Mind Is Time: By Dr. Suryanarayana Raju

All doing involves change and change requires some duration of time.

Change means going from one event to another and the interval between the two events is time. We can experience action or doing only in the flow of time projected by the mind from past to the future bypassing the present moment.

If we are caught in network of time, it is certain that we are missing the present. Continue reading

Personal Enlightenment? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Pictures in this article are by long term HarshaSatsangh member Alan Larus from his website at http://www.ferryfee.com/.

The Self as Satyam-Shivam-Sundram (Truth, Consciousness, Beauty)

The spiritual path is difficult from one perspective because the Self, the ultimate Reality that we are, is not clear to us as individuals. Some people say that Enlightenment is not personal. That is just a fashion statement.

Enlightenment is as personal as it gets. The Self is both personal and impersonal. It is personal because it is you. How can it be any more personal? It is impersonal because its existence (your ultimate nature) is not dependent on time and space bound relationships.

As a mind/body, we are subject to the whims of nature and circumstances (karma). This clouds the understanding of our essential nature. So the teacher or a friend whom we trust is needed to tell us that our nature is not that of the body.

Suffering is natural to the body because it is subject to physical forces. When the sages use the word body, they include the mind. The mental body is also a body but more subtle, made up of more subtle matter, but still matter. If we believe our Self to be the body, the inevitable changes in the body will be a source of fear and anxiety.

So the Body is one thing and the Atman (Soul or Self) is another. The mind/body complex is always subject to change, old age, illness, and suffering at some level. The Atman, who we are, though appearing to be related to the body, is untouched by these.

Bhagavan Krishna, in fact, points this out to Arjuna in the classic Hindu scripture, The Bhagavad-Gita.

Sri Krishna states:

“The Atma is neither born nor does it die at any time, nor having been it will cease to exist again. It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval. The Atma is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.” (2.20)

“Just as a person puts on new garments after discarding the old ones, similarly Atma acquires new bodies after casting away the old bodies.” (2.22)

“Weapons do not cut this Atma, fire does not burn it, water does not make it wet, and the wind does not make it dry.” (2.23).

If we fully understand this dualism, we will not have to struggle to understand nondualism.

Nondualism or Advaita (in Sanskrit) is not an understanding but our essential nature.

The nature of Atman is nondual because Atman is “Being-Awareness” resting in its own nature without any external support. Atman is not free, there being nothing to free itself from. Its very nature is that of absolute freedom.

We cannot conclude this logically but only by Being That. In Self-Realization, Knowing the Self is Being the Self. This Knowing transcends logic, because all distinctions cease. Logic needs duality in order to function. Duality ceases through Self-Knowledge alone.

If you know the Self, what does it mean? You cannot know the Self as an object. You are the Self. Therefore, it is always the Self knowing It Self. The mind cannot fully grasp this unless it has become transparent and fully saturated in the Self, where it knows that it is only the Self knowing itself through It Self.

Maharishi Patanjali says the same thing about the nature of the Self in his yogic classic “Patanjali Sutras”. Ultimately, the Seer rests in His Own Nature. That is the highest Samadhi. Self is Samadhi. Self is Nirvikalpa, beyond imagination and thought. Self is Sahaj or natural and always visible to itself as pure being despite imagination and thought. In Self, Seeing and Being are the same.

In Hinduism, the Reality is often referred to as Satyam-Shivam-Sundram. Truth-Consciousness-Beauty. That which is of the nature of the ultimate truth, pure consciousness, and the essence of beauty is the Self. One’s own Self.

It is of such overwhelming beauty because the devotee who worships the God or the Self with all love and might and with desperation suddenly realizes that the devotee and God are in essence identical. The seeker had been looking for something that constituted the core of his/her very own Being and Existence. God being infinite leaves no room for the devotee as a separate person to exist. That is Grace. That is Advaita. Imagine the shock!

First the shock, and then the smile. Of course, how could it be anything else? The Lord always sits in our Heart as our own Heart. Where else can we find the mystery of existence and our own reality except in our own Heart.

This Realization is one of supreme beauty. The one that you had been longing for has been here all along as your own Self.

That is why I say that Self is Absolutely Personal! Self is empty of all concepts. Its nature is that of completion that is devoid of all longing. Its nature is that of utter fullness that has no where to flow out to, nothing to see, nothing to be. That is why Self is also Impersonal!

Because the Self is One without a second, upon Realization, we see that both Personal and Impersonal are identical in the Self. There is no difference. That is nonduality. That is Advaita.

How can we describe the Self with mind as our tool? We can do so by our experience of this state and through the abidance of the mind in the Heart. The ancients called the Self “Sat-Chit-Ananda”. Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, as one complete Whole with no parts.

It has no basis for comparison and no reference point. By inference, we can say that it is the essence of beauty and bliss. To Know It Is To Be It. In this very moment, you are the That!

The Guru Came As Ramu – Conclusion: By Michael Bowes

Michael Bowes is well known to us as an authentic and genuine and a very experienced yogi and a devotee of Sri Bhagavan Ramana. Internationally, he is well travelled and has been to India. He has visited various Ashrams and Gurus and Swamis in both the U.S. and abroad.Michael has an uncanny ability to see to the heart of the matter and his spiritual insights pierce through the veils of sentimentality and conceptual baggage. Michael is a long term member of the HarshaSatsangh community and his presence has been a gift.

Given below is the conclusion of a three part story from Michael about his visit to a Swami in India.

You can see Part I at the following link. https://luthar.com/2006/01/page/2/
Part II is at https://luthar.com/2006/01/

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By Sri Michael Bowes

In the first two parts of this story, I related some events that occurred during my association with a certain Swami. In part one, I told about the coming of a starving dog named Ramu, and how his presence began to unravel the Swami’s fragile facade. I wrote of the Swami’s callous statements that he made after Govindan’s wife, Mother, offered her heartfelt thanks for a small gift that I had given her.

I had planned to reveal more of the shameful actions of this Swami who initially had seemed to be a blazing spiritual light. But I realized that I cannot.

There are many blind guides in all religions and sects, persons who misuse their followers either intentionally or unintentionally. And there are many persons of faith who should carefully consider where they place their trust. And that is the question – In whom or in what may we trust?

We can trust in the ONE who sent Ramu to help me. Before I met this particular Swami, I already knew that the true Guru is always radiating grace through a myriad of ways, always guiding us through all beings and events. There is one immortal Being, unborn and undying, always providing the necessary grace to help us to recognize our own true nature. That is the message that I want to convey.

The surest spiritual path for one and all is to awaken to the love and grace of the sadguru. The Sanskrit word “sadguru” means different things to different people. Sadguru is a combination of two Sanskrit words, “sat” and “guru”. The basic meaning of “sat” is existence. It is also translated as “truth” because there is no truth apart from what exists. Of course the word “guru” is usually not translated; but refers to a spiritual guide or teacher. Some persons interpret the word “sadguru” to mean the “true guru”. But I interpret the word to convey the fact that all existence (sat) is the guru.

That is my experience.

The longer I live this life, the more I see that nothing whatsoever exists except for love, and bliss, and unimaginable communion with the sadguru as it manifests as all that we encounter. The wise spiritual aspirant will trust in the ever present sadguru and will not blindly follow any other guide.

Once I had been associating with a certain spiritual group for quite some time. I had benefited immensely from my exposure to their guru. I had developed close friendships with some of the members of the group, including the president of the organization. Occasionally, some of the members of the group would try to convince me to take initiation from their guru.

One day, my friend, the president, also tried to convince me to take initiation. He was trying to impress me with the necessity of accepting a spiritual authority. He was implying that his guru was such an authority.

He asked me, “Who is the final authority?” Suddenly, without consideration, I answered, “Me”. “I am my own final authority.”

It goes without saying. I am responsible for my own life and my own decisions. If I want to consider making a choice between different spiritual paths or spiritual teachers, I then become the ultimate authority. So do you. It’s easy to see. The buck stops with our own self, which is the same as the self of all.

But we don’t ever really need to decide between one teacher or another. The surest, most effective means to truth and happiness is to invoke the true guru, the ever present guru, which is the same as one’s own self.

When one makes that connection then there’s no doubt about the path or the method. After receiving initiation from the sadguru no spiritual or philosophical questions about life arise because life is revealed as a mysterious, blissful and wonderful existence for which there is no explanation.

Then there is nothing to accept and nothing to reject. After the touch of the sadguru one becomes free by always residing in the presence of the sacred ONE and its fantastic and mysterious manifestation.

The Guru Came As Ramu- Part II: By Michael Bowes

Michael Bowes is well known to us as an authentic and genuine and a very experienced yogi and a devotee of Sri Bhagavan Ramana. Internationally, he is well travelled and has been to India. He has visited various Ashrams and Gurus and Swamis in both the U.S. and abroad.

Michael has an uncanny ability to see to the heart of the matter and his spiritual insights pierce through the veils of sentimentality and conceptual baggage. Michael is a long term member of the HarshaSatsangh community and his presence has been a gift.

Given below is the second part of a three part story from Michael about his visit to a Swami in India. This is Part II.

You can see Part I at the following link.

https://luthar.com/2006/01/page/2/

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By Sri Michael Bowes

Many persons would love to meet their guru. Imagine meeting a Swami of the Shankara Order who was exuding peace, love, and siddhis. Imagine an unknown Swami who, on his first trip to the West attracted a very large following in a very short time. Many persons were convinced that the Swami was an exceptional spiritual beacon. A letter came inviting me to India.

Thinking that I had met a true guru, a person who seemed to be surrounded by mystical events, I traveled to the other side of the earth to be with him in India. But after being there for a short time, and through the grace of the guru, I had already become wary.

The Ashram was situated on a quiet, peaceful farm in South India. The farm was owned by Govindan and his family. There was Mother, his wife, and there were daughter and son. I never got their names – they were Mother and daughter and son.

Govindan had a nice room with a bed and a desk and some chairs. There was a ceiling fan and he had a water purifier there. I would often go there and visit. Mother lived in the kitchen. She slept on a mat on the bare concrete floor. I never did find out where daughter and son slept; but I think that it might have been in the cowshed.

Mother and daughter cooked for us on a wood fire. Sometimes there were many persons there. The food was great. In part one, I mentioned that Govindan, and Shyam and I went to Ramana Ashrama and some other locations; but before we did, I wanted to give Mother a small gift. I also wanted to give something to daughter. I had already given a significant sum to Govindan because they were feeding me and giving me a nice place to stay.

Mother didn’t want to take the money, so I had to leave it on the floor in the kitchen. I also left some money for daughter and then Govindan, Shyam and I left for Tamil Nadu. A couple days after our return, and after the grace of Ramu, the Swami’s attendant called me to his room. Swami was just finishing the morning puja when I walked in. Mother and daughter were there along with some others.

The Swami welcomed me and I paid my respects to all. Mother and daughter were standing and the Swami was seated near the shrine. Swami said, “Mother has something to tell you.” I looked at Mother and her eyes revealed the depth of her emotion. The Swami spoke and said, “Mother wants you to know that she used the money that you gave her and bought these earrings. I have blessed these earrings, and Mother wants me to give these earrings to you and then she wants you to hand the earrings to her.”

I was overjoyed. The Swami placed these teeney, tiny, gold and diamond earrings on a flower, and handed them to me. Then I handed the flower with the earrings to Mother. Mother put them in her ears immediately and she was nearly shining. Daughter had bought a gold nose-pin with her money and so the same process was repeated for daughter. She also seemed quite happy. It was fun for me.

Then Swami said, “Mother has something else to tell you.” I looked at Mother and it seemed that she was about to cry. Swami said, “Mother wants you to know that no one has ever done such a wonderful thing for her. Mother says that men have always cursed her and abused her. Mother says that this is the best thing that has ever happened to her.”

I was stunned. I looked at Mother and I’ll never forget the look on her face. Suddenly I realized – they don’t say her name. She lives on the concrete floor in this primitive kitchen. She and daughter don’t even eat with us. She got this little bit of money and she wants me to know that this is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to her. I was shocked. I could barely believe this. I can’t begin to explain how I felt.

As everyone was leaving, the Swami asked me to stay. I was really, really sad. I sat down next to him and he said: “Michael, don’t give these people anymore money.” If you want to give someone money, give it to me.”

My very limited patience began to wear thin. I tried to explain that I had given Mother and daughter just a little bit of money and that I gave money to Govindan because he had built a room and was feeding me and everything. Swami said, “Govindan is a retired railway station master. He gets Rupees 1800 every month. Don’t give them any money. If you want to give money, give it to me.” He went on to say that he had some kind of trust set up and that he already had $700 and that everything was all worked out. I told him that I understood, bowed and left the room. I knew that I needed to get away from this Swami; but I couldn’t go home just yet…

Where Did the Ten Pounds of Flesh Go? By Antoine Carre

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About seven years ago, I went to bed one night after an ordinary day, only to wake up two hours later with ten pounds less on my body. This represented 5.4% of my initial weight. I did not urinate, defecate or vomit during that two hour sleep period. Perspiration was normal. So where did the ten pounds of flesh go?

Science has no explanation for it. In some extreme cases, the flesh-eating bacteria may cause such a loss in such a small period of time. The flesh-eating bacteria simply transform the flesh into scrap. But I didn’t have these bacteria; there was no scrap, my body was intact. I simply lost ten pounds of weight, while sleeping, in less than two hours. Where did it vanish? Go wonder…

The next day, just to play it safe, I went for a medical exam, knowing my life was not in danger (at that point in the morning). Except for the ten missing pounds, and this look of death I had on my face, all was OK, according the generalist doctor.

From a more subjective point of view, here is a bit more of what led up the ten pounds weight loss. During that period I was exploring, and pushing, for fun, the programming done in deep sleep, mostly in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) states. In those two hours of sleep, the elephant of my waking consciousness was going to walk on the so-subtle world of the ants. My waking consciousness was going to try to have a dialogue with the unconscious life of my individual cells. (Still laughing at myself here.)

During that same period, I had been exploring ways to merge with others on the body level from a distance–mostly with my beloved of that period, with whom the “tuning” was deeper than our consciousness was aware. And there was the remaining influence felt from Wing Chun Kung Fu, which worked deeply with the power of attention and the body on many levels.

So that night I went to bed, allowing, as I had been doing for a year then, for all the cells of my body to resonate with those of another person, living on the other side of the continent. I got more and more attuned to that person, knowing when she was sad, happy, healthy, or less healthy, etc. Not just knowing—literally feeling.

The problem, that night, was that the person with whom I got attuned had gone into a focused meditation with someone else. I did not know this would happen so I did not retract my attention from merging with someone else, before going to sleep.

My body was not as well-attuned on a cell level to that of the third person involved. It’s then that what happened, happened. I woke up in a dream inside the REM state, my body completely paralyzed. And from that state of consciousness, I could watch the conflict occur on the DNA vibration level, meeting another one with which I was not in tune. I lost ten pounds–pfffff!—it simply vanished into thin air. Not in a few hours, but in a few seconds. The act of my day-to-day consciousness looking at the DNA vibration of the cells brought this on almost instantly. On the objective side, I know I weighed ten pounds more before going to sleep than when I woke up. My scales were there to testify to it. But on the subjective level, I am sure they were lost just in the few seconds of waking up.

With a great inner struggle, I was able to come out of the paralyzed state in Rapid Eye Movement, which stopped the process of ‘disintegration’ (I never could think of a Name for that experience). To give an image, I felt as if I was caught in a completely sealed room, with the energy inside equivalent to a nuclear reaction. Each cell of the body felt as if it wanted to burst open, liberating all its energy.

Waking up, I had to go deep within to stop this process of disintegration. I had to find a deep calm within, behind the cells, behind the atomic structure, behind my body-mind, to show it the peace of a night sky, with no super nova in it.

Maybe this process of body ‘disintegration’ is tied to the process used in the story of Jesus or Milarepa after their death, when they dissolve their body in thin air. I don’t really know. And I don’t seek to understand it, really. Maybe it’s tied to Shri Aurobindo saying someplace, something like, “the ego of humankind is opening faster and faster, but gradually and integrally. Yet just open the ego of a cell and it will explode.”

It took me two months to regain my normal weight. Since then, I stopped merging with others over distance. I learned to respect the ego-body of each. I also learned, from experimenting with it, that the body is just a projection of the mind. A nice one, I might say, a divine temple, but a projection nonetheless.

Humbly,

Antoine


Text edited by Jill Eggers.




Mazie Lane responds…Hey, Where’d I Go?

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Dearest Antoine,

This strange and unbelievable phenomenon happened to me and my body, too, back in the mid-eighties. I was at a get-together of the Self-Realization Fellowship devotees, disciples and students of Paramahansa Yogananda, my Gurudeva.

I was about twenty or more pounds over-weight at the time, that being about 142 pounds. The day was normal-I ate normally, acted normally; in other words, nothing un-normal happened that would lead me to suspect something like this was about to happen.

Of course, there were the deep meditations, the kirtans and the lectures, and the also the films preserved of Yoganandaji in them, but that was not unusual for me.

I went to bed that night in the hotel room, a room I shared with a friend from France, Enid Moine who lived at the time in Poitiers. When I awoke, something “felt” different, I felt, well, lighter. I could not believe my eyes nor my hands touching and exploring and saying, “Hey, where’d I go?”

Where I did go was to the floor with the gym and I weighed in. What astonishment, even after realizing that something was entirely different… seeing by the numbers right before my eyeballs bugging out – I had lost overnight while sleeping, over twenty pounds. I am seriously telling you that this is exactly what happened.

Thanks, Antoine, for bringing this up and recalling back to my mind, the same kind of weird and wonderful experience with body/mind bringing out the stops and somehow, wow, just dissolving it.

Love,

Mazie

Antoine Carre has been a member of HarshaSatsangh for many years. He lives in Canada. You can find his website at http://www3.sympatico.ca/antoine.carre/

“All spiritual teachings are only meant to make us retrace our steps to our Original Source.” From The Essential teachings of Ramana Maharshi, A visual Journey.
http://www3.sympatico.ca/antoine.carre/maharshi.htm

Click here for Mazie Lane’s Photography and bio.

What is the Nature of Light? By Joyce Know_Mystery

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A few years ago, I had a damaged heart and was about to have a stent implanted during cardiac catheterization. At the time I was enrolled in a study of a new treatment to prevent arteries from closing up after surgery (as they so often tend to do) at Mass General Hospital. The new process used a tiny probe with a tiny laser threaded into the heart to do this.

I did a lot of research about heart damage and treatment options and alternatives to the surgery before agreeing to participate. I learned that not a lot of research had been done using women, and the statistics showed that successful outcomes for women were significantly worse than those for men.

Men experience heart symptoms at a younger age than do women, and when women have symptoms, they are often of a different sort. Doctors often don’t consider heart disease when women’s symptoms first occur, which means that women are often initially given the wrong diagnosis and the wrong treatment.

While our spiritual heart is infinite in size, and boundless, women’s physical hearts are significantly smaller than men’s (unless they have become enlarged from disease). The surgical instruments have been designed for use on the larger male hearts and circulatory system, and that may also have a bearing on the poorer outcomes for women and children.

Before concluding that the surgery was necessary, the doctors did many tests – from EKG to echocardiogram to thallium nuclear imaging (cardiac SPECT) to stress tests (which they had to stop when abnormal EKG signs showed up), and others over a period of many weeks. The assorted tests were done by different doctors – not just from one medical practice – and they all showed significant artery damage (and a small valve problem).The language on the results of the thallium SPECT scan used the word “massive” to describe the effects of the blockage. All the doctors interpreting the tests agreed that surgery was necessary. I obtained second and third and fourth opinions.

So there I was – the research showed worse outcomes for women and a significant chance that even with a stent the artery would close up again and it would need to be removed and replaced in time – sometimes as early as 6 months. And the research also showed that an inadequate amount of information was available on women’s heart disease and treatment because most of the research had been done on men. And there I was, with all of these Harvard doctors saying there was no choice for me but to have the surgery. And there I was reading about the possible complications – the worst being an adverse cardiac event, a euphemism for sudden death in the consent forms to enroll for the test of the new procedure.

For me, the decision was pretty straightforward – I decided to go ahead and participate in the experimental trial of the cardiac cath with laser light, despite the risks.

Why?

It was an opportunity to serve other women. It was an opportunity to contribute whatever my heart would tell them to the body of research into heart disease… to do “something” about the fact that the bulk of the research involves the male heart by adding my heart to their studies.

I remember the first time I saw a laser demonstration years ago. One night, I watched as they aimed a laser beam from a big laser in our high school parking lot out across the highway to a target on a hill a mile away. And now they are aiming laser beams from within the arteries of our hearts, using the focused light to heal.

I did a quick search on BrainBoost to find out when lasers were invented. What I found was this:

1958: Arthur L. Schawlow and Charles H. Townes invent the laser, then publish “Infrared and Optical Masers” in the American Physical Society’s Physical Review. The paper describes the basic principles of the laser, initiating this new scientific field.”

In 1958, lasers were considered “a new scientific field”, and now they are accepted, taken for granted and used widely. Before1958, if someone said that one day doctors could thread a wire with a healing light beam from an incision in your groin up into your heart … would anyone have believed them?

About the outcome of that cardiac adventure? I am still here. In fact, I have a healthy heart – only a couple of electrical problems, but no coronary artery disease today.

And this is a true story:

The day of the surgery, I was all prepped and waiting my turn there on the gurney in the catacombs underneath Mass General, electrodes all over, watching the EKG monitor and the pattern of the green lines and meditating to maintain calm. I was focusing on the idea of “the incredible healingness of light” – it had been a sort of mantra I used for a couple of weeks before then, and I had written about it in my journal letters.

After a while, an intense heat erupted from deep within and I could feel an enormous glowing in my chest, around my heart. There was a profound flushing sensation unlike any I have experienced before or since and my skin from my face to my torso turned bright red, as though I had been exposed to direct sunlight for hours and had a bad sunburn.

The doctors and nurses gathered around and looked at my skin so red and so hot and said “no surgery for you” until whatever is going on stops. That was in the morning. They kept me there and watched. And I kept on with the mantra.

By around 3:30 that afternoon, my skin color was back to normal and they again prepped me for the procedure and wheeled me into the OR. They turned on the overhead monitor – like an old fashioned black and white CRT for a computer – so I could watch. They gave me some morphine for the pain but no sedation. They injected a dye so the circulatory system inside the heart could be seen and then threaded the guide wire up into my heart from a tiny incision in my groin. I watched the wire snaking it’s way up through my upper chest and then into my heart.

And there on the overhead monitor, the two doctors and I saw it at the same time – a healthy heart… no blockages at all, no clogged arteries.

There are things that I have experienced in life that I believe show traces of the hand of God and the beauty and mystery of the universe. Giving birth to my daughter. The sense of connection with “all that is” that I have known standing on the hill watching meteors. Staring eye to eye with that beautiful grey heron last month. And looking inside my own beating heart on that monitor…

So what happened? How could a heart which was diagnosed with a massive blockage suddenly appear healthy and whole? Was the initial diagnosis wrong? We’ve all looked at this.

The fact is that ALL of the standard diagnostic tests pointed to the same thing. It would be easy to say it was a misdiagnosis if one or two of the tests were wrong, but what are the odds that ALL of them were wrong?

The fact is that ALL of the tests were performed over a series of several weeks. If they had all been performed at around the same time, maybe some sort of transient condition had happened and then resolved itself. But what are the odds that separate tests performed over an extended time period and consistently reflecting the same results are ALL wrong?

The fact is that ALL of the tests were performed by different physicians at different facilities and none of them had been informed of the results of any of the other tests by their colleagues, so they could not have been influenced by each other’s diagnoses. My primary care doctor coordinated the assorted tests. What are the odds that doctors at different facilities working independently came up with the same results and they were ALL wrong?

The doctors never did come up with an explanation for how they ALL could have been mistaken. I don’t think they were mistaken, myself. I saw the test results – the EKG strips while they were being done and also afterwards. I saw the images from the echocardiogram. I saw the pics from the nuclear SPECT test. And so did all the doctors afterwards. What we saw there appeared to be real and present.

What do I think explained the suddenly healthy state of my heart? I think it is this: “the incredible healingness of light.”

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joyce know_mystery is an activist and poet and nature photographer. She is a contributing editor to NDHighlights, and some of her poetry and photos can be found on the Deep_Well forum. She is frequently in residence on the HolyGeek forum, home of Spiritual Computing. She has been a practitioner of Vipassana meditation since the early 80s and experienced a profound epiphany in 1983. An admitted astronomy geek, she has said about watching meteor showers “I’m a sucker for the moon and the stars…At moments like that, I’m inevitably drawn to thoughts of people throughout the ages staring heavenward at the mystery unfolding. I feel irrevocably connected with the universe in a way more profound than any religious experience inside any church building.” She lives near Boston, where she works in publishing and talks with the herons and hawks and other things with wings.

Photographs courtesy of Joyce Sweinberg

A Meeting On A Forest Road: By Mazie Lane

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When I was ten years old, arthritis presented in my life and has remained my constant companion since. Not long after I became ill, my father, who worked for the state in the field of agriculture, was out on the road surveying orchards in Butte County. He had stopped by a river to eat his lunch and he settled down under a tree with a heavy heart, for he carried the Heartbreaking burden of a father who had to watch his Beloved child endure endless pain and a constant, relentless destruction of the body through joint deteriorization. He felt helpless in a way that might be rightly understood if one has ever had or has a child who is stricken with a catastrophic illness.

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