Tag Archives: Spirituality

Contemplative Sojourn

Greetings from the blogger here at Unborn Mind Zen

It’s that annual-junction wherein my time apart from active blogging begins. Since my last contemplative sojourn a lot of new material has been blogged: the Diamond, Heart, Platform, and the Surangama Sutras have been covered. Series on the Zen Masters Huang Po and Bankei have been offered, along with the beginning of a perpetual-series on the Wisdom from the Masters. Teachings from Tozen have been added as well. This last blogging-season began last August with a singular series entitled, “The Lankavatarian Book of the Dead”, exploring in-depth the nature of the six “Bardo Realms” that also encapsulated a breakdown of the Five Wisdom Tathāgatas, or the Five Dhyani Buddhas; this provided a foundation for the Noble Ascent through the Ten Tathatic-stages of Mind Development, designed to better help navigate the final Bardo-stages of the Dharmatā thus avoiding the latter stages of Re-becoming or Rebirth. read more

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Living attuned to the undivided bodhipower of the Unborn Mind and Spirit is a matter of proper balance—of attuning oneself to the inner spiritual equilibrium that determines a healthy and well-managed lifestyle. The two previous posts focused on what it’s like when this vital equilibrium is absent—and that is imbalance. We know what it’s like when the material world runs headstrong into the natural world; we know what it’s like within ourselves when we focus too much on our head to the neglect of our heart…and vice versa—when the emotions run amok and completely submerge our rational thinking. One of the best exposes on this can be found in Colin Wilson’s classic work, The Outsider…in particular his chapter on Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Each brother represents one aspect of the human and spiritual dimension—for instance, Ivan represents the Intellect, while the younger brother, Alyosha, depicts the more emotive, religious temperament. Wilson’s work is a marvelous case study in the psychological, philosophical and spiritual dimensions of what constitutes the holistic development of man. read more

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A Healing Muse

When one thinks of “Healing Music”, the one piece that immediately comes to mind is Mike Rowland’s, The Fairy Ring—composed circa 1982. The story behind Mike’s inspiration for this composition revolves around a little walk he took one day in the forest and suddenly encountered an ethereal melody that seemed to appear out of nowhere…a gentle, humble melody that permeated his being. Arriving back in his home, Mike recorded the music to the best of his recollection; he then distributed copies of the recording to his friends and later sold them in local stores. Soon afterwards, The Fairy Ring became the best-selling New Age composition of all time; I mention “New Age” because that was the category it sold under for many years, but since those early years in the 1980’s The Fairy Ring defies any one classification—indeed, it encompasses many musical genres—including meditation and classical. I believe that Mike Rowland was inspired that day in the forest by a Sacred Healing Muse, because although delightfully meditational in spirit, the music has been a source of healing for thousands of people over the years. I’ll always remember The Fairy Ring with a special fondness as I once loaned it to a married middle-aged couple I was counseling back in late 1988; they had just experienced a miscarriage and were completely devastated. Mike’s music offered them much needed solace and they were soon comforted by those magical, soothing and healing notes. The Fairy Ring is not a high-tech polished creation—in fact the strings appear at times to overwhelm Mike’s piano—I deduce that he used an early Kurzweil Synthesizer; but it doesn’t matter—the elegant simplicity of the melody seems to gently reach out and give you a loving, healing embrace. Truly this shows that the pure-stuff of Spirit doesn’t have to be a neatly packaged Madison Ave production. Personally, I never tire of The Fairy Ring—playing it over and over again induces an aura of healing, peace and wholeness. read more

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As the dying embers of 2011 fade away into the rising horizon of January and the increasing frigid temperatures experienced in northern climes, it is a good opportunity to turn-about from all the crazed excessiveness of the holiday turmoil and just gently settle-in to the contemplative dimension that Winter Stillness can offer, namely Solitude itself. Usually when one considers solitude, images of locations that offer seclusion and solace from all sensory stimulations—like monasteries, temples, retreat centers, a mountain escape—immediately come to mind that define the exact parameters of what constitutes solitude. Having experienced such “retreat” locations in the past—for many years I frequented a Carmelite House of Prayer that was neatly nestled in the majestic mountains of New Hampshire—I can say with certainty that it was good and healthy and spiritually nourishing to frequent this setting from time to time to relish in the quietude it so graciously offered; yet, what about the other 99% of the time—is solitude necessarily defined by a location? read more

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Prior to Christmas

Throughout Christendom the great feast of the Incarnation highlights again and again the early infancy narratives found within the gospels of Matthew and Luke, narratives that focus on the birth of the Christ-child, the Prince of Peace. It’s interesting to note that there are numerous parallels within many spiritual traditions throughout the millennia that speak of a miraculous birth of a long-awaited Messiah, most notably within many Pagan motifs like the one describing how the Egyptian Deity Horus was miraculously conceived of the virgin-Goddess Isis, who later fled to an isolated location to give birth since someone desired the death of her child. In fact, December 25th was chosen in antiquity for Christ’s birth since it coincided with the birth of the Sun-god, Sol Invictus; a reminder that the long days of darkness were now being supplanted with the slow return of the Light. read more

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