Friday, September 07, 2007


My mind was called across the years
Of rages and of strife
Of all the human misery
And all the waste of life

We wondered where our God was
In the face of so much pain
I looked up to the stars above
To find you once again

We travelled the wide oceans
Heard many call your name
With sword and gun and hatred
It all seemed much the same

Some used your name for glory
Some used it for their gain
Yet when liberty lay wanting
No lives were lost in vain

Is it not our place to wonder
As the sky does weep with tears
And all the living creatures
Look on with mortal fear
(Beneath A Phrygian Sky: Loreena McKennitt)

A disciple asked his guru, 'How am i to attain peace when there is so much noise around this village? Every time I try to meditate, there's a rooster crowing or a child crying or a dog barking. I can't concentrate on my prayers.' The guru said nothing but took the man by the hand and led him into the forest. They walked for some time until they came across a small pool. It was a windy day and the surface of the pond had become choppy.

'What do you see in the pool?' the guru asked. 'It is troubled,' replied the disciple. His master then bid him dive into the pool, to the bottom. When he emerged from the water, his master asked him again what he saw in the pool. 'It is still and deep,' the man answered. 'So then,' said the master, 'you must learn how to pray from the water.'


Awareness said...

Still and deep....I love that story. It made me smile.

I read something today by Henri Nouwen......"losing our souls means becoming so distracted by and preoccupied with all that is happening around us that we end up fragmented, confused and erratic...."
He then writes about the need especially during anxious times (when it's most difficult to concentrate) to find the stillness go deep to find our centre again....where our spiritual selves exist.

when I read your post, I pictured a womb....surrounded by water, where one can be nurtured and can grow....safely.

Here is another.......gem...

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart ...
Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks inside, awakens."
~ Carl Jung

prayer awakens....

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

hi dana

I have always liked it - don't know if i read it once or heard it - all i know is that it's in my journal from way back....

ah, Nouwen and Jung - beautiful

may I add a third? Father O'Donohue says that, 'the heart of all creativity is in the awakening and flowering of individuality. The mystery and magic of being an individual is to live life in response to the deep call within, the call to become who we were dreamed to be. In primal terms, it is the call to discover and realize the divine blueprint in the soul. This is where true freedom awaits us. Freedom is not simply the absence of necessity; it is the poise of soul at one with a life which honours and engages its creative possibility.'

creative possibility, i guess, begins in the womb.....?

Rainbow dreams said...

love the photo and the story..

you've mentioned Father O'Donohue before and I have looked for him but can't find...are his writings easily accessible?

Kate's Typewriter said...

i'm listening to that song for the first time. potentially life-changing stuff here.
your comments on beauty have really been on the forefront of my mind lately... that beauty inevitably encompasses deep pain and even anguish of the soul. when i imagine God creating the universe, i imagine it coming out of something like that... the "chaos" that is described... and the Hebrew word used for "create" holds a meaning that weighs in the direction of "desire".
i just never know what people mean when they say "pure happiness"... because without the context provided by the struggle to attain it, it seems empty.

Awareness said...

to quote a mystic who dwells in a harbour........"bloody hell!" That man writes so eloquently. Every single word is so alive that I can't pull out one line I like more than others. What a poetic heart he has.

I have written it down in my journal....

I want to meet him and hear him voice these words.

ps. I found myself immersed at the bookstore this evening looking for the perfect b-day present for my father. Instead I found my own b-day present.....a little book entitled Messy Spirituality was sitting there blinking at me. :) I now own it and will be reading it tonight.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

yes they are - look under John O'Donohue on Amazon - he has written two international bestsellers, Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes and his latest, which I quote from a lot is Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

I agree, it does seem empty...there's an old story about Jesus which sometimes gets distorted because people ask the wrong questions of it. It's the one where he takes a journey on a boat from one side of the lake to th eother with his merry band of 12. When the wind gets up the disciples get anxious but when they wake the good carpenter turned storyteller he is unperturbed and actually seems pissed off with his gang - i guess because they had lost their sense of peace by being rattled by the surface goings on.

My take is that all of our worrying does nothing to help us when real difficulties do come - but regular visits to our reservoir of peace which lies at the core of our being does equip us to face the worst of events and circumastances with equanimity

ps, can you imagine having Lorenna for dinner? I wonder what she is like....

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

stange mystical gremlins nicked my response to you - buggers, will try again.

Bloody hell is the limit of my mysticism sadly - but you are right about Papa O - not one word is ever wasted, both when he writes and speaks. You'd love him. I treasure my times with him - he is wicked with his wonderment and loves his whiskey.

His voice is beautifully playful - I think if you follow the links from Pip's blog, click on Big John then after Pavarotti and U2 there is a video clip of him speaking at Greenbelt - I think

I do hope that Messy book is the one written by my dear late friend Mike sure it will make you smile and weep - wonderful stuff. He gave me a copy and penned some kind and insightful words for me....I stupidly lent the book to someone a couple of years back and they 'kin lost it! I now don't lend signed books to anyone...quite happy to buy someone the book instead - let me know what you think of the messy prophet

Rainbow dreams said...

Cheers, will look forward to the post in a few days time :)

Kyle said...

that picture conjures up one word: serenity.

Love the entry.

And yes, college is more than I ever dreamed it to be.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

katie, not sure if I'm following - not sure what post that is...something about the Irish fella I think.

Kyle, glad college is treating you well, serenity is a good word, thanks - love the contrast between light and dark and textures it reveals

Rainbow dreams said...

didn't mean to confuse, just meant thanks, I found him on amazon and hope they deliver soon! post as in mail post..

Len Hjalmarson said...

Outstanding, and helpful this morning.. thanks

Len Hjalmarson said...

Paul, I see you completed an MA in missiology, exploring some components of Celtic spirituality. Is it possible to view a copy? You can mail me at ..

Caroline said...

Love the story - thanks for posting. Appropriate at the moment, I know - but not sure how to apply it into my life. Maybe the answer will come... Anyway, thanks for posting it.

Anna said...

What a wonderful story....I have enjoyed your posts about Greenbelt...did you happen to see my friends who played? The photos have been amazing Paul...
thanks for sharing!

Kyle said...

Thank you very much, I have honestly been doubting myself as a photographer lately so your comment really meant alot to me!

Niki said...

Summer holiday and lack of Guernsey has played havoc on my mind. Therefore this stop is just to say hello, and to smile.

Anna said...

Hey you....just checking in and hope my friend WAY OVER THERE in BlogLand is well!