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As many of you know, for years I have been leading women’s spiritual, self-empowerment, and conscious aging workshops. They began as Happiness Circles and transformed to Harmony Circles..Golden Light Circles…Peaceful Path Workshops and retreats for women…to A Peaceful Way gatherings.

The purpose of these ‘circles’ and ‘gatherings’ was to help women move beyond past hurts, to love themselves, to come into a place of wellness and peace. I used words such as holistic, wholeness, finding balancing, intuition, connecting with higher self, inner peace, chakra balancing, crystals, ‘finding your true or authentic self’ , consciousness, awakening, and conscious aging…compassion, forgiveness, mindfulness, reflection, gratitude, acceptance, being… wisdom…self.

At these programs and gatherings, many women who gathered over the years did transform.  I saw some who carried deep wounds from their past move into a place of forgiveness and love…for themselves and others.  Today, they are strong and have taken the ‘tools’ of transformation such as meditation and forgiveness and continue to use them as they face today’s challenging world.

This morning I am reflecting on what ‘tools’ do I need, what have I learned and practiced over the years, and what is my role in life as I move on in these ‘elder’ years.

A neighbour who is my age said to me ‘I am at the age where I don’t care what other people think’.  She’s a strong, bold woman and I wondered if she had ever cared what people think.  She is bright and intelligent and can speak about almost any topic!

For me, I am not really worried about what people think of me too…but I do care about what other people think about life and our world.  I still hold a vision of people caring and respecting one another. So if I truly love you…I care about how you feel and live.

But I also wonder if I have done enough in my life.  As a child I wanted to go to be a nurse in Africa.  I knew about the starvation and illness there.  I worked on fundraising committees for years for various organizations.  Then I began my Happiness circles and worked with local people and businesses to show a peaceful way to cope with the pressures of our western life. I adopted two children who are the joy of my life. They taught me unconditional love. But could I have done more?  Or a better question is what is my next step…

I am retired now and have many happy times with my husband.  I share meditations and Reiki with friends in my community. I help with horses at a local therapeutic horse riding centre.  I write poetry, my blog and Facebook, walk my dog, crochet and hook a rug that I have had for 20 years that is calling me to complete.  I dance Paneurthythmy in my family room during the winter months and on the Equinox in March will dance outside at a farm. I feel a sense of freedom and it is a great feeling.

All the words above…holistic to self, are blending together now. I am still curious about new things and am always evolving.  However the words ‘gratitude’ and ‘acceptance’ both have deeper meaning for me now.  As far as wisdom, perhaps I am wiser than I was…or is it that I am more accepting now of who I AM.

Enjoy your day and take time to reflect over your life.  Be honest about your past…your ups and downs. Be honest and accepting of your uniqueness and beautiful self!

Celebrate your invincible summer that is always within you!

Peacefully Jane

Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW
USUI Reiki Master
Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation
A Peaceful Way

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Valentine’s Day encourages us to share our love with our Beloved ones. It began as a day for lover’s to express their love (and the florist shops to sell roses and cards), but it has evolved into a day that brings the importance of taking time to tell others how much we love them and how important they are to us.

For my husband and I, it is still a ‘lovey’ day with cards and chocolates.  This morning 2e went to Georgian Bay where the sun was shining brightly on the icy banks along the shore and it was so beautiful.  We soaked up the beauty. Then we drove up Blue Mountain and out into the rolling countryside.

So Valentine’s Day is a day where we can express our love and be so grateful for our family and friends who share their love with us. It can also be a time for reflection and meditation.

 Would you like to try a simple meditation with me?

Meditating is a simple process.  It requires only a quiet place, concentration on your breathing, slow relaxation of all your muscles and allowing your mind to quiet.  If you like, play some quiet, soothing music.

As today is Valentine’s Day in your meditation visualize a beautiful pink flower and allow yourself to feel the love that the flower was sending to you.  Try this short meditation and fill your heart with love for yourself and for others. I will send some to you too!

Heart Flower Meditation

Begin by focusing on your breathing…in and out, in and out.  With each breath in and out, feel all the muscles in your body from your head to your toes begin to relax…more and more.  Allow your mind to quiet and allow yourself to drift into your heart space…deeper into your consciousness…a space of peace, love and stillness…see beautiful pink light…and a pink flower that slowly opens its petals and sends love to you…your heart fills with love…enjoy the present moment….listen…

 

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Poet’s have been writing about the power of love for centuries. Here’s is a moving poem about love by Attar..

Intoxicated by the wine of love
From each a mystic silence Love demands.
What do all seek so earnestly? ‘Tis Love.
What do they whisper to each other? Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts.
In Love no longer ‘thou’ and ‘I’ exist,
For Self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul,
Behold the Friend; Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds,
Will find the secret of them both, is Love

Farid ud Din Attar– translation Margaret Smith –

From “The Jawhar Al-Dhat  “

Attar was one of the Attar 1119 -1220 most ancient and highly revered poets of Persia. He inspired later Sufi poets, such as Rumi and Hafiz

Happy Love Day…May love fill your heart everyday.

Peacefully, Jane

cropped-jane2-469x640Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

Many who visit my blog enjoy reading poetry by Japanese poet Basho. Here is some information about him from Wikipedia.

Matsuo Basho (松尾 芭蕉, 1644–1694), born 松尾 金作, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa (松尾 忠右衛門 宗房),[2][3] was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan.

Portrait of Basho by Hkusai, late 18th century

During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no rengaform; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku (then called hokku). Matsuo Bashō’s poetry is internationally renowned; and, in Japan, many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites.

Although Bashō is justifiably famous in the West for his hokku, he himself believed his best work lay in leading and participating in renku. He is quoted as saying, “Many of my followers can write hokku as well as I can. Where I show who I really am is in linking haikai verses.”[4]

Bashō was introduced to poetry at a young age, and after integrating himself into the intellectual scene of Edo (modern Tokyo) he quickly became well known throughout Japan. He made a living as a teacher; but then renounced the social, urban life of the literary circles and was inclined to wander throughout the country, heading west, east, and far into the northern wilderness to gain inspiration for his writing.

basho A statute of Basho

His poems were influenced by his firsthand experience of the world around him, often encapsulating the feeling of a scene in a few simple elements.
even a horse

arrests my eyes—on this

snowy morrow [1684]

another year is gone

 

a traveler’s shade on my head,

straw sandals at my feet [1685]

 

an ancient pond

a frog jumps in

the splash of water [1686]

 

now then, let’s go out

to enjoy the snow … until

I slip and fall! [1688]

Jane’s Haiku

Here is a Haiku that the above haiku by Basho inspired after my morning walk in the snow!

Inner child’s call
Joy of heart’s true passion
Playing in the snow
Feb. 12, 2018
Jane Rosalea Brown

Have fun and try writing some Haiku.  Quiet your mind like you do when you meditate. Listen within and let the words flow.  Most Haiku in modern day.. 5 syllables…7 syllables..5 syllables (3 lines)  I loved to read them,

Peacefully, Jane

 

cropped-jane2-469x640Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

The Wisdom of Tea

tea pouring

Japanese Tea Ceremony – Chanoyu

The Japanese tea ceremony is a unique Japanese cultural tradition, which began in the 15th century. It has evolved over the centuries, and today there are many different styles and schools of tea in Japan. Despite the various styles and schools of tea, they all share the same philosophy, which has been shaped by its origins in Zen Buddhism. The guiding philosophy of the Japanese tea ceremony rests on these principles:  Wa – Harmony, Kei – Respect, Sei – Purity, and Jaku – Serenity. The Japanese tea ceremony, or Cha-no-yu, meaning “hot water for tea”, is more than an elaborate ritual. It is an interlude in which one leads oneself for the moment to the spirit of beauty, quietude, and politeness toward others. The ceremony may be practiced anywhere, at home or in a teahouse. Matcha: powdered green tea used exclusively in the tea ceremony.

There are 4 principles: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility

  • Harmony:with other people and with nature. The tea ceremony is the way of bringing one’s self into harmony with nature.
  • Respects:a harmonious relationship with others.
  • Purity:clean yourselves through the five senses – sense of hearing when hearing the sound of water(which remind one of the silence outside), sense of sight when see the flowers, sense of touch when touch the utensils, sense of smell when smell the scent of the flowers, sense of taste when drinking tea.
  • Tranquility to experience peace.

When the Zen monk Eisai brought tea seeds from China to Japan in the twelfth century, he also imported the following ten virtues of tea.                     

The Ten Virtues of Tea

It has the blessing of all deities.
It promotes filial piety.
It drives away evil spirits.
It banishes drowsiness.
It keeps the five internal organs in harmony.
It wards off disease.
It strengthens friendship.
It disciplines body and mind.
It destroys all passions.
It gives a peaceful death.

tea green

Please take time to watch this video- the tea pots are truly magnificent works of art!!

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=brilliant+kettle+designs

After watching this video, it inspired me to make a cup of tea – Chocolate Mint – Rooibos, peppermint and natural chocolate flavour – a lovely treat on a very snowy morning here in Meaford!  I thought of the 10 Virtues of Tea…no wonderful I like it so much!

tea winter

Enjoy a cup of tea today and here’s my winter Haiku poems for you!

morning snow falling

below  roots stir quietly

with spring’s rhythm

 

Winter stillness stirs

A restlessness to wander

On long winter trail

By Jane Rosalea Brown

Peacefully, Jane

Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

Ref: unknown, I found this on the internet years ago, I thank whoever shared this information and hope others will enjoy it too. Here is a lovely site that shares more about the Japanese Tea Ceremony http://www.teagenius.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1064:the-japanese-tea-ceremony-defining-japanese-culture&catid=10&Itemid=122

 

 

I saw this above video about Claude Monet’s home on Facebook this morning and thought you might like it too.

It led me to Wikipedia where I read about Monet’s early painting that he called ‘Impression, Sunrise’.

“Monet claimed that he titled the painting Impression, Sunrise due to his hazy painting style in his depiction of the subject: “They asked me for a title for the catalogue, it couldn’t really be taken for a view of Le Havre, and I said: ‘Put Impression.'” In addition to this explanation for the title of the work, art historian Paul Smith claims that Monet might have named the painting Impression to excuse his painting from accusations of being unfinished or lacking descriptive detail, but Monet received these criticisms regardless of the title.”

280px-Claude_Monet,_Impression,_soleil_levantImpression, Sunrise (French: Impression, soleil levant) is a painting by Claude Monet. Shown at what would later be known as the “Exhibition of the Impressionists” in April 1874, the painting is attributed to giving rise to the name of the Impressionist movement. Impression, Sunrise depicts the port of Le Havre, Monet’s hometown, and is his most famous painting of the harbor.

 

“Making an Impression”

I began thinking about the word ‘impression‘. I was taught as a child that it was important to ‘make a good impression’.  I think that led me to years of worrying about how I looked and what others thought about me.  The words still linger with me.  But one of the joys of being elder is that I am more concerned now about simply being me and enjoying life in a simpler way.  Aging forces us to decide how we are going to live our final years.  I’ve decided to live as best I can in the present moment to enjoy the blessings of each day and find something creative to do daily.

I no longer care what impression I make…well that’s not entirely true…I do want to leave you with an ‘impression’ that your life will be fulfilled if  you love who you are, be grateful for small things, and live in compassion for others and nature.  So I guess we all leave an ‘impression’ in some way with other each day.  I think we can also be mindful of what ‘impression’ are we creating for ourselves to observe and be mindful of our actions.

Monet found a new style of painting that rocked the art world along with other ‘Impressionist’ artists.  He did not stop creating because some did not like his style.  The natural world made a great impression on Monet and his paintings reflect his love and expression of its beauty.

This also led me to reflect on what things ‘impressed me’ or left an ‘impression’ that influenced my thoughts and feelings. When Monet used the word impression for his harbor painting, he was giving an idea of how the harbor appeared to him…like he was giving a hint about it rather than a clear view.  So perhaps some of the impressions I received in life didn’t give me a clear view.  Something I will think about in meditation…

 

 

Meditating with Monet’s Art

Meditate today while soaking in the beauty and wonder of Monet’s art as you view this wonderful video.  It is a fabulous collection of his works.  It is about an hour but enjoy as long as you desire.  Meditating with art is so relaxing and takes us away from our daily worries and into the artist’s ‘impressions’.

Enjoy…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfx1o-6UgzI

Have a peaceful, creative, and beautiful day,

Peacefully, Jane

cropped-jane2-469x640

Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

 

Rhythm of Life

The rhythm of life is a strange and mysterious575942_508152749241454_254876927_n thing. It has cycles with waves of unending energies that filter through to all life. Different vibrations..thunder, rain, sunlight, gentle wind..creating just what we all need to live on this wondrous place we call earth. There is the rhythm of our heart beat and all our organs and cells responds to vibrations of life energies.

Today I sat in meditation and listened to my heart’s rhythm and my pulse during my meditation. I hummed with it and chanted. I sent love and visualized sparkling light flowing through my cells. Then I stayed in the quietness and felt such gratefulness for my beating heart. I thought of the earth’s heart and how it never stops loving, in spite of what we are doing to her. I felt my heart connecting with all hearts who share this earth with me. I felt a gentle rhythm, energy of love flowing through me. My mind and body relaxed and I felt connected…to my soul..to the mysterious rhythm called life. How grateful I am to be part of this creative mystery, this evolving planet, and to be here in this moment to experience all its gifts.

It is not surprising that indigenous people like the Celts felt a deep connection with the ‘spirits’ of nature. Ancients societies honoured Mother Earth as the earth provides everything we need to live. But we seem to have lost our natural connection with Mother Earth as our societies become more technically advanced. We have forgotten that the ancient rhythms, the ancient beat and healing vibrations of the earth are still present. We need Mother Earth’s nurturing and protection, as all life has always needed. It is time to honour and care for her so our children and grandchildren can swim in the seas and run in the fields and play in the forests…

Rhythm of Life

The rhythm goes on, the unending
Wave, a pulse that seems to keep
Everything evolving, in spite of
Our unknowing, we move with it
Growing in our uniqueness
Jane Rosalea Brown, January 2018

Peacefully, Jane

cropped-jane2-469x640

Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

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Happy Robby Burn’s Day to all my Scottish family and friends,

Here is a beautiful video of the song “My love is like a red, red rose” sung so beautifully by Eva Cassidy. I lovingly dedicated this song to my husband, Ian who was born in Scotland.  It is one of my favourite songs and Eva’s voice adds to its sweetness.

Eva Cassidy – My Love is like a red, red rose”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e0D_B0tdc0

I also have sweet memories of my father quoting Robby Burns and singing this song to my mother. Ian’s father sang it to his mother.

The lyrics of the song by Robby Burns are simple but effective. “My luve’s like a red, red rose/That’s newly sprung in June” describe a love that is both fresh and long lasting. David Daiches in his work describes Burns as “the greatest songwriter Britain has produced” for his work in refurbishing and improving traditional Scots songs including “Red, Red Rose” which he described as a “combination of tenderness and swagger.”

nice-morning-flower-picture-for-facebook-3-a7f22

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June;

O my Luve’s like the melodie

That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in luve am I:

And I will luve thee still, my dear,

Till a’ the seas gang dry:
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:

I will luve thee still, my dear, W

hile the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee well, my only Luve And fare thee well, a while!

And I will come again, my Luve,

Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Here’s a link to more Burns’ poetry: https://www.scotland.org/events/burns-night/the-poetry-of-robert-burns

Have a bonny day,

Jane

 

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