Book Review: Earth Tree – An Anthology of Poems

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EARTH TREE – An Anthology of Poems
by Dawn McKenzie

Copies are available from Dawn McKenzie
Email: Leafspr8@xtra.co.nz
$NZ20 + postage

Natures riches, blended knowingly with elemental cycles, with spiritual beliefs, set within the magical land that is Aotearoa, this poetry captures it all. Readers are transported by the imagery created, born of Dawn’s life experience and deep understanding of the connection between all life forces. Delightful drawings of the branches and leaves the trees featured are sprinkled throughout the text, enriching the verse still further. ‘Earth Tree’ is a must have collection of poetry for both those who understand well our dependence and empathy with our planet and also for those who desire to discover it.

“She knows the cycles
Daybreak to sundown,
The seasons –
Beltane’s buds to winter bareness.
She knows the creative cycles,
The birds in her branches
Nest, fly,
and make their homes in her boughs.”

~Les

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Book Review: Awareness – A De Mello Spirituality Conference In His Own Words

I founawerenessd this on the internet a number of years ago and thought that fellow grovers might be interested: AWARENESS; A de Mello Spirituality Conference in His Own Words by Anthony, S.J.; Edited by Stroud, J. Francis, S.J. De Mello (Author).

Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest 1937 – 1981. His writing is thought provoking and challenging. Despite being a Jesuit priest most of his themes are equally applicable to persons from any spiritual believe. In the introduction he tells us that we are all born asleep and that many of us never wake up; most don’t even want to. Among other things he challenges his listeners / readers:

  • to look at who they really are themselves and stop being a slave to their upbringing.
  • to reconsider their motives for ‘good works’.
  • to consider the age old question of ‘who am I?” or indeed “what is this thing I call ‘I’?”.

It has nice short sections which I particularly like so that I can be challenged and have something to think about for hours, days (or longer) without having to spend hours on the pre-reading.

Quite topically (considering de Mello died in 1981) he tells this story:

I remember hearing about a man who asks his friend, “Are you planning to vote Republican?” The friend says, “No, I’m planning to vote Democratic. My father was a Democrat, my grandfather was a Democrat, and my great-grandfather was a Democrat.” The man says, “That is crazy logic. I mean, if your father was a horse thief, and your grandfather was a horse thief, and your great-grandfather was a horse thief, what would you be?” “Ah,” the friend answered, “then I’d be a Republican.”

I have included a couple of short extracts for you as a taster. If you are interested, here is a link to an online PDF version: http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/tonyawareness.pdf

THE MASQUERADE OF CHARITY

Charity is really self-interest masquerading under the form of altruism. You say that it is very difficult to accept that there may be times when you are not honest to goodness really trying to be loving or trustful. Let me simplify it. Let’s make it as simple as possible. Let’s even make it as blunt and extreme as possible, at least to begin with. There are two types of selfishness. The first type is the one where I give myself the pleasure of pleasing myself. That’s what we generally call self-centeredness. The second is when I give myself the pleasure of pleasing others. That would be a more refined kind of selfishness.

The first one is very obvious, but the second one is hidden, very hidden, and for that reason more dangerous, because we get to feel that we’re really great. But maybe we’re not all that great after all. You protest when I say that. That’s great!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FINDING YOURSELF

The great masters tell us that the most important question in the world is: “Who am I?” Or rather: “What is ‘I’?” What is this thing I call “I”? What is this thing I call self? You mean you understood everything else in the world and you didn’t understand this? You mean you understood astronomy and black holes and quasars and you picked up computer science, and you don’t know who you are?

~ Linda

Criminal Buddha

Recently I have become obsessed with true crime podcasts. I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of this but I did come across a particular episode that I thought many of you would be interested in.

The episode is from a podcast called Criminal which is usually an interview on various aspects of crime. They have featured interviews with dog handlers, ex cons, victims and other professionals and people that have been involved with crime in general.

The episode I want to draw your attention to is Episode 15: He’s neutral. It is about a couple who put up a Buddha statue in their neighbourhood and it transformed their community. Next time you have a spare 15 minutes give it a listen and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Mary

Sustainability

Sustainability and green living is a very big part of my daily practice as a Druid. To me, it is so important to be living in a way that works with Mother Earth and help protect her for future generations. I do this is through making conscious choices about how I discard of our waste and how and what we buy. This isn’t always easy and I am constantly seeking to expand on my knowledge and question the way I am consuming.

I am planing a couple of posts that will detail ways that I have found to live sustainably or sharing resources that I have discovered  or highlighting companies that make things that help. Sometimes these companies are small and don’t have the advertising power that similar products have as their products last longer and they aren’t drawing in repeat users as often. These companies need our support to keep going.

I know that many of you already try to live in a green way as well. If you want to share any of the ways you do things please feel free to flick us an email or leave a comment to make sure that it gets covered in these posts. I look forward to seeing our discussions around this!

Mary

Book Review: Warrior Goddess Training; Becoming the Woman You Are Meant to Be

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“Warrior Goddess Training; Becoming the Woman You Are Meant to Be”

HeatherAsh Amara, Heirophant Publishing, 2014.(Available through NZ Fishpond website, $16.99 including delivery).

 

“If you don’t love and honor yourself with every fibre of your being, if you struggle with owning your power and passion, if you could use more joyful play and simple presence in your life, then it is time for an inner revolution. It is time to claim your Warrior Goddess energy” (p xv, 2014).

 

I was looking for some help to reignite my spark for life and myself when I serendipitously found HeatherAsh Amara’s Goddess Warrior Training book online. This teaser introduction quoted above follows through in the earthy, helpful and compassionate journey of self-discovery that she invites you embark on. HeatherAsh comes from an unashamedly earth based spiritual stance in honouring the seasons and deeply knowing the power of the elements yet writes in an accessible way and provides excellent introductions for those not familiar with this path. This rich spirituality is woven throughout the book and had my soul dancing with the pages.

 

The journey of personal transformation is not an easy one, and so too with this book, HeatherAsh goes beyond the theory of living compassionately from your authentic Self to actually helping you achieve this. She guides you through a journey designed to enable you to unpack some of the mental, emotional, spiritual and life baggage that might be holding you back and not serving you anymore. Written with warmth and sharing her own and other women’s life experiences and struggles, she helps you to notice things like; the inner judgement and victim voices we might have, the old stories and beliefs we hold about ourselves and our situations that are no longer true, the ways we might focus on pleasing others, being overly busy, looking after others to the detriment of ourselves or getting caught up in distractions, over controlling or hiding and giving away our power. If these are some things you struggle with, this book may well help you on your way. She assists in transforming these patterns and habits by teaching tools and ways to cleanse your being, reclaim your truth, challenge your thinking and old agreements, let go what no longer serves, mend your heart, ignite creativity and passion, and listen to your intuition and find wisdom and strength in your inner being.

This might seem like a tall order but I have found Goddess Warrior Training delivers with compassion and humour too.   Reading this book is not a passive journey but one that requires your inner Warrior Goddess to step forward! Certainly this beautiful book has helped me enormously and I highly recommend it.

– Sara