear. Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death you will fear no evil.  Then you become a beacon of hope in a fear filled world.  Then you become the invitation in New York Harbour of a woman welcoming all that mass of separateness from Love.  You liberate others from their sense of separateness from Love.

Peace of the Infinite Peace to You.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Moonchild and the Sacred Contract

It?s a marvellous
Night for a moon dance.

Van Morrison ? Moondance

Before a fire that burns no wood sits an old hawkeyed seanachie. Around his feet lie hungry ghosts. They have come to hear a story. A story of shadow and light that might break their chains of memory and free them to be the dance they have come here to be. So when the deep silence of sanctuary fills this place at the edge of nowhere the storyteller begins to tell a tale of wonder.

In a soft voice of invitation to the powers beyond time he begins.

Once upon a time not so very long ago there lived a King and Queen of the Vale of Flowers. They each had a secret that was never said. This was the secret of the Sacred Contract. This contract was written in blood and renewed every seven days.

Every seven days the Sacred Contract was placed on the age-old table with its scars and scratches of longing and wounding. Each week the Queen was made to sign with her life?s blood. When the contract was signed the King left the room. It was then, and only then, in the secret place of her heart that the Queen of the Vale of Flowers sat down and wept.

Unknown to the King and Queen of the Vale of Flowers there was a witness to this seven-day renewal of the Sacred Contract. It was their daughter. It was the daughter to whom they gave the beautiful name Unity. This child was, as all children are, curious.

One day - it always happens on that one day - curiosity got the better of Unity. They say that curiosity killed the cat. Unity wasn?t killed though. However, reading the Sacred Contract made her blind. What was in the Sacred Contract was read only once and was never read again. Not only was she made blind all reference to the Sacred Contract was erased from her memory. All that was left within the heart of Unity was a hungry ghost without a name.

One day the Prince of Trumpeting, who was called Bottom, came and swept the blind girl off her feet. He and Unity were married only they did not quite live happily ever after. This might have been sad except for one thing. Unity gave birth to a golden child and they called her Moondancer.

She was the fairest of children and for a time Unity and the Prince of Trumpeting loved this beautiful Moondancer. This love might have been all the light that the moonchild needed except for one thing. The ghost without a name came to haunt the memory of Unity and her blindness deepened and darkened.

On nights when the moon was full the moonchild would dance. How she would dance. The dance and the moonchild were one. In this dance there were no steps in time. The moon and the child of the moon were taken on a magic swirling trip of delight. The delight was from the light of the moon that loved this child forever beyond ghosts and secrets unsaid.

The ritual of the Sacred Contract was enacted every seven days until the dying day of the King and Queen of the Vale of Flowers. Then it was fed into the heart of Unity who signed it with her own life?s blood and vowed to keep the secret that was never to be said. So the Sacred Contract bled into the life of Moondancer. It is said it still bleeds into her life. Such is the power of the Sacred Contract to live beyond time.

Is there any hope for this beautiful dance of the moon? Those who have met with the secret unsaid tell that there is a journey to be taken. This is a journey to a nowhere place. There, at this nowhere place, is the nowhere man. He is the one that tells of secrets unsaid. It is told that he is burned beyond recognition. He, they say, is a holy fool and laughs at nothing.

It is said that once he too was made blind by the Sacred Contract but has now become a Seer of Secrets. This seer of beyond will tell you that the dance is never lost. It is only forgotten.

This nowhere man tells all hungry ghosts they are moon dancers who have forgotten who they are. There are those who dance other ocean love songs. They live at threshold places of wonder guarded by the Eye of the Hawk. Theirs is a different way of seeing. Theirs is lifeblood no longer poisoned by secrets unsaid.

?Remember this,? this nowhere man will tell you. ?It?s always a marvellous night for a moondance. Do you remember? Will you remember? Will you come dancing the dance you have come here to be? This is the promise beyond those secrets unsaid. Will you come to the dance??

In that place where the fire burns no wood you can hear the chains of memory being loosened. You can watch within that sanctuary of silence as hungry ghosts feed from the light of the moon and go dancing. One sings an old Irish rock anthem.

It?s a marvellous night for a moon dance.

The old seanachie sits back on his stool while watching hungry ghosts feed from the light. He thinks about the moonchild born of Unity and the Prince of Trumpeting. His memory goes back to the Vale of Flowers. Strange to say, but he never found it to be a Vale of Flowers at all.