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Old 02-20-2010, 02:14 PM   #701
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Old 02-20-2010, 02:29 PM   #702
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:16 PM   #703
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:24 PM   #704
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:27 PM   #705
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:30 PM   #706
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:16 AM   #707
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A Simple Show of Hands

ON a brisk autumn afternoon, in the shadow of the marble arch in Washington Square Park, a couple visiting from Ohio walked along holding hands like two teenagers going steady, decades after “going steady” went out of vogue.

Vladimir Milivojevic for The New York Times
Locked in People moving in tandem across the city. Some see hand-holding as a public announcement that a couple is approaching. Others see the maneuver as an ideal way to snake through a crowd.
When a stranger asked why they had chosen to join hands during their stroll, the man, Dave Findlay, looked at his wife of seven years and answered in a word: “Connection.”

Or as the Beatles sang back in 1963: “When I’ll feel that something, I want to hold your hand.”

Those simple lyrics turned an expression of teenage longing and first romantic steps into a No. 1 hit.

To hold someone’s hand is to offer them affection, protection or comfort. It is a way to communicate that you are off the market. Practically speaking, it is an efficient way to squeeze through a crowd without losing your partner. People do it during vigils, marches, weddings and funerals.

Usually it connotes something innocuous and sweet about a couple and their relationship.

But, over all, few things are more innocent than a child grabbing the hand of a parent, for protection, direction and, as Mr. Findlay put it, connection.

Adult children and their elderly parents also hold hands, for balance, support and as a sign of love.

As for romantic couples, the opinions about hand-holding are as varied as fingerprints. But most people agree that it has merely changed, not lost favor.

Among more than a half-dozen students at the University of Maine, there seemed to be two universal truths: that hand-holding is the least nauseating public display of affection and that holding hands has become more significant than other seemingly deeper expressions of love and romance.

Drew Fitzherbert, 21, said that public hand-holding “shows that commitment not only to you and your partner but everyone else in the community.”

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Old 02-24-2010, 09:16 AM   #708
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"The spaces between your fingers were created so that another's could fill them in."
- Unknown

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Old 02-24-2010, 09:18 AM   #709
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:45 PM   #710
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Live, Learn, and Love
by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.


Pondering the deeper meaning of life–alone and in conversation with friends–I always come back to the same trilogy: to live, learn, and love. I suppose I could add to embrace, to evolve, and to contribute, but I like the simplicity of the first three which for me sum up the core elements of why I am here. The three, as I see them, are interrelated in that one must live in order to learn and learn in order to love.

“To live” encompasses being aware and embracing life’s gifts, large and small. So often, in the midst of our struggle for a livelihood, we lose touch with what resonates most for us. Busy as we are at our jobs, with our families, and in our communities, it is easy to lose track of that which makes our hearts sing…and which is most often “free.” To make time to care for our magnificent bodies or revel in the majesty of a sunset. To regularly feed our personal passions for art, music, sports, children, animals, technology, etc. To laugh heartily and often, and connect with other human beings. To feel the satisfying fatigue of a day well-spent and the exhilaration of a dream yet to be realized. These are the logs that fuel the fire of life. Even in the midst of disease, economic hardship, and emotional pain, we can celebrate our strength, resilience, faith and support system. Feel the pain, accept what is, and appreciate both the danger and the opportunity. To me, a life well-lived is living well, regardless of your situation. There will always be someone richer, poorer, happier, or less fortunate than you. Questions I ask myself regularly are: what are you doing with what you’ve been given, and are you aware of blessings as they appear.

“To learn,” means we not only embrace life, but we grow. In all of nature there is a process of moving from the tiniest potential to the fullest bloom to eventual fulfillment of purpose…at least in the physical world…in one life cycle. A seedling does not stay a seedling forever; it grows into a fruit–or leaf–baring-tree. So too, I believe, we are here to learn about our potential and become more of our higher selves. If we take risks, fall down, and pick ourselves up again, we are learning. If we listen more than we speak, observe our impact as well as act, and follow in the footsteps of trustworthy role models, we are learning. If, on the other hand, we sleep-walk through life, going through our days on auto-pilot, we are existing, not living. In fact, it is more accurate to say we are dying because in the physics principle of entropy, we learn that all living systems are either expanding or contracting at any given time. There is no status quo; we are either growing or breaking down. The famous nun brain studies illustrate this example well by connecting lack of intellectual stimulation and growth with Alzheimer’s disease…an actual shrinking of a portion of the brain. The same can be seen with exercise or a lack therefore as it relates to strength or atrophy of muscles. Use it or lose it seems to be true not only for physical growth, but for inner growth as well. Have you ever noticed that when you keep getting the same “bad luck,” it’s often because you continue to make the same mistake-–mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Perhaps you ignore your heart and do something you “feel” is wrong. Or maybe you ignore a “sign” that you should choose another path. Not tapping your higher level thinking by practicing meditation, prayer, or quiet reflection, means you lose the ability to choose what is right for all concerned, thus the “lesson” may appear over and over…until you get it. Repetition is an important element of learning.

“To love” is in my mind the deepest meaning of life, with living and learning necessary stepping stones along the way. And I mean to love not in the romantic sense, but to know, accept, care for, give to, and connect with all living creatures. Not to selectively love only those who fulfill our needs or reflect our views–although that’s not a bad place to start–but to go to a deeper place within and tap our well of pure, innocent love that bubbles up spontaneously when we rake aside the debris left by fear and ego. To treat strangers kindly, to fall in love with nature, to care for those less fortunate, and to trust those closest to us are all signs that we “get” the meaning of life. To not judge or hold grudges, to invest ourselves for the benefit of others, and to help others see–in fact, BE–their very best is, in my mind, to love. When I appreciate my own light and recognize it in others, I become one with goodness and in those moments, life’s meaning appears.

Suzanne’s books include Recharge in Minutes and Create A Life That Tickles Your Soul

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Old 02-25-2010, 09:10 PM   #711
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Stillness

By Genece Hamby


As a young girl, my grandfather enjoyed teaching me about the nature of things through unusual methods. One day, he gave me an ear of corn and a coat hanger that he had straightened with a pair of pliers. On one end, he bent the hanger to wrap around the ear of corn and on the other end he created a small loop and told me to go home and nail the looped end to my window sill. He also said to leave my window open and to come home everyday straight from school and sit quietly by the window while doing my homework. Knowing my grandfather, I figured this was his way of teaching me the discipline of doing my homework. He was probably helping my parents to find a solution for some of my school challenges.

Believing I knew his reason for sitting by the window in silence, I trusted and obeyed my grandfather’s wish. On a daily basis, I would come home from school and sit in the chair waiting – waiting, waiting, waiting while doing my homework. After about a week of this and getting bored with the whole thing, I called my grandpa and said that I knew why he had me sitting there and promised I’d try harder to study. He laughed! Then, he told me that was not in fact the purpose of the ear of corn and sitting by the window.

The next day, I went back to the chair and again sat for 30 minutes of waiting. Every day this became a ritual until one day something happened. A squirrel came up to the open window and as soon as he realized I was present, he darted off. However, I was excited! I hurried to the phone and called my grandfather to tell him of the squirrel. Again, he laughed! He suggested I still come to the window and sit by the ear of corn the same time daily.

Within a few weeks, the squirrel began staying longer as he became more comfortable with my presence. Ultimately, he sat and ate the corn right in front of me. I had remained very still not wanting to disturb his eating because for some unexplained reason, I knew the very essence of the squirrel and his needs beyond my logical mind. As I listened through silence, I heard and understood his language.

Read on it's well worth it
http://www.soulfulliving.com/sanctuary_stillness.htm

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Old 02-26-2010, 06:16 PM   #712
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may you begin to truly
walk in your beauty
may your heart sing in harmony
with the calling of your soul
may you feel all blessings
may you heal many
with your words and hands
may those around you
shine brighter for knowing you
may you walk with the angels
and may kindness and mercy
be ever on your lips

Gail Swanson

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Old 02-28-2010, 01:12 AM   #713
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The Trees

Divine energy showers upon and bathes the Standing Ones in the light, beauty and knowledge of all of heaven. Their arms open ever wide to give and to receive divine love for their branches reach most high unto heaven and their roots grow deep within the earth. There is much that they offer for never shall you know what beauty has been given when gazing upon or passing by an elder such as this. They offer their beauty, yes, and their towering strength. They stand as temples of the most holy, reveling in the songs of the winged ones, breathing in the majesty of heaven and of earth.

Their quiet majesty speaks. Their ancient wisdom offers. Their holy vow radiates. They are one with all.

Give and you shall receive. Offer a prayer of gratitude to these natural most ancient wonders, for it is not fully known the offering that they give. They stand as testimony to heaven and earth. They are eternal living portals of divine love and knowledge, embracing and communing with all. Raise your awareness beyond the treetops. Lift your faces and breathe in this wisdom, for the time is at hand to be one with all, to give and to receive, with every living being. Rest yourself upon her body. Nourish yourself beneath her arms. But as you receive, you must also give, for the time is at hand and the way is shown. Open your hearts and merge with the majesty of the Standing Ones who are one with all. For here and now all is expanded, here and now the truth stands tall as you awaken and live in conscious participation...as you awaken and live at one with all.

Gail Swanson

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Old 02-28-2010, 05:46 PM   #714
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:42 PM   #715
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudra View Post
PEOPLE OF MAGO AND OMO VALLIES.

Omo people on the border of the National park the lower Omo valley is home to a fascinating mixture of small contrasting tribal groups in Ethiopia. Their life styles are as varied as the people themselves are.

The Mago valley lies in one of the most culturally diverse areas in the whole of Africa where many elements of ancient nomadic life styles are still practiced just as they were centuries ago. Seeing these colorful people is a rare experience for people from urban cultures.

To the south east is a large ethnic group, the Hamer, who speak a south east Omotic language. They cultivate sorghum and millet in the hills east of the Mago valley and also keep large herds of cattle and goats. On the north east edge of the Mago valley are the Benna, closely related to the Hamer with many cultural similarities. The Hamer wears a variety of colorful ornaments and decorates their hair with colored mud.

At he south end of the Mago valley are small offshoot of the Hamer- the Karo. They cultivate the Omo riverbanks and keep flocks of goats and some cattle. The Karo are noted for their colorful body painting. Adjacent to the Karo, where the Mago joins the Omo, are an even smaller group, the Mugujil These people also cultivate sorghum along the river, and keep goats and hunt and fish.

read more here:
http://www.dakettaethiopia.com/attraction4.html











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I absolutely Love this. They are so beautiful.........
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:04 PM   #716
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love is in the air

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Old 03-01-2010, 08:36 PM   #717
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Originally Posted by mudra View Post




















"The spaces between your fingers were created so that another's could fill them in."
- Unknown

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Old 03-02-2010, 07:10 PM   #718
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:22 PM   #719
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:00 PM   #720
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:20 AM   #721
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by Didi Baev






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Old 03-06-2010, 05:53 PM   #722
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Thank you for adding to the beauty Oliver

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Old 03-06-2010, 05:57 PM   #723
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“I walk in beauty.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to say this to ourselves continuously as we walk through our days? Wouldn’t it make a wonderful affirmation? There is a well-known Navajo chant that offers this affirmation quite powerfully.

Beauty is before me and Beauty behind me.
Above me and below me hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it, I am immersed in it.
In my youth I am aware of it, and, in old age,
I shall walk quietly the beautiful trail.
In beauty, it is begun,
In beauty, it is ended.

I love this chant because for me it evokes the beauty of the Creative Spirit that pervades the beauty of the physical universe -- a beauty that is indeed above, below and all around us. Beauty is a great and sacred power. Its appeal upon us is direct and immediate. It can stop us in our tracks, take our breath away, render us speechless. Beauty can soothe us, ground us, heal us.

The ugliness which surrounds us, I believe, has its root in a certain kind of inner blindness. “If your eye is healthy, your body is full of light.”

f we look at the world through the eyes of fear, greed and delusion, we will come to see it in terms of our own self-interest, as this is most narrowly defined. We will be led to put our own comfort and security first, and ignore the impact we are having on the whole. We will see ugliness in the world around us, and, perhaps unwittingly, contribute to the ugliness as well.

We will not continuously and consistently walk in beauty, until we have recovered our inner, spiritual beauty.

Rev. Jonathan Mitchell


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Old 03-06-2010, 06:28 PM   #724
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Through our sense of truth we realise law in creation, and through our sense of beauty we realise harmony in the universe. When we recognise the law in nature we extend our mastery over physical forces and become powerful; when we recognise the law in our moral nature we attain mastery over self and become free. In like manner the more we comprehend the harmony in the physical world the more our life shares the gladness of creation, and our expression of beauty in art becomes more truly catholic. As we become conscious of the harmony in our soul, our apprehension of the blissfulness of the spirit of the world becomes universal, and the expression of beauty in our life moves in goodness and love towards the infinite. This is the ultimate object of our existence, that we must ever know that "beauty is truth, truth beauty"; we must realise the whole world in love, for love gives it birth, sustains it, and takes it back to its bosom. We must have that perfect emancipation of heart which gives us the power to stand at the innermost centre of things and have the taste of that fullness of disinterested joy which belongs to Brahma.

Read entire article:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/tagore/sadh/sadh09.htm

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Last edited by mudra; 03-06-2010 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:54 PM   #725
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