Monday, 30 April 2012

The wonder of little things

I believe it is not the main events that consume our time but the small, side line happenings that imprint their mark upon us; to be recalled with pleasure at a later date when recounting a tale. And so it is now as I reflect back upon my trip to South Africa.  A land of vastness in both geography, and social standards within its landsmen.

Whenever I support my guy in an Ironman (this time in Port Elizabeth) I like to take out some time for my own reflections, on where I stand in the play of events. 

The fascination of the ocean and the interplay of light when the sunrises, holds a special place in my soul.  My New Zealand blood pounds louder when the waves roll!  So for me it was natural to awaken at dawn each morning, stroll along the beachfront, ambling my way down to the seashore where I practiced Qigong Yangsheng with the rhythms of the sea Gods.  It is said that the patupaiarche (the Maori word for fairies/angels) sing with joy as the sun rises.  My own soul did just that as the first rays of light opened up to a new day.

Afterwards an acquired habit from living so long in Europe, drew me towards a small cafĂ© that offered the most perfect Italian macchiato in an elegant cup.  The second perfect pleasure of a morning - the first kiss of coffee upon ones lips.

The third part of my South African ritual was the warm, open face of a beautiful South African man who sat each morning on the broad-walk, singing Cat Stevens songs with the voice of an angel.  He had within him an inner sparkle that on the first time I saw him, brought me to share a smile with him.  He spoke softly like the blades of grass that bend to the breeze, extending a warm welcome to me in the words of his song.  We spoke of where I came from, how often he comes down to the seaside to play and why I was here.

Then this beautiful person did something that first day, that had tears building up behind my eyes and brought a lump to my throat.  He said he would pray to God for me so that I would experience only the warmth and love of the South African people, during my trip to his homeland and be held safe in the palm of his hand while doing so.  This man whom many would consider had nothing to give, gave me a priceless gift. Unconditional love.

The wonder of these three little things I embraced each morning in South Africa still leave me breathless at the beauty, simplicity and naturalness of their impact when you within the now.

Your Kourswhispers 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

How dangerous is religion

“How dangerous is religion? “ The other day while out driving, this sentence flashed before my eyes.  It was splashed upon a billboard, which hung at some distance above the drivers view.  Reaching towards heaven you might say!  I found the question would not let me go; always hovering upon the outer edges of my “being”.  It seemed that within each instance that followed I reacted with the environment around me in regards to this statement. 

Let me give you an example.  I came home and picked up our local church monthly magazine from the letterbox.  The leading commentary was from a known local journalist and long serving church council member.  In short her editorial went like this. Her niece gave her a gift, which was wrapped, beautifully in a small box.  As she handed over this gift she said that she had noticed her Aunts sadness in the last few weeks and felt she needed some comfort.  The Aunt noticed the niece’s Buddhists’ armbands and different symbolic necklaces on her person, as she gave her the gift.  The Aunt’s thoughts went in the direction “oh, yeah what has become of my niece whom I have tried so hard to guide in the correct godly direction?” Upon then opening the gift she gazed down on a delicate angel, held in the embrace of another angel lying in a cloth of silk.  Her niece then said, “Aunt I saw that you are at the moment so sad and thought that maybe knowing you always have an angel by your side, such as you believe, would help you feel a little more uplifted hence my gift to you”.  Her Aunts reaction was then: “Maybe what we taught her has not gone to waste in this goody too shoes Buddhism religion and she might still be brought back to the right way.” 

All I could think then was "No Way!"  What on earth has this Aunt been doing all her life?  Living the one and only “Way”!  To be so self centered.  To think that she has the only correct religion and not even see that her niece’s gift showed more compassion and acceptance of another human beings belief system, than her own narrow mindedness, had me fuming.

That is why religion is dangerous.  It at times doesn’t acknowledge that we are all spiritual beings with a right to live an abundant life of goodness, joy and love; along a set of guidelines that take into count our social and cultural differences. Many religions and its follower’s feel they alone know the only one and true way to follow.

Beads, prayer books or clocked attendance at church on Sundays does not make you a rightness person!  If there is a way to increasing your bank account for the after life, then it is not on how many souls you covert to your way of belief in my opinion, it is more on how you live a spiritual life now.

How do you embrace the neighbor that complains continuously about your fence and its slant or the driver before you who sits on 20kph within a 50pkh zone or the guest who demands instant attention while you are taking care of a neighboring table? Or your spouse whom finds the ordered system in the bathroom cupboards totally irrational or your child whom finds your view totally warped? Perhaps with a little bit of humor and a large dose of human sympathy and spirituality, which in many ways are the one and the same, I hope.

Living a spiritual life is for me acknowledging that every human being has a belief system that receives my acceptance because it is his or her way and means, for bringing each person to the only source that exists … LOVE!  All religions preach the same substance just with different slants.  Accept the fact we are in the same boat together; this planet is for all of us to exist upon until the day we die.  What happens then is any ones guess for we do not know but we have been guided within all the various religions to love thy neighbor as yourself.  So finally let us do that!

Whether the period of Easter is for you the Easter bunny, the resurrection of Jesus Christ or the Passover, most of all may it be a time when you realize that no belief system is a “goodie too shoes” religion.  It is only a metaphorical way of helping us to connect, to the source within, that created each and everything that ever existed, so we can embrace with love, compassion and care for one another, creating heaven upon earth now, not sometime in the future.

May you all experience a passionate, loving and spiritually uplifting Easter period.

Your Koruswhispers 

The Listener

The listener doesn’t need to hear For his soul is already attuned; To the sounds that encase him Like a blanket that fits, Snuggly over ...